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Old 09-06-2007, 10:01 PM   #121
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He was there, and by falling to his knees in the sands, he caught the Exile just before she hit the sands, one arm of strong human warmth and one arm of cold mechanical preciseness closing around her small form as he held her away from the hot sands. He could feel her life force - beating and pulsing strong through the Force - and was not worried. Something or someone had simply used Tysyacha as a gateway, as a channel to send this message. The question was, had it been direct straight to him?

Looking back to the sky at the bright, abnormal star that the woman in his arms had pointed to, his sharp blue orbs locked onto its position, widening slightly. He knew that star - he had seen it from the ship as the Star Forge was destroyed, falling and collapsing in upon itself. A shiver of frightening power wracked his body. The last place he wanted to return was there...

His mechanical arm supporting her upper body, his right arm slipped beneath her legs. Standing up, he picked her up and cradled her against his strong chest, striding back in the direction that they had come.


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Old 09-06-2007, 11:49 PM   #122
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Bastila peered out the large window into the bright white day, overlooking the palladium mines and refineries.

Her apprentice, a beautiful green Twi'lek, joined her at her side. "I delivered the message, my Master. I used the poem and planted it in her mind. She was powerful, Master, and resisted so strongly I had no choice but render her unconscious."

Bastila acknowledged her with a slight tilt of the head and kept watching all the faraway activity. "Her power is no match for the Light, E'lina. She carries much darkness from her time with the Betrayer, but she cannot defeat the Light. We will be ready for her, you and I and our other followers. The Force wills that all who do not submit to the Light, those 'true Sith', must be destroyed, and we are the agents of that Light. We cannot fail."


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Old 09-09-2007, 05:21 PM   #123
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The area just outside the cave was suddenly tossed up by the descent of a small shuttle. It landed several meters from the mouth of the cave and the boarding ramp descended slowly. A cloaked man stood at the top.

"You should not have chosen this cave, strangers," the man said slowly. His voice was loud and clear. "Strangers do not fare well in the barren wastelands of Tatooine... even strangers with exiled Jedi for companions."

Rika rose from the meditative position she'd taken for her night's watch and strode forward boldly. "Speak, stranger. Katya Skyhawk has sent you."

"My mistress commands," the man said. "I obey. And you must obey as well. Come aboard and I will take you to my mistress. She knows you wish to speak with her."

Rika nodded. "Of course she does," she said. To her companions, she said, "Kala-Naa might have given our descriptions to one of Katya's eyes. If we are to speak with her, if we are to get information from her, this is the only way."

"It is risky," the cloaked man cautioned. "Katya Skyhawk has no great love for Rika Saben. Board this shuttle if you are without fear."

Rika boarded immediately.


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Old 09-09-2007, 06:42 PM   #124
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He had been kneeling beside the sleeping Exile, his eyes on her blissfully peaceful features as her breath came evenly in and out, his mind whirling with the apparent prophecy she had uttered nearly an hour ago when the ship descended. He flexed his left arm, closing the fist as his right hand gripped around the wrist, as if readying himself for whatever will come. He did not stand, but his eyes shone alertly in the light of the docked ship, watching the cloaked figure move down the loading ramp.

Listening in silence, he tried to make head or tails of the situation - and found that there was little for him to go off of. This would be risky, as the man had said...apparently, this Katya Skyhawk wasn't on good terms with Rika, making their situation only that much work. Turning to the Exile as Rika immediately proceeded up the ramp, he gently touched her shoulder.

"Awaken, Tysyacha," he said softly, giving her a small shake. "We must move."


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Old 09-10-2007, 06:48 AM   #125
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The Exile immediately became alert, as it seemed her ship's mechanic and rescuer had given her a "small shake" with more than just his hand. Her mind had been touched by the Force as well, and she gave him a grateful smile, though she was confused.

"What? Huh? Oh, sorry--must have really dozed off for a moment there." With a nod from the mechanic, she let him guide her aboard the mysterious shuttle that did not seem to be the Ebon Hawk. Apparently, one of Katya Skyhawk's minions had found Tysyacha and her crew sleeping in the lair of the krayt dragon and was now condescending to take the five of them to where his mistress waited. Excellent. Although, the Exile felt more than just a queasy feeling in her stomach this time.

"What happened?" asked Tysyacha to the mechanic. "I feel rather strange right now."

After debating whether or not to tell his Captain about the possibly Force-driven midnight occurrence in the desert, he gave a knowing nod and told her everything. It did no good to keep too many secrets on such a critical mission to save the galaxy. After he finished explaining, he wished he could narrow the Exile's blue eyes a little.

"Let me get this straight," she said slowly. "I had a nightmare, I hit my head on the rock I was using as a pillow, and then I got up and walked out into the desert and said a freaky poem?" A nod from the mechanic. "Oy! Maybe I really am going crazy."

"Don't forget about the ashen star," he reminded her. "It seemed dead, like a lost planet or a nova that had changed into a white dwarf or neutron star. Also, you only 'got up and said the freaky poem' under some kind of a hypnotic trance. Trust me--I know you wouldn't do that under normal circumstances. You love your sleep, as do I." The Exile started giggling uncontrollably, and a blush came to the mech's face.
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Old 09-10-2007, 10:15 AM   #126
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The mismatched eyes flew open, staring out the craggy cave entrance where the shuttle had alighted. The pointed ears had perked up at the snippets of conversation but the eyes remained closed until Rika had boarded the ship. A thin finger approached the tapered chin to stroke at it thoughtfully.

"Things certainly have gotten a bit more interesting," the lips remarked to the Corellian pilot standing a few meters away as the eyes alighted upon the mechanic and the Exile. "And I'm not even talking about the ship or the mysterious person from said shuttle."




