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Even as the Linnorm screamed at being devoured, Solus felt his body regain the energy needed to move. As the necromancer pulled the dying man’s soul, Solus wasted no time in using his rejuvenating body to move. Darting between ice walls and columns, the Shard made sure he was nowhere near his original position. He needed to do better than just a straight-forward attack. But without his lightsaber… 

 

It was hard to focus. Splitting his attention between keeping his own presence in the Impossible Geometries limited while also planning an attack was mentally taxing to say the least. The startlement of the implosion of ice from Innmortos’ attack only made the situation more stressful. Had the shard been where he was before, he would’ve been killed on the spot.


Solus peeked around an ice wall.  His spirit sank further at the defense that the necromancer had conjured. The orbs were clearly dangerous, and swirling in such a way that there was no clear opening. Solus regretted everything he said to the necromancer. This thing was in a league of its own. The Lord of Rage was correct in respecting this dark master, as decrepit as the old man was. 


Solus began to worry. If he didn’t win this, would his master disown Solus? Even now, Solus could see his master observing from a safe distance. 

 

“No…No I will not be weak. I am not weak, for i am strong in the dark side…” Solus muttered softly. His rage surged violently. His action was clear. His victory was still in sight. 


Solus broke out of his stillness in the Impossible Geometries and reached out. Just as he had done so with the Gungan Captain, he pulled at his lightsaber that had been frozen and abandoned on the opposite side where Innmortos was facing. With the violent energy building, The lightsaber and the ice encasing it broke from the ground and flew towards the necromancer, blade activating mid-flight. 

 

But Solus’ attention did not remain with the blade. As soon as it flew, Solus left his hiding spot. Solus deserved the respect and honor that Lord Akheron showed Innmortos and here was his chance to gain it. His envy-fueled anger flowed throughout his body. The Impossible Geometries around Solus surged with the energy, filled with one sole intention. To give Solus speed.


 With a blinding movement, Solus dashed towards Innmortos’ backside. Hopefully, the combination of the flying lightsaber and Solus’ enhanced body would be enough to strike a finishing blow. True, the lightsaber may get destroyed, but Solus didn’t care at this point. All that mattered was proving he was no slave, and that he was powerful. 


There, Solus saw a spot for a potential opening in the Necromancer’s vortex. Without wasting another thought, Solus’ force-fueled body leapt forward, pulled back a fist, and threw a punch aimed at the decrepit head of Innmortos. 

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Tros offered up a smile, which was a lost gesture as he already had put his buy'ce back on. He turned his head ever so slightly to see the one who called himself Shard/Solus. The duel or sparring match seemed rather irrelevant to him, up until he let his hand drop and feel the baskad at his side. He had never had any formal training with such melee weapons. If he was to engage with someone who did, he would lose whatever advantages he normally carried into battle. Maybe this Akheron could indeed be a benefit to this. He then turned his head to look at Akheron. 

 

"I guess there is a lot I could learn, especially when it comes to melee combat." Tros took his beskad out of the sheath and displayed it before the Sith. "I was recently gifted this by a fallen mentor. I must admit, while I know what it is, I have no idea on how to use it, outside of my natural instincts of course." He then placed the blade on the table. "If you are willing to teach me, I shall teach you what you think you could gain from me and the Mandalorian ways."

 

Beskad : Mandalorian sword

Buy'ce : Helmet

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Mishuk gotal'u meshuroke, pako kyore.

 

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Inmortos’ senses piqued at the  resurgence of the apprentice in the force. A wicked looking smile of glee crossed the wizard’s face.

 

The force surged as Solus used his emotionally charged power within the force to wrench his pinned weapon free; tearing the saber hilt and the chunks of trailing ice from the ground spinning towards Inmortos. The blade illuminating midair, as if born by a chaotic unseen wraith. The echoes upon the force clashed with the absolute chillings molecular stillness of death that exuded about the necromancer even as his whirling orbs carved centuries of undoing into the stones and air about him

 

Like an unseen ripple in the force, as if a beast plucking a bird from the glassy surface of a lake, Inmortos struck. With precision, he moved but once as he faded back into the ethereal nothingness of beyond. With a wave of his hand, a single orb of unmaking zipped to intercept the cataclysmic whirling crimson-bearing weapon. They collided midway from where the weapon had been wrought free and Inmortos. Quickly the energies began to devour the external casing of the hilt, entering  the haft itself within milliseconds. Delicate relays, safety mechanisms, and more all destabilized in an instant. The contained energy loop of the the lightsaber lost integrity and without guidance and energy still pouring through it erupted in a blinding explosion of fiery red plasma.

 

The concussion of the blast shattered the ice and echoed off the remains of the devastated structures that surrounded the square. It was, quite literally, like a bomb going off.

 

The concussive blast was enough to easily circumvent the vortex of destructive energies that streaked around Inmortos. It knocked him backwards, falling to the ground, a surge of pain emanating from the frail magician. His protective orbs shot out, uncontrolled as the necromancer’s concentration was broken. 
 

From his place on the ground, Inmortos was offered but one advantage, he saw the airborne predatory form of Solus falling at him from the sky; his fist reared back to deal a skull crushing blow at unnatural speeds.

 

Even as unnatural as his connection to death, dying, and beyond was, Inmortos was still a mortal being, controlled by thoughts and reflexes. The instinctual response to imminent pain and injury about to be inflicted by the heavy metallic fist-les charge of the Sith-bot had the decrepit man moving without thought. He was a man of flesh and blood; and yet, he was more. Like a dark pool of unfathomed depths, murky to the eye and gnawing to the soul, Inmortos instinctually tapped that same energy as well. With a howl breaking his lips sounding like a torched fel beast, he raised his hands. Instinct and the force convulsing as one. In his hand he still clasped his weapon, the signature weapon of a Jedi corrupted by his own dark magics. The blackened blade erupted towards the imminently inbound Solus, pulling light and warmth from the air. Like the dance of gods the world seemed to shimmer and stand for an instant before the great metallic chassis crashed into Inmortos, driving his blade into the apprentice and crushing the Sith sorcerer beneath his weight. A surge of dark side energy erupted outward as Inmortos blade found it’s mark and Solus fist his own. Plumes of dust, debris, ice, and mist billowed from their contact, obscuring the view of onlookers for a few seconds. In that moment, Inmortos blade flickered and died having found it’s mark.

 

As the dust cleared upon a single gust of icy wind, one could see Solus’ battered and sliced chassis atop Inmortos’ crushed frame. Neither moved. In that moment, the pain that radiated from the reaper’s bent and broken form stilled. His body went slack as a death-like state overtook the man.
 

A cold wind blew, and a single snowflake landed squarely atop Solus’ cracked photoreceptor for a moment before vanishing on the wind. In that instant, a cold ethereal hand passed through the apprentice and a disembodied voice spoke to the crushed being’s soul. It was a voice carried on the force, One that could not be heard by any other. “So you think you have won? Death is my ally; my weakness made strength.”

 

And then one of the orbs of unmaking, still bound to it’s master’s dying wishes, crashed into the fallen sorcerer’s cursed saber hilt, the process of unbirth beginning anew.
 

And the life of Inmortos was snuffed out.

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In the fight, Solus didn’t feel the blade piercing him at first. His entire attention was focused on one task: Crushing and killing the necromancer. If he was a human, he would’ve been experiencing an adrenaline rush. If he was a pure droid, he would have had no pain receptors. But as a shard, he was just solely focused on one task that everything else didn’t matter. Only victory mattered. 


And Solus had achieved that.


The silence that filled the air in the moments after the blade flickered out was legendary. For that one moment, it felt like even the Force went still; that all of the shapes and forms in the Impossible Geometries had been frozen in time. That life and death were briefly intertwined like young lovers. 


Solus smiled inwardly. He had done it. He had fed the Fanged God with a worthy adversary. One who tainted life and deserved death. One who had escaped it for so…


Solus shivered instinctively as the necromancer’s voice spoke one last time. Confusion and anger swirled in the Shard's mind. He had not done it! The necromancer still lived! Beyond Solus' limited understanding, beyond all the impossibilities of it all, Innmortos lived! Was the necromancer that powerful? Or was the Fanged God that weak? 

