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Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:43 pm
Awkward didn’t even begin to explain the situation.
Once the Star’s Delight got far enough from Jakelia they’d make their escape into lightspeed and then they’d exited shortly after at a distance extremely far from any civilized space and there they sat in the endless void. Silent - unmoving - awkward.
Tormentous had left the cockpit and he staggered himself into the medical ward without so much as a word and not even a glance in Warvanus’ direction. He was trying to process everything that had transpired and that alone was a daunting task if there ever was one. From his betrayal and near-death to revival at Silas’ machinations to the battle onboard the Talon to the imprisonment and fight on Jakelia - it had been a nightmarish blur that he could barely understand let alone sort out correctly. He wanted to hate Warvanus and easily enough he could - but part of him did not desire this and that was a large part of his thought process.
In the ward he found new bandages for his burst stomach wound, the crusty scab was bleeding in many places and hurt terribly - the painkillers had been a welcome thing. The cuts on his body were many and he shot them with some instant-clotting agent foam - he cared nothing for the scars they’d leave so he did not try to sew them up. Also feeling dizzy he had the medical suite inject his body with some sustainment plasma which was enough artificial blood to keep his blood pumping correctly and him from passing out due to its thin presence.
Set with enough self awareness now he left the medical ward and went to the nearest refresher and got himself a nice hot shower. The caked and dried blood was hard to get off but once he did he felt much better overall. Exiting - he pilfered himself a simple black body glove and a cloak which he pulled the hood over his head with out of a habit of comfort more than anything. Looking in the mirror he noticed that his left eye was no longer the glowing acid yellow orb it normally was but it had faded away and now held a crystal blue - the original coloration had returned and as well his usual pale form was slightly more flushed and his veins were sunken back to a more natural state - as well his features didn’t look so bedraggled but more alive and healthy but only just as he’d been without the Dark Side of the Force for but a few days and the reversing visuals were not fully embraced as of yet.
Still exhausted he managed himself out of the refresher and into the kitchenette where he established himself some of the first hot foot he’d had since Moraband and plenty of water though he found a bottle of whiskey and seized that too for a bit of intoxication could do wonders to dull the pain he was in right now.
Finally after all these things he got to the main chamber and with some oil on an old rag he went about meticulously cleaning the sword he carried. The blood and scoring across its surface was severe - such was the battle he’d just survived.
Now with everything settled he was ready to confront Warvanus. Much of him wanted to go at the man’s throat right off yet much more of him wanted to just know what in the world was going on. There was just too much information going on that he was having trouble keeping up. Realistically he was also extremely exhausted and without the Force to sustain him he was feeling the toll taken from many hours without proper nourishment and sleep in conjunction with severe wounds throughout.
Before the confrontation could get underway though it was Kieran that broke the silence as he stormed into the chamber and saw Warvanus. He wasn’t overly hostile - his mission had concluded - but he was also no fool and he knew when something big was going down. “Alright.” He spat, “just what in the name of the Stygian Caldera is going on here?” He showed the data requested, “You get me my information and then change the mission on a whim to save some prisoner? Who is this guy? And for that matter who the frakk are you!?” His expression was pleading as he desperately wanted to learn the mysteries that assailed him. “You’re a Force User obviously and a powerful one at that!”
Instantly Kieran thought to contact Kinta and inform her to the existence of such a potency Force Wielder. Perhaps he could be useful to her. He knew not these things, only the things he could see and this guy - Akk 3 - was a powerful man.
This entire time, Tormentous sat in silence cleaning his sword to a spotless shine and he occasionally glanced up to see Warvanus. So many questions needed answering still. He mainly wanted to know why.
Re: Rock Bottom
Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:19 pm
When the Star’s Delight was safely away, Warvanus went and got his minor injuries attended to by the Medical droid, he also grabbed a meal, and clipped his lightsaber to his belt. He was aware of what Tormentous was doing on board his ship, but given what the Former Dark Lord went through he gave him his privacy. Timing would be everything. He had also sent a communique to Kinta Vetasa to make contact with him as soon as possible.
He then sat in the lounge, and from the corner of his eye watched as Tormentous was sharpening his blade. He could sense the confusion and conflict in the man. As well as the murderous intent, it was to be expected, but in truth if it came to that in his current state he could snap his neck with just a thought. But he needed him, and killing him would only weaken the Sith. Before he could say a word to Tormentous, Kieran had come in. He listened with some form of amusement. He never changed the mission, he did what he was hired to do. He rose from his seat and made his way to the dispenser where he had kept a bottle of various alcohols, he had a bottle of Naboo Blossom wine, Mandalorian wine, Whiskey from various worlds, he noticed Tormentous had taken one of the bottles, “Good taste” he thought to himself, as he took a bottle of the Mandalorian Wine and opened the cork.