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Old 09-12-2007, 12:59 PM   #127
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Kimber wasn't quite awake yet, but things were becoming clearer by the second. "Indeed," she replied pensively to Lane as she, too, watched the interaction between her captain, the Jedi Exile, and the mysterious no-name mechanic she had dubbed 'Spanner'. "Things are getting curiouser and curiouser." She frowned slightly. "That's a word, right? Curiouser?" She shook her head dismissively. "Nevermind. We better join Rika. Looks like we're in for a little ride. Strange though...." She scratched at the back of her ear. "I would have thought a person as notorious as Katya Skyhawk would have sent a newer shuttle model than that one." She eyed the ship over. "I think my grandfather owned one of these."

Nevertheless, she took a step forward to follow Rika aboard the shuttle. "Lane, you coming?" she asked, looking over her shoulder at him. Her. Whatever. She still couldn't tell what sex Lane was.


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Old 09-12-2007, 01:17 PM   #128
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Long, lithe legs untangled themselves from the sitting position they were in and alighted on the ground quietly. Stalking up next to Kimber, Lane studied the shuttle with knowledgeable eyes. "'Tis an older design, yes," the lips agreed. "But fitting, since Katya is smart enough not to call attention to herself." The lips pursed as the legs began walking towards the shuttle. "In her line of work, it pays to be inconspicuous until you want to be noticed."




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Old 09-12-2007, 10:56 PM   #129
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The shuttle landed...and in Tysyacha's opinion, all hell broke loose.

The thing was, nothing much happened. A rickety landing pad, bad smells, a hazy blanket of pollution smothering everything. Not much different from Nar Shaddaa, but this particular location had a sharply-sweet suffusion of Dark Side energy within it. Combined with the mixed scents of urine, droppings from stray animals and pets, stale liquor, and used rolls of spice-smoke paper, it woke Tysyacha up in a gigantic hurry.

She ignited her twin sabers. "Where's the bad? Where's the bad?!" she cried, whirling around in self-defense, looking for muggers, assassins, or any other shady characters.
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Old 09-13-2007, 01:41 AM   #130
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"The bad is everywhere, Exile," a voice called over an intercom system. Speakers were placed around the pad. "There on the landing pad, here where I sit, this entire rock is saturated with 'bad'. You even bring 'bad' with you, Exile." A door nearby opened, seeming almost threatening as a deep red light spilled out. From inside, a voice called, "Welcome to the Lair."

"Center yourself, Tysyacha," Rika said calmly. "We have arrived. Fear is useless to you now. Cast it off."

"Pointless words, Ariana," the voice went on, and now, the red light died away, replaced by bright white lights. A feminine figure came to stand in the doorway. "Fear may be a choice, but there are all too few beings who have learned to change it."

"What do you want, Nanda?" Rika asked warily. Suddenly, she looked and sounded as though she'd aged ten years.

"I want you and your friends to enter," the woman identified as 'Nanda' answered. "Then, we will speak."


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Old 09-13-2007, 04:58 PM   #131
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With this final statement, the members of the crew glanced at each other, as if wondering who would enter first - all eyes except for his. His blue gaze was locked on the woman who stood just to the side of the doorway.

Without a word, he left the Exile's side. He could feel the other's eyes on him as he strode toward the door, seemingly without fear - and without a weapon. He paused just beside the woman, his voice dropping so that only she could hear. Even as he spoke, he did not look at her.

"We shall enter, but don't try anything. You know not who you are dealing with."


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Old 09-14-2007, 09:27 AM   #132
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"I want you and your friends to enter," the woman identified as 'Nanda' answered. "Then, we will speak."

As the mechanic stepped forward to whisper something to Nanda, Kimber nudged Lane with her elbow. "Ok, I'm confused," she said in a voice just above a whisper. "I thought we were here to see Katya Skyhawk, not this 'Namba' person." She lowered her voice even further. "And since when did Rika become Ariana?" Her head shuddered with a combination of disbelief and frustration. "Oh, nevermind. Let's just get this meeting over with."

She started forward, following the mechanic. Despite the squalid conditions of the place, Kimber wasn't too bothered by it. She had seen worse. "Hope they have something to eat in this place that isn't too disgusting or hallucinogenic," she said, mostly to herself. "I'm starving...."


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Old 09-14-2007, 08:16 PM   #133
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"I know a great deal more than you might imagine," Nanda replied in the same tone to the mechanic. When everyone had passed her, she turned, closed the door, and moved back into the room.

The lights dimmed to make the room a little more pleasantly lighted instead of the blinding light it had been.

"Now, first thing's first," Nanda said. "I have some... unfinished business with your friend 'Rika'. Come along, then. Step forward."

"Whatever happens, you must not interfere," Rika said softly. She moved forward to face Nanda. Immediately, ray shields surrounded the two of them.

"Whatever happens, you cannot interfere," Nanda mocked loudly. She drew a blood-red lightsaber from some hidden pocket in her pants. Rika countered with her own lightsaber, a dazzling green blade. Slowly, the two women circled one another.

"What is it you want, Katya?" Rika asked slowly. Nanda laughed.

"So are we using pseudonyms now, 'Rika'?" she inquired. "Come now, I thought we were past that."

"Forget it, Katya," Rika snapped. "And forget this test of my abilities as well..." She tossed her saber lightly aside and slammed both hands forward. 'Katya' was lifted off her feet with a startled shriek and propelled backward into the ray shield behind her. Visibly stunned, she dropped to her knees.

"I give," she gasped. The ray shield was deactivated and Rika moved to help Katya to her feet. Neither woman spoke as they crossed the room to join the others.


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Old 09-14-2007, 09:20 PM   #134
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The Exile was confused beyond confused. Certainly, she had seen the old "alias becomes discovered/dark past revealed/angst and more angst" trick with Atton Rand, the former pilot of the Ebon Hawk and her former partner. However, this was pushing her powers of forgiveness and integration, not to mention her tolerance for secrets, too far. She wanted to get to the bottom of this before the Sith attacked.

"Tell me," she said to Rika, "is your real name Rika Saben or Arianna--something?"

