Chapter 12: Death
Vorune could not shake this horrible feeling he had in his chest. It was death, and it ached horribly. All this time he wondered about this while riding on the back of a terralizard, trying to figure out who this person might have been. Mother said that it was a connection through the Force, that everyone he had a relationship with was linked to him and he was linked to them also. That was what she meant. However, he could not figure out who that could possibly be. What he did know was that the Force was a strange and mysterious thing. No one mortal could comprehend it fully.
No matter. He rode this beast with urgency, seeking to find the source of his new pain. He only wished to know what it was and understand it. So he rode off into the noon horizon, but to his surprise, it happened to be in the direction of that accursed Sith derelict.
The Sith Derelict. Like a gigantic thorn in the flesh of this warm and sunny planet, it sat there upon the horizon without life or purpose, a contrast to the yellow skies as a void with a tapestry of blacks and reds and gleaming metal. The winds brew across its surrounding landscape of dust, dirt, and fallen trees.
Deep inside, within the horrid decks of the ruined starship, darkness still prevailed against light. It still pervaded every deck possible with its dark energies. Dya was lying on her back, not dead, but unconscious. She was still breathing.
Mathius sensed the lifeforce in her stirring. "She lives."
She sat up, disoriented and wondering what had just happened to her. She looked at her hands. Her gloves were still on, but her hands had black electricity dancing about them. The kind that appeared outlined with gold. In fact, that strange electricity danced about her entire body as she climbed to her feet.
"Well, well," said Mathius, smiling at her. "I'm impressed. None of the other Jedi we had here as prisoners could get this far. I'm actually impressed."
She spoke through her mechanical mask and asked, "What did you do to them?"
Mathius felt pleased to hear her voice, but only because it changed into something stronger and deeper, even darker. "Why, the same thing that just happened to you, my dear lady. Except, you survived it. I have no idea why," he chuckled happily. "But you most certainly survived it."
"What happened to me?"
"You don't know?" He snickered mischievously and said, "You converted, my dear. Welcome to the darkside, sister. Welcome to the darkside!"
She walked away, summoning her fallen lightsabers to her hands. Dya traveled away from Mathius's prison cell and headed for the barracks. There she entered, searching for something, but not sure what. What she found were standard lightsabers, weapons of various types. Pikes, whips, knives, swords, and others. Some of them were lightsabers and others were simply metal weapons that were not technological.
She looked to the wardrobe, finding sets of clothing and body armor. Discovering these things made her nod slowly. Then she carefully removed her mask. After that, she began removing the rest of her clothes until she had nothing on but bra and panties. She then approached the wardrobe, selecting a suit of body armor before putting them on instead. When she was finished, she appeared dressed in all black with red trim, even wearing a mask like before. Then she grabbed a lightsaber, but this was a weapon unlike the ones she normally used. This one was a lance, one with a long pole-like handle reinforced with armor. She held it, handling it with mastered skill and she swing it and twirled it to test its weight balance. The she stopped and nodded, finding it to be satisfactory. Finally she tested the functionality of its blade, activating the polearm and causing the crimson blade to rise.
She left the barracks, heading back to Mathius.
Mathius was glad to see her. "You're back. I'm liking the armored suit. Those are the trappings of a Sith Warden. It suits you."
"Is she here yet?"
"Indeed," he nodded. "Let me out and together we can strike her down. Together, we can begin anew with a new empire."
"I'll consider it."
Mathius sighed and shook his head. "Wrong answer!"
Dya gasped, reaching a hand to her neck. The Force had wrapped itself around her throat and began to lift her off her feet. Mathius, grinning maniacally, had both hands reaching out to her neck from a distance as dark energies coalesced.
"There's a new threat," he communicated to Krautha. "Another Dark Jedi."
"Indeed, my lady."
"I am," he said, still under the witch's spell. "But if you can release me from this prison you put me in, I can do it in an instant."
"So be it then."
Outside at the base of the Derelict, Krautha stood with her terralizard nearby. She could feel a disturbance in the force. A terrible one. It was frightening, but only because she knew that it was the Dark Jedi. She hated Dark Jedi with all her heart. They were the reason for the fall of the purebloods, for the contamination of her people on Korriban so long ago. They came to her homeworld and enslaved the true Sith, making themselves gods and having her people worship them. Just knowing about this was infuriating, but to think that a Jedi arrived here on this planet and suddenly became Dark Jedi was unthinkable. For that, her hatred knew no bounds.
It was that hatred and sheer madness that became a channeled power, for Krautha summoned the darkside of the Force and used both hands to ignite the sky. Crimson electricity from Force lightning shot straight up into the sky, creating a whirling blanket of dark clouds that expanded from a single area outward. It was not long before the entire sky in this area became shadowed by immense cloud cover. Everything appeared dark and gloomy now, for no sunlight could penetrate this storm. Rain poured down in a heavy shower, drenching everything below.
Krautha grimaced in absolute rage as she summoned another dose of Force lightning, now directing the power in both her hands toward the Sith Derelict. Crimson electricity arced through the ionized air and struck the ship's tattered hull, electrifying the entire ship.
Deep inside the Derelict, Dya was still being choked by a force grip from both Mathius's hands. He roared in madness, trying to increase the power and tightening the squeeze around her neck, but she resisted with her immense power in the Force. When she gathered enough power to break free, his Force grip shattered. The power exerted blasted Mathius back, slamming him into the wall behind him. He dropped to his hands and knees with tiredness, but he soon regained his strength. Looking up at the Dark Jedi, he sneered and said, "It's too late, Dark Jedi. Your time is at an end!"
