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Nurgle stumbled slightly as he entered the place of his dream again. He was tired from the days events, but he could not justify rest just yet. The night sky of Almas was open through the roofless room. Nurgle could see one of the suns of Almas blotting the corner. Almas orbited multiple suns, and yet it was always so far away that they were barely bigger in the sky than a moon. And they gave off little light as well. That's why most plants, save the Kaluthin, did not grow large on Almas. If it weren't for the super hot core, Almas would be a ball of ice. Nurgle contemplated the strange circumstance of so many suns giving of so little light as he watched the purple and blue poison gases dance in the atmosphere high above the Alcazar.

 

There is something here I'm missing.

 

Nurgle moved to the center of the room. He knew the purpose for this place. The nonexistant dome had been a weapon against invasion. But that did not explain everything. Nurgle had not noticed it until his last dream, but this room was hotter than the others. He had thought at first, it had just been part of the illusion Rivan created for him, but as he touched the stone floor with his bare hand, he could tell it was much hotter than the rest of the fortress. In fact, the rest of the fortress, even the oldest portions were made of metal. Only the gate and this room were made of stone. Almost as if they had already been here, and Darth Rivan's followers had built around them.

 

Nurgle coughed slightly as he placed the staff in the center of the pedestal. He knew it was useless without the dome, yet he felt there might still be something here. As he had before, the Sith Master connected himself with the Darkstaff, through the Force. It was less draining on him than last time, but it was still difficult. He could feel the Staff almost pulling to the right. Nurgle looked at the direction it was pulling. The only thing there was the exit.

 

Perhaps it wishes me to go that way.

 

Nurgle thought that was wrong though. It seemed stupid, there was no heat or stone in that direction. Only the metal of the fortress.

 

There's another strange riddle. The metal here is a black shade I have never seen before.

 

He got another idea as he gripped the Staff in both hands. With all his might, he pulled it right. The Sith nearly fell over. The staff moved within the pedestal with surprising ease. Nurgle felt the room shake as a passage was opened up on the other side of the pedestal. Nurgle felt blazing heat coming from within. He saw waves of heat rising from the entrance, and stone steps leading down. But there was no light. The Sith Master checked his oxygen tank. He was afraid it would burst aflame in the heat. Nurgle turned back considering whether he should check on Ki first, or at least get a light. Nurgle pulled the Darkstaff back and watched the entrance close. He pulled it out and returned to the cool hallways of the base, descending back into the basement levels. Nurgle entered the room of Ki to see her sleeping. Nurgle checked with his droid first, before he asked her attendants.

 

"How is she doing? Has she regained consciousness yet?"

dartdominusgi2.jpg

 

"Darkness is a friend, an ally. Darkness allows us to understand others, to see what they value when they believe no one else is looking."

-Darth Rivan

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"She is fine Sir, she woke a short time back. She called him Aiden Vastor. He's a fine Prince of the Hapes Cluster." One of the women responded.

 

As she did, Ki stirred, hearing voices. She still felt weak, though a smile crossed her face as she looked down at her now content son. Catching sight of the Sith Master, Nurgle, she turned her head to face him.

 

"Thank you. For all you did for us."

 

Ki let one of the servant women take her son while she rested a while. She would need to bathe and to relax on a bed rather than an uncomfortable metal table.

 

"Where will my quarters be?"

 

One thing she was kind of curious about, though hadn't spoken to Phillep about even when she was on good terms with him, was how she projected herself out of her body.

 

"Is it possible... oh... how to put it. While, I guess, I was unconscious, I projected myself out of my body so I saw what was going on from above. Is it possible to consciously do that... like a kind of astral projection at any time, not just when I fall unconscious? How would I go about mastering that?"

 

She paused a moment before adding, "It isn't the first time I've done it... the first time was when... was after Phillep had..."

 

Ki closed her eyes a moment, opening them with a resolve to push that to the past, though she needed to say what had happened for him to know how she came about the skill that she wanted to master at any time, not just when her body failed her.

 

"It was after one of Phillep's beatings. I lay there unmoving and the only way to escape was to leave the pain filled body with another kind of consciousness. In that state, I could also communicate with the spirit world."

KiVastor.jpg

 

Kheldar pops back into the bar, giving Ki a startled look.

 

"Wait a second.... Weren't you just here and- Oh, wait, nevermind. For some reason I'm getting deja vu..."

[meaning Alora]
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Nurgle thought it a good name. The Hapan prince would serve his people well. Although deep down, Nurgle couldn't help feeling disappointed she didn't name the child Nurgle.

 

Well, I guess it is kind of a bizarre name.

 

Nurgle was about to leave when Ki awoke. He was glad. She was recovering as quickly as he'd hoped. He hadn't been sure what lingering affects the Darkstaff would have on her. As she spoke, his smile turned into embarassment.

 

Obviously I should have taken her to appropriate quarters immediately.

 

"I'll take you down to your quarters, they are in the underlevels, safe from enemy attacks."

 

Nurgle ordered his droid to bring a hover chair. They helped Ki into it as she continued speaking. Nurgle frowned as they walked the silver halls. Well, he hobbled and she hovered, but the attendants walked. In any case, her tale interested him and puzzled him. One could dismiss it as a mere dream, but Nurgle knew better than to discount such things.

 

"Astral projection is very possible for a Force-user. My old servant Trowa Barton once battled a Force-user who could communicate with the spirit world, a Blademaster. But I don't believe such power is limited to that extinct order."

 

It had been sometime since anyone had seen a Blademaster, Nurgle's assumption seemed validated.