 

While these questions wouldn’t bother Solus at the moment, in his meditations Solus would possibly begin to question the true power of the Fanged God later. 


Pain brought Solus back to reality. He nearly fell limp over the body as his shard-mind finally realized what had truly happened to his body. The impalement of the weapon was nearly a lethal one. A few inches closer to the right would have struck the chassis battery and caused an irreversible explosion, or in the case of the necromancer’s blade, a complete energy drain of the entire chassis, including his very Shard. Instant death, with no form of recovery.


What damage the blade had done however, was still crippling to say the least. Solus realized that as he attempted to stand up. The motors to his left arm had been disconnected entirely, making it fall limp. The cut the blade made downwards ruptured several cooling tubes, and the mixture of pneumatic and electric leg motors were damaged, meaning Solus would be limping until repaired. And the cracked headpiece meant that he had a 30 degrees blindspot. 


Still, Solus could move. With what little strength his motors could apply, Solus used his one good arm and grabbed the crushed corpse of Innmortos, and dragged it towards where his master and the armored one watched. 


“Get away from me you lackwits…” Solus commanded the Linnorms who attempted to come help. They believed that Solus had truly killed Innmortos, and now couldn’t help but view the Sith apprentice in a new light.  The Linnorms backed off as Solus continued to grumble almost silently.

 

"If anyone had anything to show for this, its me. If anyone else gets any praise for this, I will end them myself and earn more praise. And if any kriffing idiot thinks that this entire thing was stupid and needs to abuse me again in front of everyone..."


The limping towards Akheron, the armored one, and now Tear as well, was long but determined. Eventually, Solus stood before the group, and dropped the body. Behind him in the plaza, Innmortos’ blade exploded with dark energy, killing the Linnorms who had been curious about salvaging the weapon.  The draining energy from the explosion in the background, as far as it was, had a visible effect on the Shard. The robotic being’s leg motors finally gave in. The shard fell into a kneel, out of both respect and an impossibility to do anything else. 


“Have I earned some form of respect back from you Master?”  As much as Solus wanted to speak words of venom to being who abused the Shard in front of the Empress, Solus kept his voice monotone, and his presence in the Force quiet. The battle with Innmortos had taught him how to do that much.  


Solus then turned his head to indicate his next words were directed towards the armored one.  “And perhaps this was a demonstration of my skills for the upcoming battle? Does this please the both of you?” 

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An encrypted communication was relayed from the holonet for Akheron and his apprentice:

 

The pale blue three-dimensional image of a scarred lizard being with an eye patch appeared, filling the screen, a bloody knife held in his hand. His priestly robes belayed a dark religion with skeletal ornaments hanging in a heavy breastplate down his. “My master invites you to come and partake in the Baptism of Blood during the Feast of Souls on the necropolis world of AARIS III before the upcoming slaughter.” Screams of pain and dying echoed behind him before the transmission abruptly ended in a scramble of static. 

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Fiochmar stands beside Mavanger nodding as he watches what had happened. Off doing his own thing and exploring for a bit before returning to his masters side he looks to Mavanger with a smile.

 

"Yes Master Ill bear that in mind so as never to suffer a similar humiliation. Ill not put myself in that situation ever, to command respect and not give it is a fools errand yes?"

 

He looks about the room so much to pay attention to so much going on. So much to learn so to stay alive and further the glory of the Sith, his eyes darting around the room landing on each person in turn his gaze appraising their threat to him and knowing that here and now hes out of his league and just how much there is to learn still. He sighs and looks to Mavanger the look in his eyes couldnt be more clear, a thirst and lust for the power that the others have and Fiochmar has yet to achieve.

 

"I will learn from you Master and I will become better, stronger and more valuable. I want that power and strength and the respect and fear earned from having it!" 

 

He says firmly and passionately rapidly closing his fist to accentuate his resolve and commitment to this and his training, and above all the order.

 

"I wont let you down and the order Ill prove to all here that I belong here and am not a bad choice."

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Mordecai scoffed. One lesson had been learned, only for his newest apprentice to stumble into another fallacy. He motioned for the young Sith to follow him. There was a time for philosophy, and a time for battle; He would leave this boy with one last lesson before he taught him ones of more martial value. He tilted his head to Solus as the droid left, looking at the apprentice at his own side.

 

"He seeks to be valuable as well. Stronger, more powerful. But power for what purpose? Valuable to who? Me? I do not need you. I have nearly broken my chains. The Dark Lord? She doesn't need you either. She has an empire. Value is in the eye of the beholder. You will not learn to be a slave under me, you will not learn how to kneel. You will learn how to be your own man. You will learn how slay those that stand in the way of whatever your goals are, whether it be as small a goal as killing someone or as large as owning an empire. You will be valuable to the Sith by being what Sith were always meant to be- Free of your chains, and with the entire galaxy at your fingertips."

 

He picked up a vibroblade from a fallen defender. It was lighter than his blades, but heavier than a saber. He could use it easily. He thought back to his own start as a Sith. With a similar blade he had made his first blow, and he'd been thrown to the red sands of Korriban to either become Sith, or die trying. Valinore had forged him into a weapon, but he had made his own path. He thought to Kuat, where Lord Xahl had fallen. His crusade had changed then from one of fealty, to one of vengeance. To stamp out the Rebellion while it was still young. His thoughts drifted to Geonosis, the last time he's seen Jarvus. And to the storm of rage and fury that had come with his death, that had left Naboo in ruins.

 

His fight was no longer borne of fealty to the Dark Lord, or of patriotism to the Sith Empire. They were a price to be paid. His life in servitude to the Dark Lord, and in return, he had been granted what he wanted. Kill the Empress, or die trying.

 

They were back in the courtyard now, and he turned to face the young Sith before him. He lifted his blade.

 

"Draw your weapon. Your test begins now. Strike at me with everything you've got."

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Fiochmar nods his head listening and what Mavanger said makes sense and plenty of it if he was being honest with himself. He had used a very broad term and that never is good for a goal no no it has to be narrow, focused a fixed point and very specific. He continues to follow Mavanger as he speaks and absorbing it all he waits for his Master to finish before he himself says anything.

 

"Valuable to myself and the Empire. Stronger for myself to be able to take down larger game, to go after bigger targets. To bring glory and fear to myself and my name, to cut a bloody swath through those that destroyed my home and killed my family or to die trying. The glory and strength I bring out and earn in myself brings my people back to our former place in the Universe. But I want the name Ragnos to continue to inspire fear and respect in this galaxy and all others. I cant do that if Im to weak to take it!"

 

He's firm he's sincere the desire for strength power respect and fear blazing in his eyes like a bonfire flame with starship fuel thrown over it. He does indeed follow Mavanger out into that court yard. Fiochmar's own mind flashing to the destruction of his home, the death of his parents and siblings the sadness, rage and anger, the fear he felt. Than those years on Onderon hunting tracking killing relishing in the hunt and the fear the beasts must have felt. But than Mavanger is speaking to him so Fioch looks up and nods drawing his vibroblade and Vibro axe.

 

"Be careful what you wish for Master. You may just get it!"

 

With those words spoken he starts to channel all of those years of pain, anguish and hatred, started channeling how he felt knowing that the beasts he hunted were that afraid. He charges forward no leaps this time, he learned his lesson on those. Once close enough Fiochmar swings the axe down in an arc coming downward from the left as he swings the sword upwards from the right with a malicious smile upon his face.

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The boy was cocky. Overconfident. He swung wildly, with no regards to tactics or his opponent's defense. He jumped back, letting the blades connect in the middle of their trajectory before dashing back in, his vibrosword moving in a swift upwards motion. The blade, while deactivated and not a lethal threat, still had the weight and the impact of a weapon. It struck the hilts of the weapons, knocking them out of the apprentice's hands and onto the stone pavement of the courtyard. He came closer, grabbing Fiochmar's collar with his free hand and pulling him close, driving his knee into the boy's gut before throwing him to the ground. He stepped past, turning calmly. There were troopers watching now. Good. The shame would fuel the boy's powers, and if it proved a hinderance, then it was one he could beat out of the Tsis now.

