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To feel Hayley's touch was refreshing for Shiro, the Force swirling around his Master in a cold vortex as his body heated against it's own wrath. He feasted upon the moment, taking in the nutrients like a parasite to quell his thirst. He had never known such power, and yet, at the same time, it came with great exhaustion. His form felt wrecked, the pain nearly unbearable, and he barely stood upon his own two feet.

 

And yet, with Hayley, he felt rested, exhilarated even as her power flowed around them. He could feel his energy returning, siphoning back into his form from upon her own, rejuvenated. And as she touched his latest of wounds, he boiled in beautiful agony, rejoicing in the pain that flowed through him. He grinned.

 

“I will torture him, you must feed off those emotions to survive this storm. Bind the power of your rage into your flesh, harden it against that which is to come.”

 

He nodded in response, his chaotic gaze shifting from the one he left alive to her, and then back again.

 

He could feel the storm bearing down upon them, the wind alone threatening to sweep him off his feet as the lightning littered the beach with explosions of scorched earth. And a part of him wondered if he could do what she asked. Until now, he had fed off his own rage, his own anger to sustain him, but it had become animalistic, overwhelming to the part that he was losing control. And a portion of him still feared losing control, losing himself to this power.

 

But by now, the storm had grew. What once was his advantage now became his turmoil. The waves and rain were cutting to his form, the wind reveling in it's own wrath as it swept in from the sea. Thunderous explosions and lightning flashes were bearing down so closely that he could feel the static charge in the air around him just before each strike. Shiro closed his eyes, letting the moment surround him.

 

"Peace is a lie, There is only passion..."

 

Shiro muttered under his breath as he felt the air around him begin to start clinging, like a pull upon his skin, hair, and cloth as he stood there. He could feel the man's horror, his urgency to live, his desperation to run. And in that moment, Shiro accepted his own fate. With an exhale, he focused his rage and anger, letting it boil within himself. He could feel the heat in the pit of his stomach begin to flow through his veins. And upon his exhale, the coldness of the air penetrating his lungs and cooling his form, he felt his skin tense and sturdy its self for what was to follow.

 

"Through Passion, I gain strength..."

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The Sith Lord bristled at her apprentice’s mutterings. The Code of the Sith. Those feeble and meaningless words. He seemed to believe in such mantras.

 

Peace is a lie. There is only Passion.

 

Darth Awenydd’s eyes rolled back behind her closed eyelids,

 

Through Passion I gain Strength.

 

It was true that the power of the Dark Side could be channeled through passions, and such feelings harnessed for strength, but it was meaningless without conflict. The storm raged about them, the surf raging in white peaks, surging about them both. The waters were cold, sapping the warmth from her flesh as she sat upon the bloodied sands. With her own wrath she drilled into the mind of the captive before her.

 

All his fears became exposed, and she utilized them to get deeper into his psyche. Within the veil of the Force, a myriad of swirling images began to manifest, beasts, horrors, nightmares, all for the torment of the man before her, his shrieks of terror becoming lost in the howls of the wind. She would keep his mind from the embrace of catatonia, she needed his fear fresh for her apprentice.

 

Her own words were those of a rebuke, but a gentle one.

 

“Do you truly think you can understand the depths of The Force through an adherence to codes?”

 

She fed the fear into the storm, thunderclaps echoing the man’s screams. The strength of conflict.

 

“We all achieve definition in conflict, it is there we find ourselves or find ourselves lacking.”

 

To emphasize her point, her own battle against the will of her captive was won, the man’s struggle for freedom against the stuncuffs changing its rhythm into something else entirely. The shadow of his mind wanted only the freedom now to slit his own throat. Her apprentice would find his power, or be forever trapped in its pursuit. 

 

“Now, strengthen your flesh and fight the wind. Let us see what echoes your conflict produce.”

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“Do you truly think you can understand the depths of The Force through an adherence to codes?”

 

“We all achieve definition in conflict, it is there we find ourselves or find ourselves lacking.”

 

Shiro could hear her words echoing through his mind over the sounds of the storm as it raged on. He had thought the mantra of the Sith would quell the storm within him, quiet his mind so he could find focus, but now he saw that it only aided his focus in its brief quotation. It was her words that truly struck a nerve that he had yet to ponder.

