Zathura & Qooká
As a battered old starship; The Independence ripped through hyperspace a Sith Master was instructing his apprentice the basics of Form I lightsaber combat. The apprentice went by the name of Zathura, and his Master by Qooká. Our story starts at the end of what was a Golden Era for the Sith Lords, when the darkness ruled the galaxy with a power that could rival even the powerful new Jedi Order of today.
The red synthetic plasma beam of a lightsaber scorched the air; Qooká thought that the smell of it was to close for his likings. His Apprentice; Zathura – was a good swordsman for a boy of his mere 11 years of age. He had been taught by some of the best swordsmen in the Sith Order. Blast, he’s getting better everyday. . . Qooká decided to stop playing games, and ramp up the velocity of his attacks to over 3 per second – nothing for a Sith Master, but sure enough: it was for young Zathura.
Zathura was a Human from Coruscant, only 3 years of age when the Sith found him and took him away from his parents, and what was to be a measly life of worthlessness. He had grown up in a loving family, from what Qooká could recall. Love was nothing to a Sith, it means nothing. Only anger shall break their chains and set them free. This was drilled into both Zathura and Qooká from day one. The Sith was their passion, the darkside was their family. They knew it. Every Sith did.
“You are improving my young apprentice,” rasped Lord Qooká. For a man of roughly 41 standard years, this sudden gasp, or less availability of air shook Qooká – he had never felt that before…
“Master, I am hungry. I have trained for over two hours,” replied Zathura.
“Then eat, I shall join you soon.” Barked Qooká.
Zathura headed for the small area in which a table and three chairs were placed, made out of Alderaainian Marble. Its texture was smooth and warm. As Zathura sat, he felt deep into the force and concentrated his innermost rage until he found that icy mountain deep inside the Ion engine of a heart and flung a bolt of lightning to kick start the Glow Rods above his head. He heard his Master stir in disapproval, and Zathura found himself dryly saying “Don’t worry, it won’t happen again”, he got the feeling his Master was going to lecture him, but he didn’t. Something was wrong. His Master never missed to give him the chance to add to the rage that was barely controllable inside his apprentice. He chose to forget it and concentrate upon his meal, drink and the valuable lesson he had just undertaken. Zathura chose to go through the lesson in his head, he felt if he could engrave it upon himself, he would never forget.
“The Sith fear nothing. Sith have no fear. Use your anger as a weapon, strike anything down that gets in the way of your mission. Low slicing is best used on taller enemies . . . old tricks still work . . . the force is the key . . .”
His Master interrupted his thoughts. “The force does not take you to the centre of the universe – it makes you the centre, granting you powers far greater than any foe may possess.”
How many times have I heard this?! “Yes Master, I understand.” Replied Zathura neutrally, trying to keep the impatience out of his voice.
As Zathura went to place the dirty plates into the HochSubCleaner, he was starting to wonder where the transport was heading… After all, they had both recently completed a mission on Geonosis: collecting new metals for use in Lightsaber construction. The missions they undertook were strictly routine, and well, plain boring. Zathura had deeply considered introducing his lightsaber to the Grand Weapons Master Of Geonosis’s face…
He decided to head up to the NaviComputer in the cockpit. He felt a shimmering wave of dark water twist over his shoulder and gently push the door to a close. He turned and saw his Master looking directly at him.
“I was just going to check our desti-” Said Zathura quickly, he knew how angry his master could get, and he also knew how painful the feeling of the Sith Lord’s grip over his neck was…
“Do not fear Zathura. Sith have no fear. I am going to tell you what the Council has told me.” Qooká suddenly looked quite white, and scared – but at the same time... oddly pleased with himself. The expression which transpired on his face was totally unreadable: a mixture of the three combined to give something new, and strange. This gripped Zathura’s attention harder and sharper than his Master’s force grip...
“The council has requested our presence immediately for three reasons. The first being: We have to give in an official report on whether our mission to Geonosis was successful.” This was totally bog standard, and Zathura’s attention began once more to slide. “Secondly: the council feel that it is time that you and I embark upon a quest that every Sith must take during the course of their life. We must go to a planet of your choice to find a gemstone for what will be your newly built lightsaber.” An absolute sensation of joy flooded through Zathura – the council felt that even at his young age he could manage to cope with a real lightsaber! Finally, he could ditch this pathetic training one… His mind flipped back to reality as he realised there was another point to be made. “And finally: The council member Z’akata Nerotha has been killed in a bizarre twist, of which the Sith have no clue as to how it happened. This leaves a place vacant on the Council. The council member F’loori Deppoa has raised my name, along with two others: Master Finno and Master Dkhaba. All three of us were unwittingly tested by the council, and I have been chosen for the position.”
This statement was followed by both Zathura and Qooká by silent reflection.
On the mind of Zathura was:
You know what this means? The council trusts you. Finally, after years of proving yourself – it’s paid off. But wait… my Master – a Sith Lord? That’s unheard of, a Sith Lord with an apprentice? I don’t think it has ever happened before... Well, that’ll certainly make me more popular with people back at the temple. Or perhaps he’s going to kill me? That’s impossible… but even so, he’ll be so busy with the duties from the Council, he’ll forget me. What’s his need for an Apprentice now? He’s got it made. Hmm… I’d better be careful.