 

"Sometimes an individual with Force power has natural skill in a particular area. I have a knack for making biological entities, golems, viruses, etc. It may be that your power lies in the spirit world. If that is true, you have great strength, greater than I suspect even Phillep imagined."

 

Nurgle did not elaborate, but astral projection spoke to depth of Force ability he could not imagine. Some of the most powerful Sith in the galaxy did not have an inborn talent for such things. If Ki did . . . well, she could become stronger than himself. Not that Nurgle really feared this. Perhaps he had not learned as much from the Vjun incident as he believed, but he trusted Ki. After all, she had trusted him.

 

There is another possibility. Perhaps the Darth Rivan's Darkstaff put a bit of himself inside her. He certainly can astral project, I've seen that.

 

Nurgle wasn't sure, but he knew the puzzle would unravel itself in time.

 

"We can worry about that later though. Let's get you settled in."

 

Nurgle took her to the lowest level, through a quick moving turbolift. The heat was normally extreme down here, but the artificial air kept it at a nice, cool temperature. It was the safest level. Even if the fortress was wiped from the face of Almas, this level and several above it would remain. Nurgle took her into a small room. It had only a bed, and a crib for the baby. There were similar rooms for her servants nearby.

 

"I know its not much, but its all I could manage on short notice. If you would like to order things to be brought here, I could arrange it."

dartdominusgi2.jpg

 

"Darkness is a friend, an ally. Darkness allows us to understand others, to see what they value when they believe no one else is looking."

-Darth Rivan

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Ki listened to Nurgle as they went along, her son now back in her arms as the servants had bags they had brought from her ship. She wondered if it was possible for someone that could astral project to use the Force from the image they appeared as, even though the body was elsewhere. If that was possible, it could be very handy in the assassin business. She could have herself in a nice safe location and project her awareness into the other area where her targets were. They wouldn't be able to harm her, though she would them... if it were possible to have that kind of skill. Maybe her imagination was just running away with fancy ideas of possibilities.

 

"I have a talent for blending into shadows. Phillep taught me how to do that, as well as how to manipulate minds. This other... I seem to have come across it by accident. The first time it happened, I know my sister felt my presence when I looked in on her in her chambers at one point. My body was in a locked cell, strapped to a bed - not that I could move at that time. I had the spirits around me of our servants that Phillep had killed. They spoke to me, told me about what had happened in our past, who my real father was... that Aisling and I had the same father... Phillep later confirmed that."

 

Once they entered the room and she was transfered to the bed, her son in the crib beside her, Ki looked back at Nurgle.

 

"I'll have some things ordered to make it more comfortable, though I don't believe in having too much in one place."

KiVastor.jpg

 

Kheldar pops back into the bar, giving Ki a startled look.

 

"Wait a second.... Weren't you just here and- Oh, wait, nevermind. For some reason I'm getting deja vu..."

[meaning Alora]
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"Fair enough. Whatever you order can be brought by my droids."

 

Nurgle wished he'd put a chair in here at least. It would have been nice to sit down for a moment. He needed to discuss something with her. The Sith's bones cracked as he sank against the wall and onto the floor. He layed his Darkstaff over his lap.

 

"What about your promise? I don't wish to bring it up while you are recovering, but I don't think I have much more time. I need you to begin carrying my new body as soon as you are ready."

dartdominusgi2.jpg

 

"Darkness is a friend, an ally. Darkness allows us to understand others, to see what they value when they believe no one else is looking."

-Darth Rivan

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Ki was feeling stronger already, as if she hadn't just been through the ordeal of giving birth to a baby that literally caused her harm by carrying it for so long.

 

"I feel I could do that now if you wanted me to."

 

She could see how frail Nurgle looked and had a strong sympathy towards him, especially since he had just saved her life and that of her child. Ki glanced into the crib at the sleeping form of her son. Sleep well Aiden... Her eyes returned to Nurgle, giving him a nod.

KiVastor.jpg

 

Kheldar pops back into the bar, giving Ki a startled look.

 

"Wait a second.... Weren't you just here and- Oh, wait, nevermind. For some reason I'm getting deja vu..."

[meaning Alora]
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Nurgle took her back into the laboratory. It had been set up again, and cleaned for another procedure. Nurgle still felt guilt over suggesting Ki do this so quickly. He did not think she owed him anything, despite her agreement. After all, it was Phillep, in service to Nurgle who caused Ki's condition. Nurgle had not ordered it, but he had heard rumors of Phillep's brutality, and had chosen not to investigate. In fact, he knew some of it first hand, he'd witnessed it when he had met Ki. He was responsible for Phillep, and thus responsible for Ki's torture.

 

That is why I saved her, as a penance. But now I seek to use her again, not even giving her a few days rest.

 

Nurgle knew why he did it though. Self preservation. He was dying quickly, and he knew it would take a month to incubate the golem. After it was born, he could accelerate its growth as fast as he needed to. But he needed a semi-natural state at the start. It was essential, as he was about to explain to Ki.

 

That is why the pregnancy must begin immediately.

 

Nurgle hid these misgivings as he showed her a large metallic case, standing as tall as the room, and wedged into the corner of the laboratory. It was all to house the samples he'd created, one of which held his future. Nurgle felt compelled to explain what he had done to one of the vials inside.

 

"I created only three embryos. I am confident the first will work, it is designed to. But in case there was a battle or some other disaster, I created two extra. One is hidden on Dagobah, where I used to train my apprentices, the other on Vjun. They are guarded by two of my creations. Eventually, I will have to destroy the other samples. If they fell into the wrong hands, it could be disastrous."

