Chapter 1: Awaken
Eyes flung open. His lips uttered a scream as his body sat up quickly in bed. Breathing quickly, he looked around and realized that he was in his bedroom. "Nightmare," he said to himself. "It was just a nightmare."
Just then, the door opened and a dark-skinned woman came through to check on him. She looked at him with those loving eyes and asked, "Are you okay?"
"Yes," he answered. "I'm fine."
"Come. I have some food prepared for you," she said with a smile. "Perhaps you need to eat something to calm yourself."
The young man seemed hesitant at first, but then he nodded with agreement.
"I promise you," said his mother. "You will feel better."
"Feel better?" He climbed out of bed. "A Jedi would not be concerned about such emotions."
Mother laughed. "You're no Jedi."
"I can commune with the Force," he said, putting on a robe. "There's no reason I shouldn't become one."
She laughed again. "Boy, stop joking with me. There's all sorts of reason you can't become one. One of them being that you are too old. Force sensitive or not, No Jedi is going to come down here and take you away from your tribe. I won't allow it."
There were both in the dining room now, which was in the same large room as the kitchen. He sat down at the table and she returned to the stove to get the food she just finished cooking. Her back was facing him for the moment when he spoke.
"Is that why you turned them away when I was born?"
The woman froze. Emotions captured her now, causing her to stare into space and think back to that time when she gave birth to him. It was a beautiful moment. No hospital; just a tub full of warm water and a surrounding of loving tribe members. She remembered sitting in the water and holding her newborn child with utter happiness. It was then that she named him Vorune.
Her eyes blinked rapidly several times as she snapped out of her nostalgia.
"How do you know about that?"
It was a stupid question, but it was the only thing that came to mind.
"The Force showed me."
Now she found it hard to breathe, feeling guilty, besides the fact that his eyes were practically burning holes into her back with accusation.
"Why would it do that?"
"I don't know. I saw it all happen in a dream. They came down from the stars in a ship. After they disembarked, they knew not where to go and felt lost. When they meditated on the Force, it showed them the way, and they were led here to this house."
At that moment, she turned to look at her son from over her shoulder, now seeing the truth in his eyes. The boy was quite convinced of the dream, but that was only because the dream was true. All of that really happened.
"I was still an infant, nearly a toddler when you answered the door. You were surprised and disturbed that they were Jedi. They introduced themselves politely and told you that they sensed a powerful Force-sensitive here, but you denied everything until they saw me walking on my own for the first time. I walked to you mom, hugged your leg, and the two Jedi looked down to see me. The disappointed look on their faces when they realized that you were lying--"
"Vorune," she interrupted. "I couldn't let them take you."
"Why not? Don't I have a natural talent for using the Force?"
"Yes, of course you do. We all do. Our entire tribe, if not our entire race of Korunnai are all force-sensitive. That's doesn't mean we need to go off and learn to become Jedi."
She exhaled with exasperation and looked down sadly.
Vorune waited, staring at her with great concern. "What is it?"
"Your father. You don't remember him, do you?"
He shook his head.
"Well, he was a Jedi."
The boy brightened. "Really?"
"Yes," she said, now serving him food. She scooped it off the skillet onto his plate. "He was a good one, probably one of the best."
"Then where is he? Why haven't I met him?"
"Because he was a Jedi. They are not allowed to have family ties or even romantic relationships."
"That doesn't make sense, especially since I was born."
She smiled saying, "That's my point."
Mother had already fixed herself a plate of food and now sat down to join her son and eat. "He did what he wanted to do, what he thought was right, and it ruined his career."
"He was banished from the Order."
The boy looked disappointed.
"Took those foolish Jedi masters too long to find out, but when they did..."
Vorune chewed his food quietly, imagining what actually happened back then. "So why didn't he come back home?"
"In his heart, he was still a Jedi I suppose. Maybe he felt so guilty, so rejected that he could not return home to face me. All those years of being gone away from me and from you. I don't think he could look either one of us in the eyes without suffering regret."
"I would love for him to come back to us. I don't care that he was a Jedi. I wish he could have taught me to become one."
"No," said mother, now shedding a tear from both eyes. "Because then I would lose you too."
Vorune got up from the table, having eaten most but not all of his food. He headed for his room to go put on some clothes, preparing to go. When he emerged from his bedroom a moment later, he didn't bother looking at his mother and passed by her to reach the front door.