Crimson electricity arrived along the walls, floors, and ceiling, covering every square inch of the place after snaking throughout the ship to reach Dya. As electricity reached her body, she screamed in utter agony. That Force lightning instantly tortured her, making her body dance and wiggle from terrible electrocution.
Electricity reached Mathius's prison cell, creating a shortage that caused that red energy barrier to shut off. Now that the energy barrier was gone, Mathius rushed at the Dark Jedi with utter fury. The activated lightsaber lance in her hand flung out and landed in his possession, just as he lunged with a fast thrust to her abdomen. The Force pushed him aside as Dya resisted the crimson electricity with greater fury. Mathius went flying in a different direction, soon crashing limply to the floor. The crimson electricity faded away.
To Mathius's surprise, the Dark Jedi became even stronger. It was the darkside, the torture she endured from the worst form of Force Lightning possible. Though he slowly climbed back to his feet to face her, he felt utterly frightened.
"No," she screamed. "No, you won't prevail!"
With the force, he summoned every weapon he could find with telekinesis, and brought them to his whereabouts by the dozens. They all surrounded him as if handled by a poltergeist, obeying his command and he caused them to hurl at her with crazy speed.
With her shoto armed in reverse-grip style, she entered the Form VII and used Full Juyo to move so fast that she created a spherical barrier of impenetrable defensive force. With this she successfully blocked all weapons thrown at her. The blade of her shoto did not shine as well as it once did, appearing black and outlined with white. In result, the sphere of energy she formed from such rapid movement appeared as a shimmering black color highlighted by whiteness. Mathius gasped, wide-eyed in utter fear.
Now that the weapons were stopped, Dya ceased using Full Juyo. She stared coldly at the Sith male through her dark mask, approaching slowly and nonchalantly with a show of no fear. There was no way for the man to read her mind, because for some reason that he could not figure out, the woman was immune to mind probing through the Force. The man was terrified now, and she sensed that. She observed how he trembled at her approach, how his legs failed to move even though he wanted to flee. Then there was the reeking hint of urine.
"Please," he begged, dropping to his knees before her. He looked up at her as she stood close and towered over him like a dark goddess from the depths of pure darkside. His eyes looked apologetic, and he begged for his life. "Please, lady. Spare me. I will serve you, do as you wish, even worship you."
She nodded. Her dark voice spoke from behind the mask and and said, "There is one thing that you can do for me."
"Anything," he said quickly. "I'll do anything for you. Just name it."
She did not answer yet, simply staring down at the pitiful man and contemplating the answer. She kept him suffering in suspense.
He sat there on his knees, hands clasped together as if making a prayer, but he remained quiet as he waited for his goddess to answer.
"Die," she finally said.
He gasped and his eyes were so wide they they nearly popped out of their sockets. His head was already lying on the floor, right beside his headless body that was still sitting on its knees in a prayer position.
She had already turned her back to him, walking away with her three lightsabers. However, with the Force, she levitated a fourth and had it fly back into her hands. This one was the lightsaber lance she selected earlier. As she walked away to leave this brig, her mind was focused on one thing. Finding that "Sithlady" Mathius spoke of.
The planet Osscillon appeared wtih gloomy skies of cold air and cloud cover, but it did not rain. Deep in a secret area within the Jedi Stronghold, there floated the Radiant Woman in her secluded chamber. She stopped floating suddenly. Her feet touched the floor. Her legs felt weak with emotion. Both her hands covered her heart as she gasped and whimpered sadly. She felt it, the pain of a dying Jedi from way across the galaxy, all through the Force. The feeling proved so great that she dropped to her knees in sadness. Sparkling tears of liquid crystal fell from her shining face as her brilliant aura dimmed. Even her skin color changed, fading from brillant white to a glowing gray.
"No," she cried softly. "No it can't be." She could barely hold her self up, now standing on her hands and knees while trying to endure the terror and extreme pain she felt through the Force. "Grandmaster," she said. "Help me... please."
Moments later, the entranceway opened. The black-clad man rushed through it, jogging, and he came to her. He stooped to one knee and placed a hand on her in order to comfort her. "Syllanis," he called. "What's wrong? What's happening to you?"
"It's one of my Radiant Gems," she said. "It could not protect her."
She fell down on the floor, now lying on her side as she look weakly at the caring Grandmaster. "It's your old padawan, Shadowflower."
Grandmaster seemed worried now, but he controlled that emotion and said, "What do you know about her? Where is she?"
She touched his forehead with a finger, passing on knowledge with contact telepathy. "She's here. Please go to her. Quickly."
The Radiant Woman fell down completely, lying on her back with eyes closed. She was radiant no more; her skin became black, for her shining aura of pure white light was gone. Korvon stood up and ran off, leaving her there on the floor as he sprinted fast to take action. Soon after that, he gathered forces and gave the order to travel to a planet called Dauthrin with a full assault squadron of Jedi starfighters.
Krautha stood out in the pouring rain, completely drenched in sopping wet clothing. Her arms were spread out in front with hands open, fingers curled like claws. She breathed heavily, still panting in anger and madness. "Where are you," she snarled. "Come out of there and face me!"
There was nothing, no response. Just heavy rainfall.