On the mind of Qooká was:
Z’akata Nerotha is dead… I don’t understand – who could have killed him? He was one of the best blade beings in the galaxy! I have a place on the council as a result of his death. Ha, funny really. He loses everything, whilst I gain his power. Brilliant.
Eventually the silence snapped by the movement of Qooká to the cockpit, who was closely followed by his apprentice. As Qooká checked the NaviComputer, he realised they were nearing their final destination: Korriban - a remote, forbidding planet, seething with dark side energy: the perfect location for the Sith Temple
As Qooká flipped the crafts engines expertly from Hyperdrive to real reversion, and then down to a steady cruising speed he heard the InterComm crackle:
[Docking Bay 6]: “Identify yourself!”
[Independence]: “This is Sith Master Qooká and my apprentice Zathura. May we be given landing permission?”
[Docking Bay 6]: “Voice print analysis: Confirmed. Welcome home Master Qooká.”
[Independence]: “Thank you Docking Bay 6, it’s good to be home. Please send a message to the Council that I shall be there in a short time, along with my apprentice. Independence out.”
Qooká flew the old, yet agile craft through the upper atmosphere cycling the flaps expertly with the experience of decades on his side; the craft seemed tailor made to fit his fingers perfectly, resulting in a graceful slide between space and the atmosphere.
As the craft flew down to the surface of the planet, Qooká hit the floor jets, and a blast of blue-white flame erupted from the belly of the craft, which just in time enabled it to seemingly hover over the rocky surface of the landscape. With a flick of the switch, the floor jets were set to 20% - just enough to maintain hovering, and the forward thrusters to 60% as the docking bay grew nearer. With Zathura pressing a few buttons on the console - the Ship had a pre-written course for the docking bay – the two Sith were taken towards the last valley and the bay.
Looking down, the tombs of ancient Sith Lords were easily viewable, and the feeling of darkness generated from the planet was enough to make anyone shiver – but not a Sith. The Sith onboard embraced it, and with that, they knew they were home.
The final procedures took place aboard the ship and the laser walls were lowered for the ship to pass through. As the ship narrowly fitted through the gap, the walls of laser were already expanding back into their original place.
The ships legs touched down onto the smooth durasteel platform, the landing ramp lowered. The Sith onboard stood up, and made their way to the exit of the ship. As they walked down the ramp, a voice greeted them…
“Greetings Master Qooká and young Zathura. The council will see you shortly, they are just coming back from the Ancient Tombs of region Seven, they felt a strong aura of darkness.” This was the voice of the docking bay Sith. A man who was taken, like so many before him at birth away from his parents. Sadly the Sith had made mistook his force presence for another individual. He was however allowed to stay on, and monitor the gates. A fitting job.
“Yes, hello Craz’ik. Thank you for the information.” Replied Qooká with a certain liquidity it seemed to roll of his tongue with a new found awareness in rank. As Zathura’s master went about making plans for the clean-up of his ship, Zathura could once again appreciate the feeling of being back home. He had only been gone for two weeks, but he had already missed it. I wonder if the council will speak with me alone or with my Master… Well, at least they trust me now. Anyway it feels good to be home. He found himself strolling towards the edge of the docking bay to look at the infinitely long drop from the docking bay to the ground of the valley so many miles below.
“Zathura, come here. The council have called us to them,” requested Qooká. The two found their way through the temple, navigating the healing rooms, the dormitories and the garden. Eventually, they reached a room at the centre of the order; it pulsated with the dark side aura. It was perhaps the only room in the galaxy with such a surge, a rush of the potential energy that each of those individuals could create that made Zathura respect the council’s power, not their ideas.
As they entered the room, the Head Of Council welcomed them, as they stood in the middle of the rectangular room.
“Welcome back Master Qooká, and young Zathura.” The sharp authority in his voice rang with every syllable.
“Yes, thank you Master F’loori Deppoa – I have the report of our mission here, would you care to hear it?” His Master replied silkily.
“Yes, it would be most welcome.”
Zathura looked through the windows that were behind the Sith Lord’s chairs, the view was spectacular. The complementation between the curving sand dunes, and the deep valleys were jaw dropping. The Sith Tombs themselves were something regarded as legendary; the works of art upon them would be enough to drive any archaeologist into a fit of delight once discovered. His attention was quickly bought back to the moment when all the gazes in the room focused upon him.
“The council has decided Zathura, that you are able to construct a new lightsaber with your Masters help. This marks a milestone in your path of the Sith. You are to choose a planet in order to retrieve a lightsaber crystal. What is the planet of your choice?” The elder Sith Lord’s gaze was staring directly at him, as if he were taking part in some test.
“I have chosen the planet Mimban.” Stated Zathura.
“Very good, if you could please leave the councils chambers now.” The voice which asked him this was no longer full of authority, but… an indescribable emotion. The voice was full of compassion and sadness, almost as if the council leader were getting old.
