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

[CNS] Transmogrification Run On


Information: As Grand Master Pravus threatens the Brotherhood and agents of the Inqusitorious infiltrate the clan’s ranks, many are forced to react in ways they may not expect. Among other conflicts, such as the Karashi Void virus spreading on Aeotheran and the Dominion threat looming on the horizon, members of Naga Sadow find themselves in a precarious position. Everything seems poised to cascade into darkness.

Prompt: This is a slice-of-life Runon. It will have one thread, located at this link. The main focus here is to develop your character and show what they are doing during this time period. As such, you can write about what ever you want, as long as it is realistic and fits within the Brotherhood’s narrative. Your character may have their own agenda, and be doing their own thing, or want to be more involved in happenings in the Brotherhood. Judging will be based on who shows the most character development over the time period of the Runon. Barring major conflicts, posts in this Runon should be considered official for your character moving forward, if you want them to be.


A member must make at least one post of 250 words or more to count for participation and placement, as well as to qualify to earn Clusters of Ice per the rules for Runons. Placing entries, more than likely, will have more posts.

Members cannot post back-to-back.

The member who demonstrates the best overall character development will be declared the winner. This includes showing how events in the Brotherhood have an effective change on how your character acts, views the universe, etc, as well as any story developments. The Fiction Grading Rubric will be used to choose winners.


As this is an open Runon for clan members, it is best to ask someone’s permission before including them in your story.

Be sure to think about realism and how what you write fits into the overall story.


Tyrena, Corellia

The weather matched Inyri’s mood, the skies over her hometown were dark and gloomy, and rain poured down. Standing in her usual casual attire of tan cargo pants, a white shirt and a black jacket closed up, Inyri stared at the headstone in front of her. The cemetery was all but empty of the living, and before her, the black marble with white engraving just did not seem real in some way, but in the back of her mind, she knew she was still in denial.

It bore her family name in the center, and on either side, carved inside the outlines of the Alliance firebird insignia, were the names of her parents. But it was far from natural causes, though the cause of death for both of them was still baffling Corellian Security. The coroner report said her mother died from cardiac arrest by way of extreme electrical shock, though she was nowhere near any power lines. No, she had been found in dining room, and a Scout Pistol that was fully expended. And the same report indicated that her father had died from aspyxiation, after somehow jumping from the second story window onto the patio deck, with an SE-14C right next to his body.

Corellian Security would never solve the mystery of the break in and double murder/homicide of the Ginovef household, but Inyri wasn’t going to let them. No, she knew exactly what had happened. Someone in the Brotherhood, likely an Inquisitor, broke in, expected less of a fight, and wound up on the wrong end of two Republic military veterans. But even they were unable to fight off a Force User, and her mother and father both died to it. Inyri had tasted the pain from Force Lightning before, she knew that her mother suffered greatly before she finally died, and likely whoever did it taunted her father with it as they used the Force to choke the life out of him.

Pain and fury boiled within Inyri, her hands clenched in fists and shaking, wanting to lash out but having no target. Her parents had laid down their lives to protect the Galaxy, and someone who likely was saved from the Empire decided to repay it by ending their lives because their daughter represented something dangerous; she represented a belief that was in opposition to theirs. If it was indeed the Inquisitorious, then the order could have been given by the Dark Council or even Darth Pravus himself. Inyri hoped that wasn’t the case, hoped that she was still too insignificant to be noticed, but if that was the case, she’d destroy that whole organization if she had to. Beyond that, it could have been anyone, a rival Clan hoping to strike at her own Clan, a rival Sadowan unhappy with her, or any number of possibilities.

Inyri knelt down and put her left hand on the gravestone, tears welling up in her eyes.

“I will find whoever did this to you, and bring them to justice, whatever that has to be. Either they’ll answer to the law or they’ll answer to my blade, but they’ll answer for this. I know you guys didn’t approve of revenge schemes…but if your killer gets away with this, if those who ordered your deaths get away with this, then it will happen again. I have to do this. I just hope you understand.”

Kar Alabrek Starport, Kar Alabrek, Tarthos

Inyri made her way with the rest of the civilians from the passenger liner from Corellia to Customs, flashing her ID to the agent and waited to be processed. Her mind was still coming to terms with what had happened, dealing with the maelstrom of emotions swirling within. It was to be expected for someone who lost family that had been so close, but she wanted to remain in control of herself at least.

“Man, you look like you had a rough trip.” The agent said. Inyri just shrugged in response.

“Just a bad homecoming?” The agent asked.

Control slipped away as fury took hold, and Inyri could feel the chill and fire of the Dark Side swell out of control. Her emotions took full control, and all rational thought left Inyri. The agent’s words were hardly malicious, likely many of her peers went home to find that they weren’t as welcome as they thought they had been, but it had been a suitably poor choice of words.

Now only fury and her training took hold. She let out a feral cry of anger, stepped in, grabbed the customs agent by the hair and smashed his head onto his desk. The agent tried to sit up, blood gushing from his now broken nose, but Inyri punched him and drug him out from behind his desk.

“HELP! HELP ME!” The agent cried, trying to push Inyri away. Inryi responded by dislocating his right shoulder and then rabbit punching him in the solar plexus. A guard approached and tried to grab her shoulders to pull her off the poor customs agent. Inryi grabbed him by the wrist and twisted to drop him to a knee, and then slammed her left knee into his face, knocking him to the floor. She then dropped down and grabbed his blaster from his holster, and then her world went dark as she dimly recognized the sound of a trio of blasters firing stun bolts from behind her.

Inyri awoke with both of her hands cuffed behind her back and her legs shackled to a chair, clearly in some kind of holding cell. A Warhost MP officer was standing on the other side of the door, leering at her, as was a man who appeared to be the chief of security at the starport.

“You people are the same, you think because you’re Force Users, you have free reign of the place. This is unacceptable, we can’t keep covering up your poor judgement skills.” The security chief said.

“Your immediate superior has been notified of your indiscretion, Knight. You are hereby detained until he arrives to determine your fate.” The Warhost MP said.

Inyri slumped in her seat, and her gaze shifted to the floor.

“…that was a mistake. I’m sorry, and please tell the agent and guard that I attacked that I am well and truly sorry. If there’s anything I can do for them to make up for this, I’ll do it.” Inyri said softly, “…I shouldn’t have lost control like that, it was poor judgement. I accept whatever punishment comes my way.”

“Oh spare me. You people are all the same.” The chief of security said dismissively and walked away.

“…yeah. Yeah, I guess we are.” Inyri replied, still staring at the floor.


VSDII Covenant
Quaestor Quarters
In Orbit above Aeotheran
34 ABY

The Dark Jedi’s heart raced with excitement. After all these years his hard work had finally paid off. Sitting at his desk, his figure enhanced by the combat armour that he had begun to wear on an almost daily basis since his near death experiences starting with the betrayal of Bentre during Operation:Homeland, and his second close call during the CNS/CSP Feud dubbed as Shattered Ties. In both occasions he had been kept from death by two separate extremely well skilled medics.

After failing to extract any useful information from the Dominion Iktotchi warrior Arr’ka, Darkblade had retreated to his quarters aboard the VSDII Covenant, having left the Empiricalum in a fit of rage. The laughs of the Iktotchi had haunted him for many nights after, being one of Darkblade’s biggest failures. Unable to understand why the Dominion were so vastly different and superior in a lot of ways compared to the Sadowan forces, the Anzat turned his attention back to what had driven him to joining Naga Sadow in the first place.


Her name still buzzed around his head, like a mosquito that had found its perfect prey, reminding him relentlessly of the events which had turned him down the path of the Dark Side. The Anzat had lost all sense of emotion as he ruthlessly embarked on his quest to find her, slipping from the loving and caring persona he used to be, to the cold and calculated being he had turned into throughout the years.

Before him lay the final piece to the puzzle. After years of searching and manipulating those around him, he finally had the coordinates to her whereabouts. The words he wished he had spoken to her before she left rang in his head.

The time we had was fading.

The old memories of them together flooded through him, releasing emotions that had been bottled up for years, suppressed and ignored. He remembered how she smelled, her warm touch across his skin as she brushed her fingers against him.

The world I know can hate you.

Their hugs and kisses, the comfort and safety they had provided each other with throughout their relationship. Her long black hair that fell below her waist, with her brown eyes staring at him as she seductively teased him with her pouty lips whenever he had to deny her something.

The world I know can break you.

The Quaestor’s eyes swelled with tears, something he had not done in years. He let his feelings wash over him, too tired to fight against them as they crashed against his emotional walls, tearing them down and finally besting him.

But as you go, remember.

Darkblade began to cry, tears streaming down his face as he put in the coordinates on his nav pad. It seemed like an eternity, his hands shaking as tears fell freely down his gaunt cheeks onto his desk and began to form a puddle on the metallic surface. The pit patter of the drops as they struck the surface rang as loud as a bell in the otherwise deadly silent room in his mind.

I’m by your side.

Before punching in the last coordinate, he realized that he would be leaving his Clan in their time of need. With the Karashi Void virus ravaging the planet below, they would look towards their leaders to find a solution to the epidemic. With Darkblade gone, how would the people react?

Who am I kidding? He thought to himself, they only care about themselves. There are enough Sadowans to help clean up the mess, I have to do this.

With that, the Anzat pulled himself together, gritted his teeth and put in the final coordinate.


The planet showed up on his datapad. His heart sank as he realized he would be going to familiar territory. Exhaling deeply, he opened a drawer from his desk and grabbed a medium sized box, black in color, long in length and small in width.

He flipped the two metallic latches upwards, unlocking the box and flipping open the lid as he let it fall down on the other side of the box and hit the desk.


There it was. The chrome hilted lightsaber with the familiar purple hilt. When the Krath order had fallen, he had begun to construct his new lightsaber, keeping this one locked away upon completion. The box had been buried from sight when he had begun the construction of his custom lightsaber. In this box though, was his first lightsaber that he had made upon reaching Knighthood. Deep in his thoughts he had given a name for it, but never spoken the words out loud.

As he reached for the lightsaber, he hesitated slightly before brushing his fingers across the length of the blade with the tips of his fingers. Darkblade closed his eyes and savored the moment, before grasping the blade and taking it out of the box. In one fluid motion, the Quaestor of Shar Dakhan stood up and ignited his blade. The lightsabers purple hue basked his face, before he swung it around in a familiar pattern. Simple, repeated circle like motions every Novitiate, Acolyte and Journeymen knew before they picked their own form.

The Anzat turned off the lightsaber and reached for his custom made one, putting it into the box to replace the one he was going to use for this mission. Closing the clasps on the box, he put the box back into the drawer of the desk and closed it. Clasping his first lightsaber to his belt, he patted it.

“This is it Kaja, we’re going to meet your namesake,” he murmured as he walked out of the door of his offices.

Reaching for his comlink, he hailed the bridge.

“Sir?” came the reply from the familiar voice of the Falleen Captain.

“I’m going to be gone for abit, remain in orbit and provide any assistance necessary should things go out of hand down there,” Darkblade said.

“Yes Sir. May I ask where you are going Quaestor? I need to be able to report your whereabouts at all times should I be asked,” Ginla replied curtly.

Sighing slightly, he thought about his reply. He could lie, give false coordinates or say he is on a classified mission.

“This stays off the records Captain. I will take full responsibility if something goes wrong. But this is personal and no one except this crew needs to know I am even gone. Am I clear?” Darkblade said as he waited for a response.

It took longer than expected, but that was something that didn’t surprise him. Ginla was exceptionally smart and knew how to handle such situations.

“Understood. Safe travels Darkblade. I have assigned the Lambda shuttle for you that will bring you to wherever you need. I know you can’t fly worth a damn so I have also taken the liberty to assign a pilot and navigator to get you to where you need to go,” the Falleen Captain replied as she ended their transmission.

Grinning to himself, Darkblade strolled towards the hangar bay. The crew had expanded recently and they were an exceptional bunch. So exceptional that it actually worked well and for the first time in the Covenant’s history, Darkblade knew they could handle anything the Dominion threw at them and survive the entire ordeal.

VSDII Covenant
Hangar bay
In orbit above Aeotheran
34 ABY

Lasandra Pacheco greeted the Dark Jedi in the hangar. The recently promoted Wing Commander stood proudly before him, her black flight suit showing signs of wear.

“Juz got done with the training program for today, Sir. We’ve refueled the Lambda and the crew of two are awaiting your orders. The logs will be wiped and no notification of the Lamba ever leaving the Covenant will be made. Good luck, Sir,” the Wing Commander saluted the Quaestor before hurrying off to the rest of her unit.

As Darkblade walked up the ramp to the shuttle, he realized that from this moment onward any decision and action made would define him for the rest of his life. Entering the ship, he let out one final sigh as he searched for the comfort of “Kaja” through his robes, the touch of the lightsaber once again calming him.

“Plot your trajectory to these coordinates please. Give me an ETA aswell. I will reside in my quarters throughout the journey.” the Savant said before heading off to the quarters and picking a room that he would spend his journey in.

As he sat down in the middle of the room, crossing his legs, he began to open his mind to the Force. Allowing it to flow through him and energize him. Healing his emotional wounds as the Force provided a soothing comfort to the young and emotionally unstable Anzat.

He felt the ship lurch as it began its journey, his heart began to race again with excitement despite having conflicted feelings about the upcoming confrontation.


Beneath Kar Alabrek

Firith’rar sat alone in the darkened room humming to himself. Visions of slaughter going through his mind.

His lightsaber lay on the bed beside him, the hilt’s crystal chamber opened. The indigo crystal removed and placed on the focusing mount on the table next to the bed.

Focusing on the jewel that sat supported by a small wire tripod, Firith began humming different tones that allowed him to meditate and drop into a trance.

Images of death, destruction, a hatred of all non humans boiled up within the aged Jedi soul. The raw power of the Dark side of the Force filled him.

