Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic: The Sith Lord
They told me the Galaxy was quiet.
But I reckoned it was downright noisy, if you know where to 'look'.
Everything, absolutely everything had the voice of its own. They whispered to those who listen: the planets, the stars, the moons, the land, the sea, the stone, the wind, the flesh and…of course, you, and I.
My people were born with this ability. We were gifted to be able to listen to the voices, voices within, voices hidden behind and voice riddled in all things. Some of us even had the aptitude to turn them around and use it as a weapon, a shield, or knowledge when the great threat was upon us.
They called it the Force.
Yes, you may say, we see this Galaxy through the Force.
Oh, don't get me wrong, we were damn proud of it. We adored this special gift. We treasured it, worshiped it even.
We had no regret, even when it brought us Death.
Because without it, we were just as bad as dead.
I knew. I've been there.
My name is Visas Marr.
This is my story.
Something wasn't right.
There was something, behind all hidden voices.
Something that was quite different.
It was quiet at first. It was very faint, like a whisper. It was difficult to pick up at first. But as the time flew by, it got louder and clearer, before you noticed it was so loud it was as if the source was right next to you. You could even sense the people surrounding it, the background life, and its past if you dig a little deeper.. It was strong, defiant, determent, yet gentle at the same time. Unlike others that I've experienced so far, it had some degree of warmth and securities in it. For the first time in my life, I had this urge to go near it, to feel it, to talk to it. It was like….like someone holding a lamp at the end of the tunnel. In the mist of all the darkness, strangely, I experienced hope.
I became agitated.
I stopped my meditation.
I stood up, began to pace around my meditation chamber unintentionally and muttered under my breath. Who could this be, the disturbance of the Force? The Galaxy was in such a harmony just a moment ago and all of the sudden it was stirred, like a falling leaf dropped into the pond, causing ripples of wave. How could I not notice from the beginning? How could I miss it?
Most importantly….was this a threat?
I halted and turned my head towards the direction of the door.
He had to know.
He must have sensed it, too.
How could he not? After all he was my master, my savior, my Lord.
I left my chamber and quickly heading towards the Bridge. The ship was quiet. Most people onboard the ship were zombies. Their Force, no matter how small and irrelevant, had been taken away. Without it, you were a lifeless corps, a living dead, a ghost.
I moved along the long corridor shiftily. The only sounds around me were the clicking noise when my boots hit the floor, the hissing noise made by the door sliding open and close, the flapping noise of my sleeves and drape, and the beeping noise of the droid and computer panels. I did not stop, not even a second, until I reached the turbolift.
For the first time, I hated the ship for being this big.
The turbolift quickly ascended upwards. I rested my hands on the handles, fingers impatiently drumming the wooden bar. My mind spun fast, eager to discuss my new discovery with my master.
The door opened and I entered the Bridge. Stood at the end of the enormous room was my master. Sensing my entrance, he slightly tilted his head to a side, while the rest of his body remained facing towards the giant window, with the vast Galaxy spreading under his feet.
My knee bent as I came near him. I humbly bowed. My forehead touched the cold steel floor.
"My Lord." I croaked.
My master turned his head back towards the window. In the split seconds, a cold, ghastly voice echoed inside my head. It was so icy, it sent prickling feelings all the way down on the back of your spine. At the same time, a high pitch thwacking noise drifting towards me.
My Lord had spoken.
"Yes, my Lord, I did. The disturbance of the Force….it was really hard to detect it at fist. It was so quiet…".
What is it?
"I have no idea, my Lord." I replied solemnly.
My Lord didn't say anything. He turned around and slowly moved towards me.
"I wondered if it had always been there." I continued my assumption: "How could we missed it? It had grown through time. It is getting stronger. I can even detect the background life of the Universe….." I paused and hesitated for a second, wondering if I could say this out loud, without noticing my Lord had stood right in front of me, his feet nearly touched my bowed head: "Do you feel it is a thr—"
I didn't finish my sentence. The next thing I knew I was being Force drag from the ground and tossed backwards. My body flew and slides across the Bridge, only stopped when it smashed against the wall. I struggled to get back to my feet, but felt my throat was roughly and violently grasped through the Force. I was left from the floor and held in the mid air.