But that’s impossible, thought Zathura, Master F’loori Deppoa, getting old? How can that be? He’s perhaps the strongest Sith there is! I suppose not even the force can stop age catching you up…
As Zathura left the council room, the lights dimmed and the council leaders stood. Qooká had dreamt of this day for so many years, so many long, hard, painful years.
He automatically knew what to do. He stood strong, and powerful, and stared right back at the council members.
Then, eleven bursts of plasma spat forth from the end of each of the council members’ lightsabers, creating a dull glow. He knelt down onto one knee, and the councils’ sabers went with him. Sith Lord, F’loori Deppoa stood forward, and lowered his blade further still.
“With the power of the force, I declare you: Sith Lord of Korriban. To pledge your life for the service of the council, and the life of every Sith inside these walls.”
These few words made joy spark off inside Qooká in a sudden explosion. These few words made him his dream. He had finally managed to obtain the rank he had so long wanted. He started up into the eyes of the Elder Sith Lord, and stood. The lights turned back on, and the lightsabers deactivated. There, right next to F’loori Deppoa himself; was a seat for him. His life was now entwined so deeply with the Sith, no person could ever describe its complexity.
Zathura sat waiting outside the room, on a light red material sofa, which linked gracefully with its metallic hard back and legs. The council members filed out of the room. The last to leave were F’loori Deppoa, and his Master. They seemed to be in deep discussion, and when his Master caught his eye, they ended the conversation abruptly.
“Master” said Zathura, with a smile. He had also known how much his Master had wanted this position on the council.
“Zathura, come with me. There is a lot to be done. I shall explain in the forgery.”
The newly made Sith Lord walked down through the corridors of the Sith Temple, with his apprentice right on his heels. They walked through the gardens and back through the dormitories until they reached the TurboLifts, which linked the whole temple together. His Master pressed a button, and a lift hummed to the now opening door to let them into it. Once inside the lift, again nothing was said but the topic of what was going to happen was on Zathura’s mind.
Why isn’t he talking to me? It’s like he doesn’t trust me any more…
“I know what you’re feeling Zathura, do not worry. I shall explain everything to you shortly.” His Masters voice wasn’t intimidating, nasty or any other demoralising tone. It was trust. It was compassion. And from then on, Zathura let his Master lead him to the forgery.
The old, black metal doors hummed open and a blast of heat steamed out the opening. The room had to be always kept hot, for the construction of a lightsaber always required heat.
The two Sith sat down at the durasteel table, and began to talk, and work.
“Master, I am very pleased for your appointment to the council, I knew you’d do it” every word which Zathura said rang with sincerity and care.
“Thank you Zathura, I myself am of course very happy. But you do know what this appointment will mean for my teaching of you?”
“Yes Master, I am aware that your duties for the council are going to make the time for you teaching me a lot more limited. But please – if there are any special missions which you may have to take, please take me with you! I can’t stand the thought of you without me being there. It’s breaking up the team. It can’t be done.”
“I can understand your concern my young apprentice, but do not worry.” He laughed, “they will not break up ‘the team’ as you put it”.
Zathura was very thankful for his Masters gentle humour in times of his distress.
The lightsaber he was constructing was modelled on his Masters, a fine Electrum and Bronzium shell, with a dark hand grip around the end of it. At the top, the lightsaber smoothed in, and then out again. It looked magnificent. The one thing it lacked was the Crystal which enabled it to spit flame, and wreak havoc: a necessity of all Sith Lightsabers.
Well, it certainly looks good. Qooká heard himself thinking but the crystal, like F’loori said, there are no Crystal caves on Mimban… Strange. Why does he want to go there, ah well. I suppose he has something in his mind that draws him there. After all, the planet does have a strange dark side aura…
After many hours of tireless work on Zathura’s part, the lightsaber was coming into shape. “Master, it is complete. I have made it.”
“Very good, let us head back to the Independence, and head firstly to Mimban; we have a large mission in front of us.”
The Newly appointed Sith Lord thanked Craz’ik for cleaning and preparing the Independence for their next mission. As Zathura climbed up the exit ramp and back into the hull of the ship, he caught his last glance of the Temple.
Why am I always here for such short time? I never get a chance to say hello to my friends, or practice with the remote droids, or play in the jungle gardens… come to think of it, I hardly ever have any rest. I suppose the council sees that I’ll be quite powerful, and they want to see how far my limits are… well, I’ll show them!
Zathura stole one final glance of the smooth durasteel platform and walked deeper into the ship. He headed up into the cockpit, and motioned to his master through the TransparaSteel view port that the ship was good to go.
Qooká saw his apprentice, and bore in mind what the elder F’loori Deppoa had told him as they walked out of the Council Chambers:
Upon the planet Mimban, there is rumoured to be an ancient crystal that civilization has forgotten, the population of the planet is primitive. Make sure not to upset them, as they have valuable minerals in the hills, such as the rare marble: malab.
There are two things I would like you to do, firstly: Make sure you get the crystal for Zathura. Your apprentice is proving a very powerful Sith for his young age. Secondly: Try and make a peace treaty for the Sith with the beings living on that planet, you could ensure this temple a lot of credits as a result of this.
