Chapter 1: The fall
Dedecus hung his head as the cool water of the refresher rained down onto him. rooting its way through his oily hair. His anger being whisked away with each bead of water. Things seemed to always pile up, and Dedecus was not getting any closer to his destiny. As he closed his eyes, and lost himself in the steady patter, his thoughts drifted back, onto the critical moments that had lead him to this point.
A young boy named Armel Tavish no older than 6, kneeling before A large pureblood sith wearing armor so scarred by battle that you could hardly tell it used to have a nice red finish.. Beside Armel Kneeled a girl of the same age with bright red hair, and a confident smirk on her face. "Armel Tavish and Adanna Twila, You both come to Korriban from honored families among the Sith, and you both have undergone your initial training as Acolytes." The Pureblood Began. "I am Lord Abbatis, You two will be my apprentices... for now... Eventually one of you will distinguish them self, and I will no longer have need for both." Lord Abbatis continued. Armel and Adanna glanced toward eachother. Armel with a look of confusion, and Adanna a sly, calculating, smile. This was not the first time they had met. Dedecus remembered still the look in her eyes, a fire more vibrant than her flaming red hair shown deep into her soul. Adanna had bullied him all through their time as acolytes and becoming rival apprentices did not help the matter. She came by the powers of the sith easier than he did. While Armel worked as hard as he could at it, she would consistently best him. By the time Armel could make a spark of electricity fly from his thumb to his index finger , she would channel it effortlessly from her hands, Usually into him, as they dueled weekly. She was quite the Prodigy, and Master Abbatis let him know this at every chance. "You hate it don't you boy! She could kill you at any moment... Do you know why I don't let her?" Abbatis questioned Armel. Armel shook his head. "It is that hate that keeps you alive, that hate that keeps me interested... I have not seen a student fight as hard as you, despite losing time and again. Your drive is exceptional, and it is fueled by your hate. Obviously hate isn't enough though. The time for you to put it to good use is dwindling." Dedecus' anger rose inside him, remembering Adanna and their rivalry, the hate flowed through him, and he could feel his body temperature begin to rise but he let himself calm down again. focused on the steady melody of water drops and the cool sensations of the water running down his back. unbridled hatred was wasteful, and didn't help him right now. He thought back again to Adanna, this time walking quietly beside him, both directly behind Lord Abbatis. They were walking to the chambers of the dark council, where their master had been summoned. Adanna had her cloak pulled back so that Armel could see her brand new lightsaber swing back and forth. Abbatis had allowed her one, saying she had earned it. Dedecus let his anger rise again as he remembered looking expectantly at Abbatis' hands, hoping he would pull out another lightsaber, but none appeared. "Do you think you have earned a Saber boy? You lack the discipline and finesse to wield one, you would probably cut yourself in half." Lord Abbatis said, starring into Armel's eyes, who met them with cold rage, as he heard the audible laugh from Adanna. When they reached the chamber doors, Abbatis stopped, turned around and spoke to them. "I wish for Adanna to come inside with me. You stay out here Armel." Abbatis said with a bite of nervousness. Armel thought that the people inside must be very powerful, as Abbatis never before had shown a hint of fear regarding anybody. While Armel waited out in the hallway, thoughts raced through his head. This was it, now She had finally done enough, and Abbatis was presenting his prodigy to the council, he probably planned to kill him later, or perhaps let her do it. He knew that Abbatis put a high premium on honor, so he was sure when it did come, it would be in a formal fashion. That was the only thing that kept him from running back to his room. His hatred began to boil over. Why did Abbatis insist on humiliating him like this, couldn't they have at least killed him first, rather than force him to wait in the hall while she was shown off to the council? After a while the doors opened up again and Adanna walked out with a smug look on her face, and she peered at Armel for a moment before betraying a small chuckle to herself. She was followed by Abbatis, who looked pleased. They walked silently back to Armel and Adanna's rooms. "It has been an eventful day, we will speak in the morning, there is much we must discuss." Abbatis said before turning around and leaving. Dedecus got out of the shower, and dried himself off. He approached the mirror above the sink, and wiped the condensation away. His anger rose again as he stared into the mirror, his scarred visage and cybernetic eye stared back at him. tapping a button near his temple the eye flicked to life, and a red spot lit up in the middle. He grabbed the towel and wiped the lens on the cybernetic making sure he could see clearly out of it, before brushing his black hair down over the eye and scars. he lingered at the mirror a moment more before thinking back again to that day. Armel tossed and turned in bed, He knew tomorrow was the end. what was he supposed to do though? He had seen too many try to run, and be killed, he decided he had a better chance in a fight.. hopefully it was Adanna. While it was true she was his better, he certainly stood a chance against her. While he was thinking about how best to attack her, he heard someone