This is inspired by a roleplay I have had going on for a long while now. I felt that the story is so great that it just had to be put in story form. I have the rating set where it is because I don't want to be restricted by something lower. I plan to use the whole range of gore, language, and other mature themes. Also I think I should warn you that this is pretty alternate universe. Maybe more parallel. I'm not sure. There are probably going to be inaccuracies but I do research a lot of things to keep as much accuracy in the story as possible, but I also take some liberties. :P I hope you enjoy!

His mission was complete. He had assassinated the man his master had sent him to kill. After covering his tracks, he headed back to the hangar he left the Infiltrator in. On his walk, the tiniest hint of force sensitivity tugged at his senses.

A padawan? But he was far from the jedi temple. That was practically on the other side of the planet. The padawan could, perhaps, be out here on a mission. But then why was he by himself? Sending a padawan out by themselves like this wasn't normally a jedi's style.

It could also be a trap. What if someone was trying to lure him out to them? Maul pitied the being that was foolish enough to do so. Either way, this was likely someone he should pursue and kill.

A couple hours of tracking the presence had led him to a theater. The building housed a permanent show that combined modern dance with gymnastics and circus elements. This particular show company was considered the crowning jewel of the theater industry. Cirque Aethereum.

As he neared the theater, he determined that the source of this force signature was backstage. He would have to wait for him to exit the premises before being able to move forward. The sith sat in the theater among the throngs of others, excitedly bantering about the impending performance.

A young woman held her breath as she waited for her music cue. The circus had begun. Several acrobats were leaping around the stage, accomplishing feats of near inhuman strength and agility. When their act was over, her act was introduced. She was the female lead of the show. Her male counterpart was waiting for the same cue at the opposite stage entrance. When it was time, she gracefully ballet stepped into the light, her long black hair trailing behind her as she ran to meet the male lead. They started with something like a ballet and progressed into something that was more unique. Not only was it a dance. It was also the beginning of a story. Various acts in between other acts introduced more and more of their characters.

After a couple of other acts, her next set began. Up in the air was a single rope that stretched across the length of the stage. The woman was in position of the left side of the stage, five levels up. Across from her, she could see her male counterpart looking back at her. When she received her cue, she placed a foot onto the rope, and then transferred her weight. Below her, there were no safety nets, harnesses, or anything to keep her from plummeting to the hard stage fifty feet below. As soon as the spotlight focused on her, she heard hushed whispers from the crowd, and saw a few point up at her. She closed her eyes and felt where the rope was, concentrating on each step. She didn't dare lose concentration when she was on the rope. She didn't know it, but she was using the force to sense where the rope was - seeing without seeing.

When she was toward the middle of the tightrope, she bounced on the rope a bit. She smiled a little when she heard gasps from the crowd below. The woman leaped into the air and the theater grew silent. She curved her body into a back flip. Using the Force, she found exactly where the rope was behind her and adjusted her feet so that she would hit the rope squarely when she landed. When she faced the crowd, she was greeted with applause.

She made her way to the side the male was on. Then, he walked out onto the rope with her right behind him. She had her hands on his shoulders so she could feel his sense of balance and match his every movement. This was critical in getting through this part without falling. About a third of the way out, She used her hands to jump up and then flip her body so that she was balancing on the head of the male with her hands. Her legs were above her and in an graceful position - toes pointed. She concentrated on the man supporting her while staying as still as she could. She listened to every nuance of his weight shifting across the rope in case he started losing balance so she could adjust herself to save it. They continued across the rope like this until its end. The two did several other astonishing acrobatics before the routine was over. When the two disappeared offstage, the theater was filled with enthusiastic applause.

Maul had sensed it. She was using the force. This woman was the one he was looking for. He didn't expect to find a force user in the form of an acrobat, but there she was. Now he was thinking it was possible that she wasn't affiliated with the jedi. Did the jedi reject her for some reason? Surely they would have recruited her as a youngling. Or was she indeed a padawan that was conducting a mission under the guise of a performer? He wondered.

The zabrak was impressed not so much by her use of the force, but her acrobatic skill. Not even all jedi could maneuver like she could. One fraction of a misstep, and she would tumble to her death.

With each passing act, he wondered more and more who this woman was. About halfway through the show, he had devised a plan to find out more about her. He needed to know why she was here. There had to be something about this girl that he didn't yet understand. He was thinking more and more that this was some kind of lure.

