Deep within the bowels of the small D5-Mantis patrol craft, Perilous Blade, Tei searched around the engineering section for the little girl. He was getting annoyed that she hides only too well. Not wanting to fail his huntress, he called out, “Little Jedi, where are you? Come out there!”
The lieutenant tried to listen carefully for the light pitter-patter of steps from the girl he was searching for. When he went around the small console, he noticed a shadow hiding behind an engine so he reached out a bit gently, “Little Jedi, I see you. Stay right there.”
The sound behind the engine made a light gasp of fear as she stumbled a bit. Tei slowly came around behind her and made a move toward. The little pale girl turned for a bit and ran under his arms nimbly making him stumble forward and crashing into the little engine compartment she was hiding in.
The girl ran off and Tei cursed loudly as he was in pain. Then something from out of the force entered his mind and summoned him before his huntress. He had no choice but to let the girl hide some more and obey the Jedi/Sith huntress. She was eviler and does not tolerate failures. Hiding his slight pain and getting his senses back, Tei left the room headed toward the stairs. From inside one of the rooms, the girl continued to stare and watched him leave.
Meanwhile in the cockpit, Aescun was monitoring her pilot station to mark her lane to be sure they are headed back in the same direction they should be. They were still in hypespace. Soon as she sensed the lieutenant behind her, she asked in a cool, calm voice, “Did you find her?”
Tei gulped and responded shaking his head, “No huntress. She keeps slipping from my grasp.”
The armored beast suddenly changed her demeanor as she widened her eyes and let out a snarl baring her fangs. Her glowering dark eyes turned a shade of harsh crimson color as she stood suddenly turning to face him. Her back was arched and her shoulders were forward as her hands was on a claw. She spat harshly, “WHAT?!? I asked you to do one little thing and you still haven’t done it?”
Tei stuttered a bit in fear lowering his head to avoid her red eyes, “I-I tried your huntress, but she-“
The beast shouted as she charged forward flexing her muscle power, “No more excuses!”
Aescun snarled as she grabbed his throat with her left hand. She lifted him off his feet as he whimpered slightly in pain being choked. He grabbed the raised bump on her muscled bicep while grabbing the wrist trying to speak, “My-my huntress, I tried!”
He was silent by her roar as she increased the pressure on his throat. She primed her fangs to bite into him. Malek came from behind him and casually approached his beast by touching her shoulder in such a way to make her pause while Tei was still in morbid fear of his huntress. The warlord spoke, “I will watch the cockpit. Why don’t you go down with him and see if you can find her as well? Give him a chance. The lieutenant still has his uses so I ask you to give him another chance.”
Aescun let out another roar at Tei still increasing her grip to a point of crushing his throat. Malek stroked her hair out of the way of her face and gave her a kiss on the cheek before moving on toward the cockpit. The beast let out an angry snort and tossed him while growling with anger responding harshly, “Fine, you get one chance. One! But that is it!”
Tei’s skull vibrated painfully when his head rebounded on the metal floor of the second deck. Flipping to his chest, he groaned holding his head. Aescun’s long cloak swished violently as the beast jumped from the second deck and landed feet first as her knees recoiled from the jump. The harsh metal clank of her boots reverberated among the decks of the ship. Her cloaked swished again as it covered her right gauntlet.
Rubbing his head and getting up to his feet, Tei turned and quickly followed her. Stopping before the small corridor, Aescun scanned her surroundings with her force sense. She was looking for a vacant spot in her sense of the ship. Finding it, she walked toward the room with the bunk beds. She continued to be angry as her mouth was contorted into a snarl baring her fangs.
She spoke out trying to touch the vacant spot with the force, “Come out there, now!”
Tei watched her for a bit and waited. The little girl slowly walked out still afraid. She looked back into Aescun’s harsh crimson scowl. The beast growled at the girl as she spat harshly, “You will come here now!”
The pale thirteen year old continued to stare unblinking at the beast. Aescun snarled at her angrily not liking to be stared at. She tried again but Tei approached her slightly and bowed, “My huntress, if I may?”
Aescun snapped her face toward her lieutenant and let out another louder snarl as she snapped, “What?!?”
He bowed his head again and continued, “Perhaps you can speak to the girl? She seems to listen to you better then I-”
The beast snorted with anger and grabbed his throat with her right gauntlet crushing his neck as he moaned painfully holding onto her strong arm and wrist. She spat, “Are you saying you are useless to me now? I shall kill you then. You have failed me for the last time!”
Her crimson eyes glowed harshly as Tei gasped with pain being brought down to his knees. He could feel his neck bones constrict and pressured to a point of being crushed. Right this moment, Aescun felt someone touching her hand. She looked at noticed the little girl touching her hand and shaking her head as if telling her something. Aescun let out another snort and let go of Tei as the lieutenant sprawled on the floor unconscious.