Still breathing heavily, readied with the power to fight to the death, she waited, parting her legs as she got into a battle stance without a lightsaber. Her teeth were bared in a hateful grimace, clinched together, and huffing hot steamy breath from between them. "There you are," she said to herself, noticing a red light from far away. It was somewhere on the dorsal side of the ship. All she could see was a tiny black figure and the light of a crimson blade glowing brightly. "Witness true power from the purest essence of the darkside."
With her hands out, she turned her palms up to face the gloomy sky. Then, as if lifting something that weighed several tons, she slowly brought her hands upwards while chanting in a foreign language. It was a spell from Sith sorcery, the kind designed to do something obscenely horrible.
She was surrounded by dead bodies, ones that proved the actions of a newborn Sith some time ago. Vorune had killed an entire village of Dogens, leaving their furry bodies here to rot. Under all that heat and sunlight, that was exactly what they did. Rotted badly. It was why this area reeked of death and why the darkside clung to it like a delicious meal. It was darkside essence that poured out from the Sith Derelict that made this Dogen graveyard of a village so gruesome. Now that this area was ripe with darkness, Krautha used it to call upon the Force and animate the Dogen corpses.
Finally lifting her hands up to the sky, she cried out in frenzied laughter, "Rise, my pretty minions. Rise!"
Dya saw this from afar, from high up on the back of this ghost ship. Realizing how strong that Sith witch was, she decided to make her move. Mustering a great amount of Force power, she stooped in preparation for an amplified jump. She leaped high up into the air and launched her self forward, practically flying through air as she traveled to overhead to where Krautha stood. As she glided, she angled herself downward and began to descend with speed. Her cape flapped in the wind, whipping at the air behind her with loud and repeated popping sounds. Even the blade of her lightsaber lance hummed loudly as she glided down for a grateful landing.
Krautha watched as the Dark Jedi landed in a crouch. Dya stood up, straightening her body before getting into a battle stance. She stood here silently, waiting, watching as the undead Dogens armed themselves and began marching towards her. Dya marched forward with the lance ready, and as she neared the enemy, she began swinging and twirling her polearm and she batted these pathetic corpses away. Rotten flesh exploded or splattered upon impact.
More Dogens moved in to kill her. There appeared to be hundreds of them, an endless crowd of monstrosities. Dya feared not, continuing to fight for as long as she needed to in order to eliminate these grotesque zombies.
All the while Krautha stood and watched, studying the Dark Jedi's techniques and looking for weaknesses. When she started seeing those weaknesses, she smiled mischievously. "Come on, girl. I'm eager to finish you off."
As more and more zombies rushed at her, Dya's moves became faster and fiercer, even to the point of using Force power to increase the impact of her blows. Each strike was like an explosion, knocking back more than one zombie at a time. When the hordes closed in too tight, she leaped high up into the air and came down crashing her lance into the ground to create an earthshaking impact that knocked down dozens of zombies in radial waves.
Krautha observed how the Dark Jedi slaughtered those zombies. If they were not struck by the end of her polearm, then they were sliced in two by the lightsaber end if not run through by it. It was quite impressive how masterfully the Dark Jedi handled a full and nearly endless crowd of enemies. However, Krautha had another idea. Her power channeled, affecting the Derelict. Moments later, lightsabers of red, blue, and green appeared as Sith and Jedi zombies emerged from the ship. They too joined in the fight, moving fast as they handled their lightsabers with great skill.
Now Dya found herself fighting against undead duelists skilled enough to fight her. She quickly realized that using this lightsaber lance would no longer suffice. Her hand struck it down into the ground by the blunt end, making the polearm protrude from the ground nearby as she armed herself with two lightsabers from her belt. Now she was using Kar'Jai to fight off a dozen undead Jedi and Sith.
From Krautha's perspective, the battle ahead was nothing more than flickers and flashes with three different colors as lightsabers swung and collided with each other. Krautha only wished she could affect the Dark Jedi with Force Nightmares, but when she tried it, she found that the female was immune to such things. Still she waited and watched the Dark Jedi in action.
She suddenly sensed something. Unfortunately it was one of those talismans that still hung from around Vorune and her daughter's neck. She sensed it approaching fast from behind her, but she did not know which one it was. Considering the fact that her daughter had just given birth to a baby only a couple of months ago, she had to guess that this person arriving now was Vorune.
Vorune, on the back of his beast, rode with urgency toward where Krautha stood. Quickly he stood up on the beast's back, keeping balance as he armed himself with his dagger lightsabers. He waited, timing his attack first before leaping with a dagger-striking lunge. Krautha spun out of harms way, barely missing the dagger as it passed by her torso. While in that spin, she had grabbed the hilt of her two lightwhips that were wrapped around her waist, lifted her hands up above her head to unwind them from around her body, and stepped out of the evasive spin to face Vorune's back as his glide continued.
Vorune landed on the muddy ground with a roll. He rolled to his feet and crouched in a battle stance. His blades were in each hand, and he activated the lightsaber blade of each one. This time, the glowing shortsabers were pointed upward while the dagger ends protruded from behind his fists. Those lightsabers glowed violet with the same fury he felt towards Krautha, but he was more angry with himself for missing his target. Had his poisoned daggers cut her ribcage as planned, she would have suffered the effects of her own sorcery.
Now he needed another tactic.
Krautha smiled at him. "I'm proud of you, boy. You almost had me there. Almost."
Vorune snarled at her.
"It's too bad I commanded my daughter to teach you poorly, otherwise you might have had a chance to kill me. Now you will die!"
