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KOTOR III: In Search of Darkness


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KOTOR III: IN SEARCH OF DARKNESS

An Old Republic Saga by the Dantooine Theater Company

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

Ten years after the Jedi Exile defeated DARTH TRAYA upon Malachor V, the galaxy has entered a brief period of stability. The downfall of the Sith Triumvirate means that the Jedi Order has had a chance to regroup and train new members, but the followers of the Dark Side are also attempting to fill the power vacuum left behind by their three previous Lords.

 

A young Padawan, V'NESSA TALT, has had a vision of a rising foe as seductive as it is malevolent. Not since DARTH REVAN has anyone been so skilled at manipulation and conversion of Jedi to Sith. Thus only Revan, along with the Exile who followed in the Dark Lord's wake, can have a chance at vanquishing this new threat. Will the three of them and their allies achieve victory, or shall they lose their lives to the presence that aims to bring the entire galaxy under its iron heel?

 

LOCATION: REBUILT JEDI ENCLAVE, DANTOOINE

 

"Padawan, are you ready to begin the sparring match?" Visas Marr, a Miraluka and new Headmistress of the Jedi Sentinels, stood at attention. Though blind, she could sense the inner states and motivations of almost anyone, including her nervous charge. However, Visas also noticed high anticipation within her.

 

"Yes, Master." V'nessa Talt, her longtime student, saluted crisply.

 

"Are you also ready, Padawan Valean?" asked Brianna, Headmistress of the Jedi Guardians. An Echani by birth, she was consummately skilled in the art of combat. Not only could she use a lightsaber with aplomb, but in hand-to-hand brawling, she was second to none and had already taught Valean much.

 

"Of course." The young Cathar bowed to her Master. "I was born prepared."

 

Brianna continued speaking. "This is Padawan Talt's first time wielding two training sabers instead of one, as Valean does. However, I predict that my instructions in several of the Echani stances and forms will make up for the lack of an extra blade on my student's part. The rules are simple: The first Padawan to disarm the other one wins the match. If at any time, either fighter leaves the Enclave courtyard to heal up, she will lose. Naturally, no foul play or illegal moves will be permitted. That includes the use of stealth, although it has been allowed in other training duels. Visas? Count them off."

 

"Ready." The two young Jedi braced themselves for battle. "Set." They focused intensely upon one another, feeling neither malice nor mirth, but the keen sense of friendly rivalry between two well-matched opponents.

 

"Fight!" Valean and V'nessa charged, each one in her preferred stance. While the former was engaged in an offensive strike, the latter reacted defensively, knowing that sometimes the best way to counter someone's aggression was to meet it with empty space. She dodged out of the Cathar's path with the deftness of a future Jedi Shadow, turned, and engaged in a counterattack. Valean deflected it, and thus began the match in earnest.

 

As for the Masters, they both kept vigilant eyes on the proceedings. Neither one believed that their Padawan would try any dirty tricks, and so their goal was to analyze and critique the technique of each combatant. Visas watched V'nessa, pleased but also concerned because her student's passion and frustration were beginning to show. Overall, V'nessa's strength did not lie in combat per se, and so she was barely a challenge for someone like Valean. Still, the reason why they had been paired as a sparring team was to complement and strengthen one another, and not merely to compete.

 

I know she wants victory so badly that she can almost taste blood, Visas thought, but I want to teach V'nessa that loss leads to learning.

 

Brianna studied her Padawan's performance with the cool and studied gaze of a woman who had long ago learned to put her emotions and feelings aside. As a former Handmaiden of the fallen Master Atris, she had been trained almost since birth that her task as a servant of the Jedi Order was to observe and evaluate, not to question and challenge. Still, thought the Guardian, it was following this kind of training that led me never to suspect that Atris might have succumbed to the Dark Side of the Force. I learned it too late, and couldn't stop the Exile from slaying her outright. I do not know if that final survivor of Malachor V had also fallen or not, but I do know Atris is dead. Valean has power, and the more she wins, the more she gains - exactly like my former Mistress. Humility is key, but how can I teach her such a virtue?

 

Both Valean and V'nessa were fighting at more than the speed of thought, and had no time for reflection - only action. It was paramount, and only one of two would act fast enough to defeat the other. In minutes it was over.

