Star Wars: Darklight

by AB

Chapter 25

The Jedi Join

Karek pivoted avoiding a lightsaber heading for his head. The sharp change in angle and direction making him lose his balance. He fell on his behind lifting his lightsaber up to protect his head.

"What's the matter, boy? Can't handle it without a Master to coddle you?" One of the Sith Warriors taunted him. Their lightsabers connecting, sending sparks everywhere.

Tern was fighting Darth Gubernare, their lightsabers locked together. To the great dismay and disbelief of the Sith Lord his greater muscular strength could not move the locked sabers towards the boy. No matter how hard he tried.

In an exasperated groan he pushed his free hand towards the boy in an attempt to Force-push him away so he could free his lightsaber and attack Tern anew. Tern saw it coming and met Darth Gubernare's hand with his own. Their hands kept coming closer and closer together with increasing shaking as the energy between them intensified.

Their hands stopped only a few fractions of an inch from actually touching, the space between them pulsating from the energy between them.

Darth Gubernare kept groaning and trying to push Tern back any way possible. Tern just grinned and flicked his lightsaber-holding-wrist breaking contact in a way that prevented Darth Gubernare's lightsaber from impacting his body.

Darth Gubernare fell forward from all the energy he had placed on pushing Tern, inertia taking over. Her hand trembled and removed from in front of Tern's. The result instant and catastrophic as the pent up energy between their two hands released towards where Darth Gubernare had been standing. Everything behind him was pushed towards the tomb's walls, Darth Gubernare's hand crushed by the immense pressure.

Darth Gubernare felt himself hit the tomb's wall before falling on the floor. Tern was still standing.

Behind him, Karek used the chaos to put some distance between him and the Sith Warriors and troopers still standing.

"Where do you think you're going?" The Sith Warrior walked towards him.

Darth Gubernare kneeled in his effort to stand up, bringing his hand close to his face. "Armies of the Sith Order the failed Sith'ari is in XoXaan's tomb. Attack now!" He managed to get out before Tern raised him off his feet, Force-choking him.

"Karek." Tern looked at him crawling to escape the inescapable Sith Warrior walking towards him. "Stand up and fight. I know you have the ability. Let the Force flow through you."

Karek swallowed hard. "I…I can't!" He whined.

"Yes, you can. You are smaller and quicker than him. Use it. Stand up and fight like I know you can." Darth Gubernare sent off a Force-wave breaking Tern's choke on him. He fell to the floor, jumped up and charged Tern screaming in rage.

Tern had only time to give the fleet a command. "Second and third wave, attack. Now!" Altering his original plan.

Kaa'ara heard the command to attack over the coms. "Go!" She motioned the pilot of the transport she was in. One of many awaiting this command to jump from Hyperspace for Moraband's surface.

"Transport fleet, head over to Volun and Katosh-Val's location." She told the rest of the transport fleet carrying the infantry. She turned her head to the transport's pilot. "You are to leave me to the coordinates provided and join the rest of the infantry."

"Aye aye." The pilot replied diverting to the new coordinates.

"What about the rest of us?" Lavos asked, the other Force-Sensitives looking at her.

"You are all to join Volun. I am to face Darth Incendius. Alone."

"What? No way! She'll kill you!" Karos yelled.

"No, she won't. I am going to fight her and you are to stop her armies from reaching Tern now when he's going to be the most vulnerable and his new apprentice cannot yet defend him from the multitudes of the enemy forces. This is not a request. this is Tern's orders. Follow them." Kaa'ara replied sternly.

Karos opened his mouth to talk but closed it sharply. He nodded.

She stepped off, the transport powered up its engines and left for the battlefield.

Kaa'ara retrieved her lightsaber from her waist and started climbing up the Conclave building's steps.

Darth Incendius sat on her throne, her arms on the sides, her body leaning forwards. Flexing the new cyborg hand's fingers.

The screams from outside the Conclave's chamber died down as the guards were slaughtered.

A second or two later the giant metal doors busted open loudly. Kaa'ara entered the room powering up her lightsaber.

"I've come for you. Do you remember me?" Kaa'ara walked to the center of the room facing Darth Incendius' chair.

"I remember you...taking you from your father's dead, cold hands. I remember taking your blood for your genetic code." Darth Incendius taunted her, speaking slowly, deathly.

"I remember stuffing you in the machine's Rakata-based core myself. Oh the pleasure I have gained from listening to all you young fuckers cry and suffer in the core."

Kaa'ara clenched her lightsaber tighter. It was taking all of her self-control to remain calm. She knew Darth Incendius wanted to upset her.

"Are you going to bore me to death Dark Jedi?" Kaa'ara smiled evilly.

