Chapter 7: Sowing Seeds
She could sense those talismans hanging from around their necks. She was the one that created them after all. She satisfied herself with knowing that the kids were on their way back from their journey. Krautha had food prepared for when the kids returned home. She had already set the table, now sitting in a seat and waiting. She watched the door, expecting them to come through any minute now.
The door opened. Keyliah and Vorune walked in.
Krautha smiled at them. "How did it go?"
Vorune said nothing.
Keyliah, approaching her mother with a bag full of power cells, said, "Good."
Krautha knew what that meant, for she was the one that told Keyliah to initiate the boy. From the looks of it, he was a boy no longer. Her eyes noticed the charred hole in the right side of his chest. "Glad to hear it," she said to Keyliah, taking a power cell the girl handed her. She got up from the table and said, "You two go wash up. Breakfast is ready."
Keyliah happily took Vorune by the hand and dragged him with her to the washroom.
Krautha examined the power cell given to her, and then walked away to a room where she kept the cryogenic canister she wanted to remain cold. Reaching the device, she opened a compartment and installed the new power cell. The old one she put aside to be recharged later. After that, she left the room feeling like everything was successfully happening according to plan.
Vorune and Keyliah were already sitting at the table and eating. Fruits, nuts, vegetables, and berries mostly. There was no conversation. Apparently these two lovebirds were not talking to each other. Krautha noticed this after sitting down in her seat and observing the youngsters for a moment. Apparently something bad happened, but that was expected because it was part of Kraytha's plan.
She looked at him with a mischievous smirk and said, "I'm sure you harbor much hatred in your heart for my treacherous daughter at the moment."
His eyes looked to Keyliah who only stayed quiet and smiled while chewing food. His eyes then looked back to Krautha, but he refused to answer, rather putting more food in his mouth and chewing it.
She chuckled. "You don't have to answer. I already know."
He lowered his eyes to his food. That bothered her.
"Your heritage is something to be proud of," said Krautha, speaking sternly. "Raise your head and walk with dignity, for you too are Sith."
He ignored her.
Keyliah sensed that her mother was about to get mean and nasty, so she interrupted and said, "So mother... what's in the canister?"
That caught the madwoman off guard. She gasped, blinking a few times, not knowing if Keyliah was spying on her while she installed the power cell or it was just persistent curiosity. Regardless, she ignored her and continued eating.
"Maybe you should answer her," Vorune snapped. "You crazy old crone."
"Yeah? Maybe you should mind your own business!"
Vorune stayed quiet, but glared angrily at the woman.
She laughed at him. To her he seemed like a furious little baby, and it was cute but also looked pathetic . "You know... you've only just begun to become Sith. Perhaps you should learn your place and shut up."
"No, he's right, mother," Keyliah defended. "You should answer me. I have done everything you asked of me until this very moment, and I'm getting sick and tired of your lies and secrets!"
"Fine, you little brat. I'll tell you. It's not like it'll make much difference now."
Vorune and Keyliah waited to hear what the woman had to say.
"It's a cryogenic stabilizer unit, a small version of the many we have back in the ship."
"Cryogenic," said Keyliah. "You mean you are keeping something frozen."
"Cold," she corrected. "Not frozen. Freezing temperatures would probably destroy the specimens."
"Specimens," said Vorune. "Are you performing some kind of scientific experiment?"
Her eyes narrowed at him, but she held back her displeasure. "Close. The experiments were already done. What I have here is the result of those experiments."
"What," said Keyliah.
"Sith," Krautha answered. "Embryos."
Keyliah and Vorune looked at each other with bewilderment.
"Kylah," said her mother, speaking the girl's real name. "You know about what happened to our people when the Jedi Exiles came to our world."
"Sure. I know plenty. Why?"
"The bloodline. It's tainted. All of the bloodlines actually. Never again shall I worship such devils. Those Exiles were nothing more than rapists."
"In a manner of speaking," said Keyliah, recalling the time when Mathius and Jorn teamed up to slay her formidable father. That dead man was a Jedi Exile that assumed the title Lord of the Sith. "What are you planning to do?"
