[Originally written by Scultone]
Remember guys this is my first attempt at a story. I would like to thank Veer for his assistance in this story!! Shadow Hunter It was another beautiful day at the Jedi Temple, and Scultone was excited to meet his new Master. Even though he was only a youngling, Scultone was rather adept with the force, quickly learning the skills of the lightsaber. Being an orphan had never bothered him, or even affected his attitude. Now standing before the Jedi Council, Scultone is anxious to see what will become of his future. He could hear the Council talking, though he was not sure what about. They had seemed concerned about his innate ability to cast lightning, and he assumed that the skill was the focus of their discussion. It scared many of the younglings the first time it happened, and the Masters were very upset when they first learned of it. In reality, it had all come about by accident; Scultone once found himself frustrated with a statue he was trying to move, with the force, and it would not budge. He didn’t mean for the lightning to burst out and destroy the statue. Well, perhaps he did, but from that point on, Scultone would think on it from time to time, pondering on the meaning of the lightning. Such a pondering did he find himself in now, anxiously awaiting word from the Council. Scultone’s thoughts were interrupted as he realized the Masters had stopped talking and were now staring at him. Master Sereph tilted his head a bit to the side and asked, “Scultone is there something wrong?” Apparently, during his contemplation, a small spark had formed between his fingers. Scultone looked down to the floor, then back up at the Council and replied, “I am very sorry Master’s, I was trying to understand why I have the sparks from my hand and no one else does”. The Council paused, and then soon resumed talking amongst themselves again. Finally, they came to a consensus on who would be his new Master. Master Aphis might as well have materialized out of the shadows in the corner of the room. He walked up beside Scultone, and whispered in his ear a few coldly comforting words: “Do not worry.” As Master Aphis began speaking with the Council, it became apparent that he had been watching Scultone from the shadows for some time. Scultone was shocked as he never seen the Master before or heard of him but the Council spoke to him with respect. After the meeting with the Council, Master Aphis took Scultone from the Temple to a far off planet and began training him. Scultone learned to control his lightning, and his master shared with him the art of hiding in the shadows. After years of training, Scultone now at the age of 12, Master Aphis left abruptly and without any explanation. After a day or two, Scultone became curious about his absence; after a week, he began to worry that Aphis might not return. Having never left the training complex that had been his home for the past several years; he became fearful of his master never returning. After thirteen long, solitary days, Aphis returned, unannounced, and with a young girl. She appeared the same age as, or maybe older than Scultone, and very beautiful. Scultone could not believe how bright her green eyes were.
“Scultone, this is Padawan Drakke” Master Aphis spoke as though he had never left. “She will be training with us here in the compound. Please be respectful of her space and understand her training may differ from your own.”
“Yes Master.” Scultone replied, obediently and without emotion, before turning to the newcomer. Pleased to meet you Miss Drakke; I am Scultone… please let me know if you need anything.” Padawan Drakke nodded her head slowly but respectfully and acknowledged them, “Thank you both.” Master Aphis nearly had to snap his fingers to break Scultone’s silent fixation on the newly arrived padawan. “Scultone… would you please show Padawan Drakke to her rooms in the east wing and make sure she gets settled in? Also, do give her a tour of the compound.” Scultone shook free from his quasi-trance to simply respond, “Yes, Master.” Turning to the green-eyed girl, he motioned his hand toward the east and offered, “This way please, Miss Drakke.”
The young padawan smiled politely and replied, “Certainly. But you can call me-“ Master Aphis whirled around and looked her in the eye, interrupting her, “Remember our conversation Padawan Drakke”. His voice was corrective, yet composed, as he turned to the boy, “Scultone: you will always address her as Miss Drakke… Am I understood?”
Scultone nodded in understanding, though he was not quite sure he understood what just happened. “Yes, Master Aphis. Miss Drakke, please come with me.”
Soon the two were on their way to the east wing where Padawan Drakke would be staying. Scultone showed her around as Master Aphis had asked. The tour completed, they now stood outside the door to her quarters. Unaware on how to break the awkward silence, Scultone fumbled with words in his head until she finally spoke.
Padawan Drakke tilted her head a bit and looked to the floor as she began, “Sorry about that, Scultone, but my father is very protective, and he did not want my identity shared with anyone.”
Scultone, slightly more informed but still lost for words, simply replied “I understand.” At least with the silence broken, Scultone decided to show off a little bit. He smiled, and then using the Force to cloak himself; Scultone vanished. He moved around her, invisible, and slyly reappeared between her and her door.
“Hey how did you do that?” Padawan Drakke asked, surprised.
She seemed more excited than shocked, and this made Scultone grin.
“Well, it takes a lot of training and practice…” Scultone revealed, pride welling up inside him, “but what I do is I pull the force around me like a blanket and bend the light around me, keeping me from sight.”
