For a week now Firith had been going out in secret to eradicate the alien filth that inhabited the city. The voices in his head a constant drone, the constant headache at the base of his skull, only muted when he drank in excess.
When he had sometimes fought back against the order to kill, the pain amplified until brain and body cooperated. Like a puppet he was forced to do Grand Master Pravus’ work.
The nightmares were the worst part. The silent screams of his victims, the horror in their eyes. The shadowy shapes that came to him in his sleep, the foul serum that burned into his skull when they injected it into him.
Once again it was time to do what he did best anymore. Kill.
He had heard a rumor there was a Nautolan Jedi guarding his family in a refugee camp outside of the city limits. This would be a double bonus for him. Surely the leader of the Brotherhood would reward him for this.
Heading out from his living area as the twin suns set, Firith never noticed the armored figure hidden high above him in the ruins of a nearby building.
Making his way through the different sections of the city was getting easier as the weeks went by. Learning what was cleared out by the security forces. Learning of the rabble that still skulked in the ruins. Where the roads had been opened up and what little transit was working. Slowly the city was coming back to life, but there was still along way to go.
Overlooking Refugee Camp III
Firith crawled across the roof of a low rise apartment building that was under construction. Looking out over the tent city he could see more movement than usual for as late as it was.
Unlike most of the refugee camps this one had a central plaza and what appeared to be a market. It also had security. Members of the Nihilgenia could be seen walking and chatting with the people living there. Firith rubbed his eyes, and looked again. Yes, there were the famed Nihilgenia in their unique armor moving about the camp.
"Why were they here, and not the Dlarit Security Forces?" He thought. Warnings started going off in the assassin’s mind, but the howl of the voices drowned them out.
As the last of the light fled the sky, Firith felt he had analyzed the patterns of the security and the ebb and flow of the refugees well enough the he could fit in.
Making his way down to the ground level he skirted the lights and headed towards some conveniently placed robes and clothing that were hung out on a laundry line. The figure that had been stalking him quickly ducked into the camp and disappeared.
His mark was not far from where he had found the clothing, but it still might take some time to get to the dwelling. Being dressed as a local gave the aged assassin the edge he needed to get there unimpeded.
Blending in and not bringing any attention to himself, Firith headed towards the tent where the Jedi was said to live.
The voices, silent for the most, part began to get louder as more and more alien lifeforms were seen. Firith had to fight to keep his mind on the task at hand.
Looking about, he did not spy the figure in the shadows. Dressed all in a black body armor, red lenses showing on his goggles, DarkHawk watched and waited.
Firith stopped, sensing…something. Stepping back into the shadows he concentrated and used the Force to cloak himself. The chattering and hissing made it difficult, and Firith broke into a sweat trying to maintain the cloak, something he never had a problem with before.
A Nautolan appeared at the tent entrance, wearing the garb of a Jedi. Lightsaber in hand but not lit.
Firith dropped his cloak and squatted down in the shadows, slowly he began to remove the robe that covered him, freeing him up for the fight to come.
The voices began to rant and scream, causing the pain to intensify. Rage and hatred spiked along with the pain and Firith ignored all his assassin training. Stepping forth he ignited his saber, the blood red glow lighting up the area like a beacon.
The Nautolan grasped his own saber and thumbed the trigger, adding his yellow blade to the mix.
Firith charged putting all his rage and hate into his attack, swinging his blade in a powerful downward sweep.
The Jedi responded in kind and met the charge. His yellow blade slamming into the red, the flash and crack of plasma filled the street.
People began to appear to see the fight, and the security forces could be heard running towards the area, whistles blowing. DarkHawk watched and waited for his opening.
Firith hacked and slashed at the Nautolan, Never the best of fighters, and well out of practice. His attacks were sloppy and ugly. He could feel a burn in his chest, and he was rapidly becoming winded from being out of shape.
The Jedi danced away from his attacks and Firith began to notice the people around him. The aliens, mixed with the humans. He also saw the uniforms of the Nihilgenia, their weapons, raised.
Growling like a feral beast Firith reached into his soul to find more rage, but it was not there. Using the last of his energy he tried to attack again only to feel a sharp sting of a dart punch into his gut.
Staggering sideways, he looked down to a small arrow stuck in him. Feeling a numbing sensation spreading he looked up and saw DarkHawk, his friend and leader of his new Battleteam pointing a weapon of some kind at him.
As he fell to his knees, he was clubbed in the back of the head by the pommel of the the Nautolan’s lightsaber. All went black and he knew no more.
Secure Infirmary Ward
Two Days Later
Firith slowly became aware of the voices, only this time they were out in the hall.
“He needs to be held accountable!” A voice argued. “He killed children, not just killed but slaughtered them and their families!”
“Damn it, he was being controlled! You saw the thing they took out of his head and the tox screen results.” Another answered. “I was amazed my tranq dart put him down with what he had in him.”
