Keenava Dira Posted December 20, 2016 Share Posted December 20, 2016 (edited) Title: RP Side Story [Lallu Kallemi – Family Matters] Genre: Drama/Action Rating: PG-13 Rated for: violence and mild gore. Critique level: Critique encouraged Franchise: Star Wars JEDIRP Roleplaying based FanFic and continuation of Lallu’s story << Mod Approved >> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Rude Awakening <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< Help me… The shrill cry echoed through her mind. It was enough to upset the dead. A young adolescent Twi’lek woman was crying; hooked to a bare steel wall with rusty iron chains. Her face was a distant memory. Her body was a mysterious illusion, but her eyes were striking and unmistakable. The pristine amethyst of those miserable tear-soaked orbs told a story from Lallu’s childhood; they were the same eyes that her mother had had—and their shine would never fade. Help me… The room was dark. There was silence in the world and everything stood still in the thick greenish liquid. The details of the world beyond her tank were obscured by her own heavy eyelids, but the clarity of the scene in her mind was so real. The vision, in all its vivid color, planted itself in Lallu’s thoughts. Those purple eyes, the color of a sun, had haunted her last hour with their pain. They spoke of death when her heart ached for peace. The hollow face of her dead mother lingered in her thoughts. The ebony Twi’lek, still laying in her bacta solution, held back tears as she was consequently forced to remember the last memories of her mother; the brutes that cut her down and the cry she made as she fell to the cold stone at Lallu’s feet. They weren’t worth reliving, but the cry that echoed in her head pushed them to the front of her brain. The pain became the harbinger of her memory, and she couldn’t shake the ice pick that started hammering into the center of her skull. It was relentless, and like the cry ringing in Lallu’s ears, it would not abate, whatever the circumstances. The piercing cry of destiny was calling to Lallu alone. It was a cold point that stood stolidly in the clarity of her mind but piercing in the potency of its melody. It was sharp and shrill. It bore through Lallu’s head as she floated in the bacta tank. It was maddening. The healing gel did nothing to quash the undying plea that barreled into her vulnerable form, and Lallu couldn’t screen it out no matter how hard she tried. It burned, a red-hot iron in her brain, and the realization of its significance was enough to draw the Twi’lek from her slumber in a vicious rage. Her face contorted in response to the cruel stimuli and the Twi’lek’s mind started to work with feverish determination. Then, all around her, the healing solution started to boil. Lallu’s caustic emotion burned like a raging inferno deep inside of her. It began pooling at her feet and grew until it met the crown of her head. A glowing electrical discharge emerged and started to crawl all over her body, mocking the flow of her passionate flame, and conducting with the liquid all around her. Thus, Lallu’s skin was healed with more alacrity than the machines thought possible, and although the mechanical puppets tried to put her bones back together before the bacta treatment, Lallu’s body seemed to know more about itself than they did. The energy pulsing through her body, manifest in tendrils of shadow, that pushed the mechanical extensions – probing the exterior of the bacta tank – out of the way and wrenched bones back together with macabre, meaty crunching sounds. It was an orchestrated movement of black architecture, made by silent hands. And the Twi’lek was held, silent, resting in the liquid for another breath before her red hot rage clung to her glaring crimson eyes, causing them to open and illuminate the dark room she was in. She was flailing and struggling against the agonizing cry. Her mind was a ravaged tangle of expletives and stress. And with a cathartic shriek, the Twi’lek exploded from her bacta tank, spreading broken glass and liquid all over the floor. Her mind was filled with terrible things: death, torture, terror, and anguish. Adrenaline surged through every inch of her body, fueling her fire and building her strength. Her muscles were ready and her body was mended. She had some small cuts where the glass had damaged her soft tissue, but those healed quickly. The power was still there, surrounding her body in a phantom aura of red hot energy. How dare he do this and not… Why?! Lallu’s thoughts stuck in her mind; needles digging deep into her lekku. She fought for the next few minutes to control her snowballing momentum. She had just been telling herself how destructive these outbursts could be, and all it took was a series of painful memories to bring all of it back. She wasn’t like that anymore. She couldn’t be. Lallu took a moment and bowed her head. She took a few deep breaths and managed to soothe the beast that rioted within. Then, she looked around the room again; this time, with passive eyes. It was small. She noticed that immediately. For a bacta treatment room, it was unusually small. There were various instruments, and desks of medical documentation positioned around the place, making it seem that much smaller. Lallu took a moment to crane her head but met a little stiff resistance. Her muscles tightened in response and she spent a few seconds kneading the crook of her neck while continuing her examination of the room. There were canisters of spare bacta lining the side walls, pieces of machinery splayed about the floor and a few – now broken – monitors. Finishing her impromptu massage, Lallu swiveled her head to the side and took note of the date as the display flickered and died on the nearest monitor. The screen was torn to pieces from her tantrum, and before Lallu could learn more from the display, it burned out and crashed to the ground. Then, the Twi’lek watched a nearby alarm monitor blink, indicating that the fire suppression system was activating. It was her only warning before cold drops of mysterious liquid fell from the ceiling onto her body; which, she now realized, was naked. Lallu