 

"Conflict?" His mind thought across its entirety as he pondered the meaning. Conflict was all that he knew. It was the very thing that forged him. But would it continue to forge him farther? He wasn't quite certain. Forged of blood, guilt, and war, his wrath had became his power. But this darkness within him, this power granted by gift and by touch, wasn't born of it like he was. Was this truly the problem he had been facing this entire time? 

 

His gaze shifted toward the man who fought against his Master's will, the entire conflict tantalizing as it was fruitless in the man's endeavor. He was but an instrument in the overall lesson Shiro was meant to learn, even as his will fell before her own and all that was left was a husk with the only desire left being that of death. Standing there, pelted by sand and debris, Shiro's mind opened wide.

 

He had been too accepting of this gift, letting it's draw hypnotize him with its power rather than bending it to his own. It was a powerful ally, this Force, but without guidance, it was uncontrollable and unpredictable. He was letting its instincts control him, rather than honing it and controlling it to fit his needs. He could see it now, even as the moments of its uses flooded his mind. And in that moment, his wrath turned inward at himself. "Pathetic". His thoughts echoed.

 

 

“Now, strengthen your flesh and fight the wind. Let us see what echoes your conflict produce.”

 

Shiro struggled internally, his form becoming feverish as he sought for control. Sand cut against his form, leaving rash and abrasions against his uncovered skin as debris pelted his form with slivers and gashes, tearing even through cloth as the storm bore down its hardest. He would control this power. It would bend to his will and be his domain. He had already decided it. But as he fought, so did the darkness within, his bronze skin growing red with its feverish heat.

 

Falling to his knees as washed ashore limbs flew across his form, leaving bruises, he continued the conflict within, bellowing in anger as his wrath grew intense. It was time he was the Master of it, not it the Master of he. It was time for the shackles to break. He would be the dominant power. Or he would fall in trying.

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The internal conflict that played out before The Sith Lord was an echo of the storm, strength fighting against strength. She could feel the dark desired within her apprentice, the promises of untold power. All he had to do was give into the sins of his mind. To embrace the carnality of corrupting power. He was fighting against it and that pleased her greatly.

It was one thing to draw power from the Force, it was another to have the Force wield you in return. The Dark Side was a treacherous companion, and its ways were that of Entropy. It corrupted even the fairest minds and set them to great evil. Darth Awenydd had seen it with Darth Ares, Ason, and but never Sheog. The Hutt had his own madness, but he had ever reflected himself within the Force, he made it echo with his strength, and never bent to it.

Hunger was moving.

It was like the embrace of the void; that great wash of power that was the even horizon of a black hole. She could feel them both… Slipping. The fight of the prisoner had but been a distraction, and with his breaking the true chaos of the storm had been unleashed. With a thought, she shattered the prisoner’s body, breaking every single bone at once, starting with his teeth. The great wash of pain that erupted about them, she channeled into strength.

Was this apprentice worthy of the lesson of Strength?

Fieldgrey offered it all to the Apprentice, the entire life essence of the prisoner to Shiro. What to him was the raw strength she offered? The mind made some powerless, and to others gave great strength. Here lay the temptation. A man’s will controlled his strength, but it could also allow the man control enough to draw upon the strength of others.

She could feel it now, the sands were shaking with each wave in the Force. There was the hunger, a building wrath, a bloodlust that could not be sated. That was her gift, vitality, power, and blood; enough to weather the storm.

“Will you consume, or turn away?”

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As Shiro sat there in his struggle, both inward and outward as the storm within matched the storm around. The friction of his mind against the Force that flowed through him matched that only of the friction that his form fought against nature, both feverish and growing. Shiro could feel it, his weakness against it as his mind fought against it, similar to one's antibodies fought against a virus or disease, and yet he kept fighting. His bronze skin only reddened even more as sweat began to bead against his warmed body, the internal struggle reaching its peak.

 

Only when he heard the cracking of bones and felt the life force leave the man's body did he lessen his struggle and open his crimson and gold gaze, it shifting upon the disfigured form. This power, it was addictive, his craving growing more at its knowledge. But it was hard to temper, to control. As he applied more will against the Force, so did the Force will against him. And for a brief moment, it felt almost pointless to defy, like one's second nature amidst his true nature. He almost thought to give in.

 

At least until the taste....