As this was his first official Council mission, Qooká felt that he wasn’t going to fail; he wanted to set a standard that would one day become the norm for all his missions.
Qooká headed for the cockpit inside his ship, and saw his apprentice buckled in and ready for lift off. He gunned the engines into a start and headed for the laser walls that were deactivating as he flew for them. The nose of the ship protruded from the Temples docking bay. Rain hammered down like blaster bolts, vaporizing when they touched the cockpits windows. The rest of the ship was clear of the temple, and the familiar dull red glow of training lightsabers were visible in a few windows of the temple, blurred from the rain, and the blue laser doors were closing, which kept out the harsh weather experienced on Korriban.
Sith Lord Qooká felt sad and happy to be leaving this planet. The planet was his home; he felt so strongly about it, you might have called it love. He had been given a great honour to serve on the Sith Council, and by doing this first mission, it signified a new step into the dark path. However, he wouldn’t miss the weather…
As the ship roared through the upper atmosphere, engines spitting out white hot flames, Zathura was plugging in co-ordinates for Mimban, when his Master motioned to him. He looked back at the surface of the planet, and saw the rugged landscape, the harsh weather, but the pure darkness seeping out from the temple was infectious to those who were ‘tuned-in’ to the force. It was a good feeling. The planet was some sort of nexus for dark energy, which would one day be unleashed upon the galaxy. Zathura smiled: When that day arrives, he thought, I’m going to be first in line.
The ships NaviComputer predicted that it would take fourteen hours to get to the planet. This, Qooká expected. It wasn’t a very well charted region of space and he was grateful that the Computer decided to take it slowly and cautiously.
“Right my apprentice, we have fourteen hours to kill. There are many things we can brush up on: studying the planet Mimban; refining your lightsaber skills; practitioners of the force. The list goes on, what would you like to learn?”
Zathura thought this weird, his Master usually chose a topic for him and they practiced it. “Well, perhaps we ought to do some Lightsaber stances; I’m feeling a little under trained when it comes to duelling.” Replied Zathura honestly.
“Then I shall teach you the art of the second form of combat: Makashi.” Instructed Qooká.
The two Sith headed to the far end of the ship and stood opposite each other, with stillness to rival a vine tiger ready to strike. It didn’t matter who moved first, because the other was copying their movements so fast it looked as if they were fighting a mirror.
Qooká flicked out the hilt of his lightsaber using the force to ignite it, in mid air. The blade chewed through the air, until it crackled to full length by the side of the Sith Lord. Zathura chose an easier technique, since he was fighting his Master, who was teaching him purely Makashi; he chose to adopt a Djem-So stance: the perfect opposite to Makashi, enabling him to make his Master tire quickly. These thoughts took place in his head automatically, whilst his physical actions happened at the same time. His hilt to flew to his hand – past it – and towards his master, using the force, he ignited the training blade into a spear of fire.
Qooká saw the shift of his apprentice’s stance and was able to counter the attack of the thrown lightsaber easily: he let the force pull him to the floor and into a graceful roll that left him standing closer to his apprentice. He heard the lightsaber hit the floor, as he unleashed the power of force lightning from his hands. The lightning jolted through the air in erratic movements spiralling for his apprentice.
Zathura had gathered the force around him, like a cloak of darkness; he let it run through his veins as he breathed darkness, and became the master of it. He let the darkness know his deepest secrets, his worst memories. He touched the ever flowing river that was the force, and let the axis of the universe because himself. It was only then, that Zathura could simply cast away the lightning with a force absorb. As for his lightsaber, it was already flying back to his hand as soon as his master had chosen to roll to the floor. The fierce red glow lit his face into pure hatred. He was on form now.
Qooká had sensed it, as soon as the lightning from his fingers stemmed out, he had known. He is getting stronger as the minutes go by, this is impossible! The Sith Lord wasn’t a Lord for nothing: he understood the power that was the force, and his apprentice’s connection to it. Qooká, like his apprentice let the force flow through him. Unlike his apprentice’s connection to the force, his was powerful, and well used. He knew how to readily access it, and use its potential energy. Growing tired of using the force, he decided to teach his apprentice the art of a deadly Makashi practitioner. His lightsaber went to the ground for an attack on his apprentice’s legs, and then the blades met: entwined in a dance of speed, dare and grace. Makashi, Qooká knew was much more powerful, when used against any person when new to a form of combat, and his apprentice was new to any form of combat. His red blade flicked to and fro, making any heavy attacks from his apprentice few, so he could gather himself with sufficient time to parry, and then attack once again. The two Sith became a dance of hatred, although this was only a training session, the emotions which were used to fuel their aggression were not.
Zathura knew he had the advantage of agility, and could use faster attacks to catch his Master off guard. Sadly the Djem-So style of fighting required larger, broader attacks. So he decided to switch tactics: he ran up his Master’s chest, and whilst kicking him slightly in the neck, he back flipped away whilst unleashing a deadly fire of force lightning to aid him in his escape. Once he had landed, he saw his Master’s boot coming at him with a speed that greatly resembled terminal velocity. Oh dear, perhaps this is more serious that I thought…
Qooká had felt his apprentice on his chest when he realised what was happening: he didn’t like the current state of affairs. His apprentice then did something quite, dangerous for a practice session – he kicked him in the neck. Thankfully, not as hard as it may have been for Qooká had managed to pull his neck back in time for his apprentice’s foot to lightly graze his neck. The storm that followed surprised him just as much as the ferociousness of the attack upon his neck; he absorbed the lightning with no trouble. Just as his apprentice turned in his back flip away, Qooká decided to end the training session for today: he flew at Zathura with infinite speed and power. And by the look on Zathura’s face it looked as if he knew what was coming.