 

"The winner is Padawan Valean!" Surprisingly, the Cathar had executed an Echani leaping form that would have been lethal in a real duel. V'nessa had been startled and tensed up, and the blow had caused her to drop both training lightsabers. She blinked, lowered her head, and then bowed to the victor of the sparring match. Valean bowed in return.

 

I should have seen that coming, V'nessa thought, feeling ashamed.

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As Valean bowed to the opponent she had defeated she thought she saw something on her Master's face. For a brief second she could have sworn she saw a frown on her Master's face but if she had actually seen it it was gone after only a second as a smile lit her face.

 

Valean's smiled vanished for a moment as she thought about the situation she was in right now. She had been paired against someone who was clearly not at her combat level and she didn't know why. Was it possible that Master Brianna was trying to teach her something?

 

"Good match." She said simply as she turned to look back at her Master and than back at Padawan Talt.

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Despite her disappointment V'nessa smiled back. "Good match, indeed. It's a wonder you didn't do any real damage with that Echani form you've learned. Headmistress Brianna has taught you well, and I daresay that I hope Master Visas might learn it so that she can teach me." She shook Valean's hand, hoping that her emotions didn't show too clearly. "What's your secret?" she asked the Cathar. "I've been watching you rise on the combat leaderboard."

 

In the mess hall of the Jedi Enclave was posted a ranking of each Padawan in three areas: academics, combat, and practical use of the Force such as levitation and hurling rocks at one's opponent in telekinetic sparring matches. V'nessa was ranked second-to-highest in academics, but in the other two areas she stood a bit below average. At times she wondered what she was doing here at the rebuilt Jedi Enclave on Dantooine, especially due to her weaknesses. However, if Master Visas had such confidence in her, that surely counted for something. Speaking of which, the Miraluka approached her.

 

"Padawan? I have a question. What did you learn from this match?"

 

"I learned that Padawan Valean is far better than I am with a lightsaber."

 

Visas gave a subtle, inscrutable smile. "Anything else?"

 

"I have to learn to control my nervousness in duels and other situations where fighting is necessary. If I would have been more calm and focused, then maybe I would have reacted in time to avoid contact with Valean when she leaped toward me. However, you have to admit that this is my first duel against someone so strong. Usually you pair me up with Padawan Carot or Tar'eth, a mauve Twi'lek who is keen with a vibroblade. I draw against them."

 

"Stalemates are one thing, but outright loss is another. You have garnered a valuable lesson from your trial against Valean, and I congratulate you. Fear is a pathway to the Dark Side, and if you cast it aside, you will do much better than you have been. I know you think you're awful in combat, but there are those who need more practice than you. In time, your deficits shall become strengths if you put effort into them and treat them as opportunities."

 

V'nessa nodded. She turned again to her opponent. "You'll be ranked first!"

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The Ruins of Malachor V

 

It was inevitable that one day Daimonos would return here. Even after the re-activation of the Mass Shadow Generator, Malachor still stands. Twisting valleys and jagged spires, it is a wonder how little Malachor changed. The power of the dark side is a remarkable thing, and the dark side is strong here, as it has always been.

 

"I am God, and all other gods are my imagery."

 

Daimonos walked upon its broken surface. It was here where nightmares became reality. It was where Daimonos completely surrendered to the dark side. He could still see the remains of scattered ships, ships of men that had been caught in the artificially-harnessed gravity. It was a power that no man should wield.

 

"I gave birth to myself."

 

But it had to be done. They were loyal to the Republic, not to Revan, and certainly not to him. Those who had doubting loyalties had to be eliminated. They had no place in Revan's empire.

 

"I am millions of forms excreating; eternal; and nothing exists except through me."

 

Daimonos didn't have a place either. He contributed virtually nothing to Revan and Malak after the war. Instead, he chose to stay on Malachor, and he basked himself in the ancient Sith knowledge from the libraries of the Trayus Academy. It was knowledge that would drive mortal men insane, knowledge that should be left buried.

 

"Yet I am not them - they serve me."

 

He learned terrible power here, and that is why he had returned. He had felt a presence, a dark, malevolent presence. One that he would need to defend against. Mere black magick and Sith sorcery would not be enough, but there was so much knowledge in the Academy that he had never touched upon.