"Dark Jedi? I am a Sith Lord!" Darth Incendius jumped off her chair sending Force-Lightning on Kaa'ara with her mechanical hand.

Kaa'ara tried to bring her lightsaber up, to absorb the lightning but Darth Incendius was faster. The lightning got her square on her chest throwing her back against the wall.

She groaned, picked up her lightsaber and re-paid Darth Incendius in kind throwing her lightning from her hands, one clutching the powered-off blade.

"Pathetic. You call that Force-Lightning?" Darth Incendius replied with lightning of her own. The blue bolts met half way between the two women colliding in a spectacular show of blue sparkles.

"You cannot kill me, child. I am the most powerful Sith Lord of the last few millennia. I will flay you alive!" Darth Incendius spat at her providing more energy in her Force-lightning.

Kaa'ara did the same keeping the lightning in the middle between them for as long as she thought it was not obvious to Darth Incendius what she was doing. Then little by little she allowed the lightning to edge closer to her.

When the lightning was almost on her hands she diverted them away from her body and released the lightning on her end powering up her lightsaber. The lightning exploded behind her shattering the wall. The shockwave propelling her forward. Their lightsabers clashed sending off sparks.

Kaa'ara landed behind her bringing her lightsaber to Darth Incendius' head. Darth Incendius raised her blade above her head blocking Kaa'ara's lightsaber. She flicked her hand to the right turning to the left she brought her blade over in a circle aiming for Kaa'ara's neck.

Kaa'ara deflected it with her blade pirouetting around to trying to aim at Darth Incendius' exposed flank. Darth Incendius didn't even try to protect her flank, instead she used her free hand to Force-choke Kaa'ara.

"You dare mess with me?" Darth Incendius closed in her fingers increasing the choking force applied while she also raised Kaa'ara off her feet powering up her lightsaber.

Darth Gubernare brought his lightsaber on Tern's head. Tern pivoted around as if the man was coming at him in slow motion held the man's lightsaber hand and applied Force-Push on it. A different kind of scream came off Darth Gubernare's mouth as he held his now shattered and broken hand with the other one as he fell on the floor dragging for a meter or two from the momentum from his leap.

"I have not the time to duel with you." Tern threw his powered-up lightsaber killing him. The blade "flew" back to his hand.

Meanwhile Karek had stood up and was fighting with the Sith warrior, their lightsabers locked and Karek looking determined if not angry.

His Master's words constantly in his mind he was dancing the much larger and slower Sith Warrior left and right pivoting and evading the man who was mostly hitting air and swearing like a dockworker.

"Stand in a fucking place you filth." Karek grinned and saw the man swing his blade before he even committed to the action. Karek waited until the last possible moment, ducked under the man's outstretched hand and armpit swinging his lightsaber and pivoting around at the same time.

"F…fuck." The Sith Warrior groaned, his torso falling off the rest of his body to the ground. A "what the fuck just happened?" Look on his face.

Karek rolled around to see Tern Force-Drain the remaining troopers.

"Karek, stay here. Let no one through." Tern headed for the tomb's rear end.

"Master, no one has managed to enter that door…since forever." Karek said standing there.

"Sith Lords…powerful beings indeed, not one of them…Light enough." Tern pressed his hand against the stone door.

The tomb rambled and shook. The door opened with the stone slab disappearing below the floor.

"Earthquake?" Karek was ready to run outside.

"Close enough." Tern went through the opened door. It closed behind him.

He walked through a dim corridor with weird blue lights. The architecture of the corridor and the technology of the lights looked completely foreign to him, never before in his life had he seen anything like it. Sleek, streamlined and with seemingly no cuts, openings or seams.

He turned first left then right. In front of him a second door. It opened on his touch.

Inside it the same black walls and blue lights. The room was empty but for an altar on the center, spherical and smooth.

"Come forth Tern Amargo, Force-Listener. First of your kind." A disembodied male-sounding voice boomed, ominous.

"Who…what are you? Where are you?" Tern replied.

"I am…here."

Tern closed his eyes, concentrating. "You are in the altar, a Force-Consciousness of an old Jedi?"

A weird chuckle. "Half correct, young one. No, I am not a Jedi. I am older than that by a few millennia."

"Older than that…?" Tern wondered aloud. "The only thing older than the Jedi is…was the Je'daii before the schism of the two sides."

"No, older than that. Older than the infinite Empire and the Kwa."

It all clicked inside Tern's mind. "You…you are one of the Celestials? The architects? Do you know for how long have the people of the Galaxy wondered about your kind? Where have you all been?" Tern asked flabbergasted.

