A read-only archive of discourse.darkjedibrotherhood.com as of Sunday May 01, 2022.

[An Alliance] Betrayal Forged


This Run On coincides with the timeline of the Run On: [Old Guard] Present Arms.

The Consul’s Stateroom
Aboard Dark Prophet II
Location Redacted

The stateroom was just as Zasati remembered: tidy and militant, yet somewhat inviting. She was pleased to see only two place settings at the table. Soft light reflected on the silver cutlery with a clinical coolness. She raised a slender brow expectantly as Rhylance moved across the cabin to greet her.

“You’re early.”

“Lord Consul,” the Hunter swept into a gentle bow, hindered slightly by her lingering injuries. “My apologies,” she shamelessly let the neckline of her new dress dip forward.

“Thank you for joining me this evening.” He briefly allowed a faint smile to pull at the corner of his lips. The Chiss waited as she smoothed the silken material of her dress. “How are you feeling?” He extended his hand, watching as a loose wave of obsidian hair tumbled over her shoulder.

Gratefully, Zasati accepted his hand. Though Rhylance had tended thoroughly to the wounds inflicted by her Master, she was still not completely well.

As they moved towards the table, the Chiss couldn’t help but study the enigmatic tattoo on her cheek. The way it shifted colors with every bend of her brow or twitch of her lips. Sometimes a color would hold for a long moment. She could sense that it fascinated him.

The woman leaned in close as a bright lavender illuminated her cheek. “Perhaps you’d like to examine me closer, Blue?” She laughed softly, as he guided her to her seat.

“I would never pass on the opportunity to examine such a specimen,” he grinned as he helped to push in her chair.

Her blue eyes met his glowing red ones for a brief moment. It had been so long since someone had matched wits and quips with her. She welcomed the reprieve from her demanding position beneath Vodo.

The Consul took his seat and gracefully unfolded his napkin. He was eager to continue the conversation they had started in the Med Bay. However, she would surely need time to feel comfortable before speaking on the matter.

Much to his surprise, her entire demeanor suddenly changed. Her honeyed words turned to ice, shoulders pushed back, brows furrowed. “My Consul,” Zasati set down her glass. “Permission to speak freely?”

He raised a brow quizzically and nodded. It was so unlike her to follow protocol.

She breathed deeply, her tattoo changing to a vivid green. “It is possible to make no errors and still lose.” He watched her intently, intrigued by the abrupt change in her persona. She continued, “I trust your intelligence. I fear many do not.” The woman reached her slender arm out across the table and clenched her fist, “When you strike at a tyrant, you must finish him.”


Rhylance remained still as he quizzically received the half-Hapan’s words. His glowing eyes scanned her body taking in the vast information available to him. The exotic beauty in front of him trembled slightly as she held a slight smirk and ferocity in her eyes. His extensive psychological training served him well as he read the woman like a book, though only one thing struck his interest. The vivid green that adorned her cheek. The color held through her announcement and the tattoo intrigued him.

“I wonder…” he said silently to himself as he stood up from the table, causing Zasati to question what he was doing. The green faded to a solemn black.

“Zasati, I acknowledge your words as true. But whom is the tyrant you speak of? At the moment we face many tyrants. We face many dangers. Taldryan is in a state of disarray, and I plan on curing it.”

The Chiss walked over to a nearby mirror, and stared into it with a sense of longing and intrigue. He positioned himself to have a clear view of his guest.

“Our people have lost much; their homes, their families, their lives, and their sense of security. Right now they have nothing. The Iron legion has taken it all. How many died because of their actions? How many children don’t get to grow up and experience life because of this heinous crime against Karufr?”

As he spoke Rhylance kept a close eye on the woman. His gaze bore into the tattoo that shifted between red and pink as her facial muscles bled from her emotional state, sorrow and disgust apparent to the Consul. He gave himself a slight smile as he realized that his theory was most likely correct. Her emotions controlled the colored ink that marred her cheek. The blue skinned Commander turned around with a controlled grace as he approached the table once more.

“In this moment of tribulation we must stand united. Taldryan needs this, in order to survive. You know this as do I. If Vodo is planning any insurrection, I need to know. We cannot handle an internal war while fighting off the Inquisitors who pursue us. So I ask you please, tell me what you know of Vodo’s movements. Tell me of his plans.”

He watched her intently as he face betrayed her thoughts. Rhylance could see the inner turmoil that the thought of betraying her old master still brought to her. But she was close.

“After everything he did to you. Your arm? Your body? Your flawlessly beautiful face he almost permanently scarred? You would still give yourself for that Twi’Lek?”

And there it was. Blue streaked across her face and her eyes hardened and her resolve flared. Zasati was not stupid. She knew what the Consul was up too. She knew that he was doing his best to manipulate her to join his cause. And she didn’t care. Vodo had betrayed her. His actions were a betrayal that even he hadn’t foreseen. Her jaw set, and her fists clenched tight.