 

So much to learn...

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"What's your secret?"

 

Valean chuckled lightly. "I practice the Echani forms every morning before I practice with Master Brianna. All that extra practice really helps out."

 

"You'll be ranked first!"

 

Valean let a small smile form on her face. She didn't think that this was going to happen so soon.

 

"I...I don't know what to say." She said with that same smile on her face. She was happy but there was also a small amount of pride in her stance but she was doing her best to hide it. She didn't want her Master to think that this was all going to her head.

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Both Headmistresses, Brianna and Visas, watched the exchange between their Padawans with keen interest. They glanced at one another out of the corners of their eyes, assessing the impact of the contest. They had planned this event together not only to test Valean and V'nessa, but also to find out whether they were suited for something far greater than sparring matches. They had analyzed their two students' performance in all three areas of study at the Academy, kept as keen an eye on the Padawan leaderboards as the two young women did, and did everything they could, short of eavesdropping on Valean and V'nessa's private conversations, in order to decide if they even had a chance to address a grave concern each of the Jedi Masters had...

 

"Padawan Valean?" The Cathar turned her head. "I have a question for you. We Jedi teach that equality is one of the founding principles of our Order. However, it's clear that in combat, you are much stronger than Padawan Talt. Can the two of you be equal if this is true? Is equality a matter of equal abilities, strengths, devotion, or something deeper?" Brianna's expression was not unkind, yet it was unreadable. "Are you equal to V'nessa, and if so, how?"

 

V'nessa wanted to answer, but a pointed "look" from Visas held her back. "I have questions for you as well, Padawan," the Miraluka announced. "What happens when the strong are paired against the weak in a real battle? Is it only a matter of survival to the adversaries as they fight and kill each other? What is more important: victory or personal integrity? What did you choose?"

 

"Well, I didn't try anything illegal or overly dangerous, even though...at times, I wanted to. I haven't won a duel in a while, so I had to fight back the temptation to attack Valean in a way that I shouldn't have. I'm sorry," she told her opponent, "but it's true. At least this time, integrity was more important to me than victory, no matter how much I yearned for it.

 

"As for war? I guess all bets are off. Look at the Mandalorian Wars and what they caused. The Mandalorians were driven back into the Outer Regions by Revan, but he and all of those Jedi who followed him fell to the Dark Side. They turned against the Republic in the Jedi Civil War, and the whole galaxy is still trying to recover from the wreckage. It's been more than two decades since that happened, and I've heard rumors that the Sith are regrouping.

 

"Revan and his armies betrayed their Jedi training. Victory at any cost was what they wanted, and what they achieved. I hope that I'll never believe the same thing, sacrificing the galaxy and its people to ambition. Revan didn't just want to survive, but conquer. There's a vast difference."

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"Revan and his armies betrayed their Jedi training. Victory at any cost was what they wanted, and what they achieved. I hope that I'll never believe the same thing, sacrificing the galaxy and its people to ambition. Revan didn't just want to survive, but conquer. There's a vast difference."

 

Clad in his old Crusader robes, Icarus Thaesar heard those words as he walked past. Inwardly, he seethed. As a veteran of the Mandalorian Wars and the civil war that followed, it disgusted him how they had the audacity to brand them all as traitors. These new Jedi are just as propagandic as the old ones. None of them were there. None of them fought in the wars. They would never truly understand. He fought and bled alongside his brothers, and was then vilified by the very people he fought for. Even now, he still was. All because he chose to follow Revan.

 

Fighting off the urge to vocally protest, he instead shook his head disapprovingly with a soft sigh, and continued to walk forward.

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V'nessa gave a sudden start when she saw Icarus. "Oh! I didn't see you there. Were you watching our training duel?" What an inane question! I bet he's heard what I just said, and I've studied too much recent Jedi history in class not to know what his robes signify. "I..." I - what? Didn't mean what I just told Master Visas? Of course I meant what I said, and once again, I've let my words get ahead of my brain. 'Before opening your mouth, open your eyes.' That's another one of our teachings that I've failed to master. Stupid, stupid!

 

She nervously glanced toward the blue Twi'lek and then back at Visas.

