This is the story of a young man with a dark past whose journey leads to the Dark Side of the Force. This Star Wars fan-fic takes place in the Old Republic era.
Note: Still in Draft Stage
Introduced in Chapter 1
- Goldvanius, Falsely known as Avix Zedaya
- The Rogue Republic Troopers: Chiller, Griller, Thriller, and Spiller.
- Daryen (Goldvanius' father)
- Rowan Cardan (Dentface)
Shadow Origins TimelineEdit
- Shadow Origins: Goldvanius (Begins in 21,376 ARF)
- Shadow Origins: Dentface
- Shadow Origins: Velocis
- Shadow Origins: Merag
- Shadow Origins: Mizael (Begins in 21,406)
Chapter One: An Eye for a LifeEdit
In the distant systems of the galaxy lied a hot, desert-like but decently-grasslanded planet known as Aargonar. The population was moderately small, and it was normally left alone by the Republic and the rising Sith Empire. A planet in poverty, Aargonar was populated mostly by two of either types of inhabitants - farmers, or hunters. Occasionally some smugglers, bandits, pirates, or even Republic troopers made their way onto the hot muggy planet, but rarely. Its mountains were treacherous, its history unknown and undiscovered and most of its people didn't want to be there. However, the low-profile, out-of-the-way planet did make for a getaway for criminals and those who were on the run. Several cantinas and small stores were scattered around towns, and most locals lived in houses that were a short distance away from the towns to avoid getting caught up in the madness.
One of these houses was owned by a family of force-sensitive Zabrak farmers. As strong with the force they may be, none of them knew of their great ability because their ancestors were lazy and failed to tell their offspring of their power. Their family was formerly known for mining massive amounts of gold, and thus it was a well-known family tradition to name every other male born in the family after that feat. Though the gold-mining had stopped years ago, their youngest-born male was named Goldvanius when he was born in 21,365. He had two older sisters, and their family lived in peace for many years. They had no idea the darkness their family would fall into in the coming years. Not even the wisest force-masters could predict what would happen next.
In 21,376 ARF (After Republic Formation) with Goldvanius at the age of 11, the family was peacefully waking up as the second sun was rising. Goldvanius' father was treating himself to a beverage when there was a bang on the door. Being a poor family, they didn't have the credits for an automatically operating door. Goldvanius' father walked over to open it when it was kicked down by a large man wearing lots of armor. Suddenly, a dozen Republic Troopers stormed into the building, and before anyone could react, the leader loaded his blaster cannon and blasted several holes in Goldvanius' father's chest. The sisters screamed as two troopers launched rockets into the house that exploded in large bursts of flames. Goldvanius ran to closet room and hid under a small table, watching in horror as the squadron of troopers ransacked his home and slaughtered his family. His eyes widened as a trooper grabbed one of his sisters, shoved her into a wall and used a single blaster pistol to shoot her in the head. All the troopers simultaneously began blasted the entire house with their handcannons, blasting the remains of the family everywhere. The troopers ceased fire and exchanged looks. "It's a shame, do you even think they knew they were force-sensitive?" one of them asked.
"It doesn't matter. Don't get soft, Chiller, any of these could have progressed to become Sith. This is the only way to redeem ourselves to the Republic." The trooper that seemed to be the leader replied.
A trooper with a blaster rifle began checking the small areas of the house to make sure no one survived. When it came to the closet Goldvanius was hiding in, the trooper paused for a moment. He saw the small Zabrak quivering in fear. He hesitated,
"Anything over there, Lieutenant?" the leader asked.
"Don't think so.. just give me a second." The trooper responded. He then whispered to the boy, "I don't want to have to do this. Let me just make it quick... and painless." The trooper aimed his gun at the small boy, and out of an instinctive reaction, Goldvanius turned his head away and held his hands out toward the trooper. Little did he know, he had so much fear in him that he triggered his powers to latch onto the trooper in an attempt at defending himself. The trooper began moving around as if he felt something. Once the boy realized what he was doing, he channeled his muscles to launch forward a current of energy at the trooper, and somehow he was able to grasp onto his eyeball using the telekinetic force. Goldvanius clenched his teeth and was somehow able to rip the trooper's eyeball from his body. it broke through the eye-shade in the trooper's helmet and landed neatly into the boy's hand, splattering blood all over his arm. Goldvanius was shocked. The trooper staggered back, screaming and moving around rapidly. The troopers attempted to aid their comrade but he was moving around like crazy. Goldvanius took this opportunity to run through the flaming wreckage and escape through what was left of the back door of their home. Crying, the 11-year old zabrak boy ran for his life, leaving behind the flaming household where his family's corpses lied motionless and dis-proportioned. A half-mile away was a town Goldvanius knew about, and so that is where he went after he traveled through the rough terrain of the planet Aargonar. He arrived at the small grouping of settlements known as Toramas and was greeted by a green Twi'lek man with ragged clothes. This innocent man, not knowing at all what he was about to deal with... or who exactly he was about to help.
Chapter Two: Six Years in PovertyEdit
After fleeing from the burning wreckage of his home, Goldvanius found refuge in the town of Toramas. Found by a 63-year-old Twi'lek named Baz, Goldvanius was able to avoid any wrong-doers in the town and stay safe.
"Let's get you some proper clothing." Baz said as he invited Goldvanius to his home in the downtown area. He gave the boy a torn shirt, but it'd have to do for now. "What's your name?"
Goldvanius wanted to put what had just happened behind him, he didn't want to think about it. He hesitated, looked away, and thought of a name.
"My name's.." he paused, "Avix. Avix Zedaya."
"What happened to you? Where is your family?" The Twi'lek only wanted a bit of information.
"Murdered... they're all dead." Goldvanius, or 'Avix' replied as he failed to prevent tears from dropping from his face.
"I'm terribly sorry to hear that. Tell you what... I am going to care for you from now on, Avix." Baz said calmly.
The young boy hesitated, but decided to trust this man who had offered him kindness. Baz's home was a small tent-like structure that had a hammock and a bed. It wasn't much, but it was enough to live in. Avix learned the way of the locals, which mostly consisted of hunting. There was a lot of wildlife on Aargonar, and most locals made their livings off of selling meats. Avix's parents, however, were farmers, and he knew nothing of hunting. Baz taught him to fish the ponds for small creatures using a spear, and after a month of training Avix was already very talented at it, having extraordinary reflexes. It was two months before Baz finally asked the question. The question 'Avix' had been hoping not to answer.
"Avix, it's been over two months since I took you in."
"Yes it has.."
"I must ask you this, and you know it." He sighed, "Avix, I am a very gentle man. And I hope you know... I am just curious about this, but... what happened to your family?"
"I'd prefer not to say.." he pleaded.
"Avix, like I said, I am a gentle man. But if you tell me who murdered your parents... I can talk to people who can stop them from ever doing it again."
"NO! I won't! You'll go after them! And they'll kill you!" Avix proclaimed before running off into the woods. Baz just sighed. The young boy returned an hour later with five fish and apologized for running off, but told Baz he would not tell him who murdered his parents. They went about their lives, hunting and surviving in the harsh environment.
2 years later, 21,378, at the age of 13, Goldvanius, aka "Avix" was employed as a worker at a cantina. He cooked, served others food, and helped with general cleaning. He was paid very little credits, and to compensate for the lack of income he received from that job, he hunted on the side as well. However, he was grateful for his job. It was only secured due to Baz being the manager's friend. And through these two methods of earning credits, Avix earned enough to pay for food and also upgrade the small shelter he and Baz lived in.
One day he was on his way to work when he was approached by a blonde woman screaming and running toward him while being chased by an angry man with a mustache and a large spear which he was pointing at her.
"HEEEELP!!!! ALBY'S GONE ROGUE! HELP MEE!" she screamed as she ran toward him,
"YOU CHEATED ON ME, YOU BITCH! GET BACK HERE, I'LL KILL YA!" The man said as he chased her.
"PLEASE SIR, PLEASE HELP!" she collapsed and fell in front of Avix, who simply watched as she slowly regained her footing. He replied,
"I don't give a womprat's ass." Avix didn't care. The man chasing her eventually caught up to her, and impaled her straight through the head with his spear.
"Hey, thanks. If you ever see a man named Jaglok, give me a holler! I'll kill 'em!" This 'Alby' mentioned before running off into the distance. Goldvanius proceeded to work that day as if nothing had happened. A year later, (21,379) Goldvanius woke to a sound he had never heard before. It was something incredible, something he'd only read about before - rain. He walked outside of his tent and ran towards town, his mouth wide open in shock as he witnessed this phenomenon. Water drenched the entire area, the townsfolk stood outside of their homes in awe. Baz crossed his arms and smiled.
"I haven't seen this in nineteen years... that was the day he showed himself." Baz said
"Who?" Asked Avix.
"What mystic?" Avix was intrigued.
"His name is Arkal. He's a Shaman who lives in the wilderness. The last time it rained, he appeared in the town and defended us from a great evil."
"What evil? Avix asked
"The war." Baz replied sternly. Avix decided to end the topic there and ran out into the rain, enjoying something he'd never felt before. This shift in weather caused a massive change in the town's system. Wildlife became temporarily inactive, fish scattered and some hunters weren't supplied for rainy days. It rained for two days straight, until finally it stopped, and the sulking suns returned to warm the planet.
Two years later when Goldvanius was 16, he and Baz were eating at the cantina when bandits stormed into the building. They began firing blasters, demanding credits and threating the manager, Berek. Berek was a large human who was overweight and was probably the greasiest thing Avix will ever see on his journey aside from a hutt.
"What do you want, scumbags?" He said scruffily.
"We want it all, nerf-herduh!" the smuggler said loudly. Baz stood up to defend the cantina,
"Please, don't hurt anyone. We can work this out peacefully, w-" Baz began before being cut off.
"Ha! You're a squiggly little weaklin, aren't ye?" He responded. "How about this... you give me all your credits.. and I shoot ya!" The smuggler said as he pulled a sidearm and blasted Baz in the chest. He immediately fell over as he began to die. Avix was in shock.
"BASTARDS!" Berek proclaimed before pulling a large pistol himself and shooting down one of the smugglers. A fight broke out, and in the midst of the conflict, Goldvanius tackled the man who shot Baz. He began punching the bandit, but one of the man's allies pulled Avix up and threw him aside before pulling a knife to him. Avix, strangely recognized this man.
"You.. you let me kill that bitch who cheated on me.. yeahh, you didn't help her. And for that, I won't kill ya now. But if you cross us again, I'll be forced to put a blade in your skull." The man Avix remembered as 'Alby' replied.
"No, Albert. He assaulted me, he dies." The bandit leader pulled a gun and pointed it at Avix.
"No, I owe 'em a favor, he could've easily prevented me from killing that bitch." Albert replied.
"Not happening... now I wish I would've caused you a slight inconvenience. NOBODY hurts my friends!" Avix lost his temper and charged at Albert, and before he could react, Avix used the horns on his head to stab Albert in the chest before stealing his blade and impaling him in the throat. The smuggler leader then grabbed his pistol and aimed it at Goldvanius, preparing to fire. However, Berek was able to unexpectedly fire a shot and blast the leader in the back of the head before he could do so. The man's body fell on Goldvanius, who stumbled over quickly. The two remaining bandits fled the cantina. Avix buried Baz and took his home for himself, slowly moving into a depression without any companionship whatsoever. Alone, saddened, and poor, Goldvanius, taking the name of Avix, slowly bottled up his emotions.
Chapter Three: EnoughEdit
It was the year 21,381. Goldvanius, or "Avix" had spent the last six years working for minimum wages, hunting and selling his finds for cheap and falsifying his name. It was a hot, muggy day. He was used to it, though. To him, his sisters seemed lazy and worthless - never pulling their own weight, earning their worth... they had just lounged around. He wondered what life would be like if they actually worked much, wishing he had the support of others. He felt very alone. His parents had always seemed so... distant. They were farmers, and didn't ask questions. Goldvanius, however, was different. He always wanted to know things... begging for details, desperate for more information. He sought knowledge, but when he asked his parents, they seemed to struggle with answering. Quite often his mother had no answers for his questions, and just changed the subject to try and teach him one of the cliche life lessons that he'd already learned. The one person he felt he could truly have a conversation with as a child was his father, Daryen. He always seemed dreamy... he told Goldvanius that he had a dream - a dream of him bringing their family name to glory and fame. Goldvanius thought nothing of it, understanding the planet he lived on was for the poor and the low-lives. He missed his father, though, and tried not to think much about watching him get brutally murdered.
Goldvanius was making his usual walk from his small home to work when he began realizing how unfortunate he was. His family and his mentor murdered, his powers unknown to himself, his neighbors mostly bandits, thieves, and low-lifes. As he walked through the rugged grass, random rocks and endless rough sand, he wondered... what would it be like to be something? To have power. To be able to fend for himself and be respected, treated fairly, even liked by others...
"But no, even if I were respected, I wouldn't be liked.." he thought to himself. "I'll always be an outcast. The guy in the corner with a sad story and no life." But then he wondered...
"Maybe I don't have to be liked. In fact, why should anyone care about being liked at all? What value does it have? If people respect me... that means they have to fear me. And if they fear me, why should I give a damn if they like me?" he smirked as he smashed a small insect with his shoe.
"I could be feared for my power and my ruthlessness.. if people know how terrible of a story I have, they'll realize I have no heart. They'll want to keep me on their side. Out of fear..." He hardened his fist. "If only I knew this power which I possess.. I could be feared!" he began speaking to himself, but just in time to ruin his grand moment came a speeder of bandits, laughing as they flew by and splashed a bucket of bantha feces on Avix, who just wiped it off and moved on, continuing to think
"Of course, though... I'll never have power. I have to survive. I have to stay here and suffer through this miserable place," he thought. "It's what makes me better than those troopers who murdered my family." He thought. A couple minutes later, he arrived at work when he was startled by a short Rodian wearing an orange jacket
"They're going to raid your house!" the small alien said.
"What?" Goldvanius asked
"The bandits.. they said they're headed for your property next!"
If he paid for a speeder rental, "Avix" could arrive at his property in time to stop the bandits. But there was one obstacle..
"AVIX! Get your ass over here and make the soup, customers are waiting and I'm busy!" Berek, the cantina manager yelled abruptly
"And what exactly are you busy with, sir?" Goldvanius asked, watching Berek sit lazily in a comfortable chair behind the counter.
"Don't talk back at me, boy! Get to work!" He yelled. Goldvanius decided to quickly prepare a soup and then go after the bandits. He added the primary ingredients, stirred, and made sure to heat it to the proper temperature before running out the door yelling "Be back in a bit!"