"Isn't it obvious?"
Keyliah nodded. "I mean besides the obvious."
"Start anew," she answered proudly. "Regain glory and wealth and maintain sovereignty for the New Sith Empire."
Vorune felt sick hearing this, so he got up from the table and left the room. Keyliah and her mother watched him leave, but Krautha stared at the young man's back with a certain glint in her eyes. Keyliah sensed that her mother wanted to kill Vorune out of distrust and disgust.
"He's conflicted," Keyliah defended.
"I know!" Krautha's eyes scrolled to the side to look at Keyliah now. "What concerns me is why you always rise to his defense. He's a man now. Sith males do not need to hide behind their women."
"I love him."
Krautha tilted her head back laughing out loud.
Keyliah just stared at her, being stoic and dead serious.
The mother saw this and said, "Oh... you're serious."
"I only initiated him the way I did because you told me to, Sithlady. I didn't enjoy doing that to him one bit."
Krautha smirked and pointed a claw-like finger at the girl. "You're lying."
"Am I?" Keyliah had a thought. "What happened to Mathius, by the way? Did you kill him?"
"Of course I did."
Keyliah pointed at her mother and said, "You're lying."
"Fine," said Krautha, stretching out her arms. "Since we are all here feeling a need to be honest with each other, I'll tell you the truth. No. I didn't kill Mathius."
The daughter did not like that answer. "Why the hell not!"
"Because I find there are things far more important than revenge."
The grown woman sighed exasperatedly. "It won't be long before the Jedi Order finds us. I thought it would be best to get prepared for their arrival."
"How can you be so sure they are coming?"
"They knew about us from the beginning. I don't think that is possible unless one of two things are true. Maybe both are true. I don't know yet."
"Either the Jedi Order has a legendary member that is an extremely powerful in the Force, or someone on our side have been tipping them off and telling them how to find us."
"You mean a spy."
"Who could it be? Mathius?"
"No. I have him locked up. I keep his lightsaber on me at all times," she said, detaching it from her belt under her hooded robe and showing it to her daughter. "It's not like have need of a lightsaber, but... it's a nice souvenir to have for the meantime."
Keyliah looked at it. Indeed, that really was Mathius's lightsaber. "So he's in the brig somewhere back on the ship."
Krautha's answer came as a wicked smile.
"You know he's smart enough to break out of that."
"True," she said smugly, nodding her head. "But on the contrary, he's not going anywhere unless I tell him to."
Keyliah gasped. "You didn't--"
"I did, my dear," she snickered ominously. "I most certainly did."
Deep within one of the most dark and most secluded places on the Sith transport, there existed a room filled with prison cells. Each cell was built with energy barriers for keeping prisoners locked up. Such was the case with Mathius. He sat there in his prison, silent, able to do nothing more than request food from functional prison droids and use the all-in-one sink, toilet, and showerstall. Droids regularly provided him with fresh prison clothes and bedding. However he was not allowed to leave this prison, not unless the Sithlady commanded it.
Months ago, back when this ship first crashed, Mathius was rendered unconscious after a violent showdown with Krautha. When he finally returned to consciousness, he woke up to find himself on the floor of this prison cell. Bewildered, he looked around and realized where he was. Anger welled up inside him, causing him to scream vulgar obscenities in protest of his imprisonment. Afterwards, he noticed a hand-held mirror sitting on the prison bed. He grabbed it and looked at himself with it, but that was only to discover a strange tattoo-like marking on his forehead. From his understanding of Sith sorcery, this happened to be a rune. His mind figured out what happened and why this mark was on his forehead. Instead of killing him, like he assumed the Sithlady would do, she cursed him with a mark of obedience. So long as that mark was bound to him, his soul was locked into total and undeniable obedience to the person that marked him.
A burst of insanity made him scream so loud that the darkside of the Force amplified it. It would be no surprise if Jedi from the other side of the galaxy heard his vengeful cries rippling through the Force.