Hyperspace. The transport rocked violently under the turbulence of faster-than-light speed, creaking loudly throughout its many decks like some old and rustic house made of wood. It was a suicidal move, far too risky to make, but any order given by a Sithlord (or lady in this case) was absolute.
The bridge was still intact, luckily. Its crew were perhaps the only survivors, maintaining this troubled ship's hyperspace trajectory; this was despite failing to organize proper astronautic coordinates, rather initiating a wildjump on demand. The crew understood this situation of emergency, to have this ship and its crew flee from a Republic armada before becoming utterly vaporized into spacedust under heavy fire. This was a matter of survival, left only to chance, due to the fact that there was little to no way of knowing where this ship was actually heading.
When that darkened female face of vileness and horror, her gigantic bodiless hologram projected here at the bow of the bridge, finally vanished at the end of the Sithlady's heartless demands, the crew felt relieved to speak frankly and be as they were.
"Let's hope to the stars we don't become destroyed in the process," said the Captain, gazing out through the frontal windshield and staring into a realm of streaking white light beyond it.
"So long as those saber-wielding lunatics don't bring the fight up here," said a lieutenant, using humor as a coping mechanism. "We should be fine."
"In any other case, Lieutenant, I would laugh at that joke, but this is no laughing matter."
"Shut up, Kylah. I know what I'm doing!"
Kylah could not help but to worry. "But what if we crash into a star or a planet, or... something? Another ship maybe?"
"Too late to worry about that now." She closed her eyes, standing there fearlessly before her daughter. She lowered her head, now beginning to tap into darkside essences, seeking to delve deep into the Force. "Go now. I must meditate and I need total concentration if we are all to survive this."
Her daughter stared fiercely at her mother's face, seeking any sign of doubt but found none. The woman masked her emotions well in times of crisis. Just like now.
"Make sure that no one enters this chamber and disturbs me."
"Yes, mother." Kylah grabbed the hilt of her lightsaber and held it out from her right side with her hand lowered, and with a thumb-switch the mechanical weapon hummed to life.
"As you command," she said, walking away as slight air friction against that bright red blade of light caused her saber to sing a low vibrating tune. Her cape draping behind her, danced about as a slight breeze took it and made it flow.
Darkness became brightened as the automated doorway opened upon her approach. Bright light poured in, casting the young girl as a sleek, shapely, and petite silhouette. Light vanished as the doorway closed behind the girl on her way out.
The mother sat down on the floor now, with her legs folded, for she was already in meditation. Her mind was on the ship and its crew, but her connection to the Force was upon the very fabric of hyperspace.
Port-side of the starship blew out into space, breaking into many pieces before vanishing beyond the white light streaks of hyperspace. Out came several bodies, flying around like mannequins from instant death. This breach alerted the bridge crew. The automated emergency lockdown system formed a rayshield to seal the opening and preserve what was left of the surviving crew.
Jorn noticed the rayshielding and relaxed, a bit relieved that he was not blown out into space like the others. He wished he had protected those people, but there was nothing he could do. This Sithlord here was something more than a lunatic, sacrificing several crew members just to kill one man. Him.
He turned his head to face Sithlord Mathius and ceased holding on to the railing that saved his life. "Once again you failed."
"You Jedi are all alike, acting holier-than-thou." Mathius turned sideways, aiming his lightsaber's tip at the man and saying, "You are just as much at fault as I am for the deaths of those people. The only difference between you and I is the fact that I don't care. You do."
"I'm no Jedi." Jorn readied his lightsaber, activating it as an orange-red blade emerged brightly with a loud hiss. "I was wrong to befriend you. I realize that now." He got into a battle stance, ready to fight. "I regret that our parents turned away from the Jedi Code. I'm ashamed of their banishment from the Jedi Order."
The Sith apprentice smirked ominously while in his battle stance, with hellish eyes glowing red with darkside essence. "Those emotions would serve you well, had you fully embraced the darkside," Mathius retorted. "I made a mistake in thinking of you as my brother. I see that now."
"Enough talk," roared the Dark Jedi. "Let's end this!"
"Yes," smiled the Sithlord. "Let's."
With Force-amplified speed, the two warriors sprinted until becoming quick-moving blur as they collided violently into each other with extreme prejudice.