Goldvanius paid a man for a speeder rental and mounted up on the Rark Marathon, a small blue speeder to catch the raiders pillaging his home. He arrived there ten minutes later to find his small tent-like house in flames, ransacked and torn apart. He scurried through the wreckage to find nothing of value to spare. All of his currency, clothes, food, and storage destroyed or stolen. He stormed out of the smoke and kicked around a piece of scrap metal from the attack in frustration, "Nooo.. argh," he grunted "Whyyy!?" He proclaimed. "Why me!? Why must I be subject to all the hellfire in this galaxy!?" He was answered with the sound of nothing except the fire crackling on the ruins of his home. He bent down on his knees and put his hands on his face. The suns shifted a bit, and after about twenty minutes of sitting there Goldvanius had an idea. His hunting camp still had a few supplies. He rushed to the woods, and about five minutes later he reached his small station. It hadn't been pillaged. He grabbed his hunting vest, put on some armorment and left his bantha dropping-covered shirt there. He grabbed what he could, a small bag for some clothing he had there and a container of water. He also had his hunting spear, which he attached to his small bag.
With his small bit of equipment intact, he mounted the rusty Rark Marathon and headed back to the town. As he drove, his anger bottled up like small gnats gathering in a jar of juice. Slowly increasing until someone or something tipped it over, splashing it everywhere to create chaos. His teeth smashed together as he thought of the troopers, the bandits, and the cantina workers. To him, they were all like rotten, old fruit. Ugly, smelly, and annoying to even think about. He eventually arrived back at the town, gave the speeder salesman his mount back and headed back to work. He opened the door to be immediately yelled at.
"YOU!" Shouted Berek. "Where... the HELL" he walked toward the front of the building without leaving his stationed area behind the counter, putting his hands on his hips, "have you been?
"My house was ra-" Goldvanius began
"I don't want any of that nerfshit! What, were you out gamblin' or somethin? Partyin'? You just left, no reason, no permission!"
"Sir, bandits att-"
"Bandits!? HA!" Berek's voice was heard through the whole cantina, even louder than the strange twi'lek song playing on the music device. "Funny story, boy.. funny story."
"It's not a story.."
"You keep lyin' to me and you're out of work, son." Berek's words drove Goldvanius speechless. Was he really going to threaten his job over such a petty matter? "Let me tell you something here, Avix. Our best selling dish..... is soup." He said grimly. "Our customers order one thing more than any other dish... soup!" He grabbed a beverage and drank it down carelessly. "And you know what today's customers had to say about our soup?"
"What's that, sir?"
"That it tasted..." his eyes narrowed "like bantha fodder!" Berek shouted. A tall Mirialan worker laughed.
"Because.. YOU forgot to add our sauce!" Berek accused. Goldvanius squeezed his vest strap. "And you of all people, having worked here for so long, should know that our soup tastes TERRIBLE without the blasting sauce!" Berek responded.
"I'm sorry sir, I had to leave quickly and hurry my cooking,-" Goldvanius began but was interrupted
"Haha, what's the matter skinny boy? Thought you could get away with taking off time on the job?" The Mirialan man said.
"You know, this isn't your business." Goldvanius said
"Avix, he's a much better cook than you are and he's only worked here a couple'o months, don't talk to 'em like that." Berek added
"I'll talk to him how I want if he's going to insult me!" he responded
"Not in my cantina. Look, I'll let'cha off now.. but I want you to know this can't be tolerated. That means half pay for the next two weeks." Berek ordered.
"What? Please sir, allow me to explain.." Goldvanius began as Berek just shook his head, "bandits raided my house! I had to stop them, an-" he was interrupted
"And did you stop them?" Berek asked
"Well, no. I was too l-" he was interrupted again
"Of course not! Cause you're weak! You're a weak little skinny boy" The Mirialan man joked
"I'll prove I can be responsible, but please sir, I need the money to survive after my house was pillaged, please!" Goldvanius finally got a sentence in.
"That's not happening, Avix. You know this can't be tolerated. Half pay, that's your punishment." Berek said. Goldvanius let out a heavy sigh.
"Fine then, I'll just quit." Goldvanius threw off his cantina vest as he stared Berek right in the face.
"Ha! Quit!? You can't quit! You've worked here for six years!" Berek laughed
"Yeah, so? Doesn't mean I can't make it elsewhere." Goldvanius responded
"You won't." Berek argued, "You know why? Cause Ruzer over here is right! You're a weak, lazy, skinny little boy. You're an arrogant, selfish FOOL, Avix!" Berek insulted as Ruzer the Mirialan laughed. Goldvanius' temper began filling up. This was it, this was the shove that would set his temper haywire and unleash his inner chaos. As everyone in the cantina laughed and made fun of Goldvanius, he lost his temper and grabbed a nearby chair and threw it down, saying "Enough!"
"Oh, whatcha gonna do skinny boy Avix, throw a chair at us? Hahaha!" Berek laughed. Goldvanius' face turned red.
"Screw 'being better than them'..." he thought. The whole cantina was cracking up in laughter, poking and making fun of Goldvanius. His eyes fixated on Berek as the glasses and objects near Goldvanius began to vibrate strangely. He said in a stern voice he'd never used before...
"My name is Goldvanius. And I... said... ENOUGH!" he screamed as he threw his fists down in his rage, which somehow caused all the glasses and plates nearby him to shatter instantly as the tables they were on flew back in opposite direction. The laughter ceased. Everyone's eyes widened, even Goldvanius'
"Goldvanius... he's the son of.." a man muttered in the back.
"What was that!?" Berek asked. Before anyone could reply, he answered his own question. "WITCHCRAAFT!" he proclaimed. "SORCERY!!! SORCERY I SAY!!" he screamed, frightening everyone inside. He then pulled a blaster and pointed it at Goldvanius. "APPREHEND THIS WIZARD!" Everyone in the cantina drew their blasters and pointed them at Goldvanius, forcing him to flee. He grabbed his bag and ran toward a man who was polishing his silver Lhosan speeder. After abruptly punching the man in the face, Goldvanius threw his bag onto the speeder and mounted up before activating it and riding away from the town, in the opposite direction of his abandonded home. And off he went, toward the unknown wilderness of Aargonar. Like a child on the speeder ride to his education, Goldvanius headed toward the beginning of his journey through the grandeur and epic. With his past life behind him and on a new search for answers, power, and respect, Goldvanius fled from the angry bartenders and drove his stolen speeder through the woods.
Chapter Four: The MysticEdit
A few days after his escape, Goldvanius woke up to blaster fire. He had assembled a small camp in the middle of a forest where he thought himself safe. As his heart raced, he saw the enemy had made a shot on his speeder. It was damaged, but still functioned. He grabbed a couple supplies and hopped on it, immediately taking off as his eyes barely began to open. He dodged some trees and navigated wildly through the woods, swerving around as he caught small branches on his speeder and smashed into a stray rock or two. He heard more blaster fire fly past his ear and explode on a tree in front of him. He quickly dodged to the right and flew between two more trees as he drove his speeder upwards into more tree branches, attempting to avoid enemy fire.
"Get the hell away from me you piece of dirt!" he exclaimed at whoever was shooting at him. He didn't have much experience at steering a speeder, and he was just waking up, rendering his movements sloppy and his dodging abilities limited. However, with keen instincts and built up muscle, he was able to navigate his way through the woods until he found a clearing near a small speeder path that ran through the woods. Up ahead he saw a small establishment, a vendor of some sort selling supplies for hunters. He headed toward it, and then looked back to see there were local hunters on speeders following him and shooting at him. Branded a fugitive, Goldvanius realized that the hunters probably found it best to eliminate him. They shot more blasts at him, a few hitting his mount. The speeder began to overheat as its circuits were fried, and he quickly stopped it near the small store and ran through the small crowd of people. Wielding his spear, he pushed aside a wookiee and promptly assassinated the salesman. After dragging his blade out of the man's gut, he grabbed a blaster, a grenade, and a small pack of supplies. Smashing his way through the frightened crowd, he ran for a small red speeder with a label "Ubrikki Crimson Claw". He mounted up and launched away just as the hunters trailing him arrived at the establishment. They began gaining up on him, and with the Ubrikki speeder being designed for the rider to stand at the rear, Goldvanius was at an extreme disadvantage.
"Give it up, rogue!" A hunter said as he grabbed his pistol and began firing. Goldvanius struggled to maneuver his speeder to dodge the attack, but with a quick jerk to the left he was able to gain a bit of distance. Attempting to take advantage of this moment, he grabbed the grenade he pillaged. He fiddled around with it using one hand as he drove the speeder with the other. Realizing he had no idea had to operate the bomb, he pressed every switch he saw on it and dropped it. It rolled for a short bit and exploded in front of one of the hunters, sending his now burning vehicle up into the air and then back a few yards. With only two enemies left, he stuffed his supplies together on his back and then let go of his speeder, allowing himself to fly backwards. As he fell, he turned around in mid-air, appropriately tackling one of the hunters. "Aargh!" The man was shocked at this move, but he shrugged it off, shoving Goldvanius away, who held onto the speeder tightly. Before anything else could happen, he grabbed the hunter's leg and arm, attempting to throw off his steering.
"Don't shoot!" the man proclaimed at the other hunter. Goldvanius blocked a blow from a sharp knife that the hunter pulled and drove the man's knife into his own leg. Pillaging the knife for himself, he threw the man off the speeder and then took control of it. Before the man's ally could help him, Goldvanius swerved his speeder to the right, bumping into the enemy's vehicle. Just as he thought he had his opponent defeated, he noticed they were heading straight for the woods. The clearing was ending. The window of opportunity shutting right down on his finger just as he saw the way out through it. He grabbed his spear and plunged it at the enemy, but this time his attack wasn't unexpected and the hunter grabbed his spear before slicing it in half with his vibroblade, which he launched at Goldvanius. Vanius barely dodged, but grabbed his blaster and attempted a shot. It missed, blasting into the hunter's water supply. Seeing the inevitable crash ahead, the panicking fugitive plunged himself at the hunter, tackling him sideways and sending him off of his vehicle. The two men rolled chaotically through the dirt as the two speeders plunged themselves right into the woods, smashing into trees and wrecking themselves. The men regained themselves, and the hunter unsheathed his vibroblade again and tackled Goldvanius down. As he was about to be sliced up, he grabbed his blaster pistol and pulled the trigger as soon as he could. The blast impacted on the hunter's side, sending him rolling off in pain. Goldvanius took this opportunity to kick his blade away and grab a knife of his own. He held it to the man's throat as he held him down.
"YOU!" he proclaimed, out of breath.
"W-what?" The hunter grunted as his spoke, angered by his defeat.
"Tell me.." Goldvanius gasped for breath. "Where.."
"Where what!? Why would I tell you anything?"
"Because you'll DIE if you don't!" Goldvanius caught his breath. "So tell me..." he began as the man coughed in resistance. "Where is the mystic? Where does he reside?"
The man broke into laughter, "like I would know that? Ha!" He grinned but Goldvanius tightened his grip on him. "The mystic is a legend.. a myth. How would I know where he is, if he's anywhere?"
"Well then where is it SAID he lives, huh?"
"They say..." he hesitated. "They say he lives in the mountains. I'd start there. But don't take my word for it, you scum. You're chasing rumors."
"Not much else to chase..." Goldvanius muttered. "Very well then." He said as he then shoved the blade directly into the man's throat. He proceeded to enter the woods, heading toward the mountains. Unaware of his target's location, he had little hope of finding the Mystic. However, with hunters on his trail and several dead bodies, he had to move fast. Equipped with only a knife and a blaster, he had little defense against an attack. He decided to climb the first hill he saw, which led him to a series of mountains. It was time to take on his journey.
After hiking for about four hours on the hot, rocky, sun-covered mountains of Aargonar, Goldvanius found a steadily-leveled ground and prepared to make camp. He found a nice area with some grass and a few rocks scattered around. There was no sign of life nearby, and he was decently high up on the mountain. His body was drenched in sweat, having not bathed in several days, he was a smelly mess. He had pillaged a small pack of supplies which only contained a little amount of food and some medical aid. His water supply was running low, and he only had one fish left. He managed to start a small fire and set out his supplies accordingly. Filling himself with the snack from the container and the fish he had caught, he slept in a ragged shirt, leaving his hunting vest next to him.
He awoke the next morning to the first sun rising. Yawning, he assembled his gear and took a moment to appreciate the fact that he woke up peacefully. He thought about his parents - his family. He wished that he'd have been able-bodied enough to defend them that day. He wondered why the republic troopers killed his family. He had read about the Republic. Supposedly they were a peaceful order-keeping organization meant to keep the galaxy in the right condition. But to him, they were nothing but murderers. The way they slaughtered mercilessly... there was absolutely nothing "peaceful" about it.He began to fantasize about what he could've done to those troopers if he had been older. Able to defend himself, to defend his family... to kill the intruders. But then he remembered... they caught his family in a surprise attack. There would be no defense, only death. Scarily but honestly, he secretly admired the way they were able to execute their attack. He envied them, he wanted the strength they possess. Then, he began to fantasize further... this time about finding the troopers in present time and killing them. He would strive for that some day. For the quenching of his thirst, the completed feeling he'd get from enacting his vengeance on those who slaughtered his flesh and blood.
He realized he'd gone into a spree of thinking and assembled his gear. "The only way to achieve any power at all is to find this Mystic" he thought. And with that, he headed off further into the mountains, in search of destiny and power. After several hours of hiking, climbing, and exploring through the mountains he began to wonder where this Mystic would be located. A hidden passageway? A door, perhaps? An underground tunnel? Maybe he only appears to those who he wants to see... who knows what booby-traps could be placed in his home. Goldvanius could do nothing but wonder. He searched for something abnormal, but all that he saw was dull.
His stomach hungered desperately for food, but he had nothing to feed it. He would dry out and starve within a day if he didn't do anything to survive. He exhausted his water supply, and there was no sign of life nearby. More hours went by as all the hope drained from this 16-year-old Zabrak. He wandered the rock mountains, groaning as the sun burned his flesh... until finally he saw something. An unusual crevice... a crack between two large rocks. He stared at this for a moment before deciding to alter his course and go through these. He advanced to an unusual location, but he could tell it had been taken before. Someone had walked by here at least a few times. It was a steady walk, leveled at nearly the top of the mountain.
It seemed like an entirely new area, with no sights of the world below being up on the mountain was just like being in another area. A wide, open field of rock formations, trees, grass, and various boring items that served no use to him. He roamed this area, slowly dragging his weight on as his condition worsened. He began to hallucinate a bit, seeing wildlife where there was none. He was too tired to hunt, anyhow. As he went through some woods, he came up on a large rock wall. He saw no way around it, and if there was it'd only take him back below. He took a major risk and decided to make the climb.
Unsure of himself, Goldvanius began climbing the series of rocks blocking his path. Slowly, he climbed the rocks with little progress, barely making it up and taking a lot of time with every inch. Making himself climb harder, he gained some adrenaline and made it up a few feet. But as he made progress, his muscles grew tired. He grunted and groaned as his body began to betray him... urging him to give up and fall down to rot. He had to keep going. It was his only chance. And so he climbed... pushing onwards, upwards, forward into the unknown and the painful....
"I will not..." he said to himself. "give up... I will do this.." he tried to convince himself, but there was no reassurance. He was just about to let go when he saw the top was closely in reach. Eager to reach his goal, he put all of his strength into a lunge upward, but his foot slipped and he actually lost room. He then pushed with all of his might to climb with his arms, with only small bits of support from his legs. If he fell now, he'd be dead for sure.
