Six Years Ago
Six years ago.
A lone master sat on a ledge working on his saberstaff, when a pair of much younger knights ran up to him. At first they were both very quiet, as they stood there staring at the marble floor below them. They didn’t seem to bother him, but glance at him and continue to stare at the floor, then one of the two young girls seemed to speak out to him.
“Master Hunter, why are you always sitting alone? You always avoid the other Masters and none of them ever seem to talk to you, or pay any attention to you at all.” She curiously asked, her face flushed a deep crimson as she tried to avoid any eye contact with him.
For a while he didn’t answer, but merely looked back down at his weapon and finished reassembling it. Before looking up at them both, they were both nineteen not much older than his own apprentice. He smiled, showing his silver white eyes to them, “Because I am very different than most of the other Masters. For I love the thrill of battle and enjoy the rush of adrenaline coursing through my body in combat. The thrill of fighting with my sabers or even with my bare hands.” He closed his eyes and leaned back against the pillar behind him, staring up into Coruscant’s night sky, “Those reasons are because I am both Jedi and Mandalorian.”
At first they started to back away from him with fear in their eyes, then their looks changed from fear to pure excitement as they both looked at him now with even more curiosity. They giggled wanting to know more about him, but as he was about to begin a story, another young girl walked up to them.
The young girl was wearing her Jedi robes over black combat armor, with her long violet hair pulled back into a ponytail. “Master we’re getting sent on a mission out into the Unknown Regions, the Council says it is of the highest priority.”
He dropped down from the ledge onto his feet, his ghost white hair falling down against his back and quickly clicking his saberstaff to his belt. The weapon waved against his thigh as they ran through quiet halls, down towards the main hangar bay of the Jedi Temple.
The Jedi Master looked down at his padawan, his hair flying behind him, “So Arya, where are we going, what’s the mission?” He asked.
She slowed down and walked through the entrance to the hangar, dozens of fighters and a few transports sat in their bays, Jedi and maintenance workers worked on some, while others stood conversing amongst themselves. Arya looked up at her master, “Our mission Master, is to investigate a temple on a remote planet, the Council has been hearing disturbing news of people from local towns disappearing and of a strong Dark Side presence.”
He nodded and checked the panels on his fighter before taking off, letting his mind wander. 'Their numbers have increased exponentially since they returned and attacked Korriban, to regain their ancestral home world. The returned with only one thought in mind, The Complete and total annihilation of the Republic.'
Within a few days of hyperspace travel and deep meditation they arrived in the Unknown Regions. The Republic has been around for 25 millennia. With thousands of star systems and species being discovered. Yet most of the galaxy still remains uncharted, these regions being Wild Space and the Unknown Regions.
“Sensors are showing no ships in the system Master” She ran her hands over the scanners a few more times, “Our arrival seems to be undetected.”
He confirmed her scan and nodded, “Alright let’s head down there and investigate.” They dove down through the atmosphere, setting their fighters down on the planet’s surface just outside the temple and stepped out of their fighters.
Hunter looked up at the temple. It was constructed out of a type of black marble that was a dark as space. Several towers stood above the rest of the temple like dark sentinels, waiting for the order to strike. 'This tower is filled with the power of the Dark Side, I can already feel it prying at my defenses.'
“Let’s go.” He motioned as they drew their lightsabers and walked into the temple.
Inside the unknown temple.
The temple was like a fortress, the voice of the Dark Side was already calling to them, prying at their minds, at their very defenses. 'Join us, use your hate to bring out you power, embrace your anger. Join the Sith and be stronger than ever before.'
They shook their heads, feeling the temple’s energies beginning to tug at their bodies
Hunter and Arya stopped dead in their tracks and activated their lightsabers as three young Sith approached them, two were human males and the other a tall female twi’lek. Behind them a squad of soldiers
The Sith ignited their crimson blades and struck first with large sweeps, which were easily deflected. One of the smaller Sith was brought down as Hunter’s saberstaff impaled him. Arya picked up the lifeless body with the Force and threw it into the others. They merely shrugged off the blow and retaliated with Force Lightning, but they caught the blast with their lightsabers.
“You Jedi should give up. For we are Sith!” He announced and surged forward with his blade ready to cut both of the Jedi down in his foolish charge. Hunter was ready and blocked the strike and swiftly grabbed his wrist and twisted before following with a head butt. The Sith stumbled back almost falling to the floor, but he shook his head ignoring the pain before lifting the body off the ground and throwing it back into Arya, as they both slammed into the wall hard.
Hunter turned to look at Arya and growled, before turning to Force Push the two remaining Sith back.
“What’s the matter Jedi, are you afraid Jedi to fight us alone.” The female twi’lek chuckled, readying her stance for another jump.
Hunter stood there with a smirk on his lips and his eyes closed, “I am never afraid, for I am a Mandalorian warrior and a Jedi.” He replied and ignited the other half of his saberstaff.