 

“Will you consume, or turn away?”

 

It was a tantalizing sensation, to feel the essence she presented. Like a substance that provided nutrient, he could feel the hunger grow as his soul ached to nibble. His mind salivated, a small brush of his thoughts licking upon the nutrient as his soul growled to feast. And in that moment, Shiro's nature gave in and he grasped at the essence ravenously. It was in that moment that he felt true power, his hunger met only by his wrath, a mixture of the two rolling into his will as the Force bowed before him. And it was that moment the truth was revealed.

 

As the shackles of his will and the Force broke, freeing his mind and soul as one, Shiro could feel his control grow. He could feel his Mastery over the Force harden, an iron fist wielding what he fought so hard against. Through the passions of others, through the selfishness and sins of others in their final moments, his wrath and hunger became one, and his will would be done as the storm became his own. As his chaotic gaze stared into the abyss, he saw his own reflection, for the abyss was he, shimmering against the flashes of light.

 

Feeling the Force be willed, he felt his skin tighten and harden against the wind and debris, the once abusive storm growing powerless against his form. He could feel his power surging through his veins, his once heated form growing cooler like stone against the waves. Standing against the remaining onslaught that lingered, he came to his feet and stood like cliff face, sturdy and unwavering, his gaze staring into the lifeless eyes lingering before him as he devoured the chaos that remained in limbo.

 

"Such power, such control. I must have more."

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Perhaps I was too eager to see if he was different…

Fieldgrey watched her apprentice consume, driven like a hungry beast to feast upon her offering. He was not her first apprentice to fail her tests, but unlike Lucifer, she would not kill him for his lack of wisdom. Her voice was soft as she spoke, and even whipped by the wind the purring subtleties of malice was unmistakable

“You wished to show me the power you have taken… But that power is not your own. It is not driven by your strength.”

The Sith Lord whirled from her cross-legged position, scattering seafoam and crimson sand about her. In an eyeblink she was standing before her apprentice, the storm at her back. He was taller than her, but she was far from intimidated. She placed a scarred hand on his chest, feeling the beating heart beneath thumping against her palm.

“It is a hollow gift, the strength of the another, and one that will consume you as you devour it. The power you feel is that of an ouroboros, ever starving and only able to consume itself…”

Her nailbitten fingers slid across his ribcage, and she opened herself fully to the storm. Before it had been but the pull of the even horizon, and now they had passed beyond its rim. If her apprentice was to be saved from this place, she had to make a sacrifice. She would be its conduit. Her voice became faint,

“What you have shown me is not the power to conquer the galaxy, instead… you show me how the galaxy will die.”

The world fractured. The Sky fell into shadow and evaporated like dust upon the wind. Stars reached their hands for them, but they too fell into darkness, becoming the crying shots of turbolaser fire, ripping through the atmosphere. The ocean began to boil about them, and the death of millions echoed about the pair. The wound in the force was unravelling.

“Strength that is not your own is useless. That is the wisdom of strength.”

((OOC: Failure is the path of every apprentice. Take the next post to learn this lesson. Refocus yourself upon fostering what is within you; build your strength again but from the ground up. You will start with no power at all, as the inherent power of this place has disappeared. You have nothing but the pain from your missing arm.))

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Watching his Master rise and hearing her words, Shiro grew confused. Was he not supposed to feast upon the emotions that surround him and use the power that he connected with as his own? Use the transference as a conduit of application? He was lost as his gaze fell upon the unraveling of the wound as the past became the present and the present the past, confliction both in himself and the planet that gave rise to him.

 

Perplexed, he felt the power he held diminish, slipping out of his grasp like grains of sand. His anger bolstered, the feeling of failure washing over him with despair. If his strength came from within, what was the purpose of tantalizing him with such bait, begging for him to sample? What was the point of his sacrifice when the darkness claimed his arm if it was not meant to relish on pain and suffering, especially in others. Reaching up, Shiro grasped at his missing arm, the touch sending signals to each of its unburnt pain receptors.

 

Shiro bellowed with pain, his voice rippling through the Force as his anger echoed from his gut in both displeasure and the pain of his stupidity. No matter what level he would rise to, whether upon his Homeworld, in the Arena, or even amongst the Sith, he would never truly rise above himself. His power, his skill, it was all for nought, wasted upon a mere murderer, a mere criminal with no truth of a future. Even now, he still relied upon others to further his advancements. Just like with Dunstan and Saldana. Just like with the others he slew. Just like the hollowed eyes he stared into.