“Anyone’s Sight?” Padawan Drakke now glowed with an insatiable curiosity. “Can you do that anywhere? How about Master Aphis; can he do it? Does he know that you can do it? Can you teach me?”
Scultone was a little rattled by the excitement, and more so by the questions. Not having anyone to talk to but Master Aphis (and those talks usually only when training), Scultone was a bit offset and not sure how to respond.
Shakily, Scultone replied, “Well, yes, I can hide from anyone’s sight. Master Aphis taught me when I first came here, and has me practice every day, just like he taught me to……”
Scultone suddenly fell silent and became very nervous.
“I’m sorry…” The girl replied, sympathetically, “I didn’t mean to pry… this is all just so new, Please don’t be mad at me…”
Scultone, reassured, grinned and whispered, “Come with me; I will show you something, but you must promise never to tell anyone”
Padawan Drakke nodded, and with a confused look on her face, acquiesced a simple “ok” She followed Scultone out to the back, and seemingly unused, portion of the compound. Scultone walked up to a dust-covered, seemingly innocent wall and pressed lightly on one of the stones that opened a secret door. They traveled down the passage for several minutes until they arrived far below the surface of the compound.
Scultone stopped in the middle of a large circular chamber and motioned all around with his arms. “This is where I go for my ‘special’ training.”
Padawan Drakke inquisitively looked him in the eye and asked, “Special?”
“Remember,” Scultone reaffirmed, “You must promise not to tell *anyone* that I can do this, especially Master Aphis.”
Padawan Drakke nodded excitedly and said, “I promise!”
Scultone then became still and fell into the Force. He concentrated on his feelings, his excitement at meeting Padawan Drakke and having someone to actually talk to; a small static formed around his fingers, and then Scultone shot small static charges at the wall. Miss Drakke was awestruck.
“That’s amazing!” Her voice echoed in the chamber from her shout, and it surprised them both. In a more hushed voice Padawan Drakke continued “How do you do that?!”
Scultone composed himself and answered her, coolly, “I simply concentrate on a single emotion, then I focus it outward… but I really have always been able to do it”
Padawan Drakke giggled. “So Master Aphis doesn’t know?”
“He knows” Scultone admitted, “but he says it is not a proper Jedi trait and that I should not use it… which is why I have to come here to practice controlling it.”
Padawan Drakke, empathetic, offered some comfort, “Oh, I am sorry”
“Don’t be” Scultone told her. “I’m not upset about it. Come, we have taken too long already; I have to finish showing you the compound and to your rooms before Master Aphis finds out that we have been messing around.
”Scultone and Padawan Drakke only had a few lessons that were shared. Master Aphis preferred to train them apart for some reason, one that he was reluctant to reveal. In their off time, they would sneak to Scultone’s private training chamber where Scultone would train her to use the force to cloak herself or go walking around the compound. The two hit it off rather quickly and soon became close. Miss Drakke seemed to enjoy the use of stealth, and more importantly how Scultone used it to cause havoc for Master Aphis without getting caught. They seemed inseparable for the first couple of months and it came to the point where there was nothing they didn’t do together. Eventually, though, Master Aphis began to take notice, and at once had the 2 separated, citing the Jedi code. That didn’t stop Scultone, though, who now had mastered the art of stealth. He would often sneak to her room and over the next year they fell in love with each other.
One night, the two of them were in Scultone’s private quarters, they had just made love for their first time when Padawan Drakke decided to divulge her name to Scultone she whispered her name into his ear “Is'mara”. Just then Master Aphis burst in with 3 other Jedi that Scultone didn’t recognize.
Master Aphis looked upon the two of them with a disgust that Scultone had never seen in him before. He scowled as he addressed them, “You greatly disappoint me Scultone! Master Yewan: please escort Padawan Drakke out of here at once!”
Master Yewan nodded, “Very well Master Aphis. Please, Padawan Drakke, come with me”. Padawan Drakke looked to Scultone who, to this day, remembers nodding for her to follow, and so she did.
Master Aphis simply stared at the young man before him. “Scultone, you know well the Jedi Code that we live by. I have even separated you before and still you will not listen!! Look now what you have done, you have betrayed the very code we live by. You have become a selfish shadow of the night and take what is not yours!! What do you have to say for yourself?
Calmly, Scultone replied, dejectedly, “Master… I take full responsibility for my actions, as well as for the actions of Miss Drakke, She followed my lead in this and has done no wrong… if anyone should be punished it should be me.”
Master Aphis stood quietly for several minutes seeming to contemplate the situation when Scultone felt something wrong. It was Padawan Drakke, she was calling out to him he felt it, they were taking her away.
Scultone jumped up and ran out to the landing pad in the center of the compound, where the ramp had just closed on the ship that now held Drakke from him.