"It is Arianna," the powerful Jedi replied, "but I am no longer bound to that identity. I would prefer it if you would call me Rika, the name I long to live up to in full."

"Fair enough." She gestured to Katya. "And this is illustrious Katya Skyhawk, alias 'Nanda'?"

"Excuse me," said a female voice like a vibrodagger kept in a refrigeration compartment, "but I am not a 'this'. I am a 'me', and you would do well to listen to me before something unpleasant happens to you and your crew. Yes, I am Katya Skyhawk, and who are the four who are traveling with you? Aside from Arianna--I mean 'Rika'." A subtle sneer, cunning in its intensity.

"First of all, I am Tysyacha Odnova," the Exile replied, her voice just as cold and haughty as Katya's had been. "The pilot of the ship in which we travel, the Ebon Hawk, is Ms. Kimber Quitaan, and I daresay I wish she would have flown the shuttle in which we arrived. I trust her implicitly with my life. We have a skilled male mechanic, who prefers to remain anonymous, and a sentient called Lane, whom I suspect is from another planet or world."

Katya laughed softly. "A motley crew of ragged spacefarers deigns to see me. Very well. What is it you wish, Tysyacha Odnova? If your request is not only reasonable, but will be of benefit to me and my organization to help you accomplish, then I shall do so. If not, I don't see how I can let you and your crew leave this lair alive without a very high price being extracted." A wink.

"We search for a powerful Jedi," began Tysyacha, "formerly known as Darth Revan. He has vanished beyond the Outer Rim, into the Unknown Regions, and we need his help if we are to ward off this silent threat that waits to claim the galaxy. I suspect that Revan knows not only where the True Sith might be located, but also their nature and identity. Without Revan, I can feel through the Force that none of us will last a second against the True Sith, whether or not we are sensitive to the Force itself. Do you know, or at least have a theory, of where he could be? Even a lead to his aides will do."

More dark chuckles, emanating from the deepest part of Katya's throat. "Do not underestimate me. Such information I have, but the price is high beyond your highest expectations. The irtysch pendant you wear is a start."

"Not so fast." Tysyacha stood her ground. "Dangle the bait; I might bite."
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Old 09-16-2007, 05:18 PM   #135
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Motley? Kimber's eyes narrowed menacingly as she listened to Katya Skyhawk banter words with Tysy.

"Do not underestimate me. Such information I have, but the price is high beyond your highest expectations. The irtysch pendant you wear is a start."

"Not so fast." Tysyacha stood her ground. "Dangle the bait; I might bite."


"Oh, great...." Kimber sighed, then gave Lane, who was standing beside her, a sideways glance. "She's one of those 'barter for favours' type of people, isn't she?" she said quietly to him, the question more of a statement. "It's so much easier when the price is in cash. At least then you know exactly how 'expensive' something really is. With favours...." She shrugged. "It's very hard to tell if you're getting a fair deal or not."

She hoped that Tysy was wise when it came to dealing in favours. Rika, and even the mechanic, seemed wise enough in that matter, but would Tysy listen to their counsel? Either way, Kimber was committed enough to go along with whatever decision her captain Tysy made. She made a promise to serve and she would see it through.

She just hoped that whatever 'deal' Tysy made with Katya didn't involve anything too humiliating for the crew.


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Old 09-27-2007, 07:23 AM   #136
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Ok, don't mean to double post, but since there is no OOC thread for this one...

Tysy, are we continuing this without Grace (as I believe she has decided to take a break from the forums for a while)?


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Old 09-27-2007, 10:19 PM   #137
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(OOC: Carry on, because I don't want this thread to die just yet. I wonder where ForceFight and Rogue and Jae are? )
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Old 09-28-2007, 12:02 PM   #138
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((I'm so sorry I kinda left this thread in a pickle... I'll get you out now ))


Rika lost patience. "Listen, you scum-ridden, poor excuse for a sentient," she snarled, drawing her lightsaber and slamming 'Katya' against a wall. "We're here for information. We're not leaving without it."

"Damn you and your impatience," Katya gasped. "Leave!"

"Or what?" Rika laughed. Automated defenses kicked in and Katya slipped from Rika's grasp and fled. With a scream of frustration, Rika slammed her hands together and a pulse of energy spread outward from her. The automated defenses were destroyed.

"Katya has fled this outpost," Rika said, turning to her companions. "It is my duty to follow her. Raid this location for whatever information you can find. I am sorry I could not be of further service to you."

She turned to leave, but then she paused as if she'd thought of something else. "Should I fail, you are the only ones who could potentially bring down Katya's crime ring. As that is the case, I'll tell you everything you need to know.

"Katya Skyhawk is not her real name. Her name is Nanda Bai. She was my sister. Then, she tried to kill me and Ariana Bai became Rika Saben. Then, she staged her own death and became a galactic menace. Her outposts are scattered throughout the galaxy, but I have my own means of discovering them."

She handed a datapad to Tysyacha. "These are the ones I know of and having the Republic raid them would destroy a lot of Nanda's escaping room."

For just a second, she took the datapad back and recorded a message. "There," she said, looking back to Tysyacha and giving the datapad back to her. "If that message plays, send this datapad to the Republic."

She bowed. "It's been all too short a pleasure, but Nanda is my responsibility now. May the Force be with you."

Then, she was gone.


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Old 09-28-2007, 03:28 PM   #139
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He stood by with gritted teeth as he watched the scene unfold before him, his hands in his pockets. The argument between the women, Rika's explosion of Force power...though the automated turrets and other defenses errupted in flurries of sparks, he stood by without a flinch. The wave passed him with only a slight rippling of his hair.

He stepped forward, his mouth open to say something to Rika...but just as he was about to speak, she took off. He took a few steps after her before something - some sense in the back of his head - made him stop. This was something for Rika to do. He closed his mouth again, his arm falling back to his side, and turned to Tysyacha with grim eyes.