SILENCE! How dare you…how dare you even consider this disturbance is a threat to me?
I began to choke, trying to grip the little air I was able to suck in. Sweat broken off from my forehead and began to soak in my headband. My body started to tremble and shaking. The decision to speak my concern out loud had proven to be very unwise indeed.
"You…..you are the darkness in which all life dies, milord." I spluttered out. Those were the words my Lord had me repeat thousands of time each day: "All life... exists to feed your power, and my life...my life is yours." I started feeling his grip had loosened: "I beg you... please... let me die."
Never doubt your master, this is your one and only warning.
With the cold hissing voice echoed around my head again, I was released and collapsed back on the floor. For a while I panted, trying to recap my breath.
Find the source of this disturbance.
"Yes, my Lord." Again I bowed.
And bring it to me.
"Yes," I started crawling backwards and slowly exit the Bridge: "I will leave at once, my Lord."
The turbolift shot its door and began the descending. Leaning against the cool metal wall, I let out a sigh of relief, finally able to stop my shaking body.
Was I mad? How could I even doubt, for a split second, about my master's ability? Hasn't he proven more than once he was fully capable of single handedly destroy the entire system? Wasn't my homeworld a perfect example? How could I be so fool?
The door opened. I got back to my feet and headed straight to the Hangar. Throughout the whole time, the disturbance hadn't stopped its whispering through the Force. My every caliber could sense its existence, growing louder by the minute. My inner urge, to run towards its source was also getting stronger and stronger. It was so strong, at one point; I had to stop my steering of the starfighter, grabbing my hands tightly together to stop myself from shaking.
This source, the source that disturbed the once quiet and ordered Force, was very strong. It was, perhaps, despite all the blame on how silly I was, doubting something that was so obviously strong; it was truely more powerful than my master's.
It was quite sunny afternoon when I finally reached the planet the source I've been tracking was located on. I carefully landed my starfighter away from the settlement used Force Disguise to camouflage it, before turned my full attention on tracing the source of the disturbance.
The gentle breeze slightly brushed against my face. I let my senses stretched out wide, felt the long grass tickling my fingertips. The planet was whispering and chanting in my ears. It was strong with Force before. People traveled from the edge of the Galaxy to this planet to learn, to fill their cravings about the Force, and to live in peace and harmony with the Force. This world was once full of life.
And like my homeworld, it was brutally wiped away. Life died. The Force once was so strong here diminished. Now there were just non-Force sensitive beings habiting this planet.
A few grounds seemed strong with Force, however. But I sensed no human were around those places.
It took me no time at all to locate the source. It was within what seemed like a local authority estate. I also sensed there were a few Jedi accompanied it
I decided not to disturb whatever activity it was doing and circled around the estate. I found a landing port. An old rusty cargo ship stood quietly in a corner. There were only a protocol droid and an Ithorian around. A damaged hyperdrive engine lay in the shadow of the partition.
I returned my interest towards the old cargo ship.
The source was once inside this ship, I could feel it.
No sign of any Jedi nearby.
I quietly sneaked into the ship. The only remote droid around the maintenance bay flew around me curiously, its sensor light flashing. After a few second, it started making some kind of beeping sound. Soon, another cargo canister size droid glided into the maintenance bay.
Mildly panicked, I used the Force Stun to disable both droids before moving onto the main hold. There were only one damaged assassination droid in this area.
I quietly moved to the dormitory on the left. There were no one there, but somehow I felt I was being watched by a pair of glimmering eyes. These eyes weren't the one I was looking for; but undoubtfully they belonged to someone who was also strong with the Force. Sensing my presence, the eyes narrowed and glared at me suspiciously.