Both of the Sith backed up, a twinge of fear on their faces but they didn’t run, as they merely started advancing against him, trying to bring the Jedi Master to his knees. He blocked their advances as his staff was able to catch both of their lightsabers and produce counterattacks of his own.
With a flick of his wrist the boy was thrown into a wall and he fell to the ground stunned for a few minutes as Hunter charged on the Twi’lek, battering at her defenses faster than she was able to put them up. When suddenly he dropped to the ground and kicked her feet out from under her and brought his staff down in a sharp arc into her chest, impaling her into the stone floor. Hunter crouched down to her as she gasped looking up at him. “You were wrong young one, to charge us while thinking you could take us, you still needed more training but now your life is over.” She tried to reply but her head fell to the side as the Force left her body.
“Two of you have fallen, will you surrender to us?” Hunter asked as Arya stood up and walked over to them her cyan lightsaber ignited and a growl in her voice.
“You will surrender, or I could just kill you, because you deserve to die, you Sith piece of Poodoo!” she screamed as she placed her blade dangerously close to his throat. He looked at her and gasped in fear at what she was doing, for he knew they were supposed to be different.
“I….I….th-tho-thought you Jedi were supposed to look for a peaceful answer and not want to ki-ki-kill others?” His voice was cracking and his entire body shaking in fear as he spoke, looking back into her eyes.
“We are, but you Sith are evil. It was the Sith that killed all of my friends!” Arya snarled and moved the cyan blade even closer to his exposed throat.
Hunter grabbed her shoulder, “Easy Arya, don’t give into your hate for revenge.” She nodded and deactivated her lightsaber, backing up and standing off to her Masters right. As she did the surviving Sith stood and went for the weapon on his belt but it wasn’t there.
“What?” he gasped, frantically searching for it.
Arya stood there twirling it in between her fingers, “Looking for this?” she smiled and threw it back to him, before reigniting her own saber, “The two of us right here, right now!”
He caught it and reignited the crimson blade and stood ready for battle, “Alright lets go, little girl, I hope you’re ready to die.”
They stood ready as Arya struck first with an uppercut followed by a side sweep; the attack threw him into the wall causing a sharp pain in his side. He struggled for a few seconds and went for her legs. She dodged the attack by jumping over him and clipping the back of his right shoulder. She took the advantage of this split-second head start and cut across the back of one of his legs and arm.
The Sith grunted as he tried to stand and face her with his lightsaber at chest height with a horizontal defensive stance. “Let’s go! I am not finished yet, you Jedi whelp!” He growled and lunged forward trying to use quick decisive strikes, but his injuries made it look like he was clumsily dancing with his lightsaber instead of attacking with it.
Master Hunter just stood and watched; he knew her temper and with their Force Bond he told her to calm down. She eased up a little and put all her anger and fury into her lightsaber as their blades clashed again, sending sparks and crackles throughout the hallway.
She swung around with a high round kick that slammed into his wounded shoulder. He groaned loudly as she pushed him hard against the wall.
“Do you yield?” She said as she pointed the tip of her blade at his throat.
“Never!” He snarled as he swung his blade into hers with an attack aiming for her head. She dodged and caught his wrist swinging him around, slamming him back into the wall as he fell to the ground with a heavy grunt.
The young Sith refused to surrender and just got up again and again with his blade always ready. He threw his weight into a final attack and cut across her right arm plate as Arya’s own blade impaled him through the chest. His body fell to the ground, the exit wound smoking.
“Any more surprises?” She asked as they walked deeper into the temple, the deeper they went, the stronger the pull of the Dark Side became.
'Abandon the Jedi, we can make you stronger than ever before and give you unlimited power.'
“Master the temptation is growing, I can feel it gnawing at my body, at my anger.” She said and he nodded in reply as they turned the corner revealing a large door to what they assumed to be a large room.
They used the Force to open the door as they walked into the dark room, within seconds, several dozen crimson blades showed up in the darkness as the lights came on revealing a dozen Sith of different ranks.
Several of the Sith looked at the two Jedi and shouted, “Jedi have breached the temple, Attack!”
Hunter and Arya stood there and raised their hands as many of the Sith rose off the ground and were swept into the walls and ceilings, as if they were bags of rice. Cracks were heard echoing the room as several of them didn’t get up.
Three rushed with their lightsabers overhead, four crimson blades crashed against the Jedi’s. Sparks flew off and you could hear their humming. Hunter stood their pushing two of the three back and with one swift motion brought them both down. Arya on the other hand was in serious trouble, the Sith she was fighting was not only stronger but taller, giving him an advantage over her.
“You are no match for me, you foolish Jedi.” He roared. “I AM A SITH LORD!” he threw a burst of Force Lighting at her and surged forward with the Force increasing his physical strength.
