AK151

Legend has it that I joined

You've reached the profile of AK151. How you wandered upon this profile, I do not know, and I sincerely apologize for your misfortune. Should you decide to stay and have a look around, you'll find writing (some decent, but most pretty bad), (mostly) failed experiments, and perhaps some music. You may also happen across some fo-Star Wars stuff, much of which I keep around as a lesson to myself in how to avoid being embarrassingly over-the-top and ridiculous. It exists primarily for the currently ongoing Star Wars role-playing group (yes, there is a somewhat-thriving Star Wars RP here, believe it or not). Anyways, enjoy your stay, have a nice day, and, as always, have fun!

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AK151
AK151 @ Operation Besetzung

OOC: Force capture lolwut.

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AK151
AK151 @ A Matter of Galactic Security...

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AK151
AK151 @ The First Steps

"Time is a luxury you have very little of, Emperor," the chancellor replies. "If you are truly in such a precarious position, simply waiting will not solve anything. It seems as if you need allies."

"I do not expect the changes I wish for to be carried out in an instant. They take time. I understand this. All I wish for is an assurance that these changes will happen." It's a naive thought, extracting a promise rather than hard results, but the wording of the treaty she has in mind will rectify that and make such promises binding. The Empire will change, and if that change has to be brought upon by a few dirty tricks, then so be it. She is not above such tactics. "If I am assured of such, then we can take the next step."

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AK151
AK151 @ The First Steps

"Then perhaps you should look within your own government and reclaim that power," the Chancellor suggests. "Your position is weak, Emperor. Your Empire runs of its own accord as if you were unaware of its happenings, and it itself is affable to the fact that it is in a precarious position. You have power, yet you refuse to use it. It is time for that to change. Before I consider peace, I must know whether I should be negotiating with the Emperor, or some other shadowy figure."

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AK151
AK151 @ The First Steps

The chancellor resists the urge to chuckle, as if she were not familiar with the Imperial Charter and the obscene amount of power it provides the Imperial Security Bureau, as well as the thirty-eighth article, which deftly allows the Empire to pre-approve any sort of media release. "Of course, Emperor. Regardless, one of the first steps towards establishing peace is the elimination of the Imperial Bureau of Media; evidence and verification speak for themselves, and the people are capable of determining for themselves what is true and what is false. The Empire need not determine that for them."

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AK151
AK151 @ The First Steps

"Very well," the Chancellor replies. "Firstly, it is hardly a secret that voices in the Empire who speak out against it fade very quickly. I wish for that to change. Not all at once, but gradually. I want your intelligence bureau to cease its attempts to quell dissenting voices - or at least curb those attempts incrementally. Is this disagreeable?"

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AK151
AK151 @ A Matter of Galactic Security...

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AK151
AK151 @ A Matter of Galactic Security...

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AK151
AK151 @ A Matter of Galactic Security...

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AK151
AK151 @ The First Steps

OOC: Ima have to back Pain up on this one. I could've sworn Branden put on some pressure for an attack.

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AK151
AK151 @ A Matter of Galactic Security...

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AK151
AK151 @ The First Steps

"The Republic and Empire as they are are incompatible. I am sure you have heard that before. I happen to agree with that sentiment. Our ideologies are far too different for us to stand side by side."

"I am sure you have also heard that my ultimate goal is to use political clout and pressure to dismantle the Empire. This analysis, while hyperbolic, is to a certain extent accurate. I believe that the Empire is fully capable of changing in at least some capacity over time, and it is my wish to see that happen. However, do not be afraid that I will insist on outrageous terms that the Empire in its current state would be unable to meet. Change takes time, after all."

She leans forward. "This will be simple: we will negotiate and discuss here how the Empire will change in minute ways to better itself. For my part, I will advocate strongly against any use of military force against the Empire whatsoever. Should the Empire follow through with what we have determined here, I will propose to the Senate a tentative peace treaty between us."