Alas, he put a hand over the top and felt the surface. This allowed his mind to push his body forward and climb over the top. And with that he let out a massive sigh of relief. After a few minutes of just sitting there, he stood up and turned around to face whatever it was that he had climbed toward. He was amazed with what he saw. A temple of some sorts. Ceremonial statues made of stone, a large sturdy structure with trees and fields surrounding it. A doorway in the center.
"A hallucination?" He thought? No... it was too clear. Too vivid. He saw it so well it had to be real. So he trekked forward, stumbling as he slowly managed to haul himself toward the temple. He barely had control of his body which just wanted to give up. But he pushed himself, and despite the struggle, he made it to the entrance, a large, wide, open path that led directly into the heart of the temple. He fell to his knees and attempted to speak,
"H-!" He had to gain his voice. "Is anyo-!" he struggled to speak. He slowly dropped his head to the ground, nearly going unconscious until a large man approached him. He was a broad Cathar male wearing massive golden armor. His shoulderplates were unusually large and he stood with authority and in a to-be-respected stance. His skin was pitch black with a few grey pads where needed. He had a small bit of fur, but most of his body was covevered up with his gigantic chestplate, armplates and greaves. His boots looked shiny and sturdy, golden as well.
"Who are you?" he asked in a deep, stern voice.
"I'm..." Goldvanius attempted to speak. "My name is Goldva-" he couldn't talk, he could barely look up.
"Well, that matter being aside, I am Arkal." The man said. Goldvanius' eyes widened up a small bit.
"The mystic?" He asked.
"Ha! Is that what they're calling me?" Arkal asked with a slight grin on his face. "Come come. Men, get this man some refreshments. I'll be having a talk with him later." He finished. A few men carried Goldvanius away to an unknown location, and he blacked out when he relaxed at the fact that he'd found who he was looking for.
Chapter Five: Recovery and RedemptionEdit
Goldvanius woke up in a small bed next to a stone wall. There was a window a few feet up on the wall from his bed. He hadn't slept in a building with windows since he lived with his family. He sat up and looked out of it. He saw a dirt field with a few supplies lying around. He turned to the room he was in. There was a table, a statue of some sorts and some medical supplies next to him. He got out of his bed, feeling his sore, weak muscles as he grunted to move his body. A green mirialan woman walked into his room and handed him a drink.
"Ah, I see you've finally woken up." she said in a gentle, calming voice. "How do you feel?"
"Not too bad I suppose..." Goldvanius said as he took a drink of water, savoring it. "Who are you exactly?" He asked, puzzled.
"My name is Presni, I am a servant to Lord Arkal."
"So I finally made it? The Mystic is here?" He questioned, having seemingly forgotten his brief encounter with Arkal.
"Yes, this is Arkal's Temple. I'll inform him that you're up. You will need to eat." Presni answered as she exited the room. Goldvanius struggled to stretch his muscles, but he managed to walk a bit and exit the room as well. He entered a small hallway and saw Presni leaving into another area through the corner of his eye. Everything looked grand but ancient. Made of cracked stone and dusty gold, this place certainly fit the description for some grand hideout. He walked through the hallway, admiring the decorations before he turned to where Presni went, a large open space filled with a few bounty-hunters and others whose characteristics Goldvanius couldn't determine. In the center of the room was a large golden throne facing the opposite direction Goldvanius had come from. He looked ahead and saw a large door that the throne was facing. He remembered that he came through that way when he arrived. To his left, --to the right of the throne to anyone who had just walked in-- he saw an open area that led outside to the field he saw out his window. To his right, he saw a staircase leading to the second story. As he glanced that way, he heard loud footsteps as Arkal came walking down the stairs.
"Aha, our guest has finally risen!" He said as he approached Vanius. "And what might your name be?"
"I am Goldvanius." He said calmly.
"Well then, someone get Goldvanius here some food." Arkal signaled some of his servants.
"Thank you." Goldvanius replied accordingly. Arkal directed him to a table and spoke with him while he ate.
"So what brings you here? It's not easy to find me... only those extremely-determined and hell-bent enthusiasts ever get here." Arkal stated.
"I'm a son to a murdered family. I've lived in nothingness and a meaningless life for the last six years."
"And what made you come here?"
"Well, Mr. Arkal... I think I have some sort of a.." Goldvanius began, but he hesitated to tell Arkal of his ability.
"Well? go on."
"I think I have some sort of a curse.. or a power." He said unhappily.
"What kind of power would that be?" Arkal's eyes grew curious.
"When my family was murdered... I ripped out the eye of one of the attackers... without ever touching him." Goldvanius replied, his teeth clinching a bit. Arkal didn't have anything to say about that, he stared into Goldvanius' eyes. "Then, when some local bartenders were mocking me... I... something happened. I got very angry. I..." Goldvanius started shaking a little bit as he relived his moment of rage.
"What did you do?"
"I somehow wrecked havoc in the cantina... I caused chaos, flipped things over, broke things..... all, again - without touching anything." Goldvanius looked at Arkal with emotional eyes, hoping for answers.
"Well, Goldvanius... I think I know exactly what you're going through." Arkal said as Goldvanius' face went from anger and lostness to curiosity. Arkal held out his hand, and the plate of Goldvanius' food lifted up into the air. A moment later, it fell back down onto the table. Goldvanius' eyes widened.
"That, my friend, was the Force." Arkal said passionately. Arkal explained to Goldvanius what the force was, how it connects and lives within all living things, and how Goldvanius was able to move things. "You are force-sensitive, friend. You have a power that many others do not. Do not think of it as a curse... but as a tool."
After a few hours of being lectured on the force, Goldvanius asked Arkal if he could learn to use the force more efficiently.
"I could teach you... but I am currently busy training another apprentice, Bersa. It is to my hopes and knowledge that she will become a Jedi." Arkal said, and thus spawned the topic of Jedi, who were explained in detail to Goldvanius. After that conversation, Arkal gave Goldvanius his options. "Now... I am nearly done training Bersa, and when I am done perhaps I can teach you." Goldvanius was happy to hear these words. "It is quite strange... I haven't trained any apprentices in years, and now that I have one another possible candidate arrives at my temple."
"I can prove to you that I'm worthy." Goldvanius offered.
"That is exactly what you will do. You must hunt. Search. Investigate. Fight. Display your strength." Arkal ordered. "Don't worry, tomorrow I will give you a brief training session on telekinesis. After that, your trials will begin to prove yourself worthy to train in the ways of the Force. But do realize.. if your connection is not strong enough, I cannot train you. Only time will tell if you're worthy or not."
"Alright." Goldvanius replied briefly.
Arkal taught Goldvanius how to lift small objects, and after a day of introductory training he was ready to complete his tasks to prove himself. He had to gather fifty pounds of meat, find two smugglers, and defeat any criminals he saw. How would he do this? He was to be sent to the town of Gambera, north of his current location. He was given only a hunting spear and a small bit of food to survive."Best of luck to you, Goldvanius." Arkal said in his deep voice. Goldvanius nodded and put on his hunting vest. He then headed off on a speeder they let him borrow, another Ubrikki model. He rode through the tough terrain much easier now with a mount. He made good time, finally getting the hang of steering a speeder and being rested up with a full stomach. He arrived at Gambera. It was slightly more civilized than Toramas, so he felt quite happy to be there. There was an organized speeder path leading through the town that --according to the signs-- led to the spaceport.
Goldvanius immediately began hunting. He managed to do this quickly and efficiently, using his spear for sneak attacks. At one point, a nerf charged at him in anger out of nowhere but he was able to use the force to send a log in its way, interrupting its charge so that he could kill it with his spear. He had the meat, which he sold to a local salesman (who gave him a contract declaring he'd delivered the meat). He used some of these credits to buy some more gear, upgrading his gloves, belt, and pants while also acquiring a small mask and a helmet to remain incognito.After spending a few hours in the town he heard of three Twi'lek smugglers doing illegal deals in town. He sought them out. Night fell and Goldvanius located the bandits hiding out in a small building. He snuck in the back door, creeping inside. He saw one of the men standing around casually typing on his datapad. He took this opportunity to attack this man with his spear, instantly impaling and killing him. Another bandit heard this and charged in to defend, immediately blasting at Goldvanius and sending his spear away. Goldvanius dodged another blast and then ran up to the man before force-pushing him aside into a wall, sending him unconscious. He ran through a couple of rooms and found the third smuggler. He ran toward the unsuspecting twi'lek who, before he could do anything, was struck directly in the head by a blow from Goldvanius.
Goldvanius had defeated the bandits, and he then handed them over to the locals before quickly fleeing the scene (being branded a fugitive himself, he couldn't risk the locals seeing him).
Goldvanius was traveling on the speeder path with his Ubrikki speeder. He began traveling through an area that wasn't very well populated when he spotted a hiker on the side of the path with a bag and a few supplies. He stopped, thinking this might be a bandit.
"You! What's your business in Gambera?" Goldvanius interrogated.
"Nothing much.." the man replied in a low, saddened voice. Goldvanius got off of his speeder to investigate.
"What's your name?" Goldvanius asked.
"Rowan..." he answered, "Rowan Cardan." Goldvanius was feeling in an investigative mood, so he questioned the man further.
"What's your story then?"
"Well, it seems I was a force sensitive..." Rowan replied.
"Was? How exactly does someone lose their force sensitivity?" Goldvanius asked curiously.
"I don't know..." he hesitated. "I... my parents were Jedi. They were illegally married... when the Jedi Order found out, they were punished... lots of things happened, but my mother and brother ended up dead and my father ended up joining the Empire."
"The Empire? What's that exactly?" Asked Goldvanius.
"I don't really know much about it... my father mostly kept me in his chambers. We were on some planet.... Dromund? Something like that..." The man talked slowly and unsteadily, stopping at points and freezing to think about things. ".. he tried to train me to be a force-user. He tried so hard... he tried..."
"And? what happened?" Goldvanius questioned.
"I was a failure..." the man broke into tears. "I failed him! I failed my father... I couldn't do it. No matter how much he pushed me... punished me.. beat me... I couldn't channel the force properly. I was just.." he fell down in sadness. Goldvanius frowned. For the first time in his life, he felt sympathy. This man had gone through something very similar to what he had gone through. Parents dead, life ruined, all alone. "I was so hurt by the loss of my brother and mother... I never gained the energy to channel the force. And now... I can't at all." Rowan finished. Goldvanius put his palm on the man's shoulder and looked out to the sky. He wondered - what could I do to help this man?
"Have you any supplies?" Goldvanius asked.
"Yes... I pillaged some credits and food from that Dromund planet I was stuck on... then I fled here to hide. I'm heading toward the spaceport now to get out of here and find somewhere suitable to live." Rowan stated. I would've gone quicker, but bandits pillaged my speeder and attacked me. I barely escaped with my life."
"Do you have any fighting capabilities?"
Rowan hesitated. "Uh... not really, no. I don't have any weapons, can't channel the Force... I can swing a decent kick though."
"I think it's time you learned how to fight without your force abilities." Goldvanius suggested. Rowan looked unsure about this. "Trust me, I've had to learn how... I can teach you." They agreed to train in the morning. - They woke up the next day and Goldvanius began teaching Rowan some hand-to-hand-combat. He showed him how to deliver the most muscle strength in his blows, how to dodge blaster fire, how to swing a knife, how to shoot a blaster and even how to sneak up on enemies by taking him to a junkyard ran by Jawas and having him sneak-attack the creatures. After several hours of training, Rowan felt he had actually learned how to defend himself. "You've done very well, friend. Now, we need to get you a speeder." Goldvanius declared. They bought off a two-hour pass for a shuttle using the credits Goldvanius had left from his meat sales and headed off.
"Where are we going?" Rowan asked.
"Just somewhere I visited recently." Goldvanius said. They arrived at the small vendor where Goldvanius had stopped briefly while on the run from hunters. "Okay, just follow me and make sure you look tough." he suggested. Goldvanius walked up to the new salesman and pulled a gun on him. "You! Let us in the back! Now!" The man tried to pull a gun on Goldvanius, but he shot his arm, disarming him. "Oh, trust me... you don't want to do that. I killed your last salesman." Goldvanius said as he gave the man a look in the eye. Rowan looked confused. "Now let in the back... NOW!"
The salesman quivered and unlocked the back room. Goldvanius ran in and had Rowan help him lift up the silver Lhosan speeder which he had driven before. It seemed to have been repaired by the mechanics at the small shop.
"Wait! Are you going to pay for th-AurGH!" the salesman began, but was shot abruptly by Goldvanius. They loaded the speeder on their small shuttle, and just as locals began to panick or shoot at them, they took off.
They arrived back at Gambera, returned the shuttle, and retreated back to their small camp. Night fell soon after and they had a meal together over a fire.
"You know..." Goldvanius began, "There's only one reason I helped you."
"And what is that?" Rowan asked.
"You and I are very much alike." Goldvanius stated
"Like you, I am apparently force-sensitive... but I've never known how to use the Force." Goldvanius responded. "Like you, I've had to rely on nothing but brute skill and... crude weapons."
"Yes, but you've learned how to use it a bit now, right?" Rowan asked, a glimpse of hope on his face.
"Yes, I have. I'm being trained." Goldvanius replied.
"But you're not like me... you didn't lose your power through depression." Rowan said as his expression turned to sadness.
"I suppose you're right... I never lost my power, I just didn't know how to use it." Goldvanius said.
"I really appreciate what you've done... but," Rowan began.. "I'll never be like you. Or my father. I'm weak. I'm a nobody. Life has hated me since I was born." he said miserably. Goldvanius' eyes narrowed as he launched into a discussion with Rowan.
"You think your life was tough? Huh? I watched my entire family get SLAUGHTERED by a squadron of Republic troopers! I had to grow up ON MY OWN. Living. Hunting. Surviving - on my own. I've never been wealthy, or even seen a wealthy-class planet. I've been stuck here on this dump." Goldvanius finished his rant.
"Look... I'm sorry. I didn't know..." Rowan said. "I get it... it's been real bad - for both of us. But if you don't like it here, why don't you come with me?"
Goldvanius sighed, "I can't. Not yet.. I have to finish my training."
Rowan looked confused. "What are you being trained to do?" Goldvanius replied by promptly lifting a small rock into the air with the force. "You're training to be a force-user?" Rowan gasped.
"Yes, and I'm training under a Mystic here who's very wise and knows the Force well. Once I am done with that, I will proceed to finally get off this rock." Goldvanius replied.
The next day, they boke woke up and planned their days. "Well, I am going to head to the spaceport. Not sure where I'll go.. it'll be somewhere better than here though." Rowan said.
"Sounds good.. I'll be heading back to my master. Good luck." Goldvanius said.
"Thanks, you too." Rowan said. "Oh, and..."
"Call me Dent. People call me Dentface... so just call me Dent." Rowan, or "Dentface" said.
"Alright.. will do, Dent." Goldvanius responded.
They parted their ways and returned to their journeys. A couple hours later, Goldvanius returned to Arkal with proof of what he had accomplished.