With ambidextrous skill, Krautha performed a deadly dance with those twin whips, having them activate to become long whipping tentacles of red energy. Just as Vorune charged at her with Force speed, she turned, flicked one whip with a twist of the wrist, and Vorune caught a strike to the face. The blow hung him in the air, in such a way that he flipped backwards despite his forward momentum. It did not help that the ground had turned soft and muddy from the heavy rainfall.
Lying on his back, he stared up at the sky with a charred lash on his left cheek. Rain poured into his eyes, blinding him. He still had his weapons in hand so he used his wrist to wipe away the water in his eyes as he sat up.
"What's the matter, boy? Giving up?"
Vorune glared at her, standing up from the ground and getting back into a battle stance. "If you only knew what is truly in your daughter's heart."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"You wouldn't understand," he smiled, mockingly. "You've never been in love before."
Krautha roared against those words, whipping him with another strike, and another, and another. She alternated between the right and left hand, each time slashing off pieces of clothing while searing fabric and flesh. Still, Vorune took those hits, grimacing as he endured the pain, managing to enjoy the torture and grinning in result. He grinned to let the crone know that she did not bother him anymore. He knew what he came here to do.
"If it is true what you are implying, then I shall go and kill my daughter next."
"Betrayal is the way of the Sith, you hypocrite! Get over it!"
She whipped him again, but this time Vorune blocked with a shortsaber, causing the tentacle to wrap around his violet blade and get stuck. She whipped him with the other lightwhip, and he did the same thing, causing that tentacle to get stuck. Krautha roared in rage and forcefully tugged both whips, yanking his shortsabers from his hands.
He still had his training lightsaber on hand, detaching it quickly from his belt and charging at her with Force speed. The setting was no longer on safe, allowing the yellow blade to perform like any lightsaber. He timed his attack perfectly this time, having caused her to drop her guard and create an opening for attack; her whips were still stuck on his shortsabers traveling through the air towards her in slow motion while he moved with Force-aided speed into her body with a well-planned thrust. Her hands were still holding the whips just before this happened, as everything moved in slow motion in Vorune perspective. However, Krautha was not stupid, having sidestepped to avoid that would-be life-ending thrust. She could use Force speed too, suddenly turning on one foot from the sidestep and vaulting off into the air to perform a horizontal spin. This allowed her to wrap her occupied whips around his thrusting arm just as he sped right past her with a miss. Upon her landing, she tugged on her whips, which caused those tentacles to gather and constrict, ripping his left arm to shreds.
Vorune's speed stopped, but not his momentum, which caused him to fall face first into the mud and skid across the wet ground for a long time. When he finally stopped, he turned over on his back, sat up, and looked back to where Krautha stood. The woman was laughing at him and dropped her lightwhips to pick up what used to be his arm. She held it up high for him to see. The hand still firmly held the lightsaber. At that point, he looked down at his arm only to see a cauterized stump where it was severed. Then pain struck him like a ship crashing at full speed into the ground.
Grabbing that charred stump, he tilted his head to scream to the sky in utter agony. Tears poured from his face and he sat there crying with pain beyond belief. It hurt far more than it should have, but that was probably because those lightwhip tentacles were enchanted with Sith sorcery. This was probably why the rain did not cause them to short or deactivate either.
Krautha kept laughing at him. "Look at you, boy," she yelled out. "Crying like a little baby. I always knew you were a sissy."
That angered him deeply, to the point of ignoring the pain and reaching out with the only arm he had left. His head used Force to telekinetically levitate his yellow-bladed lightsaber and make it spin towards her face vertically.
She screamed loudly, more out of shock and surprise than out of pain, because that spinning blade sliced into her face and destroyed her left eye. She backed away quickly, even stumbling back and falling to the ground. Panicking, she crawled away backwards like some contorted human spider to get away from the flying lightsaber. It kept coming towards her, spinning fast and slicing into the muddy ground as it chased her. Finally she stopped fleeing, readying her gauntlet laws and forming an X with her forearms to block the lightsaber with virtually indestructible armor. The lightsaber spun against it, creating sparks, but it would not cut through. With quick speed, she swung her right claw, grabbing the yellow lightsaber by the hilt, stopping his telepathic control of it.
She hopped back to her feet, now walking like a sadistic witch monster and she approached him with his own lightsaber. Activated. She walked fast, almost supernaturally as she neared him. Vorune watched as she walked up to him closely, and suddenly everything turned black from her mighty kick to his face. Vorune fell over, now lying on his side in pain. He could not breathe out of his nose because it was broken and gushing blood. At this point, he was pretty sure he was going to die if he did not think of anything quickly.
Lying on his back, he stared up at the woman and watched as she raised his lightsaber high above her head with both hands firmly on the hilt. The storm clouds hovering high above produced lightning that struck down upon the yellow lightsaber blade, creating an electrified effect. Then her hands twirling it around so that the blade pointed down, just before she came down on him with a hard thrust to his abdomen.
Vorune lost his mind from the pain inflicted. His body convulsed madly from electrocution, to the point of foaming at the mouth. Then she straightened her posture and stood over his convulsing body and said, "You're wrong about me, Vorune Lorith. I do love. I love my daughter, I loved my husband who happened to be your father, and I have even learned to love you." She turned her back to him and walked away, heading back to deal with the Dark Jedi as she said, "That's why I decided not to kill you."
Suddenly the electricity stopped and the lightsaber deactivated. It fell as a bladeless hilt upon his body and rested there with him. Vorune remained in that spot, silent and motionless.