“This is the Zasati I was looking for. The excitement you felt was intriguing to behold. But this rage,” he said with a slightly rasped breath. “Blue looks much better against your skin than green, my pet.”


She watched him silently as he toyed with her. Her rage threatened to spill into the room around them. She wanted to scream- wanted to break everything her hand could touch. Still, she restrained herself, willing calmness and her tattoo to fade back to black.

“Rhylance,” the way she spoke made the familiar name sound strange, a breathy, unfamiliar summons. “I cannot say what you wish for me to say,” her lips pressed together, taught. “Please.” She looked up at him with pleading eyes. Surely, the Consul knew that any words of betrayal to her master would result in her immediate death. But then, he likely didn’t care, she mused.

Zasati could feel him studying her. His silvery-blue lips parted smoothly with every word that fell from them. She wanted to rise from her seat, saunter up behind him and trail her arms over his shoulders. She would whisper to him, let his intellectual superiority burn brightly. Oh, the ways she wanted to bend to his will.

Instead, she remained seated, knowing she would only look ungainly sliding one-handed from her chair. She cursed her weakness; her tattoo rolled from bright blue to a dark pink as soon as the Chiss stood beside her. He wasn’t wrong. Vodo would bleed her dry. She secretly feared to see the Warlord again, unsure if she could wear a mask of indifference around him.

She wondered how it had come to this: how answering a simple summons resulted in such grandiose schemes and theatrics. At that moment, Zasati was resentful of everything. Worst still, Rhylance was learning far more quickly than she had anticipated. Another pang of blue illuminated her cheek. She needed to leave. She needed to return to Hapes. She needed to ensure the safety of her-

The smolder of red eyes pulled her back from the edge of her thoughts abruptly. “Zasati?” She noticed a momentary flicker of genuine concern across his brow.


Rhylance let out a silent sigh as he walked back to his chair and sat down. He looked across the table to his guest, his red eyes meeting her blue ones. He feared pushing her too far, so the time for changing tactics had finally come. The Chiss removed his glasses and folded them before putting them away. Sometimes, compassion was the best course of action.

“Zasati, I am sorry.”

Zasati’s face betrayed her as she heard the three words she never thought her Consul was capable of saying with such sincerity. If the man wasn’t already an enigma to her, he sure was now. What was most surprising was that he seemed genuinely concerned as he spoke. She couldn’t be sure this wasn’t a test of some sort though.

“Lord Commander, you don’t need to apologize to me.”

“Yes…yes I do.”

Standing back up Rhylance walked over to Zasati and offered his hand, which she took with her sole grip. After helping the half-Hapan to her feet, Rhylance led her to a viewport showing the vast darkness of space.

“I don’t mean to push you so hard. I must do these things for the betterment of our Clan. Don’t feel as if I misunderstand your reluctance. You fear Vodo. You fear what he could do to you. You fear that if you betrayed him, your life would be forfeit. I understand those fears.”

Zasati was certainly shocked to hear the Consul’s words. His curiously soft disposition caused her firmness to falter momentarily.

“You may not believe the words I tell you, but I shall say them none the less,” Rhylance turned and gazed into her blue lapis eyes. “I will not let him hurt you. I will protect you.”

Zasati’s cheeks reddened and her eyes grew large with disbelief.

“How do you plan to protect me? You don’t have the connection to Force he does. You don’t have the combat training or strength he possesses. How do yo…” She was cut off by Rhylance gazing her face with the back of his had in a gentle caress.

“I never said that I’d confront him with the knowledge you provide. I just want to know his movements, so I can make plans of my own. Vodo may be a great many things but he is inferior to my intellect and tactical mind. Even he isn’t stupid enough to out rightly attack me or those close to me for fear assured retaliation.”

He stepped away for a moment to let his words sink into her. He knew this had to be played perfectly.

“I am actually helping you Zasati. I am offering you a position by my side, with a level of command over your master. In his eyes, I’m offering you a key placement for his eventual coup d’etat. You will be protected by my leadership, and if I were to fail, I will have countermeasures to assure your safety. Trust me when I say, you will need not worry anymore. I will take care of you, my pet.”

When he finished speaking, Zasati remained quiet for a time. She needed to process his words. Weigh the scales on her own. She smiled with genuine affection for her Consuls promises, even if she had her doubts, and with a bow walked towards the rooms exit.

“Tomorrow we finish your recovery. Tomorrow you get a new hand.”

Without turning around Zasati nodded and walked out of the stateroom doors. Rhylance smiled as he placed the glasses back on his face. He hoped his words were enough to sway the woman’s allegiance. She was hiding something. Something that greatly affected her reasoning, and risk assessment. He would find out what it was.