didn’t cover her modesty as an immediate impulse like others did because she was detached from the shame that others felt when bearing their bodies to the world. But, she was colder because of her unexpected nudity and that fact was the more pressing issue. She looked around again as the cold drops chilled her to the bone, trying once more to stifle the piercing cry that still rang in her ears, but succeeding only in feeding a growing migraine. When she finally found, her clothes hung on a hook by the door, she grabbed them and walked quickly through the door with a determined stride into the medical facility proper. A few shrieks from medical personnel accompanied her egress, due to some of the staff being surprised by her nudity, but she didn’t care. When Lallu had a moment and could dry herself off, she would clothe. These people would just have to live. After all, they were hired by Furion. If they couldn’t stand seeing a naked Twi’lek, they should get out more. Happy Birthday to me… >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Absent Promises <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< A few minutes and a change of clothing later, Lallu found herself standing alone, outside Furion’s office. She was standing in a modestly sized hall that didn’t really strike her with its design. Any decorations that may have existed in this barren hallway before were stripped to make room for diagrams and signage. But the structure and architecture of it all were still impressive. Whatever Furion was involved with here, it was elaborate. It was big. She couldn’t read everything that was going on around her and didn’t pretend to know what he had planned. But it was something else. And if it wasn’t for the shrill cry in her ears, she might have cared more about the details of his organization. Hold on just a little while longer… Lallu worked her way through the door after waiting for a response and found that Furion was nowhere to be found. Typical. The other staff in the facility were ordered by her former master to give her access to the premises so she didn’t mind working her way around the complex. But she still felt a little twitchy walking into Furion’s office without his express permission; call it respect; call it consideration; call it obedience left over from her time as his apprentice. Whatever you call it, she still felt very nervous going into Furion’s office while he wasn’t there. He had a bad habit of drawing irritation from the smallest problems. But Lallu continued through the door anyway, ignoring her misgivings and refusing to let doubt assault her steps. She had a mission. She was greeted with a curious aroma. The smell of chemicals mixed with some odd smoke was lingering in the air. But beneath it was Furion’s scent. Lallu couldn’t really describe it, much like the man himself, but it still comforted her to greet the familiar smell when it hit her nose. Instincts triggering and impulse begging, Lallu started to look around the area and sized up different key factors about the room: two exits--the door and the window. The room is two hundred square feet and the light is low. Look into the shadows, keep your eyes open. It was a modest office, which was in keeping with Furion’s tastes. He didn’t tend to like ornate or ostentatious. Lallu looked at the blueprint of their house on Talus in her mind’s eye and remembered the specs. It consisted of a modern spartan design and simple construction. But it was a means to an end. They were never meant to live there. It was a sort of halfway house. She wished that Furion had told her that. But that was the past. Lallu crossed over the thinly upholstered floor to a deep maroon armchair that sat in the center of the room and plopped in it. She let herself sink down a little and kept thinking of all the time she spent with Furion. She combed through their entire history in the span of a few minutes and couldn’t find one moment that she had done anything for herself. Except possibly Umbara, but that was a stretch. When she thought about it, it was kind of sad. She claimed to be free when she was fleeing into the night a few days ago, and she might well have been, in a way. But did she really know what she was anymore? She had been through some radical transformations in the past. She had been an emotional time bomb and possessed an overwhelming potential for power. But she never did anything on her own. She was always tagging along with someone else. But this; this issue felt personal. This cry, the one that woke her up hours ago, felt like the moment that would call Lallu to act alone. It would call for Lallu to get up and do whatever she could for herself. Lallu looked around, waiting for a moment in the comfort of the maroon armchair, and realized Furion wasn’t coming back anytime soon. Oh well… Lallu resigned herself to his absence, echoes of familiarity tugging at her brain, and got up. She crossed the room to Furion’s desk, keeping her eyes trained on the door, and found something familiar sitting on the chair. Furion’s trench coat – the one that gave the Sith Master his trademark look – was sitting on the wide back of his office chair. Flashbacks sang in her mind and she felt the cold leather against her shoulders. It was protection. It was style. She reached in one of the deep side pockets for a moment, curiosity striking her weary mind, and withdrew the short saber that Furion gave her to borrow on her mission to Ilum. She felt the familiar grip beneath her fingers and activated it on a whim. It was comforting. The orange glow was pleasant on her face and she could feel the heartbeat of her kyber crystal calling to her from deep within the metal shell, like it did years ago, on that planet of ice. Then, ignoring the aching silence of the empty office, Lallu looked back at the open door once more and left. I have business to attend to. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Reunited Vengeance <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< Darkness draped vicious curtains around her as night consumed the busy streets. After hours of combing through the wild depths of the undercity and narrowly avoiding several hover cars that drew too close to the ground – no doubt drunk people trying to get home – she was stopped at a very familiar warehouse. This was where it happened. This was… Lallu remembered a frigid shell of steel all around her, chains wrapping her wrists, and the crippling cold embracing her frail form. The Twi’lek fought day in and day out to stay conscious as her physical body waned. She could only persist on willpower alone and even that had started to fade. She was used for disgusting things and was only called upon when she was, ‘needed.’ The truth behind her strength was embracing her misfortune. She had embraced her hollow body and the hunger she held deep inside; the sorrow, the pain, the suffering, the vengeance, the fear and everything that she mulled through in that morbid existence. It was a cocktail of darkness that she ingested every night, and one she was forced to toil through for a good portion of her life. What most people didn’t know though, was that wasn’t where her story started. Her family on Ryloth was almost normal for her formative years. She had a mother who cared deeply about her and a father that seemed distant but would always come to her when she needed a shoulder to cry on. That was the sunrise. That was the rainbow at the beginning of every story. The rain had just started to touch the horizon and met the sun in a coruscation of brilliant harmony and magical happiness. But the rain intensified, and the sun was obscured. Her father had taken to drink when the stress of his gambling debts became too cumbersome. He used death sticks when the drink failed and slowly he began to change; Lallu’s wall, Lallu’s protector, and Lallu’s guardian changed. His smile never reappeared. He seemed in a constant state of malaise and depression and he took it out on Lallu and her mother. Lallu even confronted her father one night and stood between him and her mother. But she was still beaten. And if that wasn’t enough, her father resorted to a desperate gambit and sold Lallu, followed by her mother, to a group of slavers on Nar Shaddaa. From there, Lallu was traded to someone on Coruscant like cattle and used for… other things. This was the warehouse where she was kept. This was the warehouse where her dreams died. And this was the warehouse where he found her. This was why the Sith always seemed so distant and sullen, Lallu thought. She had previously criticized the Sith for their dark theme and their wallowing. But, facing her dark past made manifest, she had to admit that there was no room for her to talk. This was the Sith way; to embrace and harness the dark, chaotic parts of yourself and use it to twist the powers of creation. If that was the case, in a way, it was a cruel irony to say that Jedi were weak, when they could stand to resist such temptation. But Sith, like Furion, who used the chaos and honed it into a weapon, were stronger. He used the dark side like a knife when it told him to bludgeon. That took immense strength; to stand against the raging tide and force it into a small canal. It also took control, which, until a year or so ago, Lallu hadn’t possessed. Now that Lallu was back here, a place she never wanted to revisit, she could feel a whole new level of contempt wash over her; a sea of fresh revulsion. But the cry was stronger here. She was here… Lallu made a couple of communications to outside agents. A few favors were called in and a taxi was told to wait a few blocks away for a young woman. When asked, he was told that he would “know her when he saw her.” Then Lallu, the former resident of this shamble, made her way closer to the facility, using the cover that the night provided to shroud her approach. It was easy. These warehouses, although decently surveilled, were not closely packed like they were on the upper levels in Coruscant’s main thoroughfare. They were a distance away from the buildings on either side, which let a great deal of shadow fall in between. The guard compliment had been changed and the logos were different, which signified a change in ownership, but Lallu didn’t hesitate as she leaped from the cover of a shipping container to the dark exterior of the warehouse proper. She could feel the footsteps of her former master echo underneath her own as she skirted past the moments of illumination and faded into the shadow once more. She was the shadow. Her heartbeat was stilled, her footsteps were muted and her obsidian skin melded with the velvety blackness. Deep breath… Move. One moment after another, she pushed her body through the motions. Each spin was calculated, each leap was meditated, and each shuffle was coordinated to make sure she didn’t leave even a whisper of noise. That is until she approached the source of the cry. Kriff… A window sat open with remnants of what might have been a shutter, feet above her head. It was illuminated every few seconds by a spotlight that moved on a swivel. The swivel operated on a timer, but the interval was too quick to approach with no detection. She had to focus, to let the Force she felt around her cover her body and reflect the surface of whatever she was touching. Either that or move so fast that she was only a blur. It wasn’t ideal. The first option was something she had only attempted once and would probably flop at. The second option, while effective, made too much noise. I guess I’ll go with plan A and cross my fingers, Lallu thought to herself. She turned her back to the steel wall and pulled her body further into the shadow. She tapped into the energy potential deep in the heart of the facility. She tapped into the anguish that laid bare in the cold hard metal and the suffering screams of thousands of souls that were entombed within the warehouse walls. Finally, she touched her own feelings of this place and connected the two energies like a circuit, bringing power to her mind and body. The next step was envisioning the gray pockmarked surface of the warehouse and bringing it to cover her body. It was difficult. The last time she had attempted it, it had worked, but only because she didn’t need precision. With a light shining right on her back, every moment