Krautha opened her claw hands, calling Vorune's daggers with the Force and causing them to fly up from the ground into her palms as she walked by. She was on her way to the area where the Dark Jedi still dueled with Jedi and Sith zombies.
Sparks flew. She twisted and turned with athletic grace, blocking and deflecting lightsabers and counterattacking to lessen the number of opponents. Dya was in full defense, not able to fight back much, due to the fact that there were too many lightsaber wielders. Unfortunately she could identify almost all of the undead Jedi through the Force. Dya felt desperate now, fighting hard to survive against these zombied masters, resorting to use of acrobatics and aerial techniques to strike back.
Krautha was near, distant enough to watch the fight and not be reached. With Vorune's poisoned daggers in hand, she saw an opening and flung them. Force controlled their speed and flight, and they spun through the air during one of Dya's aerial moves. The daggers, when getting close enough, became activated as violet blades appeared. Now they were visible enough to evade, but it happened too late. As the lightsaber blades sliced through her flesh, so did the curved blade of those magically poisoned daggers. It was a twin strike. Those lightsaber daggers circled around and flew back to Krautha's hands.
Dya screamed in reaction to the thrown twin strike, spinning through the air with her sabers extended as she clumsily completed her aerial windblade move and crashed to the ground. Still surrounded by the last three lightsaber-wielding zombies, she rolled away along the muddy ground just as they all swung down with their blades to strike. They all struck the ground, for she had moved fast out of harm's way. Since the number of her opponents were down to just three, she reattached her two lightsabers to her belt and readied her long-handle lightsaber.
Krautha watched as this female moved with mastery despite being poisoned. The Dark Jedi stopped the blade of one zombie, performing a parry, which caused an opening for a rapid seven-thrust attack to the chest. She moved so fast that it looked like one strike, and that zombie was stunned. Another zombie came to attack her from behind, but she spun, slicing the head off the zombie she just thrust, only to continue that movement as her blade arched around and quickly decapitated the zombie behind her. Now there was only one zombie left, and she blocked every strike she performed until she used a Force pull to skewer him. With one hand, she twisted her body performing an upward slash while her blade was still in his rotten body, halving that zombie from the chest up through the head.
With all the zombies down and destroyed in such a way that they could no longer be used, Dya turned to face Krautha and executed a fighting stance with her long-handle lightsaber ready in her hand. She faced Krautha silently, waiting patiently and ready to fight. The zombies she destroyed with the blade of her long-handle lightsaber were set ablaze by some fiery effect.
The rainfall had stopped by now, but those rain clouds remained.
Krautha looked at the blade of that woman's lightsaber, seeing a strange duel-color of bright yellow with a red core. She contemplated that briefly, figuring that whatever crystal the Dark Jedi had in that weapon caused the burning effect. She found it to be impressive.
"Who are you," she asked, waiting in a battle stance with Vorune's daggers in her hands.
Krautha chuckled at the joke. "You're no Darth," she spat, with a grinning look of disgust. "I must have heard about a dozen of you claim titles of the Sith, even ones that aren't Sith at all by blood or heritage, and there is only one thing they all have in common."
Basilisk listened, but did not speak. Her mask remained on her face, hiding her true identity.
Kratha continued, saying, "That all were Dark Jedi, people that were once devout to the Jedi Order. You know what that tells me?"
Basilisk still did not respond.
"It tells me that you Jedi are all the source of the problem. You know... I have read much about this endless conflict between Jedi and the so-called Sith Order," she mocked. "All the chaos and destruction, all the wars and bloodshed, if observed carefully with a keen eye, revolved around the existence of the Jedi."
Basilisk waited patiently, still ready to fight.
"Ever wonder why the Force keeps finding ways to revive the Stih Order, why it keeps selecting feeble-minded Jedi from among your ranks and turn them over to the darkside? Ever wonder why time after time the Jedi are the ones that get purged?"
Basilisk did notice this pattern during her studies at the Jedi Archives, and she would probably have agreed, but she still said nothing and showed no reaction.
"I'll tell you why," Kratha snarled. "It's because the Force does not favor the Jedi. To assume such is wrong. You Jedi think you are all righteous and practice goodness, defending the weak and humbling the strong, but what none of you realize is... you're all a pack of self-righteous fools! There is no way that the lightside would ever respect that."
"What would you know about the lightside," said Darth Basilisk. "Have you been there?"
"Can't say that I have. However, I am not so ignorant as to believe that the lightside is without darkness and that the darkside is without light."
Basilisk nodded. "True. I too believe that. In fact, I have seen it."
Krautha narrowed her eyes at the want-to-be Darth and stared in scrutiny. "You lived both sides of the Force? Equally?"
Basilisk hesitated to answer, as if thinking about how to answer. "Yes."
"Then you are no Jedi, are you?"
She shook her head and said, "I'm Darth Basilisk."
That made Krautha frown. "I don't know who you are, but you certainly are not Sith."
"You got that one right."
Krautha quickly reached out with the Force and snatched the mechanical mask off that mysterious woman's face. She saw the Panathan woman for the first time, now staring intently in an attempt to read the woman's mind.
"That won't work."
Krautha nodded. "I see. You're immune somehow."
Basilisk waited quietly.
"You are ill," said Krautha, making an observation. "You were onboard the Derelict. You breathed the atmosphere in there. How did it feel?"