 

"When you use two weapons, you make sacrifices for the sake of offensive capabilities. You can strike from many angles, with many cuts, and you can strike fast, as a one handed blade is lighter and more easily maneuvered. When you strike with both like that, not only are you exposing yourself to a counter attack, but you are striking along the same plane. It takes minimal effort to block or dodge both blades."

 

He pointed the tip of his sword at the apprentice before him, his face an unreadable mask.

 

"Get up. Pick up your weapons. Strike me."

Edited by Mavanger

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Fiochmar growls out his anger and embarassment clearly rising within him. He rolls back away from the blade and than quickly picks up his axe and sword. Snarling he charges back in, this time though his axe goes to attempt to hook Mordecai's blade and pull it down if not away. His own sword coming in from another angle completetely.

He smiles thinking this time, yes this time for sure hes got him.

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With a deft flick of his wrist, Mordecai's blade avoided the axe that would have otherwise tried to disarm him. He stepped to his apprentice's left, ducking past the blow with a speed belied by his heavy armor. His foot shot out, tripping Fiochmar. To his credit, the boy kept his footing, stumbling forward and only falling once Mordecai used the pommel of his weapon to shove him from behind. He held his arms out, not caring for the spectacle himself, but he knew that the feelings that it would elicit from his apprentice were crucial.

 

"You have raw skill. Perhaps you were one of the better fighters in your clan. Maybe even the best. But you're overconfident. Archaic savagery and un-tempered emotions will not carry you to victory on the field. It will lead you to your death. Master your emotions, your movements, or you will find your head beneath my boot."

 

It was a lesson he had learned the hard way. Facing off against Raven's bodyguards over Borleias. The scars that marred his face pulsed with an old pain, a memory of the Excorcist's fire, his reckless charge costing him victory. And again on Kuat, versus the Imperial Knight that had looked to kill him then and there. A victory within his grasp, stolen by his own overconfidence. These were not the teachings of a rambling drill instructor- Mordecai had seen countless conflicts. Countless battles. He'd killed millions, either by his own hand or by his orders. These lessons were lessons best learned here, in a courtyard full of troopers on cleanup duty, so that the only loss would be pride, rather than his life.

 

"Again."

OOC Note: Try to put more description into your attacks. Your first post was better with this- the angle of the swing and when it happens. How fast is the swing? How much force is behind it? From a narrative standpoint, this helps the readers keep track of the fast movements of melee combat. From a dueling perspective, it gives your opponent and the mod a clearer picture of your attack and what your intent is.

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Groaning Fiochmar stands again his rage and anger, his fear and self loathing, his embarrassment and now hes being lectured again on his failings does the shame never end? He adjusts again and readies those weapons sword and  axe in hand.  He stares at Mavanger and breathes the rage in his eyes burning like the hottest of fires. Focusing his anger and rage, his humiliation and self loathing, channeling them, the world seems more clear, more in focus. He can feel the muscles in his body pulsing with more energy  and he grins. 

 

"You are trying to piss me off Master. You're pushing me to see how Ill respond, I see your methods now. But again I say be careful what you wish for!" 

 

Growling as he pushes off his right foot behind at first, he's charging in at Mavanger though now it seems as though everything is moving in slow motion for him every thing seen and heard more clearly. Axe in his left han he brings his arm down to strike with the axe  with a strength and force that could shatter or cleave bone. Coming in at a diagonal angle with a speed surpassing most ordinary people comes down at Mavangers sword in a curving arc from the left side.  In rapid succession his foot comes out kicking at Mavanger's knee with a force and speed that if it were to hit its target would buckle the knee. Smiling almost Sadistically as he brings the pommel of his own sword down from the right angled to connect with the temple in a blur of speed and savagery.

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Mordecai surged forward. This child thought he knew anger? That he knew his master's mind? The pain that he'd experienced, the method to his madness? He threw his blade to the side. He would teach this mewling cub what it meant to be truly beyond the ordinary. To be a master of combat in a warrior society. He caught Fiochmar's wrist in his hand, yanking him forward off his feet. A foot impacted his knee, but his knee, supported by armor and his own rage, refused to buckle. His blade bit into Mordecai's shoulder, but he just laughed. Pain was an old friend. With his spare hand, he grabbed the Tsis's neck, lifting him off the ground before slamming him back down on his back. He kneeled, his knee pressing into the boy's ribcage, his hand still gripping the neck, all but cutting off the airflow.

 

"You think you know rage? You think you know fury? You think it knows what I drive you towards? You presume to claim knowledge of my design, without having learned?"

He looked into Fiochmar's eyes, anger and hatred burning just beneath the surface of his measured guise.

 

"Look into my eyes, child. Look what it means to lose yourself to fury. To rage. To grief. Your anger is but a pittance. You rage against those that ruined your people, but they were not your people. They were your ancestors'. Your rage has been diluted through the generations, a morsel of rotten promise, passed down from generation to generation until you forgot what it meant to lose someone. What it means to die and return to life through sheer wrath and will. What I want is for the fall of the rebels. Nothing more, nothing less. What you do is your own concern. I am merely teaching you how."

 

He stood, taking a step back, his breaths heavy. The troopers weren't laughing anymore. There was a thick silence in the air as the two Sith caught their breath. Darth Mavanger removed the blade from his shoulder, letting it clatter to the ground. Twice, the boy had embedded his blade into his shoulder. This time, however, it had tasted bone. He was improving, albeit slowly. But an apprenticeship would last longer than an afternoon.

 

"Return to the Raven's Bane. There will be a trooper waiting for you- she will show you to the medbay for any injuries you've received, and then to your quarters. She will give you a communicator that you will use to stay in contact with me while I am away. She will remain until you dismiss her. She will be your personal aide, and will help you learn of the Empire and our teachings."

OOC Note: Let Fiochmar meditate, practice on his own. Figure out where he fits. The trooper is at your command- she's your NPC to do with as you wish. Name her, control her, use her as much or as little as you'd like for the next few posts.

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Akheron listened as Tros made a request, one he was happy to oblige. He both respected and admired the Mandalorian ways, as such a rare opportunity to learn from a true Mandalorian and add to his already considerable skillet was more than welcomed. Indeed there was much they could learn about each other from co-operation like this.

 

Looking at the weapon and feeling the man in the force, his choice was made. Bowing his head in respect he spoke.

 

"You do me much honour by asking and in proposing such a generous offer. I would be honoured to learn the Mandalorian ways and teach you. Long have I admired your people's fighting prowess, to learn such would be most appreciated and a gift I can only repay in kind. I would not only teach you of melee training as is your desire but I would repay such a offer with that of additionally proposing to teach you the secretive martial arts of my own people. A gift for a gift."

 

Moments after and Akheron observed his apprentice, Solus had somewhat accomplished what he had set out to do. He only hoped he learnt the lesson being taught. As he noted the body, he knew the performances would return soon enough, even if he had left a husk here. Looking to Solus, Akheron nodded with tacid approval.

 

"You have done we'll my apprentice, and yes while you have regained some respect for this accomplishment....do not be too overconfident in your success. No doubt, Darth Inmortos shall return, such is his way. For a Sith Necromancer has a special relationship with the Darkness and the Fanged God. One that allows them to return and achieve a state of quasi-immortality but at great cost to themselves. As you have seen.

 

That said your performance was admirable for your part. You show promise as one with the shadows...that of the Assassin. And you have broken your second chain by using your own Strength to claim a Victory. Now take this vial, claim some blood from the body of your fallen foe. You shall use it to help create your lightsaber crystal. One attuned only to you and in part bonded with you. A crystal worthy of a Sith. We shall begin as soon as you are repaired, use the opportunity to make adjustments as necessary, to one suited to your newfound skills. Go see Stitch-Mouth for this. 

 

As you see Stitch-Mouth contemplate the Sith Code. Think upon it, look inwards and ponder what the words mean to you. Return to me with your interpretion. Then we shall find a wound upon this planet and you shall begin the ritual of your saber making."