"Ah, you have done well. And so has Bersa. She's completed her training, and in two days a Republic shuttle will be here to pick her up to take her to the Jedi Temple." Arkal said.
"Republic? Wait, you're telling me that the Republic and the Jedi work together?" Goldvanius asked, offended at the mere mentioning of the Republic.
"Yes, of course. The Jedi serve the Republic, the Republic serve the Jedi." Arkal replied calmly.
"I'm sorry, master... but if you're training me to become a Jedi - and the Jedi work with the Republic, I cannot allow you to train me." Goldvanius protested.
"Why is that?" Arkal asked confusingly.
"Sir... Republic troopers killed my family." Goldvanius said with a stern but steady face. Arkal looked troubled by this.
"Are you sure? That doesn't add up.."
"Yes!" Goldvanius raised his voice. "I know it was them, I've seen images... they stormed in and slaughtered my entire family mercilessly. I will NEVER join them, I'd die before doing so!"
"No, I will not calm down... you intend to send me off with the likes of the very people who destroyed my life! I cannot accept that!" Goldvanius complained.
"I said calm DOWN!" Arkal's risen voice echoed through the halls of his temple. It sounded off with great power and authority. "I was once a Jedi... but I have befriended those who are known as the Sith."
"Sith? What's a Sith"? - after a few minutes of Arkal explaining what the Sith Order and the Empire was all about, Goldvanius realized that the Sith Empire and the Jedi's Republic were on the verge of a galactic war. He remembered Baz telling him that Arkal had protected them from the war.
"I do not usually allow my apprentices to become Sith... despite their useful thirst for power and knowledge of the Force and its secrets... their ways are tough, cruel, and uncivilized... many die attempting their trials, while lies and deception corrupt even their highest ranks." Arkal explained.
"Still sounds better to me than an organization that sends its dogs to kill innocent families without a second thought." Goldvanius muttered and looked away, but Arkal grabbed his shoulder and focused his eyes on him.
"I do not believe the Republic sent those troopers to kill your family, Goldvanius. They could've just been using the uniforms of Republic troopers, or maybe they're Republics gone rogue..." Arkal began,
"No! I won't do it. If you train me, I will become a Sith. It sounds like they're more powerful anyway." Goldvanius pleaded. Arkal just sighed, but he was seemingly left with no other option.
"Fine then - I will train you in the ways of the Force, and then you will proceed to the Sith Trials on Korriban... but know this." Arkal's voice grew stern, "It's not my fault if you die trying." He said coldly.
Chapter Six: TrainingEdit
Goldvanius had trained under Arkal, the "Mystic" for a few days. He'd learned how to summon the Force to aid him in situations, and he'd been given food and water to regain his strength from his journey. But now it was time for more.
"You've done well," Arkal said, "but not well enough for Sith training."
"What next?" Goldvanius asked, eager to learn more. Arkal led him outside of his temple to the field Goldvanius had seen outside of his window.
"You can lift small objects with the telekinetic Force. Now lift something bigger." Arkal instructed. He pointed Goldvanius to a large rock.
"That's pretty big..." he hesitated.
"Yup." Arkal replied quickly. Goldvanius concentrated his power. After about thirty seconds, he managed to lift the rock into the air, his expression exhausted and his senses focused. Vanius learned to pick up other objects with the force, eventually managing to lift an entire tent emplacement when he had maximum resolve.
Three more days of training passed. Arkal presented him with another task.
"Now you must build up your force resistance." Arkal ordered.
"My what?" Goldvanius questioned, ignorant to this term.
"Go ahead." Arkal replied calmly. "Pick me up."
"With the force?" Goldvanius asked.
"As if you could actually lift me up yourself." Arkal chuckled. Goldvanius rolled his eyes and launched his hands out at the towering Cathar. He channeled all of his force power, summoning his telekinesis to attempt and pick up this man .......... nothing happened.
"It won't work..." Goldvanius stated, puzzled by this.
"It won't work because I'm so connected with the Force, that it won't betray me." Arkal explained. "I've built up Force resistance. I can resist other Force-users' control."
"You want me to learn this?" Goldvanius asked.
"Indeed." Arkal declared before launching one hand toward Goldvanius. He bent his hand downward and Goldvanius fell face-forward straight to the ground. He hesitated.
"I...." he stuttered, "I can't get up!" he panicked.
"That is because I'm controlling the force to keep you there." Arkal explained.
"How do I stop it?" Goldvanius asked desperately.
"Get up." Arkal said plainly.
"Use the Force." Arkal instructed.
"I'm trying..." he said frustratedly. "I can't..."
"You must communicate with the force. Talk with it. Speak with it!"
"Aaghh..." Goldvanius grunted. He had his palms on the ground and was trying to lift his back upwards like a pushup. But no matter how hard he pushed, he could not get up.
"Summon the force! Tell it to aid you." Arkal explained, simply holding his hand out effortlessly to keep Goldvanius in place.
"Please!" Goldvanius pleaded. "Help me! Help me get up..." he managed to lift his head up to look at Arkal.
"No!" Arkal said, strengthening his connection and sending Goldvanius back down to the ground, who spat out some dirt and scoffed. "Do not beg! Do not ask!" Arkal ordered, "Do not request!"
"But..." Goldvanius attempted to speak.
"Begging will get you nothing!" Arkal said sternly. "Don't ask... tell! Order! Demand!"
"Aarghhh..." Goldvanius struggled. He got himself up to where his arms were stretching out and his face wasn't touching the ground.
"Go on, then." Arkal said impatiently. "Command the Force!"
"You will... let me up..." he couldn't speak properly. "You will let me up!!" Goldvanius ordered, staring straight at Arkal, who simply sent another wave of energy at him which sent him splat onto the ground again.
"Don't tell me!" Arkal ordered. "Tell the Force! Channel the living force within you! You are stroooong with the force, now show it! Demonstrate your power over the Force! Command it!" Goldvanius got back to the position he had gotten into twice before. His groans were almost like shouting now.
"I will not be kept down..." he said to the Force. "I will not be overpowered like some weak victim!" He began rising up. "I WILL STAND!" he demanded. "Ahhh!" he shouted as he broke through the telekinetic wave and stood up.
"Good... good!" Arkal complimented. "Now again!" he ordered as he sent Goldvanius down again. Anger and ambition filled his face. Goldvanius tried harder and harder, pushing his muscles and commanding his force energies. He beat the wave again. Arkal added more strength as he gave Vanius the same lesson over and over again. "You're going to be training under the Sith... they expect you to be the best of the best if you are to thrive!" he pushed harder, trying to keep Goldvanius down without using all of his strength.
"I am!!" Goldvanius replied.
"Are you!?" Arkal questioned. "Then prove it!"
"I will!" Goldvanius shouted, instantly breaking a strong force barrier with his own resistance. The simulation occured several times that day, wearing Goldvanius' energy down for hours. After continually strengthening alterations, Goldvanius got frustrated. "You're actually trying hard to keep me down now! I've learned enough!"
"Have you?" Arkal questioned as he sent Goldvanius back down again instantly. Another hour of torment went by as the same routine continued.
"This is enough!" Goldvanius pleaded.
"Then do something about it!" Arkal instructed. This got Goldvanius thinking. And with the next, harder push down Goldvanius patiently stood up, saving his force energy for something unique. As he stood up and beat the force grip, he held his hands back, summoned his energy and launched a force wave at Arkal, knocking him back a few feet. The Cathar Mystic just chuckled, got up, and pushed Goldvanius backwards. This time he landed on his back.
"Very nice." He said. "But try this now." Arkal grinned. A couple hours passed as Goldvanius learned various techniques to resist enemies' force attacks. Night fell as both master and apprentice headed to bed.
The next day brought forth another challenge to Goldvanius - lightsaber combat. Arkal handed him a training blade that lit itself with yellow energy.
"I've never used one of these before..." Goldvanius hesitated. Arkal chuckled.
"Ha, that's just a training saber." He laughed.
"So, what now?" Goldvanius asked, anxious to try this new weapon.
"Go ahead, strike me with it." Arkal said. Goldvanius launched his weapon forward clumsily and the Mystic simply stepped aside to avoid the blow. "Now now... not everything is that simple." He taught Goldvanius how to hold and wield this blade, teaching him the basic lightsaber technique of Shii-cho, explaining how it is the simplest of the forms. Instructed to attack, Goldvanius kept launching forward at Arkal, who eventually gave up dodging and pulled his own blade. It glowed with a copper-color beam, matching the Mystic's golden armor. Goldvanius continued hacking away at him, but Arkal never even adjusted his footing. He simply stood there, parrying the attacks. However, he didn't seem to mind the fact that Goldvanius wasn't making any blows. Occasionally Arkal would send his blade forward after one of his parries, and this caused Goldvanius to swoop back and block the attack. He struggled with this, and after an hour went on of what seemed like useless training he finally questioned his master.
"Shouldn't we try something else?" he asked.
"I taught you the basic version of Shii-cho. How do you like it so far?" Arkal ignored his quesiton.
"No." Goldvanius replied abruptly. "I like that it allows you to be cautious of any incoming attacks, but the moves you showed me aren't even affecting you. I need something better."
"Well, to be fair you've only tried it for an hour. Have at it again, but this time attack my former apprentice, Bersa." He said as he summoned her out of the temple. She had simple brown robes and short-cut black hair, her expression clean and calm. "Her Jedi shuttle has not yet arrived. Perhaps you can spar with her." Goldvanius and Bersa began dueling. While Bersa didn't put forth much effort, she at least had to use some energy to block his attacks. Another hour passed, with Goldvanius breaking in his new weapon and learning more of the Shii-cho technique.
"Are there many other forms?" Goldvanius asked.
"Yes, of course." Arkal answered.
"Show me another?" Goldvanius requested.
"Fine then. Another form is the Makashi style, often used by the Sith." Arkal explained. It took two hours for Arkal to teach Goldvanius about Makashi, and he hadn't even used it yet. This style was more quick, agile and lethal, attempting killing blows and often striking deadly cuts to the opponent. However, it was best demonstrated with a curved hilt - something Arkal did not have to give to Goldvanius.
"You now know of Makashi. The Sith will teach you that, should you choose to train under them." Arkal said. "For now, I will teach you another style. One that compliments Makashi well."
"And what is that?" Goldvanius asked.
"It's called the Soresu form, and it's a completely defensive-based technique." Arkal stated. Arkal then taught him that style, and by that time daylight was beginning to fade.
"Now you've learned that style. You've used a spear before, and you've used the basic technique. Now, defend yourself from Bersa." Arkal said. "Bersa, don't go easy on him."
"Yes, master." Bersa spoke for the first time that day. She was equipped with patience and respect, truly a Jedi Padawan. But she didn't seem so nice once she started attacking. She wielded a double-bladed purple lightsaber. Goldvanius could barely defend himself from her attacks, but even despite his little training and his blade being low-graded, he kept her at bay for quite some time. Whenever she started to overpower him, he adjusted his footing and blocked the attack. He seemed quite good at defending himself with his saber, but not once did he try to attack her. More hours passed as Goldvanius ignored his tired body and kept sparring with Bersa, having little breaks and but one cup of water every hour. Bersa eventually spoke up.
"Master, you have taught this one well. No matter what I do with my saber, he will not give in. Perhaps if I could use the force as well to defeat him?" Bersa asked.
"Very well." Arkal replied calmly. She immediately used the Force to throw a large stone at him, disarming him and knocking him back. She charged forward to display her victory, but Goldvanius used the Force to call his blade to him, along with his spear which was a few yards away sitting with the rest of his supplies.
"If she can use other techniques, so can I." He declared. Arkal seemed impressed by this, his face growing more interested in the duel as Goldvanius blocked a blow from Bersa. She struck at him continuously, throwing in force pushes and knocking Goldvanius back. He was losing, but he wasn't defeated yet. He dodged a rock she threw at him, blocked another strike from her saber and then used his spear to disrupt her footing, sending her back on the defensive as he threw a force shove at her, set his spear in its holster and used both of his hands to deliver a high-held blow with his lightsaber. She managed to block this, and the duel went on for another ten minutes until finally Arkal clapped and told them it was over.
"Well done, the both of you!" He said. "Goldvanius, you are shaping up quite well. And Bersa, you never fail to impress me. You will make a great Jedi." He complimented. It was dark now, and the three retreated to their rooms for another night of sleep.
The next day Arkal taught Goldvanius how to wield an actual lightsaber. The color crystal he had was yellow and the hilt was rusty, clearly meant for but a learner, but to Goldvanius this was a major change. He admired his new weapon. He learned more defensive moves with Soresu, and Arkal even showed him how to turn that form into something offensive when need be. That day passed quickly too as Goldvanius learned more and more.
After a week, he'd grown very skilled with a lightsaber and his force abilities, until finally he was allowed to duel with Arkal himself, and this time the Mystic had to actually work a bit - not that he was actually trying that hard, but he had to do much more than just stand there this time around. Goldvanius grew comfortable with this, even to the point where he'd start striking up a conversation with Arkal during their duels.
"So..." Goldvanius began, "I never asked you this."
"Hmm?" Arkal asked calmly, parrying Goldvanius' blows and sending another at him.
"They say you can control the weather." Vanius said, blocking the attack. "Is that true?" Arkal sparred with one hand, holding out his other as clouds grew darker nearby. A wind gust blew by them, sending dust and sand everywhere. Goldvanius lost focus on the duel, admiring this power. "Incredible... how do you do this?" he asked.
"Come now... I can't tell you everything." Arkal said mysteriously as he looked up at the sky, but he then launched his blade at Goldvanius fiercely, and Vanius barely managed to block the attack, groaning in struggle at the surprise attack. "One thing I can tell you, though, is never let your guard down. Remain focused! Do not distract yourself during combat." Arkal instructed. Goldvanius nodded.
"So, did you cause that rain storm a few years ago?" Goldvanius questioned. Arkal grinned.
"Indeed, I did." Arkal responded shortly, continuing their duel.
"Why? Were you too warm or something?" Goldvanius asked, a hint of sarcasm in his voice.
"No." Arkal said coldly. "One with my power does not summon a storm simply because he's 'too warm'..."
"Why then?" Goldvanius asked.
"I have a friend... a very powerful friend. She has a strong connection to the Force, and can see visions of the future." Arkal stated. "She told me that she saw a vision... a vision of a terrible villain coming to Aargonar and wrecking havoc." Arkal explained.
"When it rains here, everyone comes out into the open. Even the Sith." Arkal said.
"So... it was a way to call everyone out?" Goldvanius questioned.
"Yes." Arkal replied, "I searched to see if there was anyone capable of such an act of terror... I found nothing. He must come from another planet whenever he attacks. Nonetheless, I will be ready."
"I've heard more stories about you... they say you summoned a storm before?" Goldvanius mentioned.
"Ah, yes. That was many years ago. There was a Jedi who crash-landed here and sought refuge in Toramas." Arkal said, his voice growing cold. "He brought the war here with him."
"War?" Goldvanius asked. "What happened?"