It was not an exquisite drink but one for a warrior much like how Whiskey was. He took a swig from the bottle and then addressed Kieran first. He was slightly amused.
“I told you my name is Kell but the truth of me as it were is Warvanus, I am a Sith Lord and you have measured correctly that I am a powerful one at that.” With that he stole a glance at Tormentous He took a another swig from the bottle before continuing
“This” he gestured towards Tormentous “Is Tormentous” He looked at Kieran “What’s going on is, I did your mission, you wanted data, but I was not going to let him rot in a GA friendly cell when I was so close” he took another swig what he would say next was mostly for Tormentous’ ears
“I rescued him, for a couple of reasons” he said now facing both men “Some are selfish, some are for the betterment of my order” by that he was referring to the Order of the Sith Lords. “First the selfish ones” looking at Tormentous “I rescued you because I made a mistake, and like you I too was cast aside. As you were being taken from your stronghold I laid under a rubble inching closer and closer to death. If it were not for my own apprentice Kinta Vetasa I would have surely died in what was your stronghold. I rescued you because I made a mistake on the side I chose, I rescued you because no matter what you did not deserve to be subjected to such treatment. I rescued you because nobody was brave or strong enough in the order to even think about it. What I did was not ordered by the Usurper, it was not sanctioned. By my actions could hurt the alliance that Blood had made with the Imperials, I took it upon myself to deliver you from your bondage, I will not rest until you have been restored to your rightful place”
He took another swig from the bottle the rest of what he had to say was for Tormentous’ ears alone, Redemption was not a word in the Sith vernacular but in the end that is what he sought from the man who introduced him to the Dark Side.
He then looked at Kieran again “Now I think its time you told me just exactly who you are and who you work for” he was not fooled and the time for charades was over.
Re: Rock Bottom
Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:45 pm
The word shot through Kieran like a knife and he went ice cold. Had he just come upon a rival of his own lord? Was he in the presence of one of Kinta’s foes? Did Kell - he corrected himself - Warvanus know who he was and using him to get close to Kinta? He had no idea but what he did know was that he had suddenly been tossed into a situation in which he was at a great disadvantage. Knowing for a fact he couldn’t overtake a Lord of the Sith nor could he if even Akk 2 was with him, he decided to keep his mouth shut and hope that Warvanus would forget he was even there.
When Kieran was informed of the identity of the Dark Lord he looked upon the wounded man with awe which turned into confusion and then disbelief. The occurrences were not within Kieran’s realm of understanding as he was ignorant to what the Wall of Light was and for that matter even how the Force worked. Surely though he didn’t believe that this hot mess was the most dangerous man in the galaxy. He looked and presented himself as a very deadly warrior in his own right as sure enough as he saw him fighting Mandalorians with his bare hands, but he was no Dark Lord of the Sith. As much as he thought into this - he kept his thoughts silent.
Amber and very potent whiskey swirled in the bottle as Tormentous took down another drag, it burned well and didn’t take very long to light his belly on fire. It felt good. He was too early along to become inebriated and so he referred back to Warvanus with half disgust, half intrigue. Setting the bottle to the deck he lifted his sword and kept cleaning it with great care, the etching in the steel was expressly difficult to clear of the gunk of combat but it gave him something to detach himself to as the events just kept raining down on him - including the final piece of this puzzle - his own failure.
He listened to everything Warvanus had to say and he was moved by it. Portions of his mind wanted to snap and shout at him for displaying weakness or disloyalty. One thing stopped him - he had no power here, no authority. Warvanus clearly did not serve him any longer and for all Tormentous knew he was just doing this to gain Tormentous as a tool and use him in some attempt on Blood. Warvanus had betrayed him - that trust wasn’t there. If he wanted Tormentous to even consider the depth and implication of what he was saying then he would need to prove that he wasn’t here just to toy with him. Granted the effort he went through to free him had been extensive - but it still didn’t show much other than a desire to harm the Galactic Alliance and the Jedi Coalition’s standing.
Glaring up at Warvanus he couldn’t take any more, he snapped back at Warvanus “What I did or didn’t deserve is not your place to decide. My fate is an echo of failure - I didn’t see your treachery,” he got to his feet and pointed angrily at the Lord before him - Kieran watched with his mouth open in astonishment at how bold Tormentous was to stand in the face of a Sith Lord and talk to him as if he had something to say - Tormentous dropped his hand in resignation, “I didn’t see Blood’s.” He felt sadness well up within him and he was frustrated to not be able to soak this emotion inward and use it to fuel his power.
Most of all though Tormentous was recognizing something real. He’d not just been beaten down and stripped of the Force but he’d been sold to the highest bidder by Blood. Was it irony that was meeting him half way or the Dark Side of the Force getting even with some sick sense of humor. He had no idea but he didn’t appreciate it.