Zathura felt the kick on his chest, and a sharp pain seeped through his nerves, and flew to his mind. The pain was indescribable. He was planning to lunge forwards at his Master, blade angled up, but this knocked him to the floor and sent his lightsaber spinning out of his hand – into the air – and, with a force pull, into the hands of his Master who swiftly held it, with his own lightsaber to Zathura’s neck.
With a grin, he dis-ignited both the blades, and smiled down at his apprentice. He offered a hand to help him up, and then checked his chest for any further injuries.
“Well done my apprentice, your abilities grow rapidly.” Stated Qooká, a definite pride in his voice.
“Thank you, Master. I feel I have learnt well today, Makashi is a fascinating form of combat, it seems very elegant and, well, arrogant.” Said Zathura, looking for praise.
“Yes, those two points are correct, but the speed and power that this form of combat offer are not matched by any other form. You did well to try and use Djem-So against me, as it is Makashi’s opposite. Sadly for you, you’re not too well trained in that form of combat – yet. Very well done.”
“Thank you, my Master. I must now rest; it has been a long day.”
“Yes, I think I shall sleep for a while too...”
As Zathura headed towards his bed, Qooká went to check on the NaviComputer in the cockpit. It still said there were another thirteen hours left until they reached their destination, he decided to crank up the speed and get there a few hours earlier by adding additional power to the forward thrusters. The stars zipped by a little faster, and Qooká, content, decided to go to sleep.
As the hours rolled by, the two Sith slept soundlessly, until just a ripple was detected in the force by both of them – it sounded like a dull clank, nothing to the untrained ear, but to these Sith, they knew exactly what it was.
The Uninvited Guests
A low grunt was issued about twenty feet away from Zathura’s right ear: a Togarian Pirate. These were the ‘highway-men’ of the galactic age; they thrived in decay and prospered in the wealth they stole from other passing ships.
The Togarian on the right of Zathura was dead, a crumpled lump of blood and body parts before he knew what the small movement was from under the sleeping couches quilt. Zathura stood: tall and strong in the force, he sent a force message to his Master:
Master, get up! There are Togarian Pirates boarding the ship!
Master, get up! There are Togarian Pirates boarding the ship!
The message was played over and over in Zathura’s head until he heard a definite awakening of his Master, along with a silent ignition of a lightsaber followed by a dull thud of a Togarian hitting the deck.
Qooká had never though about the consequences of using the excess energy on the forward thrusters. Sadly for the Sith, the Togarian’s took full advantage of it.
Their ships sublights must have died out and the lack of infrared power would have shown up on one of the Togarian ships scans, meaning the ship was a sitting duck.
Both Qooká and Zathura flew as dark shadows to the Cockpit to see how many ships there were, thankfully just the one large Cruiser – full of pirates…
“Time to cleanse the ship I think, do you agree?” asked Zathura’s Master thoughtfully. Zathura didn’t need to phrase his answer vocally as a Togarian walked into the room, uttered a strange bark of surprise, said into a CommLink: “There are people onboard! Backup! Backu—”, the rest of his words were chocked with ozone from a red lightsaber, as Zathura answered his Masters question.
The Sith Lord took the right tube, whilst Zathura took the left.
The Lord of the Sith walked into the room, and saw the Togarian’s looking through his supply of Vertex for worlds which didn’t use Credits. The whole room was dead in an instant, it was full of melted fur, and the foul roast of flesh. Lightning. He proceeded on into the bedrooms where a gang of four were standing comparing guns they had each claimed from the ship.
The harsh sound of Qooká’s lightsaber split the atmosphere in the room and blaster fire erupted from all angles. The Sith Lord used a backstab on one, flipped over the others head whilst throwing his lightsaber into the thirds chest. With his saber-free hand he flung a bolt of lightning into the fourths eye melting it until it was a liquid flowing freely from his eye socket. He landed in a composed style, and sliced from the floor to the left shoulder in the final Togarian standing. The room was soundless in seconds.
Zathura had always preferred a lightsaber to the force, but he embraced both of them together when fighting the crowd of seven in the large dining area. He stood with his cloak wrapped around him in the entrance for some time until a Togarian turned and registered the Sith. He howled with rage and darted for him. Zathura flicked out his saber with the force, and ignited it with his left index finger. The blade sprouted from the hilt into the Togarian’s gut, slowly melting away his stomach, leaving him dead.