"The Empire sent a massive force here to take him down, and anything in their way got ransacked as well. The possible outcome was.. disasterous." Arkal replied sternly. "I was forced to summon a massive thunderstorm... it wiped out the Imperial troops, the lightning did the trick... but I never forget how many lives I was forced to take that day."
"And what about that Jedi?" Goldvanius questioned, interested in this story.
"I came down to the town and told him he was not welcome on Aargonar. I arranged for him to have safe passage to Tython, and that was all of it." Arkal replied.
"For someone who's as connected to the Force as you are, you don't seem very fond of either the Sith or the Jedi..." Goldvanius assumed.
"Oh no, I'm fine with both of them. I was a Jedi for many years, indeed." Arkal said.
"And why aren't you one now?" Goldvanius asked. Arkal sighed, and hesitated before he spoke.
"I was framed by a very terrible... monster," he paused, "for a terrible act." Arkal explained.
"Couldn't the Jedi figure it out then?"
"No... he used a potent black magic to fool them into believing it was me. I had nothing to combat his power." Arkal responded.
"You call him a monster... was he a wookiee or something?" Goldvanius asked ignorantly.
"No no, he was a man... he just behaved as a terrible, unstoppable beast." Arkal said.
"Wait... if the Jedi think you did something wrong, why are they letting you train Bersa?" Goldvanius questioned.
"They do not know I am training her." Arkal replied, "I've always paid a bounty-hunter named Sandro to deliver my Jedi apprentices to Tython."
"Do the Jedi not wonder how a Bounty-hunter found trained Force-sensitives?"
"He delivers them for free, no questions asked..." Arkal explained. "And the Jedi need as many as they can get. But enough of that, let us continue sparring."
That night Goldvanius was in his accommodation preparing for a night's rest after his laborious training when he overheard Bersa speaking with Arkal.
"Master... I need to speak with you." She said, intercepting him in the hallway as he was about to retire to his chambers. "I've felt a great disturbance in the Force... I cannot explain it, I just feel as if I should be seeing something and I'm not."
"Do you feel concerned for someone else?" Arkal asked her as Goldvanius got out of bed and eavesdropped, curious about this incident.
"No, it's something else." Bersa responded, her voice calm but concerned. She spoke with a maturity, it was apparent to Goldvanius that she had been taught well in the ways of peace-keeping. He wondered why the Republic troopers --who supposedly worked with the Jedi-- slaughtered his family. It baffled him to this day - and he decided then he'd do whatever it took to figure it all out. "I sense that there's something I need to prevent... something that might happen to you, Master."
"Have you any idea what this might be?" Arkal questioned, growing worried. His tone turned to a deep, serious note when Bersa replied.
"I see death," she answered, "and it frightens me."
"Do not be afraid, Bersa." Arkal attempted to comfort her, but it was clear to both her and Goldvanius that he was concerned, his complexion troubled and unsure of his safety. "I will do what I can to unravel these disturbances of yours."
"Thank you." She said, slightly relieved by Arkal's words. Goldvanius returned to his bed before he was seen. The next day brought more training for Goldvanius, who was becoming acclimated to lightsaber combat and using the Force. He was no master at it, but he could do simple tasks with ease. Arkal began teaching him some more lightsaber techniques. He launched forward with his own blade, forcing Goldvanius to block.
"And now, down to the right." He instructed, Goldvanius obeying and swinging his lightsaber in that direction. "Now attempt an upper left cut." Goldvanius did this, but Arkal redirected his blade and sent his toward Goldvanius, nearly slicing his face. "Remember, always keep your defense up even if you're advancing to attack your opponent."
"But how can I defend if I'm attacking?" he asked in confusion.
"It's simple!" Arkal replied, "Just keep attacking, only while predicting what the enemy will do - be ready for a counterattack." They continued their training, Goldvanius learning how to defend himself with his blade. Later, Arkal received a message which Goldvanius could not hear. He immediately went to inform Bersa of this. Goldvanius couldn't hear what they were saying, but he noticed a look of ecstasy on Bersa's face. Goldvanius approached them to see what had happened. "Bersa's shuttle to the Jedi Temple is on its way here." Arkal explained. "I would like to give you one last chance to defeat her in combat."
"Master, do you really think he could beat me in a fair fight?" Bersa retorted.
"Do not be prideful, Bersa... you are a Jedi." Arkal responded, "You are to be humble and friendly."
"Very well..." Bersa said. Goldvanius was a bit set off by her apparent arrogance. He felt he could at least stand a good chance against her.
"I will take you deeper into the mountains... there are some woods suitable for training." Arkal suggested.
"Why are we going there?" Goldvanius asked.
"You will see." Arkal promised. "Pack your supplies... we make for the woods." Goldvanius suited up in his hunting vest, grabbing his lightsaber and his spear as he followed Arkal on his next task.
Chapter Seven: The ChallengeEditArkal led Goldvanius and Bersa to a small forest located extremely deep in the wilderness of Aargonar. There was no sign of civilization anywhere nearby other than an abandoned settlement in the far distance. They had hiked for two hours through the intense heat, finally reaching their destination.
"Why are we here, master?" Bersa asked. Arkal closed his eyes and held his hands out to each of his sides, inhaling and concentrating deeply as he began summoning his Force power. Eventually, he exhaled slowly. Clouds began structuring themselves, forming into a large system of storms in the air above them.
"What are you doing?" Goldvanius asked.
"In this challenge you will be tasked with minding your surrounding environment, defeating your enemy despite existing obstacles, and refraining from using lethal force in combat." Arkal explained. "Bersa, as a Jedi, it is very important for you to be able to fight off opponents without killing them."
"Yes, Master." Bersa cooperated. Goldvanius grew confused as the wind picked up in the area, but there was no rain. He was startled when a bolt of lightning crashed into a tree.
"This storm will only have wind and lightning... avoid any dangers these elements might bring forth." Arkal instructed. "You will be allotted one hour to complete this duel... if you take longer than that, this training session will close in a draw. Your goal is to disarm and defeat the opponent." Goldvanius readied himself, not sure if he'd be able to defeat Bersa, but confident he'd at least put up a good fight. "You may begin." Arkal commanded. Bersa ignited her double-bladed purple lightsaber and swung at Goldvanius, who immediately side-stepped the attack and brought forth his own yellow lightsaber. He swung a high slash at her, but she deflected it effortlessly and continued her attack, speedily attacking with both sides of her blade. Goldvanius retreated into the woods, sending twigs and brush at her with the Force before jumping up onto a rock, launching himself into the air and grabbing ahold of a branch, using it to swing and kick her in the face. He landed next to her, and he was about to display his victory when she nudged her foot into his and knocked him over. Goldvanius rolled to safety, only to be startled by a massive lightning bolt striking a tree near him. They both regained their footing when Bersa took a more Force-based approach, lifting up two large rocks from opposite directions and sending them at Goldvanius, who leaped forward in a roll to dodge them, igniting his blade shortly after and blocking an attack from her saber. She walked backwards while dueling him, venturing deeper into the woods as lightning crashed at random places and the wind blew leaves and twigs around violently. Goldvanius was on the offensive, but she parried one of his attacks and slashed at his arm.
Goldvanius ducked to his left, running through a dense area of brush as he regained himself, sending a wave of dirt at her and hiding away behind a tree.
"Two can play at that game." Bersa declared as she lunged forward through the bushes, sliced Goldvanius' leg with her lightsaber and ran away into a deeper thicket. Lightning struck at various trees, beginning to burn the forest and start small fires. Goldvanius attempted to chase Bersa through the madness. Eventually, lightning crashed down right next to him. Instinctively, he dropped his weapon and held his hands toward the hazard as he sidestepped to try and avoid it, his eyes blurred by the event. He felt burning on his palms, and as he regained sight he saw that he had caught live lightning in his hands. It was bouncing back and forth between his fingers, a bright glow of light evolving from it. His eyes widened as he tried to get rid of it by moving his hands away from each other. An electric sound descended from his hands as his attempt to rid himself of the electricity only strengthened it. The lightning was binding itself around each of his hands now, crackling at every direction simultaneously. Suddenly, Bersa leaped out of the brush, her saber ignited on both ends as she lunged at Goldvanius to attack. Frightened and shocked, Vanius flung his electrically-infused hands at her, closing his eyes as he only hoped for the best. The blast sent him back, but he found his hands no longer burning as only a few bolts of lightning slithered away from his fingers. Slowly, he got up and grabbed his weapon. He found Bersa lying on the ground between a bush and a tree with burn marks all over her arms and stomach. When she saw him, she struggled to get up and stabilize her footing.
"You really are a Sith, then... aren't you?" She questioned, her voice abnormal and her position disfigured.
"What?" Goldvanius replied with a question, only confused that he was able to hold lightning in his bare hands.
"The Sith can manipulate elements... espeically lightning, to strike down their opponents," Bersa explained. "It's not something a Jedi would ever do."
"Why not?" Goldvanius smirked. "Seems pretty helpful to me..."
"You're just like the rest of them..." Bersa looked aside and chuckled.
"The rest of who?"
"The Sith, of course!" Bersa shouted as she fixated her eyes on Goldvanius. "The Sith deal in absolutes... the Sith believe in completely obliterating the enemy... they believe that witchcraft like Force Lightning is justifiable,"
"And why isn't it?" Goldvanius interrupted her.
"Because it's wrong!" She raised her voice again, grabbing her lightsaber hilt and gripping it firmly. "Attacks like that do no good... they're used for nothing but offense... naught but harm and injury to the enemy. It's a form of torture."
"Well I can assure you I wasn't trying to torture you... the lightning came at me, I didn't even know what I was doing...."
"What do you think our master is doing?" Bersa narrowed her eyes. "He's training a Sith and a Jedi at the same time... isn't that a bit contradictory?"
"Well, it's not like we'll be fighting each other... there are thousands of star systems, I highly doubt we'll meet again." Goldvanius stated.
"Are you clueless? The Sith Empire has already killed Jedi..... they've shown themselves, and the Jedi Order is negotiating with the Republic to enter a war with them. There have already been skirmishes. It won't be long before gargantuan battles take place." Bersa continued as lightning struck trees all around her. "And that means Sith, and Jedi facing each other on the battle field."
"We'll just have to make a truce, then." Goldvanius suggested.
"Do you hear yourself? The Sith believe that peace is a lie..."
"Well it is!" Goldvanius interrupted, "but that doesn't mean pointless conflict is needed. We don't have to kill each other."
"If only that were true...." she frowned. "You've shown you can truly be a Sith... now let me show you why Jedi are superior so that we can end this duel." she ignited her lightsabers and pushed the bushes around her side, launching an attack on Goldvanius. Unprepared, he was only able to block a few strikes before being sliced on the arm, but he dodged a strike and retreated further into the woods. When he came across a small rock ledge blocking his way, he climbed up it and turned around to find that Bersa was no longer following him. His expression turned to confusion, and then frustration as he heard a noise behind him. As he turned around, Bersa landed firmly on her feet, a couple of branches falling from the tree above. Goldvanius charged at her blade first, violently dueling the young Jedi in an intense moment of swordplay. He persisted with his attack, entering a state of detrimental rage as she simply dodged or parried his attacks. Vanius became fatigued, and Bersa took advantage of this by kicking his lightsaber away from him and down over the rock ledge. She then kicked him backward into a tree and held her lightsaber to his throat. Bersa's face of victory quickly formed into a facial expression of worry and fear.
"Damn..." Goldvanius sighed, unaware of her thoughts. "Guess you've won."
"This is the moment I've been seeing..." Bersa explained. "a moment of death..."
"What?" Goldvanius asked. "But how? You've beaten me, how could I kill you?"
"It's not my death.... nor even my master's, that I'm feeling...." she turned to him. He frowned. "I saw death, and I saw Arkal in pain.... but now I understand it's not he who dies."
"You've defeated me... why would you kill me?"
"You've become a Sith, Goldvanius... and as a Jedi, it's my job to keep the peace." She continued, "my job to destroy anyone who fights against peace, to defeat anyone who brings war to the galaxy... to kill the Sith. You are all decadent warmongers."
"Did you just say keep the peace by killing people?" Goldvanius asked, confused.
"By destroying those who bring evil to this world." She stared at him with stern eyes. "I've feared this moment for days... but now I realize what I must do."
"Seriously? I'm exhausted and defeated.. what harm could I bring? What did I do to deserve this!?"
"You follow the Sith, that's what!" she yelled, emotions filling her face.
"You're just like the rest of the Republic, aren't you?" Goldvanius became angry. "If someone inconveniences you, just kill them, right?" He laughed, "doesn't sound very peaceful to me..."
"This is my duty!" she declared as she began to swing her blade toward him, but he slid to his right to dodge the attack. "You cannot prevent this!" she yelled as she tried to jam her blade through his stomach, but he rolled to the side and she simply sent her blade into the ground. She retracted and swung for another blow - he called upon his saber using the force to try and block the attack, but just as he ignited she altered her blade's course and smashed the hilt of his saber, destroying it. She swung again with the other side of her lightsaber, but he ducked and then snuck his hand toward her to grab her saber and throw it behind her, sending it a few yards away with the Force. Bersa then back-flipped away. Agitated, she lost her patience and Force-shoved him back, sending him off the rock ledge as she endeavored to retrieve her weapon. He jumped up onto the ledge again, unsheathing his spear as he walked forward a few steps and aimed. He wanted to hit her leg, and seeing a fallen branch in the way just ahead of her, --knowing she'd choose to jump over it-- he threw his spear upwards. However, she did something unexpected... she slid under the branch, dirt crashing everywhere around her, the wind blowing leaves in all directions and lightning smashing into trees nearby. As she re-adjusted her body to run normally, the spear struck her almost immediately thereafter. Gasping as the blade impaled straight through her stomach, she came to a halt and fell down right in front of her lightsaber hilt. Goldvanius gasped as he realized what he had done. He didn't even see it clearly, but he felt through the Force that something major had just happened. He walked over to her slowly, only visually seeing what had happened when he walked past the branch. He closed his eyes and exhaled. Suddenly, he realized she was still breathing a slight bit. Desperate to avoid being punished, he called upon his master. It hadn't quite been an hour yet, but Arkal seemed prepared to venture into the woods. He sent the clouds away, ending the storm as he rushed over to see why Goldvanius was calling him
"What's happened" He asked in confusion as he moved past the branch. "My word!" He swiftly ran over to her body. He pulled the spear out of her and turned her around to face upward.
"I failed, Ma-" Bersa began before her words turned into a session of coughing.
"What have you done!?" Arkal seemed angry for the first time ever.
"I'm sorry, Master... I"
"You expect to be excused from this!?" He raised his voice. "I specifically told you to disarm the opponent... what foul play is this!?" - Goldvanius attempted to speak, but Arkal held his hand up to stop him. "No... I see. You believe this was an accident."
"Yes, of course, Master.. why wou-" he was cut off again
"There are no accidents, my apprentice... never. My word, I should have seen this... I cannot believe it has come to this."
"What do you mean?"
"This was a warning to me, Goldvanius..."
