The silence was palpable on her tremored lips. It pierced the air and blasted into her ears to turn away from the heavy presence approaching amidst the fog. Her hand had been resting on the hard chest of her companion to ensure his delicately beating heart was constant. She still had enough strength to heave him over her shoulders and sprint a mile or two away. But the demon approaching was not as fatigued as she and would catch up to them with ease. Help was located leagues away from their location, fighting to their rasping breath for their leader’s security of mind to focus on the sole mission. The woman took his dual-colored hand into hers and pressed her lips against them—their tremors ceased.
A fierce light, brimmed with fervor, shined in her sunset eyes. With a final squeeze of his hand she placed it on the cold earth and reached for a long metal cylinder bulked with grooves and two red buttons. Her other hand reached for one half its size and more delicate in shape on her hip. She held them tightly by her sides and took slow steps toward her end.
Raspy breaths breathing in and out projected from a vent and echoed across the barren, gray land. The woman hasn’t caught a visual of the figure yet, but the immense pressure of the Force pressed against the very air she breathed and rose the hairs on her skin. She closed her eyes and concentrated on the Force surrounding her to lighten the pressure and make the vicinity her own—she refused to be bullied before the battle even begun. The tense wrinkles on her eyebrows smoothed when she maintained control of her emotions and surroundings. A small whirl of dust lifted around her—the only visible reaction of her using the Force.
You are not ready to confront him.
“I must be ready. Right now.”
A red streak of light elongated into a blade’s length within the veil of fog before her. The rasping inhalation and exhales of steady breaths grew ever more present.
Durmonia, take him and run.
The voices echoed from the top of her head, down to the soles of her feet. Souls compressed into one being who shaped the universe, granted gifts, and decided the fate of many. A being no one has full understanding of, and yet abuse its power for violence and control. Except for one exception who was cursed to hear and understand its pleas; a slave to its will, but has the access to the universe.
“Afraid your Chosen One will defeat me?”
That you will kill our Chosen One. You do not have full control of us, yet. Your emotions for him are-“
“My strength. He will not die here.”
Once we are in your control, there is nothing we can do to advice you, and he is not conscious to keep you in check.
She pressed the buttons on both lightsabers to release red and yellow blades—the other end of what used to be a dual-blade red lightsaber sputtered blue sparks and died to black.
Please. He is our hope.
“I know that too.”
A man clad in black from his head, to the end of his fingertips and the tips of his toes, swept past the fog—white wisps furled up from beneath his heavy metal steps and draping cape. Half of his fully encompassed helmet reflected the red brilliance of his saber and his affiliation with the Sith, and exhaling through the triangular vent were his labored breaths.
He extended a rubber hand toward Durmonia’s companion.
“Hand him over, and you will find a better master in me and an ally with the Empire,” he clenched his fist. “You will have more power than you could ever had imagined.”
Durmonia crossed the lightsabers before her—yellow and red engulfed her brown features. “Darth Vader, I have no master. And power means nothing to me.”
“Do not deny your feelings. Listen to it and give into them. If you do not trust me, then trust your emotions.”
“What I feel is something Sith and Jedi have failed to master or denied themselves of.”
Darth Vader put his arm away along with a distant memory of emotions hanging just over the cusp of his hand. He did not take it, and let himself forget the fleeting happiness and pain that went with it.
“He will die, if not by my hands, then by my master’s. His former master.”
“As long as I live, Maul will never have the chance to meet you or Sidious’ blades.”
Vader raised his blade. “Love is a weakness. It will be your death.”
“No. It is a strength. The Force protects us out of love, not for a sense of duty or hate, and it is more powerful than you and your master combined.”
“Let us test that theory.” He swung his blade to the side and strode forward with the purpose to kill.
Durmonia glanced back at Maul. His lips were parted and his chest rose and fell in slow successions. The crown of horns on his head were tipped with blood, and the red and black designs which thoroughly covered his body blended with the blood and soot. For one last time, she needed to see his yellow orbs to feel his emotions swell within her to give her a final dose of determination. But that was only a fantasy. If he saw her standing there, facing an enemy he dreamt of defeating since Sidious cloaked Vader under his mantle—creating the empire his master dreamed of without him—he would seethe with rage, and fill Durmonia with his greed and jealousy. It would be better if he wasn’t conscious at the moment. If she survived the battle, she could handle the consequences with a very alive Maul.
She took a step, ready to sprint; ready to pull the Force down and shroud her with protection.
It was weak. Slow. Nothing Durmonia expected to spring forth from his mouth. There was only one thing she felt from his words; something she never felt from him before. It trickled down her spine painfully slow, making her stomach clench tight with impatience. It wasn’t what she wanted to feel from him; anything but this. Throw a tantrum, she wanted to scream. Be angry, enraged, jealous.
‘Hate me!’ she thought, ‘But not this. Anything but…’
She did not turn her head. His stare that pierced past her heavy locks of black curls and into her brain would shatter her. He wanted her to say something, anything, but she held her lips shut.
Vader was fast approaching. If she said something now, it could be her final words to him. If not… What was the last thing she said to him? She couldn’t remember. Most likely something curt and stupid to rile his annoyance. That’s a good way to leave a memory—Durmonia being Durmonia.
“So, you finally decided to drop your balls and show fear? Oh, wait. You didn’t have any in the first place.”
That’s it. His annoyance spiked just barely and that was all she needed.
She sprinted to Vader, lightsabers following behind her.
In a final, desperate effort Maul extended his feelings to her; everything he hid from her and wanted her to know. But it did not stop her. She pushed on with a grin spread across her face.