Destruction of all Light Jedi, death to all who opposed the Grand Master.

The anger and hatred poured out of the assassin, and he focused it on the crystal.

Slowly the clear crystal darkened to a purple then began to redden. A deep blood red.

Reaching out, Firith took the crystal from its stand and examined it. If an inanimate object could look evil, this dark crimson shard did.

Firith reached over and grasped his saber hilt, all the while marveling at the beauty of the crystal.

Placing the crystal in its receptacle, he closed the access panel and concentrated on the weapon shaft, sealing it shut. Containing the malevolent crystal within.

The voice in his head was coming back, the telling him he was wrong for thinking the way he did. The voice of a woman calling him from far away.

Shaking his head to clear it, Firith reached over and grabbing a bottle of spirits. He put it to his mouth and drank deeply until the voice got fuzzy.

Looking at the now completed saber in his other hand. An evil grin appeared on his face. Dripping the bottle he grasped the saber’s shaft with both hands.

Thumbing the trigger, he filled the room with a blood red light as the crimson blade shot forth from the emitter.

It was time to go killing.


Ragnos Cathedral

The ticks began to deafen him and Riku sighed. He hated waiting and waiting was what he was being made to do; again. He pushed himself from the bench and moved towards the closed door eyeing it, raising a hand towards the control panel before lowering it again. Turning his head towards the point of the ticking he sighed and slammed his fist hard against the wall.

"If you keep abusing my wall we will need to have further words, Commander, the quip left the doctor’s lips as she departed the now open door. Riku peered over the doctor’s shoulder and took in the vast room beyond. He turned his head expectantly to the new arrival and she simply nodded, pushing her glasses up from the tip of her nose where they had slid down. “Yes, you can go in. Just don’t break anything this time if you will. Please,”

Riku moved to walk through the door with a hurried pace without saying a word. His armoured boots clattering against the private hangers floor straight towards a large erected sheet. From behind the sheet, he could hear low, murmured voices punctuated by what sounded like something snoring. It parted and from behind it stepped another armoured figure. This one wearing the unmistakable armour of the Keibatsu’s Mandalorian vassals. His eyes scanned the figure and recognised the warrior instantly.

“Frey’jah…a pleasure to see you again,” he stopped, almost losing the words as they left his mouth. His current goal temporarily forgotten as the woman removed her helm and her stern pretty features were revealed. Riku choked and watched in horror as the woman’s lips curled into what he assumed to be a smirk. “Sorry Frey, I didn’t expect to see you here. I thought…”

A hand rested on his shoulder and he looked down to see hers resting there before looking back up and taking in her eyes. She smiled again and he could see it reflected in her silvery pupils. “Who else would travel with her? I doubt you trust anyone else too, plus I wanted to…well check up on you. After all, it’s been some time since you left Kyataru,” something glittered in her eyes, almost sadness. “After father caught us, well I thought you were done with me.”

Riku lifted his hand and rested it on hers and watched as her pretty smile returned. Moving his hand to her cheek he cupped it gently before looking over her shoulder. Frey’jah nodded and moved to the side, replacing her helm and simply leaving him where he was, heading towards the hanger door Riku had just entered. The Nihilgenia continued forward and pulled aside the curtain, veterinarian doctors buzzed around a large shape roosting in the centre of the room and Riku smiled as he took in the creatures majestic form, head curled under one wing. Soft snores escaping her throat.

“Ahh Commander. Your Ruping, Mizuchi sorry, is doing well. She took ill as you know on the journey here so I would recommend giving her a week or so rest. I am sure you can do without her for then,” the vet fixed the Clone with an or else stare. “But she’ll do fine. The Mandalorian briefed us on everything when the transport arrived.”

Ignoring the man, Riku approached the sleeping Ruping and lay a hand upon her head. She rustled softly at his touch and a couple of her eyes opened to peer at him, before closing to return to whatever medicated sleep she was in. Riku smiled, stepping back to give his friend some room. His datapad beeped and a quick swipe of his hand brought the message to the fore.

See you in the Cantina, don’t keep me waiting. Again. - Frey.

The commander snorted, turned on his heel and headed back towards the entrance to the room. Today was going to be a good day after all. A good day indeed.


Ragnos Cathedral
Kar Alabrek

The cathedral buzzed with the sounds of construction, the movement and speech of the House and their workers filling the halls again. As it should be, he thought to himself. The abandonment of the Cathedral was foolish, a spur of the moment and fear-based reaction that never should have taken place. The work of the last few weeks had started to knock off some of the damage that their absence had afforded. He wondered, his mind reaching out, sensing past the durasteel and the glass, deep into the stone and shadow that the Cathedral had been built around.

The tunnels of the ancients, the hidden passageways were a labyrinth of twisting power. They had been holding the cathedral fast for a few weeks now, and still they sent teams down into the depths, finding more that had been corrupted by the energies there. Less of them to be sure, but it seemed an ongoing fight. Muz paused, standing outside the heavy doors, the thorned symbol of Marka Ragons intertwined with the reticular Naga Sadow seal etched deep in the metal. He never would have guessed that he would return to that office in any official sense. It had been more than a decade since he had moved in there last, helping Korras clean up his effects in preparation for moving to Sepros. He could all but see himself moving around the office in his mind’s eye as the doors slid open. The desk was still there, worse for wear, ancient polished wood, engraved with tiny symbols and sigils, a throwback to the esoteric practices of what used to be his order.

Before what happened on Moribund changed everything. The thought poisoned his calm, his lip sneering momentarily before he regained his composure, turning and leaving the ghosts where they hid, swaddled in the dust of the Quaestor’s office. It was just another chair that he wouldn’t bother to sit in.

The dull pulse of the Force echoed to him, the pattern of his Aedile ricocheting across his senses, her shattered form lurking about in the shadows of the Cathedral, another wrathful ghost that held herself here. He had half expected her to be deep in the city by now, in the Black Zone, taking full advantage of the chaos and mayhem that erupted there. His forces had pushed them back from a fair bit of the city, but he crueler elements had gone to ground, and it would become a door-to-door campaign as they tried to root them out. Some relished in the idea. Muz didn’t like the wastefulness of it.

Another danced across his senses, the familiar scent of Dathomirian orchids and Kyataran vanilla reminding him as surely as seeing her. Her auburn hair tied into tight braids reached to her calves and her warpaint had faded into a reminder of a skull, she smiled when she saw him, fatigue in her eyes. He took her hand in his, bringing it to his lips before bringing her in for an embrace. He could tell she was ready to get out of the city. Away from any city, to go back to where she could have rich soil in her hands, between her toes, rain filtered through the high trees down onto her without a sentient creature for hours in any direction. She was wild inside, even though she was adept at otherwise. He looked at her and a thousand unsaid words seethed between them, borne through threads of energy, mind to mind. She was one of the few true allies he had and could fully trust on the planet. Shikyo had returned to Kyataru, as had Nekura and the rest of his bloodline.

So many flocked to his name, his title, his strength, but he knew their hearts. The corruption of iron reached from the heart of the brotherhood all the way across the galaxy. Unending hunger, unfettered ambition, and rage manifested in the sycophancy and bitter feuds that seemed to make up the vast majority of the clans. He lingered for a moment, letting her smell wipe away his anxiety, helping him to set aside his own goals for even a short while. The False Lords that evaded his grasp at Moribund, his hunt for the last of the missing components for rite he sought, the twisting threat of his master, the growing instability of his successor all weighed on his heart, save for moments like this.

She moved from him with a gleam in her eye, heading up to the docking bay where a shuttle no doubt waited to take her up to their home in the stars. He nodded at her. Words were unnecessary. Words were meaningless.

The Nihilgenia turned the corner, snapping into a quick bow at the sight of his queen as she passed him, bowing her head a degree in response. He waited the precise amount of time before stepping forward, bowing again at his leige. Riku Amahara, born in the vats of Kamino, forged in the fires of Kyataru. One of the few who had seen the blades of Eojin up close and lived to tell. The man was strong, proud, reliable. He had taken up much of the administrative duties left behind as Ophelia found herself more and more distracted. Her rage unbalanced her, and his willingness to step in probably made it worse for her.

“my Lord, have you seen the latest reports from the black zone?”

Muz’s arm chirped as if in punctuation as another report came in. He looked at the man, seeing something behind his eyes, a twitch in his pattern that he knew all too well. “You have command.”

“Yes, my Lord.” He bowed again as Muz stepped away, heading for the lift to the upper levels. It was a different perspective that he needed, and he knew where to find that.


Kar Alabrek
Refugee Camp VII

Firith stopped and listened. Yes, there it was… the muffled whimper of someone trying stifle their crying.

Looking around, he followed the sound to a small mattress propped in the corner of the hovel. Pulling it aside he found a small girl curled up, hiding. Her eyes were wide in terror as she looked up at the blood stained monster above her.

Squinting his eyes up he tried to fight the pain that lanced through his head when he fought against what he was doing. “DO IT! KILL THEM ALL!”, a voice commanded.

Reaching down with snake like speed Firith grabbed the child by her throat with his left hand. Picking her up he drove his vibroblade into her belly and up into her heart with his right.

Hot, sticky blood gushed over his hand, making the grip of vibroknife slick. Another family dead, this one Togruta.

Dropping the lifeless child to the floor, the assassin double checked to make sure he hadn’t missed any of the aliens living there.

The Grand Master was very clear. He demanded the extermination of all aliens and all Light Jedi. To make the Brotherhood pure. The constant shriek of the order, reminding him again and again.

Firith looked out of door of the hovel at the one next to it. The complete lack of security was making this extremely easy. Maybe just one more house…

Blood seeping down into the grooves of the vibroknife found a crack in the housing of the power pack and caused the weapon to short out with a loud pop and then the stench of burning blood and ozone

Firith looked at the weapon and shook his head. He’s had it for over fifteen years? Twenty? He could not remember. Shrugging, he put it back in his boot scabbard, bloody and covered in gore.

Firith paused, staring at the blood covered ground and the bodies of the people. Absent mindedly wiping his hand down his robes, leaving a bloody streak on the black and gray.

His head pounding, a barrage of commands ordering him to kill and hate and destroy any alien he met. He reached up and felt the painful lump at the base of his skull.

It was time to move on. Grand Master Pravus must be obeyed.

Reaching behind his back he removed his second vibroknife, the one he dubbed Master Slayer. No, this was for someone special.

Putting the blade back, Firith walked over to the door and peeked out. His feet sticking to the blood congealing on the floor.

Taking his saber off his belt he looked at it. Would the bright crimson blade alert the authorities? Wake the other refugees? Probably, and he wasn’t ready for that.

Five different families, twenty some odd aliens, dead. It was a good night’s work.


Home of Darkblade and Kaja
29 ABY

The screams of Kaja brought the Anzat back to reality. As he looked down and realized what he had done, his anger subsided and panic gripped his chest.

She knows what I am now. The thought entered his mind as he turned to look up towards her from the floor, dropping the lifeless body of Dave on the floor. Darkblade stood up and began to advance towards the person he loved.

Kaja motioned with something in her hands, the Anzat realizing it was the empty gun used to kill Dave before he had succumbed to his instincts and fed on their former contractor.

“One step closer and I swear I blast you to bits,” Kaja spoke as she sobbed heavily, though the ferocity and determination to protect herself from the monster she had just seen was clear as daylight. Her eyes no longer held the sparkle of life Darkblade had become so accustomed to. Instead when he made eye contact with her he saw nothing but disgust and hatred burning in her dark brown eyes.

“The clip is empty,” Darkblade said, his voice heavy with sorrow. Yet he refrained from approaching her, knowing that if he did any chance of redemption was surely lost.

Click Click Click

The sounds of the empty blaster pistol rang throughout the room as Kaja tested the Anzat’s words. A pang of sadness washed over Darkblade as he realized Kaja would have dropped him dead right then and there if there had been anything left in the clip.

With a scream filled with hurt and sadness, Kaja threw the gun at the Anzat who made no movement to dodge the weapon, feeling it hit his chest and watching it bounce to the floor in front of him.

Tears streamed down the cheeks of the human as she tried to find her composure.

“How can you hide this from me for all this time? Oh man, I can’t believe I kissed you, even made love to you and all this time you weren’t even a kriffing human?” she said as rage began to overtake her emotions.

The tears stopping and the soft features turning into something the Anzat only recognized from when they were on missions together those many years ago. Kaja was putting up her emotional walls, purging the Anzat from her system and removing anything she felt for him as she began to think of her next steps.

Darkblade stood before her, helpless as he watched her shut himself off from him. The image Kaja had of Darkblade died that instant as she bent over to the ground and wretched on the floor in front of her. Her insides all but empty, barely anything but stomach acids came up, yet she continued to heave for a few moments before controlling herself.

As she straightened herself up again, wiping her mouth clear of the fluids, her expression was one of stone. Her black hair seemed to have lost its shine and her entire demeanor and composure spoke of only distaste for the Anzat.

“Grab your stuff and get out of here. I don’t want to see or hear anything from you ever again, and if you do come looking for me, you will regret the day we ever met. I will kill you without a second’s hesitation. It will be either you or me, and I don’t plan on dying like he did,” she said stiffly as she pointed towards the corpse of Dave.

“Kaja, you know I wouldn’t --,” Darkblade tried to say.

“Not another word from you, you… Monster,” she whispered the last word, seemingly finding it hard to believe she could think that of her former lover.

Again, Darkblade complied and began to make his way towards the door. Moving slowly so he wouldn’t startle Kaja or provoke unwanted violence. As the Anzat opened the door he looked back at his home for one last time, taking on the scene of the corpse on the floor, the puddle of stomach acid a few meters from the corpse and directly above that the human he had felt the strongest connection to since he had ventured out into the galaxy.