She was still crying when he passed by and said, "Where are you going?"
"I'm off to spend some time with Keyliah."
"I thought I told you I don't want you having anything to do with that girl."
"I don't care what you say, not any more."
She winced at the slamming of the front door. Her head dropped low, as if it would have fell off from her shoulders. Tears poured out of her eyes and speckled the floor. She felt alone, for she knew now that not only did she lose her husband, but she was also losing her son.
The tropical climates of Dauthrin made this morning feel warm at dawn, hotter than other planets normally chosen by humans for colonization. The kind of star that warmed this planet was a gigantic one, and its light caused the yellow skies to appeared light green this early morning. It was a beautiful sunrise. Vorune beheld it thoughtfully as he walked the dirt streets of his people's village. The morning became brighter as he traveled, reaching the outer perimeter of the large village. He was leaving the village. He had to. It was the only way to be with his girlfriend, because she lived in a house somewhere outside the village. Out in the wilderness.
It was a half an hour walk, he had discovered, having traveled this path many times. He often walked it with Keyliah when they were alone, enjoying her pleasant company. Right now he could not wait to see her again, because she was the only friend he had in this world. No one else cared to befriend him, even if he was a member of the Lorith Tribe. He never understood why though, now figuring that it was because of his father.
Vorune wished he had answers.
Keyliah was already awake, having left her home to venture out into the wilderness. It was late sunrise by now, the sky turned from green to pale yellow, and the green star that served as this planet's mysterious sun was now visible beyond the mountain tops. At the end of her journey through this warm jungle, she reached a large flowing pond with a tall waterfall. She could already feel the moisture of water spray touching her skin. Gazing at the sparkling water, she smiled, enjoying this beautiful and tranquil moment for a minute or two.
After that, she began removing her robe, under which she wore nothing. In need of a bath, she went forward and stepped into the cold water. Submerged until the water was just above her breasts, she giggled at the chilling sensation she felt all over her body and began bathing. This place was something special to her, a place in the wilderness where no predators lurked, not even in the water. She came here with Vorune often, even bathed with him. If she knew him well, he would be on his way right now to meet her here. Mother was not always good company, so they would stay away from the house and enjoy the wilderness despite the predators and dangers out here.
The Force reached her with a signal that was faint but noticeable. She received that signal and read into it, realizing one thing. She was being watched. She chose not to look in the direction of the pervert, but to face the approaching person with her back. A devious smirk rose on her face, making her mouth go crooked, left side up.
With a low moan she said sensually, "How long are you going to hide there?"
"Didn't know you could detect me."
"Not like there's anything you haven't seen here already," she insinuated. "Come on out. There's no privacy between lovers."
Vorune appeared to suddenly materialize, no longer invisible. He emerged from the wilderness, standing near to where Keyliah left her clothes. In his hand was her belt, which had a device attached to it. The device held what appeared to be a lightsaber.
"What does it look like to you?"
"Very astute of you."
"But why do you have one?"
She looked at him from over her shoulder with a pretty, teasing grin, one that made her look absolutely gorgeous with her hair pulled back into a careless bun, high at the back of her head. Sunlight reflecting off the surface of the water created a hazy dream-like moment of beauty that made him stare as if mesmerized by her. She was a light-skinned female, alien, but only because her skin was a pale crimson color, nearly pinkish. Her eyes were bright yellow, touched with orange. Her hair was dark, almost black but muddy red with golden-yellow highlights. Her face had an alien bone structure that appeared sharp and angular, granting her bold cheekbones that made her look fierce and predatory overall. She looked Human, perhaps Near-Human. It was hard to tell what she was exactly.
He did not care. He loved her.
"Well?" He seriously wanted an answer.
"What's gotten into you this morning? You're normally cheerful and would not hesitate at a chance to bathe with me here."
"Oh," he said, forgetting about the lightsaber. "I uh..."
"Are you coming in or not?"
"Yeah," he said, taking off his robe and revealing bare brown-skin. Quickly he climbed into the water and traveled across to meet her.
She smiled invitingly at him all the while. Now they were face to face, both happy to be together.
"So... what's on your mind this morning?"
She looked at him pointedly. "I don't believe that. Come on now. I know you better than that."
