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Old 06-12-2007, 06:25 AM   #4
igyman
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Inner Darkness Chronicles

Origins




I am in a dark hallway. I am running from something, something unseen. I feel... fear. When I look back the fear only intensifies, so I keep running and running. Suddenly I hear a horrifying scream. I can't help but look back again, despite the fear, but every time I do it, the scream becomes louder. It's closing in. The light at the end of the hallway seems further and further away, all the while the source of the scream seems to be getting closer. I put in one last effort and run like hell, but it's not enough. I feel a hand grabbing my shoulder and then... I wake up.

This is the fifth time in the last month. I've been having the same dream ever since the encounter with the Force-draining monster. It slaughtered the Jedi that were pursuing me and fed on their energy like a vampire. I escaped by catching it in a momentary lapse, a second-worth of distraction and I managed to wound it enough for it to lose consciousness for a minute or two. Just enough for me to leg it out of its lair.

Every time I wake up after that nightmare, I spend a few minutes simply staring at the ceiling. It takes me that long to realize that it was indeed a dream, again, and that I am still in my dark and dusty refuge in Coruscant's Middle City. After that I usually get up and go on with my day, such as it is, but this time...

Something's different. I can't quite place it, but something doesn't feel right. It's not exactly a warning by the Force, but more of a gut feeling. You know, that sixth sense some people that aren't Force-sensitive claim to have. I grab my two knives and as quietly and carefully as I can, I sneak into what's supposed to be the living room-slash-dining room of my... apartment. As I approach the entry door to my place the feeling intensifies and then I see the most horrifying thing the head of the Force vampire, severed and displayed to me as a trophy. The expression on its face wasn't one of fear, it was anger. I quickly turn full circle, convinced that someone else is here, but I see no one. Then, just as I approach to examine the gruesome head, I hear a thump and fall down. The blackness engulfs me.

I start to come to, obviously some time after, but something feels strange. When the wooziness dies down a bit, I realize what's wrong. My hands are tied behind my back and I'm hanging upside down, like a piece of meat. In my own home. My weapons... who knows where they are. Then I hear footsteps. A slender figure walks into my field of vision. It observes me for a few seconds and then, after expressing a single short remark ''Awake already?'' in a whispering, hissing voice, it kicks me in the face and I return to the blackness. In that few seconds before my captor kicked me, I wondered why I couldn't feel the Force. I got my answer just half a second before the kick. A creature resided on my captor's shoulders and, despite the lack of lighting in my home, its silhouette was enough to reveal that it was a ysalamir.

Some time later, I began to slowly wake up. Actually, I can thank the slight city breeze for that. I still couldn't see anything but blackness, but my hearing was working. I distinguished two voices. From the sounds of it, I was obviously the topic of their conversation.

''Delivered, as I promised.'' I heard the first voice say. It wasn't very loud and it sounded like hissing. I knew at that moment that it was my captor talking.

''Excellent work. Your reputation is well deserved.'' The second voice answered. Something about it sounded familiar, as if I'd heard that voice before, but I was still to woozy to place it. All I knew for sure was that the voice was that of a man.

My vision slowly returned and I saw once again the slender figure of my captor, but couldn't see well enough who he was talking to. Mind you, I am using ''he'' in the most general meaning. In truth, all I could determine about my captor was that the person was a bounty hunter and a very good one, obviously. The person knew my weakness and exploited it by bringing a ysalamir, the animal that generates a mysterious field which surpresses the Force. Brilliant. I had no idea if it was a man, or a woman. The hissing voice revealed very little and as for the figure, well... I'd say too skinny to be a man, but lacking some curves to be a woman. Maybe it's a species I haven't heard of before. Who knows? I couldn't see the face, since a black helmet with reflecting dark blue vision glass obscured it. The rest of the bounty hunter's outfit was a sleek overall with the appearance of leather, but considering the line of work this person was in, I'd say it was some special fibermesh.

My vision cleared up just as the bounty hunter collected the payment for my capture and left. I surveyed my surroundings and realized that I was back in the Upper City. This was a roof of a middle-sized building, judging from the strength of the wind. The bounty hunter and its ysalamir were gone and I started to feel the Force again.

