There is a small section of this story involving a holonet story, for the record the story is taken from one of Xen’Mordin’s holonet fiction updates and not my work. I put this in the fiction to act as a timestamp of sorts, it has nothing to do with the fiction itself
Arthadonis Kalderis #13833
Walking down the long corridor toward the main hangar bay, the air became thick with the smell of trade. As Arthadonis entered the bay, he took a moment to survey the large room. Various minerals from throughout the system reflected the light creating patterns that danced against the durasteel in a way that always attracted his gaze, reminded of the flawless red crystal housed within his lightsaber. The various foods, although Arthadonis didn’t think it deserved to be called food, bubbled and sizzled all the while wafting through the air to entice potential patrons. Finally he took inventory of the various ships. The hangar wasn’t large enough to house too many vessels the largest being a freighter however there were several fighters housed within the railings above everyone’s heads, ready to launch on command.
Finally seeing the ship appointed to him by imperial command, Arthadonis made his way through the crowd and across the room. Half way there, a holonet news message began to play over the speakers.
“Good evening, I’m Skye Tavernet and this is Cocytus Holonet News.
The Cocytus Defence System has issued an updated security order. The Empire has officially received Intel that an imminent and large terrorist threat is looming for the entire system. Curfews and enhanced security checkpoints are in now effect at all major cities. Following the release of the video showing the ritualistic sacrifice of Senator Yiand, we all can agree that whatever measures necessary to stop this threat should be taken.
Earlier today, there was an emergency evacuation in the Central Ohmen Defence building on Judecca. Officials cited it as a drill to better prepare in case of an attack. Officials also suggested all citizens of Ohmen, and the system at large prepare evacuation plans in the event of an emergency.
Officials did not elaborate on the exact nature of the threat to the system, but did reassure that with the received Intel, the threat should be dealt with, and the enhanced security is merely for precautionary measures. Safety of the citizens is their first prio-“
The feed stopped, static burst through the speakers for several seconds before a new message began playing stopping Arthadonis in his tracks.
“Citizens of the Cocytus System. My name is Fias Zhan. I am the leader of your so called terrorist group, The Scions of Cocytus.
We are not here to harm you. We come offering enlightenment. Every citizen has a right to know the truth. The Scions and I are here to bring you the truth. To liberate this system and ascend to a greater form of power. Under my careful rule, this system would not remain a quiet system at the edge of Hutt space, but would turn into a golden beacon for the entire Galaxy to admire.
The fools who lead this Empire, think they know what they are doing. They think they are in control. They think that they are providing the security and prosperity this system needs. They are failures. Each and every one of them.
I have spent a lifetime at study. I have studied the work of great men. Millennia experience and knowledge rest on my shoulders. Rise up and join me. Take an active part in securing a proper future for you and your childr-“
Once again the feed was cut off although this time Arthadonis guessed that the station’s security forces shut down the broadcast system.
“It’s about time someone stood up against this fascist empire!” One of the traders shouted eliciting several murmurs of agreement from others. Arthadonis turned and grabbed the man, lifting him up and pinning him helplessly against a bulkhead.
“This empire is the reason we’re all safe at night, things are the way they are so that self-entitled morons like you can live long and productive lives. If you don’t like the way it is feel free to get the hell out of this system, we don’t need ingrates here.” Arthadonis threw the man to the ground and looked around, staring down anyone else considering speaking up. When the crowd began disbursing, he continued toward the Barloz class freighter hired to take him to his destination. Upon arriving at the ship, he was greeted by a young Human female.
“You must be my passenger. Payment up front and any provisions you need you bring yourself. It’ll take about 3 days to reach Corellia so bring enough to keep yourself alive until then. Otherwise stay in your room and I don’t wanna hear or see you or else you’ll be left at the nearest planet, habitable or not.” Finishing her clearly rehearsed statement, the woman put out a hand waiting for the promised credits for the journey. Arthadonis chuckled slightly, admiring the woman for her determination and gruffness. He reached into his robes and revealed a small pouch, handing it to the woman.
“These are Arkanian diamonds, worth 700 imperial credits. Take it and let’s go, I don’t want to waste any time and I don’t need provisions.”
