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The First Betrayal, A Tale of the Jen'Jidai

By Wannabe_Scholar2

Drama / Action

The Betrayal

Disclaimer: Ajunta Pall belongs to Bioware as they made him for KotOR. The entire Star Wars franchise is now owned by Disney. Anything outside of their control are any OCs.

Author’s Notes: This is an edit of a story I wrote some years ago. Ajunta Pall is one of my favorite Sith Lords, ever since I saw him in KoTOR. Seeing his history, I wanted to write this. Please let me know what you think and if there’s anything wrong, please don’t be harsh. Thanks.

We were servants of the Dark Side… Sith Lords, we called ourselves... so strong, we thought... so wrong. [...] We destroyed each other. We desired secrets of each other, to increase our power... we battled until our fortress rained down upon us.

- Ajunta Pall’s spirit to Revan.

Ajunta Pall, Dark Lord of the Sith, could hear his footsteps echo as he treaded down the hall. Behind him, Pall was accompanied by his two red-skinned Massassin guards, as their steps were nothing more heavy thuds from their padded armor and huge warblades.

As he walked, his lightsaber dangled on his belt, close to the cable and power pack. Pall felt the light weight of his royal robes, style much after his old Jedi garment, on his body. His eyes stared from under his raised hood and at hall, the red stone shining from the blazing golden torches.

The palace was old, built centuries before his rise to power as evident from the small cracks in the stone. It was unlike Pall’s own palace on Ziost, which was often kept in pristine condition by the slaves. Yet, the Dark Side ran through the halls like water through a dam.

The ruler of the Sith turned his head slightly towards the many windows to see Korriban outside of the palace. The skies burned orange above a dry and desolate desert, barren and nearly lifeless. Yet, it was home of the red-skinned beings known as the Sith. More importantly, it was where Pall and his fellows were reborn from exiles to rulers.

After arriving on Korriban, the twelve fallen Jedi showed the primitive their superior technology and abilities in the Force. The Sith revered them as gods, hailing them as “Lords of the Sith” with their own territory. From that, they formed an empire with Pall crowned as the Jen’ari, or Dark Lord.

The Dark Lord of the Sith. It was a title Pall carried with much pride.

Pall’s gaze returned to inside the palace as he came to a stop. Before Pall was a pair of double doors, twice his height, with the Sith Empire’s symbol, a burning burn, etched onto each door. Either side of the entrance was a statue of red stone, the strenuous carving completed by Sith slaves.

One, Pall noticed, was of the Dark Lord himself, his face embedded onto the stone and his lavishing robes carved to a fine point. The other statue was of a man, donning a robe similar to Pall’s statue. Though the raised hood purpose concealed the identity of the man, Pall recognized the statue. It was a face he had not seen in some time, but he recognized it very well…

Pall felt tired as he stood on the small bridge of the ship. Only his torn rags kept him warm in the cold of space outside of the Republic’s control. Yet, his blue eyes shone with anticipation, ignoring the bags that formed under them.

Through the Force, Pall could sense the others on the ship. They were all that was left of their rebellion against the Jedi. They, the followers of the Dark Side, were stripped of their Jedi rank and exiled with only a pathetic excuse of a ship to traverse the galaxy. Yet, Pall could sense their power was still strong… as well as their pride.

The door opened and Pall turned his head to see a man entering the bridge. It was one of his forsaken companion wearing torn rags. Not much of his face could be seen under his hood save for the small strands of facial hair.

Pall inquired, “Any news?”

For many moments, the fallen Jedi was hesitant to say anything. “We have found a planet nearby. But there isn’t enough information to know if it’s suitable,” he finally spoke, his voice filled with restrained irritation.

“I see,” was all Pall said. The news was nothing new to him. Ever since their exile, he and his fellow fallen Jedi traveled from one world to the next for many months. Or was it a year? Pall had forgotten how long it had been since the final battle on Corbos.

While Pall contemplated, the other fallen Jedi swallowed some saliva. Ever since the start of the treacherous journey, he kept his mind to himself. Now, he could no longer be silent.

“Pall,” the man began, “the others are becoming impatient. Our rations our low and it’ll only be a matter of time before we lose fuel.” He paused for a moment before he finished, “We can’t survive like this. It won’t be long for there’s a mutiny.”

Raising his head, Pall’s blue eyes focused on his comrade. “Be patient, my friend.”

The man glared at his general with outrage, even if it was not visible. Had he heard that right? Did Pall really say that? “Patient?” he repeated with a snarl. “Pall, look at us?! We lost to the Jedi!  They sent us to die out here! We’ve been searching for years, and you’re saying to be patient?!”