He sent you, did he? Finally he saw this coming…
I was in frown. Those voice weren't my master's.
As if reading my mind like an open book, the voice chuckled.
Of course I am not. I am much, much stronger than your'master'………
"Don't you dare calling my master like that." I hissed: "Don't you dare calling him with such a…impertinence."
Oh, I can call him with whatever tone I am pleased. Now tell me, how are you going to take this… source to your 'master'?
I looked around the room and did not reply. This was a good question, how would I able to take it to my master?
You can always strike him down, but I suppose you've figured out that he is quite powerful with the Force and he's growing stronger by the minute….
My face faced the blank space in front of me, still I did not reply.
The voice sounded highly amused.
Interesting, very interesting! I'll see how you are going to achieve this with high interest…
The burning eye glare sensation disappeared.
I sighed with great relief before resumed my excursion. I left the dormitory and headed down the corridor. There was another dormitory at the other end.
My steps came into a halt.
This was it.
This was where it usually rested.
I shall wait here for its return.
I sat down and centered myself. This voice mentioned it was a ihe/i, so this source was a human, humanoid, or near-human at least. Could he be a Jedi? If he was a Jedi, then how could we not sense it earlier? What was he before that then?
Good Force, my thoughts began to walk around in circles! I let out a light laugh.
My laughter quickly stopped.
Someone was approaching the ship.
I hurriedly gather my senses and elongated them around me. There were five people, all strong with the Force, fast coming near the ship. The mood was pretty relaxing, the chattering noise were high.
Well, at least to one of them.
"Your majesty, can you please relax just a little bit? I was having such a wonderful time enjoy those roast gizkas they served back there and you had to spoil it all by reminding us we had more important stuff to do so we better bugger off?" This one sounded a bit pissed: "What can be possibly be more important than eating?"
"They are plenty of gizkas around on every planet you visit." The old female voiced replied sarcastically. I nearly collapsed onto the floor. This was the voice that was spoken to me just a moment ago!
"Yeah, but don't you know that the best meal in the Galaxy is the one that you don't have to prepare yourself?" The cheeky male voice hit back before sounded like turning towards other companions: "Can you believe that, mate? She didn't even allow us to biggy bag the lot!"
"I believe there are still some roast gizkas capsules available in the cargo hold, just zap them in the microwave and that should do the trick." Another calmer male voice replied coolly.
"That's not the same, mate!" The cocky voice cried: "I haven't eat any freshly prepared meat for a long time!"
"I can ask the remote to come up with something just as tasty, and I swear to the Force you won't taste the different, How's that?" Another female voiced.
Suddenly I felt there was some current flew through my body. It was like something just connected with me through the Force, like someone drew the spotlight towards me.
I straighten my back and took a deep breath.
He realized my existence.
In other words, he found me.
"Sheesh." He stopped the mocking conversation: "Someone's in there…"
"What is it?" The cocky boy sounded more serious this time:
"Someone….." He was cautious: "is expecting me…"
A few swishing and clicking sound indicated that his companions were drawing out their weapons.
"No, I think I have to face this person myself…." He stepped onto the onramp: " Wait here…."
I stood up and felt his presence drew near. I activated my lightersaber and waited anxiously for him to enter the dormitory. The sound of boot hitting the metal mesh floor slowly coming up of the onramp and stopped at the maintenance hold for a few second, as if he was figuring out my location. I could sense some confusion and curiosity in his thought.
I swapped my lightsaber from one hand to the other. The footstep entered the main hold and halted again. More scanning. Then it moved towards the dormitory after briefly paused in the engine room.
My tongue intuitionally licked and moistened my dry lips.
"Here he comes…" I murmured. My grips on the lightsaber tighten.
He entered the room. His figure were emanating with green aurora. The Jedi was correct, the Force on him was very strong, and I sensed it grow bigger by the minute.
"Who are you?" He spoke with arched eyebrow.
