Chapter 5: Set Free
Keyliah discovered the room where her stepbrother died. It was the same dark and gloomy place where her stepfather died. Strangely, she did not find their bodies. Not even their lightsabers were left behind. This made her think for a moment.
"Either my mother came here and cleared out the bodies for burial, taking the lightsabers for safe keeping, or Mathius survived somehow and snatched those lightsabers to keep as trophies."
She wished there were at least some evidence of these dead males' existence, because then she could use her psychometric power to examine an unwitnessed past and learn what actually happened. Dead or not, Mathius was still the object of her hatred. As a brother and close friend to Jorn, Mathius Lurke pretended to be loyal to his master, but as an apprentice, he had ulterior motives. With Jorn being the master, his brother suffered long and hard years in jealousy, craving everything that Jorn had: women, power, resources, respect, admirers, and glory. The only things Mathius seemed to be great in were acts of cruelty and dueling.
As Keyliah recalled these things, tears formed and fell from her eyes. She dropped to her knees in sadness and bowed her head low, sobbing deeply as the darkside of the force coalesced around her being. "I wish I was there to stop him. I should have been there to at least protect my brother."
However, she was obedient to her mother, and her mother demanded that the girl guard the entrance to her meditation chamber. This was important, and Keyliah knew that, because the woman was attempting to once again manipulate hyperspace through the might of the Force. It happened once before, back in the ancient days when this ship and the tribe that fled the homeworld hurled itself into deep space, but that was only to flee from the Dark Jedi/Sith forces that followed in pursuit. The problem with manipulating hyperspace this way was the risk of mishaps. Anything bad could transpire, taking the ship to places it was not meant to. In this case it was possible the mother unwittingly hurled this ship into a spatial anomaly in an attempt to lose the pursuers. Perhaps it was done intentionally. There was no real way of knowing, except through her mother, and Keyliah knew that Krautha would not share what she knew or did not know. She was deceptive like that.
Keyliah decided to have a look around and gather things she though might be useful, which she did, hurriedly, and then went on her way to check on the father of her unborn child.
Two violet crystals floated in midair before the boy. With the Force and use of the Saber Forge stationed before him, he meditated, focusing on lightsaber construction. He had already gathered all the parts he needed, causing them to float in midair too. That included the mysterious Dogen daggers he pilfered earlier. At this moment, they had no hilts, but this was because he disassembled them in order to provide better hilts for them. The technological hilts he made, floated, and they became assembled with proper components. Those hilts were then finally fitted over the tang part the dagger blades. After those parts converged, the purple crystals were inserted along with more components and parts for the overall framework. Everything then became sealed and secured, fastened tightly, now appearing as two lightsaber hilts with curved and serrated dagger blades protruding from underneath.
The hilts were large, long, capable of being held by two hands with the space of two to four fingers between the fists. This was because each hilt needed room for the daggers to fit within, so the lightsabers were practically lightweight two-handed swords that were capable of being used with one hand. Both lightsabers ceased floating, now sitting in his hands.
Backing away from the Saber Forge, he turned to find some space at which to ignite the lightsabers and test them out without damaging anything. However, something caught his attention. He looked up to see Keyliah standing in a nearby doorway and leaning against the sill. She had one leg crossed over the other and her arms folded.
He looked at her with concern, wondering what was on her mind.
"Oh... don't let me interrupt you. I'm just here to watch."
He resumed, igniting his lightsabers in each hand. The violet blades emerged instantly, humming with ominous sound. A smile rose on his face, for he felt proud of his creations.
"Looks like your father's knowledge helped you greatly."
"Indeed. With his knowledge of being both Sith and Jedi, he was an unstoppable force."
"Unstoppable," she said, being cynical. "Then was he was slain by Mathius."
"He wasn't slain," Vorune argued. "He surrendered himself to the Force."
"Ah," she nodded humorously, being sarcastic as she said, "The whole 'there is no death, there is the Force' sort of thing. Right?"
"Make fun of me if you wish. I believe in my father's teachings."
Keyliah laughed. "The truth is, there is death, without the Force."
"I know you taught me that originally, but that makes no sense."
"How do you figure that, ignorant jungle boy?"
"When a Force user dies, he or she becomes united with the Force. The soul dissipates and becomes part of the whole."
"And in doing that, you are no longer an individual. Who in the galaxy would want to do that?"
Vorune did not answer. He continued waving his lightsabers around to get a feel for the way they handled in his hands.
"Without the Force, you will die. Simple as that. With the force, you can prevent death, even cheat it. I should know. I've seen it happen."
Vorune looked at her with a frown, feeling skeptical. "Not sure I believe you."