He sighed. "I just learned about my father."
"What about him?"
"I don't remember him. He left when I was still a baby, but..."
She waited for him to tell her.
"Well... mother decided to tell me that he was a Jedi."
"Oh?" She blinked, seemingly surprised... or perhaps pretending to be. He did not notice.
"That's big news. What did she tell you exactly?"
He told her everything about the conversation he had with his mother.
"That's deep," she responded. "Any idea what his name is?"
"I never asked, but I assume he went by the tribe name. Lorith."
"Hmm," she responded, thinking about that name. "I had a stepfather that was once a Jedi." She left out the fact that he was a Korun, like Vorune. "He taught me how to use that lightsaber you saw on my belt."
She nodded, smiling at him still.
"Why haven't you told me before now?"
"It wasn't a big deal. Besides that... we were still getting to know each other."
"So now you feel more comfortable talking to me about these things."
"Of course, love."
"Good," he nodded. "I guess we're getting closer now."
"I guess so," she said enticingly. She moved in to sweetly kiss his thick lips.
He kissed back, now holding her by the waist.
She pulled back briefly, looked lovingly into his eyes, and said, "There is something I want to tell you. Something important."
"Not now, but soon. When I feel ready. I'm sure right now your mind is on this discovery about myself and your father."
He nodded excitedly.
She shrugged. "Very well. I'll teach you what I know."
"Wait... you are going to train me?"
"Why not? You're Force sensitive, right?"
He nodded. "I see your point."
She then turned away from him, walking toward the shore where her clothes awaited her. Climbing out of the water, she reached out a hand and called upon the Force to send her a small rectangular box sitting among her things. It levitated from the ground and flew into her grasp.
"Come here," she said, staring down at the box in her hand.
He came out of the water to join her, and soon he stood beside her to see the box in her hand. "What's this?"
She handed it to him. "It's for you."
Curious, he took the box and studied it. The box was actually a storage device, black and mechanical, and there were push buttons along the side.
"Go on," she said. "Open it."
He did, pushing a button. The face of the device split and opened, sliding away as small doors that vanished into their sills. Within the box were two cylindrical devices, not too far different from that lightsaber attached to Keyliah's belt. He gasped, his eyes grew large and wide with surprise, and he could not believe it.
"These are for me?"
"Yes. I'll use one and you can use the other."
"Don't you already have a lightsaber?"
"These are training lightsabers. Their blades won't cut anything or hurt anybody."
"They're also submersible. Water won't damage them at all."
He took one. She levitated the other, taking it into her hand. She took the box from him and put it down with her stuff, right on top of the backpack she brought here. Then she stood back and watched as Vorune adored the training weapon. He happily held it with both hands, testing the handgrip and getting a feel for the energy weapon. Then finally he hit the thumb switch and caused the blade of light to emerge.
Vorune looked amazed. It was yellowish white, but seemed to have a prismatic effect to it. As he carefully waved the blade through the air to hear the distinct vibrating hum sound caused by air friction, he noticed that the blade had no weight at all.
"So the weight only exists within the hilt."
"Exactly. Which is why that is only a training lightsaber. I would not want you to get hurt or killed."
"Right. That makes sense."
She ignited her training lightsaber, revealing a shimmering pinkish white blade. It also had that same prismatic effect, creating rainbow flares at certain angles. "I'll use this one and you can use that one. When you master it, we can move one to bigger and better things."
"Don't worry about it. No need to jump the gun here. Patience is key."
Vorune suddenly felt skeptical. "Are you sure you're old enough to teach me?"
She rolled her eyes at him.
"Sorry. I'm just concerned is all."
"I just told you that my father was a Jedi. Why are you worried? Think I can't train you like he trained me?"
"That's not what I mean."
"Then explain," she said, frowning at him.
"What I mean is... are you a Jedi too?"
"What? The lightsabers are not a good enough clue for you?"
Vorune felt stupid now. He refused to answer.
"Not anyone can use a lightsaber," she reasoned. "You need the Force to help you wield it, otherwise you might end up killing yourself by accident. Understand?"
He nodded. "That makes sense."
"So now that you're done questioning me, let's go have some fun."
Vorune watched her run off naked towards the water. He ran in after her, smiling and chuckling along with her as water splashed from their jogging legs.