He moved back to the seat and sat, tagging another long gulp of the amber liquid and savoring it a while. Looking back to Warvanus he nodded in acceptance - he understood something - as much as he wanted to hate Warvanus for what he’d done - Warvanus had only done what he’d thought to be right not just for himself but the Sith. Was it right? Tormentous didn’t know or care but he’d made a call of initiative - there was merit in that.
Still more - he understood that in doing what he’d just done now he had betrayed Blood and he would be considered a renegade if word of this got out. Irony again reared its ugly head. Warvanus was in the same boat here as Tormentous. He took a deep breath and exhaled, processing everything was still a near impossibility. He also shook his head in response to Warvanus’ statement about restoration. “No,” he said, “there is no going back.”
He let the silence sink in a moment - a good long moment. “Not yet anyways. I’ve got training to do. Contacts to make. I need to relearn what it means to be a Warrior - not just a king.” He looked at the sword in his hands, “I need to remember what the sacrifice feels like.” Looking back to Warvanus his eye had lost the helpless look and was replaced with determination and a fire he’d lost long ago. “I need to remember my purpose and why I must do the things that I do lest I fall back on the hard lessons I just learned. Things need to change - but they won’t change unless I learn why they need changed.”
“Then - obviously, the Wall of Light must be reversed or these lessons learned and the course I take to get there is for nothing.” He flexed his fist as he thought. He turned to Warvanus and nodded though he also pointed again, “I should kill you for what you did, but it looks like we’re in this together so we may as well bury the hatchet and get on with it.” His pointed finger opened and he extended his hand to Warvanus. They still had a long way to go before Tormentous would trust him, but first thing was first - they desperately needed this basic understanding of what they had to do - otherwise they’d not be able to sleep at night as they wondered if the other would come and slit the other’s throat.
A hundred questions roiled through Kieran’s mind and he could only come to one conclusion - he would die before he gave her away but he did not hold the same loyalty to the Krath. He unfolded the weather jacket he wore and from the shirt underneath he displayed a shining pin poised on the collar - the jagged star of the Krath.
“I am Kieran Reyes, Agent of the Krath.” He swallowed hard, “I serve the High Priest and am here to see that the martial prowess of my organization grows with the induction of Mandalorian outcasts.”
Re: Rock Bottom
Posted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:29 pm
He turned his attention back to Tormentous , truth was he too had been duped, Blood had played on his emotions at the feeling of abandonment. He had played him like everybody else, it was his nature what angered the War-Bringer was he was duped.
“When you went into seclusion to study the higher mysteries of the Dark Side” he began “I felt as if my Master had abandoned me, it angered me, I had felt lost without your guidance, Blood took me in and he twisted it to his own ends.” He paused “Only in time as I grew in power that it was a test and in the absence of formal training I had successfully wrestled several secrets from the Force, I kept to your mandate to me, I studied, and trained, everything I did was for those ends. When the time came, I made the wrong choice but yet, in that you still taught me much” he paused he wondered if he knew the lesson he parted to him but did not give him the chance. “You taught me that despite my growing power and my continued ascent towards Mastery that I still had much to learn. And in that lesson I weighed it against what Blood had taught me, and in the end I realized the choice I made was wrong, I accept it, I own it and I will grow stronger for it” with that last sentence he balled his hand into a fist as a brief silence lingered in the air.
“Failure is the greatest of teachers” he said after a moment “I don’t think you need to remember how to be a warrior, you demonstrated master prowess, but I will help you, remember what it is to be a warrior, and to be a King and in anyway I can” He knew they had a long way to go but this was a start He took his hand and shook it. Their partnership reforged.
“Once you find the knowledge you seek, you will be re-born, re-forged, and more powerful and if people feared you before they will experience a new level of real fear once you have come back into your power, and I will help you every step of the way, Blood will seek both our heads if and when he learns of what has happened. We will find you sanctuary where you can study, train, and wait out the effects of the Wall of Light. You are not a void in the Force so Kenboi did not permanentely strip you of your powers, " he had suspected Kenobi as he was the only Jedi he had ever met that was powerful enough for such a technique." I suspect you have only been temporarily deafened to it. And you are right I do deserve death for my role in your dethronement , and when you come to your rightful place if you feel I still need death then I will willingly succumb to it, as I would die contently knowing you again rule the Sith, but It is my hope that my role in your reascendency will outweigh the mistakes” He took a swig from the bottle again he really liked this Mandalorian wine. “Time will tell”
He turned back to Kieran as he spoke and brandish the mark of the Krath, it was one he recognized, as he had studied Lore.