Lon moved hurriedly down corridors, one after the next, passing through automated doorways that were not already locked down because of emergency or hazardous conditions. With lightsaber in hand, he jogged briskly toward what he sensed was a strong ripple in the Force. He shoved crewmembers he encountered out of his way to get to his destination faster. Those crew members fled, running away back in the direction Lon came from.
"Dad," he shouted, thinking aloud and frantically trying to find the man. This was an area within the ship that seemed dark and wrecked, filled with ruined and malfunctioning technology. Obviously his father and the assailant was here, only moments ago.
The darkside grew strong here, emanating in pain-throbbing levels that made Lon feel dizzy the closer he came to where his father fought an enemy.
"Boy," called a crewmember.
He paused, curious enough to turn his head and look over his shoulder to see a security guard. The man had a blaster in hand, as if ready to shoot anything.
"You don't want to go in there," the guard pointed. "Those two are insane. They will take the entire ship down with them at this point."
"I have to help my dad!"
"Look, boy! The ship is falling apart."
Lon looked in all directions, seeing exactly how messed up this deck really was. Right above his head was a gaping hole in the ceiling where he could see the next deck. Sparks ignited, showering down from that hole where electronics and wiring malfunctioned.
"Come with me, kid. We can grab the closest escape pod and get out of here."
Lon shook his head. "No. My father needs me."
"Moron," said the guard, rushing away to find an escape pod.
The boy turned back towards his destination and activated his lightsaber. The blade glowed as red as fresh blood, and he hurried his way into the area where the guard said his father was. Just then he rounded a corner and advanced to a doorway, where he heard screams, battle noise, and the whirling sounds of humming lightsabers. The loud and ear-breaking screeches of sabers impacting on each other were all too familiar to him.
"Need to get this door open."
He could not. It was on emergency lockdown mode, due to a major breach in the ship's hull.
"Damn it!" He yelled in anger, punching on the door with his armored fist. "Dad!"
On the other side of that locked door, Mathius fought with superhuman ferocity as the darkside of the Force flowed through him. It served him as a weapon, as expected, even guiding the movement of his two lightsabers. With one in each hand, he created a whirlwind of lightsaber flashes as he moved with lightning speed against his opponent. With full and utter fury, he swung with practiced skill, striking hard and fast against the Dark Jedi with murderous intent.
Jorn only had one lightsaber, and although he was quite skilled in both Jedi and Sith forms of lightsaber combat, he felt frighteningly overwhelmed. Of course, in his mind, that granted him the advantage. Fear fueled his darkside, and Sith often taught that fear can be used as a weapon. Sensing the great among of rage in Mathius, experiencing the massive fear in his heart about this insane battle, Jorn felt great power generating from within. However there was a new kind of fear he sensed, and it was not the kind that came from Mathius. No. It was that of his son nearby, a brave boy that happened to be at the other side of that locked entranceway. He could hear his son's cries echoing in the Force, reaching him with "Dad!"
It put a smile on his face. He only wished he could hear his daughter too.
"You're distracted," Mathius observed confidently. "For that, you will die."
The door blew open, flying out from the entrance as a warped piece of solid steel. It captured Mathius's attention, causing him to evade, turning away from Jorn, and leap out of harm's way. Upon his landing, he looked up from a crouching position towards that opened entrance, but only to see the raging silhouette of a boy with an activated lightsaber.
Mathius stood up, growling, "You too?"
"You're a traitor!"
Mathius laughed. "No such thing among Sith."
The Force wrapped around his neck to choke him, to Mathius's surprise, lifting him off the floor at least a foot high.
Jorn threw his lightsaber, causing it to spin rapidly through the air like a saw. He hurled it towards Mathius's head. Mathius's used the Force to deflect the flying lightsaber attack, causing it to fly straight towards the boy's neck.
"No," Jorn roared in utter fury. "No!" He called his lightsaber back to his hand, barely saving his son from certain death, but what he did not realize was that this was just a distraction. For both the boy and his father.