''Well, well.'' The man responsible for hiring the bounty hunter said, ''We've finally caught you. You gave us quite a run for our money, my old Padawan.'' And it was crystal clear now. The one who hired the bounty hunter was my Master. ''Though I must thank you for discovering that Force Vampire. He was yet another we were anxious to find. And we have finally taken care of him.'' My Master added.

I've already said that the Jedi are not what they once were. The Order was never perfect, but at least the Jedi of the Old Republic were honorable. The new Jedi weren't nearly as nice as the old ones. At least they had some idea of honor when they were under the leadership of the Skywalkers. The Skywalker family was known to have a relationship with the Dark Side, but they've always managed to resist it. I guess that by resisting they were protecting the Order aswell. Unfortunately I live in a time depraved of Skywalkers. I guess that when the last of them perished, the Order became extremely voulnerable to the Dark Side and that voulnerability produced the Jedi of today.

My Master's face had changed since last I saw him. The Bothan's hair started to turn gray and a new scar decorated his right cheek, starting just milimeters under the eye. No doubt a mark left by the Force Vampire. His look was also different. His eyes showed anger, torment and hapiness, all at the same time. I've always said he was interesting.

As I rose to my feet I noticed something on his lightsaber hilt. An insignia. A silver crescent with its tips pointed downwards, and a pair of ignited lightsabers crossed at the handles beneath it. I should have known. My Master was a member of the Order of the Silver Jedi. So the sect managed to survive both Tel Angor and Palpatine and all the other threats that came after, but they've obviously changed too and not for the better. My connection to the Force was now completely reestablished and my unique sight started working again. The skies turned blood red, the birds became black leathery demons and my Master, though still distinguishable as a Bothan, now looked like a living dead.

''I see by the expression on your face that your gift has developed.'' He said, managing a smile of satisfaction, ''So our time searching for you has not been wasted. Good.'' He added.

By we he meant the Silver Jedi. I remember thinking it at that moment. ''Yes indeed.'' He confirmed it, ''Your unique ability can be of great use to us.'' My Master's greatest strength has always been his power over the mind. I didn't have to speak for him to know what I was thinking. I wondered what kind of experiments would they want to perform on me. I had a pretty good idea why my ability interested them so much they obviously thought it a great way of detecting the Dark Side, but to go to the lengths of hiring a bounty hunter to find me showed something more than the intent of bringing me into the fold and using me for detection pruposes.

''Your power is unique for our times.'' My Master said, ''And as such it must be carefully studied and controlled.'' There it was. Control. ''Do you know why you of all people have that power?'' He asked. He got me there, I had no idea. ''Your family, Padawan. Their roots run back more than four thousand years to a now extinct race that perceived the world solely through the Force. Their homeworld was destroyed by a great evil and all were killed. Fortunately their genes managed to survive. We don't know which of them was responsible for continuing the bloodline, but we know it happened with a human counterpart. That's probably the reason for the dormant genes and the dormant power. And make no mistake, their power was a great gift and we are fortunate that it manifested now in you, though in a somewhat altered form. It is your duty to come with me and allow the Order, no, the galaxy to benefit from that gift.''

Cheap slogan. Too cheap for my Master. I am very disappointed. For the sake of argument, I did ask what would happen if I refused and at that point he showed his true face and the true face of the Silver Jedi. When he said there's no choice and ignited his silver bladed lightsaber, I knew that the Silver Jedi themselves were now tainted by the Dark Side. How deliciously ironic. To be infected by what you sought to eradicate.

My hands were still restrained, but now that the Force was with me once again, it was only a matter of time before I got rid of the restraints. And so I did and it happened so quickly even my Master couldn't believe it. I threw the metal restraint at him with one hand and as he swung his blade to destroy it I used the other hand to push him with the Force as hard as I could. And he flew. Right off the rooftop. I had no idea if he would survive, or not, but I felt he deserved at least a short farewell, so before I turned around and left, I took a look down at his falling body and simply said: ''Goodbye, Master Vasyq.''

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