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Darth Heretic

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As the mechanical being slithered and glided between the piles of corpses, his entire body shook with what could only be described as excitement. 


“Oh my my my Tear, look at all these! Oh such beautiful pieces! Oh how I wish we could stop and...Tear! Stop that, we can’t...why you little…”


Solus had to stop and tighten the cord that connected directly to his wrist. Despite his sudden pull and stern words, Solus was unable to pull the Tuk’ata on the other end. The Sith hound was enjoying a few chomps of flesh too much to worry about the pain the electric collar caused it. 


Solus’ yellow sensor flickered red for a moment. With the strength that only a droid could summon, Solus pulled sharply, practically choking the beast.  The collar activated, giving a painful jolt. Tear ignored it for a moment and gave a tug, but relented after a moment. It knew better than to try to fight back too much. Besides, Tear had gotten as least two swallows of Falleen flesh.


With his beast at his side, Solus straightened up and slithered forward. He looked out of place, being a large droid-like being amongst piles of corpses. The shard's grip tighted in anticipating for Tear to make a run for some of the bodies. Truth be told though, Solus would’ve enjoyed letting Tear loose. So many bodies to look at. So many wounds to examine. So much blood to inspect. So much meat to eat. While on Korriban, Solus had a few chances to look at wounds and bodies, but nothing like this. Nothing like the mass carnage that had occurred here. 


“I mean Tear, look at all of this!” Solus gestured with his free hand towards the corpses all around them. “No where on Korriban would we have gotten to see something like this. And yet we cannot partake in looking closer. Oh, why in the name of the Force are we even here if we can’t do a little looking…”


Tear growled at his owner. Solus nodded, pretending to understand. Truth be told, Solus was beginning to understand his hound better. At Korriban, Lady Sirena and Lord Roshan had to leave, but had instructed Solus to care for Tear, bring him to health, and get him under control. With some help from the locals, and a few nights of angry hallucinations, Tear’s legs had healed and came to the realization that the metal being holding its leash was its master. And with that, Solus gained a fragment of understanding. 


“But then those people...hmph! Soldiers or whatever they were. They had no respect for us!” Solus paused and adjusted his vocabulator, imitating the voice of a gruff and grumpy man.  You! War Droid! Get on that ship. The Lord of Wrath has no patience for malfunctioning units.” 


Solus waved his hand towards the imaginary soldier he conjured up in his head. 


“Bah, as if they had no knowledge that I am a child of Roshan. But still, I must admit...the Lord of Wrath…”  Solus spoke these words as if he had a chill saying them, despite being a shard in a robotic chassis. 


“I am curious about this being. Perhaps, Tear, he will teach us something of the Force? Maybe he is a god like Lord Roshan and Lady Sirena? Oh he must be, to have such a title! Perhaps he will teach us something of the ‘Wicked Flame’?  Hahaha! of course he will! Such knowledge must always be passed on to others!”

“Droid! Shut that yapping and get over here with that mongrel of yours.” A soldier called out. 

Solus immediately silenced himself and followed suit. He was ordered to take a group of women and children towards the palace and to kill anyone who didn’t obey. 


“Fascinating…” Solus pondered. “Well, let's get to it you...Falleen? Oh my, this world of worlds is so fascinating. Anywho, let's move! Solus the Ascended commands it!” 

 With a tug on the leash, Tear leapt forward and snapped at the Faleen. The people jumped and moved away from the hound, in the direction Solus was told where the palace was. Solus chuckled to himself. Organics were so scared of little things like teeth. Weren’t there bigger things to worry about? 


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Arriving at the palace, Solus’ attention was immediately brought to the prisoners. Not the women and children, but the men, and specifically the one tied to the wooden stake. Solus didn’t know much about culture, but he could tell that the one tied up was certainly important. 

“Tear, do you think that...I wonder what will happen. Why tie someone up? To an object like that no less. Perhaps just as I was ascended, he will descend to my previous status? Yes, wouldn't that be a fascinating task”

Tear didn’t answer, too focused on trying to chase after the prisoners the two were guiding. There was so much meat here to eat, and its master could only ponder outloud stupid questions.

Solus felt what he could only describe as a chill. Despite having no nerve tissue, his entire chassis shivered in response to some outside force. Some power that Solus could feel only be instinct.

Then Solus saw him. Just by sight alone, Solus knew who it was. The figure standing in charge of the entire situation. All attention was on him. Solus could feel in his shard the waves of power coming off of the being. It felt like the fires in that hidden city. It  felt familiar, if only because of how close Solus had left that planet. 

“An echo of Korriban. The Lord of Wrath” Solus whispered. Tear also was staring at the being, feeling the same effects its master felt. 

As the Lord of Wrath spoke, Solus listened to each word, fascinated with the being. Now that he was seeing the person, the power was so much more obvious. Solus recalled how Lord Helios and Lady Sirena had similar power emanating off of them, Unconsciously, the robotic being’s tail began to shiver and shake in excitement. 

“I must meet him. I must. By my very shard, I will meet this all powerful god…”

Then the soldiers set the man on fire. But even the screams of a man in pain, nor the sight of flesh turning black and then into smoke, could pull Solus’ attention away. But it did not escape his notice. It only strengthened his desire to meet this Lord of Wrath. After all, if he could give the orders to set a man aflame, then he must control the ‘Wicked Flame’

The god approached the droid. Solus practically shook with excitement and nervousness. And when he spoke, each word was beautiful. The Divine itself was speaking to him! Oh what a glorious wonder!

"And what pray tell are you...and how in chaos is it a droid has taken to a tuk'ata of all things. I sense the force in you...droid. But this should be impossible. Tell me how this came to be, and how you came by the tuk'ata and you may just make it out here alive to tell the tale of what you just witnessed. Speak quickly, my time is not a commodity to waste. It invokes my Wrath. "


Solus attempted to bow as low as he could possibly do so. Being eight feet tall, Solus felt like his size was disrespectful to this deity. Still, he kept his sensor to the ground. Surprisingly, Tear did not fight Solus at all at this point but was entirely focused on the same being.


“Great Lord of Wrath! I am Solus...Solus the Ascended, once Solus the Lonely. I am not a simple droid, as many others perceive me, but rather I am much more! I am what my father calls a Shard. My father, Lord Roshan, elevated me from a lowly reality of silence, to this wonderful world of worlds. It was there, on beautiful Ishvara, where I killed Tear’s pack, and took him as my own, and on Korriban I forced him to understand my power. It was there where I became truly aware of what I am.


“I, my great Lord, am a conduit. Yes my lord, a conduit for the Wicked Flame. That terrible thing that you command, it flows through me as well. Thus, since you command the Force, and the Force flows through me, you command me as well”

Solus started to look up at the being, but thought better of it kept face down. “My Lord, spare this puny life, and you may have a valuable weapon to use. While I am a child of Roshan, I am instructed to become a greater weapon. If you spare me, I could become greater in the shadows of your eminence. Yes my lord, spare your weapon’s life, and I will learn under your greatness. By my Shard, I will swear fealty to you!”


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 "We shall see what purpose you may yet serve if any at all. However, I do see not such a being before me. Solus The Ascended...I see no ascension, not yet, only weakness…”


Solus looked up in shock at the lord’s words. Did he not realize what lowly place Solus had already come from? From the eternity where silence and darkness were one and the same? Where loneliness not only crushed the soul, but entirely twisted it up? 