Master Aphis followed him slowly and walked up to a weeping Scultone. In an arrogant tone he told the boy, “This is your fault. She is ruined; her family name has been cast aside for her transgressions! She will be stripped of her status and will no longer be trained as a Jedi, all because you could not follow the code. You were a disappointment from the start. I could sense the emotion, the anger inside of you and tried to keep you from it but you wouldn’t listen. You never listen. And now you will never see her again…”
At those last words Scultone whipped around and looked Master Aphis right in the eyes. The smug arrogant look left Master Aphis when he saw the pain and darkness in Scultone’s eyes, then he saw the anger, and the rage as it swept up to replace the pain.
“No Master.” Scultone now spoke with a burning, vile, impassioned fervor that he himself did not know. “It was you that did all this… *You* brought her here, just so you could take her away from me! You planned this. You planned all of this! You wanted to see me fall. You hated me. You envied my power and taught me to hide it just so you would not have to see it. You caused all of this… You took her away from me... Not just to harm her, but to harm me! I HATE YOU!”
As he spoke, sparks flew between his fingers. With the last, violent scream of his discourse, he surged forth with his right hand and unleashed a flood of lightning upon Master Aphis. It was a sensation unlike anything he had ever felt before, a pure and unrepentant rage, one that he had always been taught to avoid, and one that Jedi are meant to avoid. He felt empowered, like a levy had yielded to his emotion and allowed his anger to play freely among the writhing fibers of his Master. He felt the lightning pulsate as it poured from his fingers and into the one that had crafted this pain for him. He cared not that Master Aphis was screaming. He cared not for this man who had been like a father to him for all those years. This man had betrayed Scultone and had taken his only love from him. As the lightning surged with more power, Master Aphis eventually stopped screaming. The lightning, however, did not stop until Scultone had emptied himself of it, of all his anger and all the love that he had been stripped of. When He had finally exhausted himself, he looked down and saw that Master Aphis was nothing more than a smoldering corpse. A few moments passed as he caught his breath, his energy expended and drained from the endeavor of lightning. In these moments, as he rested, panting, it dawned on him that he was alone. He also realized that the other Jedi may still be near. He now had nothing and knew no one; all he understood was that he could not stay in this place nor could he return to the Jedi Temple. He had killed a Master with the lightning that they feared so much. Perhaps they were right to fear it; to fear him. Scultone ran, and he did not stop for hours. The compound in which he trained was now far away in the remote forest that he had, until now, called home. Scultone still did not know what planet he was on, or if there were any settlements near his master’s compound. He did not know how to survive in the wild on his own. After what seemed ages of wandering in the forest, Scultone had spent so much energy in his rage and wandering that he grew very weak. Having collapsed in the undergrowth, he had nearly accepted his death… his painful, starved, and deprived death as a vengeance sent upon him for murdering his master, when a glimmer of hope revealed itself. They were only footprints, but they weren’t his footprints. They were, at the very least, some signs of other bipedal life in the forest. Scultone followed the trail of footprints and, through half-functional eyes, set his deathly gaze upon a camp of poachers who were hunting the local wildlife for trophies. In an unfortunate twist of fate, his would-be hopeful group of saviors quickly became his enslavers. They set upon him like dogs and put him in bindings after they thrashed his malnutritioned body. Scultone was much too weak to resist, and only managed to push back one of them a few feet with a gust of the force. He had played his hand, however, and now they knew he was force-sensitive. With this in mind, they sold him off quickly to slavers that knew how to deal with his kind. Scultone spent the next 3 years being sold from one slaver to the next, each finding out (through costly structural repair bills and murdered servants and family members) that Scultone was more than they could handle. His power with the Force was growing with his hatred for the slavers and his hatred for the Jedi that stole his only love and had created this miserable existence for him. Scultone, now 17, was eventually sold to the Sith in a final slave auction, and was now being transported to Korriban, to either train or die at their “academy”. Scultone trained with some of the most ruthless people that imagination had no room to describe. Several acolytes, as is common, were pitted against him, and even sent to kill him many times by other, hopeful, acolytes with more fear than courage. Scultone, however, with his stealth as an ally and his focus on training in lightning as his weapon, always endured and emerged the victor. His training with the double blade was abnormally quick, as Scultone had sparred many times with Master Aphis and learned to defend against a double bladed saber. He would need that skill, as many of the most skilled at the academy took pride in their prowess with the weapon. Scultone had run across many acolytes with murderous intentions, and it soon became a game to Scultone to study and find the most ruthless, cunning, and dangerous of his fellow acolytes. There were many that drew his attention, though one stood out above the rest: a male by the name of Foln. He regarded him not because he had a bloodlust for killing, as numerous acolytes strive to prove, nor because of his skill with a blade and staff, which in itself was something to behold. It was his almost impenetrable composure. He never seemed to lose his head or act rashly. Instead, he used indifference as though it were a powerful weapon, one that made him strong – feared, even – but not outwardly threatening to those striving for advancement at the academy. Scultone studied the man for some time; trying to find a weakness. There was no doubt that something burned inside him, something buried so deep within him that he never showed it or used it against others. Scultone saw him as the most dangerous of all because he was entirely unpredictable. Scultone didn’t like him one bit. He always kept a watchful eye on him, up until the day Foln departed Korriban after some flashy dispute with an administrator and his son. After he was gone, Scultone focused himself on leaving as well.