"Apparently training you wasn't enough for me to realize this.... it took a tragedy for the Force to display the message."
"That you are far too dangerous.... I've failed you."
"No, Master, I've failed y-" again, cut off.
"No!" He shouted. "As an apprentice, you've become too arrogant with your abilities... to attempt a ranged attack with a spear without killing the opponent is a major gamble..."
"but-" Goldvanius was once again, cut off.
"A MAJOR gamble... why would you do such a thing!?"
"She was going to kill me! I had to stop her somehow!"
"What do you mean she was going to kill you?" Arkal seemed confsued by this.
"She said so herself, she said I was a Sith and that I should be destroyed."
"She must have seen something terrible in you if so..." Arkal said. "of course... she saw death. This is what she saw." His face grew thin. "I should have seen this."
"Why didn't you, then?" Goldvanius asked. "If you know it was a ranged attack, then you're connected with the Force.... why can't you see something like this?"
"I don't know, I....." Arkal's eyes widened. "The Dark Side...." Arkal mumbled.
"The Dark Side clouds visions... of course..."
"I don't understand, Master." Goldvanius said.
"I trained you to become a Sith, and that's exactly what you've become. I just thought..." he looked down.
"Thought what?" Goldvanius asked.
"I thought you would be different. I felt something... unique in you, Goldvanius. I made a mistake."
"I'm sorry..." Goldvanius was filled with regret, anger, guilt and frustration. Arkal gave Bersa a proper burial, and the two returned to the temple. A few hours passed before the bounty-hunter Sandro arrived to take Bersa to Tython.
"Alrighty!" Sandro was filled with random joy. He had a tan Tionese chestplate with circular blue energy-binders located in various places across his chest. He had four rocket thrusters protruding out of his back. His helmt was a standard bounty-hunter helmet with a small antenna extending from the top of it. "Where is she, you ready for me to take her?" he asked, his voice showing a unqiue accent that Goldvanius couldn't make out.
"She's not going, Sandro." Arkal said sternly.
"Well why not, did she Force-choke someone on accident or somethin'?" Sandro responded.
"She's dead." Arkal showed no formality in his words.
"Well.... that escalated quickly." Sandro's happy demeanor suffered a major hindrance at that point.
"Sandro, go ahead and take this apprentice to Korriban."
"Wait.. what? A Sith?" Sandro seemed taken back. "No-ho-ho, mate... you know it didn't go well last time."
"But... I haven't finished my trai--" Goldvanius began
"Oh, come on! That was years ago... remind me what happened again?" Arkal asked.
"Gratefespeedds found the Jedi Holocrons I was carrying... almost reported me to the Council for conspiring with the Jedi... he made me buy him a damn gizka!" Sandro complained.
"Well, I'm sure he's over that now... make a comment about his son or something... I'm sure he'll let you through." Arkal suggested.
"Are you kiddin' me? His son wants to become a Voss!" Sandro scoffed. "No way he wants to be reminded of that kid while he's dealing with shipments... he hates being at home. His work is his only escape, I hear."
"Well... I don't know, think of something! I'm sure you'll be able to." Arkal requested.
"Fine, but up my pay... that guy's tough to deal with... always sees the negatives in life." Sandro demanded.
"Wait!" Goldvanius protested. "Hold on a minute.... what about my training?"
"Goldvanius, you've put me in a great dilemma. The Jedi Order is expecting an apprentice from Sandro, I was expecting to have a great friend in the Sith Empire... now look what you've done. I cannot train you anymore... you will be sent off to Korriban to train in the Academy." Arkal ordered.
"You will have no say in the matter, Goldvanius... I've made up my mind. I will no longer be training any more apprentices. I am to go into exile, now... for good." Arkal explained. Sandro and his crew moved Goldvanius into their ship. "Oh, Sandro..." Arkal mentioned.
"Have you seen him lately?" Arkal asked.
"Nope... last sighting was two weeks ago, but I've had a couple of reports that he might be hiding on Voss." Sandro replied.
"Hmmmmm" Arkal thought on this for a moment. "Go ahead and send Brinya with a search party... I feel it's time we end this mission."
"Very well." Sandro nodded and proceeded into his ship. "I hate going to Korriban..."
"Why is that?" Goldvanius asked as the ship took off into the air, slowly moving into space.
"Oh-ho-ho!" Sandro laughed, "you'll see..." the shuttle launched into space.
Chapter Eight: The Sith AcademyEdit
In a shuttle, Goldvanius was on his way to the Sith home world, Korriban. His training had abruptly ended when he killed his fellow student. Unsure of where he was heading, he held on to his chair nervously as Sandro piloted their shuttle into hyperspace. Goldvanius had never been in space before, and he wasn't enjoying it one bit. He couldn't steel himself enough to look outside through the window in the front of the ship. Instead, he closed his eyes and waited for the flight to come to an end. He couldn't sleep, no, but he simply envisioned himself becoming more powerful. He wanted to obliterate his enemies, he wanted to learn more. Despite his ambitious desires, though, he found himself a bit frightened. He'd heard bad things about Korriban, and he wasn't looking forward to dealing with more disrespectful slobs who he'd end up adding to his kill list. He did enjoy imagining himself killing those slobs, though... the more he removed from the galaxy, the better, right?
"Almost there." Sandro said. Goldvanius opened his eyes, rebooting a bit as he'd apparently been daydreaming for some time. The ship exited hyperspace, entering the atmosphere of Korriban. Goldvanius finally looked out of the window, gazing upon the planet he was about to land on.
"Looks almost as dry as Aargonar." He muttered.
"Eh, it ain't that bad... not til the worms eat'cha, anyway!" Sandro shouted cheerfully as he sent the ship down toward the planet. Goldvanius readied himself, clutching his chair with excitement and fear as they landed on a small platform extending itself from a small building. A few minutes passed before Goldvanius could handle standing up. He did so cautiously, saving his energy for what might be ahead. They stepped out of the shuttle. Welcoming them was a large, semi-muscular man with a slightly chubby stomach. He was accompanied by a jawa.
"Gratefespeedds!" Sandro attempted to act cheerful.
"You've got a recruit again? You remember what happened last time--" the man began, shaking his head.
"Trust me, Grat... you'll make good use of this one." Sandro responded. The man grumbled, still shaking his head...
"No, Sandro, no..." Grat began, "you worked with Jedi, I shouldn't bother with your people. In fact, I should report you! I was kind enough not to last time... but mark my words, if you don't get outta here with this meatbag, I'll send ya straight to the worm pits!" he finished, his jawa companion agreeing with a strange noise.
"Hey!" Goldvanius spoke up, his eyebrows narrowed and his eyes fixated on the man.
"What's this!?" The man seemed offended.
"I've basically put everything on this... coming here and becoming Sith," Goldvanius said, "so if you deny me access here... well let's just say I've got nothing."
"Yeah, and what's your point? You try'na make me sympathize for ya? HAH-hahahaha." Grat greasily laughed,
"Not at all." Goldvanius' voice was stern and serious. "If you don't let me in here, I've got nothing to lose... so if I were to killed you, whatever punishment the people here come up with wouldn't really be that bad, now would it?" Goldvanius grabbed his spear and pointed it toward the man, shocking him to an extreme limit.
"You dare act that way to me!?" The man grew angry, "I've been here fifteen years... ain't no apprentice gonna talk to me like that!" He said as he grabbed his blaster and pointed it at Goldvanius. Vanius, however, simply lunged forward and used his spear to knock away the weapon, inching closer toward the man.
"Let's try this again... you let me in, or we both go flying down there." Goldvanius said to the man, who noticed that Sandro wasn't going to stop the young apprentice.
"Ahh, fine... I can see why you chose this place anyway." Grat mumbled, reluctantly allowing Goldvanius in and paying Sandro for the delivery, as per the routine. "Don't think I won't remember this, Sandro!" he shouted.
As Goldvanius walked into the building, he noticed a man shoving away others as he made his way to the front of the group. There were several people gathered around one man in a red suit with matching red hair.
"Got room for one more, sir?" Grat asked.
"I'm in the middle of a session you sack of fat!" The man raised his voice.
"Sir, this one's from a bountyhunter. I paid 'em!" Grat pleaded.
"Oh, fine... nobody minds late-arrivers," The man continued, "they always make for easy acolyte kills."
"Excuse me?" Goldvanius asked.
"Don't say 'excuse me' in that ungrateful tone, slave! Just because you're not from a 'batch' doesn't mean you'll be treated any differently. I hope you don't think you're special. "
"I never said I was special, but--" Goldvanius was interrupted.
"Boy, don't talk back to Overseer Harkun. It'll end badly for ya," Grat mentioned.
"Hah! There's a loyal sack of meat right there for you..." Harkun said with a slight smile on his face. "I'm tempted to let 'em eat'cha... but I think it'll be more fun seeing the acolytes rip you apart with their little training blades."
"I highly doubt that'll happen." Goldvanius said, ignoring Grat's advice.
"As if you somehow had control over it... oh, I hope you don't let freedom get to your head..."
"There's no such thing as freedom, ' sir '..." Goldvanius commented.
"There you go again with your disrespectful tone! I could just send you off the cliff, slave... but at least you'll make good entertainment getting slaughtered." Harkun scoffed. "Lord Zash has tasked me with sorting through you slaves to find her a proper apprentice... seeing as your chances are slim, late-arriver.... I would count my breaths." Harkun spoke with an extremely arrogant tone, unlike any Goldvanius had witnessed before. He barely resisted the urge to just grab his spear and gut the man.
"We'll see whose chances are slim..." Goldvanius replied.
"Shut your mouth, slave!" Harkun shouted. "Now... the rest of you gutter-trash already know your trial... get going while I get out latecomer up to speed. Your trial, slave, will be to find an old hermit named Spindrall. Lord Zash sees him as some kind of prophet... despite the fact that he's a crazy old lunatic. Once you find him, he will test you."
Seems I've downgraded a bit. Goldvanius thought. I was training under a master of the Force... now I have to go see an old man.
"Well, go on... don't keep the man waiting." Harkun said. Goldvanius went off, searching for this hermit. He saw other apprentices all around as he stepped out the front door of the building, all of them fighting off giant slugs. He walked by them, pitying every one of them for their rotten luck having ended up here likely having something better in their lives elsewhere. It was a shame that there were so many people like them, belonging in their weak homes with their weak families instead of people like him --having nothing else to live for-- training to become Sith, he thought. He studied his surroundings, noticing Imperial troopers all around fighting the worms as well. It seemed to be the main activity around his area. But he had other plans. Slipping past the crowds and going through a tomb, he found himself next to an Imperial commander who told him where he might find this old hermit. Eventually, he approached the tomb. There was a short old man talking to a taller, better-built man. Suddenly, a flash of red ignited from the larger man's hand, which then retracted itself. The old man fell down, whimpering. Goldvanius ran over to see what had happened.
"What did you just do!?" Goldvanius asked the man, inspecting the old hermit who had just been killed. "I was supposed to learn from this man for training!"
"He had nothing of importance to offer... better save fellow apprentices time by eliminating this meatbag." The man said in a low voice. Clearly he'd seen a lot in his time. His hood hid his face. He was exceptionally tall, muscular, and he stood with some authority. His robes were all black, and despite having only small gloves on, his hands seemed abnormally large. He wasn't someone Goldvanius wanted to piss off.
"Who are you?" was all that Goldvanius knew to say.
"Does my name really matter to you? You're sitting here helplessly stopped in your tracks because I've just killed your task. Well, our task..." the man said.
"You were instructed to learn from this man too?" Goldvanius asked.
"Yes." The man replied in a simple manner. "He was useless, though... better tell Lord Zash that."
"Well, what the hell am I supposed to do now!?" Goldvanius demanded.
"You're not like most of the meatbags around here..." the man studied him. "You're different. You speak with more ambition, you're not a weakling."
"Finally!" Goldvanius raised his voice. "Someone who understands that..."
"If I were you, I'd show Zash your intelligence by pointing out that this man was useless. That's what I'll be doing."
"Then why are you telling me? Isn't this a competition?" Goldvanius asked.
"No matter, once I tell her, your choices will be to either tell her the same, or die for failure. Your choice." The man replied, beginning to walk out of the tomb.
"Wait!" Goldvanius stopped him. "You never told me your name." He said. The man hesitated and stared at the ground. Clearly, he was deciding whether or not to trust Vanius with his name. But why?
"Name's Rogue. Simple as that." That man replied.
"Rogue? Just Rogue? Nothing else?"
"Not that I can remember." Rogue said, beginning to step out again.
"Wait!" Goldvanius stopped him again. "Let me go with you. You're clearly the only sensible person around here. How about we train together? You can have all the glory, I don't care... but let's work together."
"Hmmmm," Rogue hesitated. He saw something in Goldvanius... something sparked his interest. "Fine then... but what's your name, might I ask?" Rogue asked him.
"Goldvanius... I've gone as Avix before, but that was just a cover." Vanius replied.
"Use Avix." Rogue suggested. "Shorter, simpler, and easier to remember... and besides, if you ever do manage to get a title, you can use Goldvanius." The man actually made a lot of sense.
"Never thought of it that way..." Goldvanius replied.
"Think ahead to being grand..." Rogue said, "remember, ambition is a powerful ally."
Chapter Nine: The Alliance Edit
Goldvanius --once again dubbing himself "Avix"-- and Rogue fought their way through some more K'lor'slugs and made their way toward the Sith Academy - the heart of young Sith blood. Two massive rock statues resembling slave workers supported the structure, which looked almost like a large pyramid. Goldv- err, Avix... had never seen anything like this before. He gazed upon the towering symbol of power, offering it a great respect he rarely handed out to anyone or anything. Rogue guided him through a crowd of acolytes, apprentices, slaves, assistants, some trainers, and more assorted Sith-associated persons. To the right was a small area which seemed dedicated to Taxi speeders. Taxi speeders were manned only by those who were traveling, but there was a tracker on each one of them and the Taxi authorities would cause any straying vehicles to self-destruct. One would have to be sure to stay on the pre-determined route and travel to the specified --and paid for-- location. Avix had never used a Taxi before, but his father had told him a nasty story about one before...
Never use a taxi, son... always travel by personal transport. We're lucky Aargonar doesn't house those dreadful things... nearly died on one before.
"How did that happen?" Vanius had asked his father, innocently. He was only a small boy at the time.
One of my old girls and I were ridin' on one of them... the poor woman, heh... she'd elected to steer. Always enjoyed being in control, he pondered for a moment, eh, anyway... the Taxi smelled like shit. Not sure what caused it, but it was difficult to breathe while we rode across the beautiful landscape of Alderaan. When she noticed a small patch of fur left on the driving console --likely left there by whoever brought on that damn stench,-- she lost control... she panicked. Crashed into a rock nearby... I was lucky I abandoned ship and managed to land in a lake... would've been dead. Next day, I met your mother...
Goldvanius smirked at the memory. To his left, there was a small marketplace filled with a few bounty-hunters, but mostly young Sith looking to upgrade their armor or weapons. A couple of them were being aided by a medical droid. Those he did have on Aargonar, but they were rare - there were only about five of them he ever encountered.
