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Star Wars: The Darkness Within

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Per'dra squared her shoulders. "The sooner we vanquish this thing, the better." Still, beneath her brave words lay more than a twinge of fear. If she could hear it, what was to say that it hadn't already made inroads into her consciousness? If it had, what would happen? Would she turn against every one of her allies, including the man she loved?


Would she cause the entire mission to fail?


She had a lightsaber, and if worse came to worst, she decided, she'd use it on herself.

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"The sooner we vanquish this thing, the better."


Zarev simply nodded grimly as he ignited his yellow double-bladed lightsaber and landed on the ground with the saber held in an attack stance as figures began to emerge from their hiding spaces. Voss commandos that were armed to the teeth with weaponry, Republic and sith troopers with blaster rifles ready. But more alarming to Zarev were the three masked Sith holding their crimson lightsabers ready.


Avriela smiled grimly and dropped from the ship and landed between Varik and Zarev and her red double bladed lightsaber ignited with a hiss.


"Try to disable them. Only kill if it's absolutely necessary." Zarev said softly as the mind controlled forces began to advance.

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"Try not to worry. And let's go."


Light said these words, turned, ran, and jumped off the ship, silver sabers at the ready. A few of the troopers started firing at the ship, and Light managed to hit some of the blaster fire back at them. Two were knee capped, but a third got hit in the throat. Damn


As the three troopers hit the ground, Light landed five feet away from the group. I feel bad for them, but we can't afford to hold back with the number of enemies being so much greater than our own.


The Sith, seeing that he was slightly separated from the group, charged.

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  • 2 weeks later...

...I need everything...


The Entity's message reverberated within her mind, and she decided to risk revelation. "I can hear it," she blurted out unceremoniously, "and I can't block it out. I don't think the Entity KNOWS I can hear it, but if it does, I'm fried."


A sweat-soaked tendril of hair fell in her eyes, and she shoved it away.

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"I can hear it," she blurted out unceremoniously, "and I can't block it out. I don't think the Entity KNOWS I can hear it, but if it does, I'm fried."


Zarev looked over at Per'dra with deep concern evident in his eyes. "I won't let it harm you, Per'dra. I swear on my life." He said quietly as Light managed to disable two of the troops but accidentally killed the third one with a blaster bolt that was deflected back at his throat.


He motioned to Avriela to assist Light with the three mind-controlled sith who had seen him leave the safety of the group. Avriela smiled and launched herself into the air and slammed down onto the ground between Light and the Sith.


"Bad move." She said with a smile as two of the red lightsabers cut through the air where she had been standing a moment ago and Avriela rolled underneath the deadly blades before slamming the hilt of her saber into the Sith's masked face. The sith hit the ground with a thud and didn't move.


"Light, try and knock them out. Only deflect blaster fire when absolutely necessary." She said as she caught the second sith's lightsaber blade on her own and managed to block a few wide-arc attacks.


Zarev charged into the group of Commandos and troopers and unleashed a powerful wave of force energy that sent many of his opponents flying into various objects, the impact damaged they sustained seemed to knock them out but a few of them got back to their feet and began firing at Zarev who was able to dodge most of the shots and the few he couldn't dodge he deflected into the ground. Before many of the remaining forces could do anything, Zarev raised his hand and suddenly the enemy forces found themselves unable to move. Zarev smiled.


Thank you, Master for teaching me that little trick before you died. He thought to himself.




Unknown Location

Nightmare Lands


The entity let out an enraged shout as it felt many of the forces it had sent against the Strike Team leave it's control. many of them had been knocked out and a few others had been killed. It knew it had many more pawns to throw against the Strike team but many of them were still too far away.

I will not let this end. Not when I'm so close! This Galaxy will bow to me!

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Varik ignited his lightsabers and disarmed several troops that were close-by to him, and threw one of his lightsabers to cut the barrels off several of the other troops' rifles. He Force pushed some of them away and redirected blaster fire from several others as he made it to where Light and Avriela were.


"Well this is certainly familiar.", he said, grinning at Light, "Us against overwhelming odds? We need to stop getting ourselves in these situations."