Mesmerised momentarily by the shining diamonds, the woman came to her senses and nodded before turning to enter the ship. Arthadonis followed her taking final inventory of his few possessions and momentarily glanced back at the port before stepping past the waiting woman and into the ship.
“Your room’s right here, like I said before I don’t want to see that door open unless you’re getting off and that’s not negotiable.” She left toward the cockpit before Arthadonis acknowledged her rule, not that it mattered. He entered the Spartan room, sat down in the centre and closed his eyes, meditating on the events of the past few days and what was to come. Hearing the sound of engines starting up, he looked out the small window next to his bed and watched as the ship left the hangar bay and away from the space station before entering hyperspace. He then felt a familiar presence behind him.
“Our first solo outing for this brotherhood you’re so fond of, they must be warming up to you.” Arthadonis turned to the voice but he knew who it was, the voice belonged to a Kaleesh ghost Arthadonis had come to call Malen although the spirit never revealed its true name. The ghost had been with Arthadonis long before joining the brotherhood, before he even left his home planet and luckily for the duo, only Arthadonis could see or hear him. Malen had guided his actions for several years and Arthadonis had come to trust him for that, an uneasy truce that benefitted both. Arthadonis knew little about Malen’s past, even after the past few years of constant communication, mostly due to the spirit’s unwillingness to share but partly Arthadonis believed due to Malen himself not knowing the details. No one within the brotherhood knew about Malen, they both had to be careful about what they did or said in the presence of others, especially those attuned to spiritual energy of beings like Malen. This was their secret and their power, and they already had to share it with each other.
“Must be my winning personality.” Arthadonis joked. The unstable nature of their secret meant little contact with other members thus leaving Arthadonis somewhat of a loner. He didn’t mind the solidarity by any means, however he often wondered what information he was missing out on by secluding his studies to himself and Malen.
“Funny. It’s true though, trusting you with an assassination mission is a big step for us. You’re closer to the power I promised and I’m closer to freedom from your mind.” Malen said with eagerness hinting in his voice.
“Yes we are. Let’s not disappoint them.” Arthadonis stated before settling back down and meditating. Malen continued staring out into the void for several minutes before retreating back into Arthadonis’s mind.
‘BANG BANG’ The sound startled Arthadonis from his meditation almost falling to the floor.
“Rise and shine, we’re landing on Corellia!” The woman shouted through the door before heading back to her cockpit. The 3 days had come and gone with Arthadonis meditating the entire time. He spent the majority of it contemplating all possibilities for his mission and a countermove for any roadblocks he might encounter. Confident he’d considered everything he then began delving into Malen’s mind, searching for anything about the ghost’s past. Malen allowed the intrusions only because he hoped it would lead to some more information on who he was however as usual the search revealed nothing new.
Arthadonis stood up and stretched his muscles ready to embark on his mission. Opening the cabin door he headed up toward the cockpit to get a view of the planet as the ship landed.
“Hey I told you to stay in your room until you were ready to get off. We might be at the planet but I’ll still send you out the airlock before we land! Think you can survive an orbital plummet?” The woman was clearly furious however Arthadonis merely ignored her as they began their descent through the atmosphere. “When we land I want you off my ship and I don’t ever wanna see your face again. You’re lucky I’m in a good mood.” She barked at him before opening a communication with the starport’s communication system. Arthadonis smirked again at her attitude unknowing what he was capable of. Moments later the clouds dispersed and the small cargo ship was greeted by the incredible sight of Coronet city, the planet’s capital.
Malen appeared by Arthadonis’s side staring out toward the city. “I’ve been here, I’m sure of it.” He said never turning away from the view.
“Are you sure? When?” Arthadonis whispered being careful not to let the ship’s captain hear.
“I don’t know, all I know is this place is familiar to me. A great battle took place here.” Malen replied. “I need to find out why this place is important.” He continued.
“I know it’s important and I want to help you, but our mission is to kill this One Sith Acolyte, once that is done we will find out what this city means to you.” Arthadonis said, hoping for a compromise.