No, surely the Lord of Wrath knew of such things. But then if Solus had not truly ascended…

The lord’s next words make it clear to Solus what was meant. Solus was ignorant. Yes, Lord Roshan behaved the same way to Solus, calling him a child at heart. Lady Sirena took delight in Solus’ ignorance. However it was clear that this being would not tolerate Solus’ ignorance or stupidity. For almost a moment, Solus felt like he almost had a vision. A revelation that what was truly ahead would be tortuous to say the least. But in his shard, Solus felt like he had been through the worst already. What could be worse then silence?


Solus’ energy became nearly palpable as his new master began to ask about Solus’ fealty. The force swirled momentarily around the shard, as his emotions grew stronger with resolve. Solus straightened up before the Lord of Wrath and, with a metal fist, slammed his clawed chest once, then twice, where his Shard was hidden.

“By my Shard I swear! From this day, I will no longer be Solus the Ascended until you deem so! I will be Solus the Young! Solus the Wyrm! Solus, Disciple of the Wicked Flame and the Fanged God! Yes my lord! Solus the Disciple! Through all the pain and torment you foretell to me,  I will ascend! Yes I swear!”

Edited by Solus


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"Good...the force is strong in you, I sense a powerful Sith you shall perhaps one day become. But for now you are nothing...nothing but a avatar for weakness. You are not my equal and as such shall only refer to me only as your master, I expect for you to treat me as such and refer to me only as master. Failure to show proper decorum shall be severely punished just as any other such failure either in my presence or others of sufficient rank.”


“Yes Lo...Master” Solus corrected himself. This was a different word, but a fitting one. The Shard recognised that he was less than this being. After all, it was the same with Lord Roshan and Lady Sirena. But here was the demands to fully acknowledge it. 


A true Lord indeed! Solus thought to himself.


His new master spoke of philosophies and learning, and each word Solus hung on to dearly. Solus did have a momentary question about what reading was, but he was sure he would pick up quickly. 


At the talk of a lightsaber, Solus instantly knew what was being talked about. Not just from his time with Roshan, but also the visions he had received before his first ascension. One particular vision was very revealing. Two armies of gods, charging each other in some kind of temple. Blades of fire had clashed with each other, and death filled the air like smoke. 


Yes, those weapons. Solus had seen them before he was separated from his original ‘family’. Back when he was deemed ‘mad’. Solus nearly shook in excitement realizing that he would have his own ‘weapons of the gods’.


“Arise and follow Solus, and begin your rebirth. First we visit the sorcerers of Clan Brasganu who for fair recompense will help craft a new body for you, one to better stand the rigours of training. One fitting with your new station. The Golden Slave. Welcome to Clan Brasganu and the Sith."


A new body? Solus wondered, surprised at this. Is not this one fit to destroy others? After all, with this body I made Tear my own.  Or perhaps...they will make my body even greater. One immaculate and devastating to see and bear against. Yes, one deemed worthy by the gods themselves!


“Yes my master!” Solus agreed eagerly and rather loudly. With a tug on the leash, he and Tear continued behind the Lord of Wrath. 


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As the Sorcerers performed their work, Solus’ shard could feel the energies around them. The force, as profane and dark as it was, resonated with Solus’s shard. The lines inside the crystal would reach out to the edges as if to try to touch that unseen energy of life. 

But Solus also watched. In his old chassis, lumbering over the little beings that worked, Solus observed each piece of metal that was smelted, forged, and shaped. Each piece started out rough, and worn down. Scraps from security droids, weapons, and vehicles, long past any use without repair.  But with only the tools of their magic and a few pieces of technology, the sorcerers’ spun cords of wire together, welded plates to each other, and forced screws into holes without delicacy. 


“It is rather...small...isn’t it? Could it be bigger?” Solus started to complain. One of the Sorcerers, a human whose mouth was stitched shut, glared at the robotic being, earning Solus’ silence. However, Solus continued to worry. The chassis...it was so small! True, he was used to having a towering figure, but even this thing was small by the organics standards. Solus guessed it was only four feet tall as best. And its limbs! So thin! How in the force would Solus kill anyone with such thin limbs?

True, the chassis had two attractions to it. It shined for one. The Sorcerers were not conservatives in giving the thing a flaxen tinge to all of its plates, and the runes they carved into the metal were filled with a golden trim. Around its neck was bound a collar of pure gold. 


"The Golden Slave indeed!"

The other feature Solus liked was its face, or lack-there-of. Its facial plate was perfectly smooth, with it all being a series of sensors involving sight, sound, and heat.


However, before Solus could study the face further, it opened up,  revealing an open cavity. 

Stitch-mouth, the human, turned to Solus. Without a word, he walked forward and tapped Solus’ chest plate. Tear did not try to even stop him, sensing the dark side energies in this area. Solus was shocked, as without his effort, his body opened up. Like two dead hands revealing their prize, so did Solus’ chest open up to show the Shard’s place. 

“wha...wait...I…” Solus stuttered, unable to move his body whatsoever. 

Solus' last sight in his old chassis was Stitch-mouth, unceremoniously, reaching in and tearing the Shard out without care. 

Pain flooded Solus as each sense was ripped away from him. Banished back into the world of dark silence, Solus began to scream. To the Sorcerers and any others around, they would sense the dark side vibrating violently from the small crystal. However, the scream stopped just as quickly as it started. 

Solus could see! Not with sight, but he could see! The impossible geometrics, the indescribable colors, the unutterable sounds! The screams of violence, the  tastes of fire, the shapes of fear and hatred! The Force, as he had seen it on Korriban under Lady Sirena's guidance. Was that Tear, that collection of hungers, wailings, and reds? Those things over there, were they the sorcerers? Impossible… but then, what were they? 

And at the center of everything, Solus saw something. 

And Solus felt deep in his shard, that it saw him. 

Fanged God, bless me! Solus tried to scream out to the thing

And for a moment, Solus could've sworn that it smiled.

Then it was done. A rush of electricity shot towards the shard, connecting the tiny crystal with the body. 

"Rise, Solus The Golden Slave. Come observe the might we shall unleash upon our enemies, while you slept...Falleen progressed. I have received word from one of Darth Mavanger's associates, we are to proceed to Naboo, with what forces we can muster...there we will send a message to our enemies not soon forgotten. Your training it seems is to most unexpectedly intensified. Perhaps this a good thing, use this opportunity to prove to me you are worthy of the training you shall receive.

The sensors came on first. Solus became dizzy for a moment. Not only was he seeing forward, his entire head could see in every direction. No longer he looked in one direction, but in all 360 degrees. First Solus raised one hand, to gaze at it. It was smooth and light, nothing like his old body at all. And so small! 

Still, his master had given an order. Feeling out his entire body, Solus commanded the legs to move. First the left, then the right. The hands helped propped him to the table’s edge. Such a new feeling, since Solus had been slithering his life in this world! 

“You shall come with me to the surface and deliver vengeance and wrath upon all in our path. Our orders are to not hold back, so feel free to unleash your rage and feed the tu'kata as much as he likes. None must survive.``

Solus attempted to stand up. Not used to his new body’s response time, Solus practically flung himself forward onto the ground. Embarrassed, Solus slowly picked himself up, and took a few steps, testing out his new balance. 
Then he laughed.

“Hahaha! What feeling! What experience! To have legs! Master, what a feeling this is to…”

Solus stopped and turned sharply to face Akheron. He nearly fell over again, but it was clear he was adapting quickly. With a few steps, Solus raised a foot and spun slightly, kicking the air. Despite his frontward side facing away from his Master, Solus spoke as if he was facing him. 