After a year at the academy, Scultone was finally chosen by a new master, a certain Lord Vassen. Scultone approached the Sith outside his office after being instructed to report to him.
“Greetings, my Lord-” Lord Vassen, without as much as turning to face the acolyte, demanded, “You dare speak out of turn?”
“Apologies, my Lord” Scultone replied humbly and as he had been trained to. Lord Vassen turned to look the young man in the eyes. “Tell me why you want to be my apprentice.”
Scultone was taken aback by the immediateness of the conversation on top of the snide arrogance of the Sith. “Because, my lord, I was told you hated my previous master.” Lord Vassen raised an eyebrow as he inquired, “Oh… and who was your previous master? I have not heard of you being tasked to anyone before me, and you were a child slave when you were brought here. So, do tell me, my young apprentice-to-be, who was this so-called ‘master’ of yours?”
Scultone stared back at the Sith and announced, pridefully, “His name *was* Jedi Master Aphis”
Upon hearing this, and after a moment had taken hold for the words to fully sink in, Lord Vassen flew into a rage and choked Scultone with the Force, threw him up against the wall and yelled, “You LIE! Who put you up to this? How dare you even mention that name in my presence? And what do you mean WAS? Tell me NOW!!!”
Lord Vassen loosened his choking grip on Scultone’s throat and awaited his response.
Scultone smiled and, struggling, said, “I know your name… and his… because he spoke of it… during my training… as a young Jedi... I know you hated him… because he would talk… about you… from time to time… spouting his Jedi garbage… along with it. And I know… he is dead… Because I… killed him!”
With that last revelation, Lord Vassen flew into a rage that would have nearly killed Scultone if he had not prepared for it. Scultone was able to absorb and deflect most of the lightning Lord Vassen Threw at him but Scultone would have been over powered were it not for the other Sith Lords who interfered to prevent more damage to the academy. Lord Vassen’s rage took out most of his office and the hallways and rooms adjacent to it, and injured several students and at least one other Sith Lord nearby. Lord Vassen, once calmed, looked down and was shocked to see Scultone still breathing. It was very unusual for a mere apprentice to survive such a barrage of force lightning and so Lord Vassen decided to leave the academy with the boy to verify his claims.
Lord Vassen took Scultone to the planet where Master Aphis had perished. Scultone did not ask how Lord Vassen knew where it was, and assumed it was because Lord Vassen was planning some form of vengeance upon the Jedi. Upon landing, Lord Vassen’s opinion about Scultone changed. While Lord Vassen was looking over the Jedi’s charred corpse still there after 4.5 years, Scultone saw again the result of his fury. He also saw the damage he had caused to the surrounding buildings and the rest of the compound; only Master Aphis had been in his rage-filled, narrow-sighted vision. Now looking at it all: the charred building remains, the walls exploded with the rage of the lightning… there was not much but charred rubble with scars from the energy and a corpse in the middle of it all. Lord Vassen now looked upon Scultone with a fearful respect in his eyes. He had only just become aware of the boy’s existence at the academy, and now was unsure as to the limits of his power, should his potential be unleashed. Scultone, of course, had held back from Vassen; he learned from his time in slavery that knowledge was power, and the less people knew about him, the more power he had over them. Regardless, Lord Vassen now knew what Scultone was capable of. Vassen declared Scultone his apprentice, and together they left the planet, most likely never to return, and Scultone was glad of it. Shortly after, Lord Vassen sent Scultone to Dromund Kaas to run errands and perform assassinations; it was clear that Lord Vassen did not want Scultone anywhere near him. Only communicating via holo simply reassured Scultone of his master’s fear. In reality, fear is probably why Vassen never sought out Aphis, and the Sith certainly did stink of it lately. Lord Vassen had decided to lend Scultone’s services out to other Sith Lords. A good assassin was always in demand and the pay was more than enough. Scultone didn’t mind his master’s absence, as he now had the opportunity and freedom to fulfill a yearning that had gnawed at him since the day he left his Jedi life behind: to find out what happened to his love, and kill all the Jedi responsible for taking her away. The only thing he had of her was her name. “Is'mara” he whispered to himself “Is'mara Drakke I will find you”