 

Nurgle did not bother explaining what he had guarding them. They were golems themselves, one a botanical creature, the other a beast. Nurgle continued his explanation,

 

"My creations, including the embryos, are not quite the same as a traditional golem. In fact, a golem is supposed to be made of inanimate matter, so the word may not apply at all. It is simply the closest I know of. All of mine are the exact opposite of a normal golem they are biological. Artificial biological creations, like Haphaestus. Haphaestus though was a droid first. Tissue, my own tissue, was built around his skeleton and woven into his circuitry, much like a human has cybernetic implants. But with these embryos, the creation is entirely made of living tissue. The only thing I built off of was DNA, primarily yours, taken while you were still in the Hapes Cluster, and mine. This has created an especially Force sensitive body. In essence, it would be our offspring, formed in a laboratory. But that still is not a satisfactory explanation."

 

Nurgle removed the single vial from the cold storage. One of his faceless droids entered to help Nurgle with the preparations.

 

"It is not just our genes. I also used some Defel, inspired by Darth Rivan's writings. Of course, it was very difficult to manage, Defels are so different from us. But the effect, I think, will be spectacular. And then there's the matter of the soul. Every creature has a soul at conception, even those fertilized artificially in a lab. But when one creates a biological golem, as this is, the soul is nonexistant. Haphaestus already had a soul, as a droid, when I found him. I have no idea why, but if it weren't for that he would be as soulless as this embryo. It is an empty vessel, a vessel I can inhabit. It will have enough of my traits to make it a match. But I need the body to age to adulthood, to make it useful, and I need it naturally incubated for the first month to instill most of my memories within it during the pregnancy. It has a growth accelerator already. Once it is born, I can accelarate it even faster, and then I will transfer my soul. But it will take the month to do the preliminary work. This will be your trial, to become a Sith Lord. We will need to join our minds often, so that my memory can be taken. I will show you how to affect the memory of others, as I have done to others in the past. We must be precise, or the golem will be useless."

 

It was a practiced skill to affect the memory of others. Nurgle had learned it on Kirana Sunrider, Yue, and others. If one was not adept at Force techiniques, they would destroy the mind of the one they were working on. For his own sake, Nurgle hoped Ki was a good study.

 

"It's not so much stealing my memories or erasing them, as copying them. That's a technique we'll have to master together. Even though you aren't removing them, the affect will be . . . negative. I will forget things, sometimes you will lose the memory after you copy it. It is unavoidable. You may have to help remember as well. Let's just hope we don't lose anything important."

dartdominusgi2.jpg

 

"Darkness is a friend, an ally. Darkness allows us to understand others, to see what they value when they believe no one else is looking."

-Darth Rivan

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Ki listened quietly, taking every detail in. The process sounded extremely complex. The fact he had taken into account every eventuality as well, having the extra embryo's on different worlds for protection of this ... project. She was relieved that this would be done artificially. After she had found out her true heritage, she had forsworn her old life. The whole sleeping around thing was something she had only done to survive. Now that she didn't have to, didn't need to, she never wanted to again.

 

With regards to the transferring of his memories, Ki had a trick up her sleeve that should prevent the loss of any of the information.

 

"I have a datachip embedded within my brain. It keeps my memories safe among other things. We either use that or implant another specifically for your memories. That should overcome that problem wouldn't it?"

 

She looked around the room in which she had been in only a short time before. While she found she missed her son, which was strange since she knew exactly where he was in another room not very far away, she was fully prepared to do this. Energy flowed through her veins, her body feeling like it was wound up ready to react, a spring held tight ready to be released. It had been a long time since she had seen her feet, and even though she was about to go through a procedure that would soon have her not able to see them again, Ki was still ready to do it.

 

"Where do you want me?"

 

She moved towards the table again, figuring that would be the place, hopping up onto the table ready for it.

 

"Lets get this done."

KiVastor.jpg

 

Kheldar pops back into the bar, giving Ki a startled look.

 

"Wait a second.... Weren't you just here and- Oh, wait, nevermind. For some reason I'm getting deja vu..."

[meaning Alora]
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Nurgle thought about the memory chip. That was something Phillep had not told him about. The Sith Master wondered if the Admiral even knew. If so, his concealment of the chip might have been purposeful. He knew of Nurgle's memory manipulation. Perhaps he wished to have his slaves immune from Nurgle's influence.

 

There's no need to be paranoid. Phillep was completely insane, but loyal.

 

"Yes, lay on the table again."

 

Nurgle waited until she was in position. This was much simpler than the other procedure. He injected a local anasthetic. Nurgle only needed a small incision to implant the embryo. The whole thing was over in a matter of minutes. Nurgle sealed the small wound with a bacta patch.

 

"That's it, you can stand up now. The anasthetic should keep the pain away as long as it takes for the patch to heal. The pregnancy will last exactly one month. I suppose you will want to return to Aiden immediately. We'll start the memory transfer after you've rested for a while. We have plenty of time."

 

Nurgle really want to see what lay beneath the central room.

dartdominusgi2.jpg

 

"Darkness is a friend, an ally. Darkness allows us to understand others, to see what they value when they believe no one else is looking."

-Darth Rivan

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Ki didn't think that Phillep knew anything about the chip she had embedded within her brain. She had done that later, at the same time she had gotten the recaller for her ship done. That had been so that she wouldn't lose a remote caller if her belongings were stripped from her, or stolen.

