Legends of the Sith by Christopher Beasley - HTML preview
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The young Padawan paced the room in agitation. Barely out of his
teens, the man absent-mindedly stroked the soft down on his cheeks.
Finally, when he could take his master's silence no more, the exasperated
Padawan stopped his pacing and addressed the Master Jedi.
"Master Karfu, how long must we wait? Isn't it obvious the bounty
hunter you hired could find no more trace of those we sought than we?
Likely he has given up and ran off with your credits, if he ever even tried at all!"
Master Karfu remained silent for another long moment. Just when
it seemed he would remain that way and his Padawan, Ryeth, sucked in
an annoyed sigh, the wise Jedi gently raised his hand and uncoiled from
his meditative position.
"Padawan, a Jedi's path is often one of patience. I do not believe
the bounty hunter Jazrel will try to deceive us." The dark skinned Jedi slowly crossed the room to his apprentice. With a smile growing on his
face he softly placed his hands on the young man's shoulders. "See
there, now calm your thoughts. A Jedi's mind must be clear of agitation.
Besides, our friend approaches even now. If you were focused you would
have sensed as much."
Outside the building the two Jedi had made into their temporary
base of operations another young man waited and watched. This man,
formerly known as Rhaine Panbreedle, now Darth Malorum, also waited
for the bounty hunter Jazrel Teth to return. Malorum could sense the
presence of the two Jedi waiting in the dimly lit room on the first floor of the building across the narrow street. The only reason the Jedi remained
unaware of his presence was that he willed it so. He was not actively
trying not to be felt, his Master Darth Iratus had taught him the error of that trick.
"To try to remain hidden is only a beacon to those from which you
wish to hide." Iratus had told him. "Instead of hiding who you are, just cease to be. Only when you clear your mind and let your surroundings
wash over you can you sink deepest into the shadows."
Darth Malorum was a shadow as he waited. His master had sent
him to Forunsaal in an attempt to intercept the bounty hunter, Jazrel. The
mercenary had been asking too many questions lately, questions that
seemed to allude to the fact he was searching for Malorum and his
Master. This thought was disturbing as Iratus and Malorum had been very
cautious in all their dealings not to leave a trail. That someone had taken an interest in the pair despite their efforts at stealth could only mean one thing. Jedi. Malorum and his Master had sensed the presence of two Jedi
a few standard days earlier. However, these particular Jedi were not
supposed to be here on Forunsaal. The last Malorum knew, the Jedi
remained on board their ship in a different system. Yet, Malorum was
certain these were the same two Jedi he and his Master had sensed.
Darth Malorum was just supposed to intercept the bounty hunter
and interrogate him, before killing him of course. Yet now, with the
presence of not only the bounty hunter, but the two Jedi as well,
everything had changed. Malorum quickly formed a new plan. He would
wait until the bounty hunter returned to report to the Jedi then he would
quickly destroy all three. After all, he couldn't engage the Jedi only to
have the bounty hunter walk in during the fight. It was a risky plan he
knew, but his Master always told him the only plan doomed to fail was the
one you were too afraid to try. This was the first solo assignment his
Master had given him and the young Sith apprentice viewed it as a test.
Not only did he not want to fail his Master, Malorum wanted to impress the
powerful Sith Lord.
Soon Malorum spotted Jazrel, walking calmly toward the building
where the Jedi awaited. The man did not appear the least bit nervous or
out of place. Jazrel strolled up to the door, pushed it open and walked
Malorum knew now was the time to act. The dark clad Sith burst
from the shadows and sprinted the short distance across the street.
Instead of bursting through the door the bounty hunter had used, Malorum
used the Force to assist him in leaping toward a dark second story
window. As the Sith apprentice flew toward the closed window he reached
out with a tendril of force power and raised the window just as he sailed
through into the darkness beyond. Darth Malorum stealthily made his way
across the dark room to the stairway and descended in complete silence.
He could hear the bounty hunter addressing the Jedi and could not believe
his fortune when he found the man, with his back toward him, standing at
the foot of the stairs.
Master Karfu listened patiently as the bounty hunter explained his
lack of success thus far in finding out the identity of those the Jedi sought.
"It is like they just popped off the edge of the galaxy, not a trace!"
Ryeth, standing next to his master, wore an expression of doubt.
His expression soon changed to one of shock as an orange lightsaber
blade erupted from the center of Jazrel's chest. The bounty hunter
squirmed and went limp, but did not fall to the floor. As his head sagged
onto his chest