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Despite the pain in both her temples, which throbbed like the heads of jellyfish, Per'dra laughed to the point of hysteria at Varik's joke. "Right! Let's all take a vacation, maybe to some other galaxy than this one!" She couldn't stop herself. In the throes of trauma or distress, such reactions were common in ordinary people. For a Jedi, however, it was known as a failure of will. Such was this ingenue's mental state. All things considered, however, it was pardonable.


The Galaxy will bow to me!


Her guffaws ended in a high-pitched choking sound. She had heard It again.


Oh? she took the risk of thinking back. Only if I kneel first, fiend.

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Only if I kneel first, fiend.


The Entity snarled. One of the Strike Team could hear his thoughts and it appeared to be one of the Jedi. He should have foreseen this possible problem.


Kill the woman. He thought to his troops as the majority of the remaining troops ceased their attacks on other members of the Strike Team and began to move towards Per'dra.


Zarev watched in horror as many of the remaining enemy forces turned from their targets to look at Per'dra.




"Take them down! No one dies today! Not if I have anything to say about it!" He roared as he launched himself at a small group of attacking Republic troopers.


"Per'dra! Stay on guard!" He shouted urgently.

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A flash of dawning horror coupled with rage entered Per'dra's mind. Should have known better. Attack! Thus she did, spinning into action with her twin silver lightsabers and the Force behind her. Subtlety was usually her strength, but she had no time for that. She gave the Entity's controlled soldiers a magnificent display of techniques that Jedi were taught to respect and fear. Still, the onslaught continued.

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"Honestly, and with the galaxy at stake too? We must be magnets for trouble."


Light laughed at Per'dra's joke, but then...


Light had an idea.


He switched off one of his sabers, keeping the other for defense and began throwing the deactivated saber at enemies, with a bit of the Force behind it, to knock them unconscious.


His first targets were the Sith. In combination with his own fighting, it proved very effective in incapacitating them, as it slammed into the back of one of their heads, and caused the other to hesitate, unprotected, long enough for Light to deliver an uppercut to his jaw.


He decided to unleash this combination on the other troopers. It was devilishly effective, fists or saber slamming into heads, necks, a few unarmored solar plexuses. The only downside was the loss of protection. A bolt that he'd have normally deflected with his unarmed hand made it through, grazing his side.

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Enough. This ends now.


The Entity slowly rose to his feet and looked towards the entrance of the cave that he had been residing in as slowly reached for a lightsaber that was covered in dust.


The Entity's voice roared in the minds of the strike team with enough force to make them stagger in pain


You have become more then a minor annoyance! You have ruined nearly five years of planning! I will end all of you myself!


Zarev forced himself to his feet as the remaining mind controlled forces seemed to collapse on the ground as a shadowy figure seemed to emerge in the distance from a cavern.


"It's here." He said quietly. "It looks like we finally attracted his attention."

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Zarev could sense the power that the Entity was giving off. He could almost physically feel the power coming off of it. For a brief moment he tried to sense it's strength through the force and he staggered as he felt the strength that it held.


He narrowed his eyes and looked over at Per'dra and then at the other members of the strike team.


"Today, this ends." Zarev said quietly as the Entity finally got close enough to see it's physical features. Eyes that were almost completely black and utterly devoid of anything resembling compassion or mercy stared back at him. The Entity wore black robes that resembled nothing he had ever seen before with odd symbols on them. He was of average height, two inches taller then Zarev. He took a look at the lightsaber that the Entity held and he noticed that it was covered in dust.


"I normally don't need to use this, nor do I normally feel the urge to use it. But you and your friends are a special case. I will cut each and everyone of you apart and spread what's left of you across the planet." The Entity said quietly as what looked like an aura of dark side energy seemed to surround it.


"Stand fast!" Zarev shouted. "Today, we fight for both the Republic and the Empire! Today we stop the greatest threat known to our galaxy! Today we save everyone!"


Zarev reignited his double bladed lightsaber and the twin yellow blades appeared. "Now we end this." He snarled as he charged the Entity and boosted his speed using the force as he jumped into the air and brought his blade down on the Entity as a blood red lightsaber blade appeared between Zarev and the Entity as the Entity ignited his own lightsaber blade.