I replied his query by slashing my lightsaber towards him. He instinctively pulled out his and activated it to fence me off in return. I turned and spun, attacking him again. He twirled his wrist and wielded my second attempt.
"Who are you?" He asked again through Force.
I still did not reply and continued my strike. My ruby lightsaber kept clashing with his twin ones.
I was determined to strike him down.
Yes, I may not be as powerful as him. But there was no other option available and I knew from the bottom of my heart if I went back to my master empty handed, the result would be catastrophic.
I would not let that happen. I would not let him slipping by.
I used all my knowledge and skill to attack him, to weaken him. There were a few times he was taken hits, or strapped by my Force power, but he bounced back pretty quickly and return the favor ten folds. He was strong. If he wasn't more powerful than my master, I had a feeling he was just as strong.
Soon I began to take a few hits. Strangely, I sensed he had reserved his energy and did not lash out his full attack.
I was slightly confused.
I wonder why that is? The Sith teachings had always emphasized attacking your enemy with full Force power. No reservations.
Why would he want to do that? Did he sense something that I didn't?
Did he reserve his power for something strategic later?
Or was that because I was a woman?
Our duel continued for a long, long time. At some point his companions came onboard and gathered at the door of the dormitory. They were eager to help, but was refrained by him and the old female Jedi.
"This is something he must complete himself. Have a faith in him." She said calmly.
Sweat dripped down from my chin, my grips on the lightsaber started loosen, and my concentration had drifted in and out of focus. Lengthy duels were never my specialties. I become panicked, attempting to end the battle sooner by lashing out more aggressive but aimless attacks.
He must have sensed it, too. But his combat tactic remained steady and did not stirred by my visibly shaken focusing the slightest. His rope, although also soaking wet, was only because of all the physical fighting. His aurora remained as stable as ever.
"No, stay Focus…." I mumbled: "..Center yourself…let the pain stead you…."
Is that how he taught you, Force is pain, pain feast your mind, your mind focus because you are in pain?.
"No…" I muttered inwardly: "Not now…."
Your master picked an interesting apprentice, young one. Your mind had already distracted, without my words or not.
Suddenly, I was surrounded by flamed, the blurry image I last had was the cylinder droid I thought was disable firing his flamethrower at me, and my light saber flying in the mid-air….
Then I sensed nothing.
Nothing but the complete darkness.
After what felt like ages, I began to regain my consciousness.
For a moment, I didn't know where I was in the Galaxy or what I was doing. I simply just lying there, facing the blank space above me. I haven't felt like this for a while. As the matter of fact, I didn't think I had ever felt something like this in my life. It was quite a blessing as the experience was pretty pleasant.
Unfortunately all good things in life had to come to an end. Everything suddenly zapped back to me: my homeworld, my master, the disturbance, the Jedi, the duel and my lightsaber…...
I sat bolt upright.
I started scream.
And screamed and screamed.
Several footsteps echoed around the ship at once, all thundering towards where I was. Within seconds three people burst through the door. He was among them.
I was still screaming.
" Sheeesh…." He soothed me as I was a injured creature through the Force.
Gradually my pitch was lower and I slowly calmed down. My shaking, rigid body relaxed. My mind stopped spinning.
I scanned around and examined the surroundings. I was in the med bay. Other than him there were one with blue aurora around him, who I sensed there were hidden dark past shimmering within the blue glow, and the other with silver aurora who I sensed…absolute blankness on him.
I cocked my head sideways slightly. Now this was interesting. Someone who had no emotions, thoughts, or past. What kind of person was this?
My inward thoughts were drawing back to the present as he opened his mouth.
"Better?" He asked.
I gave him a barely noticeable, slight nod.
"There," The blue-aurora man shoveled a cup of caffa into my hands: 'this shall help you feel better!"
"…………..How long have I been…..unconscious?" I licked my dry lips and croaxed.
"Three standard days." The silver one replied.
"You got knocked out by T3 here," He smiled, with his green aurora beaming: " feisty little fella, wasn't he?"
