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WARNING - THIS STORY CONTAINS GRAPHIC DEPICTIONS OF INTENSE VIOLENCE. THE READER IS URGED TO PRESS THE ‘BACK’ BUTTON ON THEIR INTERNET BROWSER NOW IF THEY ARE UNCOMFORTABLE WITH SUCH SUBJECT MATTER!
Ease of Darkness
The lure of evil is often difficult to resist. While there have been very few truly evil people in history, there are many - literally millions - of people who one could argue have approached evil through actions driven by jealousy, anger, hatred, and the like. If we allow ourselves to be dominated by our darker emotions, we will quickly earn the dislike of others. This is not an easy lesson to learn, but a very important one all the same.
This story is again meant to fill in a small gap in the
Knights of the Old Republic story. However, it is also meant to show that while we may believe we could never turn to ‘evil’ - that we can prevent ourselves from giving in to our darker emotions and instincts - the opposite is far closer to the truth. It is quite easy to fall to the lure of our darker side, and redemption is not always easy.
Juhani forced Quatra’s lightsaber away from her, her muscles screaming protest. Quatra was strong, and it took all of her strength to force her Master back. She flipped over her Master’s head, landing behind her. She drove her lightsaber behind her towards Quatra’s back - only to meet her Master’s blue lightsaber blocking her own.
“Your form is sloppy!” criticized Quatra. “You’re still allowing your mind to wander! Concentrate!”
concentrating!” hissed Juhani angrily. She hated it when Quatra spoke to her as if she were a child. She had come of age nearly a year ago, and was sick of being treated like a cub.
“Obviously not,” retorted the Master, deactivating her lightsaber, and using the Force to shut off Juhani’s. “Your mind is clouded by anger, apprentice. You must overcome your emotions, or you will never become a Jedi.”
Juhani threw her lightsaber across the room in frustration. “How am I supposed to ‘overcome my emotions’ while you constantly berate and belittle my performance?! That is not how a Master should treat her student!”
Quatra bristled. “You have no right to question the way I train my students, Juhani,” she said. “You are out of place.”
must say it! Mithj is afraid to say anything, and Kliun is only remaining quite so as not to lose your favour!”
“Well I can assure you that you are not helping yourself gain my favour at the moment! You are constantly giving in to your emotions. You are allowing your anger to control you! That is a path to the Dark Side, Juhani!”
“If I am walking the path of the Dark Side, it is only because you
have forced me down it. If it were not for you constantly insulting me and belittling me in front of the others, then I would not-”
“You cannot blame me for your inability to control yourself, Juhani,” spat Quatra, her eyes flaring. “There is no excuse for this.”
“You know full well that my Cathar blood-”
know full well that I do not accept that simply because you have Cathar blood in your veins means that you are unable to control your emotions! You are perfectly able to do so. You are unwilling
to do so.”
Juhani screamed in frustration, turning from her Master.
Juhani closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and focused her mind. “There is no emotion...”
“There is peace,” finished Quatra. Juhani had been hiding behind her Cathar blood for far too long. It was time to show her the dangerous path she had placed herself on.
Juhani was repeating what she had been taught since she was a little cub - when she was first brought to the Order. Quatra had known that training a Cathar in the ways of the Force would be difficult - their warrior nature was imprinted upon cubs from birth. Quatra had developed a unique adaptation of the Jedi Code just for Juhani.
“Emotion is the beginnings of composure. Composure is the mother of logic. Logic is the foundation of peace. Peace is the essence of clarity. Clarity is the basis of control. I am in control.”
“You are merely reciting the words,” snapped Quatra. “You are not listening
Juhani’s eyes flared open, and she growled again. “I have known these words ever since you taught them to me when I was a cub.”
“I know. And you no longer listen to them. You have forgotten what they mean. You’ve allowed them to become routine.”
“That is because you
have made me do so!” she yelled, her anger flaring again. “You have forced me to recite those exact words every day for 13 years! You
have made them routine, not me!”
“I was attempting to imprint them in your mind. Clearly you have not allowed them to sink in, or you would have been able to control your anger years back!”