Vorune found himself standing completely naked in a shallow area of this pond, right under the noisy waterfall. It was hard to maintain his center of gravity especially with the weight of so much water crashing down on his head. Still he did what the girl asked, respecting her as he would a master. She stood nearby, watching him practice the basic movement techniques learned by any lightsaber-wielding person.
He moved his lightsaber slowly through the air, practicing all the moves of this dance-like routine as if fighting an adversary in slow-motion. "What is this Form called again?"
"Shii Cho," she answered, practicing it with him like a living guide to each move. "Rudimentary movements and techniques. This will help you learn to make use of your lightsaber during any situation."
"Aren't I supposed to apply the Force to these movements?"
"Well, you could, and that's important, but... I am teaching you the basics. I want you to learn all things without the Force."
"Because it can be a handicap or even an addiction. It's very easy to squander the Force, and such behavior can be detrimental."
"You mean falling to the darkside."
Keyliah hesitated to answer, pretending to be focused on what she was doing at the moment. Truth was, it felt a little challenging for her to pretend to be a lightsider. Knowing that she was lying to the young man was not the hard part, because deception was part of being Sith. It was the fact that she knew in her heart she loved him, and she did not want to hurt him in any way. Even if it was just a few lies. She wanted him to trust her, to love her also, and most of all to desire her. Mother was different, probably because she was true to Sith ways and had been for quite a long time. Convincing that crazy woman of her plans would not be easy.
"Your only use of the Force in this exercise, is to learn to guide the blade as if being guided by the Force. As the lightsaber is a weapon in your hand, you are a weapon in the hands of the Force," she instructed. "Do this, and your movements will become instinctive and even well beyond instinct. Supernatural."
Physical training ended. Neither person was in the pond, instead dressed in Jedi robes and sitting around a campfire. It was late afternoon. The yellow skies were starting to look greenish. Clouds formed, creating a messy pattern and partially covering the lands below with shadows. This afternoon became cooler than usual in result.
Keyliah sat with her legs folded upon a blanket, staring motionlessly and seemingly mindlessly into the dancing flames. Perhaps she contemplated a concern, something deep or perhaps disturbing. Maybe she was having a nostalgic moment and was being quiet about it. Vorune could not tell what it was, or what mood she was in. She did not seem happy though, but then again, she showed no emotion at this moment.
Keyliah cut her eyes at him, as if irritated. "You're supposed to be meditating. That's what the campfire is for."
"Could you at least burn some incense. That could help to put me at ease and bring me into a calmer state of being."
"No," she said sternly. "Be mindful of your training."
"I am. I'm just concerned about you is all."
He felt taken back by her attitude. His eyes blinked a few times in response. Taking her commands seriously, he decided to close his eyes and continue his meditation. That was when she decided to speak to him.
"Keep your eyes closed. Your meditation should be undisturbed even when you are being interrupted."
"Easier said than done."
"You will do it, Vorune. I leave you with no choice."
Silence came, but only briefly. Then she spoke once more. "Always be mindful of the code."
"Yes. Now shut up and listen."
He got quiet again, keeping his eyes closed as she commanded.
"When there is no peace, there is emotion. When knowledge stops, ignorance begins. When serenity falls, passion rises. When harmony fades, chaos stirs. Without the Force, death prevails."
Vorune listened and heard every word.
"This is the mantra you must ponder, especially while in mediation. All that is and all that happens will be based on the words of that code. Do you understand?"
"No... you don't," she warned. "But one day you will. Everyday of you life, you must seek to understand this code fully. On the day that you do fully understand it, you will have mastered all things."
Vorune pondered the code, thinking deeply about those words.
"You may cease your meditation, if you so choose."
He stopped, for now.
Keyliah still sat there staring at the fire, being utterly silent. On her mind was the crash, the starship that brought her here to this planet, and her surviving mother. She had never bothered to ask what had happened out in space after she fled in an escape pod. Mother never cared to tell.
Keyliah remembered that day well, when she emerged from a wrecked escape pod, only to climb out and look up to see a massive transport ship crash nose-first into the earth in the far distance. The ship was so large that it was seen protruding out of the ground from here, even beyond treetops of the surrounding jungle. She felt fatigued and battered, weakened by the crash landing, deciding to sit down near the pod and wait. She could feel her mother through the Force. That woman was probably rampaging through the decks, still fighting her maniacal brother-in-law.