“The Krath have been extinct for millennia after the Fallen Jedi Ulic Qel Droma” he said, if they had indeed arisen, could they be instrumental for the designs he had for the Sith? “And who is this High Priest you speak of? Is this where you have laid the course of my ship to?” He was not angry at the idea of this, if anything could he be steering them to a valuable tool to use ? The Force offered no answers.
He looked again at Tormentous, studying his reaction to the mention of the Krath, he knew that he had heard of them because of his affinity for Sith history, then turned back to Kieran and the one known as Akk-2 addressing him he spoke
“And what is your name?” as an idea began to form in the mind of the War-Bringer
Re: Rock Bottom
Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 3:28 pm
Tormentous remained silent for a time, Warvanus had expressed his regret in the failures and mistakes he’d been forced to suffer through and in time the former Dark Lord of the Sith began to remember that he’d never condemned failure before. Many Sith Lords of the past would punish failure by execution - Tormentous had never done such a thing. As ruthless as he was he never executed as a result of failure. Punishment was surely a thing, but termination was not. He had to use that here - Warvanus was not to suffer death but he was to suffer for his sins through the road of redemption. Yes, death was not the result of failure. Growth was. They would both grow stronger from their mistakes and they would both see more clearly from their failures.
“No my lord.” Kieran responded. “With the data you’ve captured I now have the location of Mandalore’s largest penal colony that plays host to death row inmates. I’ve set course for there.” He looked awkward for a moment, realizing immediately that he was no longer in control and that he was standing in the presence of men far greater than he. “If you would permit, lord. I’ve still a mission to accomplish. The Krath need manpower and with willing Mandalorians we can create an elite corps of militiamen. It would go far to further the cause. As for the identity of the High Priest - I do not know. There is much mystery surrounding the hierarchy of the Krath. Secrecy is our watchword.”
Akk 2 removed his helmet at the behest of Warvanus and stepped forward, “My name is Dhune, Arren Dhune. If its all the same, sir, I’m still under contract of,” he paused and looked to Kieran who he thought was a man named Haran under a security outfit, “him, for another job. I’d like to stay on and see this through.”
Through the time that the other conversations were conducting themselves Tormentous managed to sort things out and he stood up, turning to the three before him. “Time will tell indeed, until then we have work to do. If the Krath are a militia arm and if they focus on intelligence then they are an asset. We will help you Kieran and get your bodies - on one condition. You get us an audience with the Krath.”
Seeing the opportunity for what it was Kieran nearly jumped on it. Recruiting a Sith Lord and this other man meant the mission was almost guaranteed of victory. “Then we have a deal.” Kieran moved to the terminal and began working with the controls. An image appeared of an asteroid. “Rock Bottom. The Mandalorian Sector’s most notorious prison housing the deadliest outcasts and criminals the entire Sector can produce. Its full of cutthroats and hardened men with nothing to lose. If we can give them a purpose, their lives back, something to guide them - then we have a ready roster of manpower just waiting to be tapped into.”
“How long until we arrive?” Tormentous inquired.
“Three hours. Though due to your condition I recommend that we conduct surveillance on the prison for a few days, let your body recover and by the time you’re on your feet again we’ll have all the intelligence we need to bust Rock Bottom wide open.”
Nodding in agreement through a clenched jaw, Tormentous moved passed the group. “I’ll hit the bacta tank then.” He looked to Warvanus and nodded, “It’s going to be a long road.”
He moved into the medical bay and climbed into the tank for some much needed healing and rest.
Re: Rock Bottom
Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 4:23 pm
One thing about Warvanus was he never wallowed in his failures, he always took their lessons, and the anger at his own short comings and transformed it into power. Everybody experienced failure, it was a good teacher and through the course of his training he had experienced a few of them. But it was those lessons that made him stronger for it, it would either temper him or consume him. He optd for the first choice.
He listened to Kieran’s explanation and then heard Tormentous give his consent. He was right the Krath could be an asset. Though not knowing the identity of the High Priest was a bit disconcerting. He still had not heard from his apprentice yet. He had not sensed her death in the Force so she was alive but at the same time he did not sense her at all. He liked the idea of maybe going into another fight, but this time he would be more prepared. Though slaughter was not their objective. He would go along with this.
He then turned his attention to Dhune he studied him “You did well in the field and when your employ is complete with Kieran, I could have use of an able bodied warrior such as yourself” He nodded at Dhune with approval.
When Tormentous announced he was going to the med bay for a bacta tank soak he bowed his head in acknowledgement. He watched him leave the room, the Krath looming more and more on his mind. He looked at Kieran again after a long moment KL-PK1 interrupted him
“Master” he began “A communiqué is coming through for you”
Warvanus arched an eyebrow, patch it here
A hologram of his apprentice Kinta Vetasa appeared it was not a live transmission but one previously recorded there was no sound and from time to time the hologram would shimmer as if signal disruption. Then suddenly it dissipated as if something was jamming it. He looked at Kieran whom he was sure saw the image of his apprentice wondering if he just sensed something from him.