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"I have a question for you. We Jedi teach that equality is one of the founding principles of our Order. However, it's clear that in combat, you are much stronger than Padawan Talt. Can the two of you be equal if this is true? Is equality a matter of equal abilities, strengths, devotion, or something deeper?" Brianna's expression was not unkind, yet it was unreadable. "Are you equal to V'nessa, and if so, how?"

 

Valean was confused for a moment as she thought over the question. She wanted to answer the question but she didn't want her Master to think she was just saying what she thought her Master wanted to hear.

 

"I...I believe it's something deeper than that Master. In a way, I believe that Padawan Talt is stronger than me in some respects but I am stronger than her in others. But I feel that we are both equal in our beliefs regarding the Jedi code."

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Headmistress Brianna nodded. "It seems that you have already learned the lesson upon which I have already wished to expound. You are strong yet humble. You don't consider yourself superior to your fellow Padawan, although you are more skilled in the ways of combat. I congratulate you."

 

How much should I say about...the palpable sense of dread I keep feeling?

 

"When it comes to the threats you will face as a full-fledged Jedi Knight, there shall be some that you might not be able to fight alone. When that time comes you must work as a team. It's best if the members of that team complement one another's strengths and compensate for deficits."

 

Come on. Jedi tell the truth, so what's stopping you from telling her?

 

"Here in the rebuilt Jedi Enclave upon Dantooine, we have all been relatively safe," she continued. "We have dealt with danger from wild animals and the occasional bands of Mandalorian raiders, but so far, nothing worse than that. I fear that this may soon change. Padawan Talt? You said you've heard 'rumors' of the regrouping Sith, but Visas and I, along with the other Masters, have been investigating them. They are more than fragments of idle talk. Ever since the fall of the Triumvirate, the remaining Sith have fought amongst themselves. We haven't heard of any new leaders emerging, not yet, but that doesn't mean this hasn't happened. Your trial period is ending."

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" ... Ever since the fall of the Triumvirate, the remaining Sith have fought amongst themselves. We haven't heard of any new leaders emerging, not yet, but that doesn't mean this hasn't happened. Your trial period is ending."

 

Icarus was originally intent on simply ignoring the naïve Padawan and go about his day, but this new revelation has perked his interest.

 

"What do you mean, the Sith are regrouping? Logically, that would be impossible. There's not enough Sith, and there's too few resources to maintain them.", he paused. "It just doesn't seem possible. Given the amount of losses they've sustained in the last few conflicts, including their little civil war, the remaining Sith left would be nothing more than a border skirmish. And that's assuming they've found a leader to rally behind after killing each other senseless for ten years."

 

"Unless if they've constructed a Star Forge to create people."

 

Malachor V - Surface

 

Daimonos continued down the chasm, gazing at the barren landscape. The storms that had oddly comforted him during his tenure here were gone. The storm beasts he would periodically hunt for sport were gone. Malachor was completely desolate. The dark side was still strong, however. Malachor was still a nexus of dark side energy. He could still hear the screams of thousands of soldiers, as they were suddenly ripped apart by the power of artificially-harnessed gravity.

 

His thoughts drifted back to the war. The Battle of Malachor V was a costly one indeed. It was a losing fight; the Republic had to go against the power of the entire Mandalorian fleet. The Mandalorians relentlessly annihilated the Republic defenses. Even after Revan slew Mandalore, the Mandalorians fought to the last man. It was only after the activation of the Mass Shadow Generator that Revan was able to turn the tide and force them into surrender.

 

Daimonos remembered that day well. He was on Revan's flagship when it happened, and watched as the majority of both fleets were suddenly pulled into the planet. It was fascinating. The Zabrak engineer, whose name he'd long forgotten, had an intelligence that rivaled an Arkanian's. He held no sympathy for their deaths. Indeed, they deserved it. If they were not completely loyal to Revan after everything they had gone through, then they deserved to be eliminated. In particular, the few Jedi that were still supporters of the Council.

 

Daimonos, lost in his thoughts, tripped and fell down a steep cliffside. He managed to regain his footing as he landed on the ground. In the distance, he could see the remains of a structure. A very familiar structure.

 

No.

 

He stared at the structure, and continued walking forward.

 

No no no.

