MOTF Book I: BOTE Chapter 26

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MOTF Book I: BOTE Chapter 26

Post by Emperordmb on Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:48 pm

Dylan was surrounded by darkness. Was he dead? Was he dreaming? He moved his arms and legs around to find that he still felt alive, if a bit sore. Where was he then? As if to answer his question, a light overhead activating, revealing that Dylan was in a small room. Looking down at his body, he realized that he was no longer wearing his jacket or his shirt. An adhesive patch was attached to the area on his chest where he had been shot, and surprisingly, that part of him felt a lot better. He pulled the patch off to see that the wound had closed and almost completely healed. A look of astonishment crossed his face.

“Bacta,” a voice behind Dylan said. He spun around to see a tall thin figure cloaked in black robes. “It’s a miraculous drug. One of the greatest medicines in the Galaxy.”

It only took Dylan a few seconds to recognize the human man who stood before him, with blond hair, pale skin, and yellow eyes. It was Darth Vanquil, the same Sith Master who had given that lightning demonstration to show the power of what the Sith and Jedi called “the Force.”

“Where am I?” Dylan asked.

“You are on a Sith battle station,” Vanquil replied, eyeing Dylan with great interest.

“How many of my squad and family died?” Dylan asked almost reluctantly, not entirely sure if he wanted to know the answer.

“All of your aunts and uncles, as well as your great aunts and great uncles,” Vanquil replied. “Curiously enough, all of your cousins are still alive. As far as your squad goes, the only fatalities were Foyle, Dirk, and View.”

Dylan’s heat sank as his eyes began to water. He had, of course, expected some of them he to have perished in Arthur and Barrus’s attack. But he didn’t expect it to be that many. The world felt almost unreal to him, and he felt his shoulders sag, weighed down by the burden that so many of the people he had held most dear were slaughtered in a single night. But Dylan steeled himself. While the Sith intrigued him, they were hardly a people he expected to receive any comfort from.

“You might be interested in knowing that about half of them were personally killed by Arthur,” Vanquil added on.

Dylan felt a surge of anger and hatred swell up within him just at hearing that name. It wasn’t enough that Arthur and his father had killed his parents, they had to take things a step further by slaughtering half of his family. “What happened to him?” Dylan asked, the contempt and hatred he held for Arthur obvious in his voice.

“Arthur escaped Shadikill castle with the help of the Jedi Grand Master Mongooku,” Vanquil replied. The only solace Dylan took in hearing that piece of bitter news, was that he might one day have the chance to kill Arthur himself. “Curiously,” Vanquil continued, “Arthur has actually turned this whole event into a piece of propaganda to rally the Lightor against the Shadikill. He’s worked up quite a bit of sympathy for what you did to him.”

“What I did to him?!” Dylan replied, barely holding back his fury. “He tried to assassinate me and captured my friend, and when I went to rescue her, I killed his mother in self defense, not even knowing it was her! All I knew was that it was somebody in a huge mech suit trying to kill me! So in response, he and his father slaughtered about half of the people I love most in the Galaxy to spite me, and when I killed his father after watching him kill my father, laughing as he does it, I’m somehow the bad guy?!!” The list of reasons why Dylan hated Arthur was growing very quickly.

“You might be interested in knowing that Arthur thinks you are dead,” Vanquil interjected.

“How?” Dylan asked, calming himself down.

“He saw you fall into the fountain of Lava right before his eyes, as did several Shadikill royal guards,” Vanquil responded. “The news of your death spread very quickly, in fact, you and I are the only people who know that you are in fact still alive.”

“How am I still alive?” Dylan asked, curious about his own survival. “How could I survive falling into a pool of lava?”

“You are alive because I saved you,” Vanquil replied. “I saw you falling towards the lava, and I pulled you away from it with the force.”

“Then how did everyone see me die?” Dylan asked, incredulous.

“The force can be used for a great many things,” Vanquil replied. “What those people saw did not actually happen.”

“What is the Force?” Dylan asked.