clear their throat. He sat up in bed to see Adanna leaned up against one of the sides of his doorway. "What do want?" Armel said bitterly. "Oh me? I just thought I would say goodbye." She said with a laugh. "what do you..." Armel started "Oh I assume you have guessed. Abbatis plans for me to kill you tomorrow. make everything official, you know?" Armel stood up and eyed his practice saber, about 7 feet away on a rack on his wall. "Why wait?" Armel said, his anger rising quickly. he reached his hand out and his training saber flew into it. "I was thinking the same thing" She said and ignited her saber in a flash of red. Armel, fueled by rage leapt 15 feet across the room, bringing his training saber around as he flew. but Adanna gracefully parried it, before sweeping his legs out from underneath him, he fell hard on his back. She spun her saber around coming down at his head, but he rolled quickly out of the way and hopped up to his feet. Armel swung his saber around with great power but she ducked under it, then kicked him in the stomach. then she smashed a hand into the ground and the force flew from the impact and threw Armel back 5 feet. he had lost his training saber, and when he started to look around for it, he saw the walls go white and for a split second he knew what was going to happen. She sent force lightning splintering through his body, and he writhed in pain on the floor. "Did you think you could beat me? Have you ever bested me?" Adanna said laughing shrilly. Her voice went through his body, and his Rage doubled, every injustice she had dealt him raced through his head, every snide remark their master had made, always preferring her... He was still being electrified, but his rage drove him, it gave him back control of his arms, he reached his hands up and squeezed his fists tightly, and watched as her own hands crumpled, fingers bent back and folded in on themselves. she fell to the floor in pain and dropped her saber. He got up and jumped toward her, along the way force pulling her saber to his hand. he was swinging it down toward her face when something happened. Another red Saber blade came out of nowhere and blocked his strike, before spinning up toward his face. The next thing he remembered, he was laying on his back, and seeing out of just one eye.. he could smell burned flesh, and something else, something disgusting... he reached his hand up to his face and found that it was his own flesh he smelt, and the other smell was his melted eyeball. He was in extraordinary pain. when he looked around with his one eye. he saw Abbatis standing above him. "Explain yourself!" Abbatis yelled, a great fury in his voice. "I.. I didn't want to wait till tomorrow to fight." Armel replied wincing. "You fool!" Abbatis yelled, now pacing. "If you had listened to what I said, and waited like I instructed you, you would find out tomorrow that Adanna is no longer my apprentice!" Abbatis said angrily. "She is going to become the apprentice of one of the dark council, and you were to remain with me!" Armel's jaw would have dropped if he could move any muscles in his face. "Now you have let her bait you into attacking her.. A dark council member's apprentice. There is no saving this situation. You have greatly dishonored both of us. Now come with me at once." Abbatis turned and started walking in the direction of the dark council's quarters. Armel stood up and followed him closely. His fear for what was about to happen adequately distracted him from the pain oh his still burning face. They approached the chambers and waited to be allowed in.. When they finally were Armel was surprised at what he saw. rather than a table with chairs around it or something like that, it was a large empty floorspace with chairs lined up on opposite sides. some empty but most had a shadow of a person inside it. concealed in darkness, Armel couldn't make anybody out. "I have come to bring it to the attention of the dark council that my apprentice has attacked another a-apprentice this night... The very same that I b-brought to you earlier today." Abbatis stated, stuttering slightly. The faceless voices murmured for a few moments. "D-Do you wish me to.. Kill him?"Abbatis asked, pleading. It occurred to Armel that one of them would not be leaving this chamber, at the very least. More mutterings. "No" A very deep voice rang out, from a direction Armel could not discern. "We have felt the hate in this one, it was like an explosion when the fight escalated. we all could feel it. We do not wish to waste such raw power." "What would you have me do then?" Abbatis asked "Nothing" came the deep voice, and Lightning came from 8 different directions, all converging on Abbatis. A second later he fell to the floor a smoldering pile. Armel stared at his master's corpse... He had thought him his enemy, but he was actually on his side. Abbatis had wanted to keep him as his apprentice, to teach him and him alone. And now he was dead, because of the student he had put his faith into. Armel felt his stomach drop, he had failed Lord Abbatis and his stupidity had lead to the death of the only person on Armel's side... "YOU!" The voice rang out again, and Armel flinched. "You will be stripped of your name, you have disgraced a Noble line of powerful Sith. And you will be given a new master, far from here. Go realize your power and perhaps one day, you will earn the right to return to Korriban."
Dedecus Stared into his reflection as drops ran down the steam covered mirror, and his hate rose again. But the hate didn't spread out inefficiently like it used to. It was more focused ever since that day on Korriban. He had finally found what he could truly channel his hate toward... Himself.