"Fine. Don't believe me." She pushed herself off from leaning on the doorsill and walked to leave this place.
She stopped, but she did not turn around, facing him with her back. He stopped swinging his lightsabers, deactivating them and attaching them to his belt. His emotions began to stir and she could sense that. It made her smile secretly. He could only see her back, not her face.
"Is it true?"
She put her hands on her hips as if annoyed with him now. "Is what true?"
"That you are not really a Jedi. That you are actually Sith?"
She took a deep breath and sighed, "So you finally figured it out." She turned her head to glare at him from over her left shoulder, now looking angry and fierce with eyes filled with terrible wrath. "What gave me away?"
He did not answer.
She faced him with her body, completely, leaning her head forward as if to puncture his body with her eyes. Her head tilted with quietly furious attitude as she walked with the grace of a predatory cat. One foot in front of the other. Her bikini-like outfit, along with skimpy trappings and weapon belt to hold her lightsaber, gave her this overall sexy female warrior look as she crept forward as if ready to pounce him. All the while she gestured with one hand after the other to all the things around her, saying, "Was it the surroundings of dark artistry, the decor and the hand written language, or was it the realm of wrath and destruction, the unburied corpes and the stench of death. Maybe it was the trinkets, and holocrons, and the symbols of sorcery, or even perhaps the technology you used to construct those wicked lightsabers."
Vorune began backing away as she neared him, feeling all sorts of fear and uncertainty.
She put a finger to her chin with her right hand and stared off into space, saying as she crept towards him more, "Or maybe... just maybe you found out because... well... I possess a blood red lightsaber!" Her weapon activated so quick that he never saw her draw it from her belt. This startled him, made his body jolt in fear and surprise.
He leaped backwards, away from the swift swing of her crimson blade. She swung again and again in rapid succession, never missing a step, moving with such fluidic grace that he almost felt mesmerized by her combat skills.
"Ataru," he figured, recognizing her fighting form, but as he performed Soresu, blocking and parrying her strikes while backing away from her, he could not help but to recognize something else. There was a different form mixed in with this, something dire and excessive, lethal. Then he realized, "She's trying to kill me!"
He fought back, hard and vigorously, blocking her strikes without fail and matching her speed and strength. Sparks went flying from each impact when their lightsabers collided. He had an advantage, wielding two lightsabers like her, but her blade had a curved hilt, with granted her hand more flexibility in swordplay.
Vorune weaved and twirled and spun, performing Ataru to press his attacks and possibly put her on the defensive, but he failed miserably because he found himself still defending his life as she came dangerously close to slaying him. Periodically he endured nicks and scratches from the near hits she performed with the kissing tip of her crimson blade.
The pain proved quite distracting, causing him to weaken a bit, but it was not his body feeling that way. It was his pride and his competence. She was a far better duelist and he knew it. Besides that, she was just toying with him, like a predatory cat would before making a sure kill. Vorune soon felt so pathetic and inadequate that he unwittingly dropped his guard and--
Vorune screamed in utter agony and despair, wide-eyed and shocked out of his mind that her crimson blade punctured his chest. He could not stop screaming, staring at the wrathfully searing blade as it cauterized his flesh just between the right shoulder and right pectoral.
She grinned, even licking her lips as she enjoyed his suffering, relishing the pain of his torture as she slowly pressed forward on the hilt to carefully drive the blade further into his body. She could see it protruding from the other end, and already the air filled with the stench of charred flesh.
Vorune screamed more, louder. His voice echoed throughout the ruined ship. Already fallen to his knees, his eyes became flooded blindly with tears. He begged her to stop, but she ignored him, continuing the torture him as the blade kept sliding through his flesh. Now with the hilt reaching his chest, they were almost face to face. She leaned in closer, making him arch his back while he sat miserably on his knees at her mercy. Her face now close to his, she looked him up and down with utter disgust, snarling like a vicious beast. When she spoke, she spat like a poisonous snake, and with words that carved holes into his soul like this lightsaber did. "Not to worry, lover. This isn't personal. It's simply tradition." Her lips reached his, grabbing them like a greedy thief as she kissed him deeply with the utmost passion and a talented warm tongue.
His eyes, they were so wide they could pop. His body trembled in utter fear, a kind of fear that proved so great that it felt supernatural. His body could not stop shivering, which made the pain worse because her lightsaber blade was still buried in his flesh.
The kiss was sincere, and so was the torture. When she finally stopped kissing him, she stared lovingly into his eyes and said, "Peace is a lie, there is only passion." Then she smiled in his face, taunting him with seduction and cuteness. His heart and soul ached just knowing this.
