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Echoes of Darkness

By Di_Mencia

Fantasy / Scifi

Blurb

"Looks like you are lucky, slave." Said Fon, haughtily flaunting a smile. "You escape my punishment for such temerity for now. Pray I don't find you in the catacombs alone." Quel'thalass was not happy and the added adjective of slave thrown at him was even more reason to snap the little wretches neck. Not wanting to die himself though, he sat at his seat and strapped himself in, between Lyam and the girl. Soon, almost as the pilot had told them, they were shaken by the energies and air currents of the atmosphere of Korriban. Where on the planet had loomed red and eerie, it now filled their vision. And as they had felt the presence of the Dark side before, now it seemed to be that the Dark Side was trying to physically manifest itself, so strong was the presence felt of darkness and fear. Though only the girl noticed, Lyam was overwhelmed by it all and had been incapable of holding back a whimper as the ship rocked, battered by the winds of the Dark Side and those of the air. With one hand she held on to ther harness but with the other, she held Lyam's and squeezed it in an effort to transmit comfort to the younger boy.

Chapter 1

To the occupants of the drop ship, their future lay in the red planet before them, the surface speckled with white clouds and the glint of ice ridges near the North and South pole as well as the feeling of foreboding that pressed on the shoulders of all the acolytes. They all knew, instinctively almost, that only one of them was going to survive to see the next standard month. The two brothers, large with muscle earned in the plantations of their youth chatted animatedly with each other in a dialect most probably native to their planet. Whatever they said, stayed secret given the fact that no one else in the spaceship spoke their language, however they in were both fluent in Basic, so there they had an advantage.

Next to them sat a petite figure, almost invisible inher smallness if it wasn’t for the fact of her fiery red hair. She was quiet, still trying to wrap her mind around the fact that she was most likely going to die within the next standard lunar cycle. That fact alone was sobering enough. She scratched the abck of her neck mutely, also trying to get used to the idea of no longer wearing a shockcollar. She had been, in a past life, a slave and now a door was opened before her though its contents were by far more dangerous than she knew to analyze.

Right next to her sat boy called Lyam who was no older than thirteen. He had been thrust into the whole mess of Sith trials after his father had tried to smuggle him from Nal Hutta, afraid of what his wife would try to do once she found out that their son was gifted. Unbeknownst to him, she had found out his plans and had hired a bounty hunter who turned out to later be the Grand Champion of the Great Hunt and who had also been, much to Lyam’s distress, the death of his father. With his final breath, the man had whispered a soft ‘Damn you...’ and his son had walked back to his mother, shaken to his core. An undeniable change had taken effect on him though and where the unwary on looker would see a thirteen year old boy actually stood Lyam Stormbreath, the boy who had been forced to grow up too fast.

Then there was Fon Althe. A Sith through and through, or so it would seem. Indeed, he had the biological make up of a Sith and he had been raised in a Sith household, training and studying for when this day would finally arrived. He had no attachments, no family to go back to, though ironically enough and unbeknownst to the rest of the people in the shuttle it was because no family wanted him back. His midichlorian levels were deplorably low and it had required a great deal of string pulling, pocket greasing and lie telling to get Fon where he was now. Not that he knew any of it of course. To him, he was an heir to a dignified bloodline, bearing upon his weak shoulders the weight of a dinasty that extended back to generations too numerous to count by oneself though perfectly processed and dated. The Sith are nothing, if not precise about their bloodlines.

And finally, the last individual in the ship. A human who posessed a surprising amount of Force sensitivity. It had been noticed when he had used a dark form of Sith torture on his owner when one too many shocks had been applied through his shock collar. It was fitting, in fact, that the former owner had died due to the traumatic voltage represented in the lightning that had emanated frm the finger tips of the tall individual. Were he capable of standing up in the cramped space of the shuttle, Quel’thalass was a big monster of a human. His hair, now combed back to keep it out of his eyes was extremely dark, denoting a fitting lack of color that contrasted perfectly with his pale skin. His eyes, yellow and deep pierced through everyone that sat by him and stopped at last on Fon.

Fon, though slow and bordering on suicidal levels of arrogance, knew when someone was looking at him. Wtih a sniff, and a grimace as if the gaze that landed on him had sullied his clothing, he turned his head ever so slightly to the former slave and arched an eyebrow. “What?” He asked, the word like a lightning whip it was so precise and cutting. With a huff of contempt, he exhaled sharply and stared back at Quel’thalass, as if to ensnare him in a contest of who could stare at the other longest. Not used to the nature of the Sith, Quel’thalass stared back, daring anything to pass between their sights and interrupt their competition.

Opening his mouth, Fon spat in loathing at Quel’thalass. How dare he, a simple slave? Nevermind that he had beenf reed, he was still a pathetic human compared to the glorious nature of being a Sith as far as Fon was concerned. It was the last straw, Quel’thalass stood hunched over and went over to the Sith faster than the eye could follow. He had gotten so fed up with his former owner’s mistreatment that to have this little, frail-looking excuse of a man spit on him was asking too much. To the void with the rules. He was pretty sure that no one would dare talk about how Fon had died. Though before anything had actually managed to materialize a voice crackled over the intercom, raspy and laden with age. “Lords and Lady... We approach the Korribani atmosphere. Pray be seated and buckle yourselfes to your seats. This will be a rough entrance.” Just as it had sounded, it was gone, the communication cut off.

“Looks like you are lucky, slave.” Said Fon, haughtily flaunting a smile. “You escape my punishment for such temerity for now. Pray I don’t find you in the catacombs alone.” Quel’thalass was not happy and the added adjective of slave thrown at him was even more reason to snap the little wretches neck. Not wanting to die himself though, he sat at his seat and strapped himself in, between Lyam and the girl. Soon, almost as the pilot had told them, they were shaken by the energies and air currents of the atmosphere of Korriban. Where on the planet had loomed red and eerie, it now filled their vision. And as they had felt the presence of the Dark side before, now it seemed to be that the Dark Side was trying to physically manifest itself, so strong was the presence felt of darkness and fear. Though only the girl noticed, Lyam was overwhelmed by it all and had been incapable of holding back a whimper as the ship rocked, battered by the winds of the Dark Side and those of the air. With one hand she held on to ther harness but with the other, she held Lyam’s and squeezed it in an effort to transmit comfort to the younger boy. Staunch and seemingly unmovable, Quel’thalass looked at the scene and gave the girl a nod. He was no monster and could sympathize with the younger mans distress.

After what felt like hours but was actually just under ten minutes, the drop ship extended its landing gear with a shudder and thudded heavily against the landing pad, pneumatic doors hissing open and the dry air of Korriban stealing whatever moisture was in the air, leaving lips dry and cracked. Already the planet showed its inhospitability.

Ahead stood an opening and a lone figure seemed to wait for them. Its annoyed voice clear over the wind. “Come one then! No time to wait, come here so I can inspect you and measure your worth!” Yelled Overseer Harkun, his arms stiffly crossed over his chest and an impatient boot clad foot tapping against the durasteel floor.

Quel’thalass, Lyam and the girl disembarked, their future ahead of them.

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