I chuckled, but did not reply.
"Don't worry, we won't treat you like you are a captive." He shrugged: " Yes, we do have an awful lots of question to ask you. But we reckoned we can wait a bit while you are recovering."
I put the caffa down, gently raised my hands and checked my face. There weren't many injuries as I thought it would. Most of them were just minor scratch and bruises, I could heal them with the Force heal in no time at all…
My finger paused their tracings.
It was when I noticed I wasn't in my usual robe.
I raised my head up, seeking for some answers.
"We changed it for the time being." The silver one explained: "It was in such a shocking battered and torn state, it could barely cover your body. Brianna had mended them for you. They are now in the footlocker." He pointed at the chest on the end of my bed.
"Presentation wasn't exactly my priority in most days." I spoke quietly, almost whisper-like. Very slowly I shifted my still aching body over to the footlocker, pulled out my headband and put it back on.
"My lightsaber…." After a long silence, I asked.
"I am sorry. I've tried my best to fix it. But it was cut in half, most of components were damaged…." The silver one sounded apologetic.
Another long silence.
"………..You had taken my lightsaber…" I cleared my throat and said to him with defeat: "To us who connected with the Force, it was our life….my life…my life is yours."
I could sense the gush breath around me as I blurted out the words.
I had failed my master terribly. Not only I didn't strike the source down and bring him back to him, but also my lightsaber was badly broken. My fate on returning to my master was now destined to be beyond bearable. Yes, dying in the hands of my master would be quite a pleasure. But dying in the hands of my master because I had failed and disappointed him……
I was in shame.
He would be ashamed of me.
Then what was the point to go back to him in the hurry then?
"….Your master?" His emerald aurora flickered.
I jerked my head up and looked at him in shock. What a check of him…
"I am sorry, I shouldn't have done this…." He immediately apologized: "You are not ready. I am sorry."
I didn't reply.
"I reckon we better leave her alone for a while. She needs some rest." The blue one interjected, cutting off the tension effortlessly: "She just woke, up did she? Common." He dragged his companion's upper arm.
I remained expressionless as I watched them left the room.
The suppressed footsteps disturbed my meditation. I jerked my head up and turned towards the direction of the door.
Since waking up in the med bay a few days ago, they've moved me to this dormitory and stayed in the cargo holds instead. I remained quiet most of the time, meditating in the dormitory during the day, and only came out in the middle of the night when everyone else was asleep.
I purposely distanced myself from them. I was never the socializing kind and I would not break my principle to do so. The Sith were always alone. The route to the top had always been the lonesome one. Plus I was defeated and captured; there was no way a captive should be over friendly with those who imprisoned her in the first place.
I sensed I wasn't the only one. The old female Jedi was in her dormitory most of the time as well. After spoken to me through the Force last time, she had never talked to me in anyway again. A great relieve to me, as I must have said as her ability to see your true self through all the disguise often deeply frightened me.
The others, on the other hand, visited me quite regularly. The blue-aurora one, who I learned his name was Atton Rand, dropped by almost everyday. For a human male, he certainly speaks a lot.
"There, here is your daily shot of caffa. " He put the mug down: "Had your breakfast yet? Oh, never mind, here is yours as well. Bloody Pazaak, you should see Brianna's face this morning. I only wanted to reheat some gizkas stew leftover from last night, which by the way was an excellent cuisine, and forgot to cover it up, ended up the splash was everywhere. She nearly chopped me in half with her Force stick. She didn't even have to clean that damn thing! It has self-cleaning functions! Well, that was Bao-Dur's ingenuity, he altered a lot of things since he was onboard. I must say having him is quite useful…"
A long minute's silence.
"Still not interested in to chat, I take it?"
"All right then, let me know if you need something, aye?" He gave up and left.
The Zabrak Bao-Dur and him also dropped by daily. On the contrast to Atton, they don't usually talked. Most of the time all they did was putting the drink or food down and stood by the door for a few minutes before they left.