“The Force… is power. It is the ultimate power in the universe,” Vanquil replied. “It binds all time and space, allows life to exist, and gives creatures and sentient beings thought and consciousness. It is all around us, Vanquil said, and like all power, it can be wielded by those strong enough to draw upon it.”

As if to prove his point, he extended his hand casually, and Dylan felt his body hoisted into the air by an unseen power.

“It can be used for many things,” Vanquil said as he set Dylan on the ground. “It can be used to sense the world around you, strengthen your body, and even bend the very fabric of reality. Though the force exists within all living things, only a minority of beings are actually able to call upon its power. But those individuals that can have the potential to attain great power. Individuals like you.”

Dylan pondered that for a moment before speaking again. “You saved my life. I’m guessing there’s something you want from me.”

“Nothing so duplicitous,” Vanquil scoffed. “I’m here to make you an offer.”

Dylan listened intently as Vanquil spoke his next few words. “You are strong in the force… particularly in the Dark Side.”

“The Dark Side?” Dylan asked. “

The force has two sides, the Dark and the Light,” Vanquil explained. “The Sith wield the Dark Side of the Force, drawing on it’s power through passion. Emotion drives us and fuels our willpower as we call on the force to do our bidding. The Dark Side of the Force makes us strong, and grants us dominion over the weak. The Jedi on the other hand, wield the Light Side. The Jedi foolishly eschew emotion and passion, the very thing that is meant to drive beings forward and motivate them. The very thing that separates us from droids. The Jedi draw on the Force through serenity, believing that the lack of emotion ‘clouding their judgement’ grants them a greater control over the Force. The Jedi waste their power protecting the weak, also eschewing personal ambition. But it is passion and ambition that are the greatest drives a sentient being can have. Without passion and ambition, we would never have evolved into sentience.”

Dylan pondered Vanquil’s words. Though sometimes feeling emotion hurt, such as when a person loses half of the people they care most about, Dylan would never want to live his life without it. Before he learned of the Force, he always considered passion to be the most important thing in the universe, the thing that gave all life meaning. Without emotion, life would be meaningless. If what Vanquil told him was true, then the Jedi would indeed seem foolish for regarding such a thing with contempt. That was of course, if Vanquil was telling the truth. Dylan considered the possibility that Vanquil could be lying about the nature of passion in the Force, but Dylan had his own experiences as well. Looking back on his life, Dylan realized that the times when he felt the most passionate were the times that he felt strongest, and it was then and only then that he had been able to instinctively draw upon the Force to achieve the impossible.

“I saw what you did to King Barrus,” Vanquil continued. “I saw you tear his body apart with the power of your hatred, with the power of the Dark Side, with the power of your passion. Your usage of the Force was instinctive and animalistic, transforming you into little more than an rage driven beast, though, this is to be expected from someone never trained to wield the Dark Side. You have the potential to become so much more than that though. With proper training, you could learn not only to call upon far greater power than you could’ve ever possibly imagined, but how to control that power as well, instead of it controlling you. You could become a true master of the Dark Side. I am offering you the chance to become a Sith.”

“What would I have to do?” Dylan asked, immensely intrigued by what Vanquil was saying.

“You would have to leave your old life behind you,” Vanquil replied. “You would have to leave Innamorta, and come with me to Korriban. There you would train to harness your passion, your strength, and your power to attain victory. There you would train to wield the Dark Side of the Force. Conveniently enough, everyone on your planet already believes you dead. So the choice is yours Dylan. You could stay ‘dead’ and begin again as a Sith, or you could announce your survival and claim the throne of your people.”

Dylan thought about Vanquil’s question, wondering if he was ready to leave his people, his squad, the remainder of his family, and Shorya- Shorya! A realization dawned upon him. “I’m not the only one your people have made this offer to am I?” Dylan asked suspiciously.

“You are a very clever person Dylan,” Vanquil responded. “It has been interesting observing your responses to what I have been saying. You are correct. Your friends Shorya, Tormax, Fernin, and Terro were all made the exact same offer, and they too had to answer this question.”