"It's far from an ideal bargain, but change in the Empire is the only way to convince those in the Republic that peace is worth pursuing." She pauses to let Emperor Magister respond.

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AK151
AK151 @ A Matter of Galactic Security...

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AK151
AK151 @ The First Steps

The chancellor inclines her head. "War is a cycle that persists and yields nothing. Just look at history. Almost fifteen years ago, there was no Republic. There was simply the Empire. The Republic had been eradicated. Yet here it is again. Cast your mind back further. There was no Empire. It had been eradicated. Yet here it is again. Every few decades one side strives to destroy the other and succeeds, but that other simply recedes to the shadows and waits to make a move that will destroy their attacker." She looks up, meeting his eyes. "It is time for that cycle to break."

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AK151
AK151 @ A Matter of Galactic Security...

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AK151
AK151 @ A Matter of Galactic Security...

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AK151
AK151 @ The First Steps

Talietha resists the urge to roll her eyes at the jest. The Emperor is smug. Such a trait is dangerous when speaking with the impatient. "Emperor Magister. I am pleased to finally meet you." She notes the motion of what seems to be him taking a drink. Fascinating. His confidence is startling, given his precarious position. "How is your family?" Might as well start with the formalities.

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AK151
AK151 @ Enter the New Chancellor

OOC: I figured Tarkin wouldn't have a speech. Might give people the wrong idea about the transition of power lol.

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AK151
AK151 @ Enter the New Chancellor

Talietha Veril stands at the center of the Republic senate, on her left Voren Tarkin, and on her right Malan Drayson. She looks around at the crowd and knows that her words are reaching billions of citizens across the galaxy. She doesn't feel the pressure.

"People of the Republic!" she begins, taking a pause. Best to establish a rhythm for the speech. "You have chosen me as your chancellor. It is only through your will that I am honored to accept that decision!"

"Understand, my friends, that we are at a time unprecedented in galactic history. The Republic is strong. Stronger than it has ever been. We stand united, countless souls on countless worlds, altogether striving for a better galaxy for our children to come.!"

"But any of you look to the Empire and think... how can a galaxy be good with such a blight? How can we let such a tyrannical government stand? How can anyone?"

She pauses for a moment. She's taking an awful risk by being honest with them. She could easily tow a line about how the Republic will work to dismantle their mortal foe, but that's not the truth. That's far too easy. "I don't have an answer. Not a good one, at least. But I do know one thing: we cannot destroy such a blight through strength of arms. Those who do not look to history are doomed to repeat it, and no entity, be it Republic or Empire, has ever been wiped out and never returned. Ten years ago, there was no Republic; it had been wiped out by the Empire! Now, we have returned, and are stronger than ever!"

"If we wage war against the Empire, not only would it mean the loss of countless lives, costing far more than anyone could ever imagine, but it would be for nothing. In a decade or two, the Empire would return, and it would be even stronger. This has happened before, and it has led me to the conclusion that, regardless whether the Empire wishes a fight or not, conquest is not the answer."

"This does not mean, however, that we will remain blind to oppression. There are other ways to challenge tyrants. I understand this may be an unpopular decision, but I intend to open up negotiations not just with the Nexus Enclave, a faction seen in the past as fickle and untrustworthy, but also the Empire." She pauses for a moment to let the words sink in. "I am well-aware that negotiation with the Empire may very well be fruitless. But if we are to eliminate the tyranny this Empire imposes on its citizens, we must first attempt to do so diplomatically. And that is what I intend to do."

"Make no mistake: I am an enemy of the Empire, and I wish to see it fall. But I will not sacrifice our people to do it. Conquest brings only misery, and even if it succeeds, in time its efforts will have been for naught."

"We stand at the precipice, in a day and age in the galaxy no one would have predicted. We all have the capacity to bring change to the galaxy, to better itself and ourselves. But we can only do so if we stand together. May the Force be with us in that endeavor. Thank you."