He didn’t wait to see the others reactions. He flung his lightsaber at the chair and tables, knocking them into smaller pieces of around twenty small components. He force pushed his saber back onto its holster and held the bits of table and chairs in front of him as a shield to block the oncoming blaster fire. As soon as the first wave of six shots were taken by the table and chairs, he force pushed them towards the pirates with such a speed they ripped holes in them, leaving them dead but standing. A burst of Lightning from his hands eased their passing further but made the victory ever more sweater for Zathura.
Both the dining area and bedrooms were located next to each other, so Master and Apprentice were re-untied in the best part of twenty seconds. With roughly twenty Togarian’s dead. They proceeded into the ships small hanger bay: big enough for one boarding party. There were a few Togarian’s left, they had dropped their loot and ran for their lives. They got inside their ship, powered up the engines when a rocket grazed Zathura’s right shoulder and flew straight for the ship. His Master had used the rocket launcher’s homing device to superb effect as the ship burst into flames just outside the hanger bay.
“Where did you find that?” Asked Zathura,
“One of the Togarian’s must have dropped it,” replied Qooká, cool as you want.
“They seemed to have left; we can’t let the party die out. Let’s return their favour and board them.” Suggested Zathura in the same, cool, calm casual tone his Master had used.
“Yes,” said Qooká, “lets”.
The Two Sith jumped into their Modified Delta I starships, revved up the SubEngines to full capacity and screamed out of the hanger bay out towards the cruiser.
Well at least now I can use my skills as a pilot, thought Zathura, I mean I’m not that bad, sad thing is I never get chance to exercise my skills. Or improve them…
Ah ha! Come here you filthy Pirate Captain, I’ve got you in my scopes… Zathura lined up the shot perfectly, and gunned immaculate shots of green laser towards the cruisers main deck window, followed with Missiles to hammer home the point.
Qooká had different plans; he zipped from his own craft to the hanger of the Pirates ship. He burst open his canopy of TransparaSteel and flipped into the busy hanger bay of the Pirate ship, lightsaber alive and spitting into the alien ship. The Pirates all fired as one: a ball of green, red and an assortment of many other lasers, missiles and proton grenades were all fired at him.
Ah, I seem to have mis-judged this slightly… He was hitting the deck before he knew anything hit him. Huh? I didn’t get hit… Gravity shift. It was the only thing to explain the sudden shift of the movement of the ship. Someone had shot away some window and the oxygen was escaping into the vacuum of space. This wrecked havoc with the ships gravity meters, and made the ship alter its cause to compensate for the shift in gravity. Many of the Togarian’s fell to the side wall of the ship, which was now the bottom of it, whilst Qooká held onto a pole coming out from the wall, deflecting missiles back using force pushes, and deflecting laser bolts back at their casters with deft aim, killing many. As the ship headed for the closest sun with the largest pull of gravity, Zathura was scouting the outside of the falling Cruiser looking for his Master, always hoping he’d see two circles of pure blue energy crisply jettison into his view. Sadly, he was offered no such comfort. He flew closer to the hanger bay of the falling ship and saw exactly what was happening. His Master had no chance of escaping the Cruiser whilst he had all those Togarian’s to deal with.
Right, this is going to be bloody tricky, but well… it’s worth a shot…
Zathura fired his primary lasers towards the Cruiser, whilst his Master, sensing the lasers in the force, flipped onto a higher railing, then using his liquid cable launched himself to the edge of the hanger bay where his Apprentice had seized fire and titled left, so half the starfighter was inside the hanger, and the other half was in space falling towards the ever growing closer sun at high speeds. This required precise flying, any mistake here could lead to death – for both of them.
He popped open the left side of the canopy for his Master to climb in, strap in and throw a Proton Grenade into the falling Cruiser.
The small starfighter flew quickly back to the Independence, where the two Sith flipped out of the cockpit for the starfighter, and rushed for the controls of the Ship they were in.
They had just enough time to see the Cruiser hit the surface of the star, when the proton grenade, combined with the intense heat from the sun vaporized the Cruiser into nothing more than a super dense dust, when they punched codes into the NaviComputer to continue on their present course.
“Now, I don’t know about you Zathura, but I really could do with some sleep now.” Said Qooká, half exasperated and half impressed.
All Zathura could do was grin.
The Independence flicked out of hyperspace, and down into real-speed. The view from the cockpit was incredible: The greens, blues, and whites were very impressive. But these attributes were nothing to what Zathura was expecting to find there.
He knew that on that world was the galaxies most powerful crystal to be used in lightsaber construction.
Somewhere down there, on that small little world is something that could dictate the future of the Galaxy… If I can get there first, use it first, enhance its power first, I shall become more powerful than any Sith could have ever dreamt!
Zathura stared at his Master, and his thoughts drifted back to the Crystal and the powers he could possess so very shortly.
The ship flew down through the atmosphere, and the cockpit filled with a beautiful, bright, morning sunlight. The warm rays of sun washed over Zathura and cleansed him deep down, calmed him and focused his attention to the task at hand.
Qooká called up the Mimban docking bay on the ships InterComm;
[Mimban Docking Bay]: “Hello. Please State your purpose of visit, or give any other reason of your being here.”
[Independence]: “We have come here on a Sith Mission. As you well know, the Sith have control over this Galaxy, and we expect any request to be met on time, and when we ask it.”
