Star Wars: Darklight
"What's taking them so long?" They had just arrived at the Temple of Eedit at Devaron. They had been greeted by skepticism and even fear. Three Jedi Knights had lead them into a crescent shaped anti-chamber. Then they took Liam into the council chamber for three or four hours before they had called Tern in without allowing Cyra or Volun in.
He had told the Jedi Masters and the Grand Master what had happened since the attack on Tython, everything up to Liam touching him and going berserk.
Master Korhu and the Grand Master had asked to meditate with him touching his temples. Master Korhu had tried to hide his surprise afterwards with Grand Master Taraha displaying no emotions. Then Taraha had asked him to go wait in the antechamber for them to finish their deliberations as to his fate.
It had been several hours already and the large metal door had not opened yet.
"Sit down, won't get them to come out earlier by pacing a hole into the floor." Cyra told him, sitting on a chair with her eyes closed. Four Jedi Knights guarded the room with their hands crossed behind their backs.
It was another hour before finally the large metal door opened and Master Lo motioned for Tern to follow him in the council chamber.
He stood in the middle of the room surrounded by the chairs of the Council members. The Grand Master spoke to him.
"Tern Amargo, you used abilities of the Dark side of the Force, used fear and anger instead of focusing on the light side. Endangered the lives of others in doing so and almost killed two different people by choking them to death. These crimes against the Order as well as your past which can no longer be ignored, weigh heavily on the sentence I must pass on to you." Taraha told him. He felt danger, by instinct his hand went straight to his lightsaber. Not that he would be able to defend himself against so many Jedi Masters. His heart and mind were racing and he could feel his throat dry.
"That voice…I know it from somewhere…" Tern thought in his mind trying to remember where he knew the Jedi Grand Master's voice from. "M…my past? I know next to nothing about my past or my parents. Where am I from? What could I possibly have done as a baby to warrant this?" He asked in despair.
"You were not born. You have no parents." Taraha responded to him.
"I fought against this but I have been outvoted. Your sentence is exile from the Order under punishment of death upon your entry into any Jedi holdings." Taraha interrupted him.
There was an awkward silence for a few seconds. "If…if I am going to be exiled I deserve to know why."
It was obvious that Taraha did not want to tell him. Another Master solved the knot by speaking up in anger.
"Twelve years ago or so the Grand Master received a tip that a powerful new Sith Lord was on the rise and was conducting illegal and completely immoral experiments with the force. The Grand Master along with two more Masters and a few Knights travelled to the Star System Ali'ava in the Planet Orako. There they found not one but many Sith warriors and troopers as well as the Sith Lord and various Human-sized canisters or tubes. Inside those tubes there were embryos of various different species. You were the only one "alive", if you are even that. In a fierce battle that lasted hours we managed to secure the planet and the Grand Master managed to slay the Sith Lord. Everyone wanted to have you killed, nothing good could come out of a Sith experiment but the Grand Master vetoed our vote to have you killed and brought you to Tython. She thought that if you lived amongst the Jedi whatever fate or destiny the Sith Lord had ordained for you could be altered. The Grand Master also found a data-crystal of the Sith Lord's analysis and experiment data." Master Vorak paused for a moment before continuing.
"The Sith Lord Darth Vitus used the Dark Side of the Force to manipulate the midi chlorians and create you. You were not born you were made from the Dark Side. You are the Dark Side manifest and whatever the reason of your creation it is nothing good. We wanted to have you executed but the Grand Master has yet again vetoed us, so exile it is for you." There was fear as much as loathing in his voice.
Tern felt like he wanted to die in despair. He did not feel dark or evil, he felt alive, he felt like his own person, he felt love for Cyra and Volun and Ura and Alkon. Different kinds of love to be sure but he did not feel hatred. He did not even feel angry at the council he just felt…alone. The Order he wanted to serve had now abandoned him.
His first reaction was to appeal to their better natures, to argue with them that he had done what he had done to protect himself, to stop someone from raping him and that he had helped saved a Jedi Knight only hours ago, but a voice inside him told him there was no point in doing so. Their minds were made up. He looked up with tears in his eyes looking straight into each of the Masters' eyes.
"So be it, I'll go fight the Sith while you cower away in your temples then. You should know though, the Sith have abandoned the rule of two, somewhere out there there's a growing Sith Academy and a Sith Conclave." He turned and left.