counted. With a breath, Lallu pictured the wall in her mind: the sill, the broken shutter, and finally, the open air which exposed the facility’s interior. When she was sure she had the effect, she wanted, Lallu felt the energy she built up wrap around her body, and then climbed to the window very carefully, hand over hand and foot over foot, like a spider on glitteryll. The climb was easy enough though. The steel was so pockmarked with age that there were plenty of things to hold on to. That wasn’t the worry. When Lallu crested the edge of the broken window and was just about to drop to the floor, the spotlight caught her shoulder. Lallu couldn’t see her efforts to hide but had to trust that it was working. She couldn’t tell if the people manning the guard posts outside had caught her or if she was still in the clear. But Lallu kept her cool. Nothing would be gained by panicking. The light froze for a moment. Lallu’s stomach sank a degree, but she had come this far. It wa- The light moved again and the regular interval resumed. Relieved, the Twi’lek dropped to the floor with a small smile. A smile that immediately vanished when she looked around the room. Crude reddish stains burdened the sagging foundation and walls of the room. The floor was a mess of sorrow and anguish that fought for dominance in the stone. And, huddled over in the corner, much the same as Lallu had been, was her sister. That bastard. He didn’t deserve my mother. Why would he do this again? The sense of déjà vu that struck the Twi’lek did not escape her. In fact, she could practically feel Furion’s golden eyes embracing her own. She clung to the shadows, just as he had done, and lurked in the dark corner of the moderately sized cell, just as he had done. “H-h-Hello?” the woman asked through weak breaths. Her body was mangled. Her spirit was broken and although Lallu could barely make out the details of her face, she could tell what the woman was thinking. At this low, the brain only cared about one thing: survival. Was this a friend, or was this a foe? An abuser, or a savior? Lallu was uncomfortable with the parallels, but she needed to do this. It had been serendipity that brought her this far. Instead of revealing herself, Lallu let her red eyes glow in the darkness. She stood just out of the light, to permit an outline of herself to form, but nothing else. “I mean you no harm,” Lallu said. Her voice cold, decisive. “And I am aware of what you want.” Lallu pulled a small shiv from her sash and tossed it in the direction of the broken Twi’lek. Her sister didn’t flinch, she simply looked at Lallu’s red eyes with wonder and… fear? Was this how it was when Furion freed me? I must have been this way. I must have been in the same sorry state, Lallu mused to herself, almost angry at her past and the predicament it put her in. She wanted to let her sister face the same trials she did. But she didn’t want to leave this place unattended. Last time, she was simply trying to get out. This time, there would be no such mercy. “What I am about to do, is not out of pity,” Lallu said, remembering her mother in those timid purple eyes. The memory stabbed at her again with indifferent cruelty. “If you get out, you will find a taxi two blocks north of here that will take you to safety… If you so choose. The actions that follow, are my own, and I look at them as my next step; a burning path of fire, that I will use to purge a terrible history. I would advise you to leave and not get in my way.” Lallu finished, a deadly glint accenting her terrible crimson gaze. “Your eyes, they remind me of him…” the Twi’lek responded. “How do I know if I can trust you?” “You have very little left in this world you can trust,” Lallu replied, not ignoring the reference her sister had made. Lallu was ashamed of that fact. Lallu’s red eyes, for their luster and elegance, and her black skin, for its beauty and resilience, were not her chosen inheritances. She used to claw at her body in convulsive episodes when she remembered his name. As a result, she had quite a few lacerations across her skin and came close to blinding herself a few times. Lallu wordlessly cut the chains that held her sister to the wall and the black-purple Twi’lek fell to the ground like a ragdoll. It took a moment for her to rally, but her sister’s waning strength managed to eventually prop herself up to her hands and knees. “What do I call you?” “Nothing. I am nothing to you,” Lallu clipped back, quickly. She didn’t want to grow attached. It wasn’t why she was here. But something else… called to her. Chains on the nearby wall were glowing in the low light. She could feel her own hands struggling in these chains. She could feel the remnants of power still lingering in their steel, and felt the terrible story wrapped up in their cruel rusted flakes as they fell to the ground, worn, but ageless. They had been re-attached to the wall and used again, but they were unmistakable. Lallu’s energy, Furion’s energy, and the energy of a dozen slaves lingered in their chaotic history. Impulsively, Lallu cut these chains from the wall as well and wrapped them around her waist, for the moment. “Now, as I said. Get out of my way,” Lallu sneered, although she let the darkness hide whatever derision she might have shown on her face. Without saying goodbye, the Sith quietly walked to the cell door. And then, abandoning all stealth and secrecy, Lallu used the Force to blow the door off its hinges and into the opposite wall. She enveloped herself in the cruel shadow of her former life and flitted through the entire facility like a shadowy blade in the night. Surrounded by a legacy of terror and imprisonment, Lallu had a wealth of power to pull from. She scoured the facility. Every floor, every cell, every door, every guard checkpoint, and every room regardless of relevance, was cleared of organic life. When only one guard remained, Lallu cornered him in a cell and slammed his frame into the cold stone, breaking his spine. She looked hard into his eyes, her body covered in the drying blood of her enemies. He was afraid, which was ironic, considering his chosen profession. But Lallu didn’t care. She sent