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Old 06-12-2007, 06:24 AM   #3
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Inner Darkness Chronicles


Dreams. Every living thing experiences them, yet none have ever understood their true significance, or their true purpose. No one probably ever will. There are people who say that dreams are a great way to escape reality. In a dream you can be anyone you want to be, do anything you want to do and be anywhere you want to be. So, yes, even I could agree that dreams are a way to escape. But reality? If people knew what I knew, if they saw what I saw, they would know that the only thing they were escaping from in their dreams was a well made mask, a lie. It's ironic, don't you agree? Running away into a lie and not even realizing that what you are running from is an even more terrible lie.

Then again, dreams can sometimes turn into the most perverse of nightmares. As for me, if an ordinary person were to interpret my dreams, they would name each of them a nightmare. I know better, or at least I think I do. I think my dreams are quite ordinary, compared to the things I see each day. They simply don't allow me to forget what a harsh place our reality truly is.

I am awake. Lying on my back and staring at the ceiling of my little lair. I like to joke that way. What I call a lair is actually one of many abandoned apartments that represent the residential part of Coruscant's Middle City. After I left the Order and lost myself in the crowds of the Middle City, the first thing I did was find a place to live. What I mean actually is eat and sleep, but let's not get into semantics. What is important is that the place has exactly what I need a bed, a bathroom and a small dining table. Besides that, the place has plenty of room and no windows.

I finally make myself get up, I've had enough sleep for today. I take my precious daggers, the ones I so recently acquired from the rodent-faced tradesman in the Middle City market, from under my pillow and place them back on my belt. I slowly make my way to the bathroom, still a bit woozy from the long sleep. A look on the broken mirror shows me that my little power is still working. My face, the face of a young human male with short black hair and blue eyes starts to morph as the small neon light flickers, it turns into a demonic representation of myself a face with small horn-like ridges growing from the lower part of its forehead, teeth that change their color from a clean and healthy white into a rusty yellow color and eyes that turn from those of a human to those of a snake. The first time I witnessed this transformation I was truly shocked, but now I'm used to it. It only serves as a daily reminder that my unique power still works. Besides, as soon as I splash my face with water, its image in the mirror returns to that of a human.

I put on my dark green cloak and as I hide my face under its hood I exit my window-lacking apartment. Time for a quick visit to the market. A man's got to eat, right? And for me the Middle City market is currently the only affordable food source.

When you're in my position on the run from the Jedi Order you realize that stealth is your greatest ally and you teach yourself to utilize that skill as good as the best of spies and assassins. Even when you're hidden in a crowd of people you have to be extremely cautious and aware of your surroundings, otherwise you become an easy prey for your hunters. And let's not forget that eyesight is not the Jedi's only method of detection.

Unfortunately, sometimes you can take every precaution possible and that still wouldn't be enough. That is my case today. The Jedi are far from stupid and during the last four weeks, four weeks since I got my new weapons from Rodent Face, their patrols have doubled the time they spend in the market. It should have been obvious to me that I have been sensed by them back when I was acquiring the daggers, but I have made an oversight and allowed myself to fall into an ambush.

As soon as I've stepped foot in the market I noticed four patrols approaching, one from each side and each patrol consisted of three Jedi Knights. The aura of glowing purple smoke around their hearts easily revealed them to me. There was only one thing to do and I did precisely that I ran.

This wasn't the first time the Jedi patrols found me and I knew that the key to losing them was to enter the dark and filthy service tunnels that stretched through most of Middle City. The Jedi are formidable foes, but even their minds could be temporarily distracted by the numerous sounds the empty tunnels produced. The sound of steam being released from the valves, water running through the pipes, the poor lighting of the place should have been enough to distract the patrols long enough for me to escape them, but these four patrols were more persistent than I expected.

I kept running and running until I reached a large ventilation control room. The only light in this chamber was coming through the large deactivated fan on the tall ceiling. I paused to survey my surroundings and to try to sense the progress of the Jedi patrols. I sensed them coming my way, but I sensed something else, something that was already here, something that embraced its inner darkness completely. It claimed this chamber as its domain and I was trespassing. The Jedi patrols were getting closer and I quickly and silently hid in the shadows of the chamber. The twelve Jedi slowed down as they entered the chamber, obviously doing what I did earlier, getting a feel of their surroundings. They too sensed the danger that lurked here and spread out, igniting their lightsabers. A terrifying scream echoed across the room. The Jedi have angered its inhabitant. Their fate was sealed now.

A huge wraith leaped from the catwalk above and slaughtered two unsuspecting Jedi. The other ten turned to their fallen comrades, but saw nothing except two corpses. They were definitely distracted and if I was a bit smarter I would have sneaked out while they and the creature were busy with each other and ran as far away from that place as I could, but I wasn't that smart. I was curious. I wanted to see what creature could possibly be so dark. Two more Jedi fell as the attacker sneaked from behind and slit their throats with its bare hands. Stealth is its ally. The remaining Jedi tried their best to remain calm and focused, but the fast and stealthy silhouette was too much for them. It defeated them in the next few minutes, killing all but one. It obviously wanted to enjoy its victory by slowly finishing off this last, heavily injured Knight.

The Jedi crawled to the center of the chamber, the part that was directly under the large ceiling fan and thus the part that was best lit. The Jedi must have thought that this creature feared the light, he must have thought he would live long enough to inform the Order via comlink of what has transpired here. He didn't get that chance. The creature finally showed its face and after seeing its next action, it didn't take me long to realize what I was up against. The creature appeared as an extraordinarily tall human, with pale skin and very little equally depigmented hair on his head. Soon that visage transformed into a more horrible one, again courtesy of my little gift. He appeared to me as a huge ghoul, his beating heart displayed to me in the middle of the open rib cage, but there was one distinction. There was no aura of glowing smoke emanating from the monster's heart. Instead the heart was pumping out a black fluid, very much like tar, that poured down and colored most of the organ into that black color.

The ghoul grabbed the poor Jedi and drained him of the Force, leaving an empty shell with an expression of horror on his victim's dead face. That was the moment I realized what this thing was. Back in the Jedi Temple every Padawan is told this story, the story of Tel Angor and the Order of the Silver Jedi, who tried to destroy the Dark Side. Tel Angor was the most prominent member of this secretive Jedi sect and due to an experiment of theirs gone terribly wrong he was transformed into a creature that fed on the Force, that drained it from its victims with the touch of its hands. He became a Force Vampire. Angor was the only documented case of a Force Vampire, but it is obvious now that the Silver Jedi survived him and attempted the experiment again. Failing. Such irresponsibility.

Luckily for me the monster was now distracted with draining the rest of the Jedi corpses and provided me with an opportunity. I knew I could never sneak out unnoticed, so I waited for this moment of weakness and threw one of my daggers straight at the vampire's head. It hit the spot and the monster fell down. Now I had to work fast. There was no guarantee that the monster was dead, so I sped up my pace using the Force, grabbed the dagger I threw and ran like hell. The finest of the Silver Jedi couldn't defeat Tel Angor and I surely couldn't hope to defeat this specimen. Fortunately his lair was far behind me when I heard the horrifying scream, assuring me that the monster survived.

Dreams are a great way to escape the cruel reality. My dreams were never about escape, not until now. The encounter has left a profound impact on me and not a pleasant one. The darkness this creature was bound with was nothing natural, nor was the creature itself. A freakish consequence of a failed experiment. I needed to... I wanted to forget everything, even for a short while and tonight in my dream of a bright and blissful place I escaped reality for the very first time.

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