Chapter 2: Anyone you turn your back on
Adanna sat in the medical center as a droid attempted to repair her fingers. She cringed as it unfurled them into a natural position. They didn't hurt as the droid had numbed her entire hand but just seeing how they moved. They were not so much fingers anymore as much as small fleshy sacks with no structure. She turned and looked out of the window to avoid the sight of them. It was dark. All she could see was the silhouette of one of the giant statues that were found in front of the academy against the light of three of the seven moons of Korriban... The droid shook his head as it scanned her right hand. "The bones are so destroyed that there is no chance for repair my lord." The droid said with its mockingly emotionless voice. "We could replace it with a cyberne..." The droid started "No!" Adanna cut it off. She had heard of sith who had to have cybernetic arms. They were not able to channel lightning without damaging the electronics. She would not be denied her most powerful trait. "Do what you can droid." She said through gritted teeth. "But do not replace anything with electronics."
Adanna Twila awoke after what must have been hours of surgery as the sun shone through the small window now. The strechted rectangle of light fell directly onto Adanna's now heavily bandaged hands. She attempted to move her fingers inside of it, but found herself unable to muster much pressure. Suddenly the droid entered the room. "Ah good, you are awake." The droid transmitted "I see you have been programmed to state the obvious. Now remove these bandages droid." She said with cold anger. "I am afraid we should not do that until..." The droid started but then changed tack. "Of course my lord." The change in the droid's sentence took place as Adanna began to rise from her bed. It appeared that the droid's of Korriban had learned to tell when it becomes best to just give sith what they want. Adanna watched as the droid unwrapped the bandages. What it revealed caught her a bit by surprise. There were lines moving up along each and every finger and converging on both the back and fronts of her hands. "We were able to replace all of the bones my lord... however the muscles and tendons will never have the strength they used to." Adanna stared at her hands with disdain. She tried to ball her hand up in a fist, but found that she could not even reach he fingers to her thumb. She used the force to pull her lightsaber from her belt and elevated it to the height of her hand, moving it into her fingers. She tried to grasp it but it fell to the ground when she attempted to only hold it with the strength of her hand. As soon as she heard the clang of metal hit the floor she extended her worthless hands toward the droid and let fly all of her anger at the situation. at Armel. Only when she could smell the smoke of all of the droids servos did she stop. What would she do know? She could still wield force lightning exceptionally. But without the use of a lightsaber was she really Sith? would she be respected as such? She stood up and used the force to again levitate her saber in front of her. She then turned it on with the force and floated up the bandage wrap that had been on her hands. She cut a length of the blood-stained material and concentrated on tying a knot in the middle of it around her lightsaber hilt. It now was secured with two lengths hanging down on either side. She raised her hand up and placed her useless fingers weakly around the hilt. Then with the force spun the wrapping around the hilt and her hand tightly. she moved her arm and the lightsaber fell limply to the side. She didn't have the strength or dexterity to move it with her hand. But she could feel the lightsaber now. It felt connected to her. That was all that mattered. It now felt again like and extension of herself. She now controlled it's movement purely with the force and as it spun and cut through the air she smiled. It was a bit clumsy, and would take some time to perfect, but it would work. Now to go find Armel and exact her revenge.
Chapter 3: Eye Of The Beholder
Dedecus adjusted his cybernetic eye, bringing the dark bathroom into better focus. He looked around before bringing his vision back to the mirror. His hair hid the cybernetic pretty well, it was the reason he wore it that way. but in dark rooms like this one, you could still make out the red glow beneath. The eye was a constant reminder of the mistakes he made on Korriban. But, It was a reminder of better memories as well.