“Master! I will kill! Yes, by my Shard, I will kill and all will fall! Haha! Though I say this chassis is small, I will kill!”

Tear barked and growled at the new robotic being. Solus, while it didn’t even seem like he looked at his hound (since his head didn’t even turn), turned his attention. 


“Tear! Enough! Silence before our master! Yes, silence you dumb thing!” At this, Solus raised a hand to smack the dog. 

Despite being so much smaller then before, Solus was able to make Tear instantly quiet. When the hand lowered, there was  a slight growl in its throat, but it was obvious the dog recognized the shard in the new chassis. 

As the rest of the sorcerers left, Stitch-mouth came up behind Solus and placed some robes around the shard’s body, stitched with a few runes of the order. With that, he left the three beings to tend to other tasks. 

 “Master, I will prove my worth! Despite this small chassis, I will kill all! Yes! So I swear, haha!”

And with that, Solus grabbed the leash that held Tear and followed his new master, excited to earn his Master’s approval, as well as the Fanged God. 




Edited by Solus


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  • 8 months later...

As the ships moved through hyperspace towards Faleen, Solus had quietly  excused himself from everyone else. Back to his own private chamber, a simple, albeit large gray room. With nothing more than a bed, a cooling unit and a charge station, a storage chest, some bones and meat, as well as a window, it was as plain as room as one would get. Not that Solus had minded. Most of his active time had been spent training, repairing, and learning, and had only stopped in here to occasionally recharge his batteries or to give Tear some personal space.

The hound was sleeping next to the window. The streaks of hyperspace that went by seemed to either comfort the large beast or kept it entertained until it fell asleep. Solus couldn’t help but momentarily reflect that even when the dog slept, Tear looked like he could still kill something at a moment’s notice. Its sharpened claws never retracted, its lips never covered its black and red stained teeth. Such a devastating monster. And if what he was told was true, was originally created via sith Alchemy, similar to what had been used on the planet behind them.

Solus’ mind flashed back to the Aaris. The monster that had been summoned. Or perhaps it was created? Perhaps it was somewhere in between. Or neither at all? The words he spoke, what were they again?

““Progenitor and Ender…” Solus quietly repeated himself while staring out the window from across the room. “Child and messenger? Alpha and Omega... beginning and end. Once Creator…now destroyer…”

Solus moved towards Tear and the window. Pondering over his words, he let his mind wander back further to Aaris. That…experience, for lack of a better term, had been enlightening. It was something like a fleeting vision. Solus was struggling for all of the details, with some of it most surely getting muddled about. He could’ve sworn he had seen other monsters wandering the planet’s streets, but in his shard he knew that was impossible as the only monster was the one the three Sith had created. 

 Solus stopped at the window and looked out. It was slightly comforting in a strange sense. As fast and detailed as his sensors could process, he couldn’t make sense of the blue and black tunnel the ship’s traveled through. He overheard somewhere that hyperspace could cause something called Hyper-Rapture. But at the moment it was a distraction. A distraction from those words…

Solus took a step back. Tear lifted his head up in curiosity. Fear had set into the room. Solus' chassis trembled slightly as if something in the window was looking back at him. Something powerful. But was it real, or just a memory? Were those whispers actually there?  Did those eyes actually exist, or was it a trick of the light? 

The shard had to turn away. Tear watched its master closely before laying its head back down. Solus walked back to where the bed was and sat down on the floor next to the charging station, this time away from the window. Bits of static and some inaudible words emitted from his speakers, but nothing recognizable. 

Solus reached and pulled some wires from the station and plugged them between the cracks in his lower back. A call through the force, and the station activated, with the sound of a cool current flowing through the wires into the chassis. 

As he charged, Solus meditated. The darkness of the force swirled about, like a thick mud. Solus felt different. Something was off. Before, when he called on the force, it was clear and flowing like a river. Now, it was murky. Whatever that ceremony had been on Aaris, it had changed the Shard and the force around him. 
Solus began to talk. 

“So, now onto Faleen for supplies, then we ready for some battle I believe…” 

Tear raised his head, curious at the Shard’s words. He had killed plenty on Aaris and Naboo, his belly was full for the moment. 

“I suppose that should make me happy. So much death in so little time. Two Force wounds in my life already. From what I understand, those are a bit more rare to occur. Are they as rare an i understood them to be?”

There was a pause as Solus stayed perfectly still. Then without warning, Solus grabbed the nearest object, a small bone from Tear’s last meal, and chucked it with full force at the wall. It clanged and fell to the ground harmlessly. 

“Show yourself!” Solus shouted.

 Tear jumped up and growled at the Shard. Solus glanced at the hound and stopped himself. Shaking his head, he sat back down and returned to meditation.

“Focus on the goal. Your envy. You're breaking your chains” Solus told himself, clutching his fists tightly. “Peace is a lie…there is only passion. And my passion is my envy. To have what others have, yes? Yes… Innmortos had a planet. So will I. My master has his army. So will I. Those lizards had full rich lives. Now so do I. I tore those away from them. My envy…”

Solus paused. 

“My envy allows me to take what I want. Through passion I gain strength. And through strength, power. And power, victory. Yes… yes yes yes…” 

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     Solus jumped up before tear did at the knock, nerves beating over instinct in speed.  At first the shard rushed to the door with the speed of the force fueling him. 

     "I'm coming master! I'm coming -whoop!" Solus started.However, his master would've  heard a clamering of metal as the shard fell backwards violently. 

    "Stupid dumb life giving wires…" Solus grumbled as he unplugged himself and reaffixed his charging station before rushing to the door.


    "One moment master, im coming!" With a press at the pad, the door slid open revealing the large man. 

    "Yes master, my apologies, I just needed a recharge. Come in come in!" 

     As he invited Akheron in, Solus bowed and backed up, gesturing to the only seat in the room: the simple slab of metal known as a bed. 

     "Master, yes questions, you have questions, and I suppose I left without answering, yes um yes I did. Here, sit sit sit"

    Tear got up and circled his spot, finally resting again and facing the two. With one glowing eye open, the sith hound kept watch on the two, curious at them.

    "So questions, questions need answers, yes I can give answers I hope." Solus made is way towards the center of the room and kicked aside some of the bones. At one point he even picked one up, a large femer, and tapped it between his hands like some stick. " Answers only I can give and not that rotting corpse, as powerful as he is. Ask and I will answer as best as I can. Yes yes yes…"


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“You spoke backwards and in a kind of maddened state, practically insane.


“Did I?” Solus interjected momentarily. I remember my words being…” Solus however stopped himself and allowed his master to finish. Solus  did remain standing, wishing to give his master the dignity that he felt Akheron deserved. When his master sat and spoke, Solus would listen. 


As his master finished, Solus gave a nod to indicate he understood. 


“I will do my best to explain my own sensations master. For that is the only word I can use to describe it.”


Solus tapped the bone in his hands a few more times as he began to pace a bit. Th right words were eluding him for the moment, and he wanted to describe it correctly. 


“Do you remember how Innmortos said that the mixture we bathed in was blood? Gifts from those Sith have slain as well as the Sith themselves? Well, there is power in blood is there not? I realized this when I used Innmortos’ blood to craft my blade’s crystal. And while I have none, I still have essence.”


