SW: TOR: TRIALS OF A SITH THRALL: EXCHANGE
Part Six of an Old Republic Tale by MsFicwriter
KORRIBAN, DRESHDAE SPACE PORT, INFIRMARY/AUTOPSY CHAMBER
Wake up. Wake up, Padawan! You must try, because a life is at stake!
Through a gulf of warmth and blackness, I tried to respond: Master Yun?
It is I, indeed. Don't try to ask me where I am, because I must tell you--
(?!)WHERE ARE YOU(!?)
There's no time. You've passed out, and are now lying on a cold floor. Crawl if you have to, but make your way to the door on the left. It's a slight bit ajar. See that shaft of light?
How did he know where I was? If only--
Good. Can you move?
Scraping my elbows hard, I clambered to all fours. Easy, now. Take it slowly. The Sith hasn't started the machinery yet.
What machinery? By "the Sith", I assumed Master Yun meant Pfon Urazhai, but what kind of a device hadn't he activated? Crawling like I had as a small child because I was far too weak to stand, I moved toward the door. An antiseptic smell wafted my way from within it, more medicinal than the sweaty odor of my infirmary room. I curled the fingers of my right hand around the door's metal frame and pulled it open as much as I could. Tamara Malthisen was strapped to an autopsy table, her hair streaming like a long, ebony waterfall over the edge. As far as I could tell, she was naked. Her arms were definitely bare, spread out to form a long T
with the rest of her body:
"Can't you at least lay a blanket over me during my interrogation, fool?"
Pfon Urazhai smiled. "Your autopsy might begin more quickly than you think."
"Autopsies are for corpses--slain outright. You're performing vivisection."
"Call it what you like, but even now my eyes hunger for your dead meat! If I don't like your answers to my questions, Sith hopeful, you will be drawn,
and not only your internal organs. Every single part of you will serve a useful function, from your hands to your heart to your beautiful hair. Many of our finest soldiers have lost body parts that can't be replaced by prostheses. No matter how advanced our technology, Sith hearts must still pump blood, and Sith brains must operate according to organic processes. Otherwise, what would separate us from the metal droids that serve us? Absolutely nothing."
"Except what ancient peoples called your souls." Tamara breathed heavily.
Pfon's eyes narrowed. Using the Force to press a rapid-fire series of buttons on a nearby wall console, he caused a machine in the ceiling to start. Surgical instruments, including a whirring bone saw, slid into their "ON" positions and waited for further instructions. Every sharpened blade, every twitching wire, every vibrating needle, and every fluid pumping through countless syringes became ready for use. As for the pureblood Sith? He pressed another button, and the shimmering console of surgical tools lowered itself significantly...
"Our souls? If we even cared about such things, which in all actuality might not exist, then we have sacrificed them for the pursuit of ultimate power."
the pursuit, or in
the pursuit? There is a difference, Pfon."
He seemed to resent retracting the instrumental console a single centimeter.
"Point taken! Some of us have always known that the mastery of the Dark Side was our goal, even from the start. Such am I. I don't believe I have a soul, only a will, and that will gravitates toward whatever will grant me power. Others, such as yourself, must travel a more difficult path. It takes several murders, and the deaths of several hundreds of innocent beings, to give them the strength they need to conquer their weaknesses--and their weak foes."
"Do you honestly think I'm going to do that? Slaughter people? I'm a Jedi!"
The machine lowered itself a few inches more. Tamara was losing ground.
"Are you?" asked Pfon. "Do you remember the rush of life and vigor you felt when you tried to strike your fellow Padawan down? The one of whom I speak is the one whom you've asked for aid. You've violated the Sith teachings already! Stand on your own two feet, or fall. That is our credo, our Code. However, this is not what angers me the most. Why are you lying, whelp?"
"Since when have I ever told you anything but the truth?"
"Since the beginning! You may lie, but you are not practiced in it. I sensed your intent to defeat us instead of join us from the moment I met you! That will not happen. By the time you are strong enough to achieve your aim, you will have fallen so far that killing one of us will only mean killing one of your own kind. Ridding our Order of vermin! Is that what you want, young one?"
A code suddenly flashed through my mind: 3-15-21-14-20. COUNT--
"No. Why are you so sure that I'll be as wicked and cruel as you are when I finally have enough power to defeat you? Do you think I'll forget my original goal? Every day as I train, I'll remember my purpose, and get Per'dra's help."
"So you may think, but evil begets evil. Do you honestly believe that through your Sith training, harming others and killing whom we tell you to kill, that you'll remain in touch with the Light Side of the Force? We believe that ends justify means, but the Jedi do not. Can you count yourself righteous while you're assassinating targets you've never even met before? Can you consider yourself just while slaying commoners who protest against Sith rule, or who are simply in our way? Can you visualize yourself bathed in the Light while you carry out the will of Darkness? You cannot, and it's best if you'd realize this."
"I will not, because it's not true. You Sith lie, and you're trying to trick me!"
The whirring bone saw and other surgical tools edged hungrily over her belly.
"I am not. I am a mirror, trying to show you what you can't recognize: your own reflection. Tamara, you are power-hungry and won't face it. You try to justify yourself with excuses which will do you no good. What you desire is what we Sith possess: supremacy, no matter what its purpose."
1-18-25. A-R-Y. Count-errev-ary. Counterrevary. Counter-rev-ary--
Gritting my teeth, I used the Force to punch in COUNTERREVOLUTIONARY on the wall panel. Instantly, the machine stopped and retracted into the ceiling.
Complete and utter silence.
"Very good, Per'dra," Pfon Urazhai purred. "However, you have indeed lost..." He sent the instruments crashing down, and I gave an ear-shattering NO. Tamara, wailing, lay still on the table. Her outer torso had been lacerated.
"You'll live," Pfon announced dully, "thanks to your 'friend', who has exchanged her life for yours." His consciousness met mine. I know what you meant by crying out just now. You will do everything I say; thus, you will not be slain. As long as Tamara lives, you shall owe this debt. Understood?
My tears cascaded, wetting Pfon's feet. Nodding, I lowered my head upon them.