“I’ll be around for the next few days, should you change your mind. I hope you do Kaja. I don’t want things to end like this, but I understand if you need some time to let this sink in. If I had wanted to hurt you don’t you think it would have happened a long time ago?” he tried to get through to her.

The only response was a stone cold stare, as if he didn’t even exist anymore. After another moment of silence, Darkblade sighed as he closed the door behind him.

Even though the city was bustling with noises, when he heard Kaja sobbing through the door and letting all her pent up emotions out in that moment, the Anzat felt as if his heart was being torn into pieces. Just a few meters separated him from her, yet he could not help or comfort her as he had become the object of her sorrow. His own tears streamed down his face as he made way to the local bars to drink away his self pity.

Lambda Shuttle
Sleeping Quarters
34 ABY

The Dark Jedi woke with a yell, sweating profusely and feeling panic coiled in his chest, as if it were constricting the life out of him. Coming to his senses and seeing familiar surroundings, the panic loosened its grip on him and made way for exhaustion. He had been unable to get a single night’s rest upon their departure. It was starting to take its toll on the Anzat as fatigue had ravaged his mind. Memories from the past had began to haunt him with relentless vengeance.

“Sir, we are about to drop out of hyperspace and continue the last leg of the journey through real space. Our ETA to the final destination should be somewhere within the next two hours,” the pilot’s voice said over the ship intercom.

Sighing heavily, Darkblade stretched himself out and got out of the bed. Straightening himself up and giving his robes a quick pat down to remove some of the creases, he made his way to the pilot to strap himself in and try to enjoy the view of the planet that had housed Kaja probably for many years.

As he clambered into the seat, they dropped out of hyperspace and the planet loomed in front of them.

“Welcome to Coruscant,” the co-pilot said cheerfully.


Ragnos Cathedral

“You look well,” the comment was quick and Frey’jah smiled lightly in reply. She hadn’t said much since Riku had arrived which unnerved the Commander given he could barely get her to stop talking most days. “Is something the matter?”

She looked at him then down at the table, stirring her drink with one armored finger. A barely audible sigh escaped her lips. “You didn’t contact me after the last time,” she held up a hand to stop Riku from interjecting. “Yes I’m aware my father said not to, but you were meant to.”

“You know I can’t. If I did I’d only cause issues. Your father made it perfectly clear only a Mandalorian may have your hand to keep the clan strong. Not some copy,” he had little time to respond as her hand met the side of his face and knocked him from his seat to the floor. A wave of anger washed over him and for a moment he could barely control it. Shaking his head he stared at her. “Why?”

Frey’jah hissed. “You know why! We already went over this. You are not a copy, you are different to the other Nihilgenia, you have a spark. Listen you know fine what you need to do, and I can train you. Once that’s done everything will be fine.”

“But the general wouldn’t…”

"So? Go to Darth Ashen. In fact, you know what? I will. Right now, " she rose from her seat and Riku moved to stop her leaving but his communicator went indicating the emergency channel. “Hold on, wait! Damn it!” She was gone and he picked up the comm rather than follow, “Amahara, what is it?”

“Commander. We have reports of several murders…a slaughter taking place within the confines of the refugee camp.”

“Casualties? Witnesses?”

"All Alien sir. No one saw anything, a few strange noises but nothing out of the ordinary. A family member stopped to visit and found one of the families "

“Inquisition? Here. Wait one of the families?”

“We’ve seen no sign, sir. Nor has surveillance drawn up anything. Yes sir, as I said a slaughter. What are your orders?”

Riku stared at the wall for only a few moments before replying. “Contact the Spear. Get all available Nihilgenia to the refugee zone. Lock it down. A situation like this has ways of getting out of control,” he sighed. A situation like this always got out of control.

“Yes, sir. Though from reports the situation is already escalating. Children were killed, sir.”

The communicator dropped from Riku’s hand and hit the floor. It took him off guard and as he regained his composure he stopped to pick it up. “Acknowledged Lieutenant. I shall oversee this personally. Contact Clan Lok, get some of their Mandalorians on the ground. Find this scum, find him and bring him to me.”

The comm went dead and only stopping to pick up his helmet the Nihilgenia commander left the cantina and made his way to the shuttle bay. Frey’jah would need to wait. He had an inkling she would stay true to her word and head straight for Darth Ashen. He sighed and keyed a quick communication to the Sith lord warning him as well as updating him on the situation.

As he walked he opened up a general channel to all members of House Marka Ragnos:

“This is Commander Amahara of the Nihilgenia special forces. On this day a coward walks amongst us. A traitor or an Inquisitor I care not. They stole into the refugee camp and have slaughtered citizens under our protection,” he stopped to choose his next words carefully. “I am opening a hunt. Find this murderer, bring him to Darth Ashen or myself and I will ensure you are rewarded. Nihilgenia and members of Clan Lok will be assisting. I will make myself clear, should anyone know of or harbor the murderer you will suffer. Amahara out.”

The communicator went silent as he made his way to the hanger bay. One way or the other things were definitely about to escalate. For better or worse.


Red Sector, Markosian City, Tarthos

Inyri’s release had been the easy part, especially after word of an Inquisitiorious operation came up on Clan comms. But Inyri wasn’t yet interested in some alien baby killing lunatic yet, no, she had to chase the rabbit hole further down first. The last time she had been to Markosian City, she had caught an Inquisitor in the act of obtaining intel on the Clan for whatever asinine plot Pravus had in mind for them. Either she had interrupted it or it hadn’t been that important, but the loose end of why the gangs were hanging out with an Inquisitor was her only lead.

Using her access to the intel that her House had on the local gangs, Inyri now knew where to strike next, to go for the head of the gang that was helping the Inquisitor she roughed up…and kneecapped. Grethos was the name, a Rodian with an elevated sense of self worth because he had a swoop gang in the Red Sector, but Inyri was going to do more than knock him down a peg…

She wore a dark green cardigan and tan cargo pants, and used the Force to alter her appearance to brown hair, brown eyes, and a little older in overall complexion, creating the image of the most average looking Human female she could to make it very difficult to identify her to anyone else, in the event anyone went to the authorities or the Inquisitiorious…though the latter was moot because if they were behind it, she’d be coming to them.

Grethos was walking along the marketplace with two bodyguards, leering at various shopkeeps to collect on their protection money. Inyri kept close by, but made sure to break off and act like she was shopping from time to time to avoid arousing suspicion. Sure enough, Grethos eventually broke off his income generation to head for the refreshers. His guards remained behind as he descended down a set of steps to a public one, and Inyri started walking up to the steps.

One of the bodyguards put his hand up to stop her from going down, but Inyri instead grabbed him by the wrist and pulled him into her, slamming her knee into his stomach. His partner started to reach for his blaster pistol, but Inyri kept the first bodyguard between her and the second, making him hesitate. Capitalizing on the opening, Inyri shoved the first guard down the steps, and then struck the second guard, punching him in the throat. The bodyguard staggered back, gasping, but Inyri followed up by pulling out her Gile-44 from the holster at the small of her back and fired a pair of shots into his chest and a third into his head.

Screams echoed across the marketplace, and Inyri started down the stairs, holstering the pistol. The first guard managed to get up to a knee, reaching for a vibrodagger, but Inyri stepped in behind him, wrapping her arms around his head and twisted sharply. The bodyguard went slack, and Inyri dropped him to the floor, turning to approach the refresher’s door. A trio of crimson bolts seared through the wooden door from the other side, fired wildly.

“GET THE HELL AWAY FROM ME!” A voice shouted from the other side. Inyri kicked the door in, slamming what remained of it into Grethos and staggering him. He started to bring his Merr Sonn Model 57 heavy blaster pistol to bear, but Inyri blocked him from doing so, gripping his forearm. She then pushed his gun arm downward and punched him square in the snout. This gave the Shadow the opening she needed to remove the pistol from his hand, which she ejected the powerpack and tossed the pistol aside.

“Hello, kriffer. You and I have something to talk about.” Inyri said, grabbing Grethos by the throat.

“Who-who are you?” Grethos demanded, fear in his eyes.

“Your gang was helping an Inquisitor. Why?” Inyri demanded, shifting Grethos over to the sinks.

“I can’t! He’ll kill me!” Grethos replied. Inyri scowled and slammed the Rodian’s head into the mirror, cracking it. She followed up by punching him in the stomach to double him over and them grabbed him by the head, smashing him through the ceramic sink before recovering her grip on his throat.

“We were just muscle. It was Zev Graydon. He hired us to protect the Inquisitor.” Grethos replied.

“You should have given him a refund. I killed at least six of your minions before I used the Inquisitor as a punching bag. Next question: who is Graydon?” Inyri demanded.

“I’m still working for him! If he finds out I told you, he’ll tear me to shreds!” Graydon pleaded. Inyri rolled her eyes and drug him over to one of the stalls, shoving him against it. She then slammed a foot squarely into his chest, kicking him through the door and onto the toilet. This was followed up with a boot squarely to his face before hauling him to his feet by his neck once more.

“I think you have more immediate concerns. Care to try again?” Inyri asked, seething anger.

“He…he’s a business type. Runs one of the shipping companies out of Kar Alabrek, but he uses that to smuggle in whatever the Inquisitors want. He’s been doing it for years.” Grethos explained, blood running off his face from numerous cuts now.

“So. He’s on their payroll. Fine.” Inyri’s eyes narrowed, “Last question; he mention Ginovef before?”

“What? No, he doesn’t tell me anything.” Grethos said, shaking his head. Inyri nodded once, and then spun the Rodian around, kicking him back into the stall. It was time to do Markosian City a favor by removing some of the scum terrorising people, and after two minutes, Grethos was now the coroner’s problem, having ended up drowned to death in a toilet.

Inyri removed herself from the soon-to-be crime scene, using the Force to mask her presence entirely until she was safely away, and headed to return to Kar Alabrek. Zev Graydon was going to pay for his crimes next, and Inyri had absolutely no intention of stopping there…


The Temple of Blood
Sepros, Aethoran system
34 ABY

For what felt like the hundredth time since he had taken up quarters in the temple, Bentre took down the Sith Sword and swung it about in a tight arc. The first shipment of his things to arrive had been his weapons, from his first lightsaber down to the very sword he held in his grasp. Getting a feel for the weapon’s heft after a few twirls, he lifted the weapon up, resting it gently back in it’s wall-mounted racking.

Even with the revelation of his daughter’s birth, the Sith could not manage to relax. The silence that stretched out after the Grand Master’s latest move was becoming maddening. The first thing that the new Rollmaster wanted to do was to set his new Black Guard to work defending the Clan’s interests, but the going had been slow. He had reviewed Darius’ records, had made a few recommendations and was now waiting to hear back on his request to draft reserve Guardsman until the new protocols could be brought into full effect.

He might have asked Firith’rar to help out with that but since the man’s departure to Marka Ragnos, the Corellian had been less apt to call upon his student. He sensed the older man was searching out his own path in recent days, and the Rollmaster would not interrupt such a quest. The Sith had to fight off another moment of self doubt.

Compared to Locke or Sanguinius, he did not feel as prepared as he made himself out to be. The same as always, Bentre Stahoes was flying by the seat of his pants, and the price for mistakes seemed to increase every day. He marveled at how much had been accomplished, trying what he could to remain vigilant against so great an unknown. Reports of conflicts and deaths were spread across the flimsiplast reports which littered the desk in the corner of his quarters. If the reports were accurate, an unusual number of Pravus’ loyal Inquisitors had fallen over the course of the last few months. Surely the Grand Master would not allow these acts to go unanswered.

You feel fear. Such weakness. The low hiss of the voice chided the man. He considered the thought for a moment before dismissing it. There was a prudence in caution, he reasoned to himself. After all, given the shows of Force so far, he was sure that the Consul would prefer excess to shortage of oversight. He considered contacting Marcus for a few moments, but then dismissed the thought. The Umbaran had enough on his plate working with Farrin in the Academy.

Besides, the presence returned with a coy whisper, how well do you trust his loyalties? After all, he did try to overturn the Consul for a shot at power.

Stahoes looked around the room, puzzling over the situation. Who did he really have to call when it got down to brass tacks. He felt enough unease around Darkblade and his distrust of the shifty Anzat had not eased up since the Obelisk’s return to the Clan. He fully expected that retaliation would come at some point, and although he felt confident he could meet the challenge, he was not about to test that particular theory just yet. There was still too much to do. Muz Ashen and his Aedile were still working on strengthening their own House, Aul Celsus was still riding high on his new Aedile position, so it seemed for now that he was alone.

Isn’t that always the way you liked it? The hissing presence, the not-Bentre practically cooed the words. The thought hung in the air for a minute before the Corellian shook his head again.

“We are headed for a disaster,” he thought aloud, his voice still low, “and I haven’t any time to feel sorry for myself. The duties of my office, of my Clan and of my family are more important than my own personal goals, for the moment.”

So high and mighty now that people won’t turn their backs to you, boyo. Not-Bentre counted the statement smugly. Though I suppose you have to put up even more of a front now. Can’t let them see weakness, can’t let them envision opportunity. Especially, if they knew about your daughter, oh how a weak point would open! A crack in the armor revealed, and all you could do is cower as you await retribution.

“Personal vengeance will have it’s time.” Bentre’s voice became a growl as he rebuked the presence. “I just need to ensure the pieces are in place. My burden is mine to bear, and mine alone.”

“Sir,” a voice answered the statement, “I am sorry?” A squat Mirilian stood in the doorway, curiosity evident in his eyes and in the twist of his mouth. The soldier was dressed in Warhost colors, bearing the insignia of a Captain. The Rollmaster recognized the man automatically. It wasn’t as though he hadn’t had enough time to get to know the man who had stuck to him like mud to a boot since his appointment.

“Nothing you need to worry about Telum,” Bentre breathed through his nose, “just thinking aloud.”

“Sounded pretty intense.” Cephas’ voice rose a bit, with the slightest lilt of humor. “I would hate to see you and your old lady in an argument.” The soldier’s mouth twisted in a smirk.