With a flirtatious finger, she tapped the tip of his saber-nicked nose and said, "Through passion, you gain strength." That same finger went beyond his wounded shoulder to the red blade protruding from the other side, and suddenly her fingertip generated darkside energy. Then she said, "Through strength, you gain power." That fingertip's dark energy became a small bolt of Sith lightning that struck her lightsaber blade and danced along it with wicked arcs of electricity. Since the blade was still stuck in Vorune's body, he felt the stinging bite of magical electricity and screamed madly.
Keyliah smiled widely with her eyes closed, moaning with pleasure as she listened to the ranging tones of his screams as if they were music filling her ears. Her reaction was practically sensual, as if his pain simply turned her on. "Yes, my love. Feel it. Relish in the strength you are developing right now as the darkside begins to shape you into what it is you are meant to be... a Sith."
"No," he cried, wishing he could stop her but he could not. The electricity seized his body and made him dance.
"Through power," she lectured. "You gain victory."
Still being electrified, he felt emotions. Dark ones. In his mind he battled with the idea that she actually loved him. If she loved him, he wondered, then why would she attack him like so? If she cared about him, cherished him, then why mutilate his flesh? Then it occurred to him. This was not love. This was lust; for sex, for power, for dominance, and for gratification. Keyliah, in his mind, was a sick young woman, someone that had been toying with him from the very beginning. With that in mind, he began to muster the strength and the power to draw power from not only the Force but also from the amplification of Sith lightning torturing his body. He felt stronger now, far more powerful than before. What proved to be the worst was the fact that there were no longer inhibitions to prevent him from making use of all this power. Despite himself he yearned to do terrible, dark things.
With great force, he pushed her away using only one hand, sending her body flying off across the room. Keyliah screamed, being hurled into a wall before dropping to the floor with a hard crash. She propped herself up immediately by the shoulder, with both hands on the floor while the rest of her body still lay limp, and she looked up to see Vorune engorged with darkside power. The young man stood up, with purple light shining from his eyes. He had already grabbed the hilt of her lightsaber lodged in his flesh, deactivating it before tossing it aside. He appeared practically mindless, fulled with horror and rage and lead by wrath as he marched towards her with utter calmness and no fear.
Keyliah climbed to her feet, grinning and chuckling at his condition, because now she saw his true power. What she just did to him, it worked, waking him up from his pathetic dormancy and ushering him into a new way of life.
"Through victory, your chains are broken," she uttered with celebration. "The Force has set you free!"
With his lightsabers activated, he ran and leaped towards her with an Ataru maneuver having his lightsabers over-the-head and reversed, only to come down hard out of midair and drive these bladed deep into her chest. However, that move failed because she stopped him with one hand by using the Force, holding his entire body with telekinetic power. "I'm impressed," she said wickedly. "But that is quite enough."
Vorune ignored that, roaring at her in protesting rage.
"Or have you forgotten that I am the mother of your unborn child?"
The young man became quiet. She held him like this in midair, watching as he slowly came out of his rage. The purple glow in his eyes ceased, returning them to normal. His lightsabers became deactivated. His voice was now as calm as it was before all this happened.
When she saw that he was no longer turbulent, she simply lowered him gently to the floor, letting him stand on his own two feet. Then she approached him, got close, grabbed his head with both hands and kissed his lips. She smiled at him looking into his eyes with love, appearing as the cute and friendly Keyliah he knew, and she calmly said to him, "Happy birthday, my love."
Together, after gathering all the things they sought from the ship, they disembarked, only to see a bright morning sky. The Dogens and their hut village that surrounded this ship, appeared active as the animalistic creatures began this new day. Unfortunately for them, this was a Sith ship with two Sith warriors emerging from within it.
Standing beside Vorune, she smiled girlishly and said, "Go ahead, my love. The world is yours for the taking."
Looking at her with eyes of love and admiration, he nodded, but he said not a single word. Instead, he calmly walked forward with both sabers in hand and approached the village out in the distance. An hour later, the village was no longer active. The air reeked of blood. The ground everywhere Keyliah looked was littered with corpses big and small. There was not one Dogen in sight that survived Vorune's wrath, and that pleased her greatly.
Standing among fallen corpses, she looked all around in hopes of spotting Vorune. There was no sign of him anywhere. With that, she shrugged and continued on forward to leave through this ruined village, stepping over corpses and heading in the direction of her mother's hand-made house. Suddenly out of nowhere, Vorune came down form the sky from a powerful leap and landed perfectly in a crouch before Keyliah.
Keyliah, surprised, smiled at him with approval of his deeds. He stood up and straightened his posture, now walking beside her and they headed back home together.