“But master, when we both bathed, it was different. When you bathed, it touched your skin. Your tongue, your stomach, maybe your blood itself . I occasionally looked at some data sets on biology, so I know that if you ingested it, that mixture that Innmortos had us bathe in touched your insides. But for me… well, my body is much different, you would agree?”


Solus had walked over to one of the walls, bone still in hand. Almost absentmindedly, Solus began to place one of the bone and trace an unseen image on the wall with it.  


“My body is a container for my brain. I think the best way to describe it is It’s more like a data chip, or even the crystal like in my blade. Energy flows through and around it, and that energy is me and the Force. My thoughts, my brain, it jumps like electricity, because it is electricity I believe. Or maybe not. I’m not completely sure. But what I do know is that you master, didn’t have the blood touch your brain. At least, not in the same way as it touched mine. It touched your muscles, while it touched my very soul” 


And when it touched me, my soul…” Solus continued, tracing with the bone more vigorously. “I felt them. Each soul that had been used to make the concoction. Each piece of life that each droplet of blood came from. I felt their very souls in it touch mine. I witnessed so much in each and every millimoment. Births, deaths, dreamings, weddings, murderings, burnings, drownings, accomplishments, disasters…they were all there, flashing around in my very soul! And each time I reached out to grab one, to keep a hold of it, it slipped past me like…like…”


Solus had to stop and shake a hand in frustration. “Like blood being retrieved by a singular, thick, fat, grubby finger.” 


Solus then returned to tracing whatever image it was on the wall, the bone’s edges scraping off like a fine white powder. 


“But as they went by, it called something. Or maybe not called something. Maybe it just was enough to catch something’s attention. I had no idea what it was. Just what it felt like. It was great and grand and immeasurably…something. Like both beyond our understanding of life itself, but also within it. It was…” 


Solus struggled for the correct word, then gave a buzzing of static with a faint screech. 


“I do not believe there is a word for it in the language of sound. I don’t even know if there is a word for it in any kind of language that is known to me. But know that it simply was. It was...” 


The images Solus was tracing became more focused. The shapes were simple and geometrical, yet nothing seemed quite clear on what they were supposed to be.


"And in that moment, in that purest moment of…” Solus paused and repeated the sound  he made earlier “something else spoke as well. It didn’t use actual words, but I could understand it. Like back on Korriban when I received my force vision, or when I had crafted my crystal.  It was impossible to understand, and yet I understood it like a resonating wave of energy. And in that moment, between moments in eternity, inside and between and around the Impossible Geometries, I both withstood against it and invited it, not knowing if it was salvation or damnation.”   


“And when I did…” Solus had to stop. The bone was grounded down to a nub. The Shard tossed the bone aside, and grabbed another one. A mania of a madman started to set in. Tear picked his head up, but didn’t growl. 


“The next thing I knew I was throttling that lizard with my scomp link, feeling his entire brain. His entire life I can still see before me. From when he was born, to the time when he first saw Innmortos and his parents pushed him to kneel, to when he first mated to his last breath. All there before me in the time it took for a single jolt of electricity to travel a single finger width. 


“And when I spoke…” The shapes Solus drew became more and more elaborate. At times Solus broke off from the central shapes and started in a separate section, only for the shapes to interconnect sporadically.  “It was my words but not my words. Like they were flowing from my soul, but magnified countless times through a kaleidoscope of shapes and meanings and emotions and cloying darkness. As sure as I can be, each word was mine, fueled by both myself and something else.”


“My actions afterwards…I feel like they were mine but…it's almost like a haze now. If they weren’t mine, they were guided by me. But if they were mine, perhaps they were being guided by something else.  I remember every single thing I did, my great master. I remember kidnapping that youth and tying her to witness the planet’s destruction. Killing those lesser necromancers. Mixing the mixture to summon that thing. And I remember…”


At this last ‘remember’, Solus stopped and threw the bone aside and stepped back. The shapes had taken a very wild form. It was a cascade of shapes, overtaking each other. The most seemingly unified one was the central image, a series of circles overlapping each other, some bigger than the rest, with lines connecting each one to each other. Solus pointed at this image and small, seemingly insignificant circle amongst an assortment of random geometries drawn.


“A place. A calling. Perhaps that Dark Mother you heard of is there, or perhaps its just a place of calling. Maybe the Fanged God himself decrees it sacred. Or maybe its a warning? This...place amongst Unknown Outer Spheres…it interests me greatly…”


Solus turned and faced his master and bowed slightly. “Master, I hope I do not worry you with this. I assure you that my strength and willpower is still great, and worthy of learning under you, just as it was when we fought on Naboo. Though I’d hate to admit it to the necromancer, I agree with you. His ritual was beneficial, and I believe we all learned something of importance. I would have never discovered the possibility of draining those lizard’s brains of their knowledge without it, and I hope to use this power in the future for our Empress” 


Inside Solus’ room, it could be felt that the ship slowed. They had arrived at the planet of Falleen. 


“If it is alright, my master, may I meditate here a little longer while we resupply?”

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Eventually, Solus emerged from his room, chassis moving much more smoothly and swiftly then before. A decent charge, a time of meditation, and Solus seemed to be better. A glance back into the room would have revealed that his picture on the wall still existed, but such matters could be dealt with later. With a few sighs, Solus set off to find his Master, Tear at the Shard’s side. 


Solus took a look out of one of the windows at the planet below. Even from this high up, Solus could tell a lot of work was being done to the planet since he had last been here. The shard couldn’t help but muse at how much time had passed since he came to Falleen for the first time. 


“Think  about it Tear…” Solus commented, patting the hound once, who growled in return. “Last time we were here, I had pledged myself to the teachings of my master. I had no idea what was in store, of what powers I was going to unlock, nor where I was going to go. And now, here I am again, with the same mindset.” 


Solus gave a chuckle. “And that is perfectly fine by me. After all, without some confusion of what the future holds, what excitement would there be? When I was just a crystal in that cave, every moment was the same. Nothing changed. Just eternity bleeding from one moment to the next. Yes Tear, I much prefer this chaos then the peace of that cave.”


Eventually, Solus found his way to Akheron on the command deck. With a slight bow, lightsaber in hand, Solus greeted his teacher and mentor and instructor. 


“Faleen looks better than I remember it master. To think I how envious i was of the Kingdom Innmortos had when you still had this jewel ” 


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Solus listened with interest all of the benefits his master listed about using Faleen troops. While he had studied a little of how organics functioned, some of the more specific things like pheromones eluded him  a bit. And the idea of this gathering being a rare event, was exciting to say the least. In his Shard, Solus could hear some of the chants the Linnorms would be sounding. The sweet, barbaric music that they would sing into battle. It was enough to make his own wires sing with life. 
On the ride down to the planet, Solus couldn’t help but comment. 

“Might I suggest, master, some kind of ceremony for the necromancer? I think something violent and bloody would not only be a good way for the men to be introduced to his power, but also a way to get their own blood singing with power. Plus, with the recent event on his planet, he might enjoy being featured in some ritual dedicated to the Fanged God. Perhaps you and a Master of Hides could indoctrinate him fully into the faith, with him slaughtering a Sithspawn like some kind of cow on an altar?”

Even as they approached the planet below, drums could be heard banging. The mem in charge of the instruments were putting their souls into the music. Even without words, the sound spoke volumes. A storm was brewing. 

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Solus’ spirit rose with the ceremony that had begun. The gathering of people simply made his soul want to jump and move. The rhythm of the drums had almost an intoxicating effect on the Shard. This was a family that he had not known before, and this was a tradition this family performed. 