She did a trapeze routine and then came time for her final set - aerial dance. Two long lengths of blue silk were lowered to her level so she could grab on. Once she had a decent grip, the silk rose into the air, carrying her high up. She did several acrobatic tricks in the air, tumbling and twisting in the silk strands. At one point she had wrapped herself up and then let go, letting herself twirl toward the ground only to be caught by the end of the silk at the last moment.

When her counterpart entered the stage, he held onto one strand while she held onto the other. They both rose above the stage as if they were in flight. He used his weight to twirl her out and away from him. They came back together and completed some incredible stunts. The whole routine was beautifully choreographed and took some serious skill to do. The sith was even more impressed with the girl.

After their set, the show concluded. All the performers came onto stage to receive their applause. When the woman and man came out, the theater erupted into a standing ovation. The theater lights went dark for a few moments to allow their performers to dash offstage unseen. During this time, the zabrak left the seating area and exited the building.

Perched far above the exit, he waited. Completely enveloped in shadow, he was invisible. Soon, the girl came out. Since there were still people around, he stayed out of sight, but followed her.

Kairyn had sensed something wasn't quite right. She had no idea what it was so she didn't pay much mind to it. But she found herself clutching her bag close to her as she walked away from the theater. She had a couple of daggers in it for protection if she needed them. Her past life required her to carry them with her at all times. Now it was just habit. Her hand wrapped around the cool metal handle of one of them.

Kairyn wanted to get back to her apartment as soon as she could. She didn't know why her senses were telling her that she was in danger, but once in her home with the door firmly locked behind her, she would feel safe. Kairyn turned down a dark alleyway. It was more direct to her apartment but it wasn't an area she liked to visit so she normally avoided it. The acrobat picked up her pace. Her eyes were constantly scanning the area around her for motion. She was also listening with her sixth sense, the force. She didn't feel anyone around her but she couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong. Her instincts were validated.

All of the sudden, she couldn't breathe. She gasped for air but she couldn't draw in the oxygen she was desperately starting to need. The little acrobat clutched at her neck and found nothing, though there was a pressure squeezing the air from her lungs. Then, darkness itself, it would seem, stepped into the alleyway; its hand outstretched toward her. As soon as she saw the figure, she threw a dagger at it, hoping to at least distract it enough for her to flee. The sharp metal flew straight toward the creature's heart, but he caught it. As soon as the blade touched his gloved hand, Kairyn felt the pressure around her neck release. She leaned against the wall behind her, coughing and gasping. She had no time to recover. She needed to move.

As if the creature heard her thought, he lunged forward. Kairyn threw her second dagger, hoping to catch him off guard. In a single fluid motion, he ignited his double bladed lightsaber and struck down her outdated weapon. Before Kairyn could run more than a few feet away, he was upon her.

A strong, muscular arm caught her around the waist. The man flung her into the wall, using her momentum against her. The acrobat hit the wall hard. She would have fallen to the ground if it weren't for the hand that snatched her upper arm The creature held a searing red saber blade at her throat. Kairyn shrunk back toward the wall to try to get away from the glowing heat that was burning her skin. When he pressed the blade closer, she growled. "What do you want from me!?"

The look of rage in her eyes surprised the sith. This wasn't a padawan. A padawan wouldn't have that much hatred inside them.

In a dark and velvety voice, the zabrak asked, "What is your purpose here?" His glared unwaveringly into her eyes, their color obscured by the red glow.

Kairyn had no idea what he was talking about. "Purpose!? You tell me! You're the one who attacked me!" She growled.

Surely she had to be with someone that was trying to find him. If one of his enemies knew he was going to be here to assassinate that man, why wouldn't they try to trap him? He pressed his saber closer to her skin, purposely burning her.

When the blade bit into her skin, she growled and inadvertently sunk her claws into her attacker's hand, trying to push the weapon away from her. She pushed back on the hilt of his saber with all of her strength but it didn't matter. She wasn't nearly strong enough to stop it. At that moment she realized that this man was probably going to kill her and there wasn't really anything she could do about it.

"I don't know what you're talking about!" She shouted at him. She didn't have the information he was looking for. At the moment, Kairyn didn't know if that was a good or a bad thing.