 

"Do what you wish to me!" Shiro spoke as he stepped aside Hayley and shook his fist toward the heavens, his anger toward the fates infuriating, his life just one joke after the other within their eyes. "I am nothing but a toy for you to play with anyways, a pawn made for nothing more than your war!"

 

Yet, unbeknownst to him, as his anger grew against the Force, as his temper flared with his power, his own pain and injustice fueling his inner wrath at the hand life had dealt him, his power echoed stronger and more focused than it have before. Refined and uncharted, purity in it's own right as his skin steeled against the passing storm and his pain from loss of limb subsided away in his mind, Shiro stood firm and strong.

 

"I'll be you're weapon!" Shiro cursed at the Force, still unaware at the rising tide of his inner power, his disdain at the life he had been handed nothing more than insignificant and his place in life minuscule at best. If that was all he would ever be, then so be it. "Nothing more, nothing less!"

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Darth Awenydd was overwhelmed, there was so much pain, so much death about her that she was not sure of her own mortality. There were souls torn to pieces before her, reenacting their deaths over and over within the veil of the Force. She saw Cathar families gunned down by blaster-fire, squalling babies steamed away in the turbolaser-boiled sea. Those that did not die immediately were stabbed where they curled and spasmed on the beachhead by shimmering vibrobayonets.

Hayley could only feel revulsion. What was the lesson here?

A new form stooped to the sand, picking up a glittering Mandalorian mask. It swore revenge. The Sith Lord stared in awe at the lessons of the past.

So, this was the echo. At long last.

The great violence of the Mandalorian genocide of the Cathar people had birthed the fall of Revan. From him, the Republic changed, the entire galaxy was bathed in the blood of countless wars that stretched millennia. Her sulpheric yellow eyes turned to her apprentice.

…What echoes have I started by the training of this one?

Electricity sparked from her flesh, the storm of the collapsing wound burning into her. She turned it to the forms she knew, flame beginning to wreath her pale flesh with highlights of yellow, orange, and red. She became a demon of flame, a form of pure fire, her clothes turning to ash upon her.

“Apprentice; be the weapon of only yourself. Bow not to the Force, bend it to your will.”

With a laugh she cast herself into the churning sea. She would boil it away once more.

((OOC: channel your power more fluidly into your own defenses. Experiment: does inflicting pain on yourself grow or diminish your power? Is pain your only conduit to the force? Find one more, beyond wrath and pain.))

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"How can you bend fate to your will?" Shiro snarled as his gaze shot toward Hayley only to find the tips of her disappearing into the sea. Shifting his gaze back toward the sand, his anger fueling him, he snarled silently to himself. "I am nothing but a joke."

 

Shiro sat down where he was standing, his gaze looking over the sea as he took her words in, the sudden plop of his form sending his arm into extrucating pain, like fire burning away at his side, a constant throbbing and unrelentless pain. Under his breath he cursed at his own stupidity. His whole life was an utter joke. From being outcast for his lineage, to the taunts that led to his crime of murder and arrest, to his escape and enslavement, and finally to his awarded freedom at the cost of his enlistment. And in truth, if it hadn't been for Hayley and that pilot, he wouldn't have survived that infested ship. And now here he was, her Apprentice, upon a world that awakened the truth in him only to toy him further. He spat upon the sands, kicking it away in anger only to feel the pain again as it enraged him.

 

"Apprentice, be the weapon only of yourself." He jousted mockingly, rolling his eyes with a subtle scoff. "Bow not to the Force, bend it to your will." 

 

"Riddles and sithspit." He spoke, crossing his legs as he touched softly upon the cauterized scab that covered where his arm was once. "Easy for a Sith Lord to say. They've Mastered it. It's not like they're the joke of the universe."

 

Shiro gazed around, looking at the bodies surrounding him, a smirk crossing his face. Dunstan, Saldana... they were all weak, clinging to him for his strength, his courage. None of them had lived the life he had. Despite his feelings of being a joke as an Apprentice, he knew he was strong. Life had made him this way. It forged him into what he was. And they relied too much upon him, even trying to persuade him from standing his ground against Hayley and that Intrusive One when they thought to belittle him. No. He was what life had made him and he found pride in that. They're lives seemed pointless now, nothing but a burden upon his own. And that was why he slaughtered them, to truly free himself from their weakness, their cares.