Re: Rock Bottom
Posted: Tue May 14, 2019 5:08 pm
Tormentous got himself set up into the bacta tank and as the healing fluids covered him from head to toe he felt the tingling burns set in. Already it felt better. As the bacta filled the tank he breathed in deeply to the tubes, the recycled oxygen was of little difference but he was more concentrated on sorting out the last few days - so much had happened and so much was now presenting itself once again for him. He was free from his chains, but he was not free of his bonds. As the darkness seeped in to sweep him from consciousness he knew it would not be a pleasant rest - and then the nightmares came.
Spotting the image of the woman he had pledged himself to, her image flickering and dying away in a shower of static and pulsing backwash, his heart skipped a beat and his internal emotions erupted with the fear of worry and the urge to rush to her aid. Secrecy held him in check - he would not consciously give her up - subconsciously though through emotions it was not of his capability to hide anything from a Sith Lord. He held recognition of her face, a present knowledge of the person and this familiarity was an emotion Warvanus likely would pick up on.
Otherwise, Kieran swallowed hard and stifled his outward concern, covering it with expert temperance, he was a rock in the wind - an unmovable object. On the outside. The next thoughts on his mind was how this Sith Lord knew Kinta! On first impressions he had thought to help her subjugate this man to bolster her strength in the Sith Order - now he wasn’t sure what was going on. If she knew of this man already then what was their relationship? Were they partners? Master and Apprentice? Lord and slave? For a split second he flinched at this thought and imagined ways to kill Warvanus to free Kinta from slavery, the most likely approach was to wait until he was sleeping and cut his throat. He had to fight these thoughts away, there was no need to jump so quickly to conclusions.
“Looks like some interference.” He pointed out, reaching to the holoterminal and adjusting some dials. The message seemed to solidify for a moment but ultimately it washed out again. “It isn’t on our end. Probably the sender is having equipment issues,” he paused in legitimate thought, “or honestly any number of things from being in an area with disruptive transmission waves to jamming.” He looked to Warvanus and shrugged, “We’ve no real way of knowing at this time.”
Re: Rock Bottom
Posted: Tue May 14, 2019 6:51 pm
The freighter became what felt like a nexus of emotional energy, he picked up one spike from the medbay where Tormentous had gone to immerse himself in bacta. The other from the man who was known as Kieran. He would deal with Kieran in a bit, but first he went to the medbay.
Entering the medbay he saw Tormentous immersed in the healing fluids of bacta, such a strong emotional current running through the revered warrior, the man who at one time was his Master. They were linked somehow, as their paths had once again crossed. Almost in the same fashion as their first meeting but this time Warvanus was the Master, and Tormentous was the injured one. The Dark Side had a sense of humor indeed.
“Do you remember the last mission you sent me on?” he began knowing he could be heard “You sent me to tattoine to assassinate a woman, a peasant who lived in a nomadic settlement. You had told me that after this mission that my commitment to the Dark Side would be complete through this sacrifice. Of course I had no idea what you meant by that at the time” he paused as if looking at something on his hands “Somehow you knew that this woman was my wife, and that the nomadic settlement had one time been my home, at the time I had no memory of it of course.” He looked up into the tank now “As I infiltrated the encampment I learned that my wife lingered there still, that I had left her to go to Bestine in grief for the loss of our son, and that an explosion robbed me of my memories, but somehow she thought I came back to her. She learned otherwise when I told her who I now was, and even as I drove my blade through her heart she did not understand why she needed to die. I of course had a brief moment of conflict, I almost stayed with her but in the end the Dark Side won” he paused his look no longer nostalgic but now serious “You taught me a valuable lesson that day, you taught me that these attachments only weaken us, that her life was static compared to me who walks in the current of the Force, it was indeed a sacrifice and I never got to thank you for teaching me such a valuable lesson so early in my apprenticeship” He would get the point of the story, Warvanus felt no regret , it had been a turning point in his training. He had been accepted by the Dark Side then. “As I felt the approval of the Dark Side I decided to murder every inhabitant and burn the village to the ground. I remember thinking as I watched that you would have been pleased” Attachments were a potential weakness. The Jedi had mostly that tenant right but for the wrong reasons. He did not expect Tormentous to inject anything but if anything he would realize that Warvanus had come a very very very long way since those days on the Maleovent .
He left the medbay and found Kieran still there “So tell me” he began as he grabbed the bottle of Mandalorian wine and taking a swig from the bottle. “This woman means something to you” It was not a question but a statement. “ I sensed a strong emotional spike when her image appeared, how did you meet Kinta Vetasa?” They had some time and with Tormentous healing he had some time to kill. He suspected someone was jamming her communiqué on her end. But as he waited for a response from Kieran, the projector came to life again, this time there was nothing blocking the transmission.