 

She felt the jab of the local anesthetic, then the numbness that spread from it. Ki lay back, relaxing as much as she could on the metal table while Nurgle implanted the embryo. Once the procedure was completed, she sat back up, following with her mind how it now implanted itself into her womb to begin to grow. She felt the difference between this soulless one and the child she had carried before. Strange, though that seemed the only difference.

 

"Yes, I will get back to Aiden."

 

Motherhood was already softening part of her hard exterior, though she wouldn't allow any enemy to know that. She would keep her son hidden from them. Ki would begin instructing her servants on their duties as soon as she entered the room.

 

She inclined her head respectfully towards Nurgle, then left the laboratory for her own room. Having mentally made her list of things she wanted for her room, she paused by one of the faceless droids, letting him know that she wanted two comfortable chairs brought, a rocking chair and other items for both herself and the child. She kept in mind the needs of her servants, ordering furnishings for their rooms as well.

 

Leaving the droid, she made her way back to her son's side, soon standing over the crib, gazing down at him with a gentle look upon her face.

 

"You will be safe Aiden. And you will be strong in the Force."

 

Ki watched him for a long moment before she headed into the bathing room to shower and change clothing. What she'd had on looked too big since her 'belly' had shrunken. After a nice hot bath, she convinced herself to get out, drying off and getting into new clothes before laying down to rest.

KiVastor.jpg

 

Kheldar pops back into the bar, giving Ki a startled look.

 

"Wait a second.... Weren't you just here and- Oh, wait, nevermind. For some reason I'm getting deja vu..."

[meaning Alora]
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Nurgle lay down on the metal table after Ki left. He wanted to see what lay beneath the floor of the central room very badly. But the last forty-eight hours had exhausted him. He'd delivered a baby, and made a new one, and not in the fun way. Nurgle closed his eyes sleeping on the hard surface. He dreamed.

 

------------------------------------------------

 

Nurgle was standing before Darth Rivan in the domed room. His body was not frail, but strong. His hands were not his own. Nurgle felt like a new person. And he quickly surmised that he was. Nurgle felt short hair on his head and strange features, young features. When he looked at his arm, the skin shimmered at times in the shifting light. The remnant of a Defel was in that skin. But that was soon gone as the room was plunged into darkness. Rivan moved forward.

 

"It is time for your training to begin . . . "

 

-----------------------------------------------

 

Nurgle awoke suddenly, coughing violently. One of his faceless droids moved to administer serum to the Sith. Nurgle let his creation do its work. He signaled for a double dose. Nurgle felt the soothing effect on his lungs, weaker than before, as it always was. He sighed, and became further distraught when even that came out more as a wheeze.

 

I saved Ki's life. Let's hope I'm smart enough to save mine.

 

The Sith knew he had slept the whole night. He remembered his dream vividly. Nurgle had acted as the apprentice. Rivan was teaching him the knowledge he need to forge a new path. And he had been in his new body. Nurgle had been his future self, uniting with Rivan's past self. It was a surreal experience. The dream was vivid, and the knowledge Rivan had imparted was seared into his memory.

 

So much information, and yet only a taste of what I will learn. Only a taste of what Darth Dominus will become, after I have perished.

 

Nurgle held no illusions about his fate. His current form would die, and yet he would live on in a new body. But he would not be quite the same. A soul was only a third of an individual. The other third was memory, and the one after that was genes. The first would be intact, the second would be partial, and the third would be completely different. Darth Dominus would be Nurgle, and yet not Nurgle. Just how much him would survive, Nurgle wasn't sure. But he hoped his true essence would remain.

 

I must have faith.

 

The Sith Master hobbled out of his laboratory, and made the long journey to the central room. As he did before, he placed Rivan's Darkstaff in the center of the podium and pulled it to the side. The blast of hot air hit his face as the dark door opened, to even darker stairs. Nurgle dragged himself forward, and descended. The staff righted itself, closing the passage behind the Sith Master. Nurgle turned in surprise, as the darkness enveloped him.

 

In her room, as Ki rested, she began to see. Nurgle was using the same tactic as Rivan had taught him. He was giving Ki a dream. They stood in a pitch black cavern. They were on the edge of a large ledge, which looked over a lake of black lava. Sweat poured down Nurgle's face. Ki could feel the incredible heat too. And she could see, in spite of the darkness. She could tell it was there, but it was like living in a backwards world. Light was blinding, dark was illuminating.

 

"This is not real, it is a representation of what is real. You must come to the real thing, or I fear I will be baked alive. You do not have the power to use the Darkstaff, and the entrance to where I am at will remain hidden to you. The only way to help me, is to astral-project. You must try. I cannot reach the opposite side. If you can, in your astral form, you can trigger the door to open again."

dartdominusgi2.jpg

 

"Darkness is a friend, an ally. Darkness allows us to understand others, to see what they value when they believe no one else is looking."

-Darth Rivan

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After having fed her son Aiden again, Ki lay down in her bed, closing her eyes and resting. Her hands rested over her abdomen, aware that she was now nurturing another life of sorts within her. It felt different to when she had carried Aiden, not being able to feel the soul of the being inside her.

 

At first she thought she was dreaming, seeing but not seeing the pitch black cavern or the lake of black lava. She felt the heat, the darkness no object to her sight, Ki seeing as well as she could in daylight. Her eye sight had become sharp anyway, after some of the effects of being with Phillep. Even now too, she sometimes felt the need for blood even if she didn't need Phillep's to survive now.

 

Ki listened to Nurgle's voice, telling her that the only way she could get to him would be to astral project herself there. She opened her eyes, turning her head to see Aiden's sleeping form. She didn't have time to waste though. She called out to the servants, telling them to watch over her son while she 'slept'.