As the runes were drawn on his metal chassis, Solus’ mind flashed to the eternity before ascension. The emptiness that he had experienced. How far away that seemed to be. True it may have been only two years ago, but for a being who was still getting used to the passage of time, it felt like a lifetime ago. And all that emptiness had been brought on by those who couldn’t tolerate him. Who couldn’t integrate him. His, for lack of a better term, biological family that had cast him out. Now he was with a much better family. One that saw his abilities and usefulness. 

Even the necromancer, Solus mentally noted as Innmortos rose out of his coffin like the undead thing he was. True, the humanoid thing still unnerved the Shard, and Solus still envied that Innmortos was able to massacre his own planet. But Innmortos was also joining this family. Personal beliefs about how undeath was cheating the Fanged God’s meal set aside the fact that Akheron respected him as an equal and not a lesser or superior spoke levels. 

Still, the aura the from you is unnerving… Solus thought to himself, still kneeling a step now behind Innmortos before the Fanged God. There was no question who was superior for now. Still, one was named the Dragon, and the other was an aspect of the Father of Dust. In time, Solus felt like the two timeless beings would see who was truly the superior one and who was the one that would be buried permanently first. 

Solus didn’t say anything.  He simply allowed the music to take over and continue to let his spirit rise. The voices were not here at the moment. There were no distractions. It was just him, his master the Lord of Rage, and the necromancer. And the Fanged God. 

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“Death Remembers All” Solus repeated as he focused on the liquid. Calling through the Force, Solus reached forward and pulled several droplets from the chalice and pulled it towards himself. With a quick opening of his face plates, the droplets went into the chassis and fell onto the crystalline Shard to be absorbed. It wasn’t as supernaturally charged as the liquid that Solus had bathed in on Aaris thankfully. Solus wasn’t sure he could deal with another experience so soon, still recovering mentally and spiritually. 

Still, it was charged. Solus could feel that in the Impossible Geometries. The darker shapes that swirled amongst the lively ones, the life essences of multiple beings mixed together like some primordial soup, all of it Solus could see and feel. 

Solus focused on the necromancer as the being spoke. The subtle flex of the decaying corpse did not go unnoticed. Solus was very tempted at that moment to say something back. To comment on how the necromancer looked closer to death then anyone, or that death had just cconsumed his own world like it was nothing, but the memories of Akheron torturing the shard in front of the other Sith made Solus think twice on that.  He dare not insult the Lord of Rage by messing with either ritual or ceremony

Even as the coffin of the necromancer was taken away, Solus kept his focus on the images of the Fanged God and the Darkness. The Fanged God was imposing as usual, but the darkness was especially more visually deadly. Something about it's unknowable nature. Its power beyond comprehension. The Fanged God was a little easier to understand. It was defined. It’s powers, as great and vast as it was, were known. True, in the end all would die, but what awaited in the darkness with the Fanged God…its servants, its minions, or even its leftovers… these things were unknown. 

And that in of itself, made Solus nervous. He was used to the void. And yet, something there awaited him. He had heard it on Aaris. And he had heard it in his meditations. The Dark Mother perhaps. The Temple of the Spider…

Solus’s entire chassis shook at the thought of that spider-like thing he had encountered when making his blade. That Font he had witnessed. That was an unknown that was terrifying his spirit even now. 

“My Master”  Solus bowed his head as he approached Akheron, descending the stairs. “I believe that went rather well” 

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Solus was at first speechless. He had not been expecting such a promotion nor a show of confidence in his own skill. Not that it wasn’t overdue, but surprising all the same. 


I..I…” Solus began to stammer a bit, pieces of static interrupted his speech as his shard brain comprehended this new positon. It was not just a position of honor after all. It had responsibilities. The other Linnorms would depend on him. He would be official and in charge. He would be more then just a warrior or dragon. He would be a leader. 


He would have respect and power.


“Yes my master!” Solus replied, a bit over enthusiastically. 


The inspection started off uneventfully. Most of the Linnorms had been trained well after all. But one caught the Shard’s eye. 


One of the lower ranks carried a different weapon compared to everyone else. A small sidearm, almost unnoticeable to a careless eye. Solus didn’t stop at the soldier right away but continued to pretend to analyze the others with his master. The soldier was a younger, but tall green-skinned Falleen. A fresh indoctrinated soul. He was perfectly still. Rigid even. Like he had been prepared for this his entire life. 


Solus debated internally. Was this a test? Was he overthinking this? Was Akheron seeing if the Shard was too strict? Or was this a legit concern? That weapon did not belong there…


Solus stopped and turned from Akheron abruptly and made his way back to the Falleen. His path was direct and with visible purpose. Something was off. Why was a lowly Linnorm carrying a weapon like a disruptor pistol? 


The answer became clear when the soldier broke rank. He shoved another soldier aside and pulled the pistol out and aimed it at the approaching Shard. He had been found out. He needed to carry out his mission, suicidal as it was. The invaders would pay. They would die for the burning of their leader. 

The Falleen looked completely surprised when the pistol flew out from his hands into Solus’ outstretched hand. 


The next few moments passed slowly. The Falleen, not willing to give up, reached into his armor to pull out a grenade. The others around him were shocked and still reaching for their own weapons. They weren’t expecting a fight here. 


Instinct took over. His master’s training showed through as the Dragon surged forward in Force-fueled speed. Practically a blur, Solus had dropped the gun and reached forward with his skeletal-shaped hand. 


The Falleen dropped the grenade harmlessly as he screamed in pain and then went limp. Blood splattered around the two as the Shard’s comp link drove itself into brown brain matter. Like pulling data from a computer, Solus pulled the Falleen’s memories before dropping the body to the floor. 




Solus raised a blood covered hand to his head where his Shard self was hidden and stumbled back.  To any human, it appeared that he had a sudden migrane.  A moment later he regained his composure. 


“Master, it seems he was alone. At least, I think. One of the royal’s great nephews I think? Yes, i see that man, yes yes yes, they were related…” 


Solus shook his entire body, then focused on the Linnorms. They had started to break rank a bit, curious at what had just happened. 


“At Attention!” Solus screeched, his speaker almost blaring, followed by a high pitched scream, loud enough to make a Tukata flinch. The Linnorms instantly obeyed. 


“I believe they are ready, Master” Solus said, pulling his scomp link back into his arm and facing Akheron. True, he wasn’t a professional soldier, but Solus had picked up enough from his Master as well as Innmortos to know how to instill a sense of fear to those below him.  


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Solus bowed at his master’s command and set out to do the task. Pulling a few Linnorms aside, he got the body hoisted onto a hovercart and moved, its bleeding head finally stopping its flow of brain matter, and sought out Commander Torah Valkor.


However, Solus did add something to what Akheron ordered. In addition to using the body as Innmortos saw fit, as well as investigating the matter further, Solus had to add his own touch. 


“Commander, remember these words exactly. I am especially eager for his investigation and what the necromancer turns up specifically with the body. I, Solus, am interested, not just the Lord of Rage. After all, I want to see what a true master of Darkness can discover beyond what I, a mere apprentice, found out”


If he could, Solus would have smiled. A taunt was a taunt though. If the necromancer couldn’t find anything new, then Solus would be considered superior. 


“And tell him to investigate the name… Bel Xatuun” Solus conjured the name up from the absorbed memories. There was a lot there to siphon through, but this name seemed to hold importance. “Yes Bel Xatuun. Remember to tell him that exactly. Now get going!”