powerful illusory images of pain and terror into his mind. She straddled his prone form when he fell to the ground, putting her knees on his biceps and pushing them into the ground with the power that only a talented dancer and gymnast could provide. Then, when her stage was set, she asked him a series of simple questions that ended with… “Where is he?” >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Sparking Freedom <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< That business settled, Lallu headed out of her way through a plethora of Coruscant side streets and up a few levels to find a weapon shop. Something was buzzing in her ears, but now that her sister’s fate was in her own hands, Lallu had no shrill screams to look forward to. This was a diversion, but a necessary one. It called out to her… Earlier, after the genocide at the warehouse, she had inexplicably stopped at a nearby pawn shop and bought a somewhat innocuous doodad. The Rodian behind the counter didn’t know what he had, but he clearly wanted to over inflate it. Lallu knew what it was though. Any Jedi or Sith that walked into the shop would know what it was worth. It was a small golden crystal the size of Lallu’s index finger. It resonated with a mysterious energy that suggested conflict in its history, but to an average observer, it just looked like a piece of glass. Lallu felt it though, tugging at her mind and filling her thoughts with a story of its legacy that read of a Jedi that had fallen from grace. It reminded her time with Flynn Relmis. The Rodian’s price was way off, but he was trying. Lallu gave up the amount that he asked without question or haggle and walked out as quickly as she had come in. She had another mission; an odd compulsion of sorts. This compulsion found her feet and guided her. It wasn’t important where her quarry was. In fact, the only significant thing she required was the use of a forge. But illusory words talked to her and guided her feet. The call of destiny had found her, in that cold cell, witnessing the confluence of what was and what is. Her sister’s tears were fresh misery on a worn soul, but she couldn’t see them over the blinding flash of her own history staring her in the face. Thrashing pain and hideous suffering called out to her and begged her to remove the metal from its artificial housing. They were her right. They were her prize. And they were her vengeance. The corroded metal cuffs still clung to her hips where she left them, all the while humming in her ears; humming the music of her life; the sweet music of her freedom and of her rebirth. When she arrived, Lallu knocked on the doorway of the humble weapon shop, located two levels beneath the surface of Coruscant’s upper levels. The interior of the office was smaller than it seemed from the outside and furnished with simple efficient hands, but Lallu could tell that there was an extensive room in the back of the building. She could feel the building’s shell grow out behind the counter and extend into a cavernous room that housed a forge and numerous other implements used to create colorful and sizeable weaponry. The ‘Doshan behind the counter blanched a little, seeing the blood covering Lallu’s body and clothing. He reached with futility for a button located under the counter and found that, when he pushed it, nothing happened. “A little twitchy for a lizardman, are we?” Lallu said, with a wicked smile, showing that the blood wasn’t confined to just the outside of her body. The Doshan’s pallor grew in intensity and he pushed himself to the edge of the store, grabbing at a bow caster that had been perched on the wall behind him. He pulled the trigger but found that it was fused to the weapon’s housing. The Doshan’s pallor escalated once more. “Tsk Tsk Tsk… I just want to talk,” Lallu said, her wicked smile growing as the green scales of the Doshan grew even paler. She reached out a hand and gripped the Doshan ever so gently by the throat. She tightened her grip with every syllable and creased her eyes until the Doshan could completely understand what she wanted. “You are going to help me build something. And you are going to do so willingly, or I won’t let you go.” Her words were slow and methodical. She took sadistic glee in his pain. It only took a moment for the Trandoshan to capitulate and cry for mercy. Lallu, true to her word, let him go. He fell to the floor with a thud and a few of the weapons around him clanged to the shop floor with him. One vibroblade even bonked the Transdoshan on the head before it clattered on the ground. “Alrighty then,” Lallu said. “It seems we have a deal.” With a subtle motion of her hand, the door to the shop closed and the locking mechanism was triggered. “Just so we aren’t disturbed.” The Transdoshan was silent but nodded slowly in obeisance. When he could find his breath again, he led Lallu to the back room. It was a workshop, as she suspected. There were tables, saws, hammers, hydro-spanners, plasma torches, canisters of several different types of gas, and finally – what Lallu had been searching for – a forge. The ‘Doshan asked her what they were making, and Lallu simply looked at him, letting the image of her infernal design burn into his brain. He took a moment but began to heat up the forge as quickly as his weakened form would carry him. Lallu set to work as well, clearing off a nearby table and preparing the significant ingredients that would be used in the weapon’s design. She took them piece by piece, and infused some of her power in each one before placing them on the table in, what she felt, was the proper order. A piece of abdominal jewelry, given to her by her mother, was the first to be placed on the metal table. It was a significant piece that had been handed down in Lallu’s family for generations. Lallu had removed it only once in her short but weathered history. Slavers had tried to remove it and pawn it off, but Lallu viciously resisted. Their fervor abated, but they would try again every time they saw her, in the hopes that her passion had weakened. It never did. The bauble itself was of simple design. It was made of pure silver and shaped in the form