 

As he neared the edge of the valley, he saw a small curved bridge extended outward, with large fissures throughout. The walkway slowly got wider as it reached the...

 

NO.

 

This was it. The remains of the ancient Sith fortress he had called home for years. This was what was left of the great Trayus Academy. Daimonos was both saddened and infuriated. He came all this way for nothing. The Jedi carelessly destroyed quite possibly one of the greatest repositories of Force knowledge in the galaxy. So many secrets, lost forever.

 

He balled his fists and his breathing intensified. The screams progressively became louder, and in his rage, Daimonos suddenly slammed his fist into the ground - unleashing a gargantuan wave of Force energy. The sudden expenditure of energy caused him to momentarily collapse.

Edited by LDR
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"What do you mean, the Sith are regrouping? Logically, that would be impossible. There's not enough Sith, and there's too few resources to maintain them.", he paused. "It just doesn't seem possible. Given the amount of losses they've sustained in the last few conflicts, including their little civil war, the remaining Sith left would be nothing more than a border skirmish. And that's assuming they've found a leader to rally behind after killing each other senseless for ten years."

 

"Unless if they've constructed a Star Forge to create people."

 

"Eh?" Headmistress Brianna asked Icarus. "I have never heard of such a thing. A Star Forge to manufacture living beings instead of weapons? Impossible, I would say, although I have also learned that with the Force nothing is impossible. I only know what I've been hearing lately, but I'm trying not to believe it because what you say is true. However..."

 

"However, what?" asked V'nessa, who winced. "I'm sorry. I spoke out of turn."

 

"Not at all. The way of the Sith is to annihilate their enemies, and even their own kind if they prove to be weak. Thus their numbers are low, as they should be. Despite this, if the rumors are true, they've been finding some way to recruit and train new Sith from among the population of Dantooine. What they would want with a planet full of farmers is beyond me. Our Enclave is here, but I didn't believe it would prove tempting enough for any remnants of the Sith to attack. I don't know what they're doing or how they're doing it, but our Republic allies and informants wouldn't lie to us. Would they?"

 

"I don't think -" V'nessa suddenly saw Brianna wince. "Are you all right?"

 

"I'm fine - just went blank for a moment. I must be getting a headache."

 

"Did you hear it?" asked Master Visas Marr. "Did you feel it? That pulse..."

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"Not at all. The way of the Sith is to annihilate their enemies, and even their own kind if they prove to be weak. Thus their numbers are low, as they should be. Despite this, if the rumors are true, they've been finding some way to recruit and train new Sith from among the population of Dantooine. What they would want with a planet full of farmers is beyond me. Our Enclave is here, but I didn't believe it would prove tempting enough for any remnants of the Sith to attack. I don't know what they're doing or how they're doing it, but our Republic allies and informants wouldn't lie to us. Would they?"

 

Valean was a bit surprised. This was the first time she had heard of the rumors of Sith recruiting people from Dantooine. She stayed silent however as she continued thinking of what they could possibly want from the population of Dantooine.

 

 

"Did you two feel it?" Asked Atton Rand as he walked into the room with a towering trandoshan following him. Valean's eyes widened at the sight of the tall reptilian alien.

 

"This is Quirzar." Atton explained at Valean's shocked expression. "I found him on Nar Shaddaa while I was on assignment. He was on a hunting trip when I found him. It turns out he's force sensitive and didn't know it."

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V'nessa turned toward the Trandoshan and Headmaster Atton Rand, who was co-leader of the Jedi Sentinels with Visas Marr. "It's an honor to meet you, Quirzar," she said, bowing to him and trying to conceal her wariness. When it came to those of his species, they were typically raiders like the Mandalorians or outright bounty hunters whose favorite prey was the members of the Jedi Order. Even a Padawan such as she would fetch a nice ransom.

 

Fear is a pathway to the Dark Side. She remembered her Master's words, and supposed that prejudice was simply another form of fear, especially when it came to those who were foreign. Thus she let out a sigh, as slowly as she dared, and relaxed her shoulders. Just because he's not human doesn't mean he's out to kidnap us. Besides, he wants to become a Jedi. Perhaps he knows... "May I ask you a question?" asked V'nessa.

