SW: TOR: TRIALS OF A SITH THRALL: HONOR-BORN
Part Nine of an Old Republic Tale by MsFicwriter
[AUTHOR'S NOTE: I write duels in the "old-school", Original Trilogy way! Here's some Mood Music: "Dovahkiin" from The Elder Scrolls 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BUIX...eature=related ]
KORRIBAN, VALLEY OF THE DARK LORDS, 1900 HOURS
"Shhh. Watch every step. Even on barren rock, each footfall counts."
"SSS-ssss-sst! Do you not think I have realized this, Padawan? Silence!"
It was strange that even at such a peaceful time as dusk, the vicious predators of Korriban were at war. Tuk'ata snarled in the near vicinity, daring not to approach Qyzen and me, while fearsome hssiss
lurked in the shadows and waited to attack. I was not afraid, however. Concealed by the Force, I remained close to my scaled friend as we traversed the winding path to the Valley of the Dark Lords. I knew from my extensive studies at the Jedi Temple that Tulak Hord had been laid to rest here. So had Ajunta Pall, Marka Ragnos, and Naga Sadow--all desiccated corpses now, except for the essence that still bled from their remains. It was here that I sensed the dark presence of Pfon Urazhai: our intended target. He would soon join the Sith Lords that he revered almost as gods, at least if we had our way. Tonight was the evening we had chosen either to slay this pure-blooded monster, or to be slain by his hand. Pfon's actions had left us no other option but to take him down or die. How could we call ourselves good, or even honorable, if we allowed him to continue his torturous ways?
"Look! There he is. I could snipe him from this distance immediately, Jedi."
"No! I have to challenge him to a fair fight, or otherwise he's already won. Right now, he's kneeling down before the Tombs, and most likely doesn't notice either one of us."
"All the more reason to assassinate him while we're safe. Simply allow me..."
"No, Qyzen, but I swear to you: if you let me duel him, you'll strike the fatal blow."
Qyzen Fess, a Trandoshan warrior in body and soul, glared at me with a thousand unanswered questions in his one intact eye. Through the Force, I could hear them, and each one was an accusation: Why do you insist on putting yourself in the way of a murderer's blade? Why do you think that Pfon Urazhai believes in fairness, or justice, or any points of the creed that Jedi follow? You know just as well as I that he'll slaughter you without a second thought if he gains the advantage. Why are you being so foolhardy?!
A sudden thought occurred to me, and I turned on him: "Why do you care?" After all, his species espoused the ideal of survival of the fittest
just as much as the Sith did, except without their xenocidal tendencies. My whisper carried on the evening wind, soft and uttered through lips that, I suspected, would remain forever parched by Korriban's air. Why was Qyzen Fess, who had heretofore traveled and hunted alone, so frightened for me right now?
"You are my ally, and I will not see you defeated unless I fall with you!"
It took a full ten seconds for this truth to sink in. Closing my eyes, I wiped them forcefully with the back of my hand and then clasped mine in his.
"Then here's to our lives, or our deaths if Pfon happens to detect us..."
He did not. The Sith was too absorbed in his meditations within the central arena of the Valley of the Dark Lords. From a distance, he looked perfectly at peace among the tombs. However, once we crept closer, we could tell that Pfon was seething with hatred. He was letting the boundless evil held within the sarcophagi infect him. Or, perhaps he was allowing the wickedness of his own heart to manifest itself to the spirits inside, informing them of his presence:
"Sadow. Hord. Pall and Ragnos! Hear me now, and answer me!"
Pfon turned slowly, igniting his ruby-red lightsaber. "Greetings...slave. I was actually hoping that you would interrupt my meditations, because I had planned to present the largest tuk'ata I could kill to the Dark Lords. Instead, you'll become the sacrifice, and I shall at last find what I've sought!"
Instead of replying with words, I sprang at him with my saberstaff ignited. Two blades clashed against one, and their tremendous heat singed my skin. Pfon parried the attack expertly, and sent me staggering. Skirting a nearby rock pillar, I used the momentum from landing on it to brace my feet and then come flying at him in a head-on charge. Propelled by the Force, I slammed straight into his motionless body. He gave a soft grunt, strafed right, and then prepared to slam the blade of his lightsaber straight into my heart.
Effortlessly, I somersaulted into the air and landed, balancing my weapon.
Did you honestly think I would fall for that, after the sadistic little 'experiment' you did on me?" Snarling, I used the Force to hurl him backward in a whirlwind push that was meant to be devastating. However, Pfon must have been resistant to such things, because he steadied himself.
"Did you honestly believe that the injection I gave you was the true Essence of Victory?" He howled with derisive laughter. "You're even more of a fool that I--!" Pfon didn't get to finish his sentence, however, because I leapt up and slammed myself into him, with my entire weight behind the blow. He reeled. "It was a distillate of slave blood alone, not Sith, and it's poisonous. You only have twenty-four more hours to live--if I don't end your pathetic life first, Jedi scum!"
Parrying seven more of his Makashi lightsaber attacks, I whispered: "Liar."
"Do I? I suppose you'll have to--" Again, he did not finish, because he'd interrupted his own words with another onslaught of relentless blows. After each one, I took a deep breath, but I was inhaling only scorching heat. Only the Force and my intense concentration kept me from unconsciousness. I thought of screaming out for Qyzen to shoot from his position from behind one of the rock pillars near the tombs. However, I did not. I was waiting silently...
He had driven me to the point where I had fallen, lying on my back with my de-ignited weapon languishing at my side. "I shall not kill you before I conquer you once and for all, like I have no other foe." His left hand slid to the lower folds of his long robe, tugging at it lustfully.
Qyzen Fess' lethal dart penetrated Pfon Urazhai's skull. At almost the same instant, I ignited my lightsaber and sliced his body in half--and then in half once more. The once mighty Pfon Urazhai now lay in the Valley in pieces.
We'd done it together, and the Trandoshan clambered down to stand with me.
he exulted in his native tongue, and then whispered an endearment...
Embracing him tightly at last, I instinctively knew what this meant:
We had not succumbed to the Sith on their terms.