 

Moments after and Akheron found his comlink chimming, checking it, he found the message:

 

On 11/10/2021 at 2:02 AM, Krath Inmortos said:

An encrypted communication was relayed from the holonet for Akheron and his apprentice:

 

The pale blue three-dimensional image of a scarred lizard being with an eye patch appeared, filling the screen, a bloody knife held in his hand. His priestly robes belayed a dark religion with skeletal ornaments hanging in a heavy breastplate down his. “My master invites you to come and partake in the Baptism of Blood during the Feast of Souls on the necropolis world of AARIS III before the upcoming slaughter.” Screams of pain and dying echoed behind him before the transmission abruptly ended in a scramble of static. 

 

It appeared that Akheron's words as rung true. It had not taken long for Darth Inmortos to return, albeit now he was on the other side of the galaxy. The strange festival mentioned in the communication sounded intriguing. He decided he would partake, out of curiosity but also with caution. He sent a reply informing the lizard man to inform his master that he would be coming soon.

 

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"The universe started in darkness at a time when light didn't exist, and that is how it will end. Chaos and suffering is what brings us together. In chaos a man or woman will show who he or she really is and in suffering they will speak the truth. We are darkness incarnate, we are the evil. This cannot be denied, even by me. But without us there is no redemption, passion or order." - Darth Akheron

 

I survived the Great JNet Outage of 2012

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Tros offered up a nod in the direction of Akheron. "Akheron, I do believe that this is fully acceptable to me. A gift for a gift." Indeed the exchange of what both offered to each other was worth the small distraction and break within the grand scheme of battle planning. Standing up now to fully prepare for this exchange of gifts, he called up his comms within his buy'ce and connected with Sutu. "Sutu, belay the holoconfrence with the clan leaders. Instead have them rally and assemble. We will need them as we head to war." After he sent the message, he picked up his beskad and looked at Akheron's apprentice for a slight moment before responding to both. 

 

"It shows me that you are indeed strong and willing to do what it takes. But skillswise, it does not show what you may think it does. The heat of battle is far different from training. Even as I prepare to learn melee, it will not show you anything other then potential. Skill can be lost if the mind is not strong enough for the onslaught that is presented before." Tros slowly tilted his head to his left. "But do not think that my words are to put you down. Training is something that is a worthy cause and well worth the effort put into it. And today within your training match that you had indeed showed skill. I hope that when the heat of battle is upon you that such skills become stronger and more refined." He now looked at Akheron. "I am ready to begin such training upon your word."

 

Buy'ce : Helmet

Beskad : Sword

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Mishuk gotal'u meshuroke, pako kyore.

 

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Fiochmar growls at Mavangers words and looks into his eyes.

 

"Not my people? Just my ancesters. It was my kriffing parents and brother and sister that were killed when our world was destroyed! So don't tell me about pain and anguish, anger and hatred I know it all!  So with all due respect Master, you don't know what you're talking about."

 

And with that he turns and leaves heading off to the ship. Once back aboard the Raven's Bane he spots the trooper. And nods to her.

 

"You, you the one who's to be assisting me?" 

 

"Yes sir I am. I'm Leona sir, how can I assist you?"

 

Listening he nods thoughtfully  as she adjusts her weapon and snaps a salute.

 

"Medbay first than somewhere I can meditate and train up my skills. No need to call me Sir Trooper, now lead on."

 

Leona does as instructed and leads him to the medbay where his injuries are beginning to be treated and seen to.

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Solus nodded at this praise and reached out with his working arm to retrieve the vial. It was about time that his master recognised Solus’ abilities, and the fact that Akheron had given his talents a name was enough to make him slightly giddy.


Assassin. What a word. What a lovely word.  Solus mused to himself as he slowly stood up. One smart linnorm saw the struggle of solus moving his near broken motors and gears and decided to hell with the comments from the shard and helped him up.


Soon Solus stood before the corpse of the necromancer. An air of uneasiness emanated from the shell of a being. Death had not fully claimed the being. Akheron had said as much. Solus didn't feel like he had truly succeeded. Perhaps this would help him feel some accomplishment?


Extracting the blood was easy enough. Solus merely grabbed the smashed head and dribbled a mixture of darkness blood and Grey brain fluids into the vial until it was overflowing. Solus smirked to himself, wondering if the necromancer could feel his head being used this way.  If so, then the necromancer should be enraged, as Tear was going to consume the body after the Shard was done with it. 


Afterwards, Solus, with the help of the Linnorm, made his way back to stitch-mouth. The alchemist had fully recovered himself from their training session and was busy preparing for the upcoming task. 


Stitch-Mouth gestured to a make-shift seat of rubble. Solus stumbled and sat down. 


Without waiting for permission, the alchemist started his tedious work by suddenly, and unceremoniously ripping off the broken arm. Solus groaned slightly, but didn’t notice too much as his mechanic got to work extracting the broken motor and replacing with a new one. 


Unlike Faleen, the entire ordeal was irreverent. Stitch-mouth occasionally used the force to modify some parts or to help weld some metal together, but the appearance of tools and other, less trained hands showed that this was just a job and not something special. Still, it wasn’t painful. When the alchemist began to work on a part, he cut off some of the circuits in the area like a well trained doctor giving morphine to a patient. The bedside manner was completely absent, but it gave time for Solus to think and speak to himself. 


Peace is a lie, there is only passion” Solus started, staring into the impossible geometries. The shapes that moved about him were still strange and fascinating, but the clouds of red anger and the energetic lines of envy. He smirked slightly to himself, and watched the cloud slowly thin out and get replaced by a more green aura, albeit thinner than a wisp. 


A slight gaze towards Stitch-mouth revealed a deluge of colors, some never seen before to mortal eyes. 


 "Through passion I gain strength. And through strength I gain power" Solus mused and nodded. These lines were getting easier to understand. In his battle with Inmortos, Solus felt more attuned with the force when he was enraged and jealous. When he was passionate, he could do more, and make the force do his will. For someone like his master, being passionate was as simple as breathing, and thus strength came naturally to them. 


Time. That’s what Solus needed. Time to focus on his emotions. To build on that emotion that Lady Sirena taught him so long ago. 


“The force shall free me” Solus nodded to himself. This much was true. 


Stitch-Mouth grunted for the shard’s attention. The arm was complete. Solus took a glance over it and was truly surprised. It looked more like the skeletal surrounding of the arm than the actual arm. It looked less life-like and more robotic. There were some fine improvements, like an extra thumb and a double-jointed elbow. Wires were wound and spun together between the bars of the frame like shoulder and biceps, looking like veins around bones. 

 

Solus couldn’t help but admire how his hand looked like a skeletal one. A fitting attachment after killing a necromancer.


Solus then noticed that at the wrist joints, there was a familiar attachment. 


“My scomp-link!” Solus exclaimed. Without waiting for permission, Solus activated his newly furnished arm and flexed it. True to its appearance, it felt lighter and, for lack of a better term, bony. The scomp link extended and receded over and over, like a new muscle being tested. His previous scomp had been torn off during his first fight on Korriban. Solus knew that this device would have future use as an Assassin. 


“Come then!” Solus stood up suddenly, gripping his new hand into a fist. “It’s time to tell my master my interpretation! Ha ha! Yes! Come Linnorms! With me! You too my beloved mechanic!” 


With that, Solus made his way to where Akheron and Tros were beginning their own training, rehearsing to himself what he would say. Stitch-Mouth followed alongside, carrying the discarded arm pieces from the fix-job.


“The meaning of the sith code…the meaning is..hmm… passion. My passion, my raw emotions, my very being, gives me my strength. I am my strength. Restrictions on myself restrict my passion, and thus, my power. I do what I want, and what I need to do, and damn the consequences, for only I can give myself the freedom I desire. Yes, that’s good. Restrictions limit power. To be unrestrained is to be powerful. That is what that necromancer did say after all. My imagination must not be restrained, nor my anger and envy. Haha, yes this will do nicely. Can someone record that? Yes, Akheron will be pleased…”  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Fiochmar stays in medbay for as long as it takes to heal. Once fully healed he'll get dressed and follow Leona to a makeshift meditation chamber near his own quarters. Fiochmar, gets himself seated and closes his eyes.  Focusing not on peaceful or tranquil thoughts. No he thinks of the embarrassment and shame he felt being so easily defeated. He is the best warrior and hunter, in his clan in their clan and village.

