Just keep Running
((I would just like to say that this is not a sequel to Reflections. And I will continue this.))
Dantooine. Five years after the events of Knights of the Old Republic II
Keep running, Keep running and don't look back Shiyra thought as Dantooine burned behind her. She held a small crying infant close to her chest as she ran. She could feel the terror that the child was feeling. She held her daughter closer to her chest as she continued running for both the life of her and her child.
Don't look back, don't watch him die.
Shiyra could feel the anger radiating off Atton as he ran up to her with his lightsaber broken in two pieces.
"He's getting closer. We don't have much time left. If your going to get away with Arina it's going to have to be now. I'm going to head back and buy you more time."
Shiyra turned to look at the father of her child as she continued running. "How could he track us here?! We made sure that we didn't leave any tracks on Onderon. No matter where we go he always manages to find us!"
Atton shrugged and pulled a blaster pistol out of his robe pocket and threw the broken lightsaber down on the ground. It was useless now. He turned around and fire the blaster into the flames only to have them deflected back at him. He barely managed to dodge the blaster bolts that ripped through the air.
Shiyra's eyes widened in panic as she heard the hissing sound of a lightsaber behind her and a mechanical scream echoed through the air. "It sounds like he got HK-47. I guess that leaves only you and me Atton." Shiyra said quietly.
Atton and I are the only ones left. It's hard to believe, he was so naive and innocent when I first met him. What has he become? He leaves only death and destruction in his wake.
Shiyra was suprised when Atton stopped running and pulled her to a stop. "What are you doing Atton?! We need to leave!"
A grim smiled appeared on Atton's face as he pulled her into a tight embrace and then kissed her gently the top of her head. "Goodbye"
No! He can't do this! We're the only ones left! I can't do this without him!
"Atton! Wait!" She shouted as he ran back toward the flames that now had an eerie black clad figure walking through them. She heard the sound of a lightsaber igniting once again and the sound of blaster fire began to ring through the air.
"Atton..." she whispered sadly as she continued running toward where they had landed the Ebon hawk nearly a day earlier.
Near the ruins of the Jedi Enclave
Atton smiled grimly as he slowed down as he continued firing the blaster pistol. It was the last weapon that he possesed that hadn't been destroyed by the...thing that was chasing what remained of the Ebon Hawk's crew across the galaxy.
"Atton..." A disturbingly pleasant voice called out through the flames and the smoke. "I must say you and the Exile have led me on quite the chase, but it looks like it's only the two of you left now, now that I managed to finally get rid of that annoying droid that you had guarding her." A small metallic object flew through the air and landed at Atton's feet. Atton looked down at the object and saw that it was HK-47's head. A small amount of sparks were erupting from where the head had been severed.
Atton smirked as he continued firing the blaster at the dark robed figure even as he kicked the head away. He knew that what he was doing was futile and would only buy a few minutes for Shiyra and Arina but it would hopefully be enough time.
The blaster pistol was suddenly yanked from his hand as the traitor extended his hand and the blaster landed a good thirty feet away. The traitor's voice took on a mocking tone. "Come now Atton, you can do better then that. I heard that at one point in your life you were considered quite the jedi-killer."
"You heard right..." Atton shouted as a stream of blue lightning erupted his hand only to have the figure's red lightsaber absorb the stream of lightning leaving the traitor with a blood thirsty smile on his face.
"Is that honestly the best that you can do? I guess that your skills as a jedi killer have become rusty" Atton smirked as the figure walked past the discarded blaster without even looking at it."
"And maybe all the time you spent chasing us made you overconfident." Atton shot back as he extended his hand and the blaster rose up into the air and began firing at his opponet.
The dark robed figure quickly turned around in suprise and deflected the blaster bolts away from him, leaving his left side open to an attack. Atton quickly moved in and before the dark-robed figure could react or turn around he unleashed a flurry of punches to his left side. Atton's opponet shouted out in pain and then turned around and brought his lightsaber down in a slashing motion.
Atton's right hand hit the ground with a thud.
The figure smirked. "You have no idea how long I've wanted to do that Atton. I've been dreaming of doing that since the first time we met. Should I just end you now or draw out your suffering? Decisions...Decisions."
Atton clenched the stump where his hand had once been and looked up in the air and smiled as a familiar ship flew through the air. The dark robed figure turned his gaze toward the toward the ship and his expression turned from one of satisfaction to one of pure rage and hatred. The figure's hood fell back to reveal a gray cracked face with grayish-blonde hair.
"You cost me my target Atton, and to think I was going to kill you quickly and painlessly. That is no longer the case."
Atton smiled at him. The smile was one of victory. "She's gone Mical. And I doubt you'll be able to catch her this time. Not this time anyway." Atton said with a smirk as the Ebon Hawk's twin quad-lasers fired on a small ship that was behind the Jedi Enclave before soaring up into the air.
"No!" Mical shouted angerly as he watched his ship explode. He turned around to look at Atton once again and brought his lightsaber down on Atton's other hand.
Atton shouted out in pain once again as Mical used the force to lift him up into the air and used the force to begin crushing Atton's bones.
Atton smiled even as the darkness began to close in on him...he knew that he had bought Shiyra enough time to escape with his daughter. His body finally went limp and Mical dropped his lifeless body to the ground. Mical then looked up into the sky and deactivated his lightsaber.
"This isn't over Exile." Mical said aloud as he walked away from Atton's body. "I will find you."
Intriguing. I never expected Mical to be capable of ... so many different ways to end that sentence. Anyway, I'd love to read more of this.
Wow. Just...wow. I hope you'll let us in on how and why Mical fell to the Dark Side!
Well this was an interesting twist and one that I dare say is a welcome one.
Having Mical be the one that is chasing the Exile and Atton is an angle that I believe few would dare to explore since he is always so...nice. However you have Mical expressing much anger and hatred towards the pair so I am guessing that there is something that happened to Mical, perhaps a play on his affection for the Exile that led him down this path. I am curious to see where this leads and I look forward to reading more.
read and enjoyed. I vote with everyone else. More
((Thanks to everyone for checking this out. :) I really appreciate the comments.))
Two days later. Nar Shaadda.
I can't believe Atton is really gone. I'm the only one left now...The rest are all dead. Not even the droids were spared.
Shiyra could hear her infant daughter crying in the background as she brought the Ebon Hawk down toward one of the many landing pads in the refugee sector. For the last hour she had been searching for a landing pad that she could hide the Ebon Hawk on. She knew that as soon as Mical managed to find his way off Dantooine he would resume his hunt.
What could have happened to him? What could have driven him to murder everyone he once knew?
A small light flashed on and an urgent beeping noise filled the cockpit. Shiyra muttered a twi'lek curse under her breath when she saw what alarm it was.
It was the fuel alarm. If she didn't land soon the Hawk would most likely fall out of the sky and crash. She brought the Hawk down toward a landing pad that was far enough away from the crowds of the refugee sector so that the ship wouldn't draw to much attention. The less attention she brought to herself the safer she and her baby would be.
Atton... she thought sadly as the ship settled on the platform. What would you do? What do I do now that your gone?
Shiyra wiped a single tear away and went to the security room where Arina was sitting and crying. She could sense that Arina was still scared from the encounter with Mical a few days ago. She gently picked her baby up and began to rock Arina to try and calm her down.
"It's alright..." She said in a soothing voice as she projected an aura of calm around her. "It's alright...the bad man won't find us here...Your safe..." Arina's crying began to grow softer and she stopped sobbing as much as Shiyra continued to project a calming aura. Finally Arina fell asleep and Shiyra gently put her back in her crib.
Shiyra sighed in relief. Now that Arina was asleep she could go out and get some supplies. The smuggler's moon wasn't the first place she would have chosen to get supplies but it was a good place to disappear for awhile and right now she needed to plan her next move. Shiyra gently kissed her baby on the top of her head and then extended the ramp and quietly walked down so she wouldn't wake the baby up.
Nar Shaadda...Five years and it still smells like the back end of a bantha, she thought as the ramp closed behind her. She was lucky. Before Atton's death he had managed to overhaul the security systems so that no one could get in with the exception of Atton and herself. However...she knew that if Mical did catch up with them he would have no trouble getting in.
More the reason to get what I need and then get out of here. No matter where we go he manages to find us. And knowing Mical, he's probably already found a way off Dantooine and is most likely already on his way here.
Shiyra shook her head and continued walking towards the area where most of the merchants had set up shop. She walked past a few of the shops and walked toward one that had meat cooking on a stand. She was about to start up a conversation with the rodian behind the stand when she heard the unmistakable sound of blasters being fired.
How the...? There's no way he could have caught up with me so quickly! Shiyra thought as her hand went down to her lightsaber. She resisted the urge to ignite it. It was possible that it was someone else being chased...but she was still a jedi. It was her duty to help the innocent and right now someone needed help.
She turned around and saw a blue twi'lek being chased by group of thugs. The twi'lek let out a scream of pain as one of the blaster bolts hit her in the leg. The twi'lek went down and the thugs surrounded her.
"Help!" The twi'lek shouted out in desperation. "Zaalbar! Where are you?!" Shiyra was torn. It was her duty as a jedi to help but she didn't want to draw attention to herself and attacking a group of thugs with a lightsaber was bound to draw a lot of attention to her.
"Zaalbar! Help me!" The twi'lek screamed as a fist impacted against her face.
Shiyra was about to ignite her double-bladed lightsaber and attack the thugs when a savage roar filled the air and a massive brown wookie ran directly at the thugs that were surrounding the Twi'lek.
The wookiee grabbed one of the thugs and slammed his head directly into a wall and it was at that point that Shiyra noticed something as she quickly retreated to the shadows, maybe she wouldn't be needed for this fight. She was about to leave when she noticed something about the wookiee.
The wookiee only had one arm. The other one it seemed had been cut off at the shoulder.
It looks as if I'm not the only one having problems with force-users. Shiyra thought as another massive roar filled the air. The three remaining thugs ran off toward the docks as the wookiee helped the Twi'lek to her feet. The Twi'lek glared up at the wookiee and shook her head.
"It took you long enough Big Z! What were you waiting for?! An invitation?! They almost had me!"
The wookiee grunted. "I apologize Mission. I trying to find us transport off this planet and came as quickly as I could."
The twi'lek shook her head again and then seemed to notice Shiyra for the first time. "Something you need?" The twi'lek asked as the wookiee took up a position behind her.
Shiyra almost nodded but then shook her head. "I was here to gather supplies but then I noticed that you were in trouble. I was actually about to help you out but then...your friend showed up and took care of those thugs."
The twi'lek laughed bitterly. "Around here you need to watch your back. I appreciate the fact that you were ready to help but if you'll excuse us, we need to find transport off this planet."
The twi'lek and the wookiee turned around and were about to head towards the docks when Shiyra had a sudden idea. "Hey! Wait up!" She called as she ran up to them. "You said that you were looking for transport right?"
The twi'lek nodded slowly.
"I happen to have a ship here but I'm almost out of fuel...but I have a feeling that you have credits that I might need. Here's my idea: If you can get the fuel, then I can take you where you want to go free of charge."
The twi'lek and wookiee looked at each other and then the twi'lek nodded. "You've got a deal. By the way...your not the owner of that freighter that came in earlier are you?"