"I'm sure you realized that there was something different about the air inside the ship. It's noxious at first, like breathing poisonous gas, but then it begins to affect your body and mind, distorting your five senses and making you hallucinate. You feel as though gravity suddenly increased, your flesh feels ice cold, and your bones begin to ache around the joints."
"Then you begin to see the darkside in its purest form all around you. Its essence begins to take shape, becoming things that you think are not real but they are. Those things you see, they become manifestations of the darkside and attack you. Then you develop a desire to fight back, emotions stir, and your will to survive is increased. However, the more you fight, the more the darkside fights back, and then... death."
Basilisk's eyes lowered, thinking about that experience. Krautha described it with great detail, almost as if she was there when it happened.
"I bet you wondered what that was and what happened to you."
"I'll tell you," she smiled. "You see... we Sith place deadly and destructive traps everywhere we inhabit. These traps are like our tombs you Jedi like to explore and raid, where every trap is laced with darkside essence. The same goes for our starships. What you experienced was darkside intoxication, from what we call darkspore. They permeate the air, become the air you breathe. However, if you are aligned with darkside, they won't affect you. You become immune. If you are aligned with the lightside, then... well... it will only be a matter of time before you either become aligned with darkside. If not that, then you will die out of that self-righteous stubborness to hold on to the lightside."
That angered Basilisk deep down inside, because now she knew what happened to all those Jedi that died in the brig. Her left eye began to glow. However, Basilisk remained silent, not wishing to entertain this evil woman no matter how hard she taunted.
"Join me," Krautha said, granting what she thought was a logical alternative. "Let's unite forces and together we can rule the galaxy the way it was meant to be ruled."
"I didn't come here to form alliances," said Basilisk. "I came here to initiate the long awaited Sith Purge."
Krautha gasped, with eyes wide open. She looked down at the ground for a second, thinking about this. Could this be true? Is this really the end of my kind?
Basilisk saw the Shatterpoint, just like Windu's Force spirit said she would.
Krautha suddenly wised up and snapped out of it, realizing that she was for a brief moment in some kind of trance. She looked at the woman and saw that glowing evil eye on Basilisk's left side. "No," she realized. "The Jedi are not murderers! You won't do it. You can't! You don't have that kind of power. Not even a Dark Jedi can achieve that kind of victory!"
"I'm no Jedi."
Krautha roared, "Then what in hell are you!"
Krautha felt shocked. "What?"
Basilisk moved swiftly with a trust to the heart, but Krautha moved just as swiftly and slapped that lightsaber blade away with just her saberclaw hand. Thrown off the course of her attack, Basilisk was turned aside from the force behind the hand parry. The other saberclaw, also tipped with miniature lightsaber nails, swung in and raked Basilisk across the face. Krautha followed with an elbow to the throat using the same arm.
Basilisk's tongue leaped out of her mouth with a croaking sound; she stumbled back away from the witch and tried to breathe. She could not, not completely. That made her drop to one knee while using her free hand to hold her aching throat. She choked badly, feeling lightheaded.
Krautha laughed at her, performing a roundhouse kick to the woman's chest. That sent Basilisk falling back. She hit the ground with her back hard. Krautha stood over the pained woman, laughing at her. Basilisk crawled backwards away from the witch, suddenly bumping into that lance she used earlier. It was still lodged in the ground, erected vertically, just the way she left it. She remembered how she cloaked her starship in the orbit of Sarapin and decided to do the same thing. Her hand tapped the protruding lance, instantly cloaking it with the Force.
Krautha lunged to strike downward with her left saberclaw, but Basilisk rolled sideways out of harm, but only to use an opening in her attack to kick that witch in the face. Krautha stumbled back from the blow, allowing Basilisk time to hop to her feet and grab the invisible lance. She spun around to gain momentum and stopped with a one-handed toss, but Krautha sensed the traveling lance through the Force and moved to catch it.
"Nice move," said Krautha, now holding the lance while getting into a battle stance. "Nothing cloaked in the Force can hide from my perceptions."
Basilisk had been counting on it. That was when she armed herself with her long-handle lightsaber and performed a battle stance for Form VII. She watched as Krautha prepared to defend herself against that Form, using a Sith mastered Form not known to the Jedi Order. Basilisk recognized it, but never attempted to master it or any Sith Forms despite the opportunity to do so. This was due to her respect for the Jedi Order, even though the grandmaster gave her permission to do otherwise.
The Shatterpoint: Sith do not favor defense, but full aggression. Defense for Sith is just another form of offense.
She remembered the spirit of Windu telling her something like that back on Sarapin, when she attempted to provoke a vaapad creature to attack her first. Except this time, she was the vaapad creature and Krautha was the provoking warrior. What she did not know was that Krautha recognized Form VII, both variations. She and members of her crew had studied certain things at the Jedi temples they raided in many places of the galaxy, all in attempt to learn about their enemy.
"That looks to me like you are about to use Vaapad against me," she smirked. "As I recall, that form of lightsaber combat has no defensive qualities whatsoever. What makes you think that you can defeat me with that? I'm a sorceress. I specialize in ranged combat. Use that pathetic technique, and you will die. I promise you this."
Basilisk used it anyway.
Krautha channeled force, moving just as quickly to block every strike Basilisk performed, defending herself expertly with the use of a lightsaber lance. Now they both looked like spheres of energy, two conflicting barriers that could not penetrate each other. As the warrior could not attack, the vaapad creature could not defend. This became a pointless endeavor and a waste of Force power.