“Sir?” Rhylance looked to a red light on the wall with a speaker near it as an androgynous voice echoed through the stateroom.

“Yes Morse.”

“Do you honestly think that your actions will instill the fear in her you believe necessary?”

Rhylance let out a slight chuckle at his AI’s misunderstanding of his intentions. But really, how could a machine understand his superior thought process.

“I don’t want her to fear me, Morse. I want her to fear not having me.”


The Consul’s Private Med Bay
Aboard Dark Prophet II
The Next Morning

Even covered with a medical blanket, the metal table was cold and hard beneath her. Zasati looked into the bright surgical lamps above, her thoughts wandering. Beside her, Rhylance worked diligently on the preparations for her new cybernetic hand. It was oddly quiet, save for the soft beeps and clicks of the machinery in the Chiss’ private med bay.

She sensed a strange energy in the room, and it weighed down on her like a brick of lead inside her chest. The half-Hapan woman had not noticed it during her previous visit, though her injuries were many and her focus completely lost. Whatever it was, it crawled inside her, twisting in her stomach.

“Zasati, what are you seeking?” The blue skinned man’s lilted voice drew her from her thoughts. She turned her face to him, watching as he traded tools from the tray beside him.


He spared a glance up from his work, the subtle rise of his brow giving away his slight surprise. From his gesture, Zasati assumed he’d expected her to say power, wealth, or something of the kind; but those all paled in comparison to what she coveted most.

A smirk pulled at the corners of her red lips. “The Brotherhood promised me freedom once. It promised to save me from those who sought to lord over me.” A bitter scoff escaped her, “But it just chains me down like everything else.”

The Consul set down his instruments and commanded her attention with a stalwart stare. “Why, then, did you return?”

A soft red began to creep across her tattoo. The Chiss noted the change and the drawing of her brows as she tensed. He wanted her buried secrets, and she knew it. But Zasati remained silent, unwilling to betray herself. The Hunter recognized that she was in a dangerous position. An injured songbird between two hungry beasts, their slavering fangs eager to sink into her. She knew she would eventually have to sing if she wanted to survive. Still, she could not bring herself to say his name.

Zasati worried at the inside of her lip, her eyes trailing down to the porcelain white cybernetic hand on the tray beside them. She breathed in deeply, then sighed, “Will you truly grant me protection and security, if I do what you ask, Blue?”


Rhylance closed his eyes in silent concentration. His next words needed to be precise and executed with the utmost care. He needed this woman to be on his side in the coming days, and he felt the strangest pull towards her. A force of gravity he hadn’t felt in 4 years. He never thought he would feel anything like it again, and he found it difficult to fight against.

“Zasati, I believe that knowledge is power. When you have hidden knowledge you can anticipate your enemy’s movements. You can plan for their betrayal. You can come out on top in the end. I also believe you need allies. You need people whom you can trust to assist you with your endeavors, and trust goes both ways,” the Chiss stood up and turned away from the operating table. He needed to divulge information to earn her trust. “I had no love for Clan Taldryan. When I first joined the brotherhood, I was going to become a doctor for the Iron Legion. My plans were to develop my scientific mind. The woman I loved though, she desperately wanted to be a part of this Clan, and I never understood why.”

Rhylance walked over to a nearby desk that held two glasses of water. He took hold of one and drank the contents. Turning around he strode back, locking eyes with Zasati. His gaze seemed to reverberate into the air around him with its intensity, and Zasati let out a labored breath.

“She was killed four years ago. Her life snuffed out by the actions of a repugnant Force user who couldn’t control the powers that he flaunted around like a child who’d found his father’s blaster. Force users such as Vodo think themselves gods in the presence of someone like me, so I know he’s planning something against my reign. If Taldryan is to survive, we need stability and cohesion, not separation due to the ideals of a buffoon with green skin,” Rhylance sat down and took hold of Zasati’s lone hand. “I need to save this clan to honor Katrine’s memory. So that the Clan she loved so dearly doesn’t fall to destruction, I hope that you can understand that. To achieve this, I will do whatever is necessary. I will not fail in this endeavor.”

Zasati’s blue eyes remained locked onto Rhylance’s crimson gaze. He had just divulged a secret to her that she had not been anticipating, but she knew that he wasn’t finished. His hardened eyes softened as he removed his lenses from atop his nose. He wanted nothing between them at this moment.

“Why are you telling me this Blue?” she asked him, genuinely confused as to how this concerned her previous question.

“I gave you my biggest secret Zasati. I did this to make us even,” her eyes widened at the implication to that statement as her tattoo changed to an orange hue. “I am adept at gathering information. You hid your tracks incredibly well, and I am astonished that Vodo has not discovered his existence yet.”

“You…you can’t mean…” the orange color of her tattoo only grew in intensity as Rhylance eyes never lost their resolve. He was being completely honest with her right now, and that worried Zasati more than any of the injuries she had sustained thus far.