 

Brianna gave her a pointed look. Not now. I know you want to ask him if he knows about the Sith recruiting people from Dantooine, but now is not the time. I just felt a blip in my brain that didn't hurt, but wiped it somehow blank, and that's more important. We must discuss the pulse.

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Kael sat alone in the fields of Dantooine, far way from the academy. He closed his eyes and smiled as he felt the cool breeze brush across his face. Using the force to reach out to his surroundings, he felt for any near by life forms. Finding the one he was looking for, he called out to it. Almost immediately afterwards an avian creature that resembled an exotic bird with a snake's tail came soaring towards him. Kael held out his arm and the Fynock landed on it.

 

He placed his hand over the Fynock's head and stroked it. "Sorry girl, break times over, there's a few things I need to do at the academy before I get back to training." The creature starred at Kael and chirped unhappily. "You can stay out here if you want, but if you're interested in eating I suggest you come with me."

 

Kael quickly gathered his things and started heading to the academy, but was stopped when he felt a pulse hit him. Kael looked around unsure of what just happened "Did you just feel that?" The Fynock ignored him, apparently unaffected by whatever he just felt. "Maybe one of the masters know whats going on."

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Emptiness. A blank slate. Just for a moment. Blip.

 

"I felt it," V'nessa rasped through a suddenly-dry throat. "A mental erasure. For a split second there was nothing in my mind, not even fear, and then - It was like I hadn't even been born, existing but not existing yet."

 

"It is a warning." Visas Marr's voice was ice-cold. "Preparation for a message."

 

"How do you know that?" In her worry, Padawan Talt forgot to address the Miraluka as Master, so she immediately corrected her faux pas.

 

"You already know that I can 'see' through the Force, even though I'm blind. On rare occasions I can also hear through the Force, and this pulse is a signal."

 

"From whom?"

 

Visas paused. "I believe the more important question is 'From where?'"

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"A mental erasure. For a split second there was nothing in my mind, not even fear, and then - It was like I hadn't even been born, existing but not existing yet."

 

Valean shook her head in confusion. It had felt different for her. For a brief moment it had felt as though a crashing wave of Darkness had been crashing over her, taking away her ability to breath.

 

"It...felt different for me." She said quietly. "It just felt Dark. Like a wave of Darkness."

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Headmistress Visas nodded. "I know the feeling all too well. As my Padawan knows, but you may or may not, I was once a Sith - the thrall of the late Darth Nihilus. The call of the Dark Side resonated constantly within my mind, so much so that I grew nearly immune to it. However, since I am now of the Light, I feel the opposite side of the Force far more keenly than I did then. When I served the Lord of Hunger, evil was the 'natural' way of things. It was life. I sensed it no more than a fish in a tank senses the water around it. The fish knows the wet substance in which it lives, but doesn't consciously think about it. Neither did I. I wanted to die and to save my life at the same time, which was part of Nihilus' torture. Only when the Exile redeemed me did I believe any differently. I almost didn't, because of hatred for my Master.

 

"How does this relate to the Pulse? I felt it in the same way you did, Valean. Brianna's mind may have 'gone blank' for a moment, as did V'nessa's, but it caused me intense sudden pain. A 'wave of darkness' is exactly what it was, and if my suspicions are correct, it's emanating from a planet I once thought dead." She paused and exhaled through her nose. "Its name is Malachor V."

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Icarus trembled for a moment, feeling a tingling near the back of his skull. It was a familiar presence, one he knew all too well.

 

"Its name is Malachor V."

 

Master Visas's words confirmed it. He physically shuddered for a moment upon hearing its name.

 

"I guess the dark side is more powerful than we thought. I mean, if it could keep a dead world alive...", he began. "Malachor always was a stubborn planet."

 

Not Malachor. Why did it have to be Malachor?

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"The most I've heard about Malachor V," interjected V'nessa, "is that it was the site of the Mandalorians' defeat as well as Darth Traya's. Other than that, I admit I don't know too much about it." She gazed at the people around her, and her blue eyes lit upon Icarus. "You were there...were you not? What else can you tell us of a planet our Masters say is a coffin in space?"

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"You were there...were you not? What else can you tell us of a planet our Masters say is a coffin in space?"