 

Looking at them, he chuckled. "At least I've rid myself of you lot. May you rest in the eternal damnation you deserve, weaklings." Waving his hand in a shooing motion, Shiro nearly jumped when their bodies moved inches with his motion. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The ocean tore at the Sith Lord’s body with a thousand ravenous hands, but the flame that seared through her flesh was unyielding, even to the might of the sea. She felt the boiling of the water around her, the ripples it made, those ripples becoming currents of their own to fight against the rhythm of the tide.

She could hear a voice singing amongst the roiling currents, she could see a battle. The reckless death throes of a vanishing crusade. The death of the light countless souls swallowed by a mass shadow. The flames boiled against the endless sea as the Sith Lord discovered the next echo to trace.

Malachor V….

Far above the churning waves of a burning sea, the apprentice heard a new voice, one bound by a ravaging hunger. It spoke as if through the heart of the dark side, and to his eyes there would be a swirling shadow, as if the soldier was looking upon a starless night, reflected through a dark mirror.

“Pride…”

The bodies about him began to unravel, flesh unspinning itself as if it were made from nerf’s wool.

“Vainglory…”

Muscle was exposed as the skin and clothing disintegrated. It looked alive with twitching, but it too turned ashen and faded.

“The love of your own excellence…”

Bone turned to ash, and all that remained was timeless shadow upon the wave-soaked sand. A piece of driftwood rolled across the darkness to rest at the high-tide line.

“It is with the loss of one’s humility that great power is awoken, for pride is odious to both man and his gods…”

There was a feeling of a great hunger, all consuming, all knowing. It would creep through the flesh, crawling like maggots through the pores.

“Harness it, apprentice of Pride, and with it do great wonders.”

((OOC: Turn pride into a weapon, take two posts to imbue your power into a weapon. It will not yet be your lightsaber, but this is your first step towards attuning a weapon to you.))

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  • 3 weeks later...

Heat boiled the air around Shiro as he gazed upon the fallen forms in disgust. Pathetic, weak, insignificant, pitiful. His gaze shifted back to the sea where Hayley had disappeared to, his blood boiled with wrath. Sweat dripped from his brow as he gazed upon its expanse. If he was too weak as an Apprentice, yet too strong to be a Soldier, then where did he truly stand? The thought plagued him devilishly. And then it spoke...

 

As he stood there watching the corpses fade into the passage of halted time, his gaze fixated and settled upon the floating black mass. What kind of creature was this, to tear its self into his reality to speak to him, an endless starry night amidst the boiling beach scenery? It reeked of darkness and reveled in his soul's awakening, speaking to his mind like a mirrored sibling as it pulled at his heart. He could feel its crawl beneath his skin as its voice fell upon familiar yet hungered ears.

 

Apprentice of Pride

 

So it did know Shiro, what laid in his heart and mind, knowing what he truly bore beneath his mortal visage? Shiro grinned, his crimson and golden gaze piercing the veil it hid behind. It wanted him to grow, the harness its power in combination, to delve in the deepest pits of his soul and find the fire within. Shiro knew the desire all too well. For Shiro wanted the same. He wanted to know and taste the true power he could possess, he wanted to know who he truly was.

 

The heat around him was bothersome and irritating, making it harder to focus upon himself. But Shiro did as it asked, and turned himself inward to find this power of pride and wrath, a deadly combination of balance to say the least. Pain rought anger, anger rought power. But it was wild, untamed, feverish: Wrath. But Pride was a different beast. It was glory, honed and tactical: Like a blade. But how could the two combine to make such power? Shiro opened his eyes as they stung against the sweat that slid down his brow. And for a moment, it reminded him of a forge, pounding away hour after hour to make a singular blade strong and sturdy.

 

That's it!

 

Pride and Wrath, Wrath and Pride, a blade worthy of forging in the midst of battle, a deadly combination of the most powerful of sins. Was this truly his power waiting to be rought into fruition? Would this be the blade that would forge him anew? His gaze shifted toward the blackened creature as if questioning, but instead turned inward to his heart. This was it. Wrath may have been wild and untamed, but with the tactical honing of Pride, it would be a double edge sword with untapped power. It would be the culmination of pure darkness. It would be Shiro and it would be marvelous. 