 

Now here he is each attack that always worked for him failed. Its as if he were a young trainee in the art of combat.  What was going on here. He wasn't that weak he wasn't that easily tossed around but what had gone wrong. He focused on the scenes in his head, and starts focusing, each passing second his anger, his embarassment, his self loathing and he starts to feel the power course through and strengthen his muscles.

 

Looking further back he focuses on the destruction of his world and the murder of his whole family. He growls standing up and pacing about. 

 

     "THEYLL ALL SEE WHAT I'M MADE OF. LEONA GET IN HERE!"

 

Leona enters and looks to Fiochmar standing at attention as she awaits orders.

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Akheron listened to Tros, what he said was true. The heat of battle was a unpredictable beast of many moving parts, not everything could be accounted for. As the Mandalorian stood up, Akheron placed his own masked helmet back upon his head, concealing all but his eyes. 

 

He spoke, motioning to the bladed weapon being held before him. 

 

"Very well, consider this just the start, I will use what time is available until we leave here, where possible to teach what I know. You can accompany myself and the Shard to find a wound on this planet, for he must construct a lightsaber and crystal. As part of his training. If you so desire, you may bare witness to the true power of the Darkness of the Force....few ever get the chance. It shouldn't be far from here, such a area would also provide the space we need to move about freely and I to impart what you desire to learn."

 

Moments after and Solus had returned, Akheron turned to face his apprentice. Looking upon his improvements, he found them sufficient, it was then he spoke. It was time to see what he had to say, and if he found the meaning of the Sith Code. 

 

"Ah my apprentice, you return. I see you took up my suggestion, very good. Now tell me what have you learnt of the Sith Code. What meaning did you define from it. Answer truthfully and openly, there will be no repercussions. The Sith Code contains a different meaning for all Sith."

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"The universe started in darkness at a time when light didn't exist, and that is how it will end. Chaos and suffering is what brings us together. In chaos a man or woman will show who he or she really is and in suffering they will speak the truth. We are darkness incarnate, we are the evil. This cannot be denied, even by me. But without us there is no redemption, passion or order." - Darth Akheron

 

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“Answer truthfully and openly, there will be no repercussions”

 

Solus almost flinched at these words, recalling how similar ones were spoken earlier, followed by an embarrassing beating in front of all of his peers. Still, Solus contained himself and raised his newly forged hand as if to add to his words.

 

“The meaning is to be unrestricted. In my fight with Innmortos, my power over the force only became useful when I gave into my passion, and let my envy and anger be unrestrained. And in that, my power was unrestrained. Much like you with how your unrestrained rage literally flows from you, when I have unrestricted myself and all of my sins, I am powerful.” 

 

“And if I may add master, and to you of House Solus…” Solus snapped his skeletal-looking hand as if to emphasize a point. “It's not just limited to my passion, but my imagination as well. In the battle with Innmortos, I only truly began to gain an upper hand when I began to let my imagination loose. The idea to blend in with the ice, to use the blade and myself as separate weapons, to make noises through the dark side… only by unleashing my passion and my mind was I able to succeed.”

 

Solus pulled his hand back and gave a bow to the two, to show he was concluding his thought process. 

 

“I, master, must continue to practice my rage, my envy, and my mind so that it will be unrestrained by not only myself, but all others who will seek to use and restrain me. Through this, I will attain victory and free myself from the chains of this world of worlds” 

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Tros listened carefully to the words being spoken from both Sith. There was something about this Akheron that had him intrigued. But whatever it was, it was not forward and obvious even to him. Letting out a sigh to himself, he looked at the apprentice called Shard and then back at Akheron. "I think it would be worth my time to see such a thing." He placed his beskad back within it's sheath. Perhaps the connection lay within the last time he was somewhat close to a Force user. Either way, he felt like time would tell. And until then, he had to get to know the Sith well enough to begin a better ground work for working with them, and even utilizing them within battle scheme and plans. Seeing something that they do away from outsiders would be a perfect start for that. 

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Mishuk gotal'u meshuroke, pako kyore.

 

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Though Mordecai was a master, training was still a requirement. A necessity to maintain his edge. His sparring partner, a metal training dummy in the sparring room aboard the Raven's Bane. With collision against the hard surface, his fists ached, and metal bent around them. A series of heavy thuds as he delivered a flurry of blows against it, the chest caving in with every blow, his knuckles splitting, drops of blood left behind at every impact. He welcomed the pain. It was a good change of pace. It gave him something to focus on, something to divert his thoughts to. The damage dealt to his imaginary opponent, the open wounds growing on his hands with every swing. Bacta spray was in the medbay if he needed it, so his own well being wasn't a concern here. And yet, with every swing that he used to try and distract himself, his mind flashed back, if only for scattered moments, to what he had lost.

 

He swore. Physical pain was different than the emotional pain he felt. One was sharp, blinding. It gave him power, gave him purpose. The other was an emptiness in his heart. A slow spread of dread and solitude that permeated from his chest to the rest of his body. And yet, as a side effect to this grief, this loss, there was rage. He knew who had done this to him. The False Empress, Raven. And he knew how he would resolve it. Either she would die, or he would. At least, if his rage and fury would even allow him to die at this point. His revival had been bittersweet. He had a chance to avenge Jarvus, but he had been thrust right back into his sorrow and loss. Even massacring the people of Naboo hadn't weakened its hold on him.

 

Another swing, and there was a sickening crack as on of the bones in his hand snapped from the impact. It didn't stop him, though. If anything, it doubled his efforts, every blow driven into the armor of the training dummy thrown with the force of anger and hatred and rage. It mattered not. He would kill Raven, and claim victory.

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Akheron listened to Solus, pondering his words as he spoke them. A smile formed beneath his mask and Sith Lord visibly showed in the force and his carefully chosen words, that he was pleased with his apprentice. At last his apprentice was beginning to understand. 

 

"A excellent interpretation my apprentice, however it is not for me to judge. The Sith Code is open to different interpretations and meanings as  I said, it is for you to interpret as you will. For it is a guide, much how I am but a guide. Like a slab of stone, I simply chisel away the small pieces...to reveal what already was hidden. It is up to you to listen. It is true though, that by embracing your passions, your every negative emotion, these will help you unlock your true potential and true freedom as you desire. By embracing who you really are inside. 

 

Only then will you find your purpose. Your calling as a Sith, whatever form that may take. You have tasted a glimpse of that in your fight with Darth Inmortos, focus on that moment. Use it to strengthen you. That said, let us find a wound and begin your first true steps as a Sith. But first find Stitch-Mouth, have him prepare the internal electronics necessary for your saber construction. For it takes more than a crystal to make a lightsaber. We must blend engineering of a sort with ancient ritual. All will become clear at the right moment. Now go, we have no time to waste my apprentice."

 

As he waited, Akheron turned to face Tros. He spoke.

 

"Once he returns we shall proceed. Although I recommend staying close, wounds in the force, especially those born of the Darkness, tend to be unpredictable and volatile beasts. A beast we must bend to our will."

 

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"The universe started in darkness at a time when light didn't exist, and that is how it will end. Chaos and suffering is what brings us together. In chaos a man or woman will show who he or she really is and in suffering they will speak the truth. We are darkness incarnate, we are the evil. This cannot be denied, even by me. But without us there is no redemption, passion or order." - Darth Akheron

 

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Solus bowed again in thanks towards the complement of his meaning of the code, and then agreed to do what was requested. Without another word, Solus turned and left. 

 

Finding Stitch-Mouth wasn’t difficult. The alchemist had not wandered far. The human’s burnt and unkempt hands were busy at work with several large containers, with pieces of metal scattered about nearby, including Solus’ old arm. 