“Very well, what are a few days more?” Malen finished turning to Arthadonis before receding back into his mental prison.
Landing gears extended signalling their arrival on Corellia. The loading ramp dropped and Arthadonis walked down onto the cold metal floor of the hangar. ‘Somewhere out there our prey is waiting. There’s too much activity for me to sense him, he must be masking his signature among the population. Looks like we’ll have to find him the hard way.’ Arthadonis spoke internally. In his mind he felt Malen’s approval before he continued out of the hangar bay and down toward the city entrance. Following the crowd, Arthadonis found himself at a Maglev train station, he was suddenly stopped.
“Tram pass.” A government official said with no hint of eagerness in his voice. Making little acknowledgement of the pest in his way.
“You don’t need to see my tram pass.” Arthadonis said reaching out with the force and manipulating the man’s mind.
“I don’t need to see your tram pass.” The man echoed clearly under the spell of Arthadonis’s mind trick.
“I’ve already been allowed through.” Arthadonis again twisted the official’s mind forcing him to believe the lie.
“You’ve already been allowed through.” Again the man echoed his statement.
“You’re going to let me pass with no issues.”
“I’m going to let you pass with no issues.”
“Have a nice day.”
“Have a nice day.”
With that Arthadonis continued past the dazed official and toward the nearest open tram. Boarding it, he once again reached out through the force in an attempt to locate the Acolyte he was sent to kill.
“Still nothing, sithspit!” He mentally shouted still unable to sense his target.
“Don’t allow your anger to control you, we went over this. Use your anger and channel it toward your goals. You are the master of your emotions, not the other way around.” Malen said attempting to guide the young Obelisk Guardian.
“I know what to do.” Arthadonis spat back, still clearly angered at his failure. “What do you suggest we do if we can’t sense him?”
“Listen instead to the dark side, it will guide us to what we desire.” Malen said.
Arthadonis again focused his mind and began listening through the force for anything that could help him. At first there was nothing, but then he felt a flicker. It disappeared almost suddenly but it was enough to lead the pair in the right direction.
“West, we need to head west.” Arthadonis said, content with the small clue he was given.
Several hours later, Arthadonis and Malen were walking down a busy city street still feeling for more clues as to their next step. The force had guided them to this street but it was here that the trail seemed to stop cold.
“There has to be something here, try harder.” Malen said, getting annoyed at the lack of progress.
“I’m doing the best I can, something more useful than try harder would be appreciated.” Arthadonis snap back in response.
“Don’t talk back to me boy, you will treat your master with the respect he demands and deserves!” Malen shouted, his anger beginning to pool.
“Or what? You’re nothing but a sculag ghost who won’t shut up!” Arthadonis shouted back rage overcoming him. Suddenly intense pain filled Arthadonis’s body causing him to collapse and cry out. Passers-by stopped and looked before moving to assist him.
“ARGH What is this?” He managed through the pain.
“This is a small sample of my power over you. I may be a spirit but my connection to the dark side has not diminished. You’d do well to remember that my young apprentice.” Malen said before releasing Arthadonis from the pain. Gasping for breath, it took Arthadonis a few moments to notice the large crowd gathered around him. Angered and embarrassed at the public display of weakness he shoved past the crowd and down a dark alley before stopping. Malen appeared in front of him and Arthadonis lashed out punching at the figure.
“Never do that again! I broke you free from that prison on Kalee so you –“
Malen interrupted “I what? Owe you for rescuing me? Let’s get one thing straight, I do appreciate your freeing me from that damned tomb but do not mistake this for anything other than a transfer from one prison to another! Our deal is power for true freedom and until that happens I am in charge of what happens. I have taught you much but you still have a long way to go before you can rival my power.” He said, his voice filled with anger and loathing.
Arthadonis resisted the urge to continue the argument, Malen was right and he knew it. Until they found a way to truly free Malen this was just another prison for him and with everything he was teaching Arthadonis, Malen was his true master not anyone from the brotherhood. Relinquishing the fight, he simply bowed his head and shut his eyes, calming himself down.
“I’m sorry Malen, I’ll do as you say.” He said hoping to end things and continue on their mission.