With that, she takes a seat, letting what responses to the speech come. She tunes out the noise, and even the words of Malan Drayson and Voren Tarkin as they make their own comments. She had come up with most of that off the cuff, and probably made several political missteps in her language. It was a foolish move, but at the same time, it may have been prudent; she certainly made her intentions clear to all who were listening. Whether or not those intentions will be popular, only time will tell. But she meant every word she said. Not that that counts for much these days.

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AK151
AK151 @ An Epilogue

And thus ends my shameless self-indulgent writing spree as Nym's story comes to a final conclusion. I will not be bringing these characters back unless for some reason someone goes out of their way to try and hunt them down. That being the case, I figured I should give them all a proper sendoff, so here it is.

Oh, the frightful headway we'd make if I put this sort of energy into my job.

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AK151
AK151 @ An Epilogue

The Avalon departs Jomark quietly, just another freighter in the small stream of ships entering and departing the planet.

In the pilot’s seat, Cira takes a breath, closing her eyes. Ten years on the run and three years waging war, all for this. She hadn’t even been sure if they could have been a proper family after all of that. Yet here they were, together at last. Footsteps draw her attention and she turns.

Islemere takes a seat next to her, stretching his arms. “She’s asleep. She’s a handful, let me tell you. Made me promise to tell her all sorts of stories when she wakes up.” He chuckles, his head rolling back. It’s impossible for him to describe the joy seeing his daughter gives him. It was hard for him to leave her to sleep. He looks at Cira, thinking about the struggle she had endured all these years. This is her victory. “You finally did it.”

She looks down, trying to hide her flushed cheeks. He could at least be a bit cocky and take credit. “You were as important to this as I was, Isley.” Her embarrassment fades and she leans onto his shoulder, closing her eyes. It’s been far too long since they just had a moment together. She doesn’t want it to end. “We both did it.”

He wraps an arm around her, his eyes gazing out into space. “Yeah. I suppose we did.” The stars are beautiful. He had never really appreciated them before. “Think about it, Cira. A new life.” The thought is… almost alien. “No more Sith. No more fighting. No more running.” His eyes wander to her; the beauty of every star pales in comparison to the woman beside him. He had never really appreciated her either. She had never given up on him. Never given up on the idea that they could all be together again. She’s… extraordinary. “So… where should we go from here?”

Cira cracks a small smile, her eyes opening and scanning the black horizon. She hadn’t given it much thought, to be honest. “Well, everyone thinks we’re dead. We’ve got everything we need to start anew, a ship with a hyperdrive, and the galaxy before us.” She reaches up, punching in the coordinates to leave the system, before looking at him. “As long as we stay together, I guess we can go… wherever we want.”

Isley smiles, stroking her cheek. “That sounds good to me.”

The two share a kiss, the first kiss of their new life, as the stars shift and fade to blue. The Avalon jumps into hyperspace, no longer carrying a scared woman and her child to safety, or serving as a haven of safety to hide from enemies, or acting as a fortress from which war was waged with an Empire.

It now serves a new purpose in ferrying the family to the new beginning they had fought so hard for, bringing them to a home where they could finally embrace the one thing they had been searching for so long: peace.

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AK151
AK151 @ An Epilogue

Serena cracks a small smile, walking into the room. “Hello Miata.” She looks the girl up and down, her apprehension starting to fade. “You’ve gotten a bit bigger.”

The familiar voice jogs Miata out of her reverie and she rushes forward, almost tackling her mother in excitement. “Mother! It’s you!”

The sudden attack catches Serena by surprise and she almost falls to the ground. She laughs as she wraps her arms around her daughter, struggling to hold back her tears. “I’ve missed you so much, Miata.”

The girl settles down, relaxing into the embrace and sniffling. “I’ve missed you too, mother. Where have you been?” The question isn’t pointed; she wants to hear her mother’s heroic stories.