[Mimban Docking Bay]: “Ah yes, we were told about your arrival. Sith Lord F’loori Deppoa, was it? He Commed us about your arrival. Of course we would be welcome to offer any help to you, my Lord. Please take the Royal Landing Platform, we shall meet you there. Mimban Docking, out.”
[Independence]: “Independence out, thank you for your help.”
The Sith Lord flew the Ship towards the Docking Bay, and revved up the hull repulsor lifts to ease the craft smoothly onto the docking bay. As the Exit ramp lowered, Qooká saw through the view port three Mimban Leaders come towards the landed ship.
“Zathura, a word. Quickly please.” Qooká said quickly, he hadn’t had time to inform his apprentice about the political system in place on the planet or any other detail for that matter.
“Yes Master?” Zathura asked, interested.
“These Mimbanes, they are not of Galactic Importance, however there are many valuable minerals on the planet. They have many small communities, ‘tribes’ if you will, and each of these tribes forms a band of tribes. Many bands join together to make ‘Super-Tribes’. There are three of these Super-Tribes on Mimban, and these are the leaders of them coming to greet us. F’loori told me to make a peace treaty for the Sith with these tribes, so make sure you do not let your anger take over too soon.” He grinned at his apprentice. This was perhaps the first time he had ever told his apprentice to try and control his anger to the point of stubbing it.
The Two Sith headed down the Exit Ramp and inclined their heads half way, back up, and raised their palms vertically up: the Mimban form of a welcome gesture, showing respect. The three Mimbanes mirrored the gesture, and beckoned them inside for some refreshments.
“To what do we owe the visit of your arrival; your graces?” Said, what appeared to be the leader of the three men: The true ruler of the planet?
“Always read peoples actions; not their words”
This lesson echoed inside Zathura’s head and finally, he could see sense of his Master’s lesson. The Leader appeared to want to make a good first impression, but he could see much further than that. His tone was reserved, his body was withdrawn and his face was contorted into a… well, frown. It appeared to Zathura, the two Sith were not welcome here, irrespective of what this Leader said.
I can assure you, thought Zathura; I have no intention of staying on your filthy, barbaric world you primate far longer than necessary.
His hatred seethed through his veins, he was finding it so hard not to flick out his lightsaber, and slice this primitive to pieces. Only his Masters training stopped him, as well as the word he had had with him prior to meeting them.
“We are sorry for the intrusion, Prime Minister?” Replied Qooká with the smooth tone he addressed strangers with.
“The correct term is: President,” corrected the newly confirmed President of Mimban.
The tone of his Master’s voice, and respect for the President changed dramatically. He chose to talk to him how he perceived him to be: Unintelligent.
“I am here to find a Crystal. If you have any knowledge of such an item, please tell me now. I would rather not hurt you.”
“Oh, erm… yes. I have heard of such a crystal, it is located in the Koazkiii Mountains. Due east of this docking platform,” said the President quickly.
It always amused Zathura how quickly peoples attitudes could changed when his Master chose to switch his pleasant tone to one with authority. The consequences of making his Master do this were usually low: words couldn’t harm the President, only actions. But words were enough for weak individuals to succumb to the wishes of his Master.
“We will not require a guide. Sith can find their own way. Do not follow us. We shall return and expect the ship fully fuelled and ready to go.” Pure authority: his Master was the slickest speaker Zathura knew; he could make any situation favour himself whenever he felt it needed to. The President crumbled to his Master’s wishes,
“Yes of course, good luck,” replied the President.
The Kaiburr Crystal
Qooká and Zathura set off across the smooth tarmac of the local town, keeping well hidden.
--- Mimban Central Information Terminal Ltd. ---
The local population is made up of purely Mimbanes going about their daily work.
The Mimbanes have a green skin, with several deep wrinkles running down their arms along with many tribal symbols tattooed onto their faces. They wear a simple brown, grey or black robe depending on what job they do, or what sector they work in.
● A Doctor – 1st Sector: Black Robes
● A Teacher – 2nd Sector: Grey Robes
● A Mechanic – 3rd Sector: Brown Robes
--- Thank you for using Mimban Central Information Terminal Ltd. ---
Qooká stood back from the Terminal, and allowed his apprentice to read it.
“It appears we will fit in very well with the local population Master,” whispered Zathura.
“Yes, that is quite lucky; however… we should not wait to be asked why we are not at work. I do not fancy killing Mimbanes, yet.”
They continued walking to the edge of the town, several people nodded to them and several more voiced their greetings. Zathura and Qooká were silent. Once they reached the edge, they saw no more houses, but vast open country. It was mainly flat, until they saw what must be the Koazkiii Mountains. They appeared to be ten kilometres away: a little more than half a day’s walk.
Qooká turned and saw a small air taxi on the main high street. He flipped over in the air; pulling the force around him into a cloak of pure darkness and with the power of force destruction; crushed the taxi driver’s body into nothingness. Zathura, already sensing his Master’s move, ran and jumped into the back of the taxi, whilst his Master gunned the engines to full speed. The SubEngines groaned for a few seconds, but they quickly became accustomed to this speed.