She caught the lighting against her saber but wasn’t fast enough as his charge threw her against the wall. Arya slowly regained her balance, ready for another attack. She used the Force to accelerate her speed as she charged at him with several strikes to his neck and chest. They were good tries but his height and longer reach blocked every attack as he brought his lightsaber down hard.
Within an instant her lightsaber went over her head to block his blade, but the sheer force of the attack pushed her into the ground several inches cracking the stone around her. He clipped her arm with his saber and threw her to the floor. He lifted his blood red blades up and brought them straight down into her chest. She gasped one last time, looking at her Master, as her lightsaber rolled out of her hand and her eyes shut for the last time.
“NOOOOOOOOOOOO!” Hunter screamed and he increased the ferocity of his attacks, cutting down every Sith in his path, leaving the Sith Lord for last. “You will pay!” He growled, his anger and fury fueling him now as he charged. The Dark Lord could barely keep his defenses up against the series of savage strikes. Hunter picked him up with the Force and threw him straight through the temple walls outside.
The Dark Lord could feel the anger, the hatred, and the fury coming from this one Jedi. Soon he regained his footing and reignited his lightsabers, waiting for Hunter to make the next move. “For a Jedi, your well trained in combat, but that didn’t save that pathetic excuse of a padawan did it!?” He ranted, trying to get more hatred from Hunter, to pull him closer to the Dark Side.
Hunter exited the temple but didn’t answer; he merely jumped straight into the air and brought the staff down in a quick motion that forced the Sith deeper into the ground. The Dark Lord grunted as he was picked up by the scruff of his collar and Hunter jumped into the air. Holding onto his collar as tight as he could, he spun around and threw him back into the temple, through another wall, right into a heavy stone pillar.
He managed to stand up, his body aching in pain, yet his own anger and hatred fueling him with the Dark Side. “Come on, let your anger drive you, let it fuel you and provide you with more power than ever before!” He snarled and charged at Hunter his lightsabers behind him
Their blades clashed like thunder as one attack was blocked or another sweep was dodged. The Sith Lord swiped his blade in a heavy right arc before turning to go for a left slash. It was blocked just in time as the impact sliced several strand of his hair off, pushing Hunter into the wall. The Lord then continued to press his advances swinging against Hunter’s defenses, hoping they would fail, but they held true before Hunter returned the assault with a violent Force Push from point blank, throwing the Sith back against the other wall, his lightsaber rolling away from him.
Hunter walked over him, saber in hand and a growl on his face as he pointed the violet blade at the Sith’s throat, “You killed her and now you pay for what you have done.”
A soft cackle was heard and it grew louder and louder as Hunter looked at the Sith Lord who was slowly standing up against the wall, his armor and cloak ripped and damaged, cuts and abrasions across his face. “For what I have done? You’re the reason she is dead, you and the entire Jedi Order caused her death. You taught her to be weak, to hide her emotions, to not form any attachments. She is dead because of you!”
That last sentence pushed Hunter over the edge as he pulled out his combat knife and stabbed the Sith in the side, watching him gasp for air and howl in pain at the same time. “That isn’t going to kill me, you don’t have the guts to kill me, do you…huh… do you, you pathetic piece of Jedi filth!” He shouted, pulling Hunter into his trap.
“Silence, I am a Mandalorian and a Jedi. Fighting is in my blood.” Hunter replied proudly as he glared at the Sith Lord.
“Ha…So then you’ll let me live, I’ll take her body and present it to the Council for their experiments.” The Sith smirked as he slowly pulled a knife from his gauntlet and went to stab the femoral artery in Hunter’s thigh. Due to the Force, Hunter jumped out of the way and with the Force picked up the Sith Lord and body slammed him into the floor.
Igniting the violet blade, which to Hunter seemed to have turned Blood red as he cut down the Sith Lord. For one Lord had fallen this day, but in his place a new more powerful Lord has arisen.
A few minutes later.
Hunter had scooped up Arya’s body and lightsaber in his arms and started walking back to the fighters, they had been covered with a light layer of sand since their arrival, giving the two fighters a sandy brown finish for the time being.
He slowly laid her body on the wing of his fighter before sitting on the ground. 'This was my fault, I agreed to the mission, instead of waiting and thinking of our next move.' He thought as he threw his head back and screamed into the dying sunlight, his hands sending bolts of Force Lighting in all directions.
Once he had stopped screaming he stood up and walked towards the Temple, grabbing the Sith Lord’s body. 'You’re the reason she died. I killed you already, but I need to remove you from the face of the Galaxy.' He summoned the Force to do his will, pushing deeper into the Dark Side as he used it to rip him apart and within seconds where a body once lay, now only lay a pile of ash and dust.
The Dark Side had now taken complete control of him. Jedi Master Hunter was no more, he had become Darth Shadow. He was trapped in his own memories and horrors now, pushed into the very Darkness he tried to resist for so long.