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As Varik was about to bust Light's chops about showing off, he felt a dark presence. He saw the Entity for the first time - a figure blacker than black, and he felt a twinge of fear.


"Whatever injury that blaster bolt gave we're going to have to ignore.", he said to Light. "You know what to do. Let's finish this."


"I normally don't need to use this, nor do I normally feel the urge to use it. But you and your friends are a special case. I will cut each and everyone of you apart and spread what's left of you across the planet."


He clutched his lightsabers and he ran at the Entity, locking his blades with the Entity's as it momentarily broke away from Zarev.


"You overestimate yourself, bastard.", he said through clenched teeth.

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As the enemies collapsed, Light returned his flying saber to his hand. He then used the Force to close the wound from the blaster bolt.


"Yeah, it's what I get for showing off, right?"


Light looked over the Entity with a bit of awe. This creature had been the cause of their hardship from the beginning. But, it looked almost normal, ignoring the eyes.


"Right, but I feel like it's misleading us. We must be..." Varik ran off to engage before Light finished "careful."


This is going to be a hell of a fight.


Light watched how quickly the Entity moved between Zarev's and Varik's strikes. Almost too fast.


Light moved to engage from another angle; he tried sweeping the Entity's legs with his blade hoping to impair its movement.

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The Entity smirked as it managed to deflect Varik's lightsaber with a parry from it's own saber and managed to get a few feet away from the three attackers before Light managed to strike it's leg.


"You will break before you die." The Entity said in a cold voice as for a brief moment a red aura seemed to surround it as a swirling vortex of force energy formed around it's hands.


Zarev turned to the others. "Brace yourselves!" He shouted as the Entity unleashed a massive burst of force energy that could have most likely sent a Republic walker flying off over the horizon.


The Entity looked up as it suddenly sensed something approaching at high speed. It barely managed to force jump backwards as laser cannon blasts tore into the ground where it had stood a moment ago. The Shan shook violently as the Entity unleashed a massive blast of Force Lightning that nearly knocked the Shan out of the sky.


"Vlalkor to Strike team, This thing is hitting the Shan pretty hard. I'm preparing to try and hit him with the last of our concussion missiles. Stand by to avoid impact zone."


"No!" Zarev shouted. "Don't do it. I have a feeling this thing could use them against us. Keep trying to hit it with the laser cannons as long as we're not in the impact zone."

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Per'dra, thrown back by the massive shock wave that the Entity emitted, decided to use a few of her own. In order to do so, however, she fell into a deep active meditation state. Focusing her thoughts, she sent a pulse outward from her mind, which grew stronger and stronger in tune with her heartbeat and adrenaline.Take this; take this; take this; take this; take this and die.

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Light was sent flying by the force wave. He managed to recover in the air, landing on his feet. Hearing the communications from the others, he was already preparing to avoid closing with the Entity, when he noticed Per'dra and moved into a defensive position near her.


"This thing is something else," Light muttered to himself while scanning for Varik.

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Having been in mid-strike, Varik was the least prepared of the group when the Entity released a shockwave. He went flying, unable to manage any sort of recovery as he slammed into a rock face. He tumbled into a heap, dazed and confused. It took a few moments before he pushed himself off the ground, shaking his head to regain focus.


He was pissed.


He ignited both his lightsabers, and charged toward the Entity, propelling himself into an overhead strike. A Force push shoved him back before he was able to complete the strike. He got up almost instantly, lunging at the Entity with renewed vigor.


They clashed ferociously in a display that would look magnificent to an outside observer. Varik heard shouting, but he ignored them. His attacks were sharp and quick, but the Entity's were faster. He twirled and made a parry. He was barely keeping up with it. It was getting stronger. But how?


He upped the ante. His attacks were stronger, more fierce. The Entity was making more parries, more feints. Varik was keeping up. They continued trading until they locked blades.


"I won't be the one who falls this day.", he snarled.


The Entity broke the lock and knocked Varik back. He rolled and jump back up, and then unleashed a flurry of strikes. It struck back with a series of its own, almost too much for Varik. They locked blades again. Varik was using Juyo extensively at this point.


