A/N: This story will be structured as a play. A prelude, called Orphan Heirs of Fixed Destiny, interludes and a coda, called The Embrace of Cold Architects, will bracket five acts: Act I, The Grey Pilgrim; Act II, The Long Night; Act III, The Light of Dawn; Act IV, The Fall; and Act V, The Lady Grey. Each of these will be split into several scenes (chapters) and the story is probably going to end up being quite long.
I'll adhere to canon as closely as possible and I'll stick some notes at the bottom of every chapter so readers can follow the references if they want. I'd love you to read and tell me what you think! The primary source materials I'll draw on are video games The Force Unleashed and Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, the Legacy comics and the New Jedi Order books.
Orphans Heirs of Fixed Destiny
Adar; missionary (female Ferroan)
Elogia; missionary (female Ferroan)
Fliri Tomm; Jedi apprentice (female human)
K'Kruhk; Jedi Master (male Whiphid)
Nu Toreena; Galactic Alliance triumvir (female Ithorian)
Rothlim; missionary (male Ferroan)
Seleen Vastra; Jedi Master (female human)
Vellin Baxter; pilot, Moonshine Reveller (male human)
For betrayal, there exists no easy or simple definition; it simply is.
There does exist, however, a constellation of emotions and notions, prerequisites and consequences, that precede and follow betrayal, and it is from this constellation that a definition of betrayal can be drawn. It has certain characteristics, and it is with these that a picture of betrayal, of what it is and what it means, can be painted.
First, necessarily, comes trust.
In order to be betrayed, one must trust in something; another person, a belief, an ideal. In order to be betrayed, one must open themselves to its possibility, even its likelihood. In this way, betrayal, it must be said, is insidious. It waits at the door until it is allowed in.
Then comes the betrayal itself.
As night must follow day and day invariably follows night, betrayal follows trust like a loyal pet at the heels of its master. Once allowed inside, it festers. It awaits its opportunity and when that opportunity comes, it takes it. Always.
Betrayal, then, is clever.
It is also fickle. It wavers in its attentions. It may leave some in peace their entire lives, and may be a raven perched on the shoulder of another, haunting them all their days.
It always brings with it the same emotions. Heavy feelings that sit in the chest or the pit of the stomach, that fester and then erupt. Hurt, of course, and pain. Anger, if not fury. Blind rage in some and stark, cold acceptance in others. For these people, it is a fact of life, something to be anticipated and prepared for, if not protected against. It is these people who imagine they understand betrayal. They're wrong. It is betrayal, rather, that understands them.
Betrayal, by its nature, defies expectation and analysis. Only after the fact can a betrayal be truly dissected, a traitor's motivations truly examined. Only after it has happened, been absorbed and brought with it what it may, can it be understood. Only then, after all has been said and done, can betrayal be protected against.
Betrayal is parasitic. It attaches itself to other things, and leaches them of their meaning. Compassion, idealism, happiness and love; all are vectors for its infection, and so few are immune to its touch. It can lie dormant in its hosts for years, but it will return and it will leave devastation in its wake.
Betrayal is a force as elemental as heat and as much a constant in the universe as gravity, is as plentiful as hydrogen and as dark as the depths of space.
Betrayal is the shadow between people, the fringe at the edge interaction and the silent watcher that looms above all. It waits, patiently, until the right back is turned, until the right hour has arrived, and then it strikes.
Betrayal is a spectre, a sideshow, a presence that cannot be forgotten and yet somehow always is.
It can be beautiful, in its way. Deadly, yes, but fruitful. Betrayal, above all, is what it must be. It adapts. It survives.
It chooses its disciples with skill and with cunning.