However, Krautha was a sorceress and had tricks up her sleeves. This entire area around the Derelict, thanks to Vorune's murder spree, was a darkside zone. This meant that Krautha had every advantage magically, and while they were conversing with each other apprehensively, Krautha prepared a surprise with the aid of the darkspores still in Basilisk's bloodstream.
"Darkspores," she began, calm yet burning with rage as she rapidly blocked every Basilisk strike coming at her. "I cultivated this batch myself. I sure hope you enjoy the effect."
At that point, Basilisk could hear Krautha's distracting laughter. The woman was not even laughing, but Basilisk heard it, just like those strange voices on the Derelict. Basilisk was barely able to keep up with continuing Vaapad, suddenly feeling dizzy. Still, with her Jedi training, Basilisk focused her afflictions by channeling even that into Vaapad. She was also poisoned by those magical lightsaber daggers, but she had resisted the illness all this time until now. Weakness grew.
"If you stop using your Vaapad, I'll have an opening to strike, and you will surely die!"
Basilisk snapped out of it, regaining strength and focus, but she new it would not last long. She had to do something different. Something deceptive and quick. That was when the secret tactic she had planned about the long-handle lightsaber came to mind. It was why she had created the weapon in the first place despite its countless drawbacks.
The darkside manifested into reality all around them in such a way that illusions became physical matter, taking the form of multiple Krautha duplicates. At this point it was hard to tell the difference, except for the fact that the original Krautha was the one locked in swordplay. However, swordplay was not the sorcerous trick here. It was Force lightning. Each duplicate channeled power and turned it into electricity. In the next moment, Basilisk was truck with lightning from all angles. Thankfully, she managed to block the lightning from all angles using Form VII: Full Juyo. Now she was in full spherical defense.
Krautha did not know how to attack that impenetrable sphere of defensive energy. It was the opposite of Vaapad, creating a shield to protect Darth Basilisk within. However, Krautha was patient, because she knew that no matter how skilled and how powerful this Dark Jedi was, Basilisk could not maintain it forever with magical poison and darkspores in her system.
In result, Basilisk became burnt out and collapsed to her knees. Now she was hunched over, trying to catch her breath. With a hand covering her mouth, she coughed. In her hand was a large splatter of blood.
"And here we are at last," Krautha grinned. "The poison is finally reaching its full effect." She held up the lightsaber daggers that were still in her hands, despite the fact that she favored attack with saberclaw fingers. "You see this glowing green substance on these dagger blades?"
Basilisk looked at them.
"It's a poison I created using sorcery. There is no cure. You will soon die because of it."
Basilisk grimaced, but said nothing, continually coughing up blood.
"I did try to warn you, even gave you an alternative, but you refused to listen. Even though you claim to be a Darth, you're still just another self-righteous Jedi. Also for the record, there are no such things as Je'daii. It's a myth." She gave a satisfied chuckle and said. "You fought well, bravely, perhaps the best that I have ever seen, but you messed up, and then made a terrible mistake. Now you will reap what you sow, and there will never be a Sith Purge. Ever!"
Krautha turned her back to the dying woman and walked away, certain that she gained victory in this long and grueling battle. There was a wicked smirk on her face as she strutted forward. On her mind was her daughter and the newborn. Right now, Keyliah was at the Lorith village with the baby, and Krautha could not wait to get to that village and begin the next stage of her plan. However, something interrupted her train of thought. Something she felt in the Force, something that began to nag her mind.
She stopped and turned around to see the miserable Basilisk sitting on her knees. The poor woman was still coughing crazily, spitting up more blood. "By the way," she called out. "What is your real name?"
"There is no other name."
"Well, Shade," she said mockingly, walking back to the dying woman. "If that is really your name." She walked until she got close enough to speak without having to call out over the distance. "I don't want you to die without first knowing mine."
Basilisk stared at her with miserable eyes, barely able to keep them open.
"My name is Krautha," she introduced. "Krautha Blivenyght. My marital name is Lurke."
Basilisk just stared at the cold witch.
"Anyway. I must go now to see my daughter and my newborn grandson. It was nice killing you. Goodbye.
Basilisk watched the woman turn her back to walk away, but that was when she said, "I forgive you."
Krautha stopped, surprised to hear that.
"Also... I didn't realize it before but... deep down inside... I learned that... despite all the horrible things you've done... to me and to everyone... I still love you."
"Say what," the woman roared, now turned around and glaring at Basilisk like some insane fool. "What did you just say?"
"I said... I love you."
Like the straw that broke the camel's back, the madwoman armed herself with Vorune's daggers, activating them and causing the lightsaber blades to become as long as swords by use of their blade adjusters. With one strong Force leap, the woman came down out of the air to chop Basilisk down with a killing blow, but Basilisk smiled. She had raised her activated long-handle lightsaber with both hands to block that powerful strike. Krautha was certain that her attack would cut through that long handle, thus slicing through the Dark Jedi from head to groin, but her blade could not cut through that long handle.
Blade-locked, Krautha stared into Basilisk's eyes with shock, wondering why this lightsaber could not cut all the way through as planned. The casing melted, but sparks ignited from the friction of her violet blade against that ridiculous handle.
"You don't even know me, Dark Jedi," Krautha scolded. "Don't you ever say a thing like that to me! Not ever!"