He was getting tired, his attacks heavier but more sluggish. They traded blows. Varik was sweating, his breathing heavy, but kept going. He was going to take this thing down, he had to. He was getting slower. He was making mistakes. He missed a strike with his left blade and left his back exposed. He just barely spun and parried with his right blade.


They traded strikes and Varik kicked the Entity. He then overestimated a strike and had to duck to miss the blade. He raised both of his blades and slammed down hard against its blade. He made a blunder and staggered. He went again. He gave three heavy blows. A vicious counterattack by the Entity followed. He misjudged one of the strikes and ended up losing his left lightsaber, the top part of the hilt getting cut off.


He paused. He glared at the Entity with fire in his eyes. He was determined to bring this thing down.


"You will pay for that."


He fought with the ferocity of a caged rancor. He decided to apply Makashi more extensively instead of Juyo. He wanted to destroy its lightsaber. He wanted it to burn. They traded quick strikes and parries. Varik made a wide overhead slash. The Entity saw it coming and moved out of the way easily, and made a horizontal swipe, the tip of its saber searing Varik's left shoulder.


He screamed, and fell on one knee. He was desperate, this fight was too much. He got up, and in one last act of defiance, charged toward the Entity, forcing all of his strength and body into one punishing blow. For the first time, the Entity staggered backward. Varik went to strike again, but his energy was spent. This strike was pitifully weak, his arm far off to the side.


It was met with him barely able to block a swipe from the Entity, and a series of strikes afterward, and he stumbled and fell to the ground. His lightsaber deactivated as he was kicked to the side and it focused on the others.


He was a fool. He felt like a damned idiot. And now he was likely going to meet his end because of it.

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((The next few posts will detail the Strike Team members fighting their Nightmares. What the nightmare is is entirely up to you.))


Take this; take this; take this; take this; take this and die.


The Entity simply smirked as it managed to avoid the attack and clashed with Varik for a moment before wounding him with it's Lightsaber.


"Children. Clumsy Children." It said simply as it looked up suddenly and it stood up straight as a sudden thought hit it like a thunderbolt. "Wait a moment, Where is the sith failure? Where is the woman?"


Avriela seemed to materialize from nowhere as she kicked the Entity in the back and smiled viciously as the lightsaber was knocked from it's grasp. Avriela unleashed a stream of lightning at the saber and watched as smoke erupted from the hilt as the insides of it were fried.


Avriela dropped into a fighting stance as a shimmering ball of force energy surrounded the entity. "Let's see how tough you are without the Lightsaber." Avriela smiled.


The Entity narrowed it's eyes.


"Perhaps it's time I show you a technique of my own design." The Entity smirked as dark energy seemed to surround it. "Prepare to face your darkest nightmares." It said as dark streams of force energy struck each of the members of the Strike Team.

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((NOTE: I will carry this idea over into the next chapter. Per'dra has another secret besides her love for Zarev, a much darker one. She's been blocking it out this whole time, but the Entity will remind her of it via her nightmare.))


It can't be. It simply can't, she told herself. You're dead, Captain...


"Dead?" said the figure directly in front of her. "You only wish I were, Jedi."


Before Per'dra stood Captain Enobarus Hvalt, formerly of the Republic, now deceased. Neutralized or terminated might be a better term, at least if Captain Hvalt's state were properly listed in the Republic archives. As it was, his death was classified as a homicide, as yet unsolved. His assassin, highly skilled at stealth, had been so remarkable at concealing her tracks that she had managed to hide the truth from her very own mind. Until now.


"It was a mistake," she stammered as her team's fight against the Entity raged on. "I was sent on a mission to find a Sith spy within the Republic networks connected to our Order, and I was certain it was you. Forgive me."


"Forgive?" sneered Hvalt. "That is for the living, which you are, and which I am not. You cut me down without a second thought, not having made the final connection that one of my superiors was the traitor, and the mole. You were so convinced by the 'evidence' my superior planted, and here you are, trained in the ways of the Force! You are supposed to be just, yet you aren't. You are supposed to be moral, but morality flew out the window of your consciousness long ago. Most of all, you are supposed to be of the Light, but you yielded to the Dark Side when you hid your guilt from your Masters."