 

“Excuse me, I have need of your assistance again! It seems that I…”


Solus stopped. He finally could see what metal scraps the alchemist was pulling out. The pieces of black and corroded metal were much too familiar. The platings, the wires, the frames…they were all the remains of his previous chassis. The chassis of his old, part serpentine form.  


That moment was esoteric to say the least, and it didn’t have a single thing to do with the force. It was like a human staring at his own carcass. A body that once held his own brain, and now was nothing more then metal scrap and trash. 


Stitch-Mouth seemed to be amused at this pause of silence and uncomfortableness, as he himself gave the slightest of smirks. Without a trace of care, Stitch-Mouth shoved his hand into the old chassis between some of the joints and ripped out several pieces. His smirk, despite being stitched shut, was wider now as Solus could only give a shocked look. 


The alchemist shoved the parts into the shard’s hands. The Shard’s old arm from his current chassis, tiny cylinders and dials from his older chassis, and a few metal rods and plates from both the newer and older robotic suits. After this, Stitch-Mouth shooed away the apprentice, indicating that he had what he needed. 


Even as Solus stumbled away, parts in hand, he was still in a daze. For a few moments longer, this didn’t feel real. He had witnessed his own dead corpse, and was now carrying pieces of it to be made into a weapon. What if this was just some dream? What if he actually was still back on Ishvara, and this was just another vision like the ones that led to him being separated from this family? After all, all of this is just him trying to please a bunch of people so they'd accept him, right? Was this just one big hallucination, going mad from loneliness? 


Solus shook himself. Of course not, he wasn’t this imaginative. 


Finally, Solus was back before Akheron and Tros, ready to follow where they led. He didn’t speak another word, remembering that restraining his words had its own benefits. 

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Tros listened to Akheron carefully. The words spoken to him seemed somewhat distant and untouched by the physical world, yet everything was tied to it. His own face was hidden by his buy'ce, but he was sure that the Sith could read him anyways. His own experience with them told him that such things happened rather frequently. He remained quiet before he spoke. "You say a beast to be tamed. Is it literal or metaphorical?" He truly didn't understand the Force, nor did he had any true desire to learn of it's deep mysteries. He was okay with his own beliefs, which had slowly changed and evolved over time. He doubted any others of his kin shared similar thoughts. His own eyes darted towards Solus as he returned. 

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Mishuk gotal'u meshuroke, pako kyore.

 

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Akheron thought upon it and answered calmly, speaking the truth as he saw it. 

 

 "A bit of both you could say. Although it's not so much me or you but rather my apprentice here who has to accomplish this...as a fundamental step and moment of his training. It can be rather volatile. You see the construction of a lightsaber crystal is no easy feat, it is far more dangerous and personal than the construction of the saber itself, to the one who is constructing the crystal. For the crystal is the heart of a lightsaber and one could say a part of their soul."

 

He motioned both to follow even as he informed about the task to come.

 

"At least for this particular method that is the case. For he must grow the crystal from his own blood or the Shard equivalent, molded with his emotions and the blood of the recently deceased...feelings of pain and such have the best effect...to mold and bleed it. A Force Wound that is as recent as happened here is helpful to intensify those emotions that will be needed, and is best to exploit the physical pain as well as any mental pain as fuel for the arduous meditative ritual he is about to undertake. For a lightsaber is not what some believe, just a tool. It is far more than this. A lightsaber is in truth a extension of a Force-Sensitive like us, a mirror for our true feelings made physical, just as it is also a extension of the Force and our connection to the Darkness thereof. A lightsaber strengthens our connection to it.

 

For this method of crystal making, it is more intensive than finding a crystal and bleeding it, but I feel it's much more personal this way. There is a old mantra I once was told which is helpful during the meditation. I suggest you remember it, my apprentice."

 

He said as he followed the distinctive telltale signs in the force. Signs of a wound born recently of death and destruction. No doubt his apprentice would likewise be drawn to it.

 

Letting the Force flow through him he recited the old mantra:

 

"The crystal is the heart of the blade.

The heart is the crystal of the Sith.

The Sith is the crystal of the Force.

The Force is the blade of the heart."

 

 

 

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"The universe started in darkness at a time when light didn't exist, and that is how it will end. Chaos and suffering is what brings us together. In chaos a man or woman will show who he or she really is and in suffering they will speak the truth. We are darkness incarnate, we are the evil. This cannot be denied, even by me. But without us there is no redemption, passion or order." - Darth Akheron

 

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Solus wasn’t sure when his following of Akheron to the Force Wound turned into pure instinct of walking towards it. At some point during his master’s speaking, Solus’ sensing of the impossible geometries became more and more focused and direct. The air itself became more dead it seemed. The shapes became more sluggish and translucent. Much like Innmortos, the aura of the area was sputtering to death.


Finally, the trio made it to the place. Before the group laid the remains of what was once the immaculate concert hall of Naboo. Pale white marble pillars supporting a fertile green dome now laid over in burnt black ashen rubble. While some of the roof was still supported by a central pillar, the building that housed countless artistic masterpieces of acoustic designs was now a house of death.


This was made clearer then ever when the group entered. The bodies were everywhere. Fresh corpses of humanoids and theriomorphic alike laid beside each other, some crushed by debris while some clinging to each other with blaster marks in their heads and chests. Musicians had been melted together with their ornate instruments, creating truly nightmarish, macabre images. Fire had consumed some of the bodies, leaving behind black remains, while ones who were not burned were being consumed by the local carrion eaters. However, with the stench of the dark side secreting from the place, the only animals that could reside here were the stink-flies and the screw maggots wriggling in tainted meat. This meant many of the corpses were mostly whole and rotting. 


Solus’ sensor focused at the center of the building. leaning against a central pillar, two humanoid parents, partially burned and rotted away, as well as their young children, one no more than a year old. Their clothes had been torn to nakedness, revealing the organs and blood that had  oozed onto the floor. 


While it wasn’t easy to guess what happened, when the attack first started, a large orchestra had begun a centineenial performance. With the first bombardement, people huddled closer and closer in the building, as the local security had instructed the populace for safety's sake. During the battle, one poorly, and  accurately, aimed bombardment shot collapsed a majority of the building and the surrounding ones, killing hundreds instantly. Later, soldiers must have swept through the place and killed any survivors. This became the epicenter for the force wound, as all over the planet, as death was occurring on a massive scale. Perhaps in time, with life regrowing, the wound would heal over, but for now, even the un-trained could feel the darkness in the place.


“My my my…” were the only words Solus could muster up from his cold voicebox. The dark side was practically dripping here. The immense death of the planet had centered in this place. The palpable death and destruction that was centered here. Solus could’ve sworn he saw some of the bodies move of their own volition.  The impossible geometries were not just sluggish. They were deathly. The shapes were pale black and unlit white. Their counter-clockwise backward spinnings had become upward tumblings of the lowest order. Where the couple with their dead children was the true epicenter of the Force wound. The flies avoided it completely, despite the magnificent feast for them there. The blood from the family  was boiling with no signs of heat, and the bodies leaning on the pillar, despite being partially burned to a crisp, showed signs of frostbite at their lips and fingers. The air vibrated with a tension of energy that could only be found in a handful of places across the galaxy. Here, reality and the Force itself was sickened and maimed to almost beyond repair.


Solus stopped at the crumbled entrance of the building. Whether it was fear or honor for such darkness, the Shard couldn’t tell, but he struggled to take another step into this ghoulish wound in the Force. He could only stare for a few moments at the epicenter, before looking at his master for permission and guidance. 
 

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Tros kept a close eye on the apprentice upon hearing that the feat would solely be up to him. He wondered what sort of warriors put such feats on weapons. For his own kin, such a task being ushered to someone would mark the final element before them being ready for war and to be on their own. So the Sith, while very mysterious and tied to the Force, were not so much off from what he was brought up, with a few more extremes. But are they too dependent upon the Force? It was a question he always wondered about those connected to the Force, including his own step-sister. It was a foolish question to sit and ponder, as he was a warrior and truly cared not to devote too much time to thinking upon it. But then again, his own code for those under House Solus followed a creed, to die as one lived. If they were so bound to the Force, they would die by it. 