“Master” she said as she bowed her head “I am pleased to report that I have secured the knowledge on holocrons that you seek, and an opportunity for you to further your power base, Can you meet me on Teta?” With that the image disappeared, it was pre-recorded or she would have seen Kieran and imagined the conversation would have gone very differently.
“KL” he called “How long would it take to get to the Teta system?” After a few moments he called back “A couple hours Master”
He looked at Kieran, wondering if they should alter course or keep it and scope out this prison, while Warvanus was in command here, he did recognize wise council when he heard it.
Re: Rock Bottom
Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 7:47 pm
Filled now, the bacta tank suspended Tormentous and he could already feel the healing sensations taking place but he was also very near unconsciousness. The drugs entering his system would knock him out soon. He listened to Warvanus and nodded where appropriate. Unable to speak he took in the lesson learned and he would think on these things for a long while - he had nothing else to do and right now there was so much conflict in his heart that he needed direction. This may just be the thing he needed most of all.
Darkness came and unconsciousness fell over him like a blanket and the healing began. It would likely be a few days of solid submersion in the tank, but by the end of it he would be physically as good as new. He’d taken severe wounds in the last week and it was literally a miracle he was still capable of standing but to be frank it was more stubbornness than anything that was keeping him upright.
His mind swam away from reality and into a dream state. Sporadic and tattered, the blurred realm of dreams would not be kind to either his sanity nor his insanity. There was something to be made clear in this instant - Tormentous was not null and void of the Force like some shadow. He was simply unable to tap into it. His power and his incredible potency was still very much there, but he was incapable of using the Force nor feeling its touch. In reaction, he felt no pain and through such mental relief his body was overreacting and unable to compensate for years of arduous pain and now the sudden absence of it all. Part of his mind yearned to have that power back yet it dreaded the agonizing pain of the Force that would come with it - yet it was as an old friend and some broken part of him missed the pain in some sick sadistic fashion. The other part of him wanted to remain free of the pain and run as far as he could from it and forever be away from the touch of the Force. This part of him held fear of what he understood was inevitable - the return of those agonizing sensations. The thousands of knives would someday return to pierce his mind with thirst unquenchable. Dread is what he felt to this knowledge and it was tearing him apart.
Elsewhere in his mind he was for the first time in many years free of the poisonous whispers of the Dark Side of the Force. He could no longer hear its call nor its guidance and in that it did not any longer blind him from the link he shared between someone of his past. Jacobi Wylcott.
The Mandalorian of Clan Ordo had vehemently hated the Force and everything about it. When he died on Belsavis to sacrifice himself for the Child of Nightmares, he was left to the abyss. Though through Sith Sorcery and much ritual his spirit was yanked screaming back into the realm of the living but it was not the same Jacobi of yesterday. Awoken through ritual he was now tethered to reality by the Force and such an unnatural merging was only heralded by agony. He was subjected to never ending torture and torment the likes that no living being ought to be. What was Jacobi Wylcott defied this with all his heart and his mind. Krynn Karn - desperate to see him back to the living ensnared his soul and banished the stubborn and defiant Mandalorian to the recesses of a new consciousness of pure malicious intent. Everything that was dark within Jacobi Wylcott was manifested into a being of hatred. So entered Tormentous.
Tormentous, unwilling to share his new consciousness also fought to banish Jacobi and as the pains grew so did his hold over the Mandalorian. So banished for a length of time unknown - Jacobi Wylcott was wholly unaware of the sinister devices of Tormentous and only on the rarest of occasions that tempted the warrior spirit within did Wylcott ever see the light of day only to be cast away once more.
Now, Tormentous was the one washed clean of the Force and in doing so the Dark Side no longer held its hold on Jacobi Wylcott. Now the two conscious beings of Tormentous and Jacobi - two very different personalities - two very different personae - were unleashed to make war upon one another. The future of Tormentous’ being was not set any longer. But reality would not allow Jacobi to return fully - too much had transpired and for any sane individual to be made witness to the atrocities that he’d committed over so vast amounts of people - no one could hope to survive it. In the end this would be made a fusion of the two. Tormentous would eventually be honed into Jacobi and Jacobi into Tormentous. A balance of the two. Or - if the torment of the returning Force combined with the knowledge of what he’d done was too much - Jacobi would forever be lost as his mind would be turned to ruin and Tormentous would rise anew.