Shiyra nodded slowly. She didn't sense any hostile intentions from either the Twi'lek or the Wookiee.
"As a matter of fact I am. Is there some sort of problem?"
The Twi'lek smiled. "My name is Mission Vao and this is Zaalbar. And I think we have a lot to talk about."
((End of chapter. I was in a bit of a rush when I wrote this one so I'll fix spelling mistakes later. Also, I was thinking that the next chapter should be a flashback that shows what happened once the Exile came back to known space.))
Nice intro of Mission and Zaalbar and you have a bit of mystery with the missing arm. As to posting chapters and such, one of the many suggestions is to employ a beta reader who would be able to stop any spelling, grammar or things that just don't seem right. Often a fresh pair of eyes can pick up things you don't at first.
One thing that really has me hanging on is what is the mysterious secret that has the Exile wondering how Mical knows. Keep it up.
Yay! Mission and Zaalbar are back! Glad to see it. :)
((Here's chapter 3 :)))
"Wait your telling me you used to travel on the Ebon Hawk?" Shiyra asked in disbelief as she and the Twi'lek walked toward the Ebon Hawk. Zaalbar had gone back to the refugee sector to grab what little they had and would be catching up with them shortly.
"Yeah...it was back during the Jedi Civil War. The Ebon Hawk used to belong to a crime lord named Davik who lived on Taris. To make a long story short...a few friends of mind stole the Hawk and came back and picked us up when the sith started bombing the planet. We were lucky to escape with our lives."
Shiyra shook her head in disbelief. From what she had heard when she returned to known space most of taris's population had been wiped out when Malak had attacked the planet. "So...you survived Malak's attack on taris...what happened next?"
Mission smiled as she lost herself in her memories. "From there we went to Dantooine...compared to Taris it was like a paradise. It was there that we found out that one of the people who helped get me off Taris was force sensitive and the jedi wanted to train him."
"Really? What was his name?"
Mission smiled again. "His name was Riera. And it turned out later that he had a mysterious past that none of us knew anything about."
Shiyra was about to ask more questions when she heard soft footsteps running up behind them. She quickly turned around to see Zaalbar running toward them, the wookie was holding a large bag over his shoulder. Mission turned to look at him and her smile disappeared.
"Zaalbar...is something wrong?"
The wookiee nodded. "I ran into some trouble in the refugee sector. It looks like our friend here is being hunted."
Shiyra's face paled. Was it possible that Mical had already managed to find them. She wouldn't doubt it given some of the near impossible things that he had already done.
Shiyra grabbed Mission and dragged her toward the Hawk."I'm really sorry about this but we need to leave. Now. I won't let him kill anyone else."
Mission had almost lost her balance when Shiyra had grabbed her. She didn't fight Shiyra but her hand went down to a blaster that was hidden on the inside of her jacket. "What is it?! What's wrong?"
Shiyra didn't turn as she entered the security code and the ramp that led up to the hawk slid down. "Long story, not enough time. I'm just going to say that I'm being hunted. By a very dangerous man who would not hesitate to kill any of you to try and get to me."
A sudden surge in the force caught her attention and she slowly turned around as she heard the sound of boots hitting metal.
"Hello." A mocking voice called out. "I admit Shiyra...you managed to slow me down by destroying my ship on Dantooine but I managed to get off the planet within a day."
Shiyra motioned for Mission to get onboard the Ebon Hawk and she ignited her lightsaber as a familiar dark robed figure slowly walked towards them. Shiyra quickly turned around just in time to see Zaalbar run up the ramp.
Shiyra heard the familiar sound of the Hawk's engines starting up and she turned around just in time to see Mical ignite his lightsaber.
"What happened to you Mical?" She shouted over the the sound of the engines. "You once believed in the way of the jedi! And now look at you! You've managed to kill all of your friends! And now you hunt me wherever I go!"
Mical smiled. "I will hunt you until the day I die Shiyra. And once your out of the way...your daughter will be next."
I thought he wanted to kill me! And now I find out that my only child in on his list. It's time to fight! I've lost the father of my child! I won't lose anyone else!
Shiyra gathered the force around her and jumped at Mical who easily moved out of the way of her strike before she could even land. he then brought his lightsaber around only to have Shiyra block it. Sweat was sliding down her face as she blocked strike after strike. Mical was smiling as he brought his lightsaber down again and again against her blade.
I didn't expect him to be this strong! It's all I can do to block his attacks. Everytime I try to go on the offensive he easily blocks my attacks.
Mical easily dodged her latest attack and kicked her in the leg. She felt her bones break and she hit the floor with a thud.
Mical smiled. "And now it ends."
Shiyra closed her eyes and waited for the end just as a massive flying shadow appeared directly above Mical. The fallen jedi slowly looked up just in time to see the Ebon Hawk's powerful quad-lasers power up. Mical force jumped back a few feet just as the quad-lasers fired close to where he had been standing leaving two small craters that were only a few feet away from Shiyra who was struggling to her feet. She looked up just as the Hawk's ramp extended and a long furry hand reached down toward her and grabbed her. Shiyra sighed in relief as the wookiee pulled her up over the edge of the ramp.
She looked up at the wookiee and smiled only to have her smile disappear when she saw the wookiee's eyes. They were filled with nothing but suspicion. Shiyra clipped her lightsaber to her belt and raised her hands to show that she had no hostile intentions and tried to get to her feet only to fall down again. Mical must have broken something, she thought as the wookiee helped her to her feet and walked with her toward the cockpit.
Mical watched the ship fly away and then deactivated his lightsaber. He continued watching the ship until it disappeared into the traffic of Nar Shaadda.
There will be another time...another battle Shiyra. I do not care how many you surround yourself with...In the end I will kill you.
Shiyra carefully watched the Twi'lek who was watching her in return. "You know...we probably wouldn't have come along with you if we knew you were being hunted by a dark jedi. I fought more then my fair share of sith during the jedi civil war and I wasn't really expecting to see them again." Mission said quietly.
"And another thing that's bugging me...is why you have a baby aboard." The twi'lek's eyes were filled with suspicion. Shiyra knew that it was time to come clean if she didn't want to lose her passengers.
"It all started a number of years ago..."
((End of chapter.))
Well you do keep us in suspense with the short chapters. However I think you should take the time to have someone beta before you post. You do have some grammar issues that can be easily addressed by a quick edit. If you have someone beta before hand, it saves n frustration on the part of the reader.
As to the overall plot, it looks interesting where it is going. However, I was expecting a little more suspicion on Mission and Zaalbar's part when they discover Shiyra was being hunted yet in the game Mission was not a suspicious type. That's more Carth's part so you handled yourself well there. I would like to see you give a bit more time in describing the situation more. Show rather than tell and allow for the characters' personalities to come out in your dialogue. Shiyra is a mother who will do anything to protect her child. Mical is full of cold anger and hatred. One of the tricks I use is actually speaking the character's dialogue by talking to myself and playing the role. It helps me visually see the response that could be taken.
Seriously I would start thinking about flushing out some details more. It would make for one riveting story out of an already breath taking piece.
((Sorry for the delay, Chapter 4 is here. :D))
Mission and Zaalbar looked at each other as Shiyra finished speaking. "...And in the end I decided to head for unknown space so I could find Revan to help him fight this unknown threat. But in the end I couldn't find him. I was running low on fuel and Atton kept telling me that unknown space was no place to raise a child."
Mission raised her eyebrows. "So...that baby in the security room...it's yours?"
Shiyra nodded. "Her name is Arina and the man who attacked us on Nar Shaddaa managed to kill her father on Dantooine, Atton may have died...but he managed to buy us enough time for us to get to the Hawk and destoy his ship. But somehow he managed to get another ship and track us to Nar Shaddaa."
Shiyra's eyes began to fill with tears. "I think...now that I managed to get you two involved in this you deserve to hear the whole story."
"It looks like we've got about five hours before we reach known space again." Atton Rand said as he hit a series of buttons on the console in front of him. "I've set the Hawk on auto-pilot until we reach known space again."
He reached over to Arina who was being held by her mother and gently patted her on the head. Ariana responded by giggling happily. Atton looked down at her and smiled. "I think the best thing I like about her is that unlike her mother, she thinks that I'm actually funny."
Shiyra laughed and pulled Atton closer to her. "Rest assured, her mother does think your funny, she just chooses not to laugh at some of your jokes since some of them set bad examples for Arina."
Atton grinned as he remembered some of the things that he had done to amuse his daughter. "I'm able to make her laugh and thats all that counts. You have to admit, I'm able to calm her down when she cries too."
Shiyra smiled and mockingly shook her fist at Atton. "I'll give you that. But-"
Shiyra was cut off as the Ebon Hawk suddenly shook violently and Shiyra was just about thrown out of her chair as the Hawk dropped out of hyperspace.
Atton quickly hit a series of buttons and the Hawk came to a stop and he swore violently. "Some kind of interdiction field just pulled us out of hyperspace! And we've got a ship incoming!"
Shiyra quickly ran to the security room and gently placed Arina in the left-hand corner of the room where her playpen was. She leaned down and kissed her daughter gently on the head. "Don't worry...everything is going to be alright." She said quietly as she ran back to the cockpit. She didn't even turn to look at Atton as she powered up the quad-lasers. "Whats our status?" She asked as she tried to get a lock on the ship which was somehow able to evade the targeting lock.
"We can't jump to hyperspace because of the interdiction field. And that ship out there hasn't taken any shots at us yet...Hold on. transmission coming in from the fighter.
"Patch it through."
"Ah...it seems that all that waiting paid off. It seems that I've managed to catch an exile and a fool."
At the sound of the voice both Shiyra and Atton looked up through the cockpit windows just in time to see the mysterious ship move directly in front of them.
"That voice..." Shiyra said in confusion, "Mical? What are you doing out here? And how did you know that we were coming back?"
"I'm afraid I can't answer that...No...not right now. But I think I should let you know...that there is nowhere for you to hide. Not anymore."
Shiyra's face took on a look of panic as the fighter in front of them darted away and vanished from view. "Atton! Keep tracking that fighter! And try and get us out of the interdiction field."
The Hawk shook as the fighter came in on their left side and began firing, moving out of the way as the Ebon Hawk's powerful quad lasers returned fire, barely missing the fighter.
"How soon until we're out of the interdiction field?" Shiyra shouted over the sound of laser blasts hitting the hull. "We're almost out now!" Atton shouted back. "Ten more seconds...five more seconds...we're out!"
Shiyra could hear her baby crying in the security room but she knew that if she left her post there was every possibility that Mical could destroy the Hawk before she could get back.
Sorry Arina...I swear I'll be back there once we get out of this.
Atton entered a quick series of commands into the nav computer and then pulled back the lever and the Ebon Hawk vanished into hyperspace. Shiyra breathed a sigh of relief.
Atton looked over at her and shook his head. "What the kark was that about?"
"I don't know Atton...I really don't. I'm going to go back and check on Arina. So...where are we heading?"
Atton didn't look up as he continued entering commands into the computer. "I thought we could head to Onderon. I figure the queen owes you one since you managed to save her from General Vaklu."
Shiyra nodded. "Good call." She said as she ran back toward the security room.