Serena chuckles, withdrawing and looking at her daughter’s smiling, tear-ridden face. “We’ll have plenty of time for that. I promise I’ll tell you everything.” She takes a breath before continuing. “But first… there’s someone you should see.” She moves to the side, and Miata looks past her, her eyes widening.

Standing in the doorway is a strong, regal-looking man, taller than Serena, with well-kempt black and silver hair and golden skin a shade lighter than her mother’s. He looks like he came straight out of one of her stories, and she recognizes in an instant who he is.

She steps forward slowly, tentatively. She’s afraid to come closer, lest all of it fade away as if it were a dream. Is this real? It can’t be. But… can it? Can this be… real? Her voice is as quiet as her steps. “Father…?”

“Hey there kid,” the man replies, his smooth voice causing waves of comfort to wash over the girl. He flashes a familiar wry smile, stepping forward. He kneels down to her level, locking her eyes with his; they’re clever, but also… nervous. “It’s been a long time…”

For a moment, everything goes silent. Serena holds her breath as Miata steps a bit closer, her eyes narrowing slightly as if trying to discern whether or not the man before her is real.

The moment fades in an instant as Miata jumps into his open arms. “Father!” Nym clutches her tightly, holding her close and choking out a laugh as his eyes well up. Serena herself can no longer keep herself from crying and bursts out into a smile at the reunion, her hand covering her mouth.

“I’ve missed you so much!” Miata cries, her long hair obscuring her head as she buries her face in her father’s chest.

Nym’s smile is melancholy as he lets the catharsis of the moment flow through him. It’s been so long. Too long. “I’ve missed you too, kid. I’ve missed you too.”

The family stays there for a while, basking in one another’s presence. They fought monsters and legends, faced victory and crushing defeat, and strode brazenly through the gates of hell to get to this moment. It was all worth it.

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AK151
AK151 @ An Epilogue

A few days pass, the fortress buzzing with activity. Everyone is preparing to depart, packing up weaponry and supplies. Waterskippers go back and forth from the island to the mainland, carrying rations and fuel for the starships berthed in the underground hangar. There’s an air of excitement, if only because everyone is more than ready to get the hell off the water world they’ve been stuck on for three years.

Miata, meanwhile, slips through her journal, writing down ideas for settings and characters. Most of her stories are about her mother and her adventures. All the dangers she’d had to face down since they parted. Miata wishes she could be with her, but she knows that it’s best for her not to be. And since she can’t see what her mother is up to, she likes to make things up.

She likes to imagine her mother is searching for father, racing against others to find him first. All of the stories are connected: the one where she flees two powerful foes after getting some valuable information, narrowly escaping after a fierce battle ties into the one where she plays an elaborate game to try and trick one of those enemies into helping her find her lost husband.

Miata isn’t satisfied with the stories, of course. Writers are rarely content with their work. She remembers the love she felt when she was with her family; she may have been young, but those were still the happiest years of her life, when they were all together. It’s so difficult to translate that love into writing, to make it clear how important these people are to one another. She has a long way to go still.

Her thought is disrupted by the familiar feeling of someone coming closer. She doesn’t bother using the Force to tell who it is; probably Eshere making sure she’s ready. Hopefully they’ll leave soon. She’s more than ready to get out of here. The door slides open, and Miata turns her head to see who her visitor is.

In the doorway is a tall woman with long, black and silver hair that flows down past her shoulders. Her skin is a light golden shade that contrasts starkly with her dark clothing. Her green eyes are wide, her expression a strange mixture of anticipation and apprehension.

For a moment, Miata freezes. For a moment, she’s confused, as she tries to figure out what’s going on. This… this isn’t her imagination. Is this…? She wants to say something, but her mouth just hangs open in shock.

