Exologue Two: Citizens


"So there we were. We had scaled the side of the of one of Coruscant's skyscrapers. More than a dozen levels climbed with nothing but our bare hands. We didn't know what to expect when we finally peeked our heads over the hole in the side of the building. Our bodies wanted to quit, be we couldn't allow them to. Not when we still had to deal with the man in that vault.

"When we dragged ourselves past the threshold of the blasted room, we saw our master leaning against a wall, drawing his last breath. I rushed over to him and he was all, 'I'm sorry… this was all my fault'. But this wasn't his usual rasp. This was a 'on the verge of death' kind of rasp. But I kept my cool. I was like, 'It's okay master… we're here now'. I looked down, he'd been stabbed in the gut. His spine had been severed. He thought he wouldn't make it. But he didn't know how proficient I had become at healing wounds. I saved his life, but now he's all, 'why… now you're too weak to fight'. But I was playing it up like a cool guy, saying 'nah, I had to prove you wrong'. He's like, 'prove me wrong?'. Because, you see, he had this vision a long time ago that this was how he died. This was basically me punching fate in the face.

"But that's when we noticed Tash coming out of the vault. We still didn't know whether or not we could be diplomatic about this, so we played it cool and went over to meet him. We talked. He didn't know whether or not we were still aligned with Syrosk. I threw down my ultimatum. Gave him his options. The moment I saw the amulet around his neck, I just thought, 'oh, all this had to be so he could get his hands on that'. But I called him out on it, and he was like, 'psh, I just wanted to hold this in my hands before I go and loot all this other stuff' and chunked it off the side of the building.

"Now, we didn't exactly know how things were about to unfold. I thought maybe I could goad him into revealing some more of his motivations, but then, wham, we got hit by the hardest Force wave we'd ever been hit with, knocking us against the far wall. Well now we had to fight. Thing is, the guy was a Darth. He was stronger than both of us, even when we attacked together. Plus, we were exhausted at this point. I mean, he wasn't fighting at his peak either because of his bout with Syrosk, but he'd still been through less than us probably.

"Well, he practically knocked my partner out, and I'm left staring him down. Guy started getting a bit full of himself, started throwing out some taunts. We had a short conversation in the heat of battle. Well, I learned Tash had been living the last few decades of his life in debt to other Sith. All this time, the acolytes at the Academy were just another asset sitting in his back pocket. Only this one he couldn't get rid of. He had too much invested in them to take a loss, so he just kept waiting for an opportunity to present itself. These vaults were finally a way to get some utility out of them.

"I found out that, basically, Tash had been chipping away at this debt of his, so that he might finally be able to be a proper Sith. So long as he was beholden to other Lords, he couldn't do any of the things he wanted to. But eventually, he realized he was getting old, and his debt would pass on to his apprentice. So his motives had shifted to raising the perfect successor, and then doing everything in his power to give them the chance to do what he couldn't. Of course, this meant screwing over hundreds of other Sith to give one a better life.

"We had spent enough time talking now, that my partner had recovered. And he had an idea. It fell to me to drain what remained of Tash's reserves. I found out my right hand had a knack for absorbing energy, so I basically took in an entire torrent of a Darth's Force lightning. Now, I couldn't really do anything with that energy. I didn't have the skill to contain or redirect it. But I had enough power within me to shoot off a spark of my own. But really, it was just a distraction. Plus, I got to say a great one-liner. You see, I shot a quick bolt at him, and he was like, 'you call that lightning?'. That's when I said, 'if lightning won't work, how 'bout some thunder?'. Then, Jresh charged him, and I supercharge his charge by doing a version of the trick we did earlier, where I propelled him forward with the Force. Pretty great, right?

Sitting across from the chatty Human, was one resting his heavy chin upon his palm, as his elbow dug into the desk between them. The talkative Sith wore a plain set of black robes, whilst the Imperial behind the desk was garbed in a neatly maintained gray uniform. Sitting inside the quaint office, the two men were alone, surrounded only by wall-bound computers and data terminals. In front of the Imperial, there rest a small datapad on the flat of the undecorated table.

"Sir…" the imperial drearily began. "All I asked… was for a date of birth… so that I can enter you into the system."

"Oh," the Sith muttered. "I don't actually know."

"Is it the new calendar system? I can work with either date if you'd-"

"Uh, no. I mean, I don't know my birthday," the Sith admitted.

"Do you know your age?"

"Twenty four…ish."

"Twenty four-ish?" the Imperial repeated, almost in disbelief. Grabbing ahold of the datapad, the officer released a heavy sigh as he tapped at the screen. "Lorrik Velash. Twenty four-ish."

"Yeah, that sounds about right," Lorrik admitted.

"And your… partner?"

"Twenty six-ish," Lorrik quickly answered.

The Imperial began to rub his brow with his free hand. "Jresh Takuul. Twenty six-ish."

"Is that all you need?" Lorrik wondered.

"Honestly, I don't know," the Imperial sluggishly confessed. "It's not every day we get word from a Dark Councilor telling us to grant citizenship to a group of Sith who have somehow managed to live in Imperial space unregistered for more than a decade. But yes, you should officially be in the system by next week. You should be able to apply for housing as well as-"

"Oh, Vowrawn's going to take care of that," Lorrik casually explained.

The Imperial arched his brow at the Sith's odd candor. "Is he now?"

"Well, that's what Syrosk said," Lorrik confessed. "He said he's going to try and get us an apartment near the market district."

"Lucky you," the Imperial drolly stated.

"I know, right?" Lorrik offered with a genuine excitement. "Once we get settled in, we're going to become artifact hunters."

"How does that work?"

"Well, there are a number of Force artifacts floating around the galaxy. We're going to hunt for them."

"Well, I wish you luck," the Imperial replied, no real sense of encouragement in his voice. "I hear some of the Sith that deal with those kinds of things can be… unpleasant."

"Oh, we know how to deal with unpleasant," Lorrik declared. "Besides, after what we've been through, I think our worst trials are behind us. From here on out, it'll practically be smooth sailing."

Lorrik and Jresh's story continues in... 'No Lords, No Masters'