Armel felt the rumble as the shuttle lifted up and sped toward the sky. He watched as Korriban's statues got smaller and smaller, before disappearing into the red sands and then just a red planet. Armel had grown up on Korriban, never thinking he might be leaving before he was truly sith. Though, he was thankful he still had the opportunity to attain that goal. Where he was being taken he didn't know. This shuttle was obviously not made for long distance space travel. Armel reached up absentmindedly to his right eye. It was heavily bandaged. Armel had gotten the feeling that more could have been done, but they seemed to want to get him off the planet pretty quickly. They didn't even send him to the proper med center in the academy. Instead they just had a med droid with some gauze wrap his wound in one of the training rooms. The blackness of space Armel saw through the window was suddenly overtaken by a large space station. They had arrived. Armel walked off the shuttle into a small orbital station. there were mechanics working on other shuttles and a trooper standing there watching Armel as he stepped off of the ramp. "You the acolyte for Darth Consilium?" The trooper said. his voice recognizably tired and annoyed as it transmitted out of his vocal unit. "I must be." Armel responded. "Follow me then." The trooper said turning around and walking down a nearby hallway. The trooper lead Armel to a small room with a desk and a red banner on the back wall. to the right of the banner was a vidscreen. There was a bald man facing the vidscreen, so that all Armel could see was the back of his bald head. He wore black robes and had a medium build. "Ah I wasn't expecting you till later dar..." The man started as he turned around but what he seemed to be about to say stalled somewhere in his throat. He had a slightly scraggly grey beard. He was obviously older. Armel noticed that he had a look of surprise on his face. "Wait, who are you?" The old man said, his look of surprise replaced with confusion as he stepped closer. "I... I'm the acolyte... from Korriban" Armel said not understanding why the old man was surprised to see him. When the word Korriban escaped Armel's mouth he had a twinge of guilt and pain run through his stomach and his cheeks turned pink. He wondered if he should have said "expelled from Korriban" but he just didn't have it in him. when he got over his moment of embarrassment he examined the old man. The black robes seemed more of a worn grey on closer inspection. The robe itself had stray threads and appeared to have been very well worn. Not the pristine robes that the masters on Korriban walked around in. Armel expected those sith would not be caught dead in garments this ratty. "No, you I was expecting it is just..." The man paused eyeing Armel. "Never mind, it's nothing." Armel had a feeling that something was being kept from him, he was about to say something about it when the man started up again. "Yes, yes.. I am Darth Consilium, you have been assigned to... that is to say... You will be my apprentice." Darth Consilium said pulling a chair out from behind the desk.. "Now, uh... Let's see that eye, boy." "What?" Armel said, it was his turn to be surprised. He was not expecting that. The way Darth Consilium said that. it was... well... nice. He spoke as though he cared about Armel, about his injury. "Sit down boy, let's take a look at that eye of yours. can't have an apprentice bumping into walls now can I?" Consilium said with a genuine smile. Armel approached slowly, watching The old Darth suspiciously. He noticed the saber on his hip, but didn't sense any real treachery. Oddly enough this is what made Armel the most nervous. He slowly sat down in the chair with was more or less under the main light on the ceiling. "Lean back and look up into the light." Consilium said, and after Armel complied he reached up slowly, perhaps because he sensed Armel's nervousness, and gingerly removed the bandages. "Ooh, he got you pretty good huh? Well, the eye is finished, but we can replace that. I will schedule to have a medical droid install a cybernetic while we travel to Taris." He said as he replaced the bandage. "Why are you acting like this?" Armel said before he thought about it. "Like what?" The man replied looking into Armel's good eye. "Why are you being kind to me?" Armel elaborated. "Ahh, I should have guessed. So many teachers on Korriban believe the best way to grow a tree is to stomp on it until it becomes one. I believe that is... unnecessary." Armel and Consilium spoke for hours. About Armel's mistakes on Korriban, about Taris, about Sith Politics, something Consilium was not a big fan of, about cybernetics, and about Adanna. "I believe you made a dangerous enemy in her young one. She will reappear sooner or later. But the best we can do is have you ready when it does." Suddenly Armel felt a great energy enter the room behind him. It was both hot and cold at the same time, and the air seemed to be sucked out of the room. He turned around to see a very large man walk through the doorway. He was clad in black sith battle gear, a cape falling behind him. Armel's eyes rose steadily from his large boot up to his pale, almost grey, bald head. If Armel didn't know better he would have said he looked like a corpse. everything except his eyes. They glowed bright orange with a fire Armel hadn't seen before. He caught them for only a moment before he diverted his own eye. He couldn't bear to look into them anymore. It felt like a block of ice had fallen into his stomach. "You received my message Consilium?" The deep voice rang out of his respirator unit that covered his mouth and nose. "I did Darth Malgus." Consilium said with no fear in his voice. How he was able to manage that Armel did not know. He himself thought that if he weren't sitting in a chair he would have fallen to the ground. "Then you will be going to Taris to retrieve it?" The Sith named Malgus asked. "We will" Consilium responded curtly. Armel felt the weight of Malgus' stare. He knew that the Sith had looked toward him when Consilium said "We". He expected it was all in his head, but it felt to Armel as though it was harder to breathe now that he had the attention of Malgus. Armel was relieved when he felt the presence ebb away as Malgus left the room. He didn't speak much more for the rest of the day. As he boarded Consilium's ship, and followed the droid to the medical station, he contemplated his new master. He certainly had a different way than Abbatis. He was kind, yet he was not fearful of someone as obviously powerful as Malgus. Armel thought he might just have been lucky to end up with Consilium for a master. As he laid down and the droid shot a sedative into his arm Armel wondered if he would lead his new master to the same tragic end as his former.