"We were the firstborn. We discovered so many things, invented even more, explored the galaxy, the first to do so then we met a race in the outer rim. The Rakata are our greatest mistake. We uplifted them and they unleashed upon the galaxy…"

"Who are you? What's your name?" Tern interrupted the history lesson.

"My name…I have forgotten it. It has been so long." The voice drifted off for a moment. "It matters not. You are not here for my name. You've been to Marthala'aro. You have gained Asu'aruv's experience, skill and knowledge of the Dark Side. Now, do you require the experience, skill, knowledge and wisdom of this shrine? Of this Holochron?"

Tern did not reply by words, instead he placed his hand on the altar. The altar, seamless and smooth before, now opened up in four different segments. In the center, shrouded in luminescent light was the Holochron.

"Are you ready, Tern? Ready to become neither Dark nor Light, but grey? Darklight awaits you. You hold it in your hand, you created it, you have it in you and yet you have not yet realised its full potential. The full potential of someone who has balanced the Force. Are you ready?"

"Yes." Tern stretched his hand and wrapped it around the pyramid-shaped, white item. The one on Marthala'aro had been black.

A beam of light encapsulated him, the shrine, shooting outwards.

"Stop resisting or this will kill you. You resisted not when she did this."

"I…was dead." Tern replied, through gritted teeth.

"Then this must be now." A tentacle-like appendix made of pure white light, of energy shot out of the beam touching Tern's forehead. Tern arched his back. In a blink of an eye he felt as alive as he had never before and as dead. Aeons of information, knowledge, skill and abilities, wisdom and memories embedded in his mind, his consciousness. His brain racing to assimilate it all.

"I…I have never felt power like this before. I can feel them both. The Dark Side and the Light. Both trying to gain the advantage inside me." Tern whispered.

"This is the moment, young one. Allow one or the other to win and the Galaxy continues as it has for the past sixty millennia. Manage to balance it and History changes course."

Karek, Kaa'ara, Volun, Darth Novus and every other Force-Sensitive individual the galaxy over. All of them felt the immense disturbance in the force. Every single one of them knew something of importance had just happened although they did not know what as of yet.

Kaa'ara blasted a Force-Wave removing Darth Incendius' choke-hold on her.

"You think you are powerful in the ways of the Dark Side? Allow me to show you what it means to be really powerful in the Dark Side." Darth Incendius saw Kaa'ara split herself in five, ten, twenty, fifty different copies of herself. All fifty copies of her powering up their lightsaber.

She laughed. "You think mere Force-phantoms can hurt me?"

"Force-Phantoms? No, but what the mind believes what the mind does and you know not which one of me is actually me." All fifty versions of Kaa'ara attacked Darth Incendius simultaneously.

Darth Incendius blasted three different copies of Kaa'ara with Force-push. They vanished into thin air. Another apparition of Kaa'ara attacking her from behind managed to land a glancing blow with her lightsaber. Darth Incendius felt the burn on her skin. Turning and twisting Darth Incendius managed to deflect, parry and defend against most of the attacks coming her way but some slipped through.

"One bee sting will hurt you, a hundred will bring you to your knees, a thousand will kill you." Kaa'ara shouted at her as yet another apparition lightsaber hit Darth Incendius on her thigh, actually burning through her skin and upper layers of muscle.

Darth Incendius unleashed a Force-Wave combined with a Force-scream, tearing through all of the Force-apparitions of Kaa'ara.

The force of the unleashed energy shot through the whole chamber. It sent the real Kaa'ara flying up against a wall as the walls and columns supporting the structure and ceiling cracked and shook.

"Die!" Darth Incendius extended her hands skywards then pulling them down along with pieces of the domed ceiling. She threw them on Kaa'ara.

The rest of the ceiling started to fragment and collapse around them. Kaa'ara Force-repulsed the fragments coming at her before jumping out of the way of the next wave Darth Incendius threw at her.

"Kaa'ara, we can't take much more of this! We're getting slaughtered out here!" General Atos' voice came through the coms.

"Stand your ground. We wait for Tern's signal." Kaa'ara replied panting.

"You're not trying to kill me." Darth Incendius stated, Kaa'ara could feel she was beyond enraged.

"Ma'am!" General Atos' voice came through the coms again. "Ships are jumping in." A pause. "It's the Jedi. The Jedi are attacking the enemy Sith fleet."

"This is Master Korhu of the Jedi Order. We are here to join the Coalition and offer the position of Grandmaster of the Jedi Order to Tern."

"Kaa'ara." Tern's voice came through a personal channel in her com. "Let her out." Kaa'ara felt herself fly up in the air and land face-first up against one of the columns.

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