Shiyra was interupted by the sound of crying and she sighed. She didn't like talking about what happened and her daughter needed her right now.
"I'll tell you the rest later. Right now I just want to spend some time with my little girl." She said quietly as she walked toward the security room.
Mission looked over at Zaalbar as Shiyra left the room and shook her head. "We need to help her Zaalbar. Right now it's just her and her kid with a psycho dark jedi after her. I just wouldn't feel right about leaving her alone."
Zaalbar nodded in agreement. "I agree. I would not say this to her face but I think between running and taking care of a child she could use all the help she could get."
Mission smiled at Zaalbar. "That's what I like about you Zaalbar. You and I think so alike."
((End of Chapter. I plan to include more flashbacks in the next few chapters.))
Once again, you have me riveted. :) Bravo, and keep the updates coming!
Nice to see another chapte. You should seriously consider writing for the challenges. ;)
Again minor grammar issues but nothing obtrusive. The overall arc of the chapter worked really well with the flashback becoming the story that the Exile is telling Mission and Zalbaar. You dangle the thread of Mical's evilness but never giving the full details as to why he is now what he is. That suspense is good and keeps the reader begging for more. Again another great chapter and I look forward to more.
((I actually have been thinking about writing for the challenge. Just waiting for the right topic. Anyway...chapter 5 is here. :)))
Shiyra gently picked up her daughter and began to rock her while softly singing to her. It was a short song that she had picked up on dantooine as a child that had always calmed her down when she was sad.
"Watch the Kath hounds run through the fields of the golden plains. See the dragons fly through the sky on silver wings. Watch the grass flow with the movement of the wind and feel the force run though you."
Arina continued crying even as Mission walked into the room and took a seat next to her and looked at the baby.
"You know...my brother Griff used to sing me a song when I was upset when I was a kid. It always managed to get me to calm down. Is it alright if I hold her?"
Shiyra looked down at the baby and slowly nodded. "Just...be gentle with her. Arina is the most precious thing in my life right now."
Mission nodded and gently held the baby and began to softly sing while carefully rocking her. "Watch the stars shine brightly in the night, make a wish on the brightest star you see tonight, always keep dreaming, always keep reaching for the stars that shine in the night."
Shiyra's mouth opened wide and no sound came out as she watched Arina's crying stop and her eyes slowly closed as she drifted off to sleep.
"How did you do that? I have to sing to her for around half an hour before she falls asleep."
Mission smiled down at the baby as she passed Arina back over to Shiyra who took her and placed her down in the small play area in the corner of the room. "Like I said, my brother Griff used to sing the song to me when I was younger. I just thought that she would like the song and it looks like she did."
Mission smiled down at the baby. "Zaalbar and I have been thinking...that you could use some help. I...Well...This isn't really easy for me to say...but we think you need help. I mean you have a Dark jedi chasing you and you have a kid to take care of and your ship is running low on fuel. Not that we're saying that you can't take care of her...we just think you could use some help...for now I mean."
Shiyra looked at Ariana and then back at Mission as a smile appeared on her face. "I...would appreciate that. I really would. With Mical being able to track me wherever I go...It would be great if someone could take care of her in case...he gets me. If you two are offering to take care of her in the event of my death of course."
Mission nodded. "We are. During the Jedi Civil War I saw alot of kids that lost their parents living on the streets. I don't want to see that anymore, so if Big Z and I can help you we will."
Shiyra smiled at Mission again and quietly got out of her chair so that she wouldn't wake Ariana up. "Come on. We should probably get to the cockpit and decide on where to go. We probably have only a few minutes before he finds us."
The two of them ran to the cockpit and Shiyra saw that Zaalbar was sitting at the controls. The wookiee didn't even turn around. "I managed to get the ship to join with the traffic of Nar Shaddaa so that should buy us a few minutes at best, where do you wish to go?"
Shiyra sat down in the chair next to Zaalbar and began to enter the hyperspace coordinates. "I think we should head for deep space so we can regroup and come up with another plan."
Both Mission and Zaalbar nodded in agreement as Shiyra entered in the coordinates and sent the ship into hyperspace. Just as the ship entered hyperspace a series of laser blasts hit the space where the ship had been only a few seconds ago.
Inside his newly appropriated fighter, Mical cursed under his breath. Shiyra was proving to be very elusive opponet. But he could wait. And if there was one thing that Mical had learned it was that the hunt was often much more entertaining then the kill. But he had been chasing his prey for nearly three weeks now and it was becoming clear that this was going to be more difficult then he thought.
Jedi...such elusive prey.
Mission grumbled once as Zaalbar turned and walked out of the cockpit. The wookiee was getting hungry and Mission had already checked the supplies. There wasn't that much food left and they were running dangerously low on fuel. She turned and checked the galaxy map and she cursed under her breath when she took in the information.
Nar Shaddaa was the only place in range that could possibly offer the amount of fuel that they needed. But there was something wrong with the map, she realized. Most of the destinations from when she had been with Revan were gone. She leaned down and opened up a panel and took a quick look at the functions that were displayed.
Destination set 1: Disabled
Destination set 2: Disabled
Destination set 3: Disabled
Destination set 4: Enabled
Both of Mission's eyebrows rose as she reached inside and hit a few buttons.
Destination set :1 Disabled. Access denied.
Destination set :2 Disabled. Access limited.
Destination set :3 Disabled. Maximum safeguards are in effect.
Destination set :4 Enabled.
Mission looked up at the galaxy map and noticed that a new destination had appeared. It looked like a republic supply depot near the Yavin system. Probably long deserted but it might still be worth a shot. But it wasn't the destination she wanted. She reached inside again and hit a few more buttons.
Destination set :1 Disabled. Access limited.
Destination set :2 Disabled. Access limited.
Destination set :3 Disabled. Maximum safeguards are in effect.
Destination set :4 Disabled Enabled.
Mission looked up at the galaxy map and let out a cheer when she saw a new destination on the galaxy map. She had visited the planet once long ago and she was sure that both Zaalbar and Shiyra would be happy with what they saw.
"Hey Zaalbar! Shiyra!" She shouted and the two of them ran into the cockpit. "I managed to hack the nav-computer and look what came up." She said with a smirk on her face.
Zaalbar let out a howl and Shiyra smiled when she saw the destination.
[I]Kashyyyk[I] Shiyra thought, she had never heard of the planet. But it was far away from the normal hyperspace routes and there was a good chance that it would buy her some time.
"Kashyyyk." She said quietly. "Sounds like a good idea to me."
The generous spirit of Mission and Zalbaar are seen once again. I am moreover glad that it was Mission that made the offer. She always is the first to offer help to someone in need even though she comes off as a tough kid. Great show of detail in terms of the minor bonding moment. It was a nice surprise ending with the Ebon Hawk heading to Kashyyyk.
On a separate note, I kind of wonder if an old friend will appear via Force ghost or something. Something along the lines of reassurance for Shriya. It was a stray thought though I thin perhaps you will get us tangled up in suspense. Good chapter.
I loved this chapter, as I have all the previous ones. :) On a side note, no wonder poor little Arina cried when Shiyra sang to her--her mother's lullaby didn't even RHYME! :D On another side note, I assume that Revan helped Zaalbar reclaim his former place among the Wookiees. At the beginning of the game, Big Z was an exile from his homeworld...
I don't think it was the non-rhyming that made the difference Tsys :P
Probably Chev is going to explain a few things regarding the status of Zaalbar but at a later time.
((Sorry for the delay, heres the next chapter.))
Two days later
This is so boring...Mission vao thought as she sat in the co-pilots chair of the Ebon Hawk next to Shiyra. They had been in hyperspace for nearly two days now and it was still another day before they would arrive. She could hear Zaalbar's grunting as he worked on upgrading the security system in the next room. She sighed.
"Something wrong?" Shiyra asked.
"It's...well...It's just so boring. Back when I was on the Hawk there was always something going on. Either Bastila and Juhani would spar and I could watch that, or Jolee would tell stories of his youth to whoever would listen or Canderous would chat would HK-47 about the best way to kill sith. It's...well there was always something to do. Right now...it's just you, Arina me and Zaalbar."
"Don't worry." Shiyra said calmly. "I'm sure that once we reach Kashyyyk we'll find ourselves busy. The Ebon Hawk has taken quite a bit of damage recently from all of our run-ins with Mical and we could use the time on Kashyyyk to finally repair the damage."
"Zaalbar seems happy that we're heading to his homeworld." Mission said changing the subject. "He hasn't been back home for quite a few years."
"Why's that?" Shiyra asked as she hit a few more controls. One of the buttons was flashing and she took a look at it. "Hmph. It looks like one of the wires that supplies power to the quadlasers got knocked loose. One more thing that we'll have to repair once we land."
Mission sighed again. The Hawk was starting to fall apart from all the damage it had taken the past few weeks. "I'll add it to the list of things that need to be fixed."
Shiyra leaned back in the pilot's seat and rested her head back against the seat. "So...we were talking about Zaalbar. Why hasn't he been back home in such a long time?"
"It's a really long story. Years ago, he was banned from his homeworld because his brother was dealing with slavers. Zaalbar found out and attacked him. You have to understand...in wookiee culture attacking someone...anyone with you claws is a crime. During his fight with his brother he was so angry he used his claws in battle and was banished by his father."
Mission smiled. "It was shortly after that he found himself on Taris where he met me a few years before the Jedi Civil War. During the war though...Darth Malak attacked Taris and we barely escaped with our lives. But thats another story for another time."
"We eventually found ourselves on Kashyyyk when we were looking for something called a star map. While we were there, we found out that Zaalbar's brother had taken control and was helping Czerka take the native wookiee population as slaves. To make a long story short...Zaalbar managed to find his father who helped him take care of his brother. Eventually Zaalbar's father came to power and he said that Zaalbar was welcome home at any time."
"I don't get it though...why didn't he go home earlier?" Shiyra asked
"We...ran into problems after the Jedi Civil War. I guess Big Z and I managed to make someone angry."
Mission's eyes took on a haunted look. "It was on Dantooine that we ran into trouble...someone had hired a dark jedi turned mercenary to hunt us down and kill us. To be honest I still don't know who it was who hired him to hunt us...all I know is that one night he found us outside of Khoonda...we managed to fight him but...Zaalbar lost him arm in the battle...and it's my fault." Mission's eyes were starting to fill up with tears.
"What happened?" Shiyra asked softly.
"During the fight...I was knocked to the ground and the dark jedi was about to kill me when Zaalbar threw himself in front of me. And...that is how he lost his arm. Zaalbar managed to startle the dark jedi for a second, long enough for me to blast him."
"So...what happened then?"
"I guess that a dead dark jedi sent a message to the person who had sent him after us. There weren't any more attempts on our life after that. But after that...Zaalbar changed. He said he just needed time after he lost his arm...but years passed before he considered going back. I'm just glad I was able to persaude him to head back home. I think it'll be good for him to see his father again."
Shiyra sighed as she heard Ariana start to cry from her sleeping area in the security room. "I guess Ariana is up. It looks like I'll be busy for awhile. I'll take care of Ariana and head back up here after I'm done. I want you to get some sleep Mission, you haven't slept for nearly a day and a half."
Mission nodded and watched as Shiyra left and looked back at the control board. The ship would be fine on it's own for awhile and some sleep would be welcome.