 

With the knowledge that her son would be looked after while she lay there, Ki got herself comfortable and closed her eyes again. This time she had to concentrate deeply focusing within herself until she reached a certain place. Once there she reached out to touch Nurgle's mind. She felt him, felt his presence somewhere way below where she rested. The first attempt she couldn't get there, opening her mental eye to see that she was still in her room with her son.

 

Concentrating deeper, sending herself further than she had before, Ki felt herself sinking through the floor in her room. Through the rock.

 

Down.

 

Down.

 

Down.

 

Down.

 

Suddenly she was standing beside Nurgle, though she knew she was still lying in the bed beside her son way up above. She paused there for a moment, looking over at the other side of the chasm. Concentrating again, focusing on where she wanted to be, Ki pressed inwards again, without closing her eyes this time. Everything darkened, blacker than black then lit up again in the unnatural light within the darkness. She was on the other side. Ki turned around, facing Nurgle across the lake of black lava.

KiVastor.jpg

 

Kheldar pops back into the bar, giving Ki a startled look.

 

"Wait a second.... Weren't you just here and- Oh, wait, nevermind. For some reason I'm getting deja vu..."

[meaning Alora]
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Nurgle felt himself getting dizzy in the oppressive heat. The Sith Master could not open his eyes, and thus could not see Ki, but he could feel here. He knew this would not be his time to die though. He had faith in Ki. Nurgle broke his connection with her, unable to maintain it. He yelled, knowing she was here with him.

 

"Now you must concentrate. There is a lever, you must pull it in your astral form. Remember the emotions that gave you this power in the past. You must summon them now, you must control it."

dartdominusgi2.jpg

 

"Darkness is a friend, an ally. Darkness allows us to understand others, to see what they value when they believe no one else is looking."

-Darth Rivan

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Concentrate ... Where's the lever... Ki looked around in her astral form, seeing almost perfectly in the dark, the Force swirling around her. She saw the lever, over to the side of her, near the stone wall.

 

Reaching her hand towards the lever it went straight through it. Damn... concentrate! ... The young woman focused again, her hand reaching towards the lever, putting every other thought out of her mind as she concentrated on the lever. She needed to do this, needed to master this skill, knowing that it would be one that she would use often in the future.

 

Slowly ... ever so slowly ... the lever moved. Inch by inch, it creaked and groaned, sounds echoing in the darkness.

 

Summon the power... use the power... The voice came unhindered into her mind.

 

A surge went through her, the lever sliding easily across in one motion... pride flowing through the woman as she turned back to face the Sith Master...

KiVastor.jpg

 

Kheldar pops back into the bar, giving Ki a startled look.

 

"Wait a second.... Weren't you just here and- Oh, wait, nevermind. For some reason I'm getting deja vu..."

[meaning Alora]
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Nurgle nodded to Ki. She had done well. He crawled back out of the room. Pulling his staff free. The Sith Master had to be escorted back to his quarters. He would tell Ki how well she had done later. Now, he needed to recover from his ordeal. As well as consider the true purpose of that room. Nurgle dreamed a dreamless sleep.

dartdominusgi2.jpg

 

"Darkness is a friend, an ally. Darkness allows us to understand others, to see what they value when they believe no one else is looking."

-Darth Rivan

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As he disappeared out of the room, Ki let herself go, felt herself rise upwards until she felt the weight of her body surrounding her. Her eyes flickered open, finding herself back in her room along side her still sleeping son.

 

Wow... I did it...

 

The thoughts floated through her conscious mind, a smile on her face as she let her eyes flutter closed again. She was weary. Doing what she just had, on top of her other ordeal, had been draining of her energy. A noise had her open her eyes again, seeing a servant come in with a tray of nutritious foods for her. The scent of them catching her, making her nostrils flare as she pushed herself up to eat.

 

After she had finished her meal, Ki lay back down, unable to keep herself from a healing sleep any longer. She felt Nurgle would come and get her when he was ready to.

KiVastor.jpg

 

Kheldar pops back into the bar, giving Ki a startled look.

 

"Wait a second.... Weren't you just here and- Oh, wait, nevermind. For some reason I'm getting deja vu..."

[meaning Alora]
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Nurgle awoke, somewhat recovered. The Sith Master considered what had gone wrong. He knew that he had been mistaken on the true purpose of that room. As Nurgle held Rivan's staff, running his hand over it, he had a revelation. Nurgle ordered one of his droids to summon Ki.

 

(Sorry for the short posts lately, lots of yard work)

dartdominusgi2.jpg

 

"Darkness is a friend, an ally. Darkness allows us to understand others, to see what they value when they believe no one else is looking."

-Darth Rivan

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When the droid came to her room, Ki had just finished feeding her newborn son. She placed him back in his crib, the servants looking after him as she reported to Nurgle. She followed the droid through the passages, arriving at the Sith Master's location soon after.

 

"You wanted to see me Mi'Lord?"

 

 

((that's ok, I can understand that))

KiVastor.jpg

 

Kheldar pops back into the bar, giving Ki a startled look.

 

"Wait a second.... Weren't you just here and- Oh, wait, nevermind. For some reason I'm getting deja vu..."

[meaning Alora]
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Nurgle motioned for her to follow him. The two walked, Nurgle hobbling at a slow pace. The Sith Master placed the staff into the pedestal, and opened the room below. He asked Ki to follow him.

 

"Trust me. I know what we need to do now."

 

The two entered, the door rolling back behind them. Nurgle held up his hand, indicating he knew it would happen.

 

"I have unlocked the secret to Darth Rivan's power. Together, we will learn it. Sit beside me."