“Yes, I am,” Pall replied with an unusual calmness as he looked back to the vastness of space. “We will not die. I know this to be true.”

Rage turned into confusion as the fallen Jedi stared at his old leader. What did Pall mean by that? Did he have vision? Was there a chance for them to find a new beginning?

A sudden rumble under his feet brought the former Jedi out of his thoughts. He slightly swayed to the side, but was able to recover from it quickly. Just as he regained his footing, the lone ex-Jedi saw Pall remained still and staring to the window in front of him. He joined his general at the window and his eyes widen with surprise.

Outside of the window was planet, the sun beaming on the red-colored atmosphere. The white clouds floated high above the surface, giving the planet a look similar to desert worlds.

Pall could only smile at the Dark Side power emanating from the planet. “We have arrived.”

The memory had not left Pall’s mind, even after all those years. That moment brought much joy to the Dark Lord of the Sith. The joy of finding not only a suitable world to live on, but a population they could rule over. And the only other person to first lay eyes upon Korriban was behind those doors.

“Remain here,” Pall ordered his Massassi guards, who bowed and took their places at the door.

Pall turned back around and extended his palm, giving a gentle shove of the Force. The doors creaked opened and as he stepped inside, nostalgia flowed over the Dark Lord. It had been some time since he last stepped inside the chamber. 

The chamber was large, almost large enough to rival Pall’s throne room. The orange light fell from the glass windows and onto the red rug. Running on the red walls were beautiful tapestries, the Sith history woven into it. From the time of warring to rule of King Adas to twelve familiar robed figures emerging from a star ship and were greeted by the Sith.

Pall stopped in the center of the chamber, and his eyes fell on the throne at the far end. A red flag hung on the wall behind the throne, and woven into the center was the symbol of the Sith Empire. Sitting upon the throne was the imposing figure of the Sith Lord of Korriban.

From head to toe, he wore red armor, the tedious work of slaves who spent hours to perfect the design. Anything not covered in armor was covered by a red robe that went down to his brown boots.

The Sith Lord stared at Pall through his black visor and a deep voice rumbled from the helmet. “Welcome, Pall,” he greeted. “It has been some time since you last visited.”

“Yes, it has,” Pall said as he lowered his hood. 

He sensed some uneasiness from his fellow Sith Lord, though the Dark Lord was not surprise. The pale skin and sickly yellow eyes made Pall looked more like a sick man than a ruler. That was the price of the Dark Side as it took its toll on the body. Neither Pall nor his fellows cared as they devoured it. The Sith Lord before Pall, however, often kept his hunger at bay. He used the Dark Side, yes, and experimented, but nothing to the extent of his peers.

“I see you are still the same,” the Sith Lord finally spoke, though with some unease.

Pall held back a laugh and returned the greeting, “You as well, Hord.” The name brought an oddity in his mouth. Hord. It was a name Pall rarely spoke for some time, not since the last time he saw him in person.

“I see you’re still here,” Pall commented, pushing aside his wandering thoughts. “The others have already gone out to conquer their own territories, yet you remain on Korriban.”

Hord replied sternly, “We must secure our power. We cannot allow it to falter for one second. You know this very well.” There was a brief pause. “But you are not here for small talk, are you Pall?”

Pall almost smiled. The answer was what he expected. Hord was more of a man who preferred bluntness and strength than secrecy and weakness. So unlike the other Sith Lords…

“Why have you come unannounced? Surely, my guards would have informed me of your arrival the minute your ship landed.” Hord’s questions made Pall gaze at him.

Pall, forgoing with his bravado, answered, “Your guards have already greeted me, Hord… They were disposed of.”

The helmet did little to hide any surprise from the Dark Lord’s Force sense. Though Hord said nothing, Pall sensed him reaching out with the Force to find any truth. Hord did, as he learned of his guards’ bloodied bodies and shattered swords at the feet of Pall’s own warriors.

The armored hands curled into fists as Hord rose from his seat. “So, you have betrayed me,” he spoke with rage in his voice.

“Yes,” Pall nodded.

As Hord stepped down from his throne, Pall could sense his fellow Sith Lord’s anger boiling being contained. He was interested that Hord’s training remained instilled in his fellow Sith Lord, even after their exile from the Jedi Order.

“Why, Pall?” Hord demanded. “Why do this?”

“Because you have something I want,” the Dark Lord replied.

The lesser Sith Lord tensed and his hand immediately went to the lightsaber on his belt. Pall took a glance at the lightsaber and his eyes were filled with a desire to hold the weapon in his hands. Unlike the typical lightsaber, Hord’s did not have the typical power pack or cable. It was just a simple black hilt with the small blades around the saber’s emitter.