She got up and headed for the bunks and smiled as she passed the security room and saw that Shiyra was rocking Ariana back to sleep.
She's a good mom...Mission thought as she headed for the bunks.
Nice intro into how Zaalbar lost his arm. You gave just enough to explain it but you hung back to give a little suspense. Nice move since it keeps me wondering what's going to happen next.
Mission's generosity in her thoughts and actions are dead on. Even though she is a street rat from Taris, she hasn't let the life harden her. Glad you kept that characterization up. Good job.
((Sorry for the long delay.))
One Day Later
I didn't expect the trees to be this big. Shiyra thought as she looked down at the immense forests as the Ebon Hawk flew over them. She couldn't help but smile as she looked over at the co-pilot's seat and saw Mission gently rocking Ariana with one hand and pressing buttons with her free hand.
"Thanks for helping me out with her Mission." She said as she searched for the landing spot that Mission had told her was nearby. "Although I still don't understand why you couldn't leave her with Zaalbar while we landed."
"Sorry, but Zaalbar still doesn't trust her after what happened last time. He really doesn't like it when she pulls on his fur. But he did promise to protect her with his life if the need arises. Besides...I love spending time with Ariana, I think shes starting to like me." Mission smiled as the infant reached up and tried to grab one of her lekku only to have Mission gently put her hand back down.
Shiyra laughed softly as she continued looking for the landing pad and pointed her finger towards a small clearing among the trees that seemed to be abandoned. "Is that it?"
Mission looked up from Ariana and nodded. "That's the landing pad that Czerka set up the last time we were here. The Wookiees managed to drive Czerka away after Zaalbar's father came to power so it should still be abandoned. I should warn you that Kashyyyk can be a very dangerous place to travel to. There are some pretty nasty predators here. None of them are a direct match for a jedi but watch your back here."
Shiyra simply nodded but then looked over at Mission. "Do you think you could stay and keep an eye on Ariana while I'm gone? I don't think this should take too long, not if Zaalbar is coming along with me."
Mission looked down at the baby and smiled. "Sure. Just to be safe I'll put the Hawk on lockdown mode until you get back."
Shiyra got to her feet as the Hawk touched down on the landing pad and softly kissed her daughter on the top of her head before heading back towards the loading ramp. She couldn't help but smile when she saw Zaalbar anxiously waiting at the ramp.
"Looking forward to seeing home again?" She asked as she hit the controls that would lower the ramp. Zaalbar nodded. "It has been too long since I have been able to see my home and I am greatly looking forward to seeing father again. I hope that he is well."
"I'm sure he'll be happy to see you Zaalbar. From what I've heard you haven't been home for a long time."
The two of them walked down the ramp and Shiyra grabbed her lightsaber off her belt and held it by her side. She wanted to be prepared if they ran into anything on their way to Zaalbar's home village. "So tell me Zaalbar...what are some of the more dangerous creatures here?"
The Wookiee paused for a moment and then began walking again. "As of now we are on one of the higher levels so there most likely won't be anything worth mentioning. However, the Shadowlands which are one of the lower levels are filled with very dangerous creatures. I would recommend that we avoid the Shadowlands at all costs for now."
"That sounds like a good idea." Shiyra replied.
One hour Later
Shiyra and Zaalbar had been walking for nearly an hour before approaching the gates that led to the village of Rwookrrorro. The wookiee guard who stood before them looked Shiyra over once and grunted and then looked over at Zaalbar and his eyes widened in suprise. "Zaalbar...you have returned to us after so many years..."
Zaalbar nodded. "It has been many years since I have been able to return to Kashyyyk, much has changed in the galaxy since I was last here."
The guard looked over Shiyra and his hand went down to his sword which was leaning against the gate. "And what of this one? You know that only the one who traveled with you before is welcome here. This one is unknown to us."
Zaalbar narrowed his eyes. "This one travels with me along with the one you know as Mission also travels with me." Zaalbar motioned for Shiyra to step forward. "She has lost her mate to a coward...right now the only family she has left is her child. She is being hunted day and night by the same man who killed her mate. I am here...to ask my father if we may stay here for a short time until her ship is repaired and we can come up with a plan."
The gaurd thought for a moment and then put his sword down. "You may speak with the chieftain but remember outsider...you will be watched."
The gates of the village slowly opened and the two stepped through. "Your father...do you think that he'll help us?"
Zaalbar nodded. "My father will listen, and I am sure that he will help us after the role we played in helping drive Czerka away.
At least I hope he will. Zaalbar thought as they walked into the village.
He could sense her. Even through the vast distances that seperated him from his prey he would always find her. She could run to any planet in the galaxy and he would still find her. He would hunt her until she finally met her end at the blade of his lightsaber. And than her child would be his, to train and mold into his image.
He smiled darkly as he thought of what training the child would be put through. It would have been even better if he could have taken the child from her and she would have been forced to see her child corrupted by the teachings of the sith.
He looked down at the controls of his fighter and entered the coordinates for the world that was known as Kashyyyk.
"Zaalbar my son...It is good to see you again. What may I ask brings you back to your home village?" The brown haired wookiee who had spoken looked over at Shiyra and then over at Zaalbar. "And if I may ask...what happened to your arm?" His tone was calm but both Zaalbar and Shiyra could sense the anger in his voice as he looked down at his shoulder where the arm had been severed.
"Father, I lost my arm in battle, saving the life of my friend Mission. You do remember the blue-skinned Twi'lek who traveled with me when Czeraka held control of our world?"
Freyyr nodded once. "I am glad to hear that your friend is safe. If I may ask what happened to the rest of your friends? And who is the woman who stands with you?"
Zaalbar stepped forward and hung his head down in shame. "I am sorry to say that the Mandalorian who traveled with us and who helped us drive the Czerka away is dead. He fell at the hands of an assassin." He looked back at Shiyra and continued speaking. "This assassin was once part of her crew. When she came back from her journey she found that nearly everyone of her crew was dead at the hands of the traitor."
Zaalbar raised his head and turned to look at Shiyra and Shiyra could see the fires of rage in his eyes as he turned to look at his father. "This woman lost her mate at the hands of the assassin and has nowhere else to go. Wherever she goes the assassin is usually only a few days or even hours behind her and her child."
Freyyr looked down at Shiyra as Zaalbar continued speaking. "I ask that you allow us to rest here and allow us to try and repair our ship. I promise you that we will leave as soon as possible."
Freyyr continued looking down at Shiyra who nervously looked back up at him. The older wookiee finally spoke. "My son...You gave your arm to save one of your friends and now you travel with a woman who is the target of a deadly assassin. I cannot say that I approve of the company you keep but your actions show me that you are an honorable son. Your request is granted. However, many of our people still do not trust outsiders so I think it would be best if you stayed in your ship. Rest assured, I will dispatch warriors to watch the skies for this assassin."
Zaalbar smiled and so did Shiyra. This was better then she could have hoped. "I'm going to return to the ship Zaalbar. If you want to catch with your dad I have no problem with it."
Zaalbar smiled again. "I would appreciate that. It has been years since I have been home."
Shiyra smiled and walked towards the gates of the village, she paused and looked behind her at the wookiee village before leaving.
Two hours later
All right...it looks like I'm lost. Shiyra thought as she attempted to find her way back to the Ebon Hawk. Usually she didn't get lost but the planet was teeming with life and all of the trees looked the same. She did know however that she was still on the same level she had been on before. It was difficult for her to sense individual creatures with the amount of life on the planet.
Alright...it's starting to get dark...and I'm starting to sense the others which means that the Hawk should be getting closer.
She stopped for a moment and listened. She thought that she could hear shouting off in the distance. She paused for a moment and then clearly heard someone shouting. And from what she could tell...the shouting was getting closer.
"Shiyra!" She looked off in the direction of the shout and saw a blue figure running towards her with a small wrapped up bundle in her arms. Shiyra could feel the raw terror that Mission was feeling.
"Mission!" She ran up to the Twi'lek who was panting. "What's wrong? Is he here? Did he manage to find us?"
Mission nodded her head rapidly. "The sensors picked up a small fighter entering the atmosphere. I thought it was just a smuggler at first but then...I heard the sound of a lightsaber igniting and then I could hear wookiee's screaming and shouting. And a minute later...it was quiet. There wasn't any noise at all. Like the forest itself was trying to stay quiet."
Shiyra took Mission by the shoulder and tried to calm her down even though she was close to panicking herself. "Take Ariana and run to the wookiee village and let Zaalbar and his father know what happened to their warriors. Do you understand?"
Mission nodded and ran back the way Shiyra had came from. Shiyra ignited her lightsaber even as she sensed a dark presence drop from the tree behind her.
"Hello Shiyra." Came a dark and sinister voice. "I wouldn't have expected you to run like a coward to the wookiees. Look at you now, endangering others just because your afraid to fight me."
Before Shiyra could answer, Mical suddenly force jumped backwards as a violet lightsaber cut through the air where Mical had been standing a moment ago.
"Well Shiyra...either you laid a trap for me or it appears that I missed one." Mical said thoughtfully as he landed. He quickly brought his lightsaber around only to have it kicked out of his hands by a masked figure using the purple lightsaber. Mical attempted to unleash a stream of lightning from his hand only to have the masked figure force jump behind him at astonishing speed and unleashed a blast of force energy that Mical was completley unprepared for.
Mical was blasted directly through the railing and slammed directly into a massive tree limb. He slid down to the branch below and laid still. Shiyra couldn't believe.
It looked like Mical was dead.
The masked figure looked down at Mical's limp body and than turned to look at Shiyra.
"He is not dead. Not yet anyway. He has only been wounded."
Shiyra kept her lightsaber ignited even as the masked figure deactivate hers. She could tell that the masked figure was female due to the voice but that was it.
The masked woman looked at Shiyra and Shiyra couldn't help but think that the figure was smiling at her. "You have no need to keep your lightsaber ignited. I am a friend, and if I am correct we are both refugees."
Shiyra kept her lightsaber ignited but made no hostile moves. "I'll deactivate my lightsaber if you take off your mask and tell me who you are."
The figure stood still for a moment and then reached up to pull off her hood. "Very well, there is nothing wrong with your request."
The woman pulled her hood off hood to reveal a battle scarred cathar face that smiled gently at her.
"I am Juhani. And I feel that we have much to talk about."
Glad that after a long hiatus Chev came back with two chapters for me to read.
I can honestly scream to the heavens in a cheer that Juhani made an appearance seeing that she is one of my fav characters. I find it interesting that you have her as a refugee on Kashyyyk but then again I am assuming that the planet is like other places with a strong connection to the Force and one can mask themselves in it.
The direction of the story is progressing nicely and it seems that you have adopted the cliffhanger approach for your chapters. There is nothing wrong with that and I think it provides a great means of keeping your readers hanging on.
The characterization with Mical is progressing nicely even though it seems out of character for him. However you have made up for it by writing it into the story. Keep up the good work Chev.
Two hours later
I will say this...Shiyra thought as she followed the cathar, I don't think Mical will be able to find us down here, not with the amount of life down here. I can barely sense Juhani and she's only a few feet away from me.