With that done, Solus returned to his master. He was eager to get a move on. Naboo no doubt had changed a great deal since he was last there. And there was a battle was in the near future, which meant death. And death meant feeding the Fanged God. 


Plus, Tear would be getting ravenous for some fresh meat from a battlefield. 

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  • 10 months later...

As the ship and several other shuttles broke out of hyperspace over the world of Falleen, the Linnorms inside were still singing alongside Solus’ chantings and songs. Death, blood, and violence were extreme themes in each one, and Solus had taken to the role of choirmaster in it all. Even with his vocoder unable to perfectly emulate the emotions all organics could, his spirit could be felt with each word. And even as the shuttle rocked back and forth avoiding the fire from the enemy ships, the Linnorms kept singing. 


The Madness that burbled in his brain even began to leak out of his Shard, black ichor dripping along his chassis only to vanish before hitting the floor. Slight tendrils tried to pry apart the pieces of metal, looking for an escape, and little eyes peered from behind solus’ sensors. As the music continued to play, the Madness continued to grow and gurgle at the noises. Only the Linnorm’s excitement of the music prevented them from seeing it. 


However, when the pilot mentioned they were entering the atmosphere, Solus stopped his playing. Instantly the Madness vanished from sight, as if it never existed. Solus himself appeared to have not noticed its existence as he called to the pilot. 


“Turn off all lights and open the door as close to the Communication Network  as possible!” Solus commanded. He turned towards his master and explained himself.  “I figure it would be better if we separated right away. Your lessons back on the warship dealing with those Acklay still resonate with me, and the Temple’s teachings encourage me to ‘lose the rules of gravity’, so I see no reason for us to stop yet…”


The shuttle door’s began to open up, and a deafening roar of wind made everyone freeze momentarily. Everyone save for the Shard. 


You will not regret placing this trust in me, my glorious master!” Solus shouted over the wind, and without hesitation, he leapt out of the shuttle. 


After a moment of descent and laughter, Solus’ envy flared itself again as he tumbled down through the night air. Not at the fact that everyone else was flying in a ship and he was literally falling. He wanted to do it this way. But the fact that he couldn’t feel the wind’s bite on his chassis, nor the moisture in the air, like every other organic could…this made his sin grow. 


And Solus knew this Envy was what he needed. 


As the ground approached rapidly, Solus threw out his arms and willed the Impossible Geometries to obey. The idea wasn’t to force the ground to move for him however. The idea was to slow his fall. A properly focused force push would help with it. 


Solus noticed how his body suddenly slowed slightly after the push. Again Solus pushed, and tucked in his legs for a roll. Hitting the ground, Solus moved forward and slowed to a stop, sitting on the empty street. 

The Shard adjusted his sensors as he watched the shuttle that held his master fly away. 


“Hoohoo! What fun! Oh what fun indeed. Now for my mission…lets see…”


Solus focused on his memories. The last time he was here, he had literally drained the memories from the would-be assassin and nephew of Falleen royalty, Bel Xatuun. There was a lot of memories there to siphon through, and while Solus had lost a great deal of them over time, there were still several that were of use. 


Alright, theres the Palace in that direction…” Solus pointed in one direction as he began to calculate. “And there are secret entrances according to the….5 sacred marks of the King. yes, that makes sense. But first, the communication network, which is in…this direction…”


Solus turned and faced the opposite direction. Directly ahead, several towers and dishes were silhouetted in the black sky. Without waiting, Solus broke into a sprint. He had to hurry. It was possible that the Imperials would outright bomb the network, and damn the consequences. 


The central building that housed the network was locked, but the clan’s passwords thankfully still worked. As the door slid open, Solus hoped this portion of his mission would be easy so he could move onto his more important ta-


The Impossible Geometries turned into a dangerous yellow. Solus drew his blade as two laser bolts shot towards him. Inside, several Falleen militia had taken control of the building and opened fire on the intruder, bodies at their feet. Solus sighed after he ducked under one bolt and blocked another. It seemed that the Falleen species were already rebelling against the Clan, having seen the Imperial Forces' arrival. With their king dead and burned at the stake, they were itching to take back their planet from Clan Brasganu. 


“Well this got more fun!” Solus laughed as he charged into the room, Apostae and the Madness eager for blood. 

Edited by Solus
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“Cut, cut, slice, slice, dice and decapitate!” Solus sang as he narrated each of his actions. Legs and arms came off with each swing as Solus ducked and weaved through the rooms. Truth be told, there wasn’t as much violence as he sang. The Militia were already turning and running before the Shard could reach them. It must have been an odd sight: Falleen soldiers running from what looked like an analysis droid with a lightsaber. 


Once the communications array was cleared of enemies, Solus got to work. Technology wasn’t anything new to the being who literally wore a robotic suit. Linnorm passcodes still worked, frequencies never changed, and commands had been memorized long ago. Pretty soon, Solus was ready to send a message out on Linnorm Frequencies. 


“Lets see, which code applies here…” Solus scratched at an imaginary chin. Beside him on the console, a hallucination formed of a spider with numerous mouths crawled up, and began to growl. Leathery wings began to unfold around it, and the room, at least  to Solus, darkened. 


“Ah! So true! Haha, yes, I know the perfect code!” Solus laughed and typed in the message. 




The Code was short, but simple….for a Linnorm. The Code had its own meaning, but the phrase spoke levels. For those in the know, it meant to kill quietly and commit guerrilla warfare instead of open battle, preferably underground. However, the message also included to inflict maximum casualties when possible. 


“Now…time for the palace, yes?” Solus looked at the hallucination on the console. 


Instead of agreeing like Solus expected, the thing hissed and growled further.  Surprised, Solus placed his hands on his hips adjusted his sensors like the glasses he pretended they were.


The thing continued to hiss and growl at the Shard, its wings trembling and expanding. After a few moments, Solus slapped his face and groaned, a vibration of sound over the sudden clang. 


“Gah, you are right! With those idiots getting away, they will suspect any droid entering, or even inside! My work has just gotten 10 times harder! Raaaagh!” 


Solus reached out with the force and picked up several of the bodies he had taken care of and began to throw them around. Sparks began to fly as each body hit a machine randomly, or as a body part tore off. As Solus gave into his baser instincts, the thing on the console continued to surge and grow, more mouths forming and wings expanding to ridiculous proportions. 


After a few moments of this, the thing on the console gave a shriek, forcing Solus to stop and listen. 


“What do you mean the Jedi?!? How are the Jedi supposed to…”


Solus stopped as he realized what his Madness was telling him. Looking over the dead bodies, Solus began to laugh. 


“Oh yes! I am so brilliant! Yes! Haha!”


After some work, Solus donned his new, albeit slightly bloody, makeshift cape taken from one of the militia. While not official, the cape did help Solus feel more ‘royal’, and allowed him to hide his lightsaber effectively. Kriff, Solus believed he even looked slightly more regal, if a bit beaten up, but that was to be expected during a battle. 


“Now…to send a holo-message…” Solus stated as he activated the communicator, this time on all known Imperial frequencies. 


“Attention! Imperial Forces! I am S-115, servant of the Royal family! I have important information on the Royal Prince, heir to the throne! Please come to me immediately, as the prince’s life is in danger!.”


Solus paused for a moment, and then added. 


“Help me, Jedi! You’re my only hope!” 