“I know about your son, Zakai. I know that he is currently studying at his academy. He is quite intelligent. I am deeply impressed.”

Zasati was seconds from leaping from the operating table, the only thing keeping her still was the sheer fact that Rhylance seemed to have no ill intentions.

“And what do you plan to do with this knowledge Blue? Are you threatening to sell me out if I refuse your help?” her tattoo began to darken, the hue going blue.

“I told you blue looked better upon your skin,” he responded brushing his fingers against her tattoo.

“Don’t touch me! Answer my question Rhylance.”

“I have insured your son’s safety, my pet. I hid your tracks better. Vodo will never know of him, unless you want him too,” Zasati was unsure whether or not to believe the Chiss. As far as she knew he’d yet to lie to her, but this was far too important. “If you need proof of this, I have documentation to support my assertions. I promised you Zasati, I will protect you and your loved ones. Vodo would be a fool right now to attack me. I have countermeasures in place for such a betrayal to the Clan.”

Rhylance reached over and grabbed the cybernetic hand he had crafted for Zasati. He brought the hand into her vision and smiled.

“Regardless of your decision, Zakai will be safe, and you will get your left hand. I am simply offering you a place at my side, as my right hand. I am offering you a leading position on our capital ship, once I’ve retrieved it. I offer you the freedom you so heavily desire. Freedom from the ones who chase you, still to this day. Freedom from Vodo and his tyrannical ways. Freedom for your son to grow and be the magnificent man he will one day be,” Rhylance smiled as he backed away, his gaze never losing the intensity it held her to. “What do you say Zasati, my pet. Please join me in protecting this Clan.”


Zasati’s mind raced through millions of possibilities so quickly that she hardly heard the Consul’s remarkable offer. Ten years of fear rushed over her, threatening to drown her in its riptide force. That fear turned to anger as she cursed herself. She’d only sent a single message to her son in her time with the Fleet, going through great efforts to hide it. How could she have been so careless?

“I… I couldn’t possibly-” she stammered, so unlike herself as she shook her head in disbelief.

Rhylance had never seen her tattoo glow more brightly. A cold blue which reflected in her eyes and bathed her skin and hair with beautiful, spectral light. He could tell, by the pull of her upper lip, that even she did not anticipate her anger rising. He set down the cybernetic hand and moved close beside her again. He couldn’t lose her allegiance now. Despite everything, he found little enjoyment in seeing her in such a state.

“Zasati, I make this offer genuinely. It was not my intention to hurt you by it.” His words were earnest. Zasati could still not sense any ill intentions, and it confused her deeply. Yes, he wanted to keep and use her, just as others had before him. But there was something different about the Chiss. She reached out with the Force and desperately searched for the answers. It was a futile effort.

The woman pushed herself up to level their gaze. She reached out, grasped his forearm, and drew him to her. The corner of her mouth twitched as she blinked back tears of fury. “I will do all that you ask of me,” Zasati’s usual sultry voice began to crack. “But, Rhylance.” She squeezed his arm. Her brows furrowed as she whispered, “Please do not speak of my son again. Not here. Not ever.”

Pleased to finally have her allegiance, the blue skinned man nodded, “As you wish, my pet.”

She studied his face for a long moment, searching for any indication of falsehood. There was none. Satisfied, she relaxed her grip on his arm and gingerly traced red nails down his crisp sleeve and paused over his hand.

“Do forgive me,” she purred, her beguiling facade returning almost instantaneously. “I forget myself sometimes. It’s not often that I receive the attentions of a Man of Greatness.”

The doctor smiled slightly, beginning his work again. It was delicate, tedious work, but he enjoyed it. While the Consul worked, the two engaged in quiet conversation. She listened to him with more eloquence than most could bring with words. Thoughts lingered on the story of his love, Katrine. It almost sickened the Hunter, the ease of which this man could scale the walls she’d worked so hard to build around herself.

In spite of all reason, Zasati felt a deep urge to trust him- to follow him even. She had never intended to get to know the man. But it was too late now. With a heavy sigh, the Hapan woman leaned back.

It wasn’t long before Rhylance had finished his work. He drew himself up, shoulders back. He looked at her, red ember eyes watching with anticipation as she admired each perfectly crafted digit.

The articulated joints of the hand moved as fluidly as her remaining one of flesh and bone. Pristine pearlescent white casing glimmered in the light as Zasati trailed the soft tip of a finger over the cold metal. She smiled. Rhylance had offered to utilize synthflesh for her prosthetic, but she declined. Zasati wanted a constant reminder of her failure. She refused to hide it behind a veil. Not this time.

“You’ve outdone yourself, Blue,” her words dripped like honey as she curled her new fingers into a tight fist. “It’s absolutely stunning.”

– End Betrayal Forged –