 

Shiro crossed his legs and opened himself up, finding the Force flowing through his surroundings. With a smirk adorning his face, he grasped at it and ensnared it, calling it to him and bending its will. With a deep breath and chilling exhale, he began...

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  • 2 weeks later...

As the apprentice worked, Awenydd burned within the ocean, an unending fire of pain and destruction. Powers of destruction were at their heart an ouroboros, providing to in turn consume. The ocean’s waves above had taken a green edge, white squalls forcing them to peak and crash with thunder. She felt wrath above, cloaked in pride, even as her mind was absorbed by pain.

 

The force would answer her apprentice’s desire. A blade would form as he forged into it the warrior’s path.

 

From the waves, the Sith Lord crawled. Her flesh was scalded, boiling, charred. The skin wept from her left arm in trails of smoking rot. She stared at her apprentice with eyes that were wholly different then when she had entered the ocean; they held a maniacal fire within them. The white of her eyes had turned a charcoal black. The irises were as crimson as the Maw Nebula. Her pupils were as dark as the heart of the Maw. She was laughing.

 

Bright laughter that tinkled through the crashing waves. A laughter that would warm the heart of even a stranger.

 

“Come now. Finish you blade, we have a long walk to find a ship.”

 

((OOC: Pour your everything, every lesson, your very essence as a warrior into this sword of yours. It'll come in handy in the fights to come.))

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Wrath was like a storm, unrelenting, wild, and powerful. It was ample in it destruction, leaving nothingness in its wake. For Shiro, it had been his awakening. It was the flowing current ever pushing toward the mouth of the ocean, blackened and deep. But it was a simply introduction, incapable of being steered without aid. It simply swept him toward his destination, his fate. And when he accessed it, opened himself up to it, it simply took him forward in time blindly and unstoppable to the point of injury. 

 

But Pride was the oar, capable of steering Shiro even amidst the raging storm. It was the Captain of the Sea, undeterred in his war against nature. It was logic in chaos. Where Wrath would sweep him, Pride would give control. It was the perfect combination of a perfect storm, powerful and yet honed, strength with sight. Shiro could see it even as he contemplated the potential of the blade. The Force he grasped at was its Forge, and he, the Blacksmith. Yet, what would be the material?

 

Shiro opened his gaze upon the bubbling brooke, then shifted it toward the boiling sea, scanning along the darkened beach head. The bodies along it no longer existed, nor did the materials that they adorned. A few links of wood swayed in the crashing waves further down the shore as the sea boiled with his Master. But as his gaze shifted back toward the brooke, something familiar caught his eye.

 

His shoulder ached with grotesque pain as the memory replayed its self, the darkened maw reaching up from the bloodied sands as it swallowed flesh and bone from its socket, a worthy sacrifice made in what appeared to be vain. Yet now, the ivory form sat with inches sticking from its grave, flesh and bone boiling separate from the heat the sea emitted, the flesh leathered across the cooked meat as it dripped into the sand from bone. Shiro grinned as he Rose and made his way over, pulling his former arm from its placement and laying it before him.

 

Gathering his blade from the sheath near his ankle, Shiro sliced away flesh and meat, stripping the white ivory bone from it. Was this the purpose of his sacrifice before he became one of them? He didn't possess the time nor care to question, something within driving him forward. Laying strips of hide to the side, he continued until only the white ivory remained laying before him and a weapon began forming in his mind at the sight of the bones, most notably the Humurus and Scapula bones. And so he set forth to forging what he envisioned.

 

The Humurus would make a great handle, whether for this weapon or any other, a true extension of himself like his arm once was. The Scapula was more brunt than he liked, but with a few chisels of his blade, it's own edge began to form. But muscle and ligament were boiled and cooked away, leaving the joining almost improbable until he gazed at the hide he had stripped away. His blade in hand, Shiro began to carve away at the bone until the Scapula could fit solidly into the Humurus and the hide grown strong enough in the boiling waters to rejoin together. And as the last of the hide was tied tightly together with his teeth and hand, Cathar would inexplicably resound in his creation.