“What did they say?” Dylan asked curiously.

“It is at this point irrelevant,” Vanquil responded. “This choice must be your own, not theirs.”

Dylan started considering their choices in his head. Terro would’ve definitely said no, due to his distaste for the Sith. Fernin and Tormax would’ve definitely said yes. Both with older siblings, neither stood to inherit their respective throne, and both would relish the opportunity to become greater warriors. Shorya though, Dylan couldn’t quite figure out what Shorya would do. He figured he had a fifty fifty chance of being with her whatever choice he made. But to join the Sith would be to leave behind his squad and his family, or at least, what had remained of them after Arthur had finished his killing spree. So if he stayed on Innamorta, he would be leaving Fernin and Tormax, and if he went to Korriban, he would be leaving his squad and his fa-

“I know what you are doing,” Vanquil said, interrupting his thoughts. “You are thinking about the people you love.”

“Yes,” Dylan replied, astonished at how easily Vanquil had been able to read him.

“Don’t,” Vanquil said sternly. “As I said before, this choice must be yours and yours alone. While the Sith are not known for being selfless, the Jedi would tell you the exact same thing, as anyone should. You are choosing your path in life, not theirs. This is one of the most pivotal decisions you will ever have to make. You must choose what you feel is your destiny.”

And what was his destiny? Was it to become the greatest leader his people had ever known? Or was it to become a powerful Sith, and learn to harness the full power of the Dark Side? Would it be wrong to leave Innamorta and abandon his people when he was meant to lead them? In his stead, he realized his cousin Garrett would take the Shadikill throne, and his cousin Heather would take his father’s place as the head of the Council of Alliance. Like all of his family, Dylan loved them, and knew that they were both worthy to become such leaders. If he left, his people would be in good hands. Though he was now relatively free from guilt, Dylan was still not entirely sure what path to choose for himself. Did he want to become a leader of his people? Or did he wish to learn to wield this great power; the power of the Dark Side?

As Dylan was considering this choice, he suddenly realized that Arthur must be making a similar one with the Grand Master of the Jedi Order. The Jedi Grand Master must have rescued him for a reason, and Arthur hurling him off of the balcony without even touching him could not be anything other than the Force. He knew Arthur would make a choice between becoming the King of his people, or becoming a Jedi. Either way though, Dylan realized which path would bring him a greater chance of getting his revenge, and it was not just Arthur. The Force had aided Dylan all his life, though he didn’t realize it until now. It had helped shape him into the mighty warrior he had become, and it had saved his life on numerous occasions. Dylan realized that he had never felt so powerful and full of purpose than the times in which he had called on the Dark Side of the Force on instinct through his passion. It had felt invigorating and empowering. If Dylan could punch through armor and rip a man’s body apart with his mind on instinct, Dylan could only begin to imagine the power he would be able to wield once he had truly learned to bend the Force to his will. If he learned to wield that power, he could become more than he ever dreamed he could be. And such power would not only bring him his revenge against Arthur, it could do much more than that. If Dylan learned to wield such power, he could use it to attain victory in his wildest endeavors. He could reach for his greatest dreams and have a chance of actually attaining them. The Light Side of course, could bring one power as well, but it would never allow Dylan to embrace his deepest passions. And the Jedi had not extended their hand to him in an offer. Quite the opposite. They had allied themselves with the great enemy of his people, and at this very moment, the Grand Master of their Order was offering his own most hated enemy a place in their order. Only the Dark Side could help him reach his destiny. The Dark Side was his destiny.

After a long pause, Dylan said, “I will go with you to Korriban. I will learn to use the Dark Side of the Force, and I will become a Sith.”

——————————————————————————

Grand Master Mongooku stared across the room at a twelve year old boy and girl. Their names were Arthur and Jaira. From the blood test he had taken, Mongooku discovered that Jaira had an extraordinarily high midi-chlorian count, but more than that he could feel the power of the force laying dormant within her. And from her interactions with Arthur, Mongooku could tell that she was a compassionate caring individual. He had also seen her frolicking in the gardens, and could tell that she had a great deal of respect for life. She would become a great Jedi… that is if she chose to. But it was Arthur who intrigued him far more.