“That is none of your business though, is it?” The Corellian’s words became curt, more fitting to the down-to-business persona he tried to exude in public now. “Though if you feel that you would like to get involved in a little more business, I do have an idea of sorts. I need somebody who has seen some action- at least more than I have. Your service history listed Dlarit and a number of engagements. You have a greater wealth of experience to tap into, along with other members of our Warhost. How would you feel about the change to knock down some over-eager youngin’s down a peg or two?”

A look of concern twisted Cephas’ face as the Mirilian considered the offer. The concerned expression slowly melted into a small smile. “A chance to train up your next generation of Jedi killers? Help mold some of that lot into your image or something like that?” The Captain nodded slowly after a few moments. “It sounds mildly interesting, I will give you that.”
Bentre handed the soldier a datapad. “You can get me the names of at least 11 other members of the Warhost who could meet up to that task as well. Just be warned, maiming may occur mid-training, so don’t sign up anybody that you don’t feel you can spare.”

“Oh no worries about that,” the Captain smirked, his expression becoming like stone “we are all expendable in the end, aren’t we?” A few moments of silence passed between the men as Bentre stared hard at Telum.

“In any case,” the Corellian seemed to brush the comment aside now, “before you start with that, get Tasha’Vel Versea on the comm. There are many matters to be dealt with today and I only have so much time to devote to trivialities like this exchange. So get to it.”


Northern Coast, Kar Alabrek, Tarthos

Zev Graydon entered his home, an upscale two-story city house, and was surprised to hear voices from the dining room. Placing his coat and hat on the rack next to the door, he walked in, hearing his wife and another woman talking. He wasn’t expecting guests, so this was unusual.

“Oh, if you think that’s a hoot, you should hear about what happened this one time back home at an office Life Day party…oh, look who’s home.” Inyri said, feigning a pleasant smile. She was dressed in a black turtleneck, blue pants, and as a rarity, she was also wearing makeup, and was holding a glass of wine. She had lied her way into the Graydon home, telling Janice Graydon that she was their new neighbor, recently arrived from Corellia as an accountant that specialized in tax law.

“Honey, this is Sabine Ferax, she’s our new neighbor.” Janice said, stepping over to hug and kiss her husband. Graydon’s eyes were fixed on Inyri, and it was clear he knew who she was but wasn’t sure what to make of the visit. Inyri stepped over to hug Zev.

“Grethos is dead. Consider that wisely.” Inyri whispered before stepping back, wearing her feigned smile again, “So, this is the famous Mister Graydon I’ve heard so much about.”

“I…yes, well…” Zev trailed off.

“Oh, Sabine, you must stay for dinner. I’ve got a bantha roast going and Ryshcate for dessert.” Janice said.

“Oh well now I have to stay. Ryshcate, perfect!” Inyri replied, “It’s like the perfect thing for the occasion.”

“Great! I’ll get the settings ready.” Janice replied.

“I…I’ll go wash up.” Zev said with a nervous smile and headed upstairs.

“You’re fun, you know that?” Inyri said to Janice.

Ten minutes later, they were all seated at the table, Zev looking quite uncomfortable with what was going on, but Inyri wasn’t going to let on just quite yet.

“So, would you like that over rice or pasta?” Janice asked.

“Whichever is faster. Some security forces troops are on their way.” Inyri glanced at Zev and hoisted up her wine glass before finishing off the contents. She had to admit, though Zev was scum, Janice was really quite a pleasant lady with very good culinary skills and a good taste in wines.

“What do you mean?” Janice asked, blinking.

“I think you should go. Sabine.” Zev said, standing up.

“And miss your wife’s great cooking? I think not.” Inyri replied, setting her wine glass down.

“Leave our house, now!” Zev barked.

“What’s going on here?” Janice asked, fear entering her voice.

“Your husband is about to pull a blaster on me. But it’s going to be a wasted gesture. And I’m afraid that I won’t be able to try your Ryshcate, which is a shame because it smells amazing. If it’s even half as good as it smells, you’ve outdone yourself and you should really consider entering it in a baking contest. You’d probably win.” Inyri said, and then narrowed her eyes. Zev reached behind his back and drew a Scout Pistol, leveling it at her. Janice screamed a little.

“I SAID GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!” Zev shouted, and then pulled the trigger, but nothing happened. Inyri reached into her pocket and pulled out the powerpack.

“Can’t even tell the difference between a loaded and empty blaster…that’s really sad.” Inyri said ruefully, and set it down next to her plate. She stood up, and in a blur, drew her Gile-44 from behind her back, and shot Zev in the leg, dropping the older man to the floor. Janice screamed even louder and ran over to her husband’s side while Zev groaned in pain.

“You lunatic!” Janice screamed.

“It’s a flesh wound. And I can do far worse, which I will if your husband doesn’t explain to me the particulars of arranging the Inquisitorious’ murder of my parents.” Inyri said firmly.

“He needs a doctor! Please!” Janice pleaded.

“…won’t tell you a thing…argh…” Zev moaned.

“Janice, if you don’t stop screaming, I will lock you in the closet.” Inyri warned, keeping her pistol trained on Zev, “And Zev, you’re going to tell me or this night is going to get a lot worse.”

“He’s going to die! Please! He needs a doctor!” Janice was now hysterical at this point.

“You brought…brought this on yourself.” Zev said through gritted teeth.

Inyri stood up, grabbing Janice by her shoulders and hauled her into the closet, throwing her in and slammed the door, followed by propping a chair against the door. Janice started pounding on the door and screaming.

“Janice, dear, you need to calm down, because if you don’t, I’m going to have to shoot through this door, and I’ll feel really bad because I won’t be able to tell if I’ll hit you or not.” Inyri said chidingly. The pounding and screaming stopped. Inyri walked over to the dining table and drug a table out to sit next to Zev, holding her blaster on him.

“I bet you’d sell her out if your taskmasters told you to. It’s a shame, she’s really a nice lady, and if that Ryshcate is any indication, she’s a hell of a cook. Very nice lady.” Inyri said, “Now. If you don’t want me to haul you to the Cathedral and let one of the Masters there tear you apart slowly and painfully, you’ll tell me more about Tyrena.”

“…you spat in the face of Darth Pravus, you assaulted one of his Inquisitors, and you openly defied him at your Knighting. Your Clan has gotten away with this for too long, and your time will come soon, but we can’t get to anyone in command, so we got to you. Among others.” Zev said, glaring daggers at her.

“And if Pravus and the Inquisitorious weren’t so bent on this pointless purge that is weakening us, I wouldn’t be souring his cereal. But you idiots escalated this, and you’re going to reap what you sow.” Inyri replied, “And now, I need a reason why I don’t call Darth Ashern down here right now and let him know you’ve been helping the Inquisitorious undermine him. Because I’m sure he’d be ever so forgiving…”

Zev looked away, his expression going blank.

“Zev? If you’ve lost your voice, I can easily help you find it again.” Inyri put a foot just below his wound.

“There’s more to this plot than just upsetting some insignificant Knight. You’re just one of many examples. We’ve got another already working.” Zev finally said.

“…so. That’s related then. Interesting.” Inyri mused aloud.

“But you…you can’t touch me, child. I’m quadanium. You’re going to die, and I’m going to walk out of here a hero. Do you understand me? I’m untouchable, I’m kriffing quadanium!” Zev shouted at her with a smirk.

“Oh. Well, in that case…” Inyri shot him in the other leg.

“No, no I’d say you’re far from quadanium. But sit tight, I have a call to make.” Inyri stood up and walked to the foyer, pulling out her commlink and turning it on, setting it to the House’s main line.

“Commander Amahara, this is Knight Ginovef. If you’re not too busy, I’d like to request your presence at my location in regards to the call you made last night, please and thank you. You may find the information enlightening.” Inyri said over the comm. “Oh, and if you could tell Kar Alabrek Security to ignore the call from the Graydon residence, I’d appreciate it. Over and out.”

Inyri walked over into the dining room and sat down.

“As of right now, Mister Graydon, I own you, and the Inquisitorious does not. If you want to remain on my good graces, you’ll do exactly as I say when I say it, and if you do not, there will be consequences. Understand that my wrath will come swiftly, it will come from the shadows, and you cannot stop it.” Inyri leaned forward, “Do we understand one another? Because if there’s an issue, I’m sure Janice can help us reach an understanding.”

“You wouldn’t dare.” Zev spat.

“Mister Graydon, an assassin broke into the home of my parents and brutally murdered two Republic military veterans. At this point, I’d burn down the entire Brotherhood if it meant getting revenge, so yes, I would dare.” Inyri’s voice was icy as her eyes.

“You’re nothing.” Zev shot back.

“No. What I am is the spirit of vengeance. You and yours called down the thunder, and so you all shall reap the whirlwind.” Inyri leveled her pistol on the closet, “When I descend on your accomplices, Hell will come with me. So. Do we have an understanding, or does poor Janice have to suffer for your arrogance and loyalty to the Inquisitorious?”

Zev looked at the closet and then away from both. Inyri slammed her foot down onto his first wound, causing the businessman to cry out in pain.

“DO. WE. HAVE. AN. UNDERSTANDING?!” Inyri demanded, pushing her foot harder down.

“YES! YES! ARGH! PLEASE!” Zev shouted, nodding his head repeatedly. Inyri let her foot off and sat up in her chair.

“Was that so hard?” Inyri said, standing up and tucking her pistol back into its holster. She then grabbed the wine bottle and poured herself another glass.

“Janice, dear, your taste in wine is exquisite.” Inyri said to the closet, hoisting the glass up in a toast.


Catacombs of the Temple of Sorrow

The three young initiates knew they were not allowed to be down below the Temple of Sorrow, much less in the sacred catacombs that were used for fallen members of the clan. Dantos lead the group of three as they continued to pillage the burial sites of Naga Sadow’s warriors. He wanted a lightsaber for himself so he could prove to the Elders that he was ready to be a Knight. His colleagues too were looking for loot to bolster their positions.

So far all they had found was damaged armor that was in poor condition which would do them no good. Akron the youngest of the three had wandered up ahead to look for gem stones that might be inlaid in some sarcophagi. Dantos and Kapron were lifting the lid on one burial tomb when they heard their colleagues’ scream. They went running towards the direction of the scream, weapons drawn. As they ran into the room where they heard the scream emanate from they saw young Akron jumping up and down in place.

“This is the motherload!” He wildly exclaimed to Dantos and Kapron. “This sarcophagus will definitely have something worth our time.”

“Let me be the judge of that.” Quipped Dantos. “What makes it so special?”

“It has something engraved in it, looks like ancient Sith.” Replied Kapron. “I have been studying that, but I’m not the best at deciphering it.”

“Well, what does it say?” Asked Dantos angrily.

“Something about, ‘Our beloved leader’ and there is some more that talks about how ‘…one day He shall rise again.’ I’m not sure what it means” Kapron said confusedly.

“What are we waiting for boys,” said Dantos enthusiastically, “let’s open it up!”

The three examined the sarcophagus closely but could not find any etching that would show where the lid began. All they could find was a some control panel, which made absolutely zero sense unless it was a security measure for the sarcophagus to protect it from would be plunderers. Dantos decided he was not going to bother with trying to jury rigging it, so he took his blaster and shot it.

“Great now we cannot get into it!” Yelled Kapron, but before the final word left his mouth devices inside the sarcophagus began whirring and decorative lighting activated on the sides. The large rectangular structure began to break apart as pieces moved here and there to reveal the insides. A body adorned in full Sith armor belonging to a Master lay inside. At his sides were twin lightsabers, one by each of his elbows. His arms were criss-crossed over his chest. The sight of the two lightsabers made the eyes of all three initiates open wide. They all ran to grab one, but as they got within less than half a meter of them they stopped. They could not move a muscle in their arms or legs. Looking at each other they knew something was horribly wrong.

Dantos looked down to see what was holding his legs in place, only to notice that he and his companions were all now floating above the ground. The thought that they had set off a trap that would hold them prisoner until the Clan’s leaders arrived began running thru his head. How would he explain himself out of this one?

“Hey guys, I think that body is moving.” Cried Akron.

“Impossible, he’s been dead a long time.” Said Dantos, he did not have time for this.

“No, he’s right Dantos, look.” Kapron responded, pointing at the now outstretched arms of the body in the sarcophagus. Before any of the three could wonder what was going to happen next lightning emitted from the fingers of the body and the three fell to the ground, their own bodies scorched and smoldering. Moaning in pain from their wounds they had no strength to move as the supposed corpse of Naga Sadow’s heir rose from his hibernation case. He attached his lightsabers to his belt and stood over the would be plunderers.

“You dishonor the name of this Clan. You would try to make yourselves strong by stealing from the dead?” Spat the founder of Clan Naga Sadow. “Pathetic.”

Making a fist with his hand was all he needed to do as an expression of the dark side to crush their throats and snap their necks. He had rested for far too long and would no doubt need to be brought up to date on the comings and goings of Clan Naga Sadow. For today, Astronicus Aurelius Sadow had returned.


Versea Estate,

Tasha heard the communicator go off again as she put Lyna’Vel into her crib. She called for the nurse droid to monitor the sleeping babe while she answered the call. Bentre appeared on the audio-visual display. He could be seen running his hands through his hair, usually signifying that he had something on his mind.

“You rang, darling?” She smiled.

Bentre looked closer at the screen,noticing immediately that the child was not present with Tasha.

“Where is our daughter?” He asked with a look of concern on his features.

“She’s sleeping right now. I currently have the nurse droid watching over her.” Pressing a button on her wrist, Tasha switched the screen to the nurse droid’s monitor showing a sleeping Lyna’Vel.
Bentre seemed to relax a bit after seeing the child safe and continued speaking.

“How are things on Ryloth?”