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Old 09-28-2007, 09:42 PM   #140
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Tysyacha couldn't believe it. According to Traya, Rika Saben would become her future Master and trainer. Now it seemed that Rika was trailing 'Katya', who had the double misfortune of being a wanted criminal and possibly the only person who knew where Revan might have gone. Now both women had vanished, and the Exile felt betrayed.

"Come," she said softly as she turned to the mechanic, her voice a weak mumble. "I think we should do what Rika says and search for any information about the Jedi we're trying to look for. I'm sorry, but trying to go after a whole crime ring is just not worth it at this point if it's not related to the whereabouts of Revan or the True Sith. Jedi help people, it's true, but in this case we'd be better off leaving 'Katya's' circle to other"--she almost said lesser--"galactic authorities. We're not the only heroes in this galaxy, and we could wind up dead trying to be the biggest ones of all. So, keep an eye out for suspicious datapads and holograms." Holocrons? Perhaps.

Lane, Kimber, the Exile, and the mechanic searched 'Katya Skyhawk's' eerie Lair for anything out of place, unusual, extraordinary, or simply wrong. For a while, this task proved as useless as digging through bantha droppings with one's hands to find a swallowed needle, but eventually Tysyacha came upon a cold, innocuous metal cube. She held it in her hands, feeling an odd sense of familiarity with it, and also a sense of fear. Not wanting to disturb the others too badly, or endanger them if it was a trap, she moved off to the side of the hideout and squeezed the cube. It slowly opened.

"There are dark places within the galaxy, centers of knowledge where few dare to tread," began an aged female voice that Tysyacha knew all too well. "I was once the historian of the Jedi, and always there were more questions. More questions than there were answers, and more platitudes than concrete truths. I had to know more. It was a hunger within me, just as war was a hunger within Darth Nihilus, and the lack of the Force was a void within--you. I learned things about the Force that none of the Jedi Masters had ever told me, and of a place that put the Dark Side to shame.

"It is called Cocyta, a world of nothing but light. There is no darkness there, and that is what makes it so terrifying to me. It's a hidden planet, supposedly formed out of pure palladium, its core powerful and astronomically rare. It lies between twin suns, yet its axis was not always tilted into the position it is now. Someone is there, a servant Revan left behind who was unwilling to settle for second place or second love in his heart. She is the one who has corrupted the natural order of this world and made it her own. Left unchecked, she will destroy the darkness, but since there is darkness in every sentient being, the galaxy shall die when all the 'evildoers' shall.

"You know where Cocyta is, Exile. In your heart of hearts, you were headed for it as soon as you entered the galactic mists outside of Malachor V. Go there, and find what you seek. Perhaps Revan is there, perhaps not, but it is time to destroy this false Jedi before she brings the Order as it stands to its logical and fatal conclusion. You have been betrayed again, Tysyacha Dvukh, by the very exiled Jedi who could have helped you find this sooner. And the very sly one who hides whom he is, out of love for 'the greater good' instead of you. However, do not blame them. Blame her, the Light of the Galaxy, the true threat. Take up my mantle, Tysyacha, and live.

"You are the Dark Lady of the True Sith, for the True Sith are all who do not yield to her flawless and freedomless vision. Leave now, Darth Traya, and take me with you.

"Go alone. There is a courier vessel the fool 'Katya' left behind in the cave at the back of this Lair. If you take your crew with you, they will die, for who can stand against the Light save the death of the Force itself, the second follower of Potentium?"

The Exile wrapped the holocron in her palm, tears streaming down her cheeks. Traya could very well be leading her into a trap, but Traya was also the one who had taught her to find the Force--and herself--after ten years of directionless wandering and an utter lack of hope. No one else could feel the Force in her crew, and yet she sent out a plaintive message from the depths of her soul: Farewell. I am going to Cocyta, the world of no pain and no darkness. No choices, either, and no freedom, too. Don't ask me how I know this or how I will find my way. I will, and I will find Revan, too.

She strode toward Katya's vessel and climbed in, launching into the great dark void...
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Old 10-03-2007, 05:30 PM   #141
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He listened to the words echoing through the Force, recognizing the touch of her mind all too well. At first, he was only slightly worried - surely she wouldn't try to leave alone to undertake what lies ahead - but then he heard engines fire up. Whipping around, his eyes flashed as they locked on the open door into the hangar, the engines glowing a merciless white as the ship prepared to take off.

A curse under his breath, and immediately he was running towards the ship. She was starting the launch sequence now - there was no doubt of it...and there was nothing he could do to stop her now that she was. Gritting his teeth and fighting the anger that threatened to overtake him, he reached into a pouch at his side and pulled out a small, round device. Activating it so that the little red light in the center blinked at a calm, rhythmic pace, he chucked it with all his might at the ship. He saw it land, the light stopped blinking and glared steadily red. It was attached.

Hands now in pockets as he stood at the threshold of the door, he watched the ship take off with gritted teeth. It proppelled out of the hangar with a great whoosh of air...and was gone. Shaking his head, he turned back into the room to the others. You are not alone, Tysyacha Dvukh.

"The Exile's gone." he announced as he came upon the others, "She's just left. I know where, and I'm almost positive I know why." Coming to stand before the rest of the crew with a new, fierce light in his eyes, his gaze flicked from one member to another. "We must hurry. She'll need our help."


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Old 10-03-2007, 05:32 PM   #142
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Kimber sat in the pilot's chair of the Ebon Hawk, feet up and resting on the corner of one of the control panels while she filed her nails. The droid T3 was behind her, apparently fiddling with the Galaxy Map and navicomputer.

"I'm telling you, it's not going to be in there," Kimber said to the droid without looking up.

The small astro-droid bleeped and whirred.

"Whatever," the pilot said dismissively. "But you won't find it in there no matter how hard you look. You'll just have to let Lane set the course. He's the navigator, after all." An irritated buzz came from the droid. "Yeah? Well, I don't care what sort of advanced logic circuits you have. Cocyta isn't going to be in there."