of a rose vine that ended in a brilliant ruby. She could feel the warmth of its history fill her hands as she removed it. She seemed somewhat reticent to put it on the table, but the guiding hand of her mother helped her let go of the binding and place her memory on the table. The blood-colored rose would be used for the pommel. Next, were the shackles and rags. The shackles were the same shackles that were her only friend for a year or two shy of a decade. Blood, sweat, and tears stained the metal. And she could feel every moment of her terrible past through their frigid existence. Dark nights, cold sweats and desperate pleas were a powerful tempest that culminated into the terrible force that this metal represented. The chain of her imprisonment would now ironically symbolize the light of her future and the potency of her freedom. She had no struggle placing them on the table. The rags were similar. She had kept the rags that she wore all those years ago, in a satchel, to represent how far she had come. And now, she was going to use them to make something. The shackles that bound would clasp her power; the rags once worn, would cradle her hand and guide her blade. The items to follow were relatively mundane in comparison. They included: modulation circuits, an energy gate, a blade emitter shroud, an emitter matrix, and a somewhat awkward activation device. Noticing the activation device, the Trandoshan looked at Lallu and scratched his head. After a minute or so of puzzling, he finally asked her how it worked. She listened, but couldn’t effectively explain what she wanted or how the mechanism worked, so she showed him. She projected images of a slave driver whipping people, and the swishing motion used to provide power for each swing. When the Trandoshan understood, he left her to resume her item arrangement. Like her predators before, she would be feared, and she would be hated. Finally, after rooting around in her pockets, the crystals she had bought and found from each phase of her development were the last things to be placed on the table. The golden colored crystal she bought from the pawn shop; a finely carved lens taken from the corpse of an Umbaran Shadow warrior; a kyber crystal that had called out to her on Ilum – removed from Furion’s short saber; and finally, a small mundane amplification crystal found in the ruins of the former Sith Temple on Coruscant. History in physical form would form the heart of her power. She would embrace all she was, and carve her legacy into the bodies of her enemies. When she was done, Lallu stood back from the collection and felt intimately drawn to every piece. Even the electronics that had been collected in pieces from various sundry shops, were calling to her. Everything cried out to her. It was a cacophonous symphony of beautiful nostalgia and all of it was uniquely Lallu. As a final touch, Lallu fished a knife from her sash and added a little of her own blood to every object. She wasn’t a Krath, but she wanted this to mean something. She wanted this item to be more than an accessory. It was to be another part of her. It was to be an extension of her will. She looked over at the Trandoshan, who glanced over at the collection with hollow eyes. It was clear that he didn’t know what she did. He was simply a pair of hands and a mind to probe. He wouldn’t understand what was going on. But she would feel every movement of this grand symphony. Tireless days followed, with both working in focused silence. The shackles, bound with titanium and durasteel, formed the metal of the hilt. Forged and melted with careful hands, the metals accented each other without muting the power inside of the original material. The shell of the hilt was finished, slightly curved, based on the articulation of Lallu’s right hand. The rags, woven with Kevlar and leather, formed the padded handle and were added to accent the curvature of Lallu’s palm and fingers. The ruby and silver of her belly ring were added as ornamentation to the bottom of the hilt. And the electronics and crystals were added last, comprising the arteries and veins of the structure. When finished, Lallu stood for a moment, in awe of the beauty that she and the ‘Doshan had created together. It was magical. When she held it, her eyes lit up. Feelings and moments of her past joined together in a triumphant dirge, to celebrate the union. She smiled a brilliant white smile. And with a flick of her wrist, the golden blade sprang to life. “Thank you,” were the last words she said to the Trandoshan, before removing his head from his shoulders, and breaking in her new lightsaber. Now… It’s time for a family reunion. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Old Ties. Old Lies <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< The evening air grasped the ends of her lekku, sending chills up the sides of her head and down her spine. Her nerves wound themselves in a frantic spin, trying to collect and reason with her actions. But Lallu was resolved. She approached the casino high rise with a grimace. It was over indulgence in the form of a building and screamed greed from the top of its gilded fixtures. It seems fitting I would find him here. Lallu smiled a little, remembering an old friend that loved over indulgence. But the memory passed. Sheog would have to wait for another time. I wonder what he’s doing right now? Lallu had pulled a lot from the guard she interrogated the other night at the warehouse. While the guard didn’t know every detail, he told her that the man she was looking for could be found at a local criminal HQ. An HQ that was run by a criminal organization that could name Czerka and the Exchange as its precursors--two very infamous criminal enterprises of times past that did what they could to pervert everything the galaxy had to offer for their own personal needs or wants. She could sympathize, but she didn’t care about them. She was here for a very specific person. And he was at the very top of the skyrise, in the heart of the criminal HQ. She was disguised ornately in fine trim and elegant dress, to blend in with the throng of people at the front door, and had cleaned off the