“So far things have been peaceful in the city and the Estate. I haven’t had a lot of visitors of late. I know Lilith wanted to stop by and see the little one sometime.” Tasha sighed a bit as she turned the screen back towards her,showing a worrisome frown.

“Though I can’t say that all is peaceful. I have been having several recurring nigh area of late. In these dreams I see the entire Estate in flames, being burned down to nothing but a pile of rubble. It has awakened me on more than one occasion, Bentre. Frankly, I have a very uneasy feeling that something may occur soon. That is why if something happens, we will have to see to the child’s safety. In order to do so, that will mean asking Sanguinius for assistance when the time comes.”

“Are you sure about Sang? Is there no one else you trust in the clan?”

Tasha took in a deep breath and let it out slowly as she looked directly into Bentre’s eyes. “With the current affairs of the clan, I’m at the point where I’m now questioning who to trust. Sang seems to be the most sane and level-headed in the Upper Summit.”

“Oh, so I’m not level-headed?” Bentre retorted sarcastically, crooking an eyebrow with a half-smirk. “I’m like the most sane person here.” His face then dropped to a more serious look as he gazed at his wife.

“If one or both of us falls, who will be the caretaker for our child’s safety and welfare?”

Tasha kept her gazed fixed on Bentre and did not hesitate. “Sanguinius is still the one I trust if things go south.”

Bentre nodded as he folded his hands together, “Then I trust you will see this taken care of while I attend to my duties. For now I need to go, there are other pressing matters I need to attend to, however, Nechaska, I love you and our daughter. I will talk to you later.”

After speaking, Tasha turned off the monitor.“All right, time to make another phone call to a good friend.”

Pressing a couple more buttons, Tasha put in another call.

“Sanguinius, I have a matter I need to speak to you in private that involves quite a bit on your part. Would you be willing to take a trip to Ryloth and visit?”


The second shipment had arrived sometime shortly after Captain Telum had left. Bentre hadn’t seen when exactly when, as he had been hard at work tackling the almost overwhelming amounts of paperwork. His conversation with his wife had been far more brief than he had wished, as seemed the few true joys he engaged in these days. So much had been left in disarray upon Darius’ departure and it appeared as though the man had managed to archive little. When he had first marveled at the backlog, it almost appeared as though few Rollmasters had managed to archive very much.

For the gods’ sakes, there are still records sitting here from before my time that he never managed to get filed.

The thought carried with it a bitter pang of pain as he shuffled through files pertaining to the periods of Red Fury through to Ashes Fall in particular. Atra Ventus had been a mentor to the Obelisk and somehow Bentre had never really managed to come to terms with the loss of his old friend. Skimming over after-action reports, Stahoes felt a sting in his eyes as his vision clouded. Sniffing, he wiped unwanted tears from his eyes. One day he would avenge his friend’s death. In the meantime, there were still more pressing matters to deal with.

He shook his head. If Pravus descended upon Sepros, or Aeotheran, or Tarthos what would happen to the civilians? The Sith stared hard at the datapad for what felt like ages. What would happen to those like Lyna’Vel? The man wrestled internally with the thoughts. How far would I be willing to go, should I be willing to go to protect these people? Are any of them more important than any of my Sadowan family? Would any of them understand the sacrifices of one of our Versea, or those of our Sons or Daughters of Sadow?

A creeping realization settled over the man. In the bitter end, his life and his death was no more significant than that of a mynock in an asteroid field. Whether he died fighting Pravus or defending Sepros he would perish into obscurity while the galaxy spun on.

Like the Clan’s founder, I might leave a legacy, but really how many will know my name? We are little more than a small cult in the big galaxy- be it Versea family, Naga Sadow, or Brotherhood. When I die, what survivors will avenge my death? Will Mom or Dad ever learn my ultimate fate or will Tasha’Vel be the only one to grieve my passing?

More questions raged on and on through his head before Bentre finally shook his head to dismiss the venomous doubts. The best he could do before his eventual demise was to set his affairs in order. All mean die eventually after all, he reasoned, and the galaxy is full of uncertainties. If I die in battle I just have to trust Tasha’s strength and ability to help the others carry on.

The sound of his quarter’s door chime echoed through the chamber, bringing the Battlemaster back to attention and back to the present. “Come in,” he intoned, looking toward the doorway.

The door slid open to reveal the squat form of Cephas Telum. The man held a datapad in one hand, and a datadisk clutched between two fingers of the soldier’s other hand. “Sir, I have a list of candidates and their respective service records along with their respective skillsets. Now, these are just the first badge of candidates of course. I can easily pull up more if you so wish.”

As the man spoke, Bentre’s eyes had almost instantly dropped down as he scribbled hurried notes on a slip of flimsiplast with a pen. The soldier waited with only the slightest hint of impatience, twitching only once as he stood there. “Is there anything that you require assistance with, sir?”

Bentre looked up, smiling deviously at the man before holding up the sheet of flimsiplast. “I do have a small grocery list of things I need you to procure. None of this is too terribly illegal, of course. I just need you to ensure it’s all strictly hush-hush. There is no need for things like authorization requests to cross the Consul’s desk if you can help it. Time is of the essence and he is so terribly busy these days, I am sure you understand.”

The Corellian gave a knowing smile as the Mirilan Captain reached out to take the document. Eyes widened as the Warhost Captain pulled the flimsiplast up to examine it more closely. His blue eyes danced briefly over its surface before growing wide. “I can get a number of these things easily enough, like the R3 droid but I am not sure where to begin finding a Hunter-Killer droid. I might be able to acquire a portion of the explosives, but it will take more time if you don’t want any records left- assuming that I understand your intent, sir.”

Bentre laughed lightly, leaning back in his chair as he stared up at the ceiling. “There are a lot of things that could start happening very fast in very short order, my dear Captain. You just do what are you able. In the meantime I figure that I can find lots of wee little ways to keep myself busy. Though, take some comfort. While you are working for me on this you don’t have to worry about your other duties. Think of it as a wee bit of a vacation.” The Sith let the words hang in the air. “If you have other concerns, feel free to express them. If not, you can kindly be dismissed.”

The Captain’s mouth opened and closed a few times as though in protest before he finally nodded. Placing the datapad and datadisc upon the desk, Cephas gave a salute before turning on his heel and marching out of the room. Left alone once again, Bentre lifted the active datapad to examine it. In a way he regretted having to keep the loyal Warhost off-balance. He could not afford a show of weakness.

While in public, his every action had to be carefully calculated. He couldn’t let the facade crack, remaining ever the image of lofty ease. If he didn’t he might have to face his own fears. If he didn’t a crack could widen, leaving him looking vulnerable enough to retaliate against. If he didn’t, someone like the Anzat might try to take advantage. He had a lot to answer for yet and he didn’t relish dealing with older matters just yet.

You just need to calm down, he tried to reassure himself, there will be plenty of time to worry about such matters later. He waited a moment, more than half-expecting the presence of Not-Bentre to assert itself, driving home his feelings of self-doubt with hissing words. Letting out a slow breath, Stahoes was relieved that his thoughts were met with only silence. In the midst of the chaos, the Inquisitorius and the Grand Master’s madnesses he would enjoy any reprieve he could, however brief. He knew the presence of Muz would only dissuade the psychotic Sith for so long, whatever the others might want to think, believe or wish.

Letting a sigh escape his lips, Bentre placed Telum’s datapad down at the corner of his desk before lifting his own device. A wave of nostalgia and homesickness passed over the man as he considered the state of the Brotherhood. In some small way, he wished that he could live in simpler times, before his life was relegated by the movements of Battle Teams, the coordination of the Dakhani under the Anzat, or the nurturing of young hopefuls as Rollmaster. He briefly began to pine for the time before he began reporting to the Headmaster and the Tribune of Holocrons. His work left so little time to address personal matters.

Swiping his finger across the display, the Sith pulled up the Holonet browser on his device. His fingers worked quickly as he punched in information. He didn’t plan to be gone long- hopefully not even long enough that the Consul or Proconsul would notice his absence. It was unlikely, but the Corellian needed to address his personal feelings. He had a wife, and now with his daughter’s birth he had a family of his own. His life was far from incomplete, but the pain of his broken family still hung over him. It was his own doing, he realized, but while there was a lull in action, Bentre wanted to try again.

His last attempts on Corellia had come to naught, but he had a renewed purpose. Search results populated the screen as he finished. Hazel eyes searched the screen, considering each result in turn. The records of his parents were notably absent, but surely there were other members of the family out there that would not spurn him.

His father had been the black sheep of the Stahoes family, and his mother rarely spoke of her own kin, but he did have an older Uncle on Selonia somewhere. With any luck, he might know something about the matter that he didn’t. The Corellian studied the page’s contents, before settling upon the Jerrus Stahoes, living on the outskirts of a Selonian city. The name stuck out at him, but for all the hells he couldn’t recall his uncle’s first name. The Corellian looked hard at the name for a full thirty minutes before placing the datapad time.

It is worth a try. Worst case I get a door shut in my face.

Given a few hours, he could find a transport headed to Corellia, he was sure. If he worked fast he might have a shuttle off-planet within the hour. He had regretted his departure from home for enough years now. He had long hated himself for the heartache he had doubtlessly caused his mother. He hoped it would not be too late. He hoped he would be able to tell her how sorry he was for his actions back then.

I can’t take back the past, but I can at least try to make amends. After all, he smiled slightly in spite of himself, wouldn’t dad just find it a kick in the teeth that he is a grandpappy now?


Kar Alabrek

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.

Kar Alabrek
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.

Kar Alabrek
Level Nine
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.

Kar Alabrek
Level Nine
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.”


Myrmidon, Aeotheran
Arronen-Viru household
Two days later

“Yes, Mrs. Arronen, she’s alright. Just a little out of it,” Keira said over the house-comm’s handset, the Zeltron mother’s words unheard to the other occupant of the home. “She… hasn’t really been moving around much. I wanted to give her a little space. Time to recover, y’know? …Alright, I’ll let you know if anything changes. Mhm. Bye.”

It seemed a mercy to not give Qyreia’s parents the full story of what happened. If she could help it, the only ones that would know the full details would be the two of them alone.

Still, this was territory for which even the resourceful Keira couldn’t find a solid source of information. Since they had come home, the Zeltron mercenary had done little more than sit on the couch and stare blankly out the window at the sunny landscape outside. She didn’t eat, and the only indicator that she drank the glass of water that the Seer had set out was the slowly dwindling volume of fluid in the vessel, and the occasional glimpse of her cradling it in both hands.

When it had come time for bed, the former Black Guard remained emplaced. No amount of coaxing would budge the Zeltron. She even seemed somewhat scared at first, still fearful of the reproach that she’d expected back on the station where Keira had found her. The Seer didn’t know what to do until Qyreia shifted into her pale arms. I guess we’re sleeping on the couch, she’d thought, grabbing a blanket from under the sofa and wrapping it over their shoulders.

If Keira’s sleep was poor, then the mercenary’s was haunted. At several intervals throughout the night, she woke to the Zeltron shivering violently in her arms, drenched in sweat and mumbling incoherently at the demons in her dreamscape. Sometimes a soothing voice would be enough to calm the storm; sometimes she had to wake the red woman. In such instances, Qyreia would open her eyes for a moment, look bleakly at the half-Umbaran, then bury her face out of sight once more. Keira knew that she cried herself to sleep, quiet though it was, by the warm dampness that developed on her pajamas’ sleeve.

Before she realized, the rays of early morning were peering through the window. Qyreia was gone, but the sound of the refresher told the Force user that her lover was in the shower. Sneaky devil. The reprieve proved ample opportunity to make the call to the mercenary’s parents back on Zeltros.

Keira took advantage of the time to prepare a small bowl of fruit and some hot water for tea. She’ll be hungry when she gets out, the Seer thought, hand shakily cutting wedges of melon, berries, and pomaceous produce. As much as she was happy that Qyreia was home, she had been doing everything possible to suppress her own torrent of thoughts and emotions. She knew what had happened between the Zeltron and her father, but whatever trauma that might have caused was wiped away after seeing the red woman’s desperation and hearing her say the words that she had been longing to hear for some time. What bothered her more was that the mercenary had been willing, and had tried, to kill herself. Merely thinking about it made her livid, only to be tempered by the alternative had she not found her lover in time.

In her short life, Keira had not known loss the way that most people experienced it. The possibility of losing someone she cared so much about – the finality of it all – was beyond her comprehension; like looking up at the stars and realizing just how small one is by comparison. Just trying to imagine it staggered her.

Despite her shaking hands, Keira completed the fruity assemblage and brought it out to the living room. She was just setting down the steaming mugs of tea when Qyreia appeared from the stairway, the sounds of the shower having disappeared during the half-breed’s musings. At least she’s dressed in some fresh clothes, the Force user thought, noting the shorts and oversized shirt. The mercenary looked at her, the barely-stifled expression of fear mingled with the much stronger visage of shame. What’s more, Kiera could feel these emotions from the red woman. Even at home, it was rare for the Zeltron to bring out her preternatural abilities; it was more natural for them to be suppressed.

“I made some breakfast,” Keira said gently as she set the hot cups on the low table and sat on the soft cushions of the sofa. “Come have some. You’ve gotta be hungry by now.”

It was hard to read Qyreia’s reaction, save for the palpable emotions drifting on the air. Wordlessly, she walked over and sat, hand hovering by the fruit bowl for a moment before taking up the tea instead. Up close and in the light of the gathering day, Keira could see the early signs of her lover’s emaciation – a clear side effect of the Zeltron’s high metabolism clashing with her lack of nourishment over the past six days.

She picked up the bowl and plucked a small berry, holding it out gingerly. “Come on. Open up and say ‘ahh.’” There was a fleeting sense of anger before it was replaced by the previous combination, the red woman’s eyes barely so much as glancing at the food. “Q, you can’t keep doing this.”