 

Icarus stared at the ground, recalling his memories. He was there during the war, and was also there quite a few times during Revan's reign. His body stiffened for a moment.

 

"Yeah, I was at Malachor.", he said. "And I'm not comfortable talking about it. The evils that took place there were... unspeakable. You wouldn't understand."

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Blip. Once more V'nessa was unable to think, or even realize she wasn't thinking, for a split second. "It happened again, Master Visas," she said, noticing the Miraluka's sudden nod and grimace. "Total blankness. How do we stop it?"

 

"I don't know," Visas Marr replied softly, "but it's definitely a warning."

 

After shaking her head to clear it, and finding it still empty of answers, the young and confused Padawan turned back to Icarus. "I probably wouldn't," she told him. "The only battles I've ever been in are against training droids, which are proving less and less of a challenge as time goes on. I've never faced war - especially on the scale of horrors that you have. Nevertheless, I want to try and understand, especially if the Pulse is emanating from Malachor V. Is it intact?"

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"Excuse me, Padawan, but I explicitly requested that you...-"

 

Icarus stopped. Another blip. He reached out and massaged his temples, momentarily distracted.

 

"How is this possible? Malachor was destroyed. I saw it rent apart before my own eyes.", he paused. "And I felt it, the second time."

 

"I don't understand.", he wondered aloud.

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"Neither do I," mumbled Headmistress Brianna. "I was on Malachor V myself, to support the Jedi Exile in defeating Darth Traya. I saw him assist Bao-Dur, a Zabrak engineer survivor of the Mandalorian Wars, in activating the Mass Shadow Generator once again. I saw that planet split apart, closing the gaping wound in the Force that it had become due to the massive loss of life that had taken place upon it. There should be nothing left of it, unless..."

 

"Unless what, Headmistress?" asked V'nessa Talt, gazing at her anxiously.

 

"Unless what I saw was only the majority of Malachor V splitting apart, its crust, and the core is still intact." She shook her head. "It simply can't be."

 

"Why not?"

 

"Naturally, because Bao-Dur placed the MSG activator, and his remote, very near that same core. It should have been blown to bits just like the rest of that Force-forsaken world, but something deep down tells me that didn't happen." She shook her head. "Is the power of the Dark Side really that strong, to keep what is rightfully dead alive? If so, then that means..." She trailed off. "That means that if the core hasn't been breached yet, we have more work to do. Visas?" She turned toward the Miraluka. "Do you agree?"

 

"Of course. We newly-designated Jedi Councillors are going to need to gather ourselves, and see whom we can spare in order to undertake an investigative mission. We need to find out what, if anything, remains of Malachor V, and we might take...no. They're not ready. They're only Padawans, and unprepared."

 

V'nessa shivered. "Do you mean Valean and me, Master Visas?"

 

[O/C: I'm making a second character, a Force-Sensitive tech. See you in the BCC!]

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Kael walked through the academy as quickly as he could without breaking into a straight out run. He dodged past several other students and did his best to avoid eye contact. Where are all the masters? He wondered to himself. The Fynock perched on his shoulder was growing uncomfortable at the pace Kael was moving at and started making annoyed chirps. Kael was walking through one of the corridors when he heard the voices of several different people, gathered together in the same room.

 

He stopped and held up his hand to silent his pet. Then he moved in closer.

 

"Of course. We newly-designated Jedi Councillors are going to need to gather ourselves, and see whom we can spare in order to undertake an investigative mission. We need to find out what, if anything, remains of Malachor V, and we might take...no. They're not ready. They're only Padawans, and unprepared."

 

Kael didn't want to interrupt but this was the first master he could find, and he felt that they should know about the pulse. He stepped around the corner of the door and dipped his head in respect, "Um, excuse me, master Visas, and..." He struggled for a few seconds to recall the others name, "..Master Brianna, I have something to report." Kael swallowed. I think. What if it was nothing? Just shut up and tell them already!

 

"Um, I was training outside the academy and, something hit me. It was like I was swallowed by my greatest fear and eveloped in darkness, but then it went away as swiftly as it had come." Kael felt his cheeks burning, realizing how silly he must have sounded. "I'm sorry but It's hard to explain, I just thought you should know...."

Edited by Warlord664
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