“I don’t want your apology, a Sith doesn’t plead for his mistakes. He takes the punishment and gets on with his duties. That said our little outburst has yielded something useful. I recognise this symbol.” He said looking at a small symbol painted on the alley wall. Arthadonis recognised it as well, it was the symbol used by followers of the One Sith. Next to it lay the backdoor of an old apartment complex adjacent to the alleyway.
Arthadonis took out his lightsaber but didn’t ignite it yet. He reached out with the force but still sensed nothing and so he carefully opened the door and made his way inside. He did his best to conceal his own force signature as he made his way down the old corridor, constantly prodding and poking to find some hint of another force user nearby. Eventually he and Malen came across another of the One Sith symbols, this time on one of the apartment doors. Igniting his lightsaber, Arthadonis prepared himself before blasting through the door and rushing inside to face whatever he found.
What the duo found however was nothing. No Acolyte, no shrines or artefacts, nothing that could be connected to the One Sith cult, just an empty room with a bed on one side and a fridge on another. Arthadonis put away his lightsaber and proceeded to search the room for any clues as to the Acolyte’s whereabouts.
“There must be something here, those symbols were there for a reason.” Arthadonis said offhand while searching the contents of the fridge.
“I don’t see anything of importance, either he isn’t here or this room is just a trick used against anyone trying to track him down.” Saying those words, Malen and Arthadonis froze staring at each other before Arthadonis ran for the exit as fast as he could. Inches from the doorway a massive explosion rocked the building as the entire room was obliterated.
Intense pain rocked Arthadonis awake. Opening his eyes he could barely make out a glowing red fire and the remains of what was the room. He attempted to stand but found himself unable to from the pain, instead screaming out and collapsing back down when pressure was applied to his likely broken leg. A visual inspection found several large lacerations in his arm and torso while his clothes and much of his skin was severely burned. Arthadonis saw Malen next to him, shouting something but Arthadonis was unable to hear him. A few seconds later he passed out from the pain.
He woke again to a light breeze passing over his body. The pain had diminished from before, it was now at a point where he could push past and think clearly though likely still too much to attempt moving. He opened his eyes and took survey of his surroundings, he was no longer at the site of the explosion, and instead he found himself in a large park with dozens of trees and what sounded like a pond nearby.
“You’re awake, good.” The familiar voice of Malen brought Arthadonis’s attention and sure enough sitting next to him was the Kaleesh ghost.
“Where are we?” Arthadonis managed, trying not to move when he could help it.
“I believe the name is Axial park. It’s one of the city’s more secluded areas.” Malen replied staring forward seemingly lost in thought.
“How did we get here?” Arthadonis asked, attempting to move his neck to look around.
“I brought us here.” Malen could tell Arthadonis was confused so he elaborated further. “As I said earlier, the pain I caused you was only a small sample of my abilities. Another of them is the ability to take control of your body if you’re unconscious.”
Arthadonis wasn’t surprised that Malen had this kind of power but to use it in such a way as to drag his heavily damaged body out of harm’s way and away from the local authorities who would by now be swarming the bomb site impressed him. He’d read about spirit transferal in Ohmen’s library where his clan was housed and during a transfer the spirit almost always felt any pain the host body was suffering meaning Malen had to stand up, flee the scene and find this secluded park who knows how far from the apartment all the while enduring the same immense pain that caused Arthadonis himself to blackout.
“Thank you.” Arthadonis said, again closing his eyes, falling back to sleep. Malen simply nodded and followed suit, easing his mind and pondering their next move. For now the duo had little else to do but retreat into their shared subconscious as Arthadonis would need time for the force to heal his injuries, it wouldn’t completely heal him but it should bring him to the point where he could at least walk. Malen decided to reflect on this planet and why it felt so familiar.
“Wake up!” Arthadonis opened his eyes to the sound of sirens in the distance. It took him a few moments to fully awaken before realising what was happening.
“Get up you pathetic excuse for a Kaleesh! Don’t force me to take control of your body again!” He was awake now and he managed to shakily stand. The force had done its job for the most part, the worse of his injuries including his broken leg were repaired enough to allow basic movement however he was in no shape for a conflict.