evidence of her week-old struggle. Now, instead of the smell of foreign blood drying and crusting on her body, she smelled like an aristocrat and felt no struggle pretending to lift her nose at the people around her. She was here to gamble her life after all, no different than the hundreds of elites that crowded into the front door of the casino. The tricky part would be getting to the top floor. But some part of her had already figured that out. There were many exits, a couple of stairwells, a plethora of distractions, and a few hundred possibilities mingling in the world around her. And when she came in, she took note of the elevators at the end of the grand casino hall that took bouncers and pit bosses up to the top floors of the facility. Perhaps she could dupe them and catch a ride. This was a den of sin and greed, people dying at the chance to take advantage of vulnerability. Why not play into it after all? Lallu presented her fake ID for the scanner and followed the crowd on delicate feet. She wove her way through the sabacc tables, the roulette wheels, and the large monitors that showed swoop races, pod races, and any other gambling event of choice. She even had to elbow through a population that consisted of mortal desperation, and listen while several people demanded their money back when they, the people that willingly came into this establishment, were the ones that lost it. It was despicable. She had no sympathy for the fools that put stock in anything but their life. Money was meaningless. Valuables and luxuries, although pretty, were not worth life or freedom. They willingly imprisoned themselves with their own greed and Lallu could not abide that. She was tempted several times as she crossed the thoroughfare to end the life of every miserable person in the building, but she resisted. She had a job to do. She could afford to be reckless when it was over. When she reached the outer perimeter of the turbolift, Lallu feigned a swoon and fell to the ground like a puppet with its strings cut. At first, nothing happened, but then the bouncers standing by the turbolifts rushed to her aid. Benevolent criminals, I’ll give them that. When one of the bouncers, a human, touched her, she looked up into his welcome brown eyes and projected her will through the force. She wove messages of loneliness and vulnerability through her mind and out to his. He blinked for a moment, but Lallu could tell she might be getting somewhere. To push herself a little further, she added more effort to the con by enhancing and enriching her huge red doe eyes. “I’m sorry I fell on your perfectly manicured floor. Is there any way I can pay back your kindness?” She pleaded, and accented her plea through the Force once more, leaning over a little and allowing the human to really gaze at her. The human’s face bloomed scarlet and he looked at his friend who was chuckling a little to himself. “Go on Charlie, if you want to take this nice lady upstairs, I won’t let the boss know.” There was a moment of awkward silence between the three of them, but Lallu didn’t mind, it allowed her to use her peripheral vision to mind her surroundings. The bouncer, who had just looked down at a pad attached to his wrist, gave the young man a significant look. The young man took a moment to recognize what the significant look meant, but when recognition finally found his boyish face, he looked back at the other bouncer and nodded. Lallu didn’t notice the gesture but felt that something was wrong. She was allowed into the turbolift however, which was a start. The human held the door open for her and Lallu curtsied, which was a weird but accommodating gesture. Then she followed the human and walked carefully into the open turbolift. It was a nice, spartan affair, which was ironic considering the elegance of the rest of the building. However, the entire turbolift seemed… too plain. Lallu’s heart accelerated slightly. There were no exits here, save a hatch at the top of the turbolift car. She had to keep her eyes open and look for anything to use as an escape, just in case. The human, who had been silent since Lallu feigned a swoon, looked at her. As soon as the doors closed, he immediately jumped at her, grabbing her from behind and wrapping his strong arms around her. “You think we wouldn’t have bio scanners Lallu? Do you remember the silver arches near the front door?” Charlie said. “Did you think my mind wasn’t strong enough to resist your charms? When your father was added to our crew, we had your DNA added to our watch list. We also suspected you might have been the one to hit that warehouse a few days ago, although we couldn’t confirm it. My employers have been expecting you ever since you left our menagerie all those years ago, and you won’t get away from them again; not this time.” The human pulled a high magnitude stun baton out from his belt and held the crackling tip against Lallu’s shoulder. But Lallu flipped him over her shoulder and into the metal floor of the turbolift, hearing a satisfying crack as he made contact. She quickly grabbed his arm before he could recoil from her blow and broke it at the wrist. After she heard the satisfying crack of his delicate bones once again, she stamped her heeled foot down on his throat, with a steady and practiced motion, with enough force to cut a hole in his trachea. “No. It is you who won’t get away.” The turbolift ride, which was surveilled, continued in silence. Lallu quickly disabled the camera but had no doubt that they were still monitoring her. It would be a boring show though because the only motion in the entire turbolift consisted of Lallu removing her heels. Now that they know I’m here, I might as well take off these silly high-heeled shoes. There was very little time to get to her quarry and she had to move fast. She was moments from the top floor when the turbolift stopped at a lower floor and the door opened to reveal a contingent of troops standing, guns ready at the door. Their fingers hit the triggers of their weapons just as Lallu’s turbolift opened. It was an impressive tactic to corner her in a metal box, but she was prepared too. With the speed of a gunshot, Lallu