Pain kissed her passionately as the knife sank deeper into her abdomen, the sound of it covered by her wails. But no one could hear her, the darkness that surrounded them stretching as far as the eye could see. All that was bathed in light was her shackled body, flames casting an orange hue on her torment.
She begged to be dreaming, a nightmare brought on by bad spice and worse alcohol. A twisted reverie brought on by some repressed memory, an inner darkness presenting itself. The knife slid slowly out and the tip of the blade caressed her exposed breast. A trail of blood followed the blade wherever it went, and then delved into her flesh and as it tore through her mammary glands, she knew one thing – this was no dream.
She screamed louder, the sound echoing in the wind and combined with a sinister laugh. Her captor, an evil creature that seemed to be from a haunted fairy tale, roared with cackles as she tried to break free, as she struggled against him. Again, the blade retreated, more blood coming from the wound. The Umbaran breathed a sigh of relief at the sight, wiping a tear away from his eye.
“Pl-please stop.” she said.
“Stop? Now dear, I can’t do that.” he said, “You know that.”
“But I-I won’t say anything, I don’t even know what you look like. Please, I have a little girl, she needs me. She needs her mother. You have to have had a mother?!” she pleaded.
Her tormentor seemed to disappear into the shadows, but she could feel he was there. What was he doing? She could hear him moving something, hearing something moving and his voice whispering something. When he returned, tears began to flow down her face. Anger burned inside her eyes. Dahlia. Her daughter.
“Look at mommy.” said Samael, petting the girl gently on the head. “She wants you to see her.”
The Umbaran gently turned the little girls head, her lips trembling as he did. The mother wanted so badly to look her girl in the eye, convey some message that everything would be ok. That it was all just a bad dream, but it would be over soon. But when she went to look her daughter in the eyes, she discovered they were no longer there. She thrashed wildly, cursing at the Umbaran and swearing somehow he would burn for this. Samael chuckled, snapped the girl’s neck and punted her over to her mother.
“She didn’t need you as much as you thought.” he said as he got closer to her.
“W-why…me…” she moaned in agony, her skin pale and limbs trembling.
“A reason? That would make this all better, wouldn’t it? Yes, your torture and death will be made easier for you were I to have some reason for doing this.”
A gloved hand wrapped around her throat, squeezing tightly. Her eyes bulged, gasping for air as she stared at the incarnate of Death itself.
“I. Was. Bored.”
Again the knife entered her body, this time on her left wrist and dragging down. He didn’t hit any vein, avoiding them as best he could. He wanted this to last, he wasn’t sure when he would be able to acquire another spacer passing through. He removed the knife once more and stuck a finger in the wound, wiggling this way and that. He winced mockingly at the woman, the feeling of flesh working itself open being one of his favorite things.
A backhand across the woman’s face created an audible thwack, sending her head slapping against the table that she was chained to. Her captor repositioned her face, bring the knife to it and bring it close to her nostril. She began to shake, feeling the warmth of her own blood against her face. Samael snarled with a smile, the best he could at least with no lips, and sliced at her nose. He traced the bridge of it, sliced at the nostrils, and began to peel it away. When it was off, blood drops from the mangled piece of flesh quietly descending from it, he showed it to her. He wiggled it in front of her face like a child does with a toy to a cat.
“Got your nose.” he smiled, placing it in his mouth and chewing it slowly.
She screamed, louder than she did before, and then promptly passed out. The Umbaran clicked his teeth together, saying something under his breath about her being rude and that he would let her recover. Beneath the table he grabbed a canister of bacta and hooked her up to it, kissing her forehead as he cleaned the wounds he had inflicted.
When he was done he walked over to another table, rummaging through various papers and documents he had acquired and studied. Among them, a small blue crystal hummed and shone brightly amidst the shadows and darkness of the cave. The Umbaran picked it up, feeling a warmth of power emanating from the crystal. His hand moved through the stack of papers, finally resting on an aged piece of parchment with hastily written characters on it.
The crystal was a smaller piece of a much larger crystal, tethered to it by an energy signature. The Tarenti had learned that by placing energy into the larger crystal, which was stationed in Castle Tarentum, that he and others could send messages over great distance of various kinds. The only catch was the crystal needed something to catalyze the reaction of releasing the message. He looked over at his prey, frowning at what he had to do.
He took the crystal and approached the woman, taking his knife and digging it deep in her throat. He dragged the blade to the left, watching blood gush as he slit her throat. He reached in it and yanked harshly on her flesh, placing the crystal in it and closing it up again. The Sith placed his hand over the wound and focused himself, energy emanating from his core and pushing its way into the corpse. Dark whispers emanated in his mind as he focused further still, the woman’s eyes bulging and burning with a fiery intensity. Her mouth contorted and a guttural growl emanated from her.
“You are needed.”
The cave grew colder as she spoke, the darkness growing around them as the Dark Side of the Force saturated the room with its power.
Samael nodded at the corpse in approval, relishing the sensation that followed communication with Sith Bloodfyre. The Deathsworn were needed, shrouded in secrets and bathed in the death of countless souls, to aid Tarentum in the coming days.