 

Nurgle sat cross legged on the ledge, overlooking the lake of pure black lava. Nurgle closed his eyes. The deadly heat washed over them. The only sound for several moments was the movement of the boiling magma and the ragged breathing of Nurgle.

 

"Everything we have learned about the Force is a lie."

 

Nurgle let that sentence hang in the air for a moment. Sweat began to drip from him.

 

"Tell me what you have been taught. What do our fellow Sith say is the difference between their teachings and the teachings of the Jedi?"

dartdominusgi2.jpg

 

"Darkness is a friend, an ally. Darkness allows us to understand others, to see what they value when they believe no one else is looking."

-Darth Rivan

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Ki followed the Sith Master, seating herself slightly behind him him on the ledge overlooking the black lava. It surprised her when he said everything they'd learned about the Force was a lie. She was still learning about it. Ki hadn't had any theory regarding the Force, had only learnt applications of it. How to blend into shadows, how to manipulate minds and now how to astral travel.

 

"Phillep didn't tell me much about the Jedi and their teachings. The only lightsider I've had anything to do with was Isolder and he came after me with the intent of killing both me and Aiden while I carried him. Phillep taught me how to blend into the shadows, how to manipulate minds, how to open certain locks. And the Astral travel you know about."

 

She paused, closing her eyes and relishing in the darkness.

 

"I am willing to learn whatever you wish to teach me."

KiVastor.jpg

 

Kheldar pops back into the bar, giving Ki a startled look.

 

"Wait a second.... Weren't you just here and- Oh, wait, nevermind. For some reason I'm getting deja vu..."

[meaning Alora]
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Nurgle found Phillep's education decidely lacking. He would have to give Ki a quick crash course.

 

"Well, I'm no expert on Jedi either. But they usually believe in the Force as a living, guiding presence. They believe serenity and calm are the ways to elicit their abilities. Sith believe the Force is a tool to be manipulated. They believe strong emotion elicits the strongest abilities. They are both wrong."

 

Nurgle was concentrating, letting the heat wash over him. He could feel he was close.

 

"The Force is a natural presence within almost everything, from the black rocks on these walls to the most powerful Sith Master. Darth Rivan believed that even light and dark possess the Force. Jedi and Sith think they are so different, but they are really very similar. They both summon the Force in their body to affect other objects or creatures. But think about it for a moment. The Force is a form of energy, albeit a very strange form. If every rock and creature possess it within them, why does it make sense to expend your own Force energy? Why use artificial lightning, when nature has already created lightening."

 

Nurgle felt sick. His mind was beginning to be affected by the heat again. In the pitch darkness, it was impossible to tell whether he was still conscious or if he'd slipped into a dream. Nurgle could feel the heat around him. He concentrated on drawing it into his body. Nurgle knew this would be easier with the Darkstaff. But there would be much time to learn to master that weapon. He didn't want it to become a crutch. Nurgle thought he was about to pass out, when suddenly, he felt cool. The Sith was concerned something bad had happened. He felt his body. He still felt okay. He could still sense Ki. The Sith smiled. Nurgle had learned. Now it was Ki's turn.

 

"The proper way to understand and use the Force is through absorbtion. Sith and Jedi only understand a small fraction of the Force. An Alcazarin seeks to understand use it all. Feel the heat around you. It is deadly, if we linger here too long. But that is only because we allow it to harm us. Think of the universe as a network of plumbing. You are one small piece in an infinite system. Sith and Jedi think they are above the system. They create plugs and holes in the system. But the system is so large, their manipulations are paltry and ineffective. A Jedi is too small to understand the will of the Force. A Sith is too small to use the Force as a tool. But an Alcazarin uses the system, exists and operates within it. Instead of trying to stop or divert the water, an Alcazarin lets it flow through them. You must absorb the heat, let it flow through you, and not affect your body. Absorb and release the Force energy coming from the fire below. You must learn to see the Force flowing through all objects. Try it."

 

Nurgle knew the heat would be affecting her. It would take longer because she was healthy, but she would succumb. Nurgle hoped the necessity of the situation would give her a greater chance of success.

dartdominusgi2.jpg

 

"Darkness is a friend, an ally. Darkness allows us to understand others, to see what they value when they believe no one else is looking."

-Darth Rivan

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As she listened, Ki felt the perspiration run down her face and and back, trickling between her shoulder blades. She was feeling light headed, though determined to learn what her Master was teaching her. When did that change? She'd never referred to Phillep as her Master, even when he had been teaching her. Most likely because she knew she was his slave, his concubine, and didn't want to be.

 

Ki nodded her head, it made a lot of sense. Why use your own when you could someone else's. She watched him, feeling something different before he smiled. Hmmm... absorbtion... She was feeling the heat, sapping her strength.

 

She closed her eyes, listening to his words, feeling out the living force around her. Absorb it... let it flow through... She felt the rock beneath her, felt Nurgle beside her, felt the lava bubbling down over the cliff edge. Nothing seemed to be happening to begin with, Ki feeling hotter than ever. Then something changed. She felt like she was drawing energy from her surroundings, and suddenly the temperature began to cool around her.

 

Opening her eyes, Ki turned her head to look at Nurgle. She had always been a quick learner. A thought came to her, Ki voicing it as she took in the new information.

 

"With how I have learnt to blend in with the shadows. Using this method should make me more invisible to the naked eye wouldn't it? Like drawing from the shadows themselves so to speak? Becoming one with the shadows more so than hiding in them?"

KiVastor.jpg

 

Kheldar pops back into the bar, giving Ki a startled look.