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AK151
AK151 @ An Epilogue

“Well, you certainly don’t have a shortage of time,” Eshere laughs. She examines the little girl, trying to reconcile the contradiction; in front of her is just what amounts to an ordinary child. An intelligent one, surely, but aside from her sharp mind, she has nothing that distinguishes her in terms of her strength. It’s as if she doesn’t have a connection to the Force. Yet, Eshere also knows that it’s a lie, an illusion. Even when she focuses, though, she can’t break through. It’s a fantastic defense.

Yet, despite being absolutely unable to feel any power coming from this little girl, Eshere has a strange feeling whenever they’re in the same room. Tornek feels it too. It’s as if they aren’t sharing a room with a child, but with a maelstrom. It’s an overwhelming pressure that’s only perceptible because they’ve both been with her for years. Underneath the surface, something is hiding. And she doesn’t want to see what it is.

Miata ***** her head, drawing the Togruta’s attention. “Did you… want something, miss Eshere?”

She smiles in response, letting out a chuckle as she reaches out and brushes the girl’s long hair. “I was going to say that you need to get your hair cut, young lady.”

Miata giggles, recoiling in mock horror and holding the strands close. “No! I like it long!”

Eshere shakes her head. “It’s down to your waist. Doesn’t it get in the way?” She laughs again, cutting Miata off before she can reply. “But in all seriousness, I actually did come here to tell you something important. Believe it or not, we’re going to be leaving soon.”

The news puts some spring into the girl, and her back straightens. “Really?” She looks excited. Immediately, her eyes start darting around, picking out the clothes and trinkets lying around that she’ll need to pack. “When?”

Eshere shrugs. “It’ll take a bit of time. At the very most, a week. But we’ll probably go before that. So you should get your things together, okay?”

Miata nods excitedly. “Where are we going?” She looks out the window, hoping they won’t be heading to another water world. She likes the cold; winter is her favorite season, such as it comes on the temperate planet. She wouldn’t mind a frozen landscape. Or maybe even a bustling city teeming with people. That would be interesting.

“We’re still figuring that part out,” Eshere chuckles, getting up and ruffling the girl’s hair. “But we’re as tired of this place as you are. We’re all ready to go.” She steps back and watches as the child springs up and starts darting around the room, gathering her things.

The Togruta can’t help but feel happy whenever Miata is excited like this. It’s like the girl’s happiness is contagious. The others in the fortress are all familiar with the feeling. Whenever she skips down the halls or hums while she’s doing chores, she just radiates a joy that soothes everyone; it’s incredible how happy she is, considering what she’s been through. It almost doesn’t make sense. Granted, it could be possible that she’s simply too young to understand the hell she’s lived through. That is one advantage children have over their elders, after all.

Eshere takes her leave with a nostalgic smile; she hopes Eredis comes to get her, but she’s going to miss the girl. She tempered all of them. Tornek was a brooding coward, paranoid and jumping at his own shadow, afraid that the Sith would catch up to him, before Eredis found them and left them her girl. Now, he’s still a bit of a brooder, but he’s more… mellow. More friendly. Everyone in the base has a similar story. That girl made them all better.

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AK151
AK151 @ An Epilogue

Miata closes the book in her hand, sighing. She’s read them all. Even the long ones. They take a lot more time, but she’s sharp enough to figure out the words. She’s getting better, and at this point she’s finding it far more entertaining to write stories of her own. She has a small journal, probably her most prized possession.

The first few pages are sketches and drawings, uncanny depictions of her mother with her shield. Next to her is a man she hopes resembles her father. She doesn’t remember him very well. Her most vivid memories are of his back, when he stood between her, mother, and a lot of men who came for them. Mother had covered her eyes, but she still felt everything. It was scary.

But she also remembers that her father wasn’t scary. In fact, she felt safest with him. He loved her just the way mother does, and he only left because he was forced to. Mother said he died, that he wasn’t coming back. But she hopes she’s wrong.

Her head turns towards the door, her hand brushing her long black and silver hair away from her face and back behind her shoulders. She feels like someone is coming. She doesn’t sense anything, of course. It’s just a feeling. Mother taught her a long time ago to keep her power completely concealed. She said that there are people in the galaxy who would want to use it for bad things. So she spent time learning how to make herself small. They both did.