Basilisk, still smiling at Krautha, twisted the hilt of her long-handle lightsaber, causing the vents along its shaft to open. Tremendous heat shot out from those vents. Krautha appeared taken aback, for she realized that there was an actual lightsaber blade within the handle. The handle was apparently hollow, allowing for a blade with exaggerated length to flow though it secretly. All this time, that strangely crafted lightsaber was not a long-handle type at all. It was a longsword.
"You are quite deceptive," she said pressing down on that strange lightsaber with hers. "No matter. You are on your knees, and you are dying anyway. There is no victory for you!"
Basilisk laughed at her, hitting a switch on the opposite end of the long handle, activating the hidden shoto that created a white blade with a black core. Watching that horrified look on Krautha's surprised face, Basilisk twisted her grip on the long handle and swung, causing that shoto's darkened blade to lick across the witch's throat. Krautha gasped for air as she stumbled back, grabbing her own throat with her clawhands in desperation to breathe.
All those darkside manifested Krautha duplicates that surrounded these fighting women dissipated as if they had never existed. Krautha dropped weakly to her knees, making gurgling sounds as blood oozed from the partially cauterized wound in her neck. Then the gurgling stopped, and so did her lungs as life left her Sith body. Then her body fell face down in a muddy puddle as a corpse.
Basilisk sat here on her knees, staring off into space and waiting to die, and she could no longer bear it. She had fallen over to the darkside, yet still hung on to the lightside, which was why the darkspores were harming her; but she could resist that. The magical poison she had resisted, using the Force to keep it at bay until now. However, she was no longer able to do so since she used her power to perform Vaapad and Full Juyo. She did not wish to die like this, to slowly suffer under excruciating pain. With her standard lightsaber in hand, she continued sitting on her knees while holding the deactivated weapon's emitter right under her jaw. All she had to do now was hit the switch with her thumb, and the blue blade would pierce through her skull from underneath.
Windu's spirit appeared, standing right before her. He looked saddened.
"I'm sorry padawan. I did what I could to help you, but in the end..." He chuckled a bit. "You didn't need me after all."
She laughed weakly, though it only made her lungs hurt more.
"Cheer up, girl. No need to worry. Help is on the way."
She looked in the direction of where his hand gestured, and there she saw what appeared to be the entire Lorith tribe arriving from the distance. Vorune was there with them, walking alongside Keyliah at the front of the crowd. He was missing an arm and there was a hole in his abdomen where he had been stabbed with a lightsaber. His mother walked with him, using the Force to heal his wounds, keeping him alive. Lorith Force healers ran to Dya's rescue, already channeling energy into her body to repair it.
Keyliah gave her baby to one of the tribeswomen and ran off, heading in Dya'Mondria's direction to see if her eyes were deceiving her. When she stopped, she found herself standing over her mother's corpse. She said not a word, did not even react. She just stood there until her body felt weak and dropped to her knees beside her dead mother.
Up in the sky, Jedi starfighters arrived only to slow down to a hovering stop before landing vertically. Their canopies opened as the Jedi pilots climbed out and jumped down to the ground. Grandmaster Hikarikasai was one of them, hopping down from his starfighter to see how his former padawan was doing. Of course he had to act surprised, as if this was the first time seeing the girl in over nearly two years. The Jedi Order believed she was missing in action, but here she was after going through hell with the Sith Purebloods.
Keyliah was still sitting on her knees in a muddy puddle beside her dead mother, crying. Following orders from the grandmaster, she was grabbed by a group of male Jedi. They brought her to her feet and shackled her, taking her away to a small transport ship that just arrived from the sky to land.
Dya' Mondria, still being healed by the Force healers, looked up happily at her master as he stood over her. He smiled at her, glad to see her too and stooped to the ground to give her a hug. Vorune, standing nearby quietly with his baby in the only arm he had left, stared quietly and admiringly at Dya'Mondria. She was the one that slaughtered the Sithlady, and he found that to be remarkable. He paid no mind to the fact that she was dressed in Sith trappings. The Jedi Order recognized her as a fellow member and welcomed her back with opened arms. It was such a beautiful moment that his eyes shed tears.
Suddenly Dya'Mondria turned her smiling head and looked in Vorune's direction. At that moment their eyes met, for they saw each other for the first time. That Force connection Mother told him about, it was still there, perhaps stronger now than ever. She waved for him to come to her, so he did. She was standing now, feeling better; it turned out that Krautha was lying, as always, because there was a cure for the magical poison. Force healing.
Vorune stood before the warrior Jedi and said, "Was that you I felt in the Force? The one that died?"
"Yes," she nodded. "I believe it was."
"Did you really die?"
"Yes," she answered. "In a sense."
"I'm Vorune Lorith."
"You're son of Jorn Lorith, right?"
"Yes," he said, surprised. "How did you know?"
She refused to tell him the truth, that he was her trainer for a while. Instead she said, "Because you have his eyes."
"I'm Jedi Dya'Mondria Vexx. It's nice to meet you."
"Who's the baby?"
"He's my son. Haven't come up with a name for him yet."
"Take your time. I'm sure you will come up with a good one."
He nodded, though something was on his mind.
"What's on your mind, Vorune?"
"The connection I feel between us, why do I feel it? I don't even know you and only just met you, and yet we are linked through the Force. Why is that?"
"Perhaps you and I were meant to be something greater."
"I don't know," she shrugged with a pretty smile. "Perhaps you would like to become my apprentice."
He seemed taken aback. "You serious?"
She nodded, giving him an even prettier smile. "You will do nicely."
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