The dreams were enough to make a man go insane by themselves. Recollections of his steps as Tormentous began surging into his mind and while he knew they were dreams he knew there was truth in them. He saw himself laying siege to worlds across the Hydian Way, sacking Coruscant, enslaving the populaces of Pandath, Tanaab and Eshan. He bore witness to Eol Sha, Spintir and a dozen other locations and every single one of them was drenched in blood. Jacobi’s mind cried out in denial - Tormentous only laughed
Tormentous stood atop a mountain of bodies slain by his word alone - the Jidai Maras held aloft in triumph while Jacobi Wylcott stood at the base of the mountain looking upward. In disbelief he looked down into the corpse pile - one face looked back at him and it was the lass from Jakelia, Hellena. He fell to his knees and cradled her to him, her tears touched his cheek and he knew that this could not be though it was surely true. “You can stop this.” She whimpered and he looked to her eyes. He looked up, bodies rained from the skies to add to the mountainous tally and he cried for it to stop. Looking down he was shocked to see Adara Silver took Hellena’s place and his breath choked away as he cradled her too. He’d not killed her nor believed her dead but the dream would do as it willed.
“This is not who you are.” She spoke and he looked about him, bodies everywhere from every race and every walk of life. “You, Jacobi, did not do these things.”
He could only look on in despair as a knifing pain stung at his mind - the touch of the Force lingering and seeking a way back to him. Again the face changed to his dearest Alora - and this time he cried as he held her dead body in his arms. He knew she was not real for she was dead many years, but he missed her so. Her fire red hair washed over him and he buried his face across her shoulder. “Do not do this.” He pleaded. “I cannot take it.”
“But you can.” She reprimanded in her soft voice, “There is no one like you. And it is you that cannot be undone by the likes of evil. Get up.” She ordered but he shook hard his head.
“I’d stay with you.”
She rescinded his gesture. “Not yet.” Suddenly they were standing and the mountain of dead was gone. Three peaks overlooking a ravine without end. “You’ve still work to do, Jacobi.” Her voice was distant now and he saw her on one far peak, Tormentous behind her. “The road will be long and you will not be the same. But you cannot stop yet - not until Tormentous is destroyed.”
“No.” He returned, reaching out to no avail for the ravine was too far. “I cannot overcome him.”
“Then all is lost.” She replied with sorrow, “Then so much is yet to be lost still.”
Jidai Maras emerged from her chest, stabbed through her spine and her scream was unforgiving to Tormentous’ ears - no - Jacobi’s. He shook his head and for a split second he stood behind her on the peak with his sword in her back as he looked menacingly to Jacobi. Flashing back to his position he screamed in defiance, but as he did so his hand felt weight and when he looked down he held Jidai Maras, its black blade covered in Alora’s blood. He tried to drop the sword but it was part of his hand now and he fell from the peak in shock.
“You must find a way.” Alora’s voice cast to him on the wind as he fell from the peak. “Tormentous must be destroyed. Slaying his body and crushing his mind is not enough. His soul swarms in the ethereal like a ghost and he would find his way back to the living.
“How?” He questioned without believing it was capable of being done.
“The Jedi can purge your body of the Force completely. But Tormentous would still live on. You could be shot and killed but still he would live on.”
He began to shake his head as he saw where she was leading him. “No - do not ask this of me.”
Tears in her eyes, she knew exactly what it would do to him. “You must.” Indeed - he would be lost forever and his spirit would never see Manda. He would drift away forever and the glories of his life would be damned in eternity. He knew she was in the Manda - a Mandalorian’s place of afterlife. If he went this course then they’d never be united and he would wander forever alone. “Your freedom will come with this cost. But so too will your subjugation to him. If Tormentous lives, you will never be free. If you bring him down, it will cost you everything. I’m sorry.” She cried now after she delivered the news and he looked down into the depths of the ravine in which he fell.
In order to destroy him - he would have to become him. Jacobi would have to tread the line and merge across it. It was a twisted fate that would only end in one way and that road would be the longest he’d ever crossed. It would also mean Tormentous would yet ravage the galaxy for more time and innocent lives would be spilt from the Red Cauldron.
He was unsure if he could tread that line so closely without being consumed.
Laughter echoed from beyond and Jacobi knew it was Tormentous.
The nightmare had only just begun.
Re: Rock Bottom
Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 1:23 pm
Warvanus sat in the cockpit of his freighter using the ID Star’s Delight, his droid KL-PK1 in the Pilot’s chair, Tormentous was still in the bacta tank healing, he would let the former Dark Lord be, he needed rest. The freighter was still on its way to the prison colony, He knew his apprentice was on Teta but he was not about to cross Imperial borders with Tormentous on board, it would put him at risk and he was not about to chance it after what they had already been through. He still held the bottle of Mandalorian Wine in his hand he twirled its contents around absent-mindedly. He did find it odd that his apprentice was on the same planet that gave birth to the Krath and having learned they have returned to the galaxy , could not be a coincidence. His thoughts interrupted by the beeping on the Navicomputer it could mean only one thing. They were getting close to their destination, KL-PK1 brought the ship out of hyperspace, and he called Kieran to the cockpit when he arrived “We’ve arrived” then to KL-PK1 “Karl let Kieran take the controls, move to the Co-Pilots chair” the droid did as ordered, he would let the hired gun navigate them to where they needed to go.