With that, Solus cut off the message. If the Jedi and the other Imperial Forces were about setting up a stable government as they appeared, they would take notice of Solus’ message. Hopefully a Jedi or several would be lured and help him get into the palace, dealing with the Falleen forces in the way. True, he had no idea where the royal prince was, but nobody else knew that either. As far as anyone was concerned, the King was burned at the stake, and the prince was being brainwashed into the perfect Linnorm, as was tradition. 


"Now...control..." Solus chanted to himself. "After all, in order to really sell this, if the Jedi detect the Force on me, they will know something is wrong, yes? So control...control..."


Solus focused on the Impossible Geometries. The lines of envy needed to be called back, the clouds of red anger needed to be maintained. Despite the teachings he had grown accustomed to, he knew he needed to restrain his emotions to deceive the Imperials.


The Spider-like thing that was Solus' hallucination slowly evaporated into nothingness. The Madness that was inside Solus became quiet, staying perfectly still. This would be a challenge to say the least. But for Solus, this was a perfect test of his skills.

Edited by Solus
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  • 4 weeks later...

After so much waiting, filled with pacing and occasional groaning, Solus began to get fed up. 


“What in the Force’s name is taking them so long?” Solus griped as he turned around for the 100th time to pace the room further. “My message was perfect, was it not? It was succinct, it spoke of desperation, and it had the perfect lure!”  


In his slow rantings to himself, his grip over his Madness loosened, and several eyes began to form in the crevices of the walls. Somewhere, an gurgle came from the shadows. 


“Oh no, I made sure everyone could hear it…” Solus replied to the gurgle, as if he understood. “From what I know, the Jedi are always rushing into the rescue. And the Imperials will want a stable government so they don’t have to commit forces here long term! So why is nobody here!”

Solus glanced at the equipment that was used to send the recording. 


“Perhaps I need to resend another message to…”


A blaster shot interrupted Solus’ thought. From the ground, a Falleen soldier had just recovered from his wounds, and overhearing the Shard’s plot, sought to prevent the plan from succeeding. 


Unable to hit the Shard, he did the next best thing and destroyed the control panel. Three shots rang out before Solus even registered what was happening. 


“You stupid kriffing idiot!” Solus shouted as he reached out with the Force and pulled the blaster out of the Falleen’s hand. “You are the dumbest piece of rusted scrap to ever walk the planet! Why you little…”


Solus walked over and placed a metal foot on the Falleen’s chest. Unable to talk much, the Falleen only spat out some spit and blood at the Shard. Solus didn’t outwardly react, only gripping his hands into fists as he stared the Falleen down. 


“Well, at least you are providing something useful to me…” Solus sighed. Holding up his hand, he revealed the Scomp-link in his finger. “Maybe you have some info on your compatriots, hmmm? Nah, I doubt that. But at the very least I’ll get to enjoy your pain…”


From inside the control room for the communications array, screaming could be heard. 



Shortly afterwards, Solus was rushing towards the central palace. In the time since he had sent out the first message, the Linnorms had completed their goals of going underground and committing to guerilla warfare. The evidence of dead bodies, scorched buildings and destroyed utilities certainly were proof of that. 


Standing before the palace, Solus saw smoke coming from several of its towers. The Falleen forces had begun their own attacks inside in preparation for the Imperial forces, and the palace was still the icon of the people. From the looks of it, Falleen forces were already inside and dealing with the Linnorms.


“Hmmm…it is so tempting to hunt everyone…” Solus thought out loud. “To commit death on a scale to please the Fanged one himself. But…I have a different mission. Killing is not the main goal. Stealth first, then…we shall see, yes?” 


The Madness gurgled at the Shard’s reasoning. With that acceptance, Solus charged forward. 


Utilizing abilities of the Force and his own training, Solus became a blur of a droid. While using the ability of Force speed was a given, so too did the Shard have to utilize the shadows, sensor blindspots and Force Flash for areas with no blindspots, acrobatics, distractions via moving objects and creating noises, and even playing dead once as a group of Falleen militia. Much to his pleasure, his efforts were rewarded with no one noticing the Shard. Neither Linnorm nor Falleen took notice of the blurry droid with a cape and music instrument.


But all the while, Solus had to deal with the Madness. 


“Yes, yes, soon soon…” Solus told himself as he ran down a set of stairs towards the basement where the records were kept. “I promise I will kill someone after I…


The Madness growled into Solus’ ear, a hint of maliciousness aimed at the Shard. 


Solus threw his arms up. “Gah! Of course, I’ll drive someone towards insanity, my apologies oh vile one. Just…let me…”


Solus stopped halfway down the stairs as he gripped his head where his Shard form laid. The Madness inside was growing restless with the Shard, and was eager to spread and expand. Solus needed to appease it soon, or its images would plague him without mercy. Even with his training, he could not restrain the Madness forever. 


“There!” Solus heard a cry. At the bottom of the stairs, a Linnorm appeared. Dressed in raggety cultist robes and clutching a bleeding wound at his side, the Linnorm had seen better days.


“Thank the Fanged one you’re here…” the Linnorm gasped as he made his way upwards towards Solus. “Our numbers are unable to maintain the Palace for long. But perhaps with you…”


Solus didn’t hear anything the Linnorm said. He was too focused on the Madness inside. 


“Atlach-Nacha '' Solus said out loud as he raised a hand towards the Linnorm. 


The Linnorm stopped and looked at the shard in confusion. “My lord?”


“Em ni esoht hsinab ot dna etubirt ni eno siht tae. gneL ni rellewd , Atlach-Nacha. This be my ritual…” Solus continued. The Force around him shivered slightly as the Impossible Geometries opened up. The vile dark shapes that plagued Solus’ form in the Geometries slid out on ethereal winds. With focus, Solus pushed the Madness towards the Linnorm. 


The Linnorm’s eyes widened as he witnessed Madness take shape. Before him, a new thing had formed. Numerous hairy, jointed legs stretched across the stairs propping the massive carapace in the air. From its twin abdomens protruded large stingers that dripped ethereal poison to the ground. On its front was a humanoid large face, looking strangely baby-like, save its numerous eyes and maw of teeth.


The Linnorm screamed as the thing descended on him. Solus kept his sensors focused on the poor soul, knowing that if he broke vision, the ritual of the Wyyrlok would be broken as well. He had given life to a hallucination, and now that the Linnorm, weak minded as he was, believed it,  everything the hallucination did was real to him. 

Solus finally broke his concentration and stepped over the twitching body. Blood dribbled from its nose and eyes, and its mouth opened and closed noiselessly. The Madness had infected this soul, and in time, would kill him. 


“Not bad…not bad…” Solus chimed to himself as he left the body behind, the Madness returning to him in full. The gurgling was less vicious now, and more constrained. It would not hunger for a while now. At least, long enough for Solus to find the data room and erase everything inside.


“Pity that my master couldn’t have seen that. Or that it had to be one of my own. Oh well.  Now, time for those plans…” 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Solus was deep in the data files when he felt the wave in the Force. Between searching for any mention of the ship that the cultists called home, records of any engineers who may be on planet, or any information on Falleen Royalty, Solus was struck by a stab in the Force. That hint of Korriban that he had so grown accustomed to, so subtle that any expert user would miss it, was suddenly crushed and extinguished. Solus only detected it for two reasons. 