"I..." All the strength rushed out of Per'dra's muscles. "I admit it now."


"Then surrender yourself. You have not paid the required price for murder, but now you will. Deactivate your lightsabers, and drop them on the ground."


She did.


"Now, kneel and let me fill you. Let me take the life you took from me."


Per'dra knelt, and the nightmare coursed into her body like a flood of poison.


Force, if you accept me, I am yours. If not, I am sorry for all time.

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Light turned and saw Per'dra drop her sabers, but everything was getting darker. Light knew his mind was being deceived, and tried to resist, tried to fight.


Per'dra picked up her sabers.. No, Perdra spoke and knelt. He couldn't hear her though.


The Entity was there, and yet it wasn't. From within it spewed all of the friends and allies Light had made. At first it was slow, but it started speeding up until they were almost all there. No, it was just the Entity, or was it?


Light approached the Entity, and went to strike him with a lightsaber blow to the chest. Instead of the block or parry that he expected the Entity didn't move... and then it was Varik that he'd struck down in cold blood. A friend, killed by his own hand. And the Entity was where Varik had stood merely moments before. Light charged and thrust his sabers through it's chest, and Styke Te'enona fell to the ground. Light couldn't believe that a fellow member of the Brotherhood of Swordmasters was here. The Entity, again, was moved somewhere else.


Light couldn't handle it. It was so real.. So disturbingly real. He had just slain two friends... He kept trying to see what was really happening, but all he could see was his friends. The disgusted looks on their faces as they checked on the two corpses he'd made. He tried to listen to the real world, but could hear only their words expressing their disbelief that he could have fallen to the Dark side. Sounds of them igniting their sabers. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Per'dra, still kneeling, the same distance from him as before.


Had he moved at all? Was she real? Light couldn't tell anymore. As he turned towards her, she vanished. Who vanished?


Avriela made her way out of the growing crowd of upset former allies. She was ready, and she attacked. Light, immediately on the defensive, couldn't believe her ferocity. He blocked and parried, trying to get her to slow down so he could explain himself.


Can you really explain away killing two of your friends?


Light kept fighting, kept being pushed back. He feigned a block, deactivated and dropped his sabers, and rolled to her side. He grabbed an arm, and immediately felt a surge of electricity flow from it. He ignored the wounds she'd scored on his hand, arm, and chest, and pulled her arm towards himself. She resisted, as he'd expected, causing not just her arm, but her whole body to move towards him. He put her in a chokehold, quickly locking his elbow under her chin with one arm, and using the other to control her saber.


Light quickly spoke as he applied pressure to her throat, trying to keep her awake, but drain her energy. "Can you hear me? What are you seeing that is making us fight? I don't think it's real. It can't be real... Please, snap out of it."

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(Sorry it took me so long to post, life has kept me extremely busy)


Corsail had been exchanging cover for cover, constanly staying on the move fighting beside the rest of the strike team. None of his shots towards the Entity seemed to do any damage, the ones he didn't deflect, seemed to absorbed into nothing. "Blast! How do we kill this thing?" he exclaimed furiously.


Dark streams of energy came rushing towards him and his world grew smaller, and everything went deathly quiet and completely dark. Whats happening?? Where am I? Corsail tried to move, but only managed to stumble on to his knees. When he looked up, it wasn't just darkness anymore, there was something, someone else. His father.


Corsail stared at him in disbelief, "How... how are you here?" His father shook his head "My son, you are asking the wrong question.. The question is, why are YOU here?"


"What are you talking about?" Corsail asked confused at what was going on. His father's eyes flickered into black voids then turned back. "Why are you here, with these people? Fighting along side the Republic, and the Jedi! What do you owe them? What have they EVER done for you?"


Corsail looked down, "Nothing." He replied coldly. "But.."


"But what?" His father interrupted, "You want to wait to be betrayed again? You know its only a matter of time before they're done with you. Think about it, my son, everyone you've ever placed your trust in has either failed you, or tried to kill you.. and it will happen again."