He slammed the door behind him. Volun ejected himself from his chair. "What is it? What…" He didn't finish his sentence.
"I have been exiled. Let's get out of here." Tern didn't even stop, rather he stormed out of the antechamber.
"Tern…wait…what?" Volun ran after him, catching up to him at the Pilgrim's rear hatch.
"Why?" Tern stared deep into Volun's eyes before answering.
"I cannot place my finger at what, but you are different…" Tern mumbled. "Apparently I am the result of the experiment of the dark lord of the Sith, or one of them. He used the Dark side to create me…I am exiled under pain of death if I return to any of the Jedi Temples…I want only one thing from now on. Kill. Every. Single. Sith alive." Tern punctuated every word at the end.
Volun was speechless at first. "And how do you intend to do that?"
Tern took a step onto the hatch. "Your mother already has a plan, no? It is time to unite the various factions into a cohesive force and push back against the Sith onslaught."
"He is right. I was hoping this would go well so we can have the Jedi join us but I just had a talk with the Grand Master and the Order will not join in the battle against the Sith yet. Have Garos power up the engines, we depart as soon as I arrive." Cyra's voice came from the portable hologram projector.
Volun tried to get in Tern's way, hug him for comfort but Tern just kept walking.
"Tern…" Tern had vanished into the spaceship's belly before Volun could finish his sentence.
Ten minutes later they were leaving Devaron's atmosphere.
"Garos, fly us to Iago prime, it is time to set things in motion." Cyra told the pilot who nodded and calculated the course in the ship's mainframe.
"Iago prime? The Iagan Confederacy are the weakest of all the Rebel factions." Volun retorted.
"Yes, exactly. I do not want the Sith learning of what we are up to if we can avoid it, or at least for as long as possible. Besides what better way to find out what will unite them all than to ask the weakest of them all?" Cyra replied to her son.
"I don't follow." Volun stated.
"You will when the time comes, for now come to the communal area." Ura was already there when Cyra and Volun got to the communal area. She was standing over Tern demanding that he be left behind in a planet.
Tern was sitting on the table looking down saying nothing. "I want the Dark Side fucker off this ship! I have lost everything to the Sith!" Ura was besides herself.
"He is not a Sith or a Dark Side anything." Volun stood next to Tern, a hand on his friend's shoulder looking fiercely at Ura.
"I heard it all! He is made of Dark Side!"
Tears threatened to overwhelm Tern, he couldn't take this anymore. "Would you throw Volun off the ship for being a male? No, he had no choice in the matter and neither did I. I have never threatened you, this ship or anyone else. Why do you judge me for what I have had no choice in?"
"Stop this, this instant. No one is being thrown off. It is clear to me now that Tern is required in our plans to unify the various factions, if the Jedi Order do not want him I do and that's the end of this discussion. Permanently." Cyra barked at everyone present before turning to Volun.
"It'll not be easy to unite the various factions, clans and species under one banner against the Sith. They'll think we want to reforge the Republic or that we are trying to gather power for ourselves. We have to start from those weakest amongst the various factions and work our way up."
"Wouldn't it be a better strategy to go about this the other way around?" Volun asked.
"No, for two reasons. One we don't want the Sith learning of this before we are ready or they'll strike and we won't be able to withstand it, and two…we go to the powerful ones without some of the factions in our Alliance and they'll laugh us off. We need to show them strength as much as we need to show the Sith strength albeit in different form. First stop is the Iagan Confederacy, I know they will accept. After that we go to the Alliance of outer rim systems and we proceed from there. There's some five hundred factions to gain overI. If we manage to reach half of that before the Sith learn of our plans we may yet succeed."
"They haven't attacked so far…I mean after the initial onslaught. After the Fall of the Republic they have done nothing but besiege planets here and there." Tern thought out loud.
"I do not know what their plans are Tern, but we can be sure that if news reaches their ears that someone is organising everyone else against them, their response will be swift and merciless.
"That voice…I know it from somewhere…" Tern muttered. Volun looked at him.
"Eh? What voice?" Volun furled his eye brows.
"The Grand Master's…I've heard her voice somewhere…" Tern replied trying to squeeze his mind to remember.
"Eehh…you and her were in the same temple, at Tython? Before that she…rescued you from…wherever you were at? You must have seen her in the Jedi Academy's or something." Volun shrugged his shoulders.