“I suppose you wanna talk?” Her voice was hoarse from disuse as much as from her screaming at Keira the other day. The deadpan way that she brushed aside the half-breed’s concern did not help matters.

“Have something to eat first.”

The Zeltron gave a tired sigh through her nostrils before sipping at her tea. As relaxed as she tried to appear, her trembling hands displayed her fear as much as her telepathically broadcast emotions. Her every movement seemed calculated; showing an air of calm while ready to recoil at any given moment. What made it all the harder to bear was that Keira knew Qyreia was scared of her. What’s more, the Gray Jedi was getting tired of the silent treatment.

Dammit Qyreia,” she yelled as she slammed the bowl down on the table and making the Zeltron jump in her seat, “I don’t know if I should be pissed off or worried right now! I want to frackin’ scream at you so much! You almost took away the one thing I care about more than anything else!” The mercenary’s gaze turned sullen, tears welling up in her eyes but refusing to fall as she stared into her mug. “Then I look at you and… and I just want to hold you and not let go. I want to watch holoflicks and go to bed with you and be together like we used to. I want my old Qyreia.”

To her surprise, the Zeltron moved, shaking her head slowly. “I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“The old Qyreia is dead.”

Perhaps it was the merc’s choice of words, but a fuse went off in Keira that brought a surge of anger forth that she hadn’t felt in a long time; if ever. Before the Zeltron even had time to register her lover’s emotional broadcast, the half-breed had smacked the mug of tea to the floor, grabbed the red woman by her shoulders, and slapped her hard across the face.

“Then you bring her back!” Tears welled up and out of the Force user’s eyes, and for a moment, the merc seemed attentive. “Goddammit, you bring back my Qyreia! You do it right the hell now!”

It felt like an eternity that the Zeltron simply watched Keira cry, a fire of half a dozen emotions burning in her eyes and in the telepathic ether. Then her eyes turned downcast again. Slipping from the surprised Seer’s grasp, she picked up the now-empty mug and looked at it tearfully. For half a heartbeat, Keira thought that the trembling lip and silent tears were for the lost drink, only to realize that she had only served to make at least one of the mercenary’s fears a reality.

“I don’t know what to d-do anymore,” Qyreia said, barely holding back her sobs as she ran her fingers along the smooth surface of the cup. “I hate myself almost as much as… as much as I love you.”

“Why?! Why would you hate yourself?”

“Because I’m nothing more than a self-righteous schutta that couldn’t even keep it in her pants for one karkin’ night! Living proof that a Zeltron can’t fight it’s baser fracking nature!” She choked back the tide that seemed ready to burst her damn any moment. “You deserve b-better than m-me.”

I’m about ready to slap you again, you beautiful fool. “Q, listen. About what happened… You aren’t entirely to blame. In fact, I don’t really blame you at all. You and my father drank from those bottles that your parents sent us. Those bottles contained what your mother called an ‘elixir of infatuation.’”

Qyreia’s broken breaths subsided momentarily, her attention clearly caught on this new information. “That… would exp-plain a lot.” She looked back at the mug, her sad, pensive look resuming as before. “I know what those are though. They don’t take over your mind. I… I made a choice. I knew what I was doing.”

“They may not take over your mind, but from what I’ve learned they sure as hell make it next to impossible to say no.”

The Zeltron’s grip on the mug tightened as her frustration grew. Dammit, why aren’t you mad about this? You’re pissed at me for all the wrong things! As much as she feared it, she wanted the sting of reprisal. It was the natural order of things: a person commits a wrong, and they’re punished for it; not that such tenets were often followed in the Brotherhood, but Qyreia was hardly the norm of the organization when it came to morals, to say nothing for her own race’s cultural norms. Talk such a big game, but then I go and do the exact opposite. What kind of moron does that make me?

“I can’t…” she stammered, fingers strangling the cup so hard that her lover feared it might shatter in her hands.

“Hey,” Keira said, soothingly laying a hand on the red woman’s shaking ones. That caught the mercenary’s attention long enough for the former Quaestor to wrap a hand behind Qyreia’s head and pull her into the half-breed’s waiting lips.

The Zeltron’s resolve finally broke, tears streaming down her face as she tried to separate in a futile effort, only to feel Keira’s efforts redouble. Unlike on the station, this wasn’t an embrace of desperation or lament. There was a deep, inherent passion to it that the mercenary had feared lost. Any doubts toward the Force user’s intent was cast aside when she felt her lover’s overpowering emotions pierce the dilapidated shroud of her mind. After all of the yelling, self-inflicted torture, and the tears seemingly unending, she finally understood: the half-breed didn’t care about what happened before. She wanted the mercenary, and only her, no matter what.

Keira smiled when she felt the fearful tremble subside and give way to an equal return from the Zeltron. That’s my Q, she mused as her lover’s vivacity steadily grew. “I’m glad you’re back,” she said during a brief separation of their lips.

“Stop talking,” Qyreia breathed, her voice thick and heady as her embrace resumed with vigor, going so far as to push the Seer down onto the cushions. I need this. I need you. Right now.

“Could we at least take this to the bedroom?” Keira giggled as the red woman nipped at her ear.

The request was met by a reluctant nuzzle. “So long as you’re with me,” she whispered. “I’m yours… my love.”

The next morning…

Dawn was a gentle affair in the confines of their boudoir. The light snaked in softly, muted by the shadow of the rest of the house that blocked the direct rays. It offered a gentle awakening for Keira, her ice-blue eyes fluttering open lazily as she took in the scent of lavender touched with starship fuel – Qyreia’s scent. Beneath the covers, her pale hand brushed gently over the bare red skin, pressing her own body to her lover’s and relishing the warmth that radiated from it.

“Good morning,” she whispered when she felt the snuggling brush of the Zeltron’s nose on her neck. “How are you feeling?”

“I could go for some breakfast,” she responded quietly, seeming to be equally content with remaining in bed as they were.

“And besides being hungry?” the Force user chuckled.

Qyreia pulled herself closer. “Better. Still not a hundred percent… but definitely better.”

“Good,” she said as she kissed the merc’s scalp, running a hand through the shimmering blue hair. It was strange to feel the subtle ebb and flow of the Zeltron’s telepathy perfuming the air with her emotions alongside the pheromones that she always kept locked up; but it was a good sort of strange. “I missed this.”


“Just… laying here. Not really worrying about anything.” She looked down into Qyreia’s steely blue-and-gray eyes. “When you’re here, I’m not scared of anything.”

The mercenary hid her face in the pale woman’s arms, conflicted on how she felt about the compliment, but no less happy to hear it. After everything that had happened, Keira wasn’t the only one who felt reassured. She was the first one to stick around; the first not to run away or lose her nerve; the first that had accepted wholly for who she was, complete with insecurities and flaws. The Force user had protected the Zeltron from herself. “I love you,” she whispered. If anything, Keira knew now how much those words meant to her lover. They were not given lightly.

She had earned them, for better or for worse.


Kar Albreck
Level 9

Sir, we have a situation developing in the refugee camp,” one of the aids hurried upto Rikus side as he moved away from the infirmary. He was more than fed up with this whole scenario already. His expression spoke volumes and the aide continued. “A riot Sir. It appears the murders have stirred up the refugees.”

The savant sighed and ran his left hand over the hilt of his saber in exasperation. Feeling the familar grip eased his annoyance, slightly. “Get some Warhost on it. Frey’jah is good at this sort of thing. Get her down there too,” he looked hard as the aides expression changed. Fleeting thoughts slipped across the surface of the man’s mind. “She’s already there isn’t she?

Yes sir. She was in the area and thought it best to intervene,” came the quiet reply.

Understood. Prepare my shuttle. I’ll head down there myself. If you can locate my droid, have him meet me on board.”

As you command,” the aide left the Nihilgenia after snapping off a crisp salute. Riku turned about and began walking the corridors back to the infirmary. It didn’t take long to wind down the passages and as he moved past the guards into the ward he took in the sight of Darkhawk taking quietly with Firith and Lilith. They looked up as he approached.

What is it now?” Darkhawk asked dryly. Riku had no time for the man at the moment. His head was thumping and he realised he hadn’t properly rested in days.

Riot in the refugee camp. I’m leaving to ensure it’s dealt with correctly,” he watched closely as Firiths face dropped. He took no pleasure in the dejection and obvious guilt. He raised a hand and pointed at the grey. “If you can ensure he stays where he is I’ll leave you in charge. If not…” Riku had no time to finish his sentence. The aide hurried through the doors and stopped next to him. Muz moved in behind and didn’t meet the clones eyes. “What is it?”

The aide muttered something, cleared his throat and tried again. “There… there has been a development. A few fires were set, scuffles broke out…Mistress Frey’jah attempted to deal with one particularly nasty brawl,” his face dropped and Riku waited. His hand already rested in the sabers basket grip. “A blaster discharged in the scuffle. She didn’t survive her injury. Punctured heart. Sorry sir.”

The snap hiss of an ignited lightsaber filled the room as Riku was washed in anger and grief. The blade cut a path towards the poor aides neck but was met half way by his Quaestors ignited lightsaber. Riku stared at Muz in anger and before he could react he felt a grip on his wrist. Turning he saw Firith hold onto him.

I’m sorry lad. Truly. I didnae mean to cause any of this,” Riku broke free of the man’s grip and stared him down.

But you did,” came the only reply as the dark jedi turned on his heel and walked past them all. Leaving the infirmary behind his pace quickened as he made a beeline towards the hanger. Reaching into his jacket he pulled out his communicator and turned it to a private channel. “HK, ready the ship. We’re going to the refugee camp.”

Understood master. May I inquire why?" Came the reply. Curiousity hung from the last word.

I’m going to have severe words with the scum that murdered Frey’jah,” silence met him as he walked. “HK?”

“Sorry sir. I was preparing my arsenal for your talks. I’ve removed your disruptor from the safe.”

“Good.” Came the simple reply as the Clone fought back a tear forming on the edge of his eye. “Good.”


Temple of Sorrow
Orian System

Locke stood on a balcony high on the primary tower of the Sadow Palace, watching torrents of rain sweep down across the courtyard far below. It was night, and the lights of landing areas were barely visible through the downpour. Heat and humidity permeated everything, causing Locke to sweat just from standing there, but he ignored it. He had so many more pressing things to worry about.

The Consul felt like a man trapped in the middle of an arena fight; a monster on one side, a warrior on another, each with bloodlust in mind. No, he was a crippled man in the middle of a fight, infected with illness. He was not whole. He was not right. The Karashi Void had seen to that. Even without the dissension and differing opinions of how to handle Pravus from within his own ranks, that virus would be a complication that he - and Naga Sadow - did not need right now.

Locke did not really know whether Pravus was the monster or the warrior, but the other was the Dominion. Both were major threats. Both possessed a strength that he was certain were much greater than Naga Sadow’s. Yet the Clan had to stand against both of them, for better or for worse. Somehow, they would survive this.

Will we? he asked himself. A part of him answered, as long as we follow Naga Sadow’s ways, as long we respect his legacy and remember his strength, we will succeed. The Consul had often looked to Sadow for inspiration as of late. He had long teetered on the line between the so-called dark and light. He had long been a ‘gray’ Jedi, but Locke felt himself changing. He felt a darkness inside him that brought him focus and intensity he had not known in his lifetime. Once, that darkness scared him. Now, he welcomed it, as Sadow must have welcomed it thousands of years ago. It was his power, it was his strength, it would help him do what needed to be done.

A soft touch on Locke’s shoulder broke his reverie and he was brought back to his immediate reality. He felt a gentle, familiar presence in the Force behind himself, it’s usual burning fire muted in a dim glow by the power of the dark side on this place.

“Kiana,” Locke said, voice low and cold, void of emotion. It was worse than he wanted it to be. He did not need to be that hard, did he? Surely not with his sister. He tried to lighten his voice as he continued. “You should not be here.”

She was, for all intents and purposes, a Jedi Knight, and one that refused to leave the system. Locke’s older sister was his reason for living, his reason for taking control of Naga Sadow again all those months past. He had known a threat was coming, and sought to strengthen the Clan against it. Only, that threat had not come from the One Sith as Locke had suspected, but instead had been Pravus. The Grand Master represented the tidal wave Locke had expected; the impending obliteration of everything. He did not believe he could hide Kiana if Pravus came for the Orian System, and that gave him all the more reason to ensure the Clan’s survival.

If they fell, she would surely die, or worse. The image of Kiana, wounded and lying on one of the worlds of the ancient Sith empire, Sith war paint marring her face, oozed through his mind. It made him sick.

At the same time, she now represented a weakness in him. Kiana had been his anchor; preventing him from falling fully to dark side. He had been grateful for that anchor until recently. Now, he knew it as weakness. She was an obstacle between Locke and fully embracing Sadow’s legacy, yet at the same time, she was his reason for all that he did.

Locke laughed dryly, tilting his head back, as if laughing at the rain. He laughed at the absurdity of it, at the contradiction, at the entire situation.

“Locke…” Kiana said, concern in her soft-spoken words. He did not know how he could hear her over the rain; perhaps it was some trick of the Force.

No, not your comforts. He shrugged her hand from his shoulder and stepped away, to the side of the balcony. “No, Kiana, not now.”

Locke’s mind twisted with what to do with Kiana. He could not destroy her himself, to do so would be to destroy his own soul. He could not force her to leave, as he had tried many times. Option after option ended in disaster, and so he chose the least disastrous. He would use her - as he did everyone - and he would send her away from himself, but to the safest place he knew of.

Or is it, truly?

“Kiana…the ‘Undesirables’ that we hid on Gamuslag - the ones that would go - I need you to check on them. I know that their caretakers know what they are doing, but I would feel better with someone I trust there.” He did his best to force concern into his voice, and the warmth of trust. He did trust her, truly, as he did so few these days.

“I’ll go,” Kiana said, “but when I get back, we must talk.”