“A lightsaber without the power pack. A fine piece of work,” Pall mused with a smirk.

“How did you find out?” Hord’s question returned Pall’s gaze to him.

“From your engineers. It was not hard to make them talk.” There was some humor in Pall’s voice as he continued, “You were very foolish to hide your latest discovery from us. You should have killed them to keep it a secret.”

“You know what would happen if the other had their hands on it. This isn’t something that they should have their hands on!” Hord objected.

“And that’s why I’m here and not them. They would have brought your home to ruin. I, on the other hand, am not like them.”

Though Hord hated to admit it, Pall was right. Many of the Sith Lords had become more cutthroat since their rise to power. Some, like Karness Murr and Remulus Dreypa, who were once allies in their war against the Jedi, became bitter enemies. Others, like Xoxaan, kept to themselves, but even they became envious of the power the rest held.

The Dark Lord held out a hand, wishing for the lightsaber to be placed in his palm. “Surrender the lightsaber, Hord, and you may walk away from this with your life.”

Hord’s his armored shoulders sunk in defeat. Then, he grabbed his lightsaber and its red blade sprung to life with the familiar snap-hiss.

Pall’s eyes narrowed at his fellow Sith Lord. “Is that your answer, Hord?”

“Yes,” Hord nodded. “I won’t allow this to fall into anyone’s hands… even yours, Pall.”

“So be it,” and the Dark Lord grabbed his own lightsaber, unrolling the long cable as the red blade sprung forth. And with a jolt from the Force, Pall charged and Hord rushed to meet him.

When the two Sith met, their blades crossed with a crackle of power as Pall blocked a swing then retaliated to Hord’s right. Hord parried the blow and launched himself at Pall with hacks and slashes. As he blocked and parried, Pall could feel Hord disregard any notion of his Jedi training and fueled his rage into each strike.

Pall blocked again and he went to attack. Again, Hord parried the slow and twirled on the ball of his left heel while his other lashed out for a kick. Pall leaned back to avoid the kick, but he soon noticed the red hint of Hord’s lightsaber. Pall barely blocked the attack.

The impact of Hord’s blade against his almost sent Pall staggering back. Hord rushed to take off his head in a single blow. Pall recovered in time to catch Hord’s lightsaber with his in an arcing slash.

Above their heads, the red blades remained intercepted with one another. Pall and Hord’s hands gripped onto their respective weapons as each used his own strength to overcome the other. It remained a stalemate, yet Hord could see Pall beginning to tire.

Hord was right as Pall felt the sweat running down his face. He knew Hord’s strength was greater than his own. If they continued like this, Pall would find Hord’s lightsaber cutting him into pieces.

Reaching out with the Force, Pall grabbed onto one of the pillars and yanked on it. The strain of grabbing a heavy object while in competition of strength was tiring. Already, Pall felt his blade slowly lower under the pressure of Hord’s. Fortunately for Pall, the sound of shifting stone turned Hord’s attention from him to stone pillar rising from the floor.

Pall, seeing his chance, lashed with a kick to Hord’s gut, forcing the armored Sith Lord a few paces back. He swung a free hand to Hord and the pillar followed the motion.

The armored Sith Lord stood there as an unmoving boulder with both hands gripping his lightsaber’s hilt. The pillar came some inches to Hord when he swung. The red blade split the pillar into two pieces, which crashed into the wall and kicked dust into the air. Hord paid no attention as he brought his blade around to block an oncoming slash from Pall, locking the two blades.

Pall was impressed. While he was strong in the Force, Hord was a master of the lightsaber. Pall had personally seen Hord in action against the Jedi, especially during the final battle of Corbos. Now, the Dark Lord knew what it was like for the Jedi fools who tried to fight his old ally.

A weight on his saber brought Pall from his thoughts and he saw Hord’s saber slowly overcoming his once again. Thumbing his activation button, Pall’s blade retracted into the hilt and a surprised Hord found himself staggering forward. Pall jerked aside for the saber to strike the floor and he lashed with a kick to Hord’s defenseless legs, sending armored Sith to the floor.

His blade reigniting, Pall sprang into action and swung his blade. Hord rolled on his back and brought his lightsaber up in time to intercept the blow.

Looking behind the intersected blades, Hord could see Pall’s yellow eyes glaring at his black visor. He could feel Pall pressing down his blade in hopes of slicing through the red blade and into helmet.

A small jerk and the butt-end of Hord’s hilt slammed right into Pall’s nose. The Dark Lord staggered back, giving Hord the chance to roll away. He stood on his two feet and watched Pall finally come to a stop a few paces.