"You won't find a more mainstream Sith-oriented location outside of Dromund Kaas." Rogue broke the silence of Avix's sight-seeing. Avix wondered what would happen to the Empire if this stronghold was attacked. They made their way up the long ramp which led into the Academy itself. A few Imperial soldiers stood about, maintaining security around the area. Another type of guard, this one donning a stylish red armor set complete with tall, pointy hats and a spear could occasionally be spotted. At first, Avix was confused. He found himself at a wall just a couple of yards after the main entrance. It took him a moment to look to his sides, noticing two pathways each leading around the wall and into the heart of the Academy. They were greeted by a Sith Pureblood woman who bared a large smile that seemed welcoming - or pretending to be welcoming.
"Welcome to the Sith Academy." The woman noticed they were new. "You will find your trainers on the second floor."
"Thank you." Rogue acknowledged before carrying on through the right passageway. They looped around a corner, and found themselves going through another doorway. This one was quite narrow, and a Sith apprentice rudely bumped his way between them and into the Academy.
"Just going to let him do that?" Avix asked, having been given an idea that the Sith were able to simply end anyone who displeased them.
"We cannot just murder our way to our Overseer." Rogue replied, "That would certainly cause a fuss."
"You did just murder Spindrall, you know..." Avix retorted.
"Old men killed in caves do not hold as much weight as youthful apprentices cut down in the halls of the Sith Academy, now do they?" Rogue gave Vanius an interesting point of view, but he'd still have rather killed the man. They made their way into the Overseer's office, and they appeared to be the last to arrive. Avix overheard the Overseer complimenting someone.
"And of course Ffon arrived decently on time... no doubt he walked at a slow, confident, and steady pace and yet he still has beaten the other trash here."
"Of course, Master." a voice replied. When Vanius entered the room, he noticed this 'Ffon' was the man who had rudely barged between he and Rogue.
"Ahhhh, the last to arrive." Harkun greeted them, "always late, it seems..." he said, gesturing at Vanius. "And who are you, fancy-armor? I don't recall seeing you before" he spoke to Rogue.
"My name is Prax." Rogue responded... Vanius eyed him carefully, wondering why he had changed his name. He then remembered what he suggested to him about his name, though, and it seemed to add up. "I changed attire since our last meeting."
"Yes..." Harkun seemed disgusted for no apparent reason, "unfortunately though, you've arrived at the same time as the latecomer here... that's a bad sign, slave."
"I am no sla--"
"Slaaave," the Overseer continued, "you will not talk back to me. Do not be ungrateful... you will learn your place soon enough."
"So why is he a slave, and this Ffon fellow here isn't?" asked Vanius.
"The late one speaks! And what is your name, slave?" Harkun asked, dodging the question. "What is it... Lateman of Latenhouse? Have you no knowledge of time, slave?"
"My name is Avix." he responded, "and I can tell time perfectly, Overseer... in fact, I'm counting the amount of seconds it has taken you to answer my question. I'm at twenty-three so far, sir."
"Yooou disrespectful slob of a slave, you... do you not realize I could have Ffon here rip you apart!?" Harkun seemed easily angered.
"Thirty..." Goldvanius continued, but before the Overseer could yell at him again, Ffon commented.
"Master... I would gladly kill this man now." Ffon spoke.
"Sadly, Ffon, Lord Zash has a specific way she wants this group handled... the one with the least significant results will be punished. The weak must be weeded out, and you slaves are all proving to be on the slim side... you best improve your behavior, slaaaves. Anyhow... what were the results from Spindrall?"
Four of the learners, including Ffon, had been given different trials. Five of them, however, had the Spindrall task. The first to speak up were two twins, both which noticeably large stomachs.
"Well, sir..." one gulped.
"It seems as though, um..." the other added on,
"He wasn't exactly..." the first one continued,
"There." The second one's eyes grew wider with fear.
"What are you talking about?" Harkun seemed surprised. "Of course he was there! Are you telling me you slaves cannot even locate an old hermit!?"
"Well, sir..." one began. "We found 'em..."
"Thing is though, s-sir..." the second began stuttering.
"He was dead."
"We found Spindrall, sir... but he was lying there dead." One said,
"And we didn't kill 'em! We found 'em that way." The other added.
"Then who did!?" Harkun was angry, but he clearly saw Spindrall as a lunatic and didn't care much about his death.
"I saw him, Overseer..." a Rattataki spoke up. "I was talking to Spindrall when a fella..." he corrected himself, "a man... walked in. I fled the scene when I saw him."
"And why did you do that, slave?" Harkun asked.
"Well, y'see.... the man looked... scary. And I was afraid."
"How exactly was he frightening to you?"
"He wore dark clothes... a lot like this Prax fellow here. I didn't see 'em real well... but once I got a quick look at 'em, I got outta there." The Rattataki finished.
"Ffon... dispose of this trash." Harkun grumbled.
"Gladly, Master!" Ffon unleashed his double-bladed lightsaber and turned around toward the group, revealing his hideous red Pureblood face complete with jewelry and the whole bit. He cut the Rattataki man down in one sudden strike, the man's gasping expression left on his dead face.
"Now... do any of you worthless curs know who killed Spindrall?" Harkun asked. Avix was ready to fend for his own freedom and condemn Rogue if he needed to, but he learned quickly that it wasn't necessary. Rogue stood up, likely looking the Overseer in the eye --it was hard to tell with his hood and all--.
"I know who it was, Overseer Harkun." Rogue commented.
"Ah... the fancy one... Prax, was it? Slaaave."
"Yes, Prax is my name. And again, I know who killed Spindrall." Rogue seemed confident. "I saw him relentlessly strike the old fool through the gut. It was a quick kill, nothing unlike a simple Sith assassination. Not really worthy of your lovely stunned facial expression, I think, but if you wish to display an example of obliviousness and random outbursts of unsupported anger, please, be my guest." The Overseer's eyes were red with hatred now.
"You DARE speak to me in that ungrateful tone, slave!?" Harkun barked. "You have no regard for superiority at all... and perhaps I would have allowed that attitude... if you'd have ANSWERED MY QUESTION!"
"As to WHO killed him, well, I know very well, Overseer..." Rogue might've smiled under his shadowy hood, "I killed him." As Rogue said this, Overseer Harkun seemed too stunned to speak. It took him a moment to blurt out a simple
"That's right, Overseer." Rogue continued, "I killed Spindrall."
"Wh-what!? You? You... KILLED him!?" Harkun was stuttering and raising his voice, clearly outraged by this development. "How DARE you, slave!?"
"He offered nothing of interest to me." Rogue replied plainly. "Better to dispose of him, as he could have proven to be useful for my competitors. Why spare him?"
"This is Lord Zash's will, you disrespectful slave! She valued that man!" Harkun yelled, a large vein on the top of his head twitching chaotically, his eyes flashing with hatred.
"Let us hope I already understand anything and everything he could have told me, then." Rogue responded.
"Who do you think you are, slave!?" Harkun was pacing now. "You come in here with that attitude... I could have Ffon kill you!!"
"Hah!" Vanius rejoined the conversation, "I'd like to see him try."
"Silence, slaaave!" Harkun barked. "Where are you from, Sir Fancy-pants? You and your latecomer seem to be in a party... are you both from Latenhouse!?"
"No, and I'd prefer not to tell you where I am from. That is not your business." Rogue said.
"You are an Imperial on Korriban, you twat! It is your duty to divulge information to me! I am your overseer, and you will do as I say! Now, where are you from!?"
"First correction - I am not an Imperial." Rogue responded. Before he could continue, Harkun interrupted,
"WHAT!?" He blurted. "Then how did you end up here!?"
"I sought you out." Rogue seemed to be growing bored of this conversation, so he decided to anger Harkun further. "I stowed away here, knowing it was my best chance to harness my Force sensitivity. I am not an Imperial, and I was never assigned to this group."
"Then how did you get here!?" Harkun had many questions, "How did you get past security, slaave!?"
"I simply offered myself up as a Force Sensitive in training. Also, second correction - I am not a slave." Rogue replied.
"No... you are a slaaave to me, slaaave! Because you joined this party, I am now your overseer, which makes you my slaave." Harkun muttered.
"Third correction - you being my overseer does not make me a slave. If anyone's slave, I am the Sith Academy's. The slaves here belong to the Academy in a whole, not you." Rogue continued to humiliate Harkun.
"Overseer!" Ffon joined the conversation. "Clearly this man is weak, for he believes he can defy you. He has shown a sign of stupidity and... er... weakness! Can I please kill him?" This seemed to be exactly what Rogue wanted - a chance to kill Ffon. However, the Overseer stood his ground.
"Do not tempt me, Ffon... I must be patient!" Harkun slammed his fist on his metal desk before quickly retracting it, squinting in pain. "Oww..."
"But why, overseer?"
"Because Lord Zash is a..." Harkun hestiated, "a very... wise Sith Lord. I must obey her commands."
"She told you to eliminate the weak... he is weak!" Ffon insisted.
"No, he is not... not yet. But that does not mean he will not die." Harkun, for once, grinned. "Mark my words, Prax of Latenhouse, I will make sure you perish within your trials. You will not make it out alive."
"I'm pretty sure he'd enjoy the challenge." Goldvanius said.
"Shut your trap, gutter-trash... you too will perish before your trial's end."
"At least you've changed your insult-per-sentence from the overused 'slave'." Goldvanius responded.
"I said SHUT YOUR TRAP, SLAVE!" Harkun barked. He was clearly angered. "Ffon, you are to travel to the jail cells. There's a prisoner who needs to be interrogated."
"You two..." he gestured to Rogue and Vanius. "You will travel near the shuttle landing zone. There you will search until you find a green cube known as a Datacron. They are most valuable to Lord Zash, and though this one is commonly used for training purposes, you will find it useful to know the information this datacron offers. Additionally, you will be allotted only one hour to complete this task, slaaaaves."
"We'll get right to it." Goldvanius said with a bit of disrespect in his voice, though not enough for Harkun to comment on.
"The rest of you will locate your basic trainers and take at least one lesson each." Harkun continued, but Vanius and Rogue were already out the door.
"So... what kind of training did you have exactly?" Rogue asked Vanius. This seemed like an odd question. Why didn't he ask me that earlier, Vanius thought.
"Well, pretty much basic lightsaber and Force abilities. Nothing that special I don't believe, but I can handle myself here." Vanius responded.
"Have you decided whether you want to specialize in dueling or Force techniques yet?" Rogue asked him as they made their way through the Sith Academy.
"Yes." Goldvanius replied. This response seemed to surprise Rogue. "I want to be able to use my lightsaber, but my primary interest is in the Force."
"Interesting. I've not known many to make up their minds that quickly." Rogue said.
"Then why did you ask me?" Vanius asked.
"I was curious to see if you even knew what I was talking about." Rogue replied with honesty. "Now, it's likely Harkun will try and have one of us killed soon. Should he send Ffon after you, I want you to be prepared."
"How so?" Vanius questioned.
"Follow me." Rogue guided Vanius to the training section of the Academy. It took him only twenty minutes to conduct a training session, explaining Force Lightning to Vanius and teaching him how to channel a basic blue streak of electricity with ease.
"I experienced something similar to this before... I caught lightning with my hands and used it against an enemy. It feels good..." Goldvanius remarked.
"Good. You seem to have taken this skill on well." Rogue complimented.
"You seem very experienced in teaching... have you taught someone before?" Goldvanius asked.
"I've had apprentices before... but that is a thing of the past. You are closer to my equal now." Rogue responded.
"But... if you've trained people, that makes you a master, correct? And I'm nowhere near a master rank." Vanius seemed confused.
"Power doesn't always remain intact. I am currently in a very subdued state... I am much more powerful in my prime." Rogue replied. Goldvanius didn't really understand this, and he was distracted when he caught a glimpse of Ffon boasting to another Sith as he walked through the Academy. He didn't press the matter, and it was only a minute before they exited the building. They set forth to the Datacron.
Chapter Ten: SabotageEdit
Goldvanius and Rogue made their way near the Shuttle Landing Zone, having only half an hour to locate a Datacron. They arrived in a crowd of about five people and a few guards. There was, for once, room to walk freely. Rogue was trying to locate the Datacron using his senses, but Vanius noticed a Sith Lord nearby. He was standing outside of an enclosed area, which was being used to hold prisoners. Vanius approached him.
"Excuse me, my lord?" Vanius had learned to respect those he didn't wish to piss off --most of the time-- and promptly did so.
"Yes? What is needed?" The Sith Lord turned to him, revealing a large neck brace made of metal guarding just below his red tattoo-covered face which was topped with a section of bright gray --nearly white-- hair.
"I was wondering if you might help me locate a Datacron nearby." Goldvanius replied. The man studied him.
"What is your name, apprentice? Who are you training under?"
"How did you know I was--"
"Apprentices are often sent to study the Datacron near here, now answer my question."
"My name is Avix, and I train under Overseer Harkun."
"Ahhh, Harkun. I am quite fond of that particular overseer." The Sith Lord regarded. "He is tough and to-the-point. You are lucky."
"Yes, he is tough.. anyhow, about that Datacron?" Goldvanius asked. Before he could get an answer, though, Rogue called out.
"I found it! Or where it was, anyway..."
"Sorry to disturb you, my Lord." Vanius said appropriately before running over to where he heard Rogue.
"Remarkable..." The gray-haired Sith Lord muttered to himself. Vanius had to walk around a metal wall to find Rogue, who was standing near a cliff.
"Well, where is it?" Vanius asked.
"We have a problem." Rogue pointed out as he studied some rough patches in the sand.
"What is it?" Goldvanius asked, but he answered his own question simply by observing the scene. There was a large mark in the ground where an object could have been, but it smeared to the side and there was nothing lying there. "It's been moved..."
"Indeed." Rogue agreed. "And it's been moved... recently."
"But... who could have.." Goldvanius began, but realized he should lower his voice. He turned around and surveyed the area. He then saw someone slowly making their way toward the Academy in a dark robe, who turned to look at Vanius. As they exchanged eye contact, the man sped up and Vanius knew he had his man. Sprinting toward the suspect, Goldvanius summoned a mobile shock of lightning to strike the target in the back -- this was successful, and knocked the man down.
"You BASTARD!" The man proclaimed. Goldvanius, soon escorted by Rogue, pulled the man up by his shirt collar.
"What are you doing here?" He asked.
"We already know that." Rogue mentioned.
"Find then... WHY did you hide the datacron!?" Goldvanius demanded.
"We already know that too." Rogue added.
"The timing is perfect. There's no such thing as a coincidence." Rogue explained. Before Vanius could ask anymore, the Sith Lord nearby seemed to take notice to the event.
"What's happening here!?" The Sith Lord questioned.
"Sir!" The suspect blurted out in a desperate voice. "Darth Thanaton! These two men just assaulted me!"
"And your point is?" The Sith Lord-- Thanaton replied.
"E--!" The man squeaked. "That's unacceptable! I was attacked!"