Juhani was close to breaking point. She could feel it. She yearned to grab Quatra by the throat and throw her against the wall, tearing out her jugular with her fangs...
She yelled at herself. Anger is the path to the Dark Side! I will not become like the traitors Revan and Malak! I will not allow it!
“You are weak, Juhani,” said Quatra darkly. “You will never become a Jedi as long as you allow your emotions to weaken you. But you seem unable to control them. They control you. Perhaps...” she paused - for effect, more than anything. “Perhaps you are not fit to become a Jedi.”
Juhani felt something inside her snap. Her lifelong dream... Quatra was threatening her lifelong dream of becoming a Jedi. She couldn’t allow that to happen.
Anger flooded through her. She could feel it flow through her Cathar blood. The warrior inside her broke free from the prison Quatra had spent years tailoring. Her pupils became slits as her feline instincts kicked in. With a glorious leap into the air, she threw out her hand, and her lightsaber flew through the air and landed neatly in her palm. The blade ignited itself, humming darkly as she raised it above her head. She landed behind Quatra again, this time facing her. She kicked her Master in the small of the back, sending her sprawling to the ground, her lightsaber sliding across the room. She kicked out, and her foot met Quatra’s face. She felt bones break. Quatra threw out her hand to bring her weapon back into reach, but Juhani stepped on her Master’s hand and put her weight down. Again, she heard the telltale crunch of bones as Quatra’s hand was disabled. The lightsaber hit her palm, but she was unable to clench her fist around it, and it rolled out of her hand again.
Juhani kicked her Master in the side, rolling her over. She reached out her hand, and the Force pulsed through her, lifting Quatra into the air, gasping for breath. She tore her claws across the terrified woman’s chest, reveling in the cries of pain and terror issuing from her Master’s bloody lips.
are not fit to continue
to be a Jedi,” she hissed, her fangs glinting in the light of her lightsaber. She brought her teeth down on Quatra’s throat, tearing a whole in her esophagus. She kicked out again, sending her victim flying against the wall next to the workbench. Wiping the blood from her mouth, she backed away, satisfied that her prey was dead. Her lightsaber still hummed darkly in her hand. She looked around the room, the adrenaline still pumping through her system. She glared at her lightsaber. The colour disgusted her. It was the same as Quatra’s. The thought sickened her. She continued her search of the room until she found what she was looking for - the red lightsaber crystal that Kliun had found the day before. She had been so proud when she had found it - her first lightsaber crystal apart from the one she had received from the Masters. Now it was Juhani’s.
She placed the crystal in her hilt, casting the blue one to the floor, where it rolled towards Quatra, resting at her former Master’s feet. She ignited her lightsaber, and reveled in the deep red light that fell across the shadowy corner the workbench sat in.
She had fallen. Perhaps Quatra had been right. She was not fit to be a Jedi. She was better than that. Her anger had made her strong - strong enough to defeat her own Master. Her power was limitless.
Her head was spinning. She needed to meditate. But she couldn’t, here in the Enclave. It was only a matter of time before someone - most likely that pestilential windbag Vrook - found Quatra’s body. But she knew a place where she could go. Somewhere she would not be disturbed. Turning away from the workbench, she stepped over the motionless form of her ex-Master, and walked out the door. She met nobody as she walked through the Enclave towards the courtyard. She slashed open the droid that stood guard at the exit, and sliced open the access panel that opened it. The magnetic seal was broken, and the door slid open. Her lightsaber still active, she stepped into the night, leaving the Jedi behind her forever.
Back in the Enclave, Master Zhar awoke suddenly. The Dark Side had penetrated the academy. Jumping out of bed, he grabbed his lightsaber from the bedside table, and stepped into the hallway. He felt a tremor in the Force, building slowly. The training room. Quatra. Breaking into a run, he headed towards the training room, completely oblivious to the looks of curiosity from confused students as they poked their heads out of the dormitories.
He entered the training room to find Quatra on the floor, her breathing coming in gasps, a bloody whole slashed in her throat. Zhar fell to his knees beside her as the presence of the Dark Side threatened to overwhelm him. He looked down at Quatra, who was struggling to maintain eye contact with him.
“What have you done?” he asked, knowing full well that she had no way of responding.