Both Sith Lords could hear each other’s labored breathing, and the hum of their respective lightsabers. It had been a while since either Sith Lord had fought against anyone of their own caliber, yet it was like that had never happened. “I see your skills haven’t dulled,” Pall sniffed as he wiped his bleeding nose with a free hand.

A small wheeze passed through the filters in Hord’s helmet. “Pall, stop this madness at once! Leave now, while you still can.”

“Why should I?” he demanded.

“Blast it Pall, we were allies!” Hord’s voice boomed. “I followed you from the beginning of our exile! Don’t you remember anything of our struggles?”

Pall did remember. He remembered all of it, in fact: from his studies of the Dark Side to the defeat at the hands of the Jedi. And it was true; Hord had been there since the war and even when they arrived on Korriban. Out of all of Pall’s companions, Hord remained the most loyal to him.

“Pall, if you are still the same leader I once knew, then please let this go,” Hord pleaded.

Pall could not believe it. Hord, one lords of the Sith, was now begging to stop this entire duel. Hord had been known for his humility, but not like this before and the sincere tone showed how serious Hord was.

It was a sign of foolishness.

“I think not, Hord,” was Pall’s response.

Seeing how his leader would no longer listen, Hord tightened his grip on his lightsaber. There was no going back at this point. Either Pall would die today, or he would.

Pall raised his blade in anticipation, expecting Hord to charge. Instead, Hord cast his lightsaber forward and the blade swirled through the air. Pall slammed his red lightsaber against Hord’s, casting the flying weapon aside. The blade retracted into the hilt as it fell, but stopped only a few centimeters from the ground before returning to the hand of a charging Hord.

The blade activated again and Pall’s block to his side locked the lightsaber again. That did not stop Hord from using his physical strength to push forward. Pall’s single step turned into many and soon found his back pressed against the wall, the heat of locked lightsabers some centimeters from his face. The red glow reflected off of Hord’s black visor, allowing Pall to see a pair of angry eyes through the black visor.

Pall planted a knee into Hord’s stomach that almost made his opponent double over. Pall lashed out with one more slash on Hord, who jerked aside, and the point of Pall’s blade left a smoldering gash on his armored shoulder.

By the time Hord recovered, he barely blocked a slash for his leg. The force of the colliding lightsabers forced Hord back and left him under the strength of his leader.

Pall felt victory within his grasp. He stretched his arm at full length to stab at Hord, intending to land the final blow on the defenseless chest.

Suddenly, Pall’s weapon jerked back a little. The Dark Lord realized then the cable was keeping his lightsaber from moving forward. Unlike Hord’s weapon, Pall’s had been restricted by the cable attached to the power pack.

That single moment gave Hord time to recover and sidestep. His red blade sliced through the cable of Pall’s lightsaber, causing the red blade to sputter before it finally died away. Hord continued as his lightsaber tip sliced into the knee.

A cry of pain left Pall’s throat as the Dark Lord dropped on his wounded knee. He placed a hand on his wound, trying to numb the pain with the Force. Pall stopped when he saw a red tip pointed at him.

Pall’s yellow eyes trailed up the blade to Hord standing over him. “It's over Pall,” he spoke. “I wish it had not turned out like this.”

Pall could notice the remorse in Hord’s voice. A foolish emotion unfitting for a Lord of the Sith. And it would be Hord’s own undoing as Pall could feel the Dark Side growing within him.

“It was you who should have listened, Hord,” Pall snarled before he struck.

Tendrils of Dark Side energy crackled from Pall’s outstretched hand. Hord raised his lightsaber and the electricity struck against, small bolts cracking around the red blade.

The Dark Side growing inside of him, Pall unleashed more lightning from his fingers. The Dark Lord’s desire to win encouraged him to ignore his pain and slowly stand. The damaged lightsaber was discarded and the Dark Side power poured from both his hands.  Through the sparks of electricity, Pall could see Hord trying to protect himself. It would last long though.

“It’s over Hord!” Pall shouted. “Submit!” 

“Never!” Hord managed to say.

Pall’s anger rose and he fed on it to pour more of the Dark Side into his attack, turning the lightning bolts turned into a storm. Not even Hord’s strength lasted long as the lightning broke through the defenses and discarded his lightsaber from his hand.

Pall’s attack seized Hord, each spark of electricity burning through the red armor and into Hord’s flesh. The pain was almost unbearable, but he was able to hold his ground, at least for a while. As smoke started to rise from Hord, Pall’s voice roared over the lightning.