The cathar woman looked over at Shiyra and motioned for her to walk with her rather than behind her. "You must be careful down here." Juhani said as she stepped over a root, "There are many dangerous predators down here and many of them are difficult to sense."
Shiyra almost tripped over the same root that Juhani had stepped over. "Why are the predators so hard to sense? I know that this place is teeming with life but I can barely sense you let alone most of the animal life."
Juhani stopped for a moment as a small animal dropped down from a tree branch and landed in front of them. It made an inquisitive chirrping sound and than jumped up on Juhani's shoulders. The cathar smiled. "At one point, there was an ancient darkside artifact here, it has long since been destroyed but I believe that it affected the local wildlife's evolution."
Shiyra looked at the giant trees that surrounded them and then looked at the animal that was looking back at her from Juhani's shoulders. "If I may ask...what is that on your shoulder? Is it dangerous?"
Juhani smiled and brought her hand up and scratched the animal behind the ears. "This is called a tach and they are not dangerous. After living here for years a few of them have grown to enjoy my presence. I must admit, I've grown quite fond of the creatures. A...friend of mine doesn't feel the same way. He's always trying to keep the tach out of his garden."
A friend...interesting. "This friend of yours...are we going to meet him?"
"Yes we are, as soon as he returns from the village with Mission, your child and Zaalbar."
Shiyra stopped dead in her tracks and Juhani stopped as well. Shiyra narrowed her eyes and pulled her lightsaber off her belt but didn't ignite it. "Tell me...how do you know Mission and Zaalbar? And how do you know about my baby?"
Juhani turned around and held up her hands to show that she meant no harm towards any of them. "You might be suprised to hear this, but back during the jedi civil war I traveled with them. In fact, I was with them when we managed to defeat Darth Malak. As for the baby...well, I didn't know. Not until I sensed the dark presence that was following you. As soon as I sensed it, I headed for the upper levels. Once I reached the upper levels I was able to sense my old friends and your chld."
Shiyra returned her saber to her belt and motioned for Juhani to keep walking. "This friend of yours...how long have you known him?"
Juhani smiled and continued walking. "I've known him for nearly six years. Before I met him, he'd been living here for many years."
"How many years? And if everything down here is so hard to sense how has he managed to stay alive?"
"I'm not sure how many years he's been living here but I believe that the animals down here got used to him."
Shiyra was about to respond when she heard a familiar voice echo through the woods. "-can't believe that your still living here old man! I thought that you left Kashyyk once we took down Malak."
A male voice answered back. "I didn't exactly come back to Kashyyk with a smile, Mission. Something was hunting the jedi and we had no choice but to hide. And what better place is there to hide then Kashyyk? The amount of life here masked our force signatures. And we hit one of those giant trees on our way down so our ship was wrecked so we were stuck here.. We've been here for nearly six years, living in the shadowlands."
Shiyra finally got a look at the mysterious man who was speaking with Mission. It was an old dark skinned man who was bald with a greying beard. Shiyra looked at him for a moment before seeing that he was the one holding Ariana.
Shiyra ran over and grabbed the baby out of the old man's hands and than lowered her guard as she saw Mission and Zaalbar behind him. The old man let out a sigh of relief. "Thanks for taking the kid. She seems to think it's fun to pull on an old man's beard," he said as he rubbed the spot where a small chunk of it seemed to be missing.
Mission and Zaalbar looked over at Shiyra and than looked over at the cathar and their jaws dropped.
"JUHANI!" Mission shouted happily and ran over to the cathar while Zaalbar watched with an expression of joy on his face. The twi'lek ran over to Juhani who was smiling and pulled her into a hug.
"We thought you were dead juhani! We thought you died with the rest of the jedi who went to Katarr!"
"I was lucky." Juahni said quietly. "Or rather I was unlucky. I was out on a mission at the time but...I felt them all die. I realized that something was killing us and so instead of returning I hid."
She looked over at the old man and smiled again. "I was trying to find a place that could mask my force signature when I ran into Jolee on Manaan."
The cathar looked up into the trees just as Shiyra did as they both felt a spark of a familiar dark presence.
"I think it would be a good idea if we went to Jolee's hut for the time being." Juhani said. "I think that the one who attacked you earlier is begining to awaken. As long as we're in the shadowlands we should be safe unless he knows exactly where to look."
Jolee moved towards his hut and opened the door and motioned for everyone to get inside. "It might be a tight fit but Juhani's right. Besides, it's almost dark and the big predators like to hunt at night. If we're lucky, those beasts will keep your attacker from looking in the shadowlands for awhile."
Mical slowly awakened to pain. The last thing that he remembered was attacking the exile and then being attacked by another force-user. He slowly managed to get to his feet and then collapsed as he felt his leg fall out from under him.
That force-user...she will pay dearly for this. My leg must have been broken when I hit the tree.
Mical knew that in his current condition he would be no match for the exile or her mysterious ally. He looked down and then looked at a piece of the railing that was connecting the tree limb to the walkway. He smiled darkly as he began to crawl across.
As he crawled across he couldn't but think of what was going wrong. He had no trouble tracking the exile but everytime he got close to finally finishing her off she always managed to escape.
Is it possible that she is simply stronger than me? What is it about her that allows her to escape.
The answer came to him instantly as he thought of their past battles.
Well it's nice to see that you brought my favorite old man into the story. It puts a nice twist on things and I can see Jolee coming back even though he says that he had enough of the trees. Nice plot element as well as Mical's realization that the exile's allies were a part of her strength.
On a technical note, just minor spelling and grammar issues. Most can be attributed to flubby fingers like mine when I mispell basic words. Nothing too distracting. Overall nice connection and you seem to like them cliffhangers. Looking forward to the next chapter.
As Shiyra looked around Jolee's hut, she couldn't help but notice that he had the oddest sense of decoration she had ever seen. Odd statues were sitting on a small table and much to her suprise she could see a small medal hanging from a wall. She walked over to it and took a quick look at it and she had trouble believing her eyes.
The Cross of Glory? Thats the highest award that can be given out! I can't help but wonder how the old man got it.
Unknown to Shiyra, Jolee had been watching her as she had examined the award. He walked up behind her without making a sound.
"See something interesting?" He asked. He took a quick look behind him to see Mission and Zaalbar chatting with Juhani who was holding Ariana and was gently rocking her to sleep.
"Well...yes." Shiyra said as she continued looking at the medal. "I hope I don't offend you but I was just wondering how you got that. The Cross of Glory is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a person."
Jolee sighed and looked at the medal, as if he was thinking of something that he would much rather not talk about. Shiyra was about to tell him that he didn't have to talk about it but then he raised his hand.
"Don't worry, your going to hear the story and it's better to get it out of the way now."
Jolee smiled sadly as he looked over the medal and an old fashioned photo that was on another small table. "I think you've heard about the jedi civil war. The war that brought the Jedi into the war between Revan's Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic. We managed to win but at a terrible cost. By the end of the war only a hundred or so jedi remained."
Jolee picked up the medal and bowed his head. "That's where I got the medal from. I was part of the group that fought to bring Darth Malak down. In fact, I was on the Starforge when Revan managed to defeat Malak. After the battle we were all awarded the Cross of Glory for our actions.""
A single tear dropped from Jolee's right eye as he looked up at the picture. Shiyra followed his gaze and saw a few familiar faces in the picture. Mission, Juhani, Zaalbar and a few unfamiliar faces. As she looked closer she recognized a woman wearing jedi robes who was holding a double bladed lightsaber.
"You traveled with Bastila Shan?"
Jolee nodded. "Yeah...For a short time after, we all stayed together and that was the happiest time of my life. I had spent a long time in the shadowlands and I was happy to travel with everyone. But then...everyone was forced to go there seperate ways. Bastila was recalled to the Jedi temple on coruscant, Juhani decided to travel the galaxy, Canderous just left one day and I never saw him again. The others just left like Canderous did."
Shiyra put her hand on the old man's shoulder as he continued looking at the picture.
"Around five years later, I tried to get back into contact with the other jedi, I had decided that I could teach others what I had learned. They told me I was to meet them on Katarr. It's a good thing that I didn't make the last shuttle. Something managed to wipe out all life on Katarr. I assumed that Juhani and Bastila had died on Katarr so I decided to just travel. Just go where the solar winds took me."
"So how did you end up on Manaan? It doesn't seem like the best place to hide. As I recall, there is only one city there."
"To be honest, I needed to fix my ship up. I was low on fuel and my hyperdrive was nearly shot. I ran into Juhani in a bar in Ahto city and to make a long story short, we managed to tick off a group of mercenaries and we ended up having to steal a ship, but thats another story for another time."
"We decided to hide out on Kashyyk and we've been here ever since. I have to say though, I was alone for many years before the jedi civil war and I don't want to be alone, not ever again. I'm glad that I managed to find Juhani."
"I don't blame you." Shiyra said quietly. I wandered the galaxy by myself for nearly five years and I have to say it felt horrible. I felt much better when I managed to find others who wished to travel with me."
Shiyra turned to look at Ariana who was now sleeping soundly in Juhani's arms. Shiyra turned back to look at Jolee and was about to offer more words of comfort when she suddenly felt a disturbance in the force...something that chilled her to the bone. Jolee looked up from the photo and nodded. "I can feel it too. it sounds like your friend up on the surface is busy."
Shiyra didn't respond. She could feel it: Mical was somehow becoming stronger...she could feel his cold satisfaction as she felt his strength increase.
She looked over at Juhani who was looking down at Ariana who was starting to shift uneasily in her sleep.
Shiyra grabbed for her lightsaber to make sure that it was on her belt. "I think we need to leave. Now."
Upper Levels of Kashyyk
Mical had managed to regain the use of one of his legs. Every step that he took was agony. He could feel the force flowing through him, healing him, giving him the energy he needed to get to his ship.
After a few minutes of walking, he finally saw his ship sitting on the walkway. He smiled darkly as he reached his hand out and pulled the hatch open. He sat down in the pilot's seat and entered a code that opened a small hidden hatch.
It looks as if I will finally be forced to use this, he thought as he pulled a small black pyramid out from the compartment.
Mical held the object in his hand and began to focus on the pyramid, letting the darkside energy that had been stored in the artifact heal him even as he began to shake and shudder as the pain from the healing began to affect him.
Mical shouted out in pain as he began to feel his broken leg's bones began to knit at an accelerated pace. Cuts and bruises began to quickly disappear. He could feel the amount of pain increasing as more and more of his body healed. He struggled to focus his energy into closing the pyramid.
Can't...let this continue! He thought as the pyramid began to close. He sighed in relief as the pyramid finally closed.
It was so good of the jedi on coruscant to leave this in the temple. Mical thought darkly as he placed the pyramid back in the compartment.
Just a few minutes and I will begin the hunt once again, he thought with dark satisfaction.
((Please let me know what you think of the sith pyramid device. I might have future use for it if you want to see it again.))
I like this fic a lot. I think the pyramid is a good idea to incorporate.
Entrance to the Shadowlands
"Do you think I'll ever see it again?"
Juhani looked over at Jolee who was looking over the home that he had built in the shadowlands all those years again. Juhani handed the sleeping Ariana over to Mission. The cathar then walked over to Jolee and grabbed his hand.