When he had first come across Arthur, Arthur had instinctively called on the force to hurl an enemy backwards and shatter the very balcony beneath him. He could feel the power of the Force dormant deep within him, and it was very strong with him. The blood test for Arthur could not even measure the number of midi-chlorians coursing through his cells. Mongooku stared at him in awe. Ever since he had first met him, Mongooku had felt something of a connection with this young boy. It was the beginnings of a bond. Through this connection, Mongooku had felt a great deal of sadness, grief, and even hate in this boy, but felt that he truly wanted to do the right thing and help people. From the first time Mongooku had stared into his brilliant green eyes, he had known, this boy was destined to become the greatest Jedi who had ever lived, and it was his destiny to train him.

“You are both very strong in the Force,” Mongooku began. The two preteens turned to look at each other, then turned back to him, eyeing him with curiosity.

“What is the Force?” Arthur asked.

“The Force is knowledge,” Mongooku replied. “It is knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. It is an energy field that binds the Galaxy together. It is what breathes life, thought, and spirit into the Galaxy, and it is what guides all destiny. It is the beginning, the middle, and the end of all things.”

“When looking into the history of the Jedi and the Sith,” Arthur began. “Jaira and I came across various references to a Light and Dark Side of the Force. Could you explain to us what that is?”

Mongooku paused, considering for a moment how best to answer that question, knowing that the fate of the Galaxy would one day rest on Arthur’s shoulders. “The Light Side is the Force in it’s natural state,” Mongooku began. “It is the way of peace, harmony, compassion, wisdom, and prosperity. It is what drives people to come together for the good of each other, and the good of the Galaxy. It brings creation, heals strife, and makes the Galaxy a better place.”

“And the Dark Side?” Jaira asked.

“The Dark Side is a twisted perversion of the Force,” Mongooku explained, a tone of sorrow in his voice. “It is the way of conflict, death, decay, hatred, and destruction. It is corruption incarnate. It brings only pain and destruction. It is what drives people to harm each other, and if unchecked it could destroy the Galaxy itself.”

“Why would people choose the Dark Side? What kind of person would choose it?” Arthur asked.

Mongooku was a little surprised at the question. So this boy was inquisitive, eager to learn, and already was repulsed by the Dark Side. He is going to make a fine Jedi, Mongooku thought to himself.

“Those who join the Dark Side are usually drawn to it by primal emotions and selfishness,” Mongooku explained. “Anger, hatred, avarice, fear, and lust are some of the feelings that draw people to the Dark Side. And a person fallen to the Dark Side is a threat to the Galaxy and its people. Those who wield the Dark Side abuse the Force for their own personal gain. The Sith are but one of these groups, but they are by far the most dangerous and most prominent. And this is why the Jedi are at war with them.”

“If the way of the Light Side is peace,” Arthur began, “how can you be at war with the Sith?”

Mongooku was a little taken aback at that challenge, but pleased at the insight and inquisitive nature of the boy. “For the same reason your people are at war with the other Innamortan races,” Mongooku replied. “Peace is the ideal state of the Galaxy, but unfortunately, that can never be a reality as long as the Sith continue to thrive and attempt to plunge the Galaxy into Darkness. Us Jedi are the guardians and protectors of the galaxy, and so we must take it upon ourselves to stop the Sith.”

Mongooku paused for a second, feeling Arthur’s thoughts and feelings through the Force. “You know why I am here,” Mongooku said.

“Yes,” Arthur replied. “You are here to ask us to become Jedi.”

“That is correct,” Mongooku answered. “You and Jaira are among a minority of people in the Galaxy that can draw upon the Force’s power and knowledge.” He paused for a second. He wanted this boy to become a Jedi more than he had wanted anything in his entire life. He knew it was the boy’s destiny. He knew it was the will of the Force. But he could not just deceive and manipulate him into joining the Jedi. He had to be upfront and honest with him. “The path of the Jedi, while enlightening, is not an easy one. If you are to choose it, you must leave your old life behind and you must abdicate the Lightor throne.” Mongooku could sense the alarm flashing through Arthur’s mind.

