The Black Harbinger
Iios looked up from his inner contemplation upon hearing the approach of his master and monster. The two presented an icon of sorts to Iios. Never in his wildest dreams did he think that a small cantina job on Tatooine would lead to the life where he was now. He was both scared of it, but would never wish it had gone any different.
“You did a good thing, deciding to come back with us. If you felt obliged during our months of training in Plagueis, you had the opportunity to leave during the Meridian. No one would have stopped you,” Areticus said with a sound of calm appraisal.
Iios tilted his head a little at his master’s words. He didn’t even consider taking off, to be honest. Even if he did, it probably wouldn’t have changed the outcome. “I suppose now you’re here to come up with a plan to return back to Plagueis?”
“Not this time, no.”
“Why not?” Iios inquired.
“Because,” Areticus began before a pause, “I believe there is an opportunity here with these Odanites. They have much we can learn.”
“But they’re Jedi.”
Areticus nodded, “Yes… I know I have been strict on the ways of the Sith before our capture on the Meridian. However, during our incarceration, I’ve opened myself to explore different avenues of the Force. Those expeditions have found themselves to prove both useful and enlightening. So I wish to continue to research more, despite my impediment.”
Iios chuckled and shook his head, “Well… I didn’t expect that. But I will embrace it. I can’t wait to see what you’ll be teaching me in the Light.”
“Actually I won’t be teaching you anything,” Areticus replied bluntly. Iios looked up in confusion. Areticus couldn’t see the motion but knew that he did it. "You worked hard ever since our discovery of your Force sensitivity on Dagobah. You worked harder than you should have, and even during times of tribulation from imprisonment, you still practiced. I felt it. I sensed the flow of the Force and the way you directed it in your private cell. You never lost focus, and never went astray from what I taught you.
That is rare, and is the sign of a true adept in the Force."
“Thank you,” Iios said with a smile, “But I still want to learn more.”
“Then we will learn together as colleagues, but no longer as Master and Apprentice. You have learned all that I can teach, and are too wise beyond your status.”
Areticus then motioned with his hand, “Arise, Iios. And take a knee.”
At the call of the word ‘Arise’, the O.T.F. members who rescued Iios slowly filled the room. They surrounded Iios where he stood in a half circle, with him and Areticus in the center. Those who had lightsabers drew them and held them upright before their faces in ceremony.
Iios took a knee before Areticus, who then drew his Sith blade from it’s sheathed. The Force was dense within its steel, causing a metallic ring to sing throughout the common room. The blade lowered to his right shoulder, raised, and then to his left.
“Arise, Knight Singuard…”