“Not here,” Locke hissed, his voice cold and low, exasperated. He surprised himself with the emotion “not at the center of power for the Dark Jedi of Naga Sadow. Somewhere else. I will call you.” He had little doubt that she would not actually wait for him, and would likely pop up when he was not prepared. She could find him due to their sibling bond in the Force, renewed as it was after they had found each other again in the Dark Crusade. He would never be able to get rid of her, and frequently had nightmares of her dying at the hands of the Inquisitorius, the Sith, or Pravus himself.

If she does, he thought, I just hope I’m there to die beside her.

Without Kiana, the galaxy was meaningless.

Two Standard Hours Later
Consul’s Office

Locke sat in his office some time later, reviewing reports of goings on in the Orian System. He liked to stay as up to date as he could, more through paranoia than a commitment to due diligence. During the Crusade, the system had been lost to revolutions and revolts - he would not allow that to happen again. Locke would learn from his prior failures and ensure they could not be repeated. The Orian Authority was one such answer to a weakness. Though it was not directly his doing, it was a solution: the Authority was a civilian police force tasked with keeping peace in the Orian System for the Orian Assembly - their current government. If the Clan was called away again, the Authority would stay, as they were not part of the Clan and thus beyond the beck and call of the Dark Council.

It was curious how such things worked.

Data scrolled across Locke’s monitor. Three initiates had gone missing somewhere around the Temple of Sorrow. A riot was taking place in Kar Alabrek. A string of assaults and murders in the same city were unrelated, but the perpetrator could not be apprehended. A Knight had been arrested, then released when the riot had gotten out of control.

Sighing, Locke went through each data point again. He hated this managerial stuff. The Consul was truly happy doing things, weapon in hand. If he was away from the front lines for too long, he got twitchy.

The initiates shouldn’t have been a big issue, but agents of the Clan’s training staff were looking into it. Initiates got grand ideas in their heads and did stupid things all the time. For most, it meant injury or death. For a rare few, it led to greatness. To Locke, it was foolhardy and stupid to play with what they did not know.

Locke trusted Muz to deal with the riot in his territory. After all, the Grand Master had managed the entire Brotherhood for more than half a decade. He could handle a riot.

The assaults and murders seemed like ordinary crime, but when Locke continued on to read about the Knight who had been detained - Inyri Ginovef - something itched in the back of his mind. The timing of the events and the Knight’s detainment lined up a little too perfectly.

He wondered if Muz’s agents were looking into it, or if this was being left the Authority. The data report did mention that Warhost military police had been involved the first time, but they had apparently thought it to not be that big of an issue. After all, Clan members were known to exercise their god-complexes and new-found powers in foolish and destructive ways quite frequently. If they were arrested for it every time, the Clan would have few active members. Instead, they were only held longer for the most serious of offenses.

Sighing again, Locke rubbed his temples. It was going to be a long night. He had sent Kiana off, reviewed pertinent data reports, and Orian was still not lighting up the Seprosian sky. Wearily, Locke sought more work to do.


G&K Shipping Corporate HQ, Kar Alabrek, Tarthos

Three hours. Inyri had waited three hours with no response to her call. Leaving the Graydons to their own devices, Inyri recovered her gear, hailed a cab and headed for Graydon’s corporate headquarters. Inyri sat in the back, fury building within her.

She had done everything she possibly could for her Clan, and in suddenly, in her hour of need, their response was NOTHING. Inyri was distraught with the realization that she had, as she had been warned, used by everyone above her for their own gains. No one had bothered to ask why she had uncharacteristically lashed out at the Starport, no one was questioning why she was nowhere to be found when all hands were supposed to be on deck for this hunt, and no one was responding to her reply when she did finally resurface.

Inyri had to come to terms with the fact she had no real friends, her only family were now dead, and all she had been to her Clan was a tool. No one cared about her so long as she performed, and her ambition had only yielded empty words of false praise, as evidenced by the fact that she was always left to her own devices. And so, that left her but one option; take the fight to the Inquisitors herself, and to hell with whatever consequences the Clan suffered. All that mattered was her revenge now.

The cab stopped outside of a large office building. Inyri stepped out, having masked her appearance as a blonde with green eyes and a fair bit of makeup, so the driver would not be able to identify her to the authorities later. She paid him and then approached the building, the sliding doors hissing open to the front desk. A bored security guard sat behind the desk, reading a magazine.

“We’re closed. Hours are…” The guard started, but Inyri cut him off by drawing her pistol and double tapping him in the head. The report from her blaster echoed in the foyer, but Inyri had already holstered the weapon and drew her lightsaber. The light blue blade ignited with a POP-HISS as she advanced into the building. She had to get to the executive offices, and everyone in her path would die if they didn’t flee. Fury, anger, and sorrow all took hold as she made her way through.

The path of destruction she had carved through the G&K building had not been nearly as grand as it sounded to start, only the top three floors were open after hours. Inyri took the turbolifts up and worked her way up from there, cutting down guard after guard with her lightsaber before finally reaching the top office floor.

A lone guard was standing between her and her objective, and fear resonated off of him in spades, but Inyri cut him down just the same before approaching the main conference room, opening the door to three executives, all older humans, two male and one female, and a young female assistant. They all screamed and cowered.

“Who are you?” One asked.

“Please, I have a family!” Another pleaded.

“Take what you want and go!” The final pleaded.

The assistant did not speak though, and Inyri approached her.

“You die first. Get on your knees, Inquisitor.” Inyri spat, her voice full of hate.

“What? What are you talking about?” The assistant asked.

“GET ON YOUR KNEES!” Inyri shouted, causing the executives to scream in terror again.

“You undesirable harlot. You’ll get no such pleasure from me.” The assistant spat.

Inyri’s response was a wide sweep that cut off both of the Inquisitor’s legs at the knees, dropping her to the floor in shrieking pain. Inyri stood over her and flipped the blade to face downward.

“The rest of your Inquisition will follow you soon.” Inyri said and then plunged the blade through her chest, killing the Inquisitor. She then turned and faced the rest of the executives that were cowering in the corner.

“You harbored Inquisitors, and your fate is death for collaboration. All who support the Inquisitorious will burn for their crimes.” Inyri said, and set upon her helpless victims, beheading the female, and ran her blade through the first male before the second tried to make a break for it. Inyri extinguished her blade and drew her pistol, shooting him in the leg.

She stormed over to him and drug him back over into the center of the room by his hair as he screamed.


“So did I.” Inyri said, with a look twisted of pain, anger, and sorrow, before rabbit punching the muzzle of her pistol into his throat, leaving the man to choke to death on his crushed larynx. She left the building the same way she came in, passing by every body that lay dead on the floor, and left without a word.


Markosian City Cantina

How did this happen to me…why did this happen to me… Marcinius thought to him self as he sat and drank his beverage. Not to long ago he was known as Daedric Turelles. By misfortune or direct actions, he had lost his connection to the Force. Ripped away from him. No one would ever know that pain, as it felt like his very soul was ripped from him. Leaving him as a hollow shell walking the realm. For the first six months he didn’t know how to handle himself. He didn’t know what he should do or how he should act. Hell, he didn’t even know where he fit in. So he just drifted. Drifted back into the Shadows. Letting this clan mates go on campaigns without him.

To go from a Knight of Sadow to nothing in a blink of an eye. It felt surreal. Like a shallow wind blowing across a barren landscape. He decided to go back to his birth name after he was released from hospital. Marcinius. Some of his once close allies still referred to him as Daedric, but he smocked at the name.

Clan Naga Sadow allowed him to still serve the clan, but not in the same role that he once held so proudly. He went back to being a Captain. Back into the field with soldiers and moving parts. No longer did he plot int he darkness and study the ways of the Sith.


Marcinius snapped out of his day dream. He leaned forward to pick up the data pad that sat in front of him. Scanning his iris, the pad unlocked and displayed a message on screen.

Shipment Received - Star Commuter 2000
Marcinius chuckled a little inside. Let’s go and take a look. He took one last sip of his drink before placing his old Shadow Academy Data pad his bag and heading for the Markosian hanger. They better have brought everything that I ordered.


Kar Alabrek Spaceport, Kar Alabrek, Tarthos

Amazingly, Inyri thought, no one had cut her access off to the Clan’s network. The Shadow still had access to all relevant intelligence files that her clearance granted her access to, which included the last bit of data that identified possible Inquisitorious activity on Tarthos. But Inyri was barely running on rational thought anymore, her emotions were taking control.

Dimly, she was aware that she should keep this source intact, cultivate it and use it to reveal the larger picture. But the need for revenge silenced that rational thought; it only wanted bloodshed.

The intelligence she had gained access to indicated that a known agent regularly came in on the same passenger liner that hopped across every major spaceport in Brotherhood space. His role was unclear, and the only way that he had been identified was that he was seen aiding the operative that Inyri had roughed up in Markosian City. He was suspected of aiding the gangs that held Kar Alabrek from House Marka Ragnos, and possibly also aiding the officials that were possibly allowing this to happen, though the details of those officials was blocked at her level.

But Inyri now wasn’t thinking rationally. She was furious, angry, hurt, and tired. She was lashing out without reason, with only the cause of fury and vengeance in mind.

Boarding the passenger transport had been an easy enough matter, flashing her ID and claiming it was a security matter that she keep the transport on the ground and the passengers were not to disembark. But the here and now was that Inyri was in a situation she trained AGAINST, not FOR.

25 people were now trapped on a Class B Transport by an angry woman armed with a lightsaber, fearing for their lives because she was torn between killing them all for some perception of allegiance to the Inquisitiorious or coming to her senses and stopping this madness.

Security troops swarmed around the shuttle, trying to figure out how to storm the craft and save the hostages, even if it meant killing the terrorist behind it.

Inyri paced up and down the main aisle of the transport, her light blue blade humming as it echoed in the passenger compartment. Her target was already dead, laying headless in the middle of the aisle. She had refused to talk to the negotiator, having no time in her mind to answer to someone when she still had to answer to herself.

Rational thought was trying to take over, trying to restore some sanity and get Inyri to accept what she had done, but her emotions were not about to give up their control. Fear, anger, sorrow, rejection, defeat, betrayal. These were as bitter as the taste of the Dark Side upon her, but she couldn’t shake it, and she was lost. Confused. Her thoughts were erratic, meandering, at war with one another, and she had no clear course of action.


Myrmidon, Aeotheran
Spaceport Docks

Cripes, this fracker is taking his sweet flippin’ time. Myrmidon felt unseasonably warm, and the Zeltron merc was reminded once again that she really needed to get past her self-imposed stigma about showing skin and buy some shorts. After recent events though, showing skin was the last thing she wanted to do. The outpour of sweat over her brow — and everywhere else for that matter — suggested that a reevaluation was in order, although a nice cold drink would suffice. That, or her contact showing up on time.

When the YT-1300 finally rumbled in through the clear blue sky, it looked like an angel coming in. At least until its jetwash billowed across the landing pad, making Qyreia even hotter than she already felt. The ramp dropping was like a breath of fresh air, allowing a steady flow of the climate-controlled atmosphere inside to eke it’s way outside.

“You,” she chided sternly at the Ryn making his way down the ramp, “are frackin’ late.”

“Kiss my choobs, girly. You know how hard it is to find this place? It’s out in the middle of frackin’ nowhere!” Finally stepping on solid ground, the Ryn came up to about Qyreia’s nose, but that didn’t prevent him from coming off any less capable of holding his own. “Good to see you, by the by.”

“You too,” she replied with a firm handshake.

“Finally getting some sense and buying your own ship?”

“I can finally afford it. Is this her?” The merc tapped on the hull for emphasis.

“Indeed she is. The Salty Hutt is about as good as any model you’d be getting off the CEC lines.”

She cringed at the name, but decided it best not to mention. “Then why’re you selling it? What’s the catch?”

“Because I won it in a card game. Not really my ship, and I wanna sell it before the old owner comes to me for a rematch.” He leaned back, stretching his arms and cracking more than a few joints. “Now, shall we start the tour? I’m mighty hungry, but I’m sure you’d prefer to get the business out of the way first.”

The Zeltron was about to assent, but was paused mid-eyeroll by a pair of rough but surprisingly handsome men in what resembled Mandalorian attire. Their mannerisms denoted nothing Mandalorian about them.

“Where d’you two think you’re going?”

“To the bar,” the larger one said. “Need to get off that tin can for a bit; maybe get myself some tail.” The shorter one eyed the Zeltron curiously but said nothing, following the taller human with a familial air.

“Why was he looking at me like that?” she asked the Ryn as they walked up into the ship.

“Dunno. Figured you two’d met before. Maybe seen you at some watering hole.”

Not unlikely, she thought as they made their way into the entryway, grateful for the cool air that now surrounded her. Much like the exterior, the interior was relatively crisp and clean. Whoever had owned it before did a good job with their ship maintenance. The Ryn, better known as Mik Ezail, seemed oddly wary as they made their way through the craft, clearly unnerved by the lack of oil stains, ozone smell, and parts failures that were so prevalent on his own ship. It made Qyreia wonder all the more why he wasn’t trying to sell her the old ratty ship.

“Hey Mik, don’t take this the wrong way, but I’ve still got a funny feeling you’re not telling me something. Your ship isn’t in too great of shape. Why aren’t you selling me that one?”

“Because that’s my ship,” he replied in a way that was somehow stern yet friendly. “Trust me, Red. When you’ve got something like that long enough, it becomes part of you. Like a kidney. Sure, you can replace it, or might have a spare around, but it’s part of you all the same, and ain’t no one taking my kidneys or my ship!”

“…Someone try taking your kidneys recently?”

“Long night with a load of cognac around some shady fellas. Last time I ask Enbindi to watch my back.”


