SW: TOR: TRIALS OF A SITH THRALL: ABSENCE OF LIES
Part Two of an Old Republic Trilogy by MsFicwriter
[AUTHOR'S NOTE: This series is a continuation of my 2011 saga, CONFESSIANS OF A JEDI CONSULAR. In case you didn't read it, here's a one-sentence summary: Jedi Padawan Per'dra Yllari and her Trandoshan ally, Qyzen Fess, have been captured by Sith forces on the planet Tython.]
ABOARD THE SITH FREIGHTER 'VELOCITY', 1900 HOURS
Darkness. Silence. Warmth and weightlessness.
These were the only sensations that registered in the fog of my consciousness. Had I been drugged? I was sure of it, because when I tried to stretch my arms and legs, they felt like solid metal. Each one seemed to weigh a hundred pounds, and even though I was a Jedi, I found it impossible to move. Once I realized that I was lying down, I wanted to remain thus. Opening my eyes, such a simple and automatic task, seemed like too much effort.
"Ah. I see you're coming around."
A deep male voice, on half-speed.
This time, I opened my eyes and saw a face through a watery haze of tears.
"Hmm--what? Where am I?" Struggling to awaken, I managed to stir on my cot.
"You are aboard a Sith freighter en route to Korriban, waiting to be enslaved."
Ice cascaded down my spine. I shut my eyes again, to keep from weeping.
"I'll keep you away from the Overseers if I can. Almost all of them would rather kill you than break you--turn you toward the ways of the Dark Side."
Take a deep breath, now...
"Is that what you intend to do?"
I felt a twinge of disgust. "Why don't you torture me and get it over with?"
"Not all Sith are that crude." I can hear his voice clearly now: it has the texture of black silk mesh, and the clarity of a finely-tuned holocron. "I have always admired the Dark Lord Revan, who attempted conversion of the Jedi instead of extermination. Lord Malak, in comparison, was worse than a beast! He sought to conquer the galaxy, but according to his methods of doing so, there would not have been any life left existing in it when he was done."
I suddenly realized who this person was: "Did you incapacitate me--drug me unconscious--because I addressed you by your name?" Pause.
"It was not I. You yourself passed out as soon as you called me Vadym."
I couldn't believe it. "No. I'm a Jedi! I'm supposed to be stronger than that!"
The Sith warrior leaned in closer for a moment, and then leaned back. "Truth be told, you had
just seen your Trandoshan ally electrocuted, and then brought back from the dead." There was a twinkle in his glowing amber eyes. "Even the strongest of us would be at least slightly startled."
"So, what happens once we reach Korriban?"
"First, the Overseers will want to take an eyeful of you. And a mouthful."
"Will you let them?" All feelings of semi-consciousness vanished at this point.
"I'll kill them if they try. They are nothing but keepers of keys, who believe they are entitled to far more than they deserve. They may give orders to slaves, but they are not true Sith. The Force does not flow through them."
I raised an eyebrow. "Do you have that much authority? How high are you in the chain of command?" My mouth slammed shut. "That's for you to know and for me to find out. Yes?" If I'm going to be a slave, I had better start acting like one. Otherwise, I'll be dead before I even begin the Sith trials...
Vadym smirked. "None of that! You were simply asking a question, and I will answer. In the hierarchy of the Sith, I am their most powerful Marauder. I wield two blades with a ferocity that is absolutely unmatched. My fellow fighters fear me: they know I do not quaver at the thought or moment of death, as they do. They also know that power is what gives me victory."
"All Sith have power," I said. "It's simply that you have more than others do."
"Far more," Vadym replied, "and besides, you miss the essence of it. Most sentient beings in the galaxy think of power in terms of brute force, or else politics. This is not the kind of power that the Force grants me. In the heat of battle, when I completely lose myself in the fight, I am not thinking about anything at all. I simply let the Force, and the passion and rage I feel, guide my limbs and my lightsabers until my opponent is sliced to ribbons. You see?"
"Yes," I answered, "except that I know Sith wish to control the Force, not let it guide them. That is one of the major differences between you and us."
"Truly?" He stood stalwartly upright. "Rest, and meditate upon this...slave."
When he departed, I became engulfed by a sudden wave of terror. Why had I not felt it when Vadym was present, speaking to me? Then I realized:
He hasn't told me a single lie. That's what Sith do, right? Twist the truth, or blatantly dismiss it, in order to fit their own agendas and selfish desires? That's what I've always heard, and what I've always been taught. Sith are Sith, and Sith deceive. However, if that's the case, then why did I sense no deception from Vadym? Why do I wish he'd fooled me, or at least tried to?
Why was I more frightened in the absence of lies than in their presence?