 

His buy'ce suddenly beeped at him, a strong signal from Almas. The war council was ready to connect. He gave a quick response back that he would be ready to talk within an hour and then gave a slight nod to Akheron. "Unfortunately this is where my observations must end. War planning is needed. Hopefully we can fight alongside each other on the battlefield soon." The Mandalorian gave another half bow before turning and heading back to the Palace at Theed. He was grateful for the opportunity to learn from the Sith, and hopefully the partnership between them lasted long enough for both to share secrets to build each other up stronger. For only the strong have the right to rule. 

 

Upon arriving back at Theed, he quickly gathered the remaining of those still hanging around the planet. Sutu Skoss stood giving a report to him. "There have been a total of 19 children that have been loaded upon The Trident and taken back to Almas for processing. Bloodlust and Swift Justice are ready for departure upon your word." Tros let out a sigh and looked towards the sky. "Get us in the air. We need a signal to talk to the War Council on Almas. Once we finish with them, we can decide where we're headed." "Upon boarding, we're good to lift. But there is the matter of the explosives..." Tros looked directly at Sutu. "... They're still active and around the palace of Theed..." Tros looked back at the palace for a second and then began to walk towards his own ship, Swift Justice, speaking rather loudly as he walked. "Once we hit a good range, blow it."

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Mishuk gotal'u meshuroke, pako kyore.

 

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Akheron listened and sighed a little. He had hoped the Mandalorian could of stayed a bit longer and observe the ritual as it unfolded, but he understood the war came first. Their enemies would not wait for them. Speaking, he bowed a farewell as he spoke, handing a encryption key to Tros Ardell before his departure. One that would allow him to contact the Sith Lord personally if ever the need arose, such as the battle to come.

 

 "That is most unfortunate, things were about to get interesting. However I understand, the war cannot wait forever. Indeed, after we are done here we must begin our own preparations. In that regard, take this. It is my personal com number and shall allow you to reach me in a much more expedient manner I think. 

 

I too hope we meet again soon, even if after the battle, until then may the Darkness guide you true, my newfound friend."

 

 Once Tros left, Akheron wondered what the future might hold for the man. It was clear the Darkness and Fanged God had a plan for this one, one entwined with his own but how was yet to be decided. Time would tell. Turning to Solus, Akheron spoke As he entered the area his apprentice was staring at, he motioned that he should follow before pointing towards the epicentre.

 

"Come my apprentice, you must enter the epicentre of the realm of these dead here. Sit, meditate and focus yourself. Open yourself fully to the Darkness that resides here, direct it inwards and combine it with your own Darkness. Use those feelings, emotions that you feel when you are one in symbiosis. Face your demons, your inner most vulnerabilities and weaknesses, for during the ritual you must face yourself even as the Darkness attempts to destabilise the ritual, you must gain control...enforce your will upon it and bend it to your needs. Focus the energy upon the blood and a piece of yourself, your Shard. A equivalent of blood. The symbiosis should allow you to join them as one, to become a crystal.

 

But that is only half the ritual. Once the crystal is made, focus those same feelings and emotions upon the electronics you brought with you. In that moment your true self shall help you create the sabre that shall be a extension of you. It shall be no easy task, and both are taxing on both mind and body. Survival is not guaranteed, but if you succeed you shall as I said previously, be another step closer to your true potential. Good luck my apprentice, will observe but cannot interfere. This is your test alone."

 

On that Akheron stepped aside, allowing his apprentice to begin when he wished. Now his apprentice fate was for him to decide and the Darkness.

 

 

Edited by Karys Narat iv-Adas

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"The universe started in darkness at a time when light didn't exist, and that is how it will end. Chaos and suffering is what brings us together. In chaos a man or woman will show who he or she really is and in suffering they will speak the truth. We are darkness incarnate, we are the evil. This cannot be denied, even by me. But without us there is no redemption, passion or order." - Darth Akheron

 

I survived the Great JNet Outage of 2012

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Solus nodded to his master’s words and stepped forward. The walk seemed to take forever. Each stride took him past several bodies. But with each step, the distance to the center of the wound seemed to be ever further. 


And somehow, Solus stood before what he could only describe as a makeshift altar to the darkside. The frozen corpses remained motionless, yet full of energy. The blood sat still, yet moved with almost sentience. The air around the robot wavered with still energy, while the gas that was released from the chassis came out like a breath in the cold air.  


The bubbling blood pool before the three corpses and Solus called out. Solus couldn’t resist what was happening. His body, unanswering to him anymore, forced into a kneeling position before the blood and bodies, and reached forward to touch this degenerate font. With only a few drops of the boiling crimson, Solus’ arm pulled back towards his head plates.


The shard’s mind was both in a state of panic and wonder.  The power here was intoxicating. It’s grip was power itself. Controlling. Demanding. Insidious and awesome to behold. And useless to resist.


The shard’s head opened up, revealing the small crystalline being inside. Its lines no longer danced but remained fixed in one small dot. The fingers approached it, slowly, until a single droplet spilt and spread itself over the small thing. Like Solus’ first experience with the darkside, the liquid entered the shard and touched the lines of thought. 


Then the body went limp, kneeling in perfect stillness. 

________

The Impossible Geometries danced and whirled around. Triangular cylinders sundered circular vertexes violently, then absorbing them apart like amoeba-eating bacteria with the sounds of erratic chords of music. Some in particular were more fearsome than the rest, having a darker hue of purple and red, with more violent spinnings and transparent surface. While not filled with the energy of life, they did move their chaotic trajectories, flashing each color that a mind could not imagine and moving like silent winds of death. 


In the center of it all, Solus separated from the rest of the shapes and colors, and sounds, dwelled. 


One of the darker, consuming shapes approached the thing that represented Solus. Another followed, which in turn was followed by another. 


“What a fascinating little thing…” The first one commented, expanding its form then retracting instantly. It’s voice resonated on the waves that surrounded them all, screeching like nails on a chalkboard.


“Perhaps this one will taste better?” The second one asked, it's vibrations more sultry then the first. The third one said nothing, but followed the other two. 
In the real world, the three corpses before Solus moved of their own accord. Heads twisted slowly, cracking the frost that cased over their joints.


“What are you?” the shapes that were Solus resonated back. The air of curiosity oozed off of his own edges, barely letting the aura of fear escape. 
The three things laughed. The corpses in the real world laughed too. 


“We are what you wish to be. Apostles of what you hope to serve” The second shape thrummed , her voice like a snake about to strike a harmless mouse. 


“I serve no one. I am breaking that chain” Solus countered. 


The three things laughed and circled closer. The corpses themselves started to move their limbs, picking themselves up and crawling forward around the boiling blood pool. 


“We all serve something or someone. And you serve multiple things” The shapes commented. One of the corpses, the female, looked towards where Akheron stood. Though he could not hear the words Solus was experiencing, the wink from the glossy, partially melted, eyed woman spoke levels. 


“You are distractions…” Solus rigidly retorted, only to be met with more chuckles.


“We are that which dwells in between all life.” The larger shape pulsated, a sound of solid structure, like a fence to a prisoner.  “Between the spaces of all Life. We are the consumed and the consumers. Devoured, and devourers. The teeth, and the morsel for what you wish to serve…”


Solus’s shape shook, the aura of fear now impossible to restrain. 


“I must make my weapon…” Solus refocused himself. “My crystal…”


The three shapes came closer to the Shard’s structure, their prismatic forms becoming flat in interest.  “Such a thing demands extraction. Did your master not say so?”


Solus resonated a yes. The three corpses crept around the still chassis. The child, sitting across from the pool, waved its hand. The body of the shard moved and creaked, and its hands opened up and placed its contents on the floor. The vial filled with the remains of Innmortos’ body tumbled forward.


Ah! Fresh death!” The shapes exclaimed, but then quickly turned to disgust. “No soul! No soul! Such a thing demands more than this!”


The biggest of the shapes drew close to Solus’ form. The chassis of Solus became hot to the touch. 


“Weakling! No soul means no death!”


“No death means no weapon.” The sultry shape continued.


