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Old 09-28-2006, 01:20 PM   #16
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Chapter XV

''At an end your rule is... and not short enough it was.''

Ralik stood a few meters away from the entrance to the Imperial Palace. The structure was indeed magnificent. The walls were part glass and part permacrete with extraodinary giant statues and murals over them. A pure work of art. But it was time to redecorate.

The two Sith guards didn't even know what hit them when they flew to the wall behind them, hitting their heads and losing consciousness. Ralik simply walked into the palace, with almost no effort, holding his amphistaff in his right hand, red hood over the head, red clothing over the legs and the golden hexagonal insignia shining on his chest.

''I sense an intruder inside the palace.'' Krayt said to his two Hands, ''Alert the palace security, but the two of you stay here. You too, Wyyrlok.''

''Yes, lord Krayt.'' Nihl and Talon obeyed. Wyyrlok nodded his head silently.

Ralik slowly walked across the palace corridors completely calm and relaxed. In a little less than an hour his fleet will attack and by then he will have already become Emperor. His calmness was interrupted by a swarm of Sith warriors that rushed at him from the stairway of the huge chamber in front of him. Their warcries echoed between the chamber walls as they rushed blindly toward their doom, for Ralik wasn't even the least concerned by them. He simply stood there and with his one thought the horde of Sith warriors started falling down instantly. Some in the middle of a jump, others in the middle of a warcry, but five seconds later the room wasn't filled with the horde of angry Sith warriors anymore, it was filled with corpses.

''How patethic.'' Ralik thought as he continued his walk to the Throne room of the Imperial Palace. The Throne room was three floors up and Ralik was determined to cleanse his palace of the Sith usurpers before he got to the main event. The ground floor was clean but there were still Sith left to kill before he reached the Throne room.

Ralik reached the first floor after taking the steps from which the Sith horde came. Unlike the ground floor it was really quiet. Like nobody was here. Ralik continued down the central corridor and after he made about five steps a door closed behind him and a second later another door came out of the walls two meters ahead and closed. ''Do they really think this can stop me?'' He thought. He stretched his mind with the Force and the door in front of him broke into two very large pieces and flew about a meter forward before falling to the floor.

Ralik calmly stepped over the broken pieces and went on his way. The next corridor was a little wider than the last one and had a lot more lights. Ralik didn't sense any Sith waiting in ambush, but he was sure that this corridor had some kind of defense. He was right. After making two steps the door closed behind him again and automated laser turrets emerged from the ceiling. Five on the left and five on the right. Ralik smiled. The turrets started firing and Ralik simply continued to walk calmly across the room, using the Force to guide his right hand and swiftly deflect every single bolt of red laser fire with his amphistaff. When he reached the opposite end of the corridor he turned around and crushed all the turrets with the Force.

''We have reports that the intruder is breaking hrough our defenses, my lord.'' Wyyrlok said, ''Perhaps we should use the emergency exit and leave the palace.''

''No. There will be no retreat.'' Krayt said with calmness and confidence.

The second floor was a little more lively. This time the Sith warriors tried to surprise him by attacking from behind, but they all ran into Ralik's amphistaff, or were killed by his mind. After a few corridors the attacks stopped. ''Could it be that they realized who they're up against?'' Ralik wondered.

His question was about to be answered. He entered a corridor that was at least twenty meters long and completely dark. The only visible light was coming from the next corridor. Ralik entered the dark corridor and continued his calm walk. Nothing happened. Ralik crossed the first half of the corridor without so much of a hint of an incident, but then as he crossed the middle a small sharp object flew right beside his head. ''Well, this ought to be interesting.'' Ralik used the Force to amplify his sight and scout the rest of the corridor carefully, but he didn't see anyone. He tuned his senses and continued forward. Two steps later another sharp object flew towards him, but thanks to the Force Ralik managed to evade it. He scouted the room once again and once again saw nobody. He managed to make five more steps when two more objects flew at him. He evaded the first and caught the second one. It was a small disk with razor-sharp edges. A very sophisticated weapon. He dropped it on the floor and before he took another step three more disk-blades flew towards him from various directions. He ducked, then flipped off the left wall and finally leaned to the right to evade all three. ''I'm getting tired of this.'' He looked across the rest of the corridor more carefully and in one corner he noticed a pair of barely visible red eyes. ''A Defel. No wonder I didn't see it at first. Those things are almost invisible in normal light or darkness, they can only be seen under ultraviolet light.'' Ralik focused on the red eyes and followed them as they moved from one wall to the next, from the floor to the ceiling and vice versa. Ralik picked up his pace and began to gain on his shadowy attacker. The disk-blades continued to fly at him in pairs and he avoided them with little trouble. He was now barely two meters apart from the Defel. Still focused on the red eyes he threw his amphistaff in their direction with such strength that the Defel didn't even see it coming before it was too late. Ralik approached the dead Wraith and pulled out his amphistaff out of the corpse.

''Lord Krayt, the intruder is almost here.'' Wyyrlok reported.

''Good. I look forward to meeting this one that has dared defy my Order and kill my followers.'' Krayt replied, still calmly sitting on his throne.