It took years, but eventually she succeeded in completely hiding herself in the Force, so she’d appear as nothing more than an ordinary person. It’s something that doesn’t even need constancy anymore; she simply just doesn’t appear to be Force sensitive any longer.

That isn’t to say she can’t use it, though. Sometimes she feels it. For an instant, a flash so quick that no one notices – a flash so quick it doesn’t break the façade; more a cheat than anything else. Were she to use the Force for any longer, the illusion would be broken, permanently. It would take years to reestablish that level of concealment once more. Or so mother told her.

It is one of these flashes that Miata uses, for a brief fraction of an instant opening herself to the vast sea of power she feels in the back of her mind. It floods her senses and she feels Eshere approaching. For an instant she wants to keep looking, to engross herself in this new world, but she remembers the promise she made to mother, that vow to stay hidden, so she snaps herself back before her power really lets loose. The sea of normalcy is undisturbed, so quick is this sense. She’s gotten really good at it. They probably don’t even know she can do it.

She deliberately looks away as the door opens, pretending to be somewhat startled as the Togruta walks into the room. “Hello miss Eshere.”

The former Sith flashes her a kind smile, walking in and looking around. “How are you doing, Miata?” She glances at the discarded book. “I take it you’ve been reading?”

The little girl nods, but makes clear the sullen look on her face. “It’s just the same things over and over. I’m not talking about just the same books. The stories are all the same too. It’s like I know what’s going to happen before I finish.”

Eshere chuckles, sitting on the floor. “That’s what happens when you read a lot. You start to notice patterns and things get a bit dull.” She eyes the journal Miata had always kept close. “But that doesn’t mean they always have to be. You can always write stories of your own.”

The thought makes the little girl smile. “I want to!” She puts a hand on the journal. “I’m not very good yet, but I’m getting there.”

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AK151
AK151 @ An Epilogue

"So what do you think?" Eshere hands Tornek a datapad. "Early reports show that there was a quake that collapsed the entire temple. No survivors.” She shrugs. “At least, that’s what they’re saying.”

Tornek looks over the information, narrowing his eyes. They had really gone all out, it seems. “They’re alive.” He nods his head, as if reassuring himself.

Eshere raises an eyebrow. “And what makes you think that? And don’t tell me you can sense it, because we both know that’s not true.” They had both lost their senses years ago. Or rather, they had chosen to stop using them.

The former Sith glances in the direction of the living quarters, sighing. “If they’re dead, then the girl’s stuck with us. And that’s not a life I envy. She shouldn’t be running her whole life.”

“It’s not like anyone can find her,” Eshere reassures him. “They can’t find any of us. We’ve been masking our power for too long. They wouldn’t be able to sense it, even if they tried.”

Tornek doesn’t look convinced, even though he wants to be. “Maybe. We’ll see.” He puts the datapad down and looks out the window to the horizon. “We’ll give them some time. If they’re not here in a week, we’re packing up. We’ve been here for far too long.” He clicks his tongue, turning to Eshere. “Would you tell her? Either way, she’ll want to pack her things.”

The Togruta, another former Sith, inclines her head. “I’m sure she’ll be happy to finally get a change of scenery.” She watches as Tornek takes his leave and pauses for a moment. He’s right about one thing: that child deserves better than to be constantly on the run. She’s been living that life for more than a decade now. They all have.

She remembers when Eredis came to them. She was desperate, but not the pitiful kind of desperate. The terrifying kind. The kind that drives one to do anything and destroy anyone. It wasn’t too much of a surprise. She had just lost her husband, and with him gone, despite the considerable power Eredis could bring to bear if necessary, she wouldn’t be able to protect her daughter forever. She needed help.

