Alpheridies. Seridan hadn’t thought of his childhood home for years, and now memories had flooded his head. He remembered his time at the Luka Sene. He remembered his classmates and his teachers. However, he viewed it all with a sour taste in his mouth. His mentor, a Miraluka called Mithrain, had been abducted, tortured, and killed. The Miralukan Authorities refused to do anything. During the Great Jedi Purge, many Miraluka perished, and ever since little contact with the Jedi has ever occurred. The Miraluka couldn’t get help and justice for Mithrain’s death because of an event that had happened 40 years before. It was something which inspired Seridan to leave.
Seridan himself had appealed to the authorities, asking for justice. He remembered being in that room, surrounded by high podiums where the Council loomed over him. He clearly recalled that all the councillors wore the same expression. They had looks of disdain, frowns amplified by the ornate silver masks which covered their eyes. All were steadfast in their ways, and wouldn’t be budged by one Luka Sene student.
There was one councillor which was different. Lord Prism Kav Drest. Drest’s features displayed amusement, but not as if Seridan had told a joke. Drest smiled because he found it incredulous that a mere boy would propose that the old ways, the true ways would be overturned in the pursuit of justice. Seridan’s dislike of the man started then, and it was re-ignited now.
‘No. If I let your passion guide your hand, it will move irrationally and put me in danger.’ Seridan thought, I must distance myself from him. It will make it easier to kill him.’
Arriving at the spaceport was eerie. He had left these halls thinking that he’d never return. He remembered when he’d came here to visit relatives, and again with friends on a trip to the local racetrack, the Quad. He forced these thoughts down, focussing on his mission ahead. He forced his expression to become stony, as he pulled his hood to cover his face.
He went over to a public terminal and accessed the source code. He attached a small device which acted as a modem, and identified the Luka Sene’s framework. A dialog box popped up, asking for a username and password. ‘That’s new’ Seridan thought. Seridan briefly wrote a quick program to try and bypass this login. The code run, but then the program crashed and the software closed. Something that sounded like a frustrated beep came from the modem. Seridan rebooted the device and tried to find a loophole in the system that allowed him access.
After a good hour trying to break different systems, Seridan gave up. He angrily exited his programs and returned to the usual home screen. He was turning to leave when he noticed something. Across the top of the screen, headlines were scrolling past. One particular one caught his eye.
Intelligence Mogul Drest Explores Deep Space For Mysterious Cult
The Holonet revealed that Drest had left the High Council, probably because of the limitations he faced. He entered into the private sector, where he could do as he liked. The article’s wrote of him as if they were trying not to insult him. They were scared of him.
From what Seridan could gather, Drest had been playing a slow game, beating the people of Alpheridies until they took his point of view. He had so much influence that he may as well have been on the High Council anyway. He had to be stopped. He’d told the world of a dangerous cult, and that he was going to launch an attack on them with Alpheridies’ resources. He’d forced every able-bodied man to join the task force. Half of Alpheridies’ fleet was to be used. The situation was much graver than Seridan had thought.
Seridan pulled his hood deeper over his eyes, and left the spaceport. The job had to be done before the attack was launched. It had be done quickly and smoothly. The attack was being launched at 9am. Seridan had 10 hours.
It was too cold. The small town only had one tall buildings to shield Seridan from the cool wind that blew through the valley. He sat atop the roof of an office complex, watching.
He could imagine himself doing nicer things: sitting in a cantina sharing blue milk with his friends, trading war stories and funny happenings alike. He could be in the ‘safe’ confines of the meditation chamber, deepening his connection to the Force; or in the training room, practicing his Ataru cadences or dueling willing opponents. Seridan had had to tell his friends that he was visiting his old master, Adeodatus, and that he wouldn’t be back for a few days. He didn’t like deceiving them, but it was necessary. He glanced at his watch. Six hours to go. The shuttle ride took longer than he’d hoped.
Seridan inhaled deeply, clearing his mind. He sniffed the air and tried to take a quick survey of his surroundings to build his surveillance. On a night such as this, it didn’t help. The harsh wind buffeted Seridan, making it near impossible to hear or smell anything. The night sky was littered with stars, but it was the first moon-less night of the month. In the alleys, the darkness was absolute. That didn’t bother Seridan - he could see perfectly. In front of him, the criss-crossing of the alleyways and streets seemed like an intricate spider web, with Drest Tower in the middle. Kav Drest was the prey, caught in a trap and Seridan was the spider.
He breathed in, taking one last look at the tower. He breathed out, and set off at a sprint. Seridan leaped over rooftop over rooftop, slowly making it closer to the building. A few blocks away, he dropped down into an alley, he robes fluttering around him. He then ran down the backstreets until the great mirrored tower came before him. The Knight clung to the shadows, until he found what he was looking for: the service door. Before opening the door, he searched the room inside for any cameras. He saw one, no two small cameras, covering both doors. With the Force, he nudged one of the cameras to point at the ceiling. The lock needed an encrypted key card - one that Seridan didn’t have. Without an alternative, Seridan melted the lock with his lightsaber.