One was because he felt that presence first here on Falleen. When the planet was first conquered, Solus, in a previous chassis, was brought here to help with the extinguishment of life.  He had just come from Korriban, and that taste of Korriban so far away from the planet drew the Shard like a moth to a flame. 


And the other reason Solus detected it, was because it was his master’s presence. 


Solus disconnected from the port and stumbled backwards before crashing and slumping into a wall. Now sitting, Solus was left reeling. He was registering what the extinguishment meant. He was feeling what he needed to feel to comprehend the fact. Solus was stunned. 


“Master…what…” Solus stammered. Nothing truly cohesive really came out. The language of sound abandoned the Shard. Only his thoughts, the lines of energy racing in his crystalline body, tried to speak. 


The strangest fact of the entire situation to the Shard was that Solus was actually feeling sorrow from the death. For all the times Solus wanted to beat Akheron at his own games, to show him up and prove he was better than the Lord, Solus felt sorrow at the Sith’s passing.  He should’ve been feeling elated at feeling his master’s passing, or perhaps angry that he wasn’t the one to kill Akheron, or even a general disinterest. 


But instead he was feeling sadness. 


Solus glanced up. He half-expected the Madness to take form. Perhaps take the image of a spider-like monster, or a many eyed blubbering horror, or even the dead form of his master. But instead, Solus was greeted by darkness and the little lights of the data networks. 


Solus focused on two of the lights and tried to pretend they were eyes. Beings to speak to him and advise him. Solus tried to force the Madness to create a facsimile of someone to comfort him. Something, anything, to come out and talk to him.


But only darkness remained in the room. The Madness was quiet. 


Ever since his first ascension, Solus felt isolated and alone. 


“It’s cause he was family…” Solus eventually spoke to the silence. “Try as I hated him, he was family. Father Roshan is gone, Mother is nonexistent, and my siblings shutted me out. But he… he took me in didn’t he? Yes, he did… he saw potential and took me in. Made me Bragsanu. Gave me a family. By the Force, I wasn't alone. And now he is gone…”


Solus glanced down at the floor and twiddled with a few loose pieces of concrete. 


Solus remained silent for a few more minutes and glanced towards the dead Linnorm’s body. He waved a hand towards it, and pulled the small communicator on its belt. With holo transmitter in hand, Solus activated the device to all Linnorm frequencies.


“Linnorms who still live…” Solus started, his voice box surprisingly calm, “...the day is lost. Falleen is no longer ours. The Lord has fallen…”


Solus gripped the communicator tightly, his emotions starting to rear up inside him. The rage that Imperials took away Akheron from him demanded retribution. The Madness began to gurgle again. It felt the darkness swirling inside the Shard.  It whispered an idea into the Shard's mind.


“But that doesn’t mean Falleen is the enemy’s. The Fanged God hungers. Feed him with meat. Abandon your posts and turn on civilians. Grenade the widows’ houses. Stomp the younglings' throats. Abandon your posts and burn the town. Do not go quietly into the night. Scream at the void, and let death be satisfied. This is the Dragon’s command!” 


Solus stopped for a moment and then added, “Make the Lord-Captain proud of your demise! Kill everything!”


With that, Solus crushed the communicator and tossed it aside. Following this, he took out his lightsaber, and began to pull it apart. Solus then removed the crystal inside and opened his head, placing the small gem next to his very Shard for safe keeping. With his weapon now fully hidden, Solus broke the lightsaber apart into numerous pieces hid them on the dead Linnorm's body. When the Imperial Forces arrived at the Palace, he planned on escaping. And if he had to pretend to be a normal, every day analysis droid, then so be it. He had no idea what he would do after he escaped the planet, but bridge would be crossed later. 

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For the most part, sneaking out of the palace was simple. The Linnorms who were still alive were following Solus’ last command, and the Falleen forces were having their hands full dealing with the fires they caused. The Imperial Forces were busy with wounded civilians, rampaging cultists, or getting their own men to safety. And it seemed several Jedi were focused on the central temple. No one had time to notice a small analysis droid walking between the shadows through the streets. 


His original plan was to find a ship in the nearby docking bay, but that plan quickly became discarded when Solus realized there was no way a Linnorm ship would escape the planet unharried. His next best option was to find a speeder bike to escape the city and take a ship from elsewhere on the planet. Perhaps a farmer had a shuttle he could steal.


However, that plan itself changed when Solus spotted it: a Faleen 578-R space transport. It looked like it was refitted for royal use, and had been utilized for troop transport onto the planet surface once the trench lines were broken. Currently, a pilot and copilot  sat around its side, waiting for further orders as the battle raged further in the city. 


Solus made his way towards the two, raising his hands into the air. 


“Excuse me gentlemen? Oh excuse me!” Solus called out.


The two soldiers looked up, puzzled at first. The copilot stood up and raised a pistol. 


“Halt! Identify yourself!”


Solus stopped in his tracks and kept his hands up. 


“Please don't shoot! My name is S-115, servant of the royal family!” 


The captain held his hand up to his partner. “Hold on, I remember hearing this droid. He sent out a distress call earlier. 


The copilot lowered his weapon. Solus approached, feigning relief and joy. 


“Finally, someone recognized my message! No one ever responded and I was worried that it didn’t go out.”


The copilot shrugged. “That’s command for you. They pay attention to what’s going on, and worry about details later”


Solus sighed as he stepped forward closer. “Perhaps you could put me in contact with your commander? I have vital information about the Royal Prince, and it must be communicated before it is too late. 


The two looked at each other, and shrugged. 


“Our commander should be back soon to discuss what we can do with you. If no one responded to you earlier, I doubt they will listen at the moment. You are welcome to wait here though, droid. Safer here than…”


Solus stretched himself through the Impossible Geometries towards the Captain. He rushed forward towards the man and fell to his knees, grabbing the man’s sides, making a connection both physically and mentally. As he did, the Madness churned and began to massage the man’s mind. 


“Please, I beg of you, let me speak with your superiors! Or maybe the Alliance themselves! If we do not act, the prince will die! Please, please, you must help me!”


As Solus' words left his voicebox, the Madness distorted the man’s perception for just a moment. In the Captain’s eye, he did not see a droid, but a small human child, crying for their parent. One that was strikingly similar to his own back on Empress Teta. The image only lasted a moment before the Madness retreated, but the effect was immediate. 


“Ok, ok! Calm down, I’ll help you! Just calm down. Frank, get the ship online so we can get a message to command. 


The copilot looked at his captain but nodded as the captain repeated his order. Solus silently thanked the fact that Imperial command still relied on the fact that superiors’ orders were almost always followed. Solus thanked the pilot and everyone went inside. 


The copilot never made it to the controls. The moment Solus stepped inside the ship, he called upon the force and shoved the man forward, his head hitting the sharp edge of a metal console. Following this, Solus turned to the captain and pulled the man down. The Shard then lodged his scomp link directly into the man’s eye. 


“Stupid son of a nerf…” Solus growled as the memories flowed from the man’s brain into Solus’ own. Clearence codes, planet locations, names of loved ones, all of it flowed like a data stream through the Force into Solus' mind 


“Maybe your children will grow up smarter. I doubt it though…”


About an hour later, Solus dropped the body, believing he had enough to get off world.  The Shard took command of the ship, and drawing on the man’s memories, utilized several codes and tricks to avoid detection and come off as just a simple civillian shuttle.


As solus broke hyperspace, he gave one last glance towards Falleen, the burial place of his master. 


“May the Fang God find your soul tasty…” 

Edited by Solus
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