The droid let out a series of bleeps that told Kimber that it was dissatisfied with her comment, but Kimber didn't seem to care. Finally, after a moment, she clicked a button on the com panel. "Hey, Lane? Spanner? Are you finished messing around with the engines already so we can get going and find the Cap'n? I'm running out of nails to file and getting bored. And," she added, "this droid is driving me up the kriffin' wall."


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Old 10-04-2007, 11:15 PM   #143
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Tysyacha was alone. The stars seemed to have gone out, as if to create a balance between the sky that lay behind them and the planet-beacon that lay ahead. If there was no darkness on Cocyta, then surely the Force must have orchestrated this nearly purposeful lack of light here. Silence surrounded her, and the instruments of the control panels on the courier's vessel she piloted were her only links to so-called "civilization". As soon as I get home, thought the Exile, meaning if I ever do get home, then I'm either going to live on perpetually-dark Nar Shaddaa or dwell on Dantooine and turn on all the lights in Khoonda and the Jedi Enclave. Even when I sleep. Tysy closed her eyes and felt a nearby presence. The cube glowed.

"Tysyacha," said the voice of Darth Traya once the Exile had squeezed the holocron. "You are on the right path, and this gladdens me. I have returned to the netherworld of the Force I hated, and for me there could be no greater punishment. However, I now see it as a blessing, for without the Force, I could not guide you more, nor could you sense me now, even through this holocron. It would simply be a cold metal cube.

"See what lies before you? Darkness. Nothing but emptiness, the great void. You may think that there's no connection between this null expanse and Cocyta, but think again. They are not simply opposites of each other which exist as counterbalances. The stars have reacted to the corruption of Bastila Shan, and they are defying her Order. This void is, ironically, what the galaxy will be if she is allowed to do what she means to do. She means to fill the galaxy, and instead she will empty it. What a jest!"

"Kreia?" asked Tysyacha. "What must I do now?" I mean, to stop her...?

"What is your name, Exile?" asked Darth Traya. "The name that you bear currently."

"Tysyacha Odnova. Very fitting, since I'm alone and will be when I confront Bastila."

"If anyone claims you as Dvukh, besides me, obey them completely. They are the ones who know your true history and your true name, and do not condemn you for it. Know this, Exile: I sent you here alone, to Cocyta, because I am not coldly selfish and would not have you send your allies to suicide. However, I also sent you here alone because as I said, there is a hunger within you that has not yet been sated. You are the one that has wounded the Force, the unifier of this galaxy. You and you alone can defeat her, but you might need some friends, if they can find you, to weaken her enough.

"Let me rest, Exile. Continue on your journey, but sleep. The Force shall guide you."
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Old 10-05-2007, 12:49 PM   #144
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He had just strode into the cockpit as she finished her transmission, taking something off his wrist and tossing it onto the top of the console. He looked from the navcharts, to the astromech, to the thick bracelet he had just pulled off, and then finally, to the pilot.

"I was able to get a trace on her ship before she took off." he said, falling into the co-pilot's chair. His eyes, ever somber, seemed far more distant than usual. He had so much on his mind... "If you can sync the ship's nav with the coordinates that are appearing on that tracer," he glanced at the bracelet again, "We should be able to catch up with her. She's only been traveling - what - five, maybe ten minutes longer than us?"


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Old 10-06-2007, 05:59 PM   #145
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As Kimber took her feet down and sat in the pilot's chair properly, she snorted and shook her head with disbelief. "What is it with guys and time?" she said, as she picked up the bracelet and began to do the adjustments to the navigation co-ordinates. "You and Lane have been back there for almost a half and hour."

She tossed the bracelet back. "Not that it matters much. I mean, how much trouble can she get into in a half and hour?"

Kimber began to power up the ship. "Ok, everyone take your seats," she said over the intercom. "We're venturing into the black!"

As the ship lifted off and headed up into the atmosphere, Kimber glanced over at the mechanic sitting in the co-pilot's chair. "You're not really a mechanic, are you?" she said, more as a statement than a question. "Which is fine," she added, "but just don't tell me how to fly. Back-seat drivers are a real pet peeve of mine."

The hyperdrive indicator came on. Kimber pushed forward the throttle. "Here we go...."


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Old 10-06-2007, 06:24 PM   #146
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The bracelet landed in his lap, and he picked it up and quickly began to strap it back onto the wrist of his human arm before pulling his glove back on. A wry smile came to his lips. If only she knew...

He didn't answer her question, his smile becoming a smirk as he watched her begin to guide the throttle forward. Resting the ankle of one foot across his opposite knee, he rested his unshaven jaw against his gloved fist. "Careful with that throttle - the hyperdrive's really very testy." As she turned to glare at him, he simply tossed her a playful smile before turning his sapphire blue eyes towards the viewscreen again.

Tysyacha was the Jedi Exile - she had always, always, always known how to get herself into trouble, even if she wasn't actually looking for it - and right now, frankly, she was. Flying right into the supposed hide out of whatever enemy they were fighting by herself on an uncharted planet?

Sounds like looking for trouble to me. he thought wryly to himself, his jaw set perfectly straight and his body stiffening slightly. If she got hurt...


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Old 10-07-2007, 12:55 AM   #147
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HK-47 was half-confused, half-annoyed, and one hundred percent combat ready. "Where is my Master?" he snapped, and then, "Thinly-Veiled Threat: If we do not find her within the standard timeframe of five minutes, I shall have to start eliminating certain meatbags aboard this vessel. I believe I shall start with that useless mechanic. After all, the recent deserter Rika Saben was the one who repaired me so efficiently when we launched." He shouldered his Optimized Molten Cannon with stalwart resolve.

Using his keen droid sensors, HK located the mechanic in the co-pilot's chair. "Hmm. It seems that the mechanic meatbag is sitting next to the ship's current pilot, whom I daresay is a sight better than that greasy-haired At-ton Rand. I shall attempt to give him one last chance to say a few final words before I execute the Dvukh Ultimatum."