Brianna, who I learned (from Atton) used to be a handmaiden of a Jedi Master on Telos (quite interesting really. Since neither my master nor me detect anything strong in Force on that planet..), didn't really enter the room. Most of the time she simply stopped at the door and left the things outside, or by the bench where she was certain I would visit later. I sensed some degree of …envy and jealousy in her. Which deeply confused me, why would she want to feel that way?
The door was open.
It was him, whose name I've learned over the past few days was Mazi, aka the Exile. His species was just as rare as mine.
"How are you feeling today?" Noticed I wasn't in my meditation, he asked.
"…………The injuries only strengthen your wills. I wouldn't worry about those that much. Thanks for asking." I replied calmly.
"I'm sorry about using the Force to read your mind the other day…" He hesitated.
"I was over-reacted." I slowly stood up, brushing the dust off my drape: "You can do whatever you want. My life is yours now."
"Please don't say that." He sounded uncomfortable.
"Why? Considering it was an honor. There in no need to be uncomfortable about." I tilted my head sideways.
"An honor?" Now he was in shock.
"Your life, in the hands of someone who's Force was so strong, it can destroy the entire Galaxy with ease, won't you considering it's an honor?" I smiled.
He said nothing.
"This person can kill you, taken your life away in the same manner as he destroy a being, a planet, or a Galaxy. I see it is an absolute honor." I strolled towards the bedside table and picked up the caffa. It was cold now, but it didn't matter. I only need something to moisten my throat.
Mazi seemed relieve as I did that.
"Is that what your master like?" After a few moments, he asked.
"He wielded the Force that was so strong it could destroy the Galaxy?"
"Oh, there is no doubt. I have the first hand witnesses." I said casually while examining the stew.
"Who would that be, living to tell the tell?" His eyebrow arched.
"You are looking at her."
A deep drawn breath indicated he was surprised: "…yes, Atton had already told me about your people and your homeworld."
"……...My master spared my life." I said dreamily: "He taught me things. Things about how the Galaxy works, how to use the Force, and how all lives end in death. He also taught me life was not worth living if it is not strong in Force. He made me see; really see, for the first time in my life. It was such a sweat pleasure…." My words drifted off, remembering what it was like seeing the Universe through my master.
I saw Death.
I saw Obsession.
I saw Suffering
I saw Pain.
I remembered I felt strangely in Peace.
"..He saved me." I concluded.
"The sunset is indeed breathtaking." Mazi's voice somehow tightened a bit, as if my words brought back some memory buried deep within him.
I nodded silently in agreement.
"But have you seen the sunrise?" Mazi asked.
I turned my head towards him. I was in frown.
What did that mean?
"Life, is just as brilliant as Death. Life is the Beginning, the Harmony, and the Light. Without Life, the Force cannot stand alone by itself. The Force is not worth existing without Life. They co-exist." Mazi looked at me: " Remember?"
"That's what you felt like when you experience the connection with the Force for the first time."
I stared at him confusedly for a second. Then I remembered.
The whole Universe whispered to me. They cherished me, telling me stories., showing me scenes and sang around me. It was like…like being thrown in to this great poor of light. Everything was so bright, so happy, and yet so peaceful. It was such a long time ago and so many things had happened since then; I almost forgot what it was like. But forgetting things didn't mean it wasn't there. It was just preserved nicely in your memory, waiting for your recall at the moment's notice.
Trembling, I put my hand over my mouth to stop myself from screaming.
For the first time in ages, I had the urge to cry.
Funny that, I didn't even know what crying was.
It was like seeing the flicker of light in the distance after being in the place of extreme darkness for so long.
"You remembered." Seeing my reaction, Mazi grinned. His emerald aurora glowed brighter.
Yes, this person was indeed stronger and more powerful then my Lord.
This time, I was really saved.
I could see the Sun was rising, its light slowly climbing up my feet.