"It's possible, but tell me: Would you really wish to come back to Kashyyk?" She asked quietly. "There are predators that stalk these forests and there is almost no sunlight at any time."
"You may be right...but this was my home for a long time. After awhile it grew on me...and now we may have to leave it forever."
Juhani gently pulled Jolee back towards the group and then let go of his hand once they reached the group. "Don't worry, I'm sure that one day you'll be able to return here...or you could take up traveling the galaxy once again."
Jolee sighed as he took a last look at his hut before looking back at Juhani. "Maybe I will...but if I do decide to travel the galaxy again, I'm going to make sure my next ship isn't a piece of junk like the last two were so I don't end up crashing again."
Juhani let out a soft laugh as they joined up with the others. She stopped for a moment as she felt a dark presence that was far away but was steadily closing in on them.
"I believe that our enemy has managed to locate us...but it doesn't make sense. He was badly injured after his battle with me and yet he seems as strong as he was when I first fought him." Juhani had a nervous tone to her voice. She knew that she had broken one of his legs and had probably broken a few of his ribs when her force assisted push had sent him flying through the railing...but at the rate he was closing in on them he could only have use of both of his legs.
Juhani looked up at the sky in confusion for a moment. The dark presence had stopped moving towards them.
Shiyra put a comforting hand on Juhani's shoulders even as she drew her lightsaber. "If there's one thing that I've learned from my battles with Mical it's that hes full of suprises. It's the reason so many of my friends were caught off guard by him."
Jolee was looking up into the air and he then ignited his own saber. "If I were you I would get on the lift and return to the surfa-, Jolee suddenly grabbed his head and gasped in pain as Juhani did the same.
Shiyra pulled her hand off Juhani's shoulder and ignited her lightsaber as she looked around to see if Mical was anywhere near them only to see nothing except a few tachs running around.
"What is it?! What's wrong?"
Jolee managed to raise his head up. "Deaths." He whispered. "Someone or something up there is killing everyone. The wookiees, the animals...they're all dying."
Jolee managed to get his senses about him and he rushed over to Juhani to help her. "I haven't had the time to teach her to block out this sort of thing." He said as he put his hands on her head and whispered so that only she could hear. "Come on lass...imagine a wall, a wall that no one can get through, use that as your shield!"
Juhani was whispering something under her breath, something that Jolee couldn't understand. "What is it? What are you trying to say?"
Juhani raised her voice slightly "I can sense them..." She whispered in a horrified tone. "I can sense each and every death Nobody is being spared."
Shiyra eyes widened in horror as she understood what was happening. "You mean...he's killing the wookiees?"
Jolee who was still trying to bring Juhani back to reality nodded. "Exactly. And from what I'm sensing he's not leaving any survivors."
"We have to help them!" Shiyra said urgently. "He folllowed us here and now the wookiees are paying the price for my foolish decision."
Jolee nodded his head as Juhani finally managed to bring her head back up. Hey eyes were filled with fear. "I can sense everything...the joy that hes taking from each and every death. The fear of his victims."
Shiyra motioned for Mission to come over by her. "As soon as we reach the surface I want you to head for the Hawk. Put Ariana in her crib and put the Hawk in lockdown mode. You've had practice flying the Hawk before right?"
Mission nodded. "Carth gave me lessons back when he was the pilot. I can pilot the Hawk but don't ask me to do any really complex piloting."
"Good." Shiyra said. "Keep the scanners on and if Mical comes near the Hawk I want you to take off and head for the closest republic friendly planet. It doesn't matter if I'm not on the Hawk, just make sure my baby survives."
Mission nodded even as tears came to her eyes. She turned to the others. "But what about Big Z and the others? Should I bring them along with me to the Hawk?"
Zaalbar grunted a negative. "I will not stand by while my father and those who live in my village are slaughtered! I will fight by my father's side until we drive this warrior away."
Juhani managed to get to her feet and she and Jolee looked at each other. Juhani narrowed her eyes. "The wookiees have always been kind to us. On occasion they have even left us food." Juhani looked over at Zaalbar. "I will gladly fight by your father's side as well."
Jolee nodded as well. "I've been living here for a long time. I used to help out the younger ones who got lost in the shadowlands. I won't let them be killed like this."
Shiyra felt tears roll down her cheek. She had came here to try and lose him, to lose him by hiding among the population. Her act of cowardice had brought destruction on the wookiees. "It's my fault that the wookiees are being killed. Count me in as well."
Both Juhani and Jolee shook their heads. "You have a child to look after. We can handle this."
Shiyra shook her head. "You don't know what he's capable of. He was able to kill my former crew without much difficulty. One of them was the leader of the mandalorian clans and he was one of the toughest men I've ever met. Besides...I'm the reason he's here."
Juhani and Jolee looked over her and shook their heads again. "I'm sorry lass, but I won't let your child lose her mother. Get to the Hawk and fly away as fast as you can."
The old man and the cathar both looked at each other and then force jumped onto a branch before jumping up onto another branch as they jumped higher and higher as Shiyra watched them as they quickly got out of sight.
She turned to Mission who was also watching the two of them until they were out of sight. "Mission...take Ariana to the Hawk. I'm going after them."
Without another word Shiyra jumped up on the branch above them and jumped from branch to branch until she was out of sight as well.
Mission turned to look at Zaalbar only to lose sight of him after a moment as he quickly climbed up the trunk of one of kashyyk's giant trees.
Stay safe Big Z...she thought as she ran to the lift and gently set Ariana on the floor of the lift as she pulled a few switches and the lift began to rise up off the forest floor."
Mical smiled as he managed to dispatch yet another wookiee with his lightsaber. He then quickly turned around and unleashed a massive amount of force lightning on a group of wookiee guards, killing most of them and sending a few of them flying off the edge of the railing.
I would normally consider this beneath my notice but if it draws Shiyra out of hiding then It will be worth it. These wookiees...I would rather blast them all with my ship but the echoes will draw her out eventually.
He was just about to cut down a group of wookiees who were running at him when he suddenly felt a sense of extreme danger. He quickly force jumped backwards as a violet lightsaber cut through the air where his head had been a moment ago.
He then brought his lightsaber up to block as yet another lightsaber came down on him from above him. This lightsaber was green. Mical had to admit he was abit suprised. He hadn't expected their to be another force user on this planet.
He turned to look at his opponets as they landed in front of him. He quickly looked over them. One was the mysterious being who had attacked him before, now that the mask was off he could see that it was a cathar. The other was an older dark skinned man with almost no hair.
"This is quite a suprise. I was expecting Shiyra to come after me, obviously the ripples I created through the force extended further then I thought." Mical said thoughtfully as he unleashed a stream of lightning at the old man who caught it on his blade.
Juhani narrowed her eyes at Mical. "You are going to pay for the deaths that you caused today." Juhani said angerly.
"I highly doubt that." Mical said with a dark smile on his face.
I really like it, keep it up. Just one question though, how did Mical become so powerful?
Nice to see that you've continued this story. As always I am astounded by how you managed to have Mical turn out to be the biggest baddie ever. The introduction of the Sith pyramid, or is it a holocron? ;) was a good touch. Now it was just plain cruel to execute the Wookiees in order to draw the exile out. Then again when you have cold cruelty, there really is no point in bemoaning it.
It was very well done and the cliffhangers leave wondering what happening next. Good job as a whole.
((@ Fallen Guardian. I'm sorry to say that it's a secret for now, but don't worry, :) How he became so powerful will be revealed in upcoming chapters. @JM12, Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it.))
Juhani and Jolee both warily watched their smiling opponent who seemed very much at ease among the bodies of the slain wookiees. His lightsaber which was glowing yellow caught an incoming bowcaster bolt and sent it flying back at the wookiee who had fired it, catching him in the neck and causing him to fall to the ground in a heap.
"The wookiees I killed weren't enough to draw the exile out." Mical said thoughtfully. "Perhaps it's because they were simply not strong enough in the force to cause a ripple...but perhaps your deaths will finally draw her out."
Juhani hissed in anger. "You murdered the innocent today. rest assured, you will pay for your crimes."
Jolee looked over at her and shook his head. "Don't give into your anger Juhani. He needs to be stopped but remember: You should only kill as a last resort."
Mical didn't give Jolee a chance to say anything more as he gathered the force around him and launched himself at Jolee who barely managed to jump out of the way. Mical stopped himself before he slammed into one of the destroyed huts and instantly turned around just as Juhani jumped up into the air and brought her lightsaber down on him. Mical couldn't help but smile as he easily managed to deflect the blade. Before Juhani could launch another attack, Mical unleashed a massive wave of force energy that sent the cathar flying through the air towards the railing.
Before Juhani could fly off the side of the walkway, Jolee grabbed her through the force and managed to alter her path so that she wouldn't fly off the walkway, instead the cathar hit one of the huts and slid down to the ground in a heap.
Mical looked down at the cathar who was now out cold and then turned to Jolee and smiled at him.
"One down." He said with just a hint of glee. Jolee force jumped backwards and began to focus the power of the force into his free hand. This was going to be a difficult battle. Was this the "Mical" that he had been told about? It didn't really matter to Jolee, whoever this was had managed to take down Juhani and that was no small feat. Jolee and Juhani had fought their share of dark force-users before and they had never fought someone like this before.
"Now what could an old man like you think you could do against me?" Mical taunted. The cathar had proven to be only a minor difficulty and the old man most likely wouldn't be much of a problem either.
"You'll find that with age comes experience." Jolee said as he unleashed a stream of force lightning at Mical who was unprepared for the attack. The dark force user shouted in pain as the lightning wracked his body. Mical, despite the pain he was in gathered the force around him and smiled at Jolee.
Mical unleashed a massive wave of force energy that broke Jolee's concentration and sent him flying directly into one of the massive trees that grew on Kashyyk.
Jolee Bindo hit the ground without even a whimper.
Mical was breathing heavily as he struggled to stay on his feet. The combination of the force lightning that had hit him and the force wave he had used to knock Jolee out of the fight had taken quite a bit out of him. He couldn't help but smile though. The two jedi had underestimated him and now they would die. Now...which one would he kill first? Such a difficult decision.
He looked over at the cathar who was now awake and was struggling to summon her lightsaber to her hand. Mical smiled as he slowly walked towards her.
"My...how the mighty have fallen." He said as he looked down at her. Juhani looked back up at him with defiant eyes that had no fear in them.
"You may have defeated me once..." Mical said quietly. "But I learn from what few mistakes I've made. I will not give you a chance to ruin my plans for the exile."
Juhani looked up at him angerly as he brought his boot down on her lightsaber as she continued trying to summon it her. Mical continued smiling even as he applied pressure and crushed Juhani's lightsaber with his boot.
Juhani looked down at the ground. "End it coward."
Mical brought his lightsaber up and prepared to bring it down on her head. "Gladly."
Just as Mical was about to bring his lightsaber down on the cathar's head he heard the sound of soft cloth boots hitting the walkway behind him. He turned around and smiled plesantly at the robed figure who had stopped walking as was simply staring at him.
Shiyra stepped out of the shadows and stared at the bodies that littered the village. "Mical..." She said in a shocked voice. "What have you done? I didn't thinkl that you could possibly do this."