Tern nodded putting it on the back of his mind for now.
"Enough of this for now, we need to move swiftly, we have five hundred factions to line up and not nearly enough time." Cyra crossed her hands in front of her before turning to leave.
Tern grabbed Volun by his elbow and dragged him to their room.
"Hey...what…wait…what is it?" Volun barely had the opportunity to speak before he felt dampness on his lips. His eyes bulged when his mind clicked in. That smooth, damp feeling was Tern's lips on his.
"Whatwhowhenwhywhatnow?" He let out a breathy single worded surprised question.
Tern giggled despite himself. "I no longer have to think like a Jedi, no longer have to avoid attachments and I'm not going anywhere it would seem so…"
"Soooooooo…stop playing with me and my feelings." Volun wanted to believe this but this made him feel so vulnerable, so open and exposed. He didn't want to fall for Tern, or rather to admit that he had already fallen for him only to have Tern crush him down.
Tern brought his hand around Volun's waist and brought the boy closer to him, their faces inches away. "I am not playing with you. I no longer have a reason to reject what I feel about you or…" He was interrupted by the ship's intercom.
"Tern come to the bridge now." It was Cyra's voice. Tern and Volun groaned seemingly at the same time.
"Mum, what is…oh fuck." They had stormed in the cockpit with Volun ready to throw a fit when he saw the ship's hologram projector displaying a hooded figure. Volun froze in his tracks, his face skewed up in anger and fear.
"Hello…brother." The hooded figure spoke to Volun.
"B…brother? You told me your brother was dead…murdered by the Sith?" Tern questioned Volun who looked white as a sheet.
"He is dead to us. The Sith Lord Insidious killed what was my son." Cyra replied.
"Never mind all that, mum's always going to be bitchy about the actual truth of things but that's not why I called your pathetic ship. Tern, my Master wants to see you, with the Jedi having rejected you, join us."
"No. I prefer to kill all the Sith." Tern retorted with malice in his voice.
"All? There is a Master and a…." Volun's brother was cut off.
"Bullshit, I know you guys have abandoned the rule of two. I will not rest until I find you all and kill yo…" It was Darth Solus' turn to interrupt Tern. He extended his hand and Tern could feel his mind become all cloudy and dreamy. The worst of thoughts started racing in his mind, a voice telling him to submit his will to the power of the Dark Side. A few seconds later he shook his head snapping out of it.
"No, my answer will always be no." Tern stated stubbornly.
Darth Solus grinned in a way that made the hair on the back of Tern's head stand.
"You will come to see things my way, to join us and do as my Master so desires, you will or I will kill entire planets until you do. You may want to head over to Tatooine. I'll have a small gift for you there in Mos Eisley." Darth Solus terminated the Holo-call.
"You lied to me?" Tern made direct eye contact with Volun.
"No, yes…not entirely…Tern I'm sorry but he is dead to us. Sorry I should have told you…" Volun replied looking down. "He betrayed mum and the light side, all of us really."
"Don't really know…mum was training him like she's training you. I don't know why but she broke up with his dad that's when things started becoming bad I think then she met my dad and had me…One night she found him on top of me ready to kill me with his lightsaber. She fought him off and left him for dead in an ice planet…apparently he didn't die."
Tern turned his head to Cyra. "How can you train force sensitives when you're not a Jedi?" It was more of an accusation than a question.
"One doesn't have to be a Jedi to train those who understand the Force."
"Can you once answer a question with an answer and not an enigma?"
"I have, it is not my fault if you do not understand the answer provided. Now we need to get to Iago prime."
"Iago Prime? No, we need to get to Tatooine." Tern protested.
"Iago first, if my eldest son has slaughtered the inhabitants of Tatooine there's nothing we can do about it and they'll still be dead whenever we get there. If he hasn't, this is a trap and it'll be there for us whenever we get there. We will follow our plan, organise everyone or as many as we can into a cohesive force and strike, we will not allow a Sith Lord to pull our strings like marionettes. Not while I live and breathe."
"Okay." Tern turned to leave the communal area. "I want you to start meditating if you are not already doing so." Cyra told him. He paused for a second, nodded and left.
When Volun entered the room Tern was already asleep. He sighed disappointed and turned in for the night.