 

"Bone of my bone, forged in the fashion of those who destroyed, may my Wrath and Pride be heard."

 

The voice echoed in his head as his Maater emerged from the Sea and her cackle brough his gaze up from the ivory to meet her own horrific form. Shiro smiled with a nod, and turned his focus inward and to the blade, letting his memories imprint themselves upon his creation. Wrath brought forth his childhood, his slavery, his pain. And Pride brought forth his escape, his rise in the Arena, and now his rise as a Sith Apprentice. As each of these memories and emotion flowed through Shiro and into the Blade, it echoed and mirrored his own intent. And as he stood, the axe seemed to drip with power visually.

 

With each swing and test of the blade, power flowed forth from it, the darkness within seeping and splattering from its form into the direction of its aim like blood. Satisfied, Shiro sheathed the blade on his hip and made his way toward his Master, the Pride evident in his eyes and his silence.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Lord of Flame.

 

Awenydd stared at the shifting ocean, her fiery eyes reflecting the horizon as light broke through the clouds. It was warm on her flesh, striking away the bitterness of the cold that the seafoam had leeched from her flesh. She breathed in, focusing on the pain from her smoking arm.

 

Prey...

 

She took that pain into herself, letting it wash through her emotions, through her soul itself, letting it carry away her fatigue. It was replaced by a new sensation, a more primal thing. The anticipation of a hunt.

 

The Sith Lord felt a swell of pride, like a great tidal wave within the force, created from a thousand echoes’ coalescence. She smiled thinly as the wave of wrath came after. Pride and Wrath were a common enough foundation amongst the Sith, but if her apprentice was not careful, both were easily undermined.

 

There was something near… An escape.

 

Awenydd let the echoes fade into the distance, letting the pain move through her still. She could smell it now, distant life, and an escape. She pressed the pain through the nerves in her spine, settling through the sciatic into her legs. She gritted her teeth against the electric fire and… leapt.

 

The Sith Lord’s jump carried her beyond the black-stained dunes to land on the riverbank at the edge of the beachhead, under the shade of the great burned tree.

 

She waved a hand to her apprentice and leapt again towards the source of her hunt. He would follow her or be abandoned, either through speed or jumping as she did.

 

((Focus now your power into movement))

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There was a hunger for power in the chaotic eyes of Shiro as he watched in admiration of his Master's moves, the ripples of her own power and glory pulsating upon the Force as the wave of pain and agony vibrated against his own. And before his very eyes, she lept forward as a gazelle, gracefully and yet demonic, like a witch upon her prey. And in that moment, Shiro smiled. Pride edged him on.

 

His mind reached out with malicious intent, the macabre scenery of his life flowing through his mind as he grasped upon its will violently. With a subtle bend of his knees against the pain of his disfigured form, he kept forward, but found himself sorely lacking, landing but a few feet forward. Wrath boiled in his heart, his soul lit aflame by its warmly embrace as the Sun cast upon his looming shadow across the kicked sand.

 

What did he do wrong this time? Would failure make him or break him? Such questions crossed his mind as he gazed forward toward his disappearing Master, causing the young Sith Apprentice to give chase behind her, anger swelling in his veins. But even as he left the beach head behind, he was no closing to closing the gap than a predatorial beast after a faster prey and soon he grew winded despite pushing himself past such a feeble point.

 

And yet, there was a voice inside himself that continued to edge him, guiding his anger and wrath past the beastial threshold and into a Master's mindframe. Part of him was anger, but another was playful, a smirk never leaving his face despite his failings as he continued his chase. It felt like a game of cat and mouse, of Bantha and Krayt, and the maliciousness within enjoyed the moment and its feel, pushing him to push farther. 

 

Feeling the wind against his form increase as the two headed toward the ongoing storm they fought back at the beachhead, it felt almost sacramental, forboding their inevitable arrival at each other or whomever they crossed paths with. For Shiro, it felt wild and free, poetic. And he felt its lust. He could feel its ache to be conquered, to be dominated. And he ached to answer its wish. Feeling his feet lighten beneath him, he lunged forward, and like a predator, his hunt to catch the Elusive one began.

 

His jumps may not have been as prolific as his Masters, nor held the stride she could attain. But between his speed and lunges, he was quickly gaining. His smirk only increased at this knowledge.

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