As they walked by the passenger lounge, he jerked his thumb at an old-looking Gungan who appeared to be meditating on the communal table. He didn’t so much as open an eye as they passed. It was clear, as they made their way around, that this ship had opted for a halfway between the passenger model and the freight hauler. The port side had been devoted to the traveler comforts, with the “captain’s quarters” placed directly adjacent to the lounge, which had been outfitted with a rather nice kitchenette, despite the cramped confines because of the forward holds. The starboard side was given over to additional storage space, and was thus not worth much of a tour.

“If you don’t mind my asking, why are you buying a ship? Money or not, that’s one hell of an investment.”

“Some… some stuff happened recently. Need something to focus on.” She looked at the walls, her voice tender; almost longing. “Always wanted a ship. Figured now’s as good a time as any.”

Mik didn’t ask any questions beyond that, his expression one of understanding as they continued their tour. He showed the mercenary the cockpit and some of the other finer points of the vessel, including the five Class-1 escape pods in the engineering section. “Very important in a scrape,” he said with a wink. After the tour of the interior was complete, he allowed her to crawl around inside and out, checking the equipment and circuitry. Gonna need a droid for this thing, she thought, realizing just how little she knew about the nuances of a computer’s inner workings.

“So what do you think? She good enough for the Red Qek?”

“Gonna need a new name… maybe a paint job, but yeah, I like her. Feels right, y’know?”

“I do indeed know that feeling.” The Ryn brushed a mess of hair from his eyes. “Price good enough too?”

“No discount?” Mik merely grinned deviously. “Yeah,” she chuckled, “I’m alright with the price.”

“Well then, I’ll be back in about a week or so with my own ship along with this one so I have a ride out of this… place.”

“Hey now, it’s not so bad here. Besides, you’d never guess who built this place.”


Kar Alabrek

The trial was over, the rioting had slowly been quelled. With luck Firith could make up for his past sins and provide some much needed help.

Three weeks earlier…

“Firith’rar Janos Versea-Stormwind, stand for judgment. We, the tribunal, have decided upon the following that your actions were not your own: One, by reason of mental tampering in the form of a implant. Two, said implant being placed into your person while you were drugged and rendered unconscious. Three, an implant being an item of Grand Master Pravus, and placed by one or more members of the Inquisitorius. Because of these reasons you are found not guilty of the accused crimes. It is the ruling of this court that you be reinstated with all rights and privileges of the rank of Mystic and furthermore you receive mandatory counseling.” The head of the tribunal looked Firith in the eye. “You need help to deal with what you have done. You are very close to falling into the Dark for good, and nothing will save you then,” and the gavel struck, “court dismissed!”

Firith walked out of the courtroom flanked by DarkHawk and Lilith. Riku met them in the corridor and before anyone could react, slammed Firith into the wall and had his hand around his throat, choking him. “I don’t give a kriff what they said in there. Because of you Frey’jah is dead. Innocent families are dead. And it is all your fault!”

Firith did not fight back against his Aedile or the accusations as the grip on his throat tightened, causing him to see stars and begin to blackout.

DarkHawk and Lilith stepped in and pulled the angry Commander off of Firith. Allowing him to collapse to the floor, coughing.

Gasping and croaking Firith looked up at his Aedile. “Lad, I said it before and I say it now. I never wanted any of this to happen.” Slowly standing up he gingerly rubbed his neck. “You don’t seem to realize I am not the problem. That dung for brains Pravus is. He caused this! He defiled me and made me into his puppet! His voice twisted and warped all the was good in me and made me into a monster.” Tears flowed from the old man’s eyes and he started to hobble away, seeming to shrink into himself.

Lilith walked up and tried to hug her husband only to be rebuffed. “Away wit’ ye woman, yea nae want ta be wit me noow.” He snapped, his accent thick and heavy, as it got when he was upset.

Turning he looked at the three. “Ay canna change wha Ay’ve doone, Ay ken tha’, but Ay can try ta make oop fer ait.” Taking a deep breath, he coughed and calmed himself some.” Lil, lass, Ay will speak ta you tonight, before ye head out. DarkHawk, the same.” Looking at the seething Riku, he took a deep breath and met the man’s look for a moment, then turned and walked away.

Three weeks later…

The tribunal had pronounced its verdict and all hell broke loose. The rioting in the refugee camps escalated overnight. Security forces were brought in, Force users and non Force users from the clan made planet fall. Eventually the riots had all but stopped except in one or two small pockets.

Firith watched from the shadows, his face altered and his body covered in a heavy cloak. Dressed in his old dingy Jedi robes. Hair dyed a dark brown, goggles covering his eyes. He watched the latest shipment of food and building supplies arrive at the camp. Supplies he had paid for out of his personal account.


Ragnos Cathedral
Kar Albreck

Yelling and screams could be faintly heard in the background, a subtle burning smell indicated that whatever was on fire was quite a distance away. Shimura’s boots provided a thudding echo as he climbed the stone steps to the Cathedral. The Battlemaster mentally commented to himself on the state of one of his former homes.

Two Marka Ragnos guards that were standing at the door’s entrance were wearing ceremonial armor that was unfamiliar to Shimura, but he did recognize the force pikes they held out to their side. Shimura strode towards them.

“Halt!” The two guards commanded in unison. “You’re not permitted here. Leave the area at once.” The guard on the left explained.

A smirk crossed the Zabrak’s face. Shimura didn’t move a muscle, other than to close his eyes. He began focusing intensely on the two guards before him, feeling their energy through the Force.

“That’s it! You’re under arrest! Hands behind your head!” The guard on the right barked.

As if some sort of silent communication had taken place, the guard on the left jabbed the force pike at the Sith, stopping inches away from shocking him into submission. Shimura began focusing harder and began planting images in both of the guards’ head all while slowly putting his ghost white hands behind his horned head. The guard on the right moved in cautiously while removing a pair of stun cuffs from his belt. As he reached for Shimura’s wrist panic over took the guards, shrieking in absolute terror.

The guard on the left instantly fell backward, batting at the invisible insects swarming his face while his partner incoherently darted around, patting himself as if trying to put out some invisible fire. Shimura opened his eyes, with the same smug smirk on his face. The Sith put his hands down by his sides and glanced at both the guards, reveling in their terror. A few seconds passed before he strode into the main hall of the Ragnos Cathedral. He looked around the room, hoping to find someone familiar when he recognized a voice that he hadn’t heard in years. Excitement over came him, but the feeling was foreign to him.

“Shimura!” The voice exclaimed.

As Shimura turned to meet the voice he was hit straight in the chest, bear hugged by an attractive blue haired, red skinned, female Zeltron. Another rush of emotion, happiness. This time he wasn’t sure if it was his or hers but he slowly hugged her back. Gorgeous light emerald eyes looked up at him, her full lips parted as she began to speak.

“I haven’t seen you since Tatooine! When I was told to take a Master, I saw your name on the roster and knew I had to be your Apprentice after everything we went through!” Liarah said, beside herself.

Ten Ragnos guards entered the main hall, scanning the occupants. “There he is!” One guard barked as they each individually raised their blasters rifles.

“On your knees! Hands behind your head!” Another guard snarled, undoubtedly the Sergeant, judging by the pauldron on his shoulder.

“I don’t think they were notified I was coming back, or took a liking to my entrance.” Shimura said as he separated himself from Liarah and moved her behind him.

Two sets of boot steps could be heard getting louder from behind him, most likely the two from the entrance. Shimura felt a surge of pain in his back that blossomed throughout his extremities. The sudden shock forced the Zabrak to his hands and knees.

“Notify the House Summit of the intruder.”

Shimura caught the exchange before another shock in his back turned his vision to complete darkness.


Enroute to Tarthos

“I need my own ship,” Locke mumbled, looking out the viewport at the X-Wings he could just barely make out to either side of the shuttle.

“What was that?” the Warhost aide who accompanied him on this mission said.

“Nothing,” Locke said. That same aide was the one who had decided it was necessary for the Consul’s shuttle to have an escort, as if that didn’t telegraph that he was an important dignitary to everyone.

“The X-Wings can’t follow us into Tarthos’ atmosphere,” Locke said. “They’re too obvious. The general populace doesn’t know who I am, only the Assembly’s leaders.” He was starting to regret telling them who he was. He had thought it would instill fear and respect, but it seemed more likely to be a liability. It was something he would have to deal with, in a way he did not really want to do so.

Have to be hard, he reminded himself. Your weakness could jeopardize the Clan.

“But,” the aide said, “the situation on the surface is hardly under control, this shuttle could be shot down or targeted…”

“I said no escort,” Locke reiterated, “that’s an order.” He would need to use the Clan’s contacts with the Orian Authority - the system’s civilian police force - to create a code to protect high ranking officials later, but for now, he wasn’t going to draw any attention.

“Don’t make me fly us in myself,” he added.

After that, the aide sat quietly, but was clearly flustered. Locke wasn’t sure where these aides had been found, but their obsession with his safety were becoming an annoyance. If he knew who had assigned them to him, he would have a word or two with them.

“Remind me again what this guy did,” Locke said.

“Assaulted a government building where we had prior knowledge an Inquisitorius agent was stationed. Left a trail of destruction. The Authority is investigating the scene now.”

“Great, just what we need, more attention.” At this point, Locke was certain that inviting Darth Pravus over for tea wouldn’t be asking for it more than the actions of rogue Clan members.

“Let’s get this over with.”

G&K Shipping, Corporate HQ
Kar Alabrek

Locke surveyed the scene of destruction before him, as his aide explained that he was a special investigator on the government’s behalf and presented the necessary credentials. He would really have to go through efforts to make that process easier on himself and his Clan members. They couldn’t reveal who or what they were to too many, and the system’s population needed to believe the Assembly - or some other civilian force - were their general leadership. If they got wind of shadowy figures here and there, then conspiracy theories would spring up. Someone might notice that shipping didn’t go to Sepros and begin asking questions, and that would lead to more trouble.

As his aide approached him, Locke noted the lightsaber wounds on the bodies. “The camera feeds show a woman wielding a blue lightsaber, she may be a Clan member. I’ve sent the video back to Sepros and they’re reviewing it now.”

“Great,” Locke growled. “Get the Authority out of here and lock down the scene.” The Orian Authority’s leadership knew who they were, but the average rank and file didn’t need to get ideas.

“Inform them it is up to special investigators now.”

The aide bowed and returned to his work. Locke stepped further into the building, examining the corpses in one of the HQ’s conference rooms. He sighed and closed his eyes, searching for any sign of life. There was only one, and it reeked of fear.

“It is okay,” Locke said, making his voice calm and reassuring, “you can come out. I’m here to help.”

A human crawled out from beneath a desk, wearing a rumpled business suit. He was visibly panicked. “Who are you?” he asked, eyes looking everywhere frantically.

Locke continued to make his voice warm. “I’m a special investigator, I’m here to help. What happened here?”

“T-there was this woman,” the man said, “she had a lightsaber! And she was raving about some Inquisitors or something. I don’t know, it happened so fast…”

“Ah,” Locke said, processing the words while his mind thought of other things. A survivor. He would surely tell his story, and rumor would spread. That could not be allowed. But how to deal with him? The Locke of old would move him offworld, possibly to a secure place, or try to give him a large sum of money to be quiet.

But that was the old Locke. That left loose ends. I must be hard, he reminded himself, I have to be resolute.

“W-what happens now?” the man asked.

Locke forced himself to smile, while inside he felt sick. It’s just one man, he thought, he is insignificant to the greater scheme of things.

“It will be okay. We’ll get you out of here. You will be safe,” Locke said, turning away to make sure no one else was nearby. He gathered the Force to himself as he looked at the saber-scarred corpses. One more would not be noticed.

In one smooth, Force-enhanced motion, Locke drew his lightsaber, brought it to life, and removed the man’s head at the neck. He quickly shut the weapon off and placed it back on his belt, exhaling slowly as he came to terms with what he had done.

This is what Naga Sadow would have done he told himself. You must be like him. He had tied up a loose end, quickly and efficiently. There were more important things to worry about and he could not allow this to be a possible issue later.

Locke was left with a few minutes of quiet contemplation before his aide returned, bearing ill news.

“There is a hostage situation at the spaceport, description matches the woman here. Also, we think we have her ID’d.”

“Let’s go, then,” Locke said. “There were no survivors here; clean this place up.”


Unknown location
Deep Space

Malik looked around at the instruments in his X-Wing, he’d used all his missiles, his shields were gone and his hyperdrive was fried so there was no escape, he checked his sensors again, the six remaining enemy fighters had gotten smarter, they had split up into three groups coming at him from separate directions so it was only a matter of time before his own fighter would be destroyed but he was determined to take as many of the enemy fighters with him. The Neti hit a switch, linking his cannons to fire two at a time instead of the usual single fire mode, altered his course slightly towards the pair of fighters coming right at him, at the same time a loud beeping sound alerted him to missiles having locked on to his fighter, he launched the last of his flares and lined up his shot sending two pairs of laser shots into the incoming fighter to the left destroying it, at the same time one of the four incoming missiles hit his flares but the remaining three were still gaining on him, then he swiftly maneuvered his fighter into the new debris field narrowly avoiding colliding with the other fighter, at the same time one of the three missiles hit the other fighter while the remaining two struck their target, blowing up Malik’s X-Wing.

Warhost Training Facility
Sepros Major
Orian System

Malik stepped out of the simulator and stretched his limbs, the creaking sounds drew the attention of the people exiting the other simulators in the room, the Elder walked over to their leader who gave a quick salute, Malik gave a court nod.

“Your cadets have improved a great deal, Commander. I’m going to recommend that they should be allowed to join our fighter pilot ranks, we need as many pilots as possible now.”

The Neti noticed the pride in the face of some of the cadets as he turned to leave the simulator room, he knew many of the Warhost pilots hated training in simulators, they preferred the real deal, but Malik rather liked the simulator because it forced him to rely only on his skills because the Force didn’t help him there like it would in a real fighter.

He exited the building and crossed the landing pad to his own X-Wing and got in, ready to take off.