Not convinced that she wasn't just good at lying, Maul closed his eyes and entered her mind. He was prepared to fight through her mental barriers, but he found no obstructions. He was easily able to penetrate her consciousness.

Kairyn felt darkness enter her mind. She couldn't explain how but she could feel it sifting through her thoughts. Was it possible that this man was in her mind? She stared into his eyes, golden rimmed with crimson, as she wondered.

He found anger. She was afraid of him but more angered by the fact that he was doing this to her, and even more angered that she couldn't fight it. Her hatred ran strong. He searched her thoughts and found nothing of treachery. It was possible that she was just as she appeared to be. A young woman with untapped potential.

"What is your name?" He asked her.

"Remove your weapon from my throat and I might tell you." She glared.

The zabrak narrowed his eyes. She was a defiant one. Arrogance in the face of danger. The girl would learn soon enough. "Tell me your name and perhaps I will allow you to live." He drew out the menacing words.

Deciding that she had no choice but to satisfy his query, the acrobat obliged. "Kairyn Alaina Farthou." She glared into his eyes.

"It's amazing that the jedi never found you. I wonder why… Do you know?" She had a natural talent for acrobatics that would translate well into saber combat. He really did wonder why she hadn't been recruited.

"No." She answered, her voice low.

"You have two options Kairyn Alaina Farthou." He tested the way her name sounded."Come with me, or be destroyed." His lips curled into a sneer. "Choose wisely."

Anger flashed in her eyes. "That's not much of a choice!" Was she really supposed to just drop everything and go with this man? She couldn't do it but then again, she had to. She didn't doubt that this man would actually kill her. First she needed to know exactly what was going to happen. "What are you planning to do with me?"

Too many questions… But she didn't yet know that questions such as these were unnecessary and unwanted. "I will teach you to use the dark side of the force. In time, you will become a woman worth fearing." He drew his saber blades back into the hilt.

Her neck began to feel cooler now that there wasn't a blade of energy threatening it. There was still a burn but Kairyn was more concerned with her situation and the man's proposition. "How long will I be away for?" She asked. She would probably need to quit her job, and she was under contract until the season was over.

"You won't be returning." He stated flatly.

Immediately, Kairyn went on a tirade. "You can't just expect me to leave my whole life behind! I have a home! I've finally reached the top at my job! And I have no idea -" He cut her off with a growl.

"I do not have time for your complaining." He ignited his blade once again. "Make your decision or my blade and I shall make one for you." He gripped the hilt of his lightsaber.

Now a bit of fear had found its way into the little circus performer. That red glow... She hated that glow already, along with the crack-hum sound of a lightsaber being ignited. She hadn't realized it but her whole body had tensed. This time, when he made his offer again, she replied, "Very well." But her eyes held a rueful light. For now all she could do was bide her time. Perhaps an opportunity would arise to slip away and lose him. She was sure that this man spelled danger for her. She needed to get away from him.

"I am offering you great power, Kairyn. All of this is trivial compared to what your future holds." He noticed that her thoughts had drifted toward escaping him. He would need to watch her carefully. He grabbed her by the wrist. "We are wasting time." He tugged her away while she protested. At one point, she started prattling on about laws and how he would be imprisoned for this and such. "Do I look like a being that cares about laws?" He snapped at her.

"Who are you?" She asked. Who was this man that he could have such complete disregard for the Republic's authority?

With a savage grin, the zabrak replied, "I am Darth Maul."

Kairyn only vaguely knew what 'Darth' meant. She had read about great warriors in the past with such a title. But these warriors were known for terrible things.

He tapped at a couple of buttons on his comlink. Only a few moments later, an unmanned speederbike came into view. Maul swung a leg over the vehicle and then pulled the acrobat on behind him. He didn't design the bike to carry two people so it was tight. He would manage. The girl was small after all.

Pressed so close to the sith, Kairyn could feel that he was more muscular than she would have imagined. His form felt like it was made of stone, but he was also warm. Warmer than what she thought was a healthy temperature. He didn't look ill though. The sound of his voice cut through her thoughts. "I have two hearts and a high metabolism."

Kairyn was astounded that he had answered her thoughts. "Are-are you in my head?" He must have been listening to her thoughts somehow. How was that possible?

"When you have no obstructions to your thoughts, yes, It's easy to get inside your head." He then took off on the speederbike. Kairyn reflexively wrapped her arms around him to steady herself.