“I am Ajunta Pall! Dark Lord of the Sith! And you! Will! Submit!”

With each word, Pall’s lightning reached its peak. Hord could not sustain the pain and he found himself flying into the stone floor. Left writing on the ground, he finally let out screams of pain that reached Pall’s ears. Hord’s painful screams were so loud that it was able to drown out the electricity surging through Pall’s fingers. To the Dark Lord of the Sith, it was a sign of victory.

It was not long afterwards that Hord’s screams fell silent.

Like running water, the lightning slowly ceased from Pall’s fingers until it completely dissipated into the air. Lowering his hands, Pall heavily breathed for air as his yellow eyes fell on Hord’s form.

The smoke rose from the burnt skin exposed through the small breaches in the red armor. Pall could see one of Hord’s own yellow eyes through a hole in his black visor, a result of Pall’s lightning. It was opened wide and Pall saw the devoid of life in visible eye.

Hord was dead and the seat of Korriban was now empty. Pall knew he would need to extend his control in order to keep the Sith servants obedient. For now, he had what he came for.

Pall saw Hord’s modified lightsaber lying on the ground. He summoned the hilt into his tired hand and marveled at the craftsmanship. Hord was defeated and the weapon was finally in his hands. Pall saw no reason to delay his stay any longer.

“Let me go! My father will punish you for this!” a small cry emerged from the double doors.

Turning around, Pall saw his two royal guards entering the chamber. He was surprised to see one of them dragging a boy by the wrist. The boy was no order than five years old.

The boy was of Sith blood with the tendrils on his cheek, yet skin was a lighter hue than the typical red complexion. The boy was dressed in a fine black cloth and there was something almost human about him.

Pall’s eyes almost widened as he recognized the boy. It was Hord’s son.

The boy’s struggle eventually ceased when his eyes finally came across the fallen corpse of his father at Pall’s feet. Shock and sadness filled his eyes and The young Sith could not believe what he was seeing before him.

Pall could feel the anger and sorrow welling up inside of the boy along as his tears rolled out of his eyes like rivers. “Father!” he cried out.

The boy attempted to run to his dead father, but found himself jerking backwards, right towards the guard holding him captive. He glared at the Sith guard as he tried to break his wrist free of the guard’s grip. The other small flailed about as the boy failed to yank his arm away from the guard.

“Let me go!” the boy shouted, more tears pouring from his eyes. “Let me go!”

The boy’s command had been denied. The Sith guard would not let him go unless if his master had ordered him. The guard remained silent, never releasing his grip on Hord’s young son. 

Pall silently watched the image play in front of him. The boy continued to fail fighting against the strong grasp on his wrist. Eventually, he stopped fighting and fell on his knees, allowing himself to be immersed in his sorrow. The reddish head hung low and the tears dripped onto the stone floor.

The sobbing cries went ignored by the Dark Lord as he approached both of his guards. The one who had not been occupied with Hord’s son, took notice of the leg Pall had been limping on.

“My lord, you are injured!” the guard proclaimed. “Do you require any healing?”

Pall’s face remained stoic, his pride not allowing him to admit the wound Hord had left. The scar would last for years, perhaps, but Pall could handle it. “It is nothing,” he answered. “I am done with my work here. Prepare my ship.”

The other guard turned his head at his master. “What shall we do with the boy?” he inquired.

The question brought some intrigue to Pall as he stared down at the boy’s teary eyes, the hatred and sadness in his flaming orange orbs. The Dark Side was strong in the boy. So strong he could possibly rival the Sith Lords. His father’s death would fuel his rage, and with the right training, the boy could even carry the title of Dark Lord of the Sith.

Returning his gaze to the guard, Pall ordered, “Bring the boy to my ship. He will be staying in my palace on Ziost.”

Both the guards said nothing. They simply bowed their heads and left the chamber, dragging Hord’s son with them. The young boy’s glare fell upon Pall before he completely disappeared behind the double doors. 

As the boy disappeared from his sight, something emerged from the Dark Lord’s mind: pity. A strange emotion Pall ignored after all these years. The boy would now face many years of harsh training in the Dark Side, training that could kill him. And his father was killed by Pall’s own hand.

Another pang of guilt struck Pall. He planned for Hord to be buried with honors, but Hord’s death would reach the other Sith Lords. They would wish for the weapon Pall managed to acquire from Hord’s corpse, which they would duplicate the design for themselves. With such a weapon in their hands, the rivalry and secrecy between the Sith Lords would grow.

The taste of victory turned from sweet to sour and Pall knew why. His victory was not a victory at all. It was a betrayal, and it was the first of many to come. 

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