"Indeed you were..." Thanaton began,
"Sir, you haven't even heard our side--" Rogue was interrupted.
"Speak when spoken to, apprentice." Thanaton addressed Rogue. "Now... it may be that you were attacked, but under what circumstances? As per Sith tradition, an assault may be necessary if one was provoked or given a reason to insinuate such a conflict."
"Sir, he has ruined our trial by hiding the Datacron we were assigned to find." Vanius pointed out.
"Well? Is that true?" Thanaton stared the man in the eye as he asked this, and he was simply unable to lie to the Darth's face.
"Yes..." he confessed.
"And why would you do that?" Thanaton asked.
"My master told me to do it! Please! Speak with him, it's what I was told to do!" The man clearly wasn't Force-sensitive, and was probably paid for the job.
"And who is your master, gutter-trash!?" Goldvanius addressed the suspect. Rogue chuckled at Vanius' use of his Overseer's insult.
"Overseer Harkun! It was Harkun! Harkun told me to do this... please, spare me!"
Vanius and Rogue exchanged looks. "We'll be right to see him." Vanius declared. The four of them headed back to the Academy. As they walked through the halls of the Sith's youth, they noticed several acolytes, and even lords, staring at them. Darth Thanaton's presence seemed to be very well-respected. GoldIy apvanius sensed something else, though. He sensed fear. He felt honored to be escorted by a Darth - it certainly helped with the whole being shoved around by prideful apprentices thing. They made their way into Harkun's office, however they found it vacant. Vanius noticed a dead corpse on the ground - another one of the apprentices had been killed. Suddenly, Harkun appeared behind them.
"What is this!?" He shouted, only initially seeing Rogue and the assassin. When he noticed Thanaton, he altered his demeanor quickly. "Darth Thanaton... sir! To what do I owe the pleasure?"
"It appears a non-Force-using mercenary made his way to Korriban, Overseer." Thanaton explained.
"You sent him to kill us, you rotten piece of-" Vanius was ready to rip him apart, however Thanaton intervened.
"Silence..." He spoke with a commanding voice. A deep, calming tone... the speak of an elder. "Let us all... calm down."
"I know nothing of this gutter-trash." Harkun broke the pause. "He should be thrown out and fed to the K'lor'slugs for all I care."
"No, sir PLEASE!" The assassin pleaded. "YOU TOLD ME TO GET RID OF THEM! I would've done as you asked sir, but.. they attacked me! Please! Spare me!"
"It's clear to my eyes that Harkun hired this man. With all due respect, m'lord, I advise you to at least look into the matter. Investigate the security footage, see if Harkun has been communicating with this killer." Rogue insisted.
"This is plain to me - tomfoolery." The older Darth was very set on his assumption. He was very sure of himself. "One of your old Jedi enemies from the battle of Ilum, Overseer. Whoever this man is he was likely hired by that very same group of Jedi."
"Are you serious? This was clearly a sabotage!" Vanius yelled.
"I said silence, Acolyte. This does not concern you." Thanaton spoke.
"Yes, indeed, slave! Shut your mouth!" Harkun said. Vanius quickly noticed the two got along unusually. He wanted desperately to kill Harkun, but he would wait. He didn't know Harkun's combat abilities, and he figured killing an overseer isn't how one climbs the Sith ranks. He would have to study and learn more before attempting that-- especially with a Darth as a witness.
"This man will be disposed of quickly." Thanaton said plainly. "Do not let this happen again, Harkun." For the first time, Thanaton spoke with concern in his words. He made eye contact with Harkun, who clearly gulped and tried to squint his head to stop his forehead vein from switching violently. "Sever your loose ends." Thanaton escorted the assassin away after a glare directed toward Harkun.
"Slaaave." Harkun seemed quietly infuriated. "How dare you speak out against me? In front of a DARTH!? I should have you killed straight away. Ffon would turn you into a burning corpse in seconds!" Ffon then conveniently entered the room. "Ah, speaking of which, Ffon! How did it go?" Ffon was escorted by only three other acolytes. Goldvanius quickly deduced what happened to the others.
"Very well, Overseer!" Ffon said, dropping an old, dusty lightsaber hilt onto Harkun's desk.
"Ah, good, you found it. Well done, Ffon!" Harkun grinned. "And you... latecomers? Have you anything to offer from your trials?" Harkun asked, clearly holding back a smile.
No, we didn't, cause you sent a damned assassin over to us!
Nonetheless, Rogue had studied the datacron. He attempted to speak, but Harkun interrupted. "Of course not. You slaves cannot accomplish a thing! A pity you can't die yet... but another acolyte in our presence failed miserably. Instead of defeating the Akk dogs, he dropped his saber and ran, isn't that right, slaaave?" Harkun gestured toward a rather small apprentice who simply looked down in shame. "Ffon... dispose of this garbage!"
"With pleasure, Overseer!" Ffon's nasty face lit up again as he shot the man down with a quick burst of lightning.
"Now..." Harkun added a dramatic pause after this. "You, latecomers... I have a special task for you. You will descend into the tomb of Marka Ragnos. You will find the ancient relic he placed there years ago... and you will unscramble its text. The most intelligent of Sith have for years attempted to unlock the secrets of Marka Ragnos' holocron... all have failed, and some have even died trying. You will not return to me until you have the text from the relic, or you best hope the spirit of Marka Ragnos himself returns to end your miserable existence, slaaaves. Now go."
Rogue and Goldvanius left the chambers, instantly engaging in a pacing conversation.
"Can he seriously do that? He can just get away with hiring an assassin to kill a fellow Sith?" Vanius asked.
"Technically, we have no solid proof he's not being framed. Also, you're not considered a fellow Sith yet. To the nicest of lords you are an acolyte. To the higher-ups who aren't as... high, you are, well, by Harkun's words, a slave." Rogue responded.
"It just doesn't seem right..." Vanius commented.
"Almost everything the Dark Council puts forth nowadays is utterly useless. The powerful can get away with whatever they want." Rogue continued walking, clearly frustrated by the topic.
"But why? You'd think an Empire so powerful would be more organized." Vanius suggested.
"The Sith as they are now are stagnant; they are nothing compared to the Dark Lords of old." Rogue stated.
"Is the Empire even worth joining then? Is it even worth climbing the ranks among buffoons like Harkun if the high-up Imperials are so stupid?" Vanius asked.
"Not if you follow their example. If you go along with their plans, their... schemes, you'll amount to nothing. I've learned branching out is the key to survival and, to thrive, one best keep to himself." Rogue explained.
"Very well, then." Vanius responded, continuing their walk. They reached the tomb of Marka Ragnos and Vanius fought his way through some lizard-bats. His training blade was insufficient, often failing to strike the bats down, but he still wielded his Argonarian spear -- that did the trick. They climbed some debris and rocks, making their way up to where the relic was stationed. Clearly, many had trekked this tomb. Vanius doubted they'd succeed.
"Shouldn't be too tricky. I've dealt with this before." Rogue said confidently. "What do you know of Force Lightning?"
"Not much, but I've experienced something similar before." Vanius replied. Rogue briefly showed him an example of Force Lightning - an electric burst of energy summoned via the Force from one's fingertips. Rogue blasted blue power at a rock nearby and explained how to summon it. It took Vanius a good ten minutes, but eventually he summoned a spark of power from each finger. The bolts blasted at each other, bouncing off of each of his fingers and intensifying with each growing stream. Eventually, he too held a ball of blue electricity in his hand.
"Very useful... why even use a saber?" The Zabrak asked.
"There are many ways to absorb electricity... not so much for lightsaber blades." Rogue explained. "Now, shoot it at the relic." Vanius hesitated, but he trusted Rogue. After a moment, he shot lightning at the Holocron - instantly the energy flowed through it, reigniting a power that seemed so old it barely knew how to summon itself. Rogue instantly memorized the text. "Got it. Let's go."
Chapter Eleven: The Dashade Edit
It was the year 21,382 ARF (After Republic Foundation), Goldvanius was 17 and still working alongside his ally, Rogue. Rogue had falsified his name to Prax while Vanius took on the name Avix, the same name he went by on Aargonar after his family died.
Vanius and Rogue returned to the Sith Academy. On their way to Harkun's office, they were greeted by a female Sith Lord. Her behavior was much more acceptable, being much more fond of the two than Harkun was. Goldvanius was initially stunned to see her - there were very few women of beauty on Aargonar.
"Ah, Apprentices." She grinned slyly and offered a gesture of respect toward the two of them. "I am Lord Zash. What are your names?"
"Prax." Rogue seemed quick to respond, possibly predicting a slip from Vanius due to the abnormality of this woman's presence. To Vanius, she seemed too nice.
"Avix." Vanius narrowed his eyes as he responded, confused by Lord Zash's friendly demeanor.
"The both of you are competing to become my new apprentice... you'd best work separately, I have no objections to foul play." Zash's grin persisted.
"I think we'll pick our battles..." Vanius glared over into Harkun's office, hearing Ffon's boastful voice booming through the halls.
"I am quite interested in your progress." Zash said, "You handled that assassin quite well."
"Overseer Harkun had the audacity to try and get us killed." Vanius spoke with distaste before Rogue could stop him.
"Yes, well if you were the slaves he thinks you are then you'd be dead. You handled yourselves well." Zash handed out compliments quite generously. Her kindness seemed too good to be true, Vanius thought.
"Wait... you're not denying it?" Rogue asked.
"I beg pardon."
"Darth Thanaton claimed the assassin was 'framing Harkun'... quite the excuse." Rogue explained. Zash's grin faded away at the mention of Thanaton.
"Come now, we both know Harkun wants you dead. He doesn't think you're strong enough. You'll prove him wrong." Zash began to walk away before noticing Vanius lacked a proper weapon. "My goodness, you're using that thing? Guard!" Her shout seemed abnormal, as if it didn't belong with the rest of her dialogue. "Fetch this acolyte a lightsaber!"
"Right away, m'lord!" The Imperial trooper took a moment, but ran back to quickly hand a lightsaber to Vanius.
"Thank you?" Vanius was confused at this gesture.
"Overseer Harkun favors Ffon. I believe it's time to level the playing field." Zash's sly grin returned as she walked away. The pair returned to Harkun's office just in time to walk by Ffon, who was leaving for his next time. Of course, he just had to bump by Vanius and nudge him aside. Harkun seemed angry the moment he saw them.
"What!?" He barked. "How DARE you return to me without the text? I'll have you executed for this you nasty sl-" Harkun was cut off when Rogue handed him a piece of parchment with the text copied onto it. "A likely fake... I'll have this approved by Lord Zash... or rather, DENIED! There is no possibility of this being authentic... so, for the time being, I have a task for you, slaaaaaves."
"Oh, speaking of Lord Zash, we just had a conversation with her. She gave me this!" Vanius showed Harkun the lightsaber, enjoying Harkun's rage.
"You? Speak with Lord Zash? What a PATHETIC cry for attention! Where did you get that, off of a dead acolyte who died from laughter after he saw you? Pitiful... now, go to the upper level of the academy and speak with your trainers. One more lie from you and I'll kill you myself, slaaaaves."
"Very well then." Vanius narrowed his eyes, noticing a sigh coming from Rogue. The exited the room. "What?"
"He hates us enough already." Rogue replied.
"Eh, who cares? Pretty sure we could kill him anyway." Vanius boasted.
"Don't overestimate yourself." Rogue commented. "You barely know how to use a saber, better yet kill your overseer." Rogue said. Vanius couldn't tell how agitated Rogue was from his voice. He figured that Rogue probably hid his face because it was the one thing that showed his true thoughts.
"So be it." Vanius muttered. They reached the training room, but nobody was there. "Well... what now?"
"Hmmm." Rogue surveyed the area. He seemed satisfied with it, but for some reason he wouldn't quit looking around. It took him 10 minutes before he finally asked "Can you defend yourself?"
"What?" Vanius asked.
"Try!" Rogue exclaimed for what seemed like the first time in his life, igniting his red saber and pointing it toward Vanius.
"What are you doing?" Vanius began stepping back, unable to sense Rogue's motive.
"If I were to stand here, right now, and attack you, would you be able to hold your own?" Rogue asked.
"Of course." Vanius was still confused.
"Really?" Rogue said. Vanius could almost make out a grin under his hood. "Give it a shot." Rogue lunged forward with his blade - Vanius ducked, moved to the right, and prepared himself. Unarmed, he dodged three simple attacks from Rogue. "What are you doing? Use your lightsaber, dammit!" Rogue channeled this frustration into a well-coordinated blow - Vanius had to swing to the side.
"You're more experienced with dueling... I think I'll manage with the Force thank you very much!" Vanius telekinetically shielded himself from a blow, but he was sent back when Rogue swung around to kick him in the chest. As Vanius recovered, he saw Rogue charging and ignited his lightsaber out of desperation. It was a yellow crystal blade, not unlike Arkal's. Studying his own saber and Rogue's technique, he managed a block, but Vanius was losing footing, being forced back as Rogue pushed him toward the edge of the room. Vanius Force-flipped, landing about 5 feet away from Rogue in a successful escape. Rogue leaped at him, unleashing a wave of Force energy across the room as Vanius struggled to block what would have been a fatal blow. "What the hell!? You could have killed me!"
"If I did..." Rogue began, retracting his sword in a fancy series of steps before spinning to deliver a series of precise cuts and slashes, diverting to a quicker lightsaber style. "Then you'd be of no use to me." Rogue let out a Force push, disarming Vanius, who was quick enough to call his blade back to him with the Force, locking blades with Rogue in a defensive move, barely protecting himself. He managed to defend against Rogue's attack with a one-handed blade style he adapted from Arkal, so he took the chance to grab his hunting spear and attack - Rogue sidestepped, still attacking Vanius with his energy-preserving lethality. Vanius had exhausted his Force energy, so he adapted to a more defensive style as he abandoned his spear and simply defended, preserving Force and using a two-handed dueling pattern, blocking anything the enemy brought at him.
"What's the point of this?" Vanius asked.
"You've fared decently... do better!" Rogue sent a telekinetic energy toward the ceiling, destroying a light and sending it down toward Vanius.
"Not today." Vanius dodged the obstacle, regained some of his energy and summoned a small arc of lightning, which Rogue blocked. However, Vanius used the distraction to charge in and attack, mixing his styles and using Rogue's own energy against him.
"Not bad... could be better." Every time Rogue attacked, Vanius would quickly block and counterattack - Rogue, however, predicted each counterattack, defending himself flawlessly... until...
"Piss off!" Vanius said, lowering both of their blades in a lock before sending a swift blow to Rogue's face. Staggering back, Rogue regained his footing. Vanius stood his ground, refusing to attack but raising his blade in a defensive stance. Rogue summoned a massive surge of telekinetic energy, sending Vanius up from his position and into the ceiling, then back down. However, Vanius managed to regain his footing before Rogue attacked, again resuming the standoff. Suddenly, Rogue pulled back his lightsaber, de-ignited it and turned to the side. "What is it?" Vanius asked.
"Dammit, we're late!" A voice entered the room followed by two large men. Well, large in different manners. One man was very muscular while the other was fat.