With that decision planted firmly in his electronic brain, the assassin droid approached the Ebon Hawk's co-pilot chair. "Definitive Statement: Hello, meatbag mechanic. Where is my Master? I suspect that you, or else one of the more skilled and cunning organics aboard this ship, either killed or abandoned her in the Lair. Such is my theory. I shall now execute the Dvukh Ultimatum after the span of twenty seconds. Either tell me where my Master is, or I shall have to terminate you as a potential hostility."
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Old 10-07-2007, 03:33 PM   #148
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He didn't even flinch as he heard the assassin droid's electronic voice, or heard the gears in his arm whir as he lowered a undoubtedly large weapon at the back of his head.

"Your master is fine, HK." he answered, his voice so vacant of emotion he sounded almost...bored. "Something...happened. I think she found something in that 'lair', as you called it, that made her think she could and should venture off alone." he put a finger to his lips, his mind on a completely different subject from what his lips were articulating. "We have a tracker on her ship, however. We should catch up to her soon enough."


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Old 10-07-2007, 07:15 PM   #149
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HK-47 coughed as only a droid could. "Ahem. Disappointed Musing: That was singularly unsatisfying. I thought you would have given me more of a challenge, meatbag. No matter. The Dvukh Ultimatum shall still be put into place, but its prime objective has been changed in light of our current circumstances. Instead of the termination of suspicious passengers aboard this vessel--namely all of them--the Dvukh Ultimatum shall consist of one solitary goal: finding my Master and bringing her back to this ship, by force if necessary. Now standing down."

T3-M4 beeped and wheedled happily, and Kimber Quitaan, in the pilot's chair, rolled her eyes. "Glad you changed your mind, assassin droid," she quipped.

"Warning: If you attempt to register a disrespectful expression on your face whenever I speak to you again, then I shall be forced to return the Dvukh Ultimatum to its previous objective. I wield an optimal amount of firepower."

T3 made a quiet sound resembling a snicker behind HK's back and rolled away.
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Old 10-07-2007, 11:28 PM   #150
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Part Three: Reckoning of the True Sith

COCYTA

"What is the true threat engulfing this galaxy, whether one be Jedi or Sith?"

"Darkness!"

"And what is darkness, besides the soulless color of empty space--the Void?"

"Evil!"

"What is the root of all evil? Selfishness? The love of credits? Bloodlust? Passion? Many sentients believe one or more of these conditions to be evil's source, but these are actually symptoms of a far greater sickness. None of you have discovered it yet, but I am about to reveal it to you. Are you prepared to learn such a great truth? It is not easily absorbed, nor easily reconciled." The Echani maiden gazed at her audience warmly--a hundred neat rows of ten people each, their heads spherical, shining, and sheared.

"Yes!" The roar was deafening, coming from the throng of a thousand.

"Very well. I, Brianna, have learned this truth, but only at a great price. My Master, Bastila Shan, has opened my mind to the Force and closed the very doorway to darkness. She has given me a gift--the gift of pure obedience. I no longer face the desire to choose to do wrong, to surrender to evil.

"You see, my Master has, through the Force, removed what the ancients called 'free will' from my soul and mind. She has taken my brain, once a soft hunk of meat, and turned it into something focused, something disciplined and beautiful. Not even my lifelong Echani training could have done this. What is this so-called 'free will', except choosing to do right or wrong? To surrender to the Light or to the Dark Side, or even not to make a choice? If one has free will, one can do evil, and so we must remove that option. We must create a world where there is no longer any darkness, any wrongdoing."

Silence from the crowd, and then one meek voice rose: "How, Handmaiden?"

"We must take our ships, fueled by the palladium of this planet's core, and venture to all the planets of this galaxy in peace, promising them infallible happiness and, more importantly, infallible purity. If they do not choose to surrender their free will to the Force, then we must force them to do so for their own good. If they refuse even after being brought to full knowledge and understanding of our tenets, we must consider them part of the True Sith."

A low, ominous rumbling from the crowd, a thunderstorm of voices being born.

"I know it is harsh, but so is life, and the True Sith must be eradicated. This is the will of the Light of the Galaxy, my Master, and she knows what is good for the future of this universe in which we live. Rise, my children, and go."

The thousand sentients stood as one and wordlessly bowed and departed.

************************************************** *******

"Just as sleep is fuel for the body, Exile, the purified liquid fossil resources upon Malpenulte are fuel for the Ebon Hawk. I suggest you dock there and feed your ship, for it shall be your last chance to do so before you reach Cocyta. Light-years span the distance between the two planets, and yet they are as intimately connected as you and...Revan, I dare say. Can you guess what the name of this second-to-final world before Cocyta means?"

"Mal--penulte," replied Tysyacha slowly to the holocron of Darth Traya. "Second to last, as you said, but something tells me that reaching this world will not be a good thing. At least not pleasant, as the 'Mal' prefix states."

"Very good. Some insightful sentients also translate it as 'bad penalty' or 'bad punishment', though their interpretation of Malpenulte's meaning is not fully accurate. It is the first world touched by Bastila Shan and her influence, yet it is the penultimate world before Cocyta, where she and her servants dwell."

"How ironic." A shiver tingled in Tysyacha's spine. "Kreia? Traya? Tell me..."

"This is hard for you, I know," replied the Sith Lord's voice through the metal holocron, "but facing truth is much better than either denying it or never knowing. The simple fact of the matter is that Bastila is working backwards. Instead of launching her myriad of newly-manufactured ships toward the farthest corners of the galaxy, she has instead chosen to touch the worlds closest to her first. Most Sith Lords, Bastila included, would do the opposite."

"And backwards is what the galaxy will be if she has her way," said the Exile.