A day and a few hours later they were in the Governor's Palace in Iago prime. "You want us to commit to what? How do you suppose you fight the Sith when the New Republic failed to do so?" The Leader of the Iagan Confederacy asked Cyra.
"The Republic could not fight if their lives depended on it and it did. They were so engrossed in their politics, committees and sessions to "debate" and "vote" on things. Perhaps Republics are meant to be ruled by committees, but when the Sith strike it is not a time vote on things, it is time to gather your fleet and soldiers and destroy the enemy before they can gain too much power. The Republic kept on debating on how to deal with the threat and the threat was banging on the doors. You know me, you know I will not hesitate, I will not cower away, I will ride and fight with all of you until we are either all dead or the Sith are, and you know I can secure victory for us." Cyra never broke eye contact and was solemn in her answer.
"Perhaps…but your crew and my forces alone can't secure much of anything. Who else will or has joined us?"
"I will not commit us to battle until I believe we are strong enough. There are more than five hundred independent factions yes?"
"Yes…more or less."
"When I have over two hundred I'll start guerilla strikes on the Sith and Sith strongholds and when we have five hundred of the factions we'll attack in full force."
"Interesting…who else has joined?"
"You are the first."
The Iagan Confederacy laughed heartily. "Okay then, unless you can demonstrate to me that at least another ten factions have joined your…our cause I will not commit the Confederacy to anything."
"What if I can demonstrate you right now that the Hatari Federation and Jaksa will join us?"
"Then you'll still need another…five factions to consider my forces, meagre as they are, a part of your army." Cyra smiled and sent a message through her holographic communicator.
They stayed in silence for almost ten minutes until the communicator beeped. Cyra pressed a button and a holo-image of a man appeared in a pre-recorded message.
"Cyra Antari, you have helped us more than anyone can ask for. When the time comes call for us and the combined forces of the Hatari Federation will fight for you in the war against the Sith."
"One down…The Jaksa are not as...easy to convince, I should know."
"Cryus Leuf my dear, it is not how hard you try but "how" you try." Cyra told him in a teasing look.
Fifteen minutes later her communicator beeped again. This time it was only a holographic written message. "When and where, the Sith must die."
"How…?" Cyrus asked puzzled standing up more on his chair.
"Like I said, it is how you ask for something." Cyra winked at him. "When we are ready I'll send you the coordinates. You and your forces will meet us there."
"Coordinates? Battlefield?" Cyrus asked.
"No, Headquarters." Cyra told him before she stood up and left the room and the Governor's Palace.
She boarded The Pilgrim and told the others of what had transpired. "This was the easy part…three down four hundred ninety-seven to go. Garos take us to Tatooine. Time to see what my eldest has done."
"Didn't you feel it? The disturbance in the force?" Tern asked her, a sickly white colour painted all over his face.
"Something…has happened, I could hear screams, so many screams…" Tern's voice trailed off.
"Then we have not a moment to lose. To Tatooine and mount the turrets when we get there, it could be a trap." Cyra replied and headed for the cockpit.
Two days later they arrived in Tatooine.
"I knew Tatooine was sparsely populated but shouldn't there be some kind of spaceship traffic?" Volun asked as they approached the planet's surface.
"There is…see all the debris floating around?" Tern replied grimly.
"Land in Mos Eisley." Cyra directed Garos.
"Where is everyone?" Alkon asked no one in particular. They were walking in the streets of Mos Eisley. They were completely deserted.
"Here…they are here, all of them, every single one of the inhabitants are here…can you not feel them?" Tern replied. He was almost shaking white-faced and seething in anger.
"No…where?" Volun looked left and right wondering what Tern was talking about.
Tern touched the wall of one of the buildings and the environment around them turned black, the streets, the buildings, the very air seemed to drip with black. The black started forming shapes and then faceless figures before they drifted off to the air as if made of smoke and fog.
"Those…those are the settlers?" Volun's eyes almost bulged out of their eye sockets.
"Yes, what's left of them. They are all dead, anything and everything living in this planet is…dead." Tern responded. "And this is the first planet of many to suffer…until I join the Dark Side and the Sith and I never will…" He looked behind his shoulder to where Cyra stood.
"I do not know what I am or who I am but whatever power there lies within me I will use to aid you in defeating the Sith, be it the last thing I do."
"We will, we must." Cyra's short reply drifted to the wind.
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