Mical looked down at Juhani and then kicked her in the head, knocking her out cold again. He then turned to Shiyra and smiled that same plesant smile at her. "It's really your own fault Shiyra. You should know by now that wherever you go, I will follow. It was simply bad luck on the wookiee's end that you decided to seek refuge here."
He kicked one of the wookiee bodies out of the way as he slowly began walking toward Shiyra as he reignited his lightsaber. "Are you finally ready to die Exile? After all running and hiding you've done are you finally ready to die knowing that once you and your allies are gone the darkside shall reign supreme?"
Shiyra simply stared at the ground. Why should they even try to fight a monster like Mical? Someone who always seemed to survive no matter what happened.
Mical smiled at her again. He couldn't resist throwing in one last taunt. "As soon as I dispose of the twi'lek guarding your daughter I think I'll take her for myself. You should be proud Shiyra, your daughter is going to be the first in a new generation of sith."
That last comment seemed to break through Shiyra's feeling of despair. "What did you say?" She whispered quietly. as she looked up at Mical. He hand was nowhere near her lightsaber.
"You heard me exile. Your daughter will become my student."
Mical had no idea what hit him next.
Shiyra's lightsaber came flying to her hand and Mical barely had time to bring his own saber down to block against a strike that nearly took off his head. Shiyra's lightsaber strikes seemed to come from everywhere at once and Mical was barely able to keep up.
Shiyra force jumped backwards and Mical was almost sent flying backward as she unleashed a massive force wave that he was barely able to defend againt. He looked up at her and was barely able to jump backwards before her saber cut through the air where his head had been a moment before."
"How...?" He muttered in amazement as Shiyra began to gather the force to her free hand.
"You make on fatal mistake Mical." She said as she unleashed a powerful stream of lightning at Mical who was barely able to catch it on his lightsaber. "You took Atton from me...you murdered the crew that you once served with and you've killed countless innocents. Everyone has a breaking point Mical." She said quietly. "And I've just reached mine. You will never touch my daughter as long as I live."
Mical looked at her. For the first time in a long time he felt something he thought he would never feel.
I need to get out of here come up with a plan. he thought urgently as he quickly pulled the sleeve of his robe up and tapped a control panel. He looked on with fear as Shiyra slowly walked towards him, her expression was one of extreme anger.
Just as she was about to reach him Shiyra suddenly turned around as the sound of engines filled the air. A dark shape filled the air and shiyra force jumped into the air as laser blasts echoed through the otherwise silent village where she had been standing just a moment ago. Mical sighed in relief as he used what was left of his strength and force jumped up onto the ship and quickly settled in the pilot's seat."
"There will be a reckoning exile." He shouted over the sound of the engines. "The next time we meet...only one of us will survive."
The small fighter took off into the atmosphere and Shiyra deactivated her lightsaber as she looked around the village.
"Your right Mical...the next time we meet only one will survive." She said quietly as she looked over the ruins of the wookiee village. "But this time...the innocents will not suffer because of my decisions."
Oh ho! Mical did a bad, BAD thing. If there's one thing that I have learned is that you never mess with a mom. I tell ya mom's are some of the vicious creatures in existence. They are a species of their own ;)
That was a good set up. Shirya is now going to stop running and fight back now. Nice when you have an incentive on the line. I love the last line because it shows determination to fix things. Good job Chev.
((Mach, do you think you could review the story again? I'd like to see what I can improve on and I would honestly like to hear your opinion on it :)))
One Day Later
"Alright...so what's the plan now?"
No one could answer Mission Vao's question as the Ebon Hawk continued on it's journey through hyperspace. Shiyra who was holding Ariana who was sleeping. "I don't know Mission...We can't have a repeat of what happened at Kashyyk and we can't confront him alone. If we head for an inhabited planet Mical will most likely kill the inhabitants to draw us out...And he's too dangerous to fight alone on some uninhabited planet."
"But what if we had allies when we fought him? Most planets have security forces like the TSF and Dantooine has a militia, we could head for one of those two and see if we could get help."
"No...Mical would simply take them out first. He's one of the strongest people I've ever fought. And I'm not going to endanger anyone again. Mical has proven that he's not afraid of killing the innocent to get my attention."
Mission shook her head. "What did you do to make him so angry?! Even the sith I fought in the Jedi Civil War weren't as determined to kill us as that guy is!"
Shiyra shook her head. "I don't know what we did...but I do have a theory that might make sense. "When I first met Mical on Dantooine he was working for the republic. After he first attacked us I checked the republic database and found that all mentions of Mical have been wiped from the databases. Nothing is left."
Juhani who had just been released from the medbay by Jolee growled. "Then the question remains...did Mical delete the information from the databases...?"
"-Or did the republic?" Jolee finished. "I have to admit. It might be a possibility that the republic deleted the information. During the Jedi Civil War the republic covered for an old friend of mine. His name was Sunry and he was convicted of murdering a sith on the planet Manaan. He was found innocent of the crime but we later found out that he killed the sith in cold blood. After that little incident I found it hard to trust the republic."
Zaalbar limped into the room with a snarl on his face. "We should take the fight to him! This...outsider killed everyone in my village including my father! Honor demands that we make him pay for what he has done!"
Mission moved over to Zaalbar and put an arm around the wookiee's shoulder. "Don't worry Big Z, we're going to make sure that this guy pays for his crimes."
Shiyra raised her hands to calm everyone down before this discussion became an argument, she did have an idea but she was hesitant to voice it. "Everyone needs to calm down. I agree with you all: Mical needs to be stopped. But we can't go after him like this. What we need to do is come up with a plan. What we have now is a limited opportunity."
Juhani stared at her. "And how do you see this as an opportunity? Right now we're on the run and most likely Mical is going to find us as soon as we drop out of hyperspace."
Shiyra shook her head. "No...I have a feeling that this time he ran. I managed to take him by surprise on Kashyyk when we fought and he was forced to retreat. What we have now is time and that is something we normally don't have. I have no doubt that he's going to come after us again but it's going to be after he manages to recover from his wounds and once he's confident enough that he'll be able to handle us this time."
Juhani shook her head. "And how do you know this? By the time we got back to the Hawk his ship was gone."
"I know this because I've been fighting Mical for nearly a month now. He was extremley confident in all of our encounters." She turned to Jolee and Juhani. "You must have noticed that when he fought you two. He was confident when he fought you."
Both Jolee and Juhani nodded. "True." Jolee said quietly. "But he wasn't overconfident when we managed to surprise him. Then he stopped underestimating and took us seriously."
Shiyra smiled darkly. "I managed to surprise him big time when I forced him to retreat. It's going to be awhile before he heals from his wounds and he feels that he'll be able to fight us again. In the meantime I have an idea of where we can go to find information on fighting him...and maybe even find some information that might tell us what happened to him."
Shiyra moved over to the display console and the image of a planet with a large space station hovering over it.
"We're going to Telos. It'll have to be a short visit but it could tell us how to finally defeat him...or maybe even possibly save him."
Mical looked down at his arms which were still very sore from his last battle with the exile. He looked down at at the tubes that were transferring kolto to his wounded arms from a small kolto pack sitting next to him and then looked at the sith holocron that was sitting on top of one of the consoles. He had considered using it but the sith healing process was quite painful and in his weakend state he might not be able to handle the healing.
No...it was better to use the kolto to heal himself. It might be slower but at least there was very little risk of him dying.
And he refused to die. He would not rest until the Exile and her companions were dead. But he knew that before he could confront them again...not so soon after his battle with the exile. Her strength on Kashyyk had suprised him but he would not underestimate her again.
The fighter's computer began to beep, signaling that he was about to come out of hyperspace at his destination. He smiled as a brownish-red planet appeared in front of him.
It appears that I still have much to learn before I can deal with Shiyra. And what better place to learn then Korriban?
((Sorry for the short chapter. The next one will be longer.))
This was a nice filler and sets up for what Shirya is going to do. I also like the fact that Mical is now unsure about the turn of events. His goal is the same but now that Shirya is fighting back, it changes the rules. Keep it up Chev.
Korriban...the place where my journey down the darkside began. Mical thought as as his small fighter headed for the ruins of the Dreshdae settlement. Mical sighed heavily and looked down at the broken remains of Korriban's sole settlement. After the Jedi Civil War, the sith had turned against one another and the settlement had been destroyed in the power struggle. As far as Mical knew, he was the only living person currently on Korriban.
It hadn't always been that way.
When he had first arrived on the planet years ago, it was because he had been in search of Jedi and Sith artifacts that may have been left behind when the sith had turned against one another. He had been naive when he had first arrived on Korriban. He had been idealistic and had been hoping that he could find holocrons or other artifacts that could be used to help rebuild the jedi order after so many jedi had been wiped out by Darth Nihilus and the other members of the sith triumvirate. At first...after weeks of searching the ancient tombs he had found nothing. Whatever had been left in the aftermath of the infighting between the sith had either been hidden by experts or had been stolen by treasure hunters.
It was after a month of searching that he had found the tomb.
A ship had flown in overnight and had landed close to the tomb. Mical had been snapped out of his meditative state when he had heard the sound of a ship passing over the Dreshdae settlement. It had only taken him a few moments to power up his ship's sensors and to locate where the ship had landed and he had immediately set out on foot to take a look at what was happening. After a few minutes of using the force to increase his speed he had managed to reach the ship that had landed at the very edge of the Valley of the Dark Lords. He had managed to find a small area overlooking the area that the ship had landed in. He had sighed when he had seen who was crewing the vessel.
Treasure hunters...Mical thought angrily as he looked down at the assortment of individuals leaving the ship. The ship was big, it looked as if it was a heavily modified freighter that was now armed to the teeth. He continued watching as a twi'lek who had a long scar going down his right head-tail addressed the group of treasure hunters.
“Alright you group of idiots! The information from the bounty hunter had so far been correct. It's almost a shame that we had to kill him but we couldn't have that information be shared with everyone couldn't we?”
Mical could hear laughing from the crowd of treasure hunters. His hand began to head down to his lightsaber but he stopped. He didn't know if it was his own anger or the effect that Korriban had on force users but he had been finding himself getting angry faster and for trivial matters.
I need to stay calm...There is no emotion...there is peace.
He looked back down at the group of treasure hunters and continued to listen. The twi'lek captain looked over his group and smiled. “We found the tomb and we're armed to the teeth. According to the bounty hunter, we may be facing standard sith defenses, ancient droids and possibly some sort of creatures that the sith may have mutated. Not to mention traps. Everyone has their breath masks equipped correct?”
The large group of treasure hunters nodded as one as the twi'lek captain began to pace. “Now...from what we've heard about the other tombs they each have unique defenses so despite what that bounty hunter told us we may run into surprises. Remember, travel in groups and if you find anything valuable...contact me immediately. Are we clear?”
The twi'lek captain walked towards a wall that looked like an ordinary wall. He reached forward and pressed his hand against a small stone that seemed to be stuck in the wall. Nothing happened for a moment but then dust began to fall as a small opening appeared as the walls began to shift and move. The twi'lek captain smiled as the walls finally stopped moving.
“Forward squad...move in!”
A small group of four individuals, each a different species slowly moved forward, blaster rifles primed and ready. The four moved into the dark tomb and activated their glow lamps and took a quick look around. “All clear sir. No signs of active defenses so far.”