Corsail was burning with anger, but also filled with doubt. Who is this? This can't be my father saying these things. "No.. "


"No?" His father laughed at him "Don't tell you me you're starting think of these comrades of yours as friends. You think they care about you? They hate you, despise you, and wish you had never been a part of this doomed mission of theirs. You are nothing to them, you are nothing to anyone!"


"Stop it!! Just stop!" Corsail shouted, as he tried to desperately stand up. He felt as if he was being pushed into the ground by an unknown force.


His fathers eyes again turned into black voids, but this time, stayed that way. "Corsail, the republic is weak, and is doomed to fall. You know this. Was the republic strong enough to defend against the empire when it attacked our home world and killed our family? You have no one to live for but yourself, my son, stop deceiving yourself into thinking that these fools you are fighting beside, risking your life for, are any different from the rest. This time, don't give them a chance to betray you, kill them, before THEY kill you."


Corsail was on his feet now, he had his blasters out and his hands were shaking. "Get out of my head!" he managed to pull the trigger and a furry of blaster bolts shot out.

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As the dark energy from the Entity filled Per'dra's body, Enobarus Hvalt continued to speak from beyond the grave. All around her, the young Jedi saw her comrades in the thrall of - Wait. They're fighting illusions, so that means...


"I am?" said Hvalt. "Hardly. If I were a phantom, I wouldn't be able to do this..." He wrapped his ethereal hands around Per'dra's throat and began to squeeze. Fortunately, that snapped her out of the deadly trance in which she had her caught. She stood up, picked up her sabers again, and prepared to attack.


"You're going to kill me twice?" the Republic Captain asked, and howled.


With all of her remaining strength, Per'dra charged at the hallucination.

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((Light, I really like the nod you gave to Styke and the old Brotherhood. Brings back some memories.))


Varik was still on the ground, trying to will his way to get back up when he saw streams of dark energy head towards him.


Oh no.


He blinked, his vision was getting darker. Suddenly, his surroundings changed. He was laying in the middle of a market square, and the skyline was dotted with buildings set ablaze. All around he saw charred rubble and collapsed structures. It was Onderon, his homeworld.


What trickery is this?


He stood up and looked around in bewilderment. He heard footsteps behind him, and turned. A tall lean man in his late 50s stood several meters away, and was dressed in the garb that was attributed to the affluent Onderonian politicians. Varik shuddered.


The man's lips curled into a smile. "Hello Varik."


Varik froze. It was Javir, also known as Darth Serazin. He was a Sith Lord, who had ties to the royal family of Onderon. He was responsible for infiltrating Onderonian politics and attempting to take over Onderon in the name of the Sith Empire. He was the head of the Council of Lords, and was behind numerous assassinations of people who were known to have close ties with the Republic, including Varik's entire family. Varik hunted him down and killed him before he was able to stage a coup and crown himself King.


But here he was, standing before him. This was a trick, it had to be. He rubbed his eyes and his breathing picked up. "But... but I killed you!"


But it looked so real. Was it really a vision?


Javir laughed. "Murder would be a more appropriate term." He clasped his hands behind his back and moved forward. "Or has your memory clouded so easily, Jedi?"


Varik glared at the dead man. His fear and confusion suddenly turned into sweltering rage.


"MURDER?!" His fists clenched. "You were too dangerous to be kept alive! You had too many allies, you had to die. I did what I had to do to ensure my world wouldn't fall to the Sith!" He spoke with conviction, but he felt doubt. He knew what he did was wrong, but it had to be done. Or did it? The Jedi would say otherwise.


Javir stopped a few meters in front of Varik. "So, is that your justification? Do you tell that yourself to make yourself sleep better? To make yourself feel like a hero?", he snarled. "I was weaponless and at your mercy. And you cut me down in anger."


Varik scoffed. "A Sith Lord is never at mercy." Javir's words were resonating with him. His doubts grew, but he refused to show it.


"I can see the truth in your heart.", Javir said. "And I saw it in your eyes that day. You didn't kill me for some noble cause. You didn't kill me to save Onderon, you killed me because you wanted revenge.", he smirked. "You may tell yourself you did it for the greater good, but murder is murder. No matter who is on the other end of the blade."

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