“I didn’t want to walk”, said Qooká, “I was getting bored, and anyway: flying is much faster.” He added with a grin.
“At this speed, we’ll be there in… just over thirty minutes,” said Zathura as he plugged in the co-ordinates onto the taxi’s NaviComputer.
The Air Taxi sped across the ground leaving ion stains on the grass beneath it, the mountains were growing taller; and Zathura could see the cave, high up where he knew the crystal resided.
As the Air Taxi came to the foot of the Mountains, Qooká flicked on the air brakes, and the taxi came down to a steady halt.
“I don’t think we should climb these mountains,” stated Qooká dryly, as he surveyed them, “they seem rather steep”.
“I have our liquid cable launchers Master; I think that we should perhaps use them?” replied Zathura with a smile on his lips.
“Good idea”, said Qooká, absentmindedly.
The two Sith attached their Cable Launchers onto their belts, and shot off two lines into a crevasse just above where the cave was. They pressed the ‘tow-in’ button on their launchers, and they were pulled speedily up the side of the mountain.
When they reached the cave, they felt a strong blast of cold air; this air wasn’t the air as we know it. It was a pure, clean fresh air of the dark side of the force. It was so cleansing for the Sith to be in the presence of it, just like a person may take comfort of being in the presence of someone they love.
“Zathura, it is time to get your lightsaber finally created,” said Qooká, as he knelt forward to examine the crystal. “Perhaps you should be the one to place it into your lightsaber”.
Zathura went forwards, and took the Crystal from its pedestal, unhooked his new hilt, and unscrewed the top quarter of the hilt.
He placed the crystal inside the lens assembly where the emitter matrix would produce the lightsabers deadly beam.
He screwed the top onto the lightsaber again, and stared down at his Masterpiece.
“Master, thank you for your training. Without you, I would have never gotten as far as I have. I cannot express my thanks for helping me construct this lightsaber,” said Zathura, a tear in his eye and warm admiration in his heart.
He pressed the red ignition switch on his Lightsaber, and the bar of pure red energy escaped from the hilt producing a wave of dark side power with every beat of the blades heart.
Zathura pressed the ignition switch once more, and the blade shrank away. Another pulse, but this one hurt.
What was that? Demanded Zathura’s eyes when he stared at his Master. And for the first time in his life, he was scared, as his Master had no reply.
The pulse returned stronger, this time it was outside the cave… a long way away, as if it were at the base of the mountain.
“We’d better check it out”, said Qooká.
The Two Sith Lords walked to the edge of the cave, and after checking their cables were still firmly in place, they began to descend down towards the bottom of the mountain.
Once they reached the bottom, the words “I suppose it was nothing” were barely out of Qooká’s mouth, before a bar of green light flung down, and repeatedly sliced through both Zathura’s and Qooká’s CableLauchers, making them redundant.
“What the---?” cried out Zathura in confusion.
The same green bar of light approached them with something that must have been touching the sound barrier – for they did not hear ‘it’, coming for them.
Before anything else happened, Zathura and Qooká flicked into battle mode. Both their lightsabers were out and spitting red fire before the bar of green light struck down for them once again with power, speed and purpose unlike Qooká had ever felt or seen before, as for his apprentice, Qooká could only hope he could keep up with the frantic speed that was this enemy.
The fact of the matter was, over the next five to six seconds of this fight, Zathura or Qooká would never remain the same again; both physically and mentally.
Zathura, being younger than his Master, was slightly more agile, so he could use his speed as an advantage in a battle, but this green alien, with its green bar of light was unlike anything Zathura had ever faced before. He managed to parry a few shots, but that was the extent of the damage he could prevent the green alien dealing his Master.
Qooká had known it: before today; before last week; before he was born. He had known he had never been as powerful as he had needed to be now to survive. The green alien was so fast, so powerful. But the thing which really got Qooká was the fact that he sensed no hatred from this thing. When he reached into the force all he felt was a pure meadow of sunlight, the force at its purist. How could this be?! This was all Qooká could ask himself, until he felt it.
The bar of burning green light; that pure meadow of sunlight. All of it, formed behind one living being, was rammed into his stomach with a force rivalled by nothing he had ever seen. The little green alien had killed him, he knew it. As he fell, he felt his apprentice flip over his head and force pull him to the back seat of the air taxi.
Zathura had seen his Master fall, and was reacting faster than he thought he could ever possibly do, due to the fact that the whirlwind of destruction that had so easily disposed of his Master was now heading straight for him. As he flipped through the air, channelling the force to aid him in his jump, he force pulled his Master to his arms, where he dropped him, mid-flight so he ended up in the back seat of the air taxi.
He gunned the engines to full, and ripped off back to the docking bay through the setting suns light, casting long shadows, but in that shadow was the purist light that could ever exist.
It took its form in an Alien of green flesh, small in size, but a giant in terms of the force. It watched the speeder fly away back towards the city…
Hmm, troubling this is…
---- I havnt been able to include Italics etc in this, so please e-mail me for the word document, it is a lot better quality with images, etc.
I am working on the Part two of this two-part novel now, all critisism is welcome, but be nice to me ---
Thanks, and good luck reading it