Squad two. Move in! Squad one with continue to scout ahead. Squad two will provide support for the forward squad in case they run into trouble.”
Mical continued watching the group of treasure hunters as they went into the tomb in squads of four. Whoever was leading this treasure hunting expedition was skilled and must have had prior experience. The twi'lek captain motioned for the two remaining crew members to take up positions guarding the entrance to the tomb as he walked in after his crew.
This can't be good. Mical thought as a sudden thought came to mind. Sith artifacts by themselves were dangerous but what if these hunters found a holocron?! If they did find one and ended up selling it someone there was no telling what kind of damage it could do if it fell into the wrong hands.
For all I know...this could bring about the rise of another dark lord. Mical thought urgently. It was a tough decision. He could try to order the treasure hunters to leave this planet and contact the republic about this unknown tomb. Or he could take matters into his own hands and make sure that they never found anything.
He chewed his bottom lip as he pondered what to do. It would most likely take the republic weeks to get a garrison out here to guard the tomb, by that time the treasure hunters would most likely be gone with whatever treasures that they could get their hands on. But if were to fight the treasure hunters himself...he could keep them from selling the artifacts.
It appears I have no choice, Mical thought as he summoned his lightsaber to his hand and ignited it. The glowing yellow blade crackled to life and Mical focused in on the two guards outside the tomb.
There is no emotion...there is peace, Mical thought as he force jumped at the two guards.
They never saw it coming. The two guards hit the floor with a thud as Mical's lightsaber cut across their chests before they had a chance to react to the attack.
Two down...Mical thought. Only around thirty to go.
Peace is a lie there is only Passion.
Through Passion I gain strength
Through strength I gain power
Through power I gain victory
Through victory my chains are broken
The force shall free me
Mical sat with his legs crossed as he consulted the pyramid shaped holocron that he had set down before him a few hours ago. It was the same pyramid that he had used to heal himself back on Kashyyyk a few days ago. For reasons unknown to him, he could access some of it's functions when it was taken off world but to access the gatekeeper and the valuable information it contained he had to be on Korriban. He didn't care though. He didn't care why it only let him access it's information on Korriban, all he cared about was the knowledge it contained. He had been studying it since he had found it months before and he had still barely scratched the surface of it.
The gatekeeper looked up at him and a sneer appeared on it's face. The small hologram looked human but there were tattoos on it's face and arms. “So once again the former jedi returns. Tell me, did you manage to kill the jedi once you found her?”
Mical kept a straight face. He did not want to show the fear that he was feeling. This holocron was clearly different from the jedi ones that he had once studied. He had no idea if the holocron had the ability to kill him or not.
“No. I often came close but she was able to escape my grasp. I almost had her on Kashyyyk but apparently there were jedi in hiding. One of them was able to surprise me and I was wounded. She somehow managed to gather powerful allies even when on the run.”
The gatekeeper's eyes narrowed as it looked up at him and Mical felt a shudder run through him. “What of the child? Did you have any opportunities to steal it away from her?”
“No. As far as I can tell she often leaves it aboard her ship with someone on board. The ship was modified and needs either the pass code to open it or a verbal pass code that only the exile can provide.”
“I am most disappointed. I give you my knowledge and yet you are unable to kill a single jedi. You were able to extinguish the lives of her companions easily and a few of them were jedi.”
Mical narrowed his eyes back at the holocron. Despite not knowing the full capabilities of the holocron he didn't enjoy being mocked. “For the record, the jedi that I managed to kill were not fully trained. The exile left known space and expected them to rebuild the order in her absence. If not for me killing them off it's possible they would have found you and destroyed you.”
The gatekeeper laughed. “I'm sure that any one of them would could have killed the exile easily if they fell as easily as you did. But yet you have failed me repeatedly. Perhaps I was wrong. Perhaps you are not the one to finally rid the galaxy of the jedi.”
Mical clenched both of his hands into a fist. The gatekeeper was merely an extension of the holocron so it was the holocron itself that was mocking him.
Only one other person had mocked him and that had been when he had fought against the treasure hunters when they had entered the unknown tomb.
Mical's lightsaber cut through the torso of one of the last remaining treasure hunters. The man screamed in pain as the lightsaber took his life. The last remaining hunter brought his blaster rifle up and rapidly hit the fire button only to have Mical deflect the blaster bolts into the wall as he slowly advanced towards the hunter. The jedi's eyes were filled with anger as he continued to advance on the hunter. Mical was trying his hardest to keep from killing the hunter at that moment. The jedi could feel Korriban's influence driving him to kill the man in anger and he was trying his hardest to resist the urge.
The hunter dropped his blaster to the rifle and raised his hands above his head. Mical could sense the man's terror. “P-Please! You don't have to kill me! I'll give you what I found! Just please don't kill me!” The man quickly reached into the pocket on his jacket and pulled out a triangle shaped object. Mical instantly recognized it.
A holocron. A sith holocron.
“It's all yours in you let me live.” The man said quietly as he dropped it on the floor and slowly backed away. Mical looked down at the holocron and than back at the hunter.
Kill him...Kill him! There can be no survivors. If they leave then more will hear of what they found and then more will arrive.
Mical looked up in confusion. The voice seemed to be coming from everywhere at once. But it made sense: If these treasure hunters escaped then more would arrive soon. And that raised the possibility that sith artifacts could fall into the wrong hands.
“I'm sorry. But you are too great of a risk.” Mical said quietly as he raised his lightsaber and brought it down on the man, killing him instantly. Mical grabbed the holocron off the floor and was about to head for the entrance when he heard the sound of a blaster being armed behind him.
“Freeze jedi. Turn around slowly or you die where you stand.”
Mical slowly turned around with the holocron in hand to see the twi'lek captain pointing a blaster rifle at him. “You know, at first I thought my men were being killed off the tomb's defenses. But now...I guess I found the real reason.”
The twi'lek motioned him to drop the holocron on the ground and Mical narrowed his eyes. “I take it you already have plans for what to do with the holocron. Am I correct?”
The twi'lek smiled and nodded. “As soon as that man you killed informed me what he had found, I contacted an associate of mine who was able to find a buyer within hours.”
Mical was tempted to look down at his lightsaber that had been dropped on the floor along with the holocron. “You know that I can't allow you to leave with that. No one should have access to the knowledge that that thing may contain.”
The twi'lek started laughing. “Well, that seems to me that you think that only you should have access to it. You killed all of my men without knowing if you would find anything at all. It seems to me that you are acting more like a sith than a jedi.”
Mical stopped for a moment as the twi'lek's words sank in. He had killed nearly the entire crew of treasure hunters without knowing if they had found anything or not. What did that make him? If he had killed so many could he really call himself a jedi?
The twi'lek captain took his stunned silence as an opportunity to pull down on the firing trigger and fire off a blaster shot at Mical. Time seemed to slow as Mical's lightsaber was summoned to his hand and his lightsaber came up. The twi'lek's eyes widened in fear as the former jedi's lightsaber caught the blaster bolt and deflected it back directly at his head.
The twi'lek captain toppled over backward and hit the ground with a thud.
Mical looked down at the holocron as he heard the same voice in his head that he had heard earlier. Well done...
Mical tried to focus in on the voice, to try and figure out where it was coming from. He slowly looked down at the holocron and heard the voice again. You are right. I am the one who has been guiding you. It was through you that I was able to save myself from being sold like some sort of trinket that would have been locked away in some sort of vault. You have killed men and women who sought to steal me away from the tomb.
Mical looked down at the holocron as a blue glowing figure appeared on the floor. I was once known as Darth Valeron in life. What you have found is all that remains of my legacy.
Mical backed away from the holocron and deactivated his lightsaber. “I should destroy you right now! The sith have brought nothing but pain and destruction to the galaxy! And you somehow manipulated me into killing the treasure hunters! I could have disabled them.”
Was it really me that forced you to kill them? There has always been darkness within your heart jedi. I merely brought it out and showed it to you. It felt good, killing those treasure hunters didn't it? Knowing that you were ridding the galaxy of people who could have brought about the rise of the sith?
“It...I merely stopped them from bringing about the rise of another sith lord. If you were to fall into the wrong hands. And now that they are gone you will be taken back to the jedi temple and locked away.”
You may be able to lie to me jedi, but you can't lie to yourself. Even now I sense the hatred within you. I can feel your anger towards a specific someone. Tell me jedi, who is it that you are so angry with?
Mical almost manage to catch himself but the words slipped off his tongue as his tone turned bitter. “The Exile. She left us here...left us alone...”
You wish to make her pay...You wish to make her suffer for leaving you here to rebuild the jedi order alone. I can sense the hatred within you.
“That's n-not true.” Mical stammered unconvincingly. “She left us with a task. To rebuild the jedi order and I have made that my goal.”
Don't lie to me jedi...Speak the truth.
“Fine!” Mical shouted. “I had dreams of my own. To explore the galaxy, to aid the republic in it's time of need. And she entrusts me to rebuild the jedi order from scratch! It's isn't fair to me or to the others that she left behind! She could have stayed to help us but instead she left for the unknown regions with that smuggler of hers!”
Let your anger fill you jedi! I can teach you. I can help you accomplish your dreams...but first there is something you must do for me.
“And what would that be?” Mical asked skeptically. Truth be told, it had felt good to say why he was so angry but still...why would a sith holocron want to help him.
Destroy what is left of the jedi. Wipe out the exile. As far as I can sense, she is one of the last remaining of the jedi. Destroy her companions and those who traveled with her. Only then will you be able to forge your own path.
Mical stopped for a moment and looked down at the holocron. He held no ill will towards any of those who had traveled with the exile except for Atton but still...to be able to forge his own path in the galaxy...it was a tempting offer.
An offer he would accept.
“I pledge myself to your teachings.” He said quietly as he sat down in front of the holocron's gatekeeper. “Please...teach me. Teach me all that you know.”
Very well. But beware. Those who say that the ways of the darkside are simple are fools. It will take much hard work before you are ready to face those who you once traveled with.
Mical smiled down at the holocron. It was an unpleasant, slightly demented smile. “I have learned much from you but I think you are no longer fit to be my teacher. If there is one thing I have learned for you it's that the information from holocrons is that the knowledge can be siphoned from the holocron and placed directly in the brain.”
The gatekeeper looked up at him. A suddenly nervous look appeared on it's face. I will destroy myself before I allow you to do that.
The next thing Mical did surprised not only him, but the gatekeeper itself as he gripped the information center of the holocron and pulled.
Ancient symbols and languages he had never even heard of before flashed through his mind along with thousands of other pieces of information. He saw the entire archive of the holocron's information flash through his mind. He could barely breath, his mind was struggling to make sense of all of the information even as his hand reached out and grabbed the holocron and began to crush it.
No! You can't do this! I am your teacher! The one who has taught you everything you know! You cannot destroy me if you have any hope of destroying the exile!
Mical smiled as his mind began to slowly make sense of all of the information. He would have to rest for a few days as his mind processed the information. “I can do this. I have absorbed all of your information. Which means I no longer need you.”
Mical slowly and with great pleasure crushed the holocron to dust in a moment and smiled as he knelt down in the remains of the holocron and began to meditate.
The next battle between the Exile and myself will be the last one. He thought as he meditated. Either I will die or she will.
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