“I don’t care. He is dangerous now, Damaged goods that we can’t trust.” Argued the first voice. “Either we lock him away or destroy him, because no one will ever want him near them.”
Firith opened his eyes to find he was in a hospital like room. There was a hiss and beep of a respirator and heart monitor. A medical droid nearby watched the equipment.
Sensing it’s patient was awake the droid came over and made some adjustments to the IV plugged into the human on the bed. Within moments, Firith dozed off again.
Secure Infirmary Ward
That Same Evening
Firith coughed as the oxygen boosted through the nasal cannula. He could feel the Bacta Pak secured to the back of his head. Noticing a hazy figure next to his bed he tried to reach out only find his hand secured and cuffed to the rails. “What the kriff?” he croaked out.
Lilith, his wife appeared in his field of vision. Her eyes swollen red as if she had been crying.
“Shhh, my love, it will be alright.” she said taking his hand in hers.
Blinking and trying to get the fluff out of his brain he looked around to see DarkHawk standing in the corner, arms crossed and looking really angry.
“Lilith, lass? What are yea doing here? What am I doin here?” Firith asked in confusion, then looked hat his BTL. “Och lad, why the long face? Yea look like yea are here ta give me the what for.” The old Jedi joked.
Lilith and DarkHawk looked at each other and he shook his head in warning. “He is a member of my battleteam, I will handle this.” DarkHawk said.
“But he’s MY husband and I have known him for over 20 years.” Lilith shot back in anger.
“Exactly why you can not be trusted to handle this interrogation. You are biased. It took quite a bit a string pulling to even get you here and pulled from your assigned duties for House Shar Dakhan. Don’t make this more difficult than it already is.” The Warrior said. “You can watch and act as a gauge to his honesty, but you cannot question him.”
DarkHawk pulled up a chair and brought out a data recorder. “Warrior DarkHawk, Battleteam Leader of the Night Hawks, Commanding officer of the accused” He said after typing in the date and time. Looking at the man shackled and cuffed to the bed in front of him he continued. “Accused is Firith’rar Janos Versea-Stormwind, Mystic and member of Battleteam Night Hawks, House Marka Ragnos, Clan Naga Sadow. Witness to this deposition is the accused spouse. Mystic Lilith Alema’rha Versea-Stormwind, Commander of Battleteam Devil’s Shroud, House Shar Dakhan, Clan Naga Sadow.”
Placing the recorder on the table next to the bed DarkHawk looked at his subordinate. “Firith you are accused of killing 47 civilians, men women and children. and I need you to be totally honest with me,” he said, “did you willingly kill them? Were you under orders from a higher authority? Did you make the decision on your own.”
Firith looked around at his wife and then back at his commander. “Aye lad, I killed them, I, I, I had no choice! The voices said I had to or I would be punished and tortured. I had to for the glory of Grand Master Pravus! I tried to fight it, but the pain was too much. I could only make it go away when I drank and at night…at night the horrors came.” The aged man answered calmly as he could. “They would come and hold me down, inject me with something, whisper commands I had to follow or I would be tortured.”
Outside the room Quaestor Grand Master Muz Ashen Keibatsu and Aedile Savant Riku Amahara stood and watched the interview, and the readouts on the machinery. All of which were showing that Firith believed he was telling the truth.
“If what he says is true My Lord, we have a serious security breach here.” Riku said. Glancing up at the man beside him.
The Lion of Tarthos grunted softly in agreement and reached down to pick up the shattered device that had been removed from the head Mystic in the other room. “Agreed, and if so, we need to see who is responsible.”
The door to the room opened and DarkHawk stepped out. “You heard?” He asked walking up to his superiors. Noticing the item in the Grand Master’s hand he pointed to it.
The test results on that show it to have the mark of the Inquisitorius. It is a neurotransmitter that allows a person to be in contact with another using the Force. That along with the serum found in Firith’s blood made him highly susceptible to to control.”
Grand Master Muz nodded, “Not unlike the Serpentine Throne allows communication between the user and the Clan. Interesting.”
“He could have fought it, fought back against it. Or he could have come to one of us, Me, DarkHawk or even you My Lord.” Riku said, scorn and bitterness evident in his tone.
DarkHawk barked out a laugh“I doubt that very much. He doesn’t trust you one bit, and while he doesn’t show it, is terrified of you Grand Master. He trusts two people on this planet right now, his wife and me. In the entire Brotherhood? Possibly his former master and his wife Tasha. The rest he doesn’t trust at all.” The Warrior replied calmly.
“Why? What have any of us done to make him doubt us?” Riku asked.
“Aside from saying he’s damaged goods and should be locked away or destroyed? Yeah, he heard that. Do you–.”
“I will have to think on this.” Grand Master Muz interjected and then turned and left the room.
Back in the room Firith looked at the ceiling, shaking his head. “I’m lost, I’ll be executed for this won’t I?” Lilith could not give him an answer. Looking at his wife, he began to weep. “I’m sorry lass.”