Mathius, freed from the Force grip, hurled his lightsaber into the boy's chest. It was a swift and flying lunge that the boy was not keen enough to defend against. That shocked look on the boy's face, those eyes that widened into big round balls of pain-fulled tears, it was all too delicious of an experience not to relish for a good few seconds. Lon was still alive, experiencing the burning sensation in his torso from saber friction. The wound was already cauterized at this point, smoking from a hole in the front and the back after full saber penetration. That sinister look on this man's face, a rising smile so wide that it seemed to contort his face with sadistic joy, made the boy cringe in utter fear as the world surrounding him faded into darkness.
Lon's lifeless body dropped clumsily to the floor as Mathius retracted his glowing blade from the boy's flesh.
Jorn watched in horror as his son died before his eyes. His lightsaber suddenly deactivated and fell from his weakening grasp. It hit the floor with a bounce and rolled at his feet. His eyes became flooded with tears. His body felt weak, especially his legs, and he dropped to his knees in despair. The pain proved too great and horrible for him to move onward. To him, this fight was over. Mathius had won.
Tilting his head back in utter sadness, the Dark Jedi stared up at the ruined ceiling and stretched his arms out wide to either side. It was then that he surrendered everything, mentally thinking upon his life and even whispering a prayer of atonement to the Force. He no longer cared about his own life, wishing for it to end.
Mathius, with his two lightsabers ignited, walked patiently towards the emotionally wounded man, savoring every second of this dark moment. When he came close, he held the crying man at bay with the left-handed lightsaber at the neck. His raised his right-handed lightsaber over his smiling head, laughing as he swung down hard with a strong strike.
The Dark Jedi's body went limp and fell sideways to the floor. Smoke rose from the cauterized wound. Mathius slowly walked away, quietly basking in his victory.
As the floor quaked violently from ship-wide turbulence, Kylah's mother continued to meditate on the Force. With a high level of concentration on the Force, she managed to manipulate hyperspace in such a way that propelled the ship to a into a safe trajectory towards what she sensed to be a habitable planet. Even with her mighty connection to the Force, she still could not determine where the ship was in the galaxy. No matter. Safety was her concern.
Her body quivered crazily, not only because of the ship's turbulent flight through hyperspace, but because it became stressed during this deep meditation. Soaked in sweat, she ignored her nagging flesh and continued to manipulate hyperspace. Blood leaked form her nostrils and the inner corners of her eyes.
Then that was when she felt it.
A ripple in the Force struck her like a crashing wave of pain and misery and loss. She hear the cry of death echo through the Force and into her concentrated mind. It felt so horrible, so hellish that it broke her concentration. He bloodied eyes flung wide open in utter shock and fear. Her mouth dropped wide open and she screamed with a thunderous force, "Lon!"
Out in space, the large transport vessel could no longer sustain its hyperspace speed. The realm of streaking white lights ceased. Space now appeared normal, black and starry. The ship, now traveling at sublight speed, began spinning slowly out of control and of course, heading towards a nearby planet. Already parts of the ship began breaking off or rupturing, becoming ablaze with fire and smoke.
Just outside this meditation chamber, Kylah felt it too. A thunderous voice punched through her body and the room beyond that door behind her. Her lightsaber deactivated, falling from her hand and crashing down upon the floor alongside her fallen body.
Pained badly by this, Kylah writhed on the floor with tears in her eyes and grimacing. "That force," she thought, struggling to pull herself up off the floor and failing. "It was a Force scream... but... why?"
Mother came out of the meditation chamber, appearing well beyond mad and filled with Force-amplified rage. So much so that she did not even notice her own daughter as she stormed by with urgency and a desire to kill.
The crazy woman stopped, but she did not turn her head or even bother to look at her worried daughter.
"We've just jumped out of hyperspace, Kylah. Find yourself an escape pod and get out of here. Now!"
Kylah finally climbed to her feet successfully despite the ship-wide earthquakes. "But mother--"
"Do it! Now!" She revealed her double-bladed lightsaber and activated it. With a flaming hiss, the two blades emerged at either side simultaneously, humming with a low and deep sound that seemed just as spooky as the wielder. "I will not repeat myself again, Kylah!"
"Yes," Kylah hurried, rushing get out of this place. "On my way."