“Why?!” Arthur asked, stunned by Mongooku’s revelation.

“The path of the Jedi is one of humility, and fairness,” Mongooku replied. “I’m sorry, but it would not be a healthy thing for a Jedi to be the monarch of an entire nation of people. If you are to walk the path of the Jedi, you must relinquish power of this nature. We are guides, scholars, and protectors. We are not rulers.”

He could sense the conflict rolling through Arthur’s mind. Mongooku sensed that Arthur would not want to abandon his people, especially now that he was the only remaining member of the Lightor royal family. “If you choose to become a part of the Jedi Order,” Mongooku added, “you may appoint your successor to the Lightor throne.”

Mongooku stepped forwards and placed a hand on Arthur’s shoulder. “I am sorry the circumstances of your choice had to be this way, and the last thing I want is for your people to be abandoned in their time of need, but the Galaxy needs you.”

“Why me?” Arthur asked.

Mongooku stopped to think for a second, considering whether or not to tell Arthur about the prophecy. He then made his decision after careful consideration. “I’m going to be as forthcoming and honest with you as I can Arthur,” Mongooku began. “A few months ago, I heard a prophecy saying that there would be a person born of the Light Side of the Force, destined to end the Dark Side. For the past few months, I’ve spent every waking moment searching for this person. I believe that search is over. I believe that, with the proper training, you can save the Galaxy Arthur.”

Arthur’s eyes widened, and Mongooku felt his surprise through the force, rolling off of him in palpable waves. “And Jaira,” Mongooku said turning towards her. “You too have the potential to be a great Jedi.”

Mongooku turned to face both of them at the same time. “I cannot force either of you to do this,” he said. “The choice must be yours, and yours alone.”

Arthur and Jaira turned towards each other, stared each other deep in the eyes, and when they turned back to Mongooku, they had their answer. They had had it from the moment Mongooku had started speaking.

“We will become Jedi,” Arthur said as Jaira nodded in affirmation. Mongooku smiled, knowing the salvation of the Galaxy was at hand.

——————————————————————————

Shorya sat in the passenger seat of the shuttle along with Fernin and Tormax, waiting for its departure. After the Lightor attack on Shadikill castle, after Dylan had fallen into a pool of molten lava, after the Lightor prince Arthur had murdered him, Shorya had been approached by a Sith Master named Darth Vanquil. He told her that she was strong in the Force, and offered her a place in the Sith Order. With Dylan dead, after saving her life yet again, Shorya decided to accept the Sith’s offer. Though his death caused her great emotional pain, she would not withdraw, she would not run away from her emotions. She would embrace her feelings, and she would become stronger than she ever knew she could be, so that the next time she cared about someone, she would be able to save them. So that if she ever came across Arthur again, she would be able to kill him.

It infuriated her that that murderer was trying to work up sympathy by telling his story of how Dylan “was an evil monster” who “slaughtered his parents.” Arthur had targeted him and tried to assassinate him, and when he thought he had killed Dylan, he had taken Shorya prisoner. Shorya’s time as a prisoner had been some of the worst few days of Shorya’s life. She had heard the stories of Shadikill and other Innamortans being captured by the Lightor, placed into cells for the duration of their seemingly infinite life span, or until they decided to execute them. That was the fate Arthur had resigned her to. Dylan had saved her though. He had fought through a base of Lightor, risking his own life to get to her. Shorya had heard what really happened with Arthur’s mother. On Dylan’s way to her cell, he ran into a person in a mech suit, not even knowing who it was. All he knew was that she was trying to kill him. And he took her life to keep her from taking his. In response, Arthur and his father assaulted Shadikill castle and slaughtered half of Dylan’s family, including his parents, and- Shorya forced back a few tears- Dylan himself.