"Not only backwards, but gone. You see, she is taking the galaxy back toward a time when there was no time, only empty space and empty eons. Her plans are to recreate the galaxy from the start, with nothing remaining save the fragments of asteroids she intends to use to 'give birth' to new planets. She will be like an ancient deity, in the literal sense instead of the metaphorical. The Force will be nothing but her instrument if she succeeds."

"Then how do we defeat her, short of killing her? It's impossible!" Tysy cried.

"Malpenulte will show you. It will also show you some other truths about this galaxy, and what happens when one subscribes to a creed that promotes something called 'justice', but ends in destroying the very subscriber--you."

Tysyacha set a course for the new planet, using nothing but the Force.

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Old 10-08-2007, 05:38 AM   #151
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A beeping sound started as a light on Kimber's control panel began to flash. Kimber looked at the light, then sighed. "Unless that tracking device isn't working properly, she's changed course," she said to the mechanic in the co-pilot's seat.

Without waiting for a response from him, she took the Ebon Hawk out of hyperspace so that she could change their course to match Tysyacha's. Now at a sublight speed, she noticed something odd through the view window.

"Whoa, that's weird." She blinked before again looking out the view window. "There aren't any stars." She blinked again. "Not one." Kimber had travelled out into Unknown Space before, but never quite this far and never to a place where she couldn't see any stars. Trying not to let her uneasiness show, because it wasn't professional to show doubt especially if you were the pilot, she began to plot the new course that would take them to their missing captain.

"New co-ordinates locked in. Course set. Returning to hyperspace," she said over the intercom, as she pushed the throttles forward.

Again the ship lurched a bit as it jumped into hyperspace, and then all was quiet except for the hum of the hyperdrive and the occasional whirrs and bleeps from T3 at the Galaxy Map station.

"So...," Kimber started. "Why do you think Tysy left us behind?" she asked the mechanic. "And what do you think we'll find when we catch up to her?"


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Old 10-08-2007, 11:51 AM   #152
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He pulled his feet down from where they had been resting against the dash, sitting forward immediately as Kimber spoke. His eyes flashed open, a new sense of unease making his stomach churn. He gritted his teeth, swallowing hard as he looked at the empty space - truly, surely, entirely empty. No stars, no planets.

This wasn't right.

The taint in the Force was almost as obvious as the lack of stars, though whether or not one could call it a taint was interpretable. It didn't seem...evil, per se - it wasn't the work of the Sith or of the true darkness of the Force, but...it was wrong. Totally, completely, and inexplicably wrong.

He slowly sat back as Kimber began to ease the throttle forward, suddenly thrown back into his seat by the G-force of their launch into hyperspace once more. Tysyacha had changed direction?

"I think the reason she left us behind is the same as why she left the prior crew of the Hawk on Dantooine before she began to search for Revan." he murmured, resting his chin against his fist once more. "If she believes she's going into danger, Tysy seems to avoid the guilt of putting her crewmates and followers in danger by leaving them behind and keeping them out of trouble." He hesitated a moment, watching the wormhole of hyperspace fly by around them. "Whatever we find there..." he said softly, "Is going to be the beginning of the end."


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Old 10-08-2007, 12:05 PM   #153
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"Don't be so pessimistic," Lane told the mechanic, entering the cockpit with a tray of mugs. The distinctive flavor of well-brewed caf wafted through the room. "I'm sure Tysy had her own reasons for leaving us behind, and I suspect they were quite unselfish." Lane handed the mechanic and Kimber mugs of caf. "It took me forever to get that machine to brew it the way I like it," the thin lips admitted to the two companions. The mismatched eyes twinkled. "I suspect the assassin droid tinkered with it. One does not often brew caf with xenoboric acid."




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Old 10-08-2007, 02:56 PM   #154
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Kimber took the mug of caf from Lane and appreciatively inhaled the aroma as she gave him a nod of thanks. It was steaming hot, so she just took a small sip at first.

"I suspect the assassin droid tinkered with it. One does not often brew caf with xenoboric acid."

Kimber paused mid sip. "Xenoboric acid?" She looked critically at her cup, then smacked her lips together. "Hmm... no aftertaste though...." She shrugged dismissively, then turned to the mechanic.

"Well, beginning of the end or end of a beginning, surely she knows that we would go after her? After all, I signed up for adventure and I wasn't going to get any adventure sitting in that cave lair waiting for her to come back. No, she had to know we'd go after her." She paused. "Which makes me wonder, was that her intention? To have us arrive unannounced, wherever she's gone to?"


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Old 10-08-2007, 03:06 PM   #155
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He accepted the mug as well, breathing in the warm aroma and allowing the warm to melt through his glove to his skin, traveling up the skin of his human hand. Slowly, he took a tentative sip before answering Kimber.

"I can't honestly be sure." he said softly, shaking his head. Knowing full well the reaction his comment would draw, he said, "She told us, though, that we shouldn't follow her - that it would be dangerous. She warned us against it, but whether or not she suspected we would follow anyways would be...well, your guess is just as good as me."

That was always his biggest petpeeve - no matter what way you looked at any situation, there was almost always far too many motives for a person's actions and not enough indication. It always gave so much guesswork - guesswork that he was normally quite good at, but...there was always the Exile - and people like her - that tended to keep him guessing.


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Old 10-08-2007, 03:33 PM   #156
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"They have found you, my dear Exile," said Kreia in a gentle voice with only a slight tinge of reproach. "Somehow the brazen pilot, the droids both dark and light, the androgynous sentient, and the mechanic who is not one have sensed your presence, whether through the Force or some more mundane means I do not know. The only thing that matters now is that you lead them to Malpenulte, so they can decide their own destinies themselves. Once you depart from that place, there is no turning back unless one somehow renders Cocyta permanently asunder, as you did at Malachor V."

Tysyacha shook her head in two violent double-takes. "Traya. That's not what I want to know," she almost hissed. Her voice was shaking. "Why did you really send me on alone? I know how you despised all of my previous allies aboard the Ebon Hawk, back when I was still trying to find and locate Darths Nihilus, Sion, and...you. Why should you care about protecting my friends now? Tell me the truth for once, if you indeed are with the Force!"