-Inside the Prison-
Vyn Kaal, of Clan Bralor had been in solitary confinement for he did not know how long, he had been fighting with another of the inmates who dared to disrespect his clan. He was a mountain of a man, and among the fiercest warriors of his clan. He stood at six feet eight inches and his mass had to be over three hundred pounds. Short brown hair, green eyes a long scar on the left side of his face going from the edge of his forehead down to his chin. He had other scars , he also had a tattoo of the sigil of Clan Bralor. His clan being a warrior clan only second to Clan Ordo.
The Cell was dark it had a toilet and that was it for furniture the door had a shelf for the cubby so the prison guards could give him food or drink. Only when he was sent here for what was the umpteenth time he had been ordered to starve. So he would get once a day a bottle of water. Enough to keep him alive. But he was too stubborn to succumb to thirst and starvation. He was hungry but he was hungrier to begin a trail of slaughter. When he had come to this prison he had been brought here with five members of his clan, all of which now were dead by some cause or another. The Warden deduced that if he starved Vyn then he would be too weak to fight. He was partially right he would be but not before he raised hell of his own.
The door slid open and two guards entered and cuffed his hands before escorting him out of the cell , he was heading to the Warden’s office he guessed, as he was being escorted he made eye contact with two other inmates. Both of which were allies, one a Wookie and the other a Twilek . After what felt like forever he was forced into a chair in front of the Warden’s desk that was in the center of a luxurious and spacious office. He was now surrounded by four human guards.
“So” the warden began who himself was a Muun probably a disgraced one and could only find work in the “justice” system. “Are you going to be compliant now?, maybe be able to eat again” as a Yes from Vyn would bring him back to his cell and a hot meal.
Vyn looked at the office, calculating in his head the best course of action. His hands were still cuffed so his mobility was limited. Each guard was armed with a stun pike which were now in their hands but each one also armed with a side arm. Standard Blas-Tech he deduced by the design of the pistol. He remained silent, the warden asked once more, he remained silent, his silence was his answer.
“Take him back to confinement keep him there for 2 weeks give him one meal “ then looking at Vyn “When we meet again you will either be cooperative and stay out of trouble or you will die.” Then back to the guard “Take him away”
Two of the guards hefted him up from his seat , as they did this Vyn acted. He elbowed one guard in the neck where it meets the shoulders and then kneed the other in the soloplex as each had been on either side. The Mandalorian moved faster than they could react. He drew the pistol from one, and raised it and shot the third guard, in the head, then the fourth right in the throat. He then kicked the one who he had knocked the wind out of in the gut while he was down. He brought the pistol and shot the one who got hit in the neck who had recovered, it was another head shot. Now three of the four guards were dead. He brought the pistol and killed the one that was down a shot to the head put him out of his pathetic misery.
All while this was happening which only happened in the span of a minute tops the Warden was hitting the comm. To get more guards to his office. The words had been half way out when a blaster shot to the comm. Ended the Warden’s plea.
Keeping his eyes on the warden he squatted and retrieved the key to his cuffs and was able with some effort to release his bonds from both his hands and feet and while he was at it, he grabbed the remaining pistols and pocketed them wherever he could. The Warden was too cowardly to get aggressive now that he had no backup. Vyn fixed the blaster on him.
“Now” Vyn said “Let’s talk” he said with a sneer. He walked over to him slowly and deliberately
“I have nothing to say to you scum” his lip curled into a sneer as he spoke to the Mandalorian.
“So be it” with that he squeezed the trigger but nothing happened. Power pack was depleted. He tossed the pistol aside and drew one of the spares.
“Last chance” the Muun was no silent “Fair enough” Vyn said and shot the Muun in the chest. He knew the Muuns had three hearts so he knew he was not dead but he was in no shape now to cause trouble as he knew at least one heart had failed and the others were in danger of doing so as well. He went to the terminal at the Warden’s desk, and entered a series of commands. Of course alarms were now going off as well probably sounded by one of the guards but he would deal with that. He grabbed the Warden and forced his finger to press to the sensor, it lit green. Vyn squeezed the trigger again and a blaster shot ended the life of the Muun.
=Throughout the Prison=
The Alarms sounded something was happening, normally lockdown procedures would be engaged but that could only come from the Warden, instead in every cellblock in every single cell, the doors opened. Allowing all the inmates to leave their cells. It was not long before a mass riot was in progress, the inmates taking over the prison. The guards that Vyn had dealt with were max security guards, standard guards were issued only stun batons. The Prison began it desecent into chaos and anarchy.