 

"Wait a second.... Weren't you just here and- Oh, wait, nevermind. For some reason I'm getting deja vu..."

[meaning Alora]
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Nurgle nodded,

 

"Yes. If we train hard enough, we can learn to absorb the energy from our surroundings, and use it as a weapon, and that includes the shadows. Heat is easy though, it is full of energy. A shadow is not. That will take much time to learn, but it is possible. It will be easier once you have forged a Darkweapon. They focus Force energy, and act as a conduit. But we will discuss that more next time. Let's return."

 

Nurgle pulled the Force energy from the heat below, and released it through his open palm. It moved across the lake, striking the lever. That was the key to opening the door, to escape the Black Lake. The stone door behind them slid open.

 

When they were above, and Nurgle had removed the staff from the podium, he spoke to Ki once more,

 

"When Haphaestus and Darth Oni arrive, and I teach them what we are learning, the four of us can repair this Dome. Once it is repaired, we will be safe from invasion. It is a powerful weapon built by Darth Rivan. We have unlocked its secret."

 

Nurgle looked up at the flashing colors in the sky over the broken dome. The deadly gases of Almas danced in the upper atmosphere. This was a proud moment for him, but it was tinged with fear. Would he live long enough to see the Alcazarins rise to power? Even if he was alive, would he remember this moment? His life or death rested on Ki's shoulders.

 

"We need to start the memory transfer. Tell me how this memory chip works exactly?"

dartdominusgi2.jpg

 

"Darkness is a friend, an ally. Darkness allows us to understand others, to see what they value when they believe no one else is looking."

-Darth Rivan

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Ki rose to her feet, following Nurgle back up to the domed room. She too looked upwards at the flickering colours above them. There was a strange beauty about it. She brought her attention back towards him as he asked her about the memory chip.

 

"It works in the way of normal memories, though stores them away from harm so they won't be forgotten or 'deleted' from memory. I got it so that I could protect my memories if Phillep tried to tamper with my mind. I gather you have realised that I did not like being his slave. I didn't want to forget who I actually was. With what had happened to me as a young girl, I had forgotten who I was. That I was from Hapes and that I was one of the royal family. Now I have ensured that I will never forget that fact again."

 

She looked back at Nurgle after having looked away for a moment.

 

"With your memories placed on the chip, they should be stored until you require them. Did you want to place a separate chip for your memories, or will we place them within the one I already have there?"

KiVastor.jpg

 

Kheldar pops back into the bar, giving Ki a startled look.

 

"Wait a second.... Weren't you just here and- Oh, wait, nevermind. For some reason I'm getting deja vu..."

[meaning Alora]
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Nurgle thought using the chip Ki had already used might cause problems. Memories were tricky things. He didn't want to come out thinking he was a Hapan princess.

 

"Well, how hard is it to get one of these chips? Do you have others?"

 

Nurgle was glad Ki had come up with this idea. It seemed it would be a great deal faster than what he had in mind. The Sith Master waited for her answer, leaning against the podium. He supposed they would be more comfortable in another room. But this place made him feel safe, and content. It drew him back everytime. Nurgle looked up again at the Almas sky before he inexplicably tumbled onto his side. The Sith Master was struck with blinding pain. It felt as if his whole body was melting. He held up his hand to signal he was okay. Nurgle rose and began hobbling toward his laboratory as fast as he could. He could see the confusion on Ki's face.

 

"Come with me quickly. Haphaestus has fallen."

dartdominusgi2.jpg

 

"Darkness is a friend, an ally. Darkness allows us to understand others, to see what they value when they believe no one else is looking."

-Darth Rivan

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"I do have another in my ship. It will have to be carefully placed though."

 

Concern flashed across Ki's face as Nurgle fell suddenly. She had taken half a pace towards him when he held up his hand, rising and heading out of the domed room. She hurried after him, wondering what the matter was until he told her that Haphaestus had fallen.

 

When they reached the laboratory, Ki moved to the side, out of the way. She stretched out her senses towards one of the servants, beckoning the woman to her. When she arrived, Ki requested she go to her ship and ask her droid for a particular box. That box was to be brought back to Ki. With a nod of her head, the woman headed off to get the item she had been sent for, taking the necessary precautions against the poisonous gases.

KiVastor.jpg

 

Kheldar pops back into the bar, giving Ki a startled look.

 

"Wait a second.... Weren't you just here and- Oh, wait, nevermind. For some reason I'm getting deja vu..."

[meaning Alora]
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Nurgle ordered one of his faceless droids to open the cabinet in the right hand corner of the laboratory. The droid effortlessly lifted a counterpart within. A very ancient HK-51. There were very few left in this galaxy. Nurgle had spent a great deal collecting all he could find for just such an emergency. There were other older models in abundance. But they were not as advanced. HK-51's were preferable. All of these were fully restored, with functioning weapon mounts and modernized in many other ways. Nurgle had gutted the HK-51's, removing their brains and replacing them with deactivated copies of Haphaestus droid brain. Their memories would be spotty, as Nurgle was only able to copy them upon his encounters with Haphaestus. He hoped imbuing this shell with the soul of Haphaestus would fill in the gaps. Droid memories worked different than those of organic creatures, even droids with souls.

 

Or at least, I hope so. An amnesiac Haphaestus would not be much use.