Dylan had been her best friend. He saved her life more times than she could count. And after killing half of his family, and killing him, Arthur was telling people Dylan was a cruel monster, for killing his mother in self-defense, and killing his father after watching him execute his own father right in front of him. Shorya’s body trembled with anger and hatred, and only then did she realize she was clenching her fists. Those emotions would serve her well as a Sith, she thought. If she ever saw Arthur again, she would show him the power of her fury, and she would avenge Dylan. The only solace Shorya took in Dylan’s death, was the fact that he had died before he could learn that all of his aunts and uncles had been killed. And of course, Foyle, Dirk, and View. A tear rolled down Shorya’s cheek. After losing Dylan, it pained her greatly to leave her squad behind too. But deep down, she knew this was her destiny. Once or twice, Shorya had dreamed of glowing red blades, black robes, war in space, and lightning coursing from her fingertips. She hadn’t known what it had meant at the time, but now she did. Now she knew that it was her destiny to become a Sith. And apparently, it was the destiny of Fernin and Tormax as well.

For the first three hours of being on the shuttle, waiting for it to take off, Shorya, Tormax, and Fernin talked about what a great friend Dylan had been, telling wild tales of his adventures and battles, his victories in combat, his high and drunken times. Tormax had spoken of how Dylan had always been there for him when his mom was being “a complete bitch,” Fernin spoke of how Dylan had always been his friend, even when nobody else could deal with his sometimes off-putting nature, and Shorya had, of course, spoken of how Dylan had always listened to her, and saved her life too many times to count. For the first three hours, they had mourned Dylan, but now, as they were still waiting to take off, they sat in an awkward silence.

“Is Terro not coming or what?” Tormax asked finally breaking the silence.

“No,” Fernin sighed, a hint of sadness betrayed in his voice. “He ran away.”

“I’m so sorry to hear that,” Shorya replied, hoping to make him feel better.

“He never would’ve made it as a Sith anyways,” Fernin replied. “So… I guess it’s for the best.”

“I suppo-” Shorya froze. She felt, something very familiar. Her head snapped towards the entrance to the shuttle, and two seconds later, Dylan stepped through that doorway, and her heart skipped a beat. She practically leaped out of her seat, dashed towards him, and through her arms around him in a tight embrace, tears of happiness streaming down her cheeks. She had never been so happy to see anyone in her entire life.

Dylan through his arms around her in response, returning her embrace. Tormax and Fernin jumped to their feet as well. Shorya could practically feel the joy emanating from everyone in the room. She took a step back, and stared into Dylan’s beautiful brown eyes. He stared back, a great big grin spreading across his face, his eyes twinkling with joy. But there was something else Shorya saw in his eyes as well. A deep sadness.

“Damn Dylan!” Tormax cried out, his voice full of happiness. “How many times are you going to have to die before you stay dead?”

“Yeah!” Fernin chimed in, sounding equally excited to see his friend still alive. “You are unkillable!!! Imagine what you’ll be like as a Sith!”

Then Dylan did something that Shorya suspected he hadn’t done since before the Lightor attacked. He laughed. “I am really happy to see all of you here,” he said, looking all of them deep in the eyes. You three are my best friends in the whole Galaxy. There’s nobody else I’d rather embrace my destiny with.”

“I’m just happy to see you alive!” Shorya said, wiping the tears from her cheeks.

“So am I,” Dylan chuckled. “So am I.”

There was a brief pause before the four friends burst out into laughter. Shorya could still feel the deep sadness and depression within Dylan, but decided against bringing it up. Dylan had just lost half of his family to Arthur. She wasn’t going to force him to confront that fact while everyone there was so happy.

Just then, the shuttle’s engines sprung to life. Dylan smiled almost triumphantly as he looked into each of their eyes. “My friends,” he said. “We are going to Korriban. We are going to become Sith, and we are going to learn to wield the power of the Dark Side. When that happens, nothing in the Galaxy will be able to stop us!”

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Emperordmb
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