All Keyliah remembered about her mother's arrival, when the woman finally came to retrieve her lost daughter, was a large and portable cylindrical device that her mother carried in one hand. Her double-bladed saber was in her left hand, with only one blade activated, creating the appearance of a single-bladed lightsaber with an exaggeratedly long hilt. That red blade retracted back into the hilt once mother knew her child was safe. That cylindrical device she held? Mother never spoke of it, only concerned about keeping it safe somewhere as if it held something valuable inside. All that crazy woman ever said about it was that it needed to remain cold. "What in the world is in that thing?"
Vorune blinked, puzzled by what she said. "Huh?"
"Sorry. I was thinking out loud."
"Never mind. It's not important."
Silence. The chirping of neighboring insects kept the night fairly noisy though.
Vorune was uncomfortable with silence. At least, not while he was with her. "You never talk much about yourself. Sometimes I feel like I hardly know you."
"You feel like that right now?"
"Hate to say it but... yeah."
"What is it you want to know?"
When Keyliah came home in the evening, her mother was waiting for her. The older woman sat in a wooden chair with one leg crossed over the other. Her arms were folded. She looked upset, staring coldly at her daughter eye to eye.
The girl looked at her innocently and stretched out her forearms low with palms facing out. "What?"
She said it with attitude, showing no fear of her mother.
"Where were you all this time?"
"Having a bath," she answered, feeling annoyed. "You got something against good hygiene now?"
"You know what I'm asking."
"So just ask already!"
"You were with that Lorith boy, weren't you?"
"So what if I was?"
The woman growled lowly, like an angry beast. "You know we can't risk exposure!"
"You mean, you can't," she snapped. "You're the only one here that looks like a Sith! I'm only half." Keyliah said this with a bit of shame, wishing she was fullblooded or even pure like her mother. It was because her real father was some pale-skinned Human, causing her to look that way she did today, even though when she was a baby she was born with a true crimson color.
Her mother knew of this shame and felt sorry for her. It was pitiful not to be pureblooded, and she felt she had cursed her daughter with this shame. "This can work to your advantage in many ways, should you play your cards right."
Keyliah felt disgusted with her mother right now. "You think I don't know that?"
Mother saw the lightsaber on the belt fastened around her daughter's robe. "You told him."
"No mother. I did not."
"What does he know?"
"Nothing," she retorted, folding her arms after putting her backpack on the floor beside her leg. "He thinks we are Jedi."
"I know, I know. I had to let him think this. What else was I to tell him?"
Mother calmed. "You do have a point there."
"It would be far easier to portray ourselves as Jedi. We can be easily accepted that way."
"I had us establish a life out here in the wilderness to eliminate suspicion. I had much faith in you, girl. Now I fear you will only raise suspicion."
"Not if I tell my story first, before anyone would ask. I don't think the Korunnai here would care either way, so long as we don't give them a reason to fret."
"Then Vorune is their conduit of trust. They will believe us if they believe him."
"Except there is one thing you overlook."
"And that is?"
"The villagers don't like the boy. He is a social pariah."
"That's only because of his father. He was associated with Mathius Lurke, and you know how Lurke is around people he thinks are inferior."
Mother nodded agreeably. "That I do."
"Guilt by association can be eliminated by a proper show of character. If I train Vorune to be a Jedi, using what I know and learned from my stepfather, then Vorune can very well be trusted by the villagers. With me being his girlfriend, they will learn to trust me. Then eventually they will trust you, but... that's only if you can do well in pretending to be a Jedi master."
"I can," she believed. "Just not sure I want to."
"I don't think you have a choice, now do you mother."
Mother sneered at the girl and spat out that bad taste that formed in her mouth about this situation.
Keyliah laughed and grabbed her backpack before walking away to her room.
Something unmentioned about Keyliah's story came to mind, something about Jorn. It made her ask the girl, "Are you going to tell him?"
"I shall stall for as long as I can before I do," said Keyliah, before closing her bedroom door.
Mother just shook her head with a devious smirk. "Stupid girl."