Eshere and Tornek had been disillusioned with the Sith for a little while prior to their eventual departure. Eredies had always been perceptive, and she knew this. That’s why she had sought the two of them out. Together with their combined determination and the former head of the Order of Assassins’ considerable resources, they planned their escape and successfully evaded the enemies sent to do away with them.

They went their separate ways after that, but almost three years ago now, Eredis had come back to ask them for a favor. Eshere had expected her to ask them to help her kill off some assassins, or maybe take out some high-ranking Sith. What she begged them to do instead was far more surprising: she asked them to look after her daughter.

In hindsight, it shouldn’t have been much of a surprise, considering how few friends Eredis had. But that girl was someone she treasured more than her own life. She’d give up everything to protect her. And she had entrusted them to two former Sith. That spoke volumes about the trust she had placed in the two of them. It’s a trust neither of them intend to betray.

Eshere walks to the living quarters, looking for the right room. When Eredis had brought the girl, both she and Tornek were surprised in two ways: firstly, they expected her to look older. The would be turning eighteen soon, but she still looked like a child. Of course, both she and Tornek had forgotten that the Firrerreo have twice the lifespan of a human; that also means they mature half as quickly.

It’s a strange thought, but it took a backseat compared to the other strange detail; when they first met, both of them had thought she wasn’t Force sensitive. Neither of them could sense any power coming from her; she felt like a normal girl. Being the daughter of two Sith Lords of considerable power, that was a surprise. In reality, the truth was far more complicated…

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AK151
AK151 @ The Fall of the Dark Lord

OOC: And that's a wrap.

And no, I'm not at all ashamed that I just wrote 9.5k words of pure self-indulgence. Bite me.

xD

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AK151
AK151 @ The Fall of the Dark Lord

It all rises in an instant: the boundless fury that had been kept entirely at bay until now. Darth Maeror unleashes it in full, a wave of rage that rushes over everything, taking aback even the Sith retreating from the temple. Every hint of anger he had been holding back explodes at once, a flood of terrible power that scares even those far away from the fight.

With it, the argent fire rises, a wall of flame spurred on by a barrier created by the Silver Lord’s two lightsabers, a storm that engulfs the Dark Lord of the Sith, the roar covering his scream of agony. In a matter of seconds, both Darth Yoran and Darth Maeror vanish in the pale tempest.

The silver tongues of flame don’t recede however. They wrap around the pillars and columns and start to spread through the rest of the hall as if with a mind of their own, their heat turning even the hard stone to ash. The entire temple starts to tremble.

Lok is the first to realize the uncontrollable nature of the storm. He grabs Raime and gets Velstadt to his feet, rushing to the open entrance. He only looks back once for Serena, watching as she walks, tall and confident, her wounds forgotten, into the raging inferno, and is swallowed whole.

The archway above the Eternals crumbles and they narrowly avoid being buried as the throne room begins to collapse, consumed by the furious tempest. They make for the exit as the temple quakes, the entire building starting to buckle from the sheer force of the power that had just been unleashed.

The trio barely manage to escape the Sith temple as it crumbles in on itself, creating a massive plume of dust as eons of history is buried, lost forever to time. Lok closes his eyes and pays his respect to history for but a moment before seeking out Lady Trina. It doesn’t take long to find her.

She asks what happened at the temple, and Lok tells her the truth: Darth Yoran, Darth Maeror, and Darth Eredis, along with the temple of the Sith, were all consumed by a final storm of rage, fury, and silver fire.

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AK151
AK151 @ The Fall of the Dark Lord

His blades move in tandem, creating beautiful and terrible patterns of flame that weave and whirl around the Dark Lord; it takes all he has just to stay alive and parry the continuous assault. Maeror's face is calm, his rage still in check. He's toying with him. He's not fighting him any longer. The fight was over long ago. Yoran continues to retreat, desperately fending off the furious onslaught. As powerful as it is, it's hardly an effort. Maeror is controlling the battle in its entirety. The Dark Lord slowly finds himself backed against his throne. He has nowhere left to run.