Slipping inside, Seridan emitted what looked like a black fog. Using the brief cover it held, he darted through to the service elevator. He was about to press one of the many buttons when he stopped. Cursing himself, he realised that people would notice when an elevator moved without anyone getting inside. Looking around and going through his options, Seridan tugged a hatch open and pulled himself onto the roof of the elevator. He then crawled into the tight ventilation system and started to journey upwards.
Five hours to go. There had been three guards on the seventeenth floor, two of which were easily taken out with Seridan’s Echani skills. The third was harder. This one was a heavy hitter, and appeared to be trained in some sort of martial art. He rapidly dodged some of Seridan’s blows and managed to hit Seridan’s side and shoulder. Seridan’s wide stance stopped him from being off balanced, but it still hurt. As the guard threw another punch, Seridan grabbed the fist and yanked, so that the punch would go over his shoulder. Seridan used the guard’s momentum to deliver a hard punch to the sternum, which knocked him backwards, off balance. Seridan darted forward, delivering a swift punch to the solar plexus to finish off. The guard fell to the floor, unconscious.
There were no alarms going off, but Drest may have been notified of his arrival. Seridan reached out in the Force and found Drest. He was in a large room at the end of the west corridor. He smoothed down his robes and started walking. He rounded the corner to see two more guards. They were different than the earlier ones, through. These were black-clad and had quarterstaffs and vibroswords. Seridan extended his jawline and made it more distinct, to mimic one of the other guards. As he got closer, the guards crossed their staffs across the door in the traditional way. Seridan bowed to show respect, and said,
“Good morning. I’ve been sent from the shipyard to give Mr Drest an important message.”
The guard on the left swiftly replied, “If you are from the shipyard, then you’ll know to call Overlord Drest by his proper title. Tell us the message and we’ll pass it on.”
“I’m afraid that I cannot divulge the information to anyone but Overlord Drest. It is of utmost importance.”
In unison, the guards spun and simultaneously pushed the door open. They led Seridan through a short hallway and into a large circular chamber. There were many bookshelves lining the walls, a tall window occupied the far side of the room. In the centre there was a large desk with multiple screens. Drest stood by the window, hands clasped around his back.
“Ah, a visitor,” Drest said, with surprising charm, “now, what do you want?”
“Mr Overlord, sir,” Seridan stammered, bowing, “There has been an attack upon the shipyard. I believe it was by this mysterious cult.”
Drest turned, clicked his comlink, and an image of a shipyard supervisor popped up. “Mr Capalda, is everything in order?”
“Yes sir. We’re ready to launch ahead of schedule, two hours from now.”
Drest smiled at Seridan, “Good, Capalda. Don’t launch without my command. I want to be on that first ship. Standby, I have something to deal with first. “
Seridan’s heart sunk. He needed more practice at this. He felt the two guards behind him, so he flipped over them, before delivering a hard Force push into their backs, throwing them forward. Their heads hit the wooden desk, hard. They didn’t get back up. He summoned his lightsaber to his hand and ignited it. Drest merely smiled.
“Oh, Seridan. Did you think that we wouldn’t care when you left us? We actually looked for you, you know. You were one of our strongest candidates, someone we were thinking of training for Council leadership. In fact, it’s no surprise to me that you’re holding a lightsaber. Truth be told, it was our search for you that led us to the Dark Jedi Brotherhood. Think about that. You are the one that has killed your people.”
Seridan blinked. Drest knew him? Seridan knew that he wasn’t to tie Drest’s death to the Brotherhood, so this was going to be tricky. After choosing a reply, Seridan said, “What is this Brotherhood, Drest? I do not know it.”
“Do not lie to me! I know that your methods are particularly horrible. I mean, its called the Dark Jedi Brotherhood. You’re against everything that the Miraluka believe in. You have failed your people, Seridan.”
Seridan took this in, before chuckling. Drest didn’t know of House Odan Urr, and their fight against the other Houses. In fact, Seridan doubted that Drest truly knew that much about the Brotherhood at all. Seridan considered telling him, but this man was evil. He had practically enslaved his people. He forced his underlings to call him ‘Overlord’. The public was scared of his power, and no one questioned his methods. He still had to die.
“You see, that’s where you’re wrong, Drest.” Seridan said coldly, “I am still in possession of my ethics and my values. My childhood taught me that much.You think I am a Dark Jedi, but I am part of a bandit clan. We conduct raids and attacks upon the Brotherhood. I have killed many of their men, stopping their foul campaigns and feuds. Your invasion puts my bandits at risk. We want you dead. I am a man of honour, and You are a sick and cold-hearted man, bent of absolute power and dictatorship. That is not what a Miraluka is. You know, what annoys me most, is that you are so arrogant. You may have a god-complex, but you are no god.”