And then a figure appeared at the entrance to the Throne room as the two guards next to it fell down dead. The figure looked like a wraith with that red hood over the head and the red clothing over the armored legs, but that insignia on the chest was the most mysterious thing of all. The figure made a few more steps toward the throne.

''So you are the one that has been causing me trouble ever since Abregado-rae.'' Krayt said.

''I have come for you, Darth Krayt. I have come to take what is mine.'' Ralik said righteously.

''I sense great power in you, but you are a fool if you think to stand against me.'' Krayt warned.

''You are the fool here, Krayt.'' Ralik said the name with disgust, ''Surrender the throne to me and I will give you a quick death.''

Krayt didn't answer. Instead he turned to his two Hands, Darth Talon and Darth Nihl. They took the hint and charged toward the hooded figure. The Twi'Lek, Darth Talon was faster, she ran with a fury that seemed unstoppable, but then, three meters apart from the hooded figure she was tossed to the left with a force and a speed so huge that it couldn't be described. ''Fly, Talon.'' Ralik thought. With enormous speed she hit the almost impregnable glass wall, falling down and leaving a small crack and a bloody stain on the glass.

Nihl saw it, but didn't care, he thought he can use the opportunity to kill the intruder before he notices him. The Nagai warrior was wrong. He jumped toward Ralik, holding his lightstaff, a unique lightsaber with a long staff for a handle, like a warrior holds a spear before throwing it. He was just about to throw the lightstaff at Ralik when he was suddenly paralyzed in mid-air. He struggled to break free, but it was in vain. He was trapped in mid-air in that throwing stance.

''Darth Nihl.'' Ralik said in that same voice he used when he addressed Maladi, Stryfe and every other of his Sith victims, ''You name yourself ''nothingness'', I assume in respect for your master. You have no idea what nothingness is, but I will teach you. Since your name is ''nothing'', it is fitting that you should become nothing.''

Nihl listened carefully to what Ralik said, but had no idea what he meant until it happened. Nihl's body, along with his lightstaff was starting to disintegrate and a few seconds later he was no more. He wasn't even able to scream.

Wyyrlok, Krayt's second in command was terrified, but he knew what his duty was. He ignited his lightsaber and charged toward Ralik. Krayt just sat on his throne and watched.

''Darth Wyyrlok, false sorcerer. You fancy yourself a warlock. Your name is meaningless and thus your death will be meaningless as well!'' Ralik spoke loud enough for both Wyyrlok and Krayt to hear.

The Chagrian charged toward Ralik with his lightsaber drawn and ready and then unexpectedly he tripped, his lightsaber slipped out of his hand and into the air. He fell down on his stomach and just as he turned on his back his own lightsaber fell down and stabbed him right through the heart. And so the last of Darth Krayt's guards was dead.

Ralik approached the throne where Krayt sat and said: ''All that is yours is rightfully mine.'' He spoke with huge bitterness.

Krayt stood up from the throne and replied with confidence: ''You may have killed my servants, but you are no match for me. I have lived through a century and I will not let some juiced up maggot prevent me from creating order!'' Krayt held out his arms and his two lightsabers flew from his back to his hands and ignited.

''You are a bigger fool than I thought.'' Ralik replied, ''You pride yourself with your long life, call yourself Krayt, as the giant dragon of Tatooine, but you are the maggot. You hide behind that patethic excuse for a Vonduun crab armor, but I see right through you.''

''What are you talking about?'' Krayt insisted.

''You call yourself a Sith, you dress your troops in Yuuzhan Vong armor, but you are neither. You are a mere thief. It is an insult to the Yuuzhan Vong.'' Ralik pulled the hood back to reveal his face, ''I am the one true master. I have survived for more than a century and unlike you I have done so thanks to the Force, not some stasis technology.''

Krayt recognized the Yuuzhan Vong features on Ralik's face. ''So, you are some halfbreed Vong that got angry because his side lost the war and now that you picked up some skills in the Force you think you can rule the galaxy.'' Krayt tried to aggravate his opponent.

Ralik simply used the Force to turn Krayt's two lightsabers into dust. ''I hope this reassured you of my power. Remember, I know who you really are.'' Ralik said, ''A few years before his death Luke Skywalker started having visions of a shadowy figure that threatened his family. He first thought that shadowy figure was the Dark Lady Lumiya, then he thought it was my master, but it was me all along. I said I knew you and indeed I do... Jacen Solo.'' Krayt's face froze, ''I know that you did all this simply to protect the galaxy, but your destiny was simply to prepare the galaxy for me. Nothing more. It is my destiny to rule it and spread the True Teachings, erasing all Jedi and Sith from the face of existence, including your cousin Cade Skywalker. He was the healer you sought, you know. Your purpose is fulfilled, Solo, there is no need for you to live anymore.''

Krayt suddenly felt a sharp pain spreading throughout his body, he felt himself weakening.

''It is the disease inside you, I am helping it spread. It will all be over soon.'' Ralik said as the Sith Emperor fell down and slowly died, his helmet hiding an expression of unspeakable horror on his face.

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