"Atton was a fool. There was no real strength in him, only the desperate cunning of a hunted animal trying to stay alive. Mira? Surely you jest. That scantily-dressed neophyte is no more of a true Jedi than a child, Exile. As for the Disciple, he's so loyal to the ideals of the Old Order that he is of no further use to you. Visas? She is the only one who could truly reform the Jedi. You had to leave her behind, for her sight will prove invaluable to future Padawans. Your friends now have power, will, honor, and resolve.

"That is why I trust them, and that is why I do not wish to see them die. You see, the full sundering of Cocyta requires sacrifice. Not merely of sweat and tears, but of blood. Lives must be given to the planet's core, for the ultimate undoing of Bastila's scheme is the True Sith giving their lives voluntarily and unselfishly for the exact opposite cause. If you lead the Hawk and her crew to Malpenulte, they'll have a chance to choose if they will perish!"

"How many must be sacrificed?" asked Tysyacha, with a feeling she knew.

"Dvukh. Two. You've known all along. Now--what will you do?"

With tears streaming down her face, Tysyacha sent a simple three-word message through the Force: Malpenulte...this way. She slowed down.
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:19 PM   #157
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He turned his head slightly to the right, as if responding to the call of his name. Her words echoed through his mind, her presence unmistakable. His jaw locked, his teeth gritted - she knew that they were following her now, and he was trying to decide whether or not that was a good thing. If she was purposely leading them on...what was she planning?

"Malpenulte..." he murmured under his breath, watching the constantly shifting blue lights outside the viewscreen. "That's where we're going - Malpenulte. She's leading us there. She'll be waiting."

But what will we find waiting with her?


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Old 10-08-2007, 04:48 PM   #158
Tysyacha
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Anguish was far too weak a word to describe what the Exile felt at the moment. She was in torment, the same condition as a soul who was descending slowly into the mythical Hell of the ancients. How could she lure her loyal companions to a planet and a crucible-like destiny where two out of four of them could end up dead by default?

"I'm going to die, Traya," she hissed resolutely to the holocron, her palm trembling.

"What?" There was a note of astonishment--and yes, fear--in the voice of the Sith.

"I will be one of the sacrifices Cocyta needs. If two must die for that world of white darkness to be riven at last, I want to be one of the two. I will be, by the Force!"

"No. You can't. Of course, you could be, but do you see what will happen? Cocyta is one of those utterly condemned places like the Star Forge. No one who died upon that forsaken weapon-building monstrosity ever returned to the Force. That is what you risk, and what you choose, if you select yourself as sacrifice. Do you honestly wish it?"

"What if I let the Force choose its dead because I am afraid? I'd be the worst traitor and coward the galaxy has ever known. No, I will not do so. I will go to death of my own free will, gladly, to defend the very principle of 'free will' and the right to choose. I shall take you with me, in holocron form, down into Cocyta's core--with one other."

"Who shall that other be?" asked Kreia, softly and bitterly. "What if no one selects the option of immolation? Everyone wants to survive, Exile. This is the only way. Once upon eons ago, Cocyta was a nondescript and non-malevolent world, but Bastila has seen to it that those who wish to see the Light destroyed must pay a heavy price."

"Be still, Kreia," said Tysyacha, closing the metal cube. She gazed at her reflection.

Do you see my golden eyes? came a quiet message through the Force. My reddening face? So far, I have done nothing to earn the designation of Sith or Dark One, and yet here I am, unable to conceal the reality of my body and soul at present.

Bastila Shan has deemed herself the Light of the Galaxy. She is on Cocyta, a world where there is no darkness. In her eyes, I am dark, the darkest of all known humans. Before she died, Darth Traya spoke of a waiting threat--the threat of the True Sith.

Look at me now. I have taken up Traya's mantle. I am one of the True Sith.

I wish to defeat Bastila and her plans to rid the galaxy of all evil. Ridding the galaxy of evil means ridding it of the choice and the option to do so, and hence, of free will. Do you see what I've become? Traya has been teaching me again, through a holocron I found in Katya's lair. It is she who demanded I set forth alone, at least until now.

In order to undo the damage, as I perceive it, that Bastila intends to do and is already doing to the planet of Malpenulte, Cocyta must be sundered. Torn in two. Such a task requires the shedding of blood, the lives of two. I will be one, but whence the other?

Only a Sith would be so selfish and so cruel as to ask someone to die with her.

I've confessed everything. Please, come to Malpenulte. I will meet you unarmed.
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Old 10-15-2007, 08:58 AM   #159
Jae Onasi
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Bastila closed her eyes and basked in the Light--so bright on this planet. The first few ships had lifted off, a fleet to return the planets lost to the Sith to their rightful place in the Republic.

No, Tysyacha, your darkness will not shroud this planet in evil. You would do well to stay away. The Light gives me strength and burns away the darkness in your heart. You will not prevail. Better yet, turn from this darkness that steals your soul. Embrace the light once more, as you had so many years ago when you were a Jedi.

She returned to the building to start another day training her students.


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Old 10-15-2007, 04:26 PM   #160
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((o.O....I totally saw that Tysy posted....>.>))

His eyes darkened, flashing in the dim light. His finger was pressed over his lips again. What did she mean?

The True Sith were supposed to be a species, living far beyond the regions of Known Space...no one had ever found them, and though they had been searched for...He gritted his teeth together. Tysyacha was not a Sith - perhaps she had been close to one, and perhaps she had never been the Brightest of people, but...she had the chance to follow, and she turned her back. She didn't come with the rest. She chose to stand strong, alone in the Galaxy, while the rest fell.

She was no Sith.

But this news about Bastila was disturbing...and he couldn't connect with Tysy now, no matter how much the curiosity burned his insides. No, there was only one way to find out.

"Malpenulte." he said aloud, "That's where she's going. Malpenulte."


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