As he said that last word, Seridan leaped into the air and raised his saber. He closed the distance between them and slashed downward, aiming for Drest’s collarbone. Drest’s eyes followed Seridan, and at the last minute, his hand shot forward and delivered a Force push to Seridan’s stomach. Seridan was thrown backwards into a bookcase. Winded, he stood back up. Killing Drest was going to be harder than he thought.
Drest smirked, before reaching into his white robes and extracting a silver vibrosword. “You see, Seridan, that’s where you are wrong. I am a god.” He said, voice amplifying with every word, “and YOU WILL KNEEL.” The door to the chamber opened and 5 more black-clad guards entered, surrounding Seridan. Drest climbed onto the desk and prepared to watch the spectacle.
Seridan tightened his grip on his saber and closed his eyes, taking a deep breath. The fury of battle would come soon, but when outnumbered, a cool mind will prevail. As the men around him prepared to beat the Knight with their staffs, Seridan sliced outward with his saber, chopping three staffs in half. Seridan then dodged the other two before flipping over them and delivering a killing stab into one’s windpipe. Seridan then parried a vibrosword before flicking his cool blue blade through another guard’s defenses, hitting a man’s kidneys. Looking at Drest, Seridan saw the man smiling away at the gladiator fight.
Seridan darted backward, preparing for a charge at Drest. But the presence of three humming blades stopped him. The remaining three guards each held a vibrosword, ready to battle. They were shabbily built but they could still kill. Seridan dived right as one sword slashed where he had been. Seridan brought his saber round to attack guard C’s defenses. The guard brought the saber round to parry, and blocked Seridan’s riposte, and prepared for another attack, when Seridan darted left and took Guard A by surprise, hitting the guard to the ground with an attack to the knee. Seridan brought his saber up to parry an attack by Guard B, before spinning and slashing Guard C’s right side. Seridan turned to see only Guard B still standing.
Drest still smiled, but his smirk was faltering. Drest leaped down and joined his last guard. It occurred to Seridan that he faced two completely different people. The man in black was probably only obeying orders, and was probably a fine Miraluka specimen. Drest, the man in white, was the real nutjob. He was the guy who actually needed to pay.
The guard lunged forward, but Seridan deftly dodged before flipping over the guard’s head and delivering a knockout blow to the temple. The guard crumpled, his sword skittering across the floor. Seridan flicked his ice blue lightsaber up to Drest’s chin.
“Drest,” Seridan spat, “I will not kneel for you. After I leave, no-one will kneel for you again. You have beaten your people into submission. You have geared yourself up to claim a dictatorship. You plan to impress your people with an attack that will massacre your own men. You may think that I am the one at fault, that I am the evil one. It is me and my bandits that keep the Brotherhood from attacking the innocent. It is us that fight the good fight, that protects the innocent when no one else will. You may think yourself more righteous, but I am the better person.”
“Hmm…” Drest spoke at last, “I see. Well, even if you are not part of this Brotherhood, you just killed my men and are threatening to kill me. Are you truly a good person? From my point of view, you are evil!” With a flourish, Drest flung Seridan back again with the Force, holding him against a bookcase. His lightsaber fell from his hand. He was unarmed. More guards entered the room.
“I guard unseen. I fight for the Light.” Seridan growled, “Those who should be stopped will be stopped.” Seridan’s voice escalated in a majestic crescendo, “In shame, honour. In darkness, light. I do justice and I love mercy. There’s no mercy for you.” He roared those last words, before promptly turning invisible.
The guards looked confused, and Drest let Seridan out of his clutches. With flowing precision, Seridan became invisible once more, jumped up the bookcase and leaped toward Drest. In midair, Seridan summoned his saber to his hand. He landed, and grabbed Drest’s neck with his free hand. “I am Retribution.” Seridan whispered. With a snap-hiss, Seridan’s icy blue blade buried itself in Overlord Kav Drest’s silver eye covers. The ornate silver split, and fell to the floor with a clang.
The guards had regained their composure by then, preparing to attack. Seridan turned to them. “You are free.” Taking one last glance around, he realised that there was only one way to escape. Seridan leaped backward, out of the window.
When jumping out of a window, there’s always a moment or two of complete weightlessness. Seridan usually enjoyed that moment of helplessness, but today he couldn’t afford any mistakes. Seridan realigned himself horizontally, to slow his descent as much as possible. Shards of glass glittered around him, but he ignored them. He shrugged off his long flowing robes to reveal a well-tailored grey outfit, with a black backpack on his back. As Seridan approached the buildings below, Seridan pulled a cord, a parachute billowing out of the bag. Upon his landing, he rolled to alleviate some of the force. Seridan unclipped the bag, and set off toward the spaceport. He hoped that he could get there before the alarms started going off. He just hoped that he’d done enough.