propelled herself out of the turbolift with a rapid flurry of strikes at the soldiers as she charged through them. Fury laced each movement, and within seconds, their bodies littered the floor. But Lallu didn’t stop. She withdrew the hilt of her saber from her silk belt and flicked the saber to golden life. She rushed to the auxiliary stairs at the end of the hallway and shot up every flight until she reached the last stop before roof access. This was where the penthouses were located. And now that she was coming close, she could feel him. She could feel his nervous energy pacing back and forth a few doors down. She had him now. No doubt there would be people on the other side of this door, waiting to attack. Lallu could even feel their heartbeats through the Force like tiny lights in the darkness of her mind. She had to assume that they would be protecting their elites, so Lallu barreled into the door – knocking it off its hinges – and used telepathy to accelerate the door’s momentum on the floor of the hallway while she rode on top. Her maneuver clipped the feet of the first pair of men, pulling their feet backward and causing them to fall against the wall in front of them. They were the two that framed the exit to the stairs. And while the other troops spread to the outer walls and returned fire almost immediately, the surprise they felt lasted as long as it took for Lallu’s blade to rend them asunder. She caught a couple of bolts as they grazed her body and singed her dress, but their burns disappeared quickly. The pain had no meaning here. All emotions and sensations were absorbed into the ether of Lallu’s discontent. It was payback time. No one would be spared. Evidence of dismemberment was left throughout the hall in her wake. She received another blaster burn or two in response but she deflected the others. She had business to attend to and nothing would stop her. When she finally reached the end of the hallway, a horde of dead troops was splayed out behind her. She could feel more approaching, but they would be doomed like the rest. She felt his energy on the other side of the door. It was time. With methodical hands, she opened the door and closed it behind her, locking it with telepathic fingers. She saw him there, caught mid pace. His skin was as black as night; his eyes were red and tired. His face was worn and haggard, and it was very clear that he had been doing drugs. The smell of his breath in the stale air of the penthouse also indicated that he was slightly inebriated. Her father drew a blaster in response to her raucous entrance and fired it, but his shot was wild and Lallu flicked it out of his hands. Then, she telepathically slammed his body against the transparisteel window at the very end of the room. “I knew you would find me. I knew it was a matter of time,” he said, trying to stay conscious despite the blunt force trauma he just suffered. “If you knew I would find you, why didn’t you hide? You always did before,” Lallu said, the grip of her right hand tightening around the hilt of her glowing saber. “Because some part of me thinks I deserve what comes next.” He coughed. “Some part? I was convinced you didn’t have a conscience, so that’s a surprise,” Lallu said, sarcasm dripping in her voice. “You couldn’t know what I was suffering because you were just a child!” her father yelled, fear rising to meet the pain he was feeling. Lallu flipped her kriffing mind. The sheer gall of his contemptuous tone seared a painful tear into her countenance. This man dared to yell at her after all she’d been through. She took his body in her left hand once more, crushing her hand against itself until her nails dug painfully into her palm, and dragged him from the window to slam him into the floor and then right back into the window. “HOW DARE YOU!!!” Lallu exclaimed. “HOW DARE YOU TALK TO ME THAT WAY AFTER ALL THIS TIME. I trusted you! I thought I knew you! Then you betrayed me, my mother, and my sister!” She slammed him into the left wall with a violent shake. “I HAD TO WATCH MY MOTHER DIE! YOU KRIFFING SCHUTTA!!!” She slammed her father into the right wall and listened as his arms broke against the durasteel. Her tone calmed a little, but the intensity of her eyes never halted and the blade of her lightsaber glowed with brilliant golden fire. “This is a mercy. But only because I want you to die slowly. I want you to feel every agonizing moment like I did. I want you to see, hear, smell and taste every pain and indecency I was forced to feel. And I want you to hear my cries. Because. They. Are. ALL. YOUR. FAULT!!!!!!” Lallu slammed her father to the ground in front of her and fed upon the sound of his spine breaking. She projected the last twenty years of pain and suffering into his form. She didn’t let up. He screamed in agony with every torment he went through and when he finished reliving her past, she could hear pounding coming from the door to the penthouse. She idly ignored it. Her attention was on him. “COME SEE THE MONSTER YOU CREATED, YOU DESPICABLE WASTE OF EXISTENCE!!!” Lallu said, driving the golden blade of her lightsaber into every part of his body. Each stab was slow but deliberate. Each stab signified another indecency, and each stab ended with another satisfying cry of pain. When all was said and done, her father breathed his last breath, looking deep into her terrible crimson eyes, his body riddled with holes. A huge weight lifted from Lallu’s shoulders. She could feel years of anguish fall from her fingertips. She could feel the walls in her mind begin to crumble away. And she could finally feel like her mother would rest in peace. This was, as of this moment, her magnum opus. Up until now, she had denied herself the freedom to be Sith. She called herself a Sith Lord and walked with her brothers and sisters. She felt the terrors of Umbara plaguing her steps. But only now, after facing her past, building a foundation, and letting go of her limitations, could Lallu call herself what she truly was: a Sith Lord. Edited June 6, 2022 by Keenava Ootunavi Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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