"How does it feel, Yoran?" Maeror asks coolly. "How does it feel to be beaten?" The silver flames wrap around the Dark Lord’s staff and rip it asunder. "You were always so proud, so stalwart in your power. So ready to crush others under your boot.” The façade starts to break as the Silver Lord’s voice becomes harsher.

“You took everything from me. You ripped me away from my wife and daughter.” He stops once more, watching Yoran back himself up against his throne. “See, it isn’t enough to just kill you. I could have done that five minutes ago. No…” his voice turns into a fierce snarl. “I want to see you break.”

He raises a hand and Yoran staggers back, struggling against a huge weight pressing down against him. "I want you to realize once and for all that all of your power, all of your strength, all of your authority, amounts to absolutely nothing.” The weight grows, and Yoran takes a knee. “That at the end of the day, the only thing your ambition brought you was ruin.” The crushing tide forces the Dark Lord to kneel completely. “That at the end of the day, your strength bows to me.”

Yoran forces his head up to meet Maeror’s eyes, his expression not one of rage or hatred, but… of fear. He’s finally accepted his fate.

“Look at you,” the Silver Lord scoffs. “So afraid. Behind the pride, that’s what you’ve always been, right? A coward.” He steps forward, the pale light of the flame casting shadow on everything.

Darth Maeror sighs in resignation. “Tell me, Darth Yoran. Do you want to live?”

After a brief moment of shock, Yoran musters up the will to respond. “Yes.” The once proud zabrak is now nothing more than a begging hulk. “Please. I want to live.”

The flames dancing on Maeror's lightsabers die out, fading, and everything falls silent. After a moment, a sad chuckle echoes through the hall.

"It's funny," he whispers, taking a breath before meeting the Dark Lord’s frightened eyes.

"So did I."

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AK151
AK151 @ The Fall of the Dark Lord

The great throne room, the center of Sith power in the galaxy, is in ruins, its walls charred and cracked and broken by the titanic struggle that had taken place within. Serena and Lok are both astounded by the display of power they’ve been witness to. Yoran alone was strong beyond belief. But it seems his fear of Maeror was far from unfounded. The great hall is the heart of the temple, and the struggle within shook it to its core.

Yoran breathes heavily through clenched teeth, holding his lightsaber aloft between him and his nemesis. He can’t beat him. No matter how much strength he draws upon, no matter how much rage he uses, Maeror is better. He always has been. He struggles to his feet, snarling. “Come on then.”

“Yoran,” Maeror’s voice is soft. His rage boils beneath his skin, hidden perfectly by an emotionless shroud that masks him entirely. “It’s over.” He stops, lowering his blades to his side. “Let it end.”

He begins advancing slowly, deliberately, his eyes narrowing. The silver flame drains the color from the room and even Yoran’s crimson hue is muted. "You were always afraid of me, weren’t you? Always furious with the power I possessed.” As he steps forward, the Dark Lord steps back. “You never understood, did you? You always said the attachments I formed were my greatest weakness. But that’s where I drew all my strength.”

“We are Sith,” the Dark Lord snarls, hunching over like a wild animal cornered by a predator. “Such petty trivialities weaken us.”

Maeror chuckles dryly, rolling his eyes. "Yes, so you've told me." He ***** his head, looking down in contemplation. “You know, every time we talked, you’d always end up appealing to my status as a Sith Lord. ‘You need to be ruthless,’ you’d say. ‘You need to abandon those weaklings you’ve grown attached to. They’ll drag you down.’” He shakes his head, snorting in contempt.

The hum of the twin swords grows as Maeror adjusts his grip. “Near the end, I figured you were right about one thing: attachments aren’t for us… for Sith.” A wry smile forms at the edge of his lips. “It made me realize something important: Sith don’t form families. They don’t have friends. They don’t have loved ones.” His voice suddenly grows stern and strong.

“But I’m no Sith.”

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