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''Now for the main course.'' Ryleena said as she approached the Princess. Draco and Sigel prepared to battle her, but Marasiah prevented them.
''No.'' She said, ''I will deal with Elke's murderer.''
The two Imperial Knights reluctantly stepped aside as Marasiah gathered all her rage and grief and focused it at the approaching threat. Marasiah held her hands at Ryleena and let the energy she gathered take shape. She held Ryleena in a tight grip and with a swift move of her left hand she tossed the Twi'Lek with amazing force at the same, already cracked window at which Ralik threw her some time before. As she slammed it the glass broke completely and Ryleena fell out into the abyss. ''It will be a long fall, but all the more painful when she finally hits the ground.'' Marasiah thought, relieved to be rid of the anger she felt.
A long fall. Most definitely. The Imperial Palace was located in the center of the most elite quarter of Coruscant. It stood out as not only one of the greatest meldings of architecture and art, but also as one of the tallest buildings on the planet. More than a hundred kilometers tall, the marvelous palace cut through the clouds, its highest tower appearing to touch the very sky.
It will be quite a drop for the red-skinned Twi'Lek girl. Ryleena, once Darth Talon of the Sith, Hand of Darth Krayt, now a follower of the so-called True Teachings doomed to die in the most horrible and painful way at the bottom of the galaxy's capital. She twirled and tumbled uncontrollably in the air as her body was gradually speeding up to meet the hard ground. The winds blew in her face, making her woozy and forcing her eyes, long since turned yellow from the corruption of the Dark Side, to release small tears. She felt her consciousness wandering off from the physical world. She had passed out, diminishing any chances of getting out of this predicament.
In the realm of the mind, Ryleena's decided to take her back into various moments of her past. Humans had a theory, as old as their race, that just before someone dies his, or her whole life flashes before the person's eyes. This was as close to it as it could get.
Ryleena remembered the day when she became the Hand of Darth Krayt. She was at the Jedi Temple, rebuilt to serve the Sith and their evil and mysterious goals. She was meditating while her master, Darth Ruyn, another red-skinned Twi'Lek, had a chat with Krayt himself. She didn't remember their conversation, since she never really paid much attention to it, that is until Darth Krayt addressed her.
''Apprentice, has Darth Ruyn been a good teacher?'' Krayt asked her that day.
''He is the only teacher I have known, Lord.'' She remembered answering.
''Do you respect him? Do you care about him?'' Krayt probed her further.
''Yes, master.'' She confirmed rather coldly, as only a Sith could.
''Kill him.'' Krayt ordered. Krayt ordered and she complied. Without question. She ignited her red blade and with one quick swing she ended the life of her unsuspecting master. The deed earned her the position of Krayt's Hand. As she heard Krayt granting her that title, Ryleena's mind faded to white and ended her recollection of that moment.
It was raining. A rainy night on Nar Shaddaa. She was twelve years old. Ryleena scouted her surroundings and recognized the moment her mind brought her to next. It was the day the Sith Order recruited her. She was all alone. Hiding under a battered freighter, waiting for the rain to stop. It was the second year of her street life, the second year since her family abandoned her. She remembered being frightened that night, more than ever before. It wasn't easy for her during those two years. Living on the street, eating off the scraps of garbage. Not a life she would recommend to anyone.
She thought of her family. Wondered if they were thinking about her. She doubted it. The thought made her produce a sob. She closed her eyes, trying to stop the tears, but when she opened them again, she saw the face of a red-skinned Twi'Lek with strange black tattoos all over it staring back at her.
''Hello there, young one.'' She remembered him saying, ''What are you doing there all alone?''
''I...'' She didn't even know what to say. It didn't matter.
''My name is Ruyn.'' The Twi'Lek said, ''I sense great strength in you, child. And great fear.'' She just looked at him, speechless and stunned.
''Come with me child, your fate does not lie on this Force-forsaken world. Come with me and you will never be alone again.'' He held out his hand and after a minute she took it. His wicked smile was the last thing she remembered as her mind once again turned the image into a glowing whiteness, ending this display as well.
No more rain. No more night. No more cold. Just shouting, lots and lots of shouting. Ryleena's father was the one who was making all the noise. He was furious at her because of something and he wasn't hiding it, not one bit of it. She remembered when this had occured. She was ten years old. It was the day she was left alone. Her father was shouting at her, throwing stuff around the room in anger.
''I can't believe you!'' He said, ''You little brat! Will you ever learn?''
She just looked at him. A terrified little girl and an angry father. The worst part was that she was guilty. Completely and utterly, of everything.
''What were you thinking?! Were you thinking at all??'' He shouted, ''Do you have any idea how serious this is?''
''I...'' She sobbed.
''Shut up!! You stupid little girl! First you get yourself expelled from school, then you start... socializing with that scum! And now... now you steal from a Hutt!!'' He was furious, ''Do you have any idea what Grotta will do to us when he finds his merchandise here? Have you stopped to consider that? He'll kill us!! Me, you, your mother, your brothers! All of us!!''
''I was just...'' She made another pitiful attempt at providing an excuse.
''You were being an idiot!! That's pretty much all you're able to do these days.'' She sobbed again, ''Shut up!! I... I have to think... I have to protect my family. At least the part of it that's worth protecting. Take this!'' He shouted as he tossed her the item she stole, ''Take it and get out! Get the Kessel out of this house!! I never want to see your face near us again!! You'll never be anything more than a failure! Leave. Now.''
Her memories faded to white once more and this time her mind stayed at that blinding white place. Quick flashes of the rest of her life appeared as pictures in different corners of the whiteness and as she gazed upon them she heard her own voice saying: ''I'm not a failure! I am Ryleena, acolyte of the True Teachings and I will not die this day.''
She woke up to see the windows of a nearby building rushing upwards as she rushed downwards. She hadn't realized it, but she was unconscious for not more than thirty seconds. Her senses and instincts took over. As she was flying down between the speeder-filled air traffic, she quickly grabbed the edge of one of the speeders with an open rooftop. She pulled herself up, using every muscle in her hand and grabbed the poor driver's neck with her legs, breaking it in a matter of seconds. She threw the dead Sullustan out of the speeder and moved to the driver's seat. A small wicked smile appeared on her lips as she drove off.
''I am not a failure, father!''
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