“And no weapon means no strength” The smallest of the shapes concluded, its sound nothing more than a whisper. 


“I have killed many, not just this Necromancer.” Solus bit back, his shape suddenly boiling with its own energy, forcing the three back. “I killed many gungans with my master!”


The larger shape laughed. The father's corpse slapped the ground in mockery. “Gungans? I expected them to become extinct in my day! They are nothing!”
Solus’ form began to shake and rumble. Fear and anger mixed together at this insult.


“We saw your battle, little shard. You pathetic fight with that decrepit old thing There was no finesse to it. Just scramblings and beatings. Barbaric and unrefined. You are weak. We are strong. And we are three, while you are alone.”


The two shapes that continued to talk got closer. Their intent was clear. Feasting was an act of pleasure after all. 

 

"Yes, silent still Solus. Nothing more then a rock in a cave, destine to be alone. Oh how amusing, a rock who thinks he is more then pebble!"


At the mention of being alone, a flood of memory washed over the shard. Memory of the eternity before he was awakened. Of the eternal darkness before the world of worlds. Of the time after he was exiled from his family. Of the unbearable solitude, with no one to speak to. 


Solus had had enough. With a sudden ripple of energy born purely of hatred, Solus screamed into the void around him. His chassis’ arms raised up and grabbed the corpses by their burnt but frozen necks. 


“You are three? Well then, let’s make that right. No one should have more than me. So now, be one!” Solus resonated with them. “Flght Nu Dy’la! Begone!”


The form that was Solus erupted with a yellow fire of rage and envy. The consuming flames overtook the two shapes that had gotten closer to devour what was a simple target. In pain they screeched as they fled into the impossible geometries, lost forever in the Cosmic Force.  As this happened, the two adult corpses around the metal chassis fell in a shamble. Their strings had been cut, their souls untethered.


Now only Solus and the smallest, nearly silent shape remained. 


“Good…good. You do have spirit after all. You will be a good addition to bear his weapons.


Then all went black.
____

Solus awoke someplace else. While his chassis remained still kneeling before the pool of blood and the small child corpse, his shape was no longer in the Impossible Geometries.  Solus looked around with actual eyes, eyes made of flesh, at the surrounding landscape. A clearing in an ominous, overgrown courtyard. Vines overtook ancient stonework all around, splitting larger pieces from the whole. 


And in the center of the courtyard, stood a rotting spider-esque being, and a large stone fountain filled with blood.

 
“Your stone will be inside”  Apostle gestured, smiling and showing its mandibles. Solus stepped forward, feeling the cold stone on bare feet. 
Solus looked down into the Font. Its contents churned around with unknowable energy. Like before, the blood called to Solus, tempting him to give in and to drink. To let loose his passion and become a slave to the power within. 


“Reach in. But don’t drink. You foolish little one are much too weak for that.”


Apostle winked one of its multitude of eyes. It was like something from a nightmare. Each eye looked about randomly, and yet stayed focused on Solus. Each leg, rotting at the edges, bore teeth and claws at every joint. Its body, hairy as it was, was also tattooed with strange flowing markings that refused to stay still. 


 “Unless of course, you think otherwise?” The thing knew what Solus wanted to do. The power of suggestion and reverse psychology. Had not Solus known how powerful words could be, he perhaps would’ve fallen for it. 


Solus raised a bony gaunt hand and willed upon the Font. The stone, the object of his desire, was inside. With the force, he would pull it out. His envy would be powerful. And with his own power, he would set himself…


“Oh, don’t be so cowardly”  Apostle snickered, and without warning, grabbed the Shard’s hand with a hooked claw and dunked the appendage inside. 
____

Without warning, Solus’ chassis reached up swiftly to the shard’s crystalline soul, and grabbed the crystal. The entire body screeched in pain as the hand scraped and scratched and grounded the object's hard edges in its grip. The gem’s inner lights spasmed and crashed into its walls, the pain greater than anything it had experienced before. The sensation of nerves burning away into oblivion. The feeling of a soul's container being damaged.


The Impossible Geometries leaked into the air around the two bodies. Shapes of unimaginable forms appeared and disappeared. A hue of psychedelic gasses never before seen by human eyes formed and dissipated in flashes of nanoseconds. Colors of emotion filled the air, with a heavy emphasis of reddish rage and yellowish envy, staining the walls, while the smells of raw instinct plugged the noses. Even those outside the building, force sensitive or not, could feel these things come to life. 


The Wound, and the apprentice, had become active.
____

Solus pulled his hand from the font, screaming in pain. The skin was gone, the veins and arteries in the muscles partially dissolved, revealing bone, fat, and tendon. 

 

“Good. Now mix them together”  Apostle commanded. The spider, without a trace of gentleness, crawled onto the helpless organic Solus and struck a claw into the back of the Shard’s head. "Focus on your hatred. Those you envy. Those you wish to kill. Focus on that, and call forth your weapon"


Solus blinked a tear away. The pain was rising, but so was his envy and hatred. This…thing was powerful, but he would be greater. He hated it, and would show it he was a great being. Through the pain, Solus reached his partially disintegrated hand forward and called on the Force again. His flesh, the blood, and Inmortos’ essence, were inside, forming into something new. And it would be his.


“Good. Good. A weapon to feed. A weapon to kill. And so much more.” 


"The crystal is the heart of the blade. The heart is the crystal of the Sith. The Sith is the crystal of the Force. The Force is the blade of the heart” Solus muttered over and over, focusing through the pain.  
_____

 

 The chassis spilled the dust from the crystal into the pool of boiling blood before it, and then the vial.  As it all began to mix, more of the impossible geometries leaked from the robotic body. The envy was so thick it was palpable. The rage was so vivid it became psychedelic. 


The geometries flowed from the body into the mixture. All together, the ingredients stirred, becoming more and more diluted with each other. Slowly, the stuff rose into the air, a sphere of red and orange. 


The chassis raised its hands and encased the sphere. The geometries rippled around, as the Force condensed itself around the mixture. The heat inside the hands began to build, glowing like a fiery star. More and more the force was focused as the mist of envy and hatred swirled about.  


Finally,  Solus’ body moved with natural sentience of the Shard. Solus opened his hands and revealed the small crystal inside. No bigger than a child’s thumb, it sat cradled in the shard’s metal palms like a newborn youngling. 


But the power that came from it was anything but childlike. A slow emission of yellow gas came from the red gem, as the Impossible Geometries were directly connected to the crystal. Solus’ envy and hatred were mixed together in this one small stone, and because of that, the Force rippled around it with the passion of the Force wound it was made in. Solus could feel his envy flow from the gem, anxious to kill in the name of the Fanged God.


Solus smiled inwardly as he clutched the tiny crystal in his palm. 


The corpse of the child was no longer before him. In the crafting of the crystal, it had completely vanished, only to be replaced by the spider-like thing he had seen before. It was looking down, like a giant looking at its prey. It gave the briefest glance towards Akheron, who would recognize the markings on its head and body.

 

Markings of the Fanged God. Whether it was a servant, a hallucination, or something else, no one could tell. 


Then it was gone. In a blink of an eye, the spider vanished. Solus didn’t seem to mind. Instead, he began to hum a tune as he began to work.  After what seemed like an hour, Solus approached Akheron. A few strides away he stopped and presented the hilt in one hand.

 

While small, it seemed to fit perfectly in the Shard’s hand. The black metal had turned slightly yellow, a side effect of the crystal's connection to Solus’ envy and the Impossible Geometries. Small burnt-brown  wrappings from the bodies inside the ruins wrapped where Solus' hands would grip the handle. Near its blade emitter, a single ebony tooth-like extension protruded, reminiscent of one of the fangs of the spider that had been in the Force Wound. 

 

“Behold master… the heart of my blade…” Solus said, activating the lightsaber with a flick. The crimson blade hissed out like a warning from a predator. The hilt released a small whiff of envious color from the Impossible Geometries before becoming completely focused and humming with danger. 

 

“A weapon and a piece of me.”

 

With this, Solus deactivated the blade and knelt on one knee before his master. With both hands held above his head, he presented the blade for inspection.

 

 

Spoiler

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