Vorune was at home with his mother, but he did not want to be bothered with her. She knew this and kept her distance, feeling like she failed the boy even though she did everything she thought was right to keep him safe and protected. She thought about the conversation they had this morning, and now she felt guilty for not trusting the Jedi that came for him years ago. It was not like Vorune would have been in bad hands. She just did not want to learn that her boy, a well-trained Jedi, was slain in battle in an attempt to save the galaxy.
In her mind, the galaxy was not worth saving. No matter how well the Jedi fought against evil, evil rose up anyhow. What was worse was the fact that the Force was the catalyst of it all. Jedi and Sith alike always made claims that the Force guided them, shaped their destinies. Most of all, the Force was dual-sided, having both light and dark qualities and a myriad of qualities that lay in between the two. Yes, there was a full spectrum of colors, should these qualities be called 'colors', but the only two dominating factors were that of lightside and darkside. Ultimately most things leaned to one side or the other.
In her mind, the Force was the true enemy. It could not decide which side would dominate the galaxy. When it finally decided that the lightside would rule, the Force would change its mind and make the darkside win. When the darkside was chosen to rule, the Force would then change its mind and make the lightside win. Nothing was definite. The Force was a fickle thing. That alone threatened the lives of everyone throughout the galaxy.
This was how she now perceived the Force, finding it to be ridiculous. She communed with it and utilized it like a tool, but nothing more. It was not a deity, as many others viewed it. Of course, any Jedi would say that this kind of philosophy would be the makings of a darksided mentality. Maybe that was why her husband, the father of her child, fell away from the lightside and the Jedi Order to eventually become Sith. This was how she perceived his lifestyle.
With that in mind, she thought about her son. The manner in which he returned home came as a shock to her, not a relief like times before. This was because he showed up wearing Jedi robes. They were the kind that had a military-styled design, even though the style was simplified and minimalistic in purpose. Shoulder pads and straight edges. Form fitting. Gloves and boots. Also a body glove worn underneath. He looked like a warrior, not a monk; a soldier, not a keeper of the peace. A total contradiction to Jedi ideals in this day and age. Obviously there was a paradigm shift in the Jedi ways, one that was not at all good in her eyes. As she understood it, the Jedi were never meant to be warriors.
The boy, upon returning home, walked straight to his room without even giving his mother a glance. Her eyes were keen though, spotting the belt fitted snugly around his waist. It was fitted with a device designed for holding a lightsaber. There was a lightsaber inside. Seeing this made her heart race.
"Are there Jedi here on this planet?"
Vorune slept early this night, exhausted from practicing and exercising all day with his girlfriend. He slept like a rock. In his room alone, he rested quietly on his back. In his mind, he dreamed of his time with Keyliah and relived romantic moments with her. This had him smiling in his sleep. What he did not know was that there was a reason for this kind of dream, something other than infatuation with his girlfriend. In fact, it was the Force.
At the campfire this night, they sat close. In fact they cuddled together before the fire, comforting each other, and that moment led to deep kissing that seemed to never end. Suddenly, Keyliah vanished in a puff of smoke. Now the jungle vanished, and there was nothing but smoke everywhere. Beyond the smoke was darkness, what used to be night, and he was all alone. The campfire was gone too, and he could no longer see the ground because there was so much smoke.
Fog actually. It surrounded him, confusing him. He turned, looking in all directions and wondered where he was. "What's happening? Where's Keyliah?"
That mysterious voice just now. He had heard it before. "Who are you?"
"I believe you already know that."
Behind him appeared a humanoid figure from nowhere. "As you wish."
He turned around to see her. Yes, it was a woman as shown by her figure. Her body appeared covered in robes and a large shadowy hood that only revealed the lower part of her pale-white face. All he could see was her lips as she spoke to him.
"Do you not remember me?"
"People rarely remember their dreams. Nightmares are more memorable."
"Why are you haunting me?"
"Haunting you?" She laughed at him. "Boy, I'm not haunting you. I'm trying to help you."
"How so? What do you want from me?"
"What I want, is for you to become the most powerful force in this galaxy." There was a pause as if she waited for his response, but still she had more to say. "The only question is this. Do you want to become this powerful force, and if so, how badly do you want it?"
Vorune felt skeptical. "How do you expect me to become this powerful force?"
"That is entirely up to you, boy. Seems to me that you have already begun walking the path to such glory."