Mother was nowhere in sight, having vanished quickly after that. With force speed, Kylah sprinted through corridors and doorways, finding her way to an area with escape pod bays. Most of the pods were gone already, because the surviving member of the crew realized the fate of this dying ship and bailed out. There was one available, and she hopped in immediately, causing the door to shut behind her. Climbing quickly into the seat, she strapped herself in and accessed a console to initiate launching sequence.
Seconds later, the pod launched out into space, hurling fast away from the broken transport. She switched a viewscreen to display that ship. The transport became smaller and smaller as it spun through space. As she stared at the ship's image, she could not help but to wonder if her mother would survive the crash or not. It sure did not seem like the woman wanted off that transport. Kylah knew what was happening, besides feeling the sadness of her father and brother's deaths through the Force. It was Jorn's insane brother, Mathius Lurke. He was always jealous of father's relationship with mother. Kylah guessed that now was the day he decided to do something about it. The result proved well beyond disastrous.
Another active viewscreen displayed the nearby planet. By her commands, the viewscreen listed scanner results for the planet for her to read.
"So it's inhabitable," she thought. "Good."
Already the escape pod began to descend down through the outer atmosphere. Kylah braced herself, preparing for a nasty crash landing.
The Republic Armada. Here rested more ships than what that enemy transport could handle. Jedi Grandmaster Korvon Hikarikasai understood well what had just transpired here today, a result that was well beyond unacceptable. He stood quietly with his gloved hands folded behind his lower back, staring out into space through the windshield of this ship's bridge, gazing at the vacant space where that armed transport had jumped into hyperspace in nearly the blink of an eye.
Impossible. That was the exact word that popped up in his mind. No ship in this galaxy had the ability to make such a quick jump into hyperspace. Astronautical calculations took time, much time in some cases, even before making emergency jumps. Standard jumps took longer. That armed transport took only slightly more than a second. The armada here pursued and attacked with great speed and precision, just after arriving here from hyperspace. In his mind, there was no way that a ship like that could have been so ready for escape.
"Did they know we were coming?" He thought.
The enemy transport had taken several good hits, but was still functional. No ship could have survived such a sneak attack, from another ship arriving suddenly from hyperspace. Yet it had escaped with little effort.
"Blind," he thought. "It was a wild and blind jump into hyperspace. That ship could be anywhere right now. There is no way to track it, no way to determine its trajectory."
"Of course there is," said Vexx, linked to her master's mind. "This sort of thing is done all the time."
"You don't understand, my student," he responded. "Had it just been a wildjump into hyperspace, we could have easily calculated that ship's trajectory and followed it to where it would have exited hyperspace, and then began a search for it if it fled from the exit point or re-entered hyperspace."
"However... The Force intervened."
"Intervened? How so?"
"Someone onboard that ship is so strong in the Force that he or she can manipulate hyperspace."
"But that's impossible!"
"Yes, indeed it is," he argued. "Vexx. You and I are both lifetime students of the Force. We know full and well that with the Force, anything is possible."
"You're right," she responded, ceasing the telepathic connection she had with him. Now she spoke aloud. "So what now? What do we do?"
"Nothing," he said, turning around to look over his shoulder at his student. "There is nothing more we can do... except wait."
She was sitting on the floor somewhere behind him, legs folded and her mind locked in meditation. Her eyes were closed and her head was bowed, but no longer. Her eyes slowly opened, revealing a brilliant white light that soon faded to reveal light brown irises. She unfolded her legs and carefully stood up, trying not to fall over from disorientation.
"Even while locked in with the Force, I sensed no excessive use of it from that transport."
"Battle Meditation needs complete concentration," he reasoned. "There's no way you could have."
She nodded, agreeing. "What do you know of that ship?"
"Only what our secret contact revealed to us," he said, walking towards her with his hands still folded behind his lower back.
She walked alongside him and they began heading towards the large entranceway to this ship's bridge.
"One most interesting fact is that the ship happens to be of Sith origin."
"I'm not talking about Sith as a faction, but Sith as a bloodline."
"Our contact informed me that there were real Sith onboard, members of the original species, not the religious Force-users we tend to see today."
"The original inhabitants of Korriban."
"Yes. A Korriban that no one of today is familiar with."
"I thought they were all wiped out ages ago."
"Let's not deny the facts presented before us, my student," he reasoned as they both exited the bridge. "That assumption is clearly wrong."