 

Nurgle began the long hard work ahead. He bound flesh to the droid, and blood, his own as before. It was not fresh blood, or flesh, but what he had grown and kept in storage. It would kill him to try to give this much to Haphaestus with his ancient powers lost. The body was the easy part, and in a few hours, the Sith Master was finished. It was more or less the same as the original. Nurgle had added something though. A small piece of the black metal forged by Darth Rivan in the center of Haphaestus torso. Nurgle did not know the affect this would have. But he was eager to find out. He spoke to Ki at last,

 

"I need you to try something for me. When I combine organic and mechanical elements into Haphaestus' brain, I will need to know whether it is working. Brain reconstruction is impossible without a conscious individual. This body is lifeless. Do you think you could astral project into this empty shell?"

dartdominusgi2.jpg

 

"Darkness is a friend, an ally. Darkness allows us to understand others, to see what they value when they believe no one else is looking."

-Darth Rivan

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Exiting hyperspace finally above the world Nurgle had instructed them to go, Oni searched the planet below for his former Master while the droid piloted the ship down with graceful proportions. It was a funny thing, droids normally being better pilots than most living beings, even those guided by the force. That's more than likely why everytime Oni had the chance, he would have a droid pilot the ship was on.

 

After setting down with hardly any thud, Oni shuffled Cyrus outside the ship. As the droids exited behind them, the Onibot managed to grab two rebreathers on his way out, the bot handing to them to both Oni and Cyrus as he made his exit and rejoined the group. Oni did not question what the rebreather was for, the Sith Lord placing it upon his face as soon as it was handed, Oni's senses in the force going haywire with potiential danger lurking ahead.

 

Turning to Cyrus, who by now, should have taken off the blindfold and placed the rebreather upon his self as well, motioned the young Apprentice to follow them carefully as the droids began their trek ahead of them to their new home here on this planet. Oni chuckled a bit, a pattern seemingly developing within Nurgle, his homes always full of danger and the darkside lurking heavily around every corner, a place of paradise for the darkest of Sith.

 

It wasn't long before they had passed through the gas barriers that surrounded the construct where Nurgle was, a small onyx castle like formation forming out of the fog like surroundings straight ahead as the grew closer. Watching the droid touch the door and it slide aside, Oni stepped forword within, it's dark halls finding pleasure as it's corruption swelled Oni and Cyrus with it's power. This place was indeed one of the strongest darkside manifestion Oni had felt in a good while.

 

Activating his emerald green blade to illuminate their path, the droids still leading Oni and Cyrus to Nurgle, Oni looked upon the saber's glow on the building's marvelous onyx architecture, finding himself very intrigued by it's very existance. "What a fasinating structure." Oni thought to himself as they began to ascend the stairs. Indeed, Oni's curiosity for the place was growing by the minute.

 

It wasn't long before the droids had guiding them into the room where Nurgle and the young lady stood, the droid's body laying before them not even being noticed as Oni had grew accustomed to Nurgle's constant construction of them. Standing aside as not to disturb them, their mere presence would tell Nurle that they had succeeded at Coruscant, and some never being that wiser that Nurgle had not even shown up. Awaiting Nurgle's acknowledgment, Oni removed the rebreather and placed it within his larger satchel, motioning for Cyrus to take his off as well.

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During the time that Nurgle worked on the droid, the box was delivered to Ki. She placed it on a counter then moved closer to observe what he was doing. Not long after he had started working on the droid, her son was brought to her. Ki fed her son, nursing the infant as she shifted position to see just what Nurgle was doing with the droid.

 

Finishing feeding Aiden, Ki kissed his forehead and handed him back over to the servant to take back to his crib. Ki never thought she would feel this way about another being. Each time she thought of Aiden, a tender look crossed her face, which in itself was so totally out of character for the former Black Sun assassin.

 

She stepped closer once he had finished working on the droid, listening to what he asked her to do.

 

"I can attempt it, Mi'Lord"

 

This would be different to what she had done before. She asked one of the droids to bring a chair in for her. While waiting for the chair to be brought, two others entered the room. Ki observed them closely, recognizing one, though not the other. She didn't know if Nurgle wanted her to attempt to astral project into the droid now or if he wanted to speak with these others first. With the chair being brought in, Ki sat down, getting comfortable so that she was ready when he wanted her to astral project herself. She would wait for his signal to do so, her mental state prepared and ready to go.

KiVastor.jpg

 

Kheldar pops back into the bar, giving Ki a startled look.

 

"Wait a second.... Weren't you just here and- Oh, wait, nevermind. For some reason I'm getting deja vu..."

[meaning Alora]
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Nurgle was working intently. He turned to see Darth Oni and his apprentice watching him from the doorway. Nurgle nearly knocked his instrument table over. He pulled off his surgical mask.

 

"You are going to give an old man a heart attack."

 

Nurgle shook his head before turning back to his work.

 

"I'm glad you came now. Haphaestus has fallen, and we must quickly rebuild him before his soul joins the Force. You two may as well help me out. I need crystals forged. But not normal crystals, not the kind used in lightsabers. You must make them clear, thin, and elongated. Put as much dark side energy as you can into them. There is a room near here with a traditional forge. Follow one of my faceless droids there. But don't look in any of the other rooms. There are many traps around here set by the original owner and other dangers."

 

Nurgle slipped the mask back on. He was not doing this as he did last time. Instead of pushing energy into the organic/mechanical brain he was constructing, Nurgle used the Darkstaff. He transferred the life force of the planet into the reverse cybernetic brain. The Sith Master felt the hand of Darth Rivan guiding him. He looked at Ki.

 

"Alright, try it now."

 

The Sith Master waited for her.

dartdominusgi2.jpg

 

"Darkness is a friend, an ally. Darkness allows us to understand others, to see what they value when they believe no one else is looking."

-Darth Rivan

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