"You speak of my training with Keyliah."
Her thin lips stretched into a wide smile.
"If that is my destiny, then so be it."
"Do you really mean that?"
"Why would I not?"
She nodded slowly. "Very well then. Move forward. Walk this path. The future is yours for the taking."
Vorune realized that the woman started to vanish. "Wait! You never told me who you are! Who are you?"
She was gone anyhow.
A voice called his name form a different direction, echoing faintly. The realm surrounding him faded from darkness to light, and the fog vanished. Vorune looked all around for the direction of the voice, only to find Keyliah standing before him. She was smiling, reaching out for him with one hand, having her other hand on her belly. He reached out, walking towards her, and he took her gentle hand into his. She carefully pulled him close, smiling sweetly and gazing into his eyes with love. That was when she guided his hand to her belly, and there he felt a large warm ball. Vorune looked down at her belly to see that it became bigger by the minute. She smiled more, giggling at his surprised facial expression.
"Yes," she said to him, with a soft and loving voice. "It's yours."
Everything ended abruptly when his eyes flung open. He gasped and coughed. His body was covered in sweat and shivering cold. Quickly he sat up and looked around in all directions, realizing that he was only in his bedroom. What just happened was only a dream.
In a hand-made house, located somewhere in the outskirts of the Lorith Village, Keyliah's mother sat in meditation and covered in sweat. The meditation stopped abruptly though, and her eyes slowly opened. This room she was in appeared dark and shadowy, well-lit by just a dozen burning candles. Keyliah was in this room also, sitting on the floor nearby but not in meditation. She was watching over her mother, being there to support her sorcery.
Keyliah noticed something wrong. "What happened?"
"It's over," Mother complained. "I cannot maintain the dream anymore."
"He's too powerful. His mind is too well-structured for a young man. Strong. Fortified."
"Yes. It is quite strong with this boyfriend of yours."
"So that's it? No more Force nightmares?"
"No more," Mother stated. "I did manage to make him dream. Even with suggestive ideas about your relationship with him, he is still too resistant. He knows his own mind and commands control of it regardless of how well my sorcerers influence is."
"Were you able to implant the ideas I asked you to, mother?" Keyliah sounded perturbed when she asked this.
"Yes, my daughter. I did. Successfully."
"Then I thank you for a job well done."
"Don't thank me yet," she said, slowly climbing to her feet despite utter exhaustion. "The rest of this is entirely up to you."
"Not to worry. I have this all under control."
Mother looked at her with glowing red eyes, for she was still enraptured by the darkside of the Force. "I warn you for the last time, my impulsive little girl. Do not underestimate him. He is more powerful than you will ever know."
Keyliah was taken aback, not by those words but by the mood mother was in. "He's my boyfriend, Mother," she assured nervously, now seeing the full effect of her mother's submersion into the hellish depths of the darkside. Mother was in a dangerous mood at the moment, and she did not wish to provoke her, because Mother would indeed forget that Keyliah was her beloved daughter. "Not to worry, Mother," she said, trying to calm the woman. "I have him wrapped around my finger like a wedding ring."
"Be certain of it," the darksided witch said, now leaving this shadowy room. She walked slowly, almost stumbling, as if she weighed a ton and was not used to it.
Keyliah's yellow eyes followed her mother's movement, scrolling from one side of her face to the other as the woman dragged her exhausted body with sheer willpower. This was because mother did weigh a ton, carrying something within her soul that proved burdensome; it was the burden of being who she was and carrying within her a great and terrible power. So much so that even someone as fearless as Keyliah, feared her. Greatly.
Just before she left this room, she stopped at the doorway and slowly turned her head to stare at her daughter for a thoughtful moment. Her snarling lips moved as she spoke, practically spitting her words out, and she did it with sheer disgust as she warned that girl, "Failure is not an option."
Keyliah took a deep breath and tightened up, nodding her head respectfully and responding nervously with, "As you wish, my lord." This woman was a darkside monstrosity, a demon in the form of a Sith female. The Force had her in its grip completely, and she needed time alone to gradually pull herself back out to become her normal self. While the woman was in this demonic state, there was no reasoning with her, and Keyliah was terribly relieved when the witch turned away to finally leave the room. As Mother vanished into the darkness, Keyliah finally exhaled with great relief.