“How long have we been out?” Arthadonis asked, moving toward the nearest buildings.
“About 4 hours, some kids poked you a bit but nothing else happened.” Malen replied walking alongside Arthadonis annoyed that he was unable to assist him.
“We need to find the acolyte, once we deal with him we can go home and I can get medical assistance. Where do you suggest we start because I’m out of ideas at this point?” Arthadonis asked as they made it into an alleyway. Looking back out toward the park, they saw several authority vehicles sweeping the area presumably for him.
“Luckily I do. Since the explosion the acolyte must think you’re dead because he’s let his guard somewhat down, I can just faintly sense him.” Malen replied smirking. “Even when we find him you can’t defeat him though, not with these injuries.”
The buzz of a speeder closing toward the alley forced the pair to continue their conversation while fleeing the area.
“I can-ARGH. I can defeat him even like this, luckily for us my strongest tool isn’t the power of my swing,” Arthadonis stated, flinching from a surge of pain in his abdomen. “An assassin is smart enough to use every means at their disposal including the seemingly pointless. My injuries prevent me from fighting him directly but my abilities mean I don’t have to.” Arthadonis finished, grinning back to Malen. Malen nodded in response and they headed toward the final confrontation.
It was dark before they arrived at the source of the power they sensed, mostly due to Arthadonis’s injuries slowing him down but also because the duo didn’t want the One Sith acolyte sensing their approach, they had to appear as nothing more than a civilian passer-by which meant no force assisted movement. The authorities had long since given up their search, either losing the trail or finding a better lead to follow but it didn’t matter which. By the time they went after him again Arthadonis and Malen would be half way to Judecca. As they entered the elevator and climbed to the 38th floor, they both took final assessment of themselves and their plan.
“Ready?” Malen asked as their approached their position.
“Yes, let’s finish this.” Arthadonis responded determination and focus filling his voice.
Arthadonis slowly made his way down the long dark hallway, stopping in front of a door. He could sense a presence inside, someone tied to the dark side. Focusing his mind he blasted through the door and unleashed a blackness sphere around the room sucking all light from inside. Peering in, he saw the Acolyte, lightsaber drawn and searching aimlessly for the source of the illusion. Luckily Arthadonis could see perfectly fine within the confines of the sphere, an ability he developed along with the blackness illusion itself. Slowly he crept around the room and toward the Acolyte who was now focussing heavily on identifying the culprit. Using a combination of concealment and mind trick, Arthadonis tried his best to keep himself hidden as he ignited his lightsaber ready to strike at his foe however the inability to completely focus due to the pain of his injuries and his still novice levels of force control meant such a feat was impossible to maintain for long.
Suddenly the acolyte’s attention snapped up directly toward Arthadonis and the acolyte charged at him yelling and lightsaber lunged in a classic form 0 attack stance. Expecting the attack, Arthadonis simply sidestepped and with his remaining might he force pushed the acolyte through the apartment window that Arthadonis had strategically put himself in front of and out onto the rock hard pavement 38 stories below. The yell of the acolyte turned into a scream and slowly diminished until it stopped suddenly with a sickening thud. Peering down onto the street the corpse of the acolyte was mangled and broken clearly dead from the impact. Arthadonis collapsed onto a chair in the apartment and Malen appeared by his side.
“You did well, we should get off of this planet and head back to Judecca before the authorities arrive.” He said putting his hand on Arthadonis’s shoulder. A purely sentimental gesture since neither could feel the touch.
“Yeah, I really need some time to let these injuries heal properly. Thanks.” Arthadonis replied. “Hey did you figure out why this planet feels familiar to you?” He asked remembering the ghost’s statement when they arrived on Corellia. A moment’s hesitation hung over the pair before Malen responded.
“No, no I didn’t.” He said peering down avoiding eye contact.
“Too bad, I’d offer to stay until you do but under the circumstances I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Arthadonis said before standing up preparing the leave.
“Thanks anyway.” Malen replied joining the waiting Kaleesh at the doorway to the apartment. With their mission accomplished, the duo made their way toward the nearest spaceport and bought a charter to their home of Judecca.