The little girl pulled her hand toward the Spartan bunk bed and sat on it. The beast cocked her bed as her red eyes seemed to cool back to the point of being dark. She continued staring at her as if assessing her or studying her. Aescun snarled a little again at being stare at, but when she kept trying to read her all she got was a blank from her. It was as if she was protected by a barrier.
Aescun inquired with a snarl, “Do you talk?”
The little girl continued staring at her and suddenly patted the right side of her as if beckoning her to sit. She pulled on her hand as the beast walked over to sit. She was calmer now somewhat. The little girl was doing something to calm her down somehow. She tried again, “What are you called?”
The thirteen year old cocked her head and touched the side of her jaw where her scar was. The beast let out a snarl baring her fangs as if to bite her but the girl stroked her scar line up. Soon, she stroked Aescun’s hair. Aescun was confused by her actions. Why wasn’t the girl afraid of her but scared of Tei? What was about the beast that the little girl did not fear?
The little girl continued stroking Aescun’s braided hair and around her horns. Aescun spoke again, “You need to talk. You must have a name. What is it? I am Aescun. What are you called?”
She cocked her head curiously as if not understanding her. Aescun responded, “Okay, you will be called Rogue. You are simply a miscreant, someone who hitches a ride without anyone noticing you. Somehow you do this without detection and yet I cannot read you. You are a Rogue. You are someone who is out of place in a ship like this. Who does not belong? Still, I cannot read you. Why is that? Are you protected? Is someone protecting you or are you doing this? Who are you, Rogue?”
Rogue stared back at her with pale blue eyes as if not able to speak yet. She continued to stroke the beast’s hair in a way that is comforting to the beast. Aescun let out an annoyed growl and turned away from her staring to look at her lieutenant lying on the ground. Soon as he finally woke up, he looked straight at his huntress.
Aescun’s eyes glowed red again as she let out an angry snarl and roared at him brandishing her fangs as she inched forward from the bed she was sitting on. Rogue grabbed her on the arm and touched her on the muscles in a way to pull the beast back taming her.
Tei scampered out as Aescun’s eyes returned to the darkness staring at the girl. Rogue looked up at her and resumed stroking her hair. The beast cocked her head and spoke a question, “What are you doing? Why can’t I read you?”
Rogue simply continued to stare at her unblinking. She seemed unsure of what to say. Aescun let out a growl as she got up from the bed. Rogue kept her hand on Aescun’s and stood close to her. The pale girl watched the beast bare her fangs slightly a bit to try to scare her off but give up. The little pale girl walked keeping close to the huntress.
Walking up the metal stairs, they reached the second deck and walked a bit toward the cockpit. The girl stared ahead to observe a Mirialan piloting the Blade. She gasped in fear keeping close behind the beast. Aescun looked down at her with a light growl and the Rogue stared back with her unblinking pale blue eyes. Shaking her head, the beast clenched the girl’s hand gently and led her toward the small area on the corner near the observational sphere.
Sitting down before the small armory section, Rogue continued her stare. Aescun tried scanning her mind to break through her mental barrier but it was somehow strong. The beast let out a snort of irritation and turned to see Tei walking up the stairs.
Rogue whimpered a bit trying to hide behind Aescun as Aescun waved her right gauntlet beckoning him over, “Lieutenant, come over here now. I need to clear something between the two of you.”
Rubbing his neck, he managed to hide his discomfort for his huntress and walked over to obey her bowing slightly, “My huntress.”
Keeping her right gauntlet pointed toward Tei with her palm up into a claw, she turned to Rogue and responded, “See? Obedience comes first and naturally from him. He is trained to know and obey. If he cannot, than he is of no use to me.”
Rogue continued to stare back at the beast nodding. Of course she understood that part. She did read it from the lieutenant’s mind and guessed. The beast looked back at Tei and snarled clenching her hand. Tei let out a gasp grabbing his throat. Rogue stared at him with both her pale blue eyes wide open wondering what was going on.
Aescun responded, “Now, observe the powers that be. Kneel!”
Tei let out another gasp as he was forced onto his knees with the force. Rogue continued to watch observing something new she never saw before. She placed her arm around Aescun’s left arm and moved slightly forward a bit watching as Tei was forced onto his knees.
Aescun continued speaking as Tei gasped with discomfort of being choked by a mysterious power, “You see, Rogue. My servant has no choice but to do as I say. Control comes easy from within me because I command it. No harm will come to you because I will it to him. If he ever harms you or does something that is against my will, you let me know and I will punish him severely.”
Rogue nodded slowly as Aescun smiled coldly releasing her grip, “Now begone Lieutenant! Leave us!”
Tei bowed and left hastily. Aescun was about to rise but Rogue held her back and stared at her dark eyes. She gulped and pressed against her chest as she opened her mouth to say something, “Name is Asia’a Il’ithium.”
Aescun looked at her a little surprised. She had noticed that the little girl had lowered her mental barrier a bit too for the beast. She was slowly starting to trust the Jedi/Sith huntress.
“Name is Asia’a Il’ithium.”
Her name echoed around the beast’s mind as Jedi/Sith Huntress stared back at the thirteen year old girl. Aescun nodded as she sat back down with Asia’a wrapping her hands around her new guardian’s strong muscled left arm. She stared back at the beast’s tame dark eyes with her own unblinking pale blue eyes as if waiting for her to speak.
Aescun had something to say and she spoke first with a question, “Okay, you can talk? Tell me, how did you come to be here? Where are you from?”
Asia’a stared back still unsure. She cocked her head still reading and assessing the beast’s mind. Aescun nodded and assured her with a slight bare of her fangs with a snarl, “It is okay, Rogue. You are safe with me.”
The pale girl stared back and responded with a few sentences, “Umbara. My family took me from there to Coruscant when I was three. They said I had potential, but I do not understand what this means. I was to go to Coruscant to be assessed by them and to be determined if my potential should be utilized.”
Aescun thought for a bit and continued with her questions, “What happened next?”
She continued to stare and Aescun noticed her tear ducts getting wet. Asia’a was going through something in her mind as she spoke, “My parent’s vessel was attacked and pillaged by slave drivers. They had killed my parents. Somehow the men missed me as I slipped into their vessel. I do not understand how, but I slipped detection and left afterwards.”
Aescun studied her for several moments. Several tears were forming on Asia’a’s face and streaked down. Taking her right gauntlet, she gently wiped tears off her face with the side of her sharp nail. The girl was just like the beast. Both were orphans. Aescun’s parents were a mystery and wherever records of where she came from were already destroyed. Her lord Paerilous Khan told her so.
The huntress responded to the girl, “Your parents were right. You do have potential. You are fortunate that I have saved you from a life of solitary and loneliness. Do you realize who you are?”
The girl shook her head and Aescun growled lightly as she offered her cold smile with a cold response, “You are force sensitive. That means you have the ability to sense and detect those with the aura as well as manipulate the energies surrounding you and us. Haven’t you noticed by now?”
The girl slowly shook her again still silent. She was waiting on her to continue and Aescun explained, “The force surrounds us. It binds us together by fate and we draw strength from it. It is a mystical force and a mystery. Yet it is there for us to utilize and control it for our uses. There are two types of beings that could use it. One side is the Jedi. They use this power for their own benefit of good for the light side of the force brings good things that require patience and understanding of the uses. Most would view the Jedi to be weak because of their goodness but I do not believe that. It is what makes them strong.”
The girl continued to listen as Aescun took her left hand and stroked Asia’a’s white hair while she continued her instruction, “The Jedi bring peace and justice into their old ancient order. Through generations throughout history, the Jedi uses patience, tolerance, logic among other things to remain calm in the face of their enemies or their allies in order to bring balance. Lately and only recently that order has been destroyed and thrown into chaos. Only a few those are left are in hiding and who knows where the rest of them are?”
“Sith are another form of beings but darker as they do not use the force for good. They command the force and use it for their own selfish purpose of doing evil. Everything that was immoral was easy for them as they manipulate the force into their own will to do harm. At least some of them were the reason for the downfall of the Jedi Order. They were much too strong and extremely deadly in the force. Their homeworld resides on Korriban where I had the opportunity to learn the ways of the dark side of the force. It was an unpleasant experience, the one that I do not want to go through again. I believe the Sith uses the force for the wrong reason and it is my duty to deal with them as such if they threaten me or harm me again in any way.”
Asia’a looked upon her and offered her voice as she asked her question, “Which are you?”
Aescun raised her eyebrow as she looked upon the girl with a smirk responding, “I am neither Jedi nor Sith but I am both. It is difficult to explain but simple enough for me. I walk a thin line between morality and immorality. It has to do with something of how I was raised to believe. Paerilous Khan taught me that all force sensitive are easily corrupted or swayed to become Sith no matter of where they are. He taught me that those that can use the force can easily abuse this power for their gain or profit. After my training on Korriban, I slowly understood through pain and torture by my Sith instructor that Khan was right.”
There was a pause in the beast’s tone as the little girl listened. She cocked her head with curiosity as Aescun finished, “As my entire body was wrenched with the dark force energies of lighting, I slowly changed and understood. For that, I killed my instructor. Not out of vengeance for what he had done to me, but for what was right for me to do. He had to die so that he won’t corrupt or torture or rape any more people than what he did to me. He humiliated and used me in such a way to push me further into the dark side. I have no qualms about it.”
Aescun came close to her as she stroked her cheek with her right nailed finger. She whispered to her with a question, “Do you want to know what happened to him?”
The girl gulped and nodded slowly. The beast smirked and continued, “So I murdered him. I killed him with his own lightning energy that I managed to deflect or absorbed. He was so proud of his achievement that he increased his power tenfold, but that was his undoing for I multiplied his power and deflected the energy to surround him. His own awareness blinded him and in his rage and hatred he failed to realize what I meant to do. It only took five minutes, but when I released him his charged lighting shell exploded inwards killing him and exploded the very room he was in. There weren’t remains left as it was all a charred mess in the scorched room. Once I was satisfied that he wouldn’t hurt me anymore, I escaped Korriban barely and went back to Khan. He was the only man who would help me so I stayed loyal. As long as he provides for me, I will remain on his side as his personal Jedi and Sith hunter.”
Asia’a looked into her dark eyes and spoke with another question, “How do you feel afterwards?”
Aescun let out a scoff and shrugged as she explained, “You would know this or you would not have ask this. You’ve been reading my emotions, thoughts, and feelings. What do you know about it?”
The little girl shrugged and spoke again with another question, “I don’t know. What is it about my potential?”
The beast let out another snarl speaking again as she dismissed her with a wave of her right gauntlet, “I do not know. This is something you would have to figure out for yourself because I still do not know what to do with you. I am giving you this benefit of doubt just to see what you are, but if you fail. I will have no choice but to send you away. Now, I cannot take care of you so you must listen to my lieutenant. Keep close to him. He will watch you. You understand? He follows me, so if I tell him what he should do, then he will follow that order to the letter. No matter what or he will die and you will be sent away.”
“Oh,” Asia’a responded and became silent looking down.
Aescun bared her fangs and let out a quiet snarl as she responded coldly, “Now I am finished explaining myself. Now, begone. Go and fine my lieutenant, Rogue. Do it now, or face my wrath.”
Asia’a gulped and lowered her head down before Aescun’s stare. She lightly stepped away quickly with the realization that the beast was finished with her for now. Aescun continued to scowl at the girl trying to assess her thoughts again. Her mental barrier was still up and protected, so she would still have to work on getting the girl to trust her a little more.
Right now however, she felt like she had no use for Asia’a yet. Eventually somewhere along the road, Asia’a will show her the potential she was waiting for. If she fails, however, then Asia’a would no longer be her problem. She would be Khan’s problem and be sent away to become a slave in the mines or killed. Either one works because the end result is the same for her. Force sensitives were a dangerous mix. Potentials who haven’t yet realized their worth will be hunted down and killed. If they are too young, they will be spared only to be sent away locked up under the watchful eye of their masters.
The thirteen year old walked down the steps to the first level of the Blade. She turned to the back of Tei and stared. Tei was working on a bench modding his gun when he paused and looked up. Turning around, he noticed the girl. He stared back studying her. Putting aside his tools, he made a move forward. The thirteen year old took off in another direction toward the cabin area. Tei let out sigh and muttered with a shrug, “Really? Kids-”
From above in deck two, Aescun looked down toward her lieutenant and shouted, “Lieutenant!”
He looked up and responded wondering, “Huntress?”
Aescun smiled at him coldly as she smirked, “Stay down with her. You will remain and you will keep her in your sights until you discover what her potential is. You will not come back to me unless I have results. Is that understood?”
Tei hastily responded as he bowed his head, “Of course, huntress. I will not fail.”
Aescun briefly glared at him as her eyes glowed red for a moment before returning to normal. She responded venomously, “This is the third time you have failed, so this is your chance to make up for your failures by proving your worth. This babysitting duty is nothing compared to your other duties, but if you fail this one. Then what use are you to me?”
She left him to think about it some more, so Tei gulped his fear and walked forward to search for the little girl again.
Aescun returned to the cockpit and changed her expression to casual as she walked toward Malek at the chair. She moved down and kissed him on his head as she stroked his face holding him close. Malek accepted her comfort kissing her back as Aescun spoke with a question, “So, where are we going now?”
“Coruscant,” Malek responded continuing as the hyperlane ended with the Blade flying toward a large city world, “This is where Jasper Rust’s trail ends and will eventually vanish.”
“Coruscant,” Aescun wondered as she smirked, “No wonder he ran here. He is trying to shake her predator off. Well, it will not work this time. Not with me hard on his heels.”
“Good. As it should be,” Malek spoke as he opened the hail to whoever is in charge, “This is the pilot to whoever is on this channel respond now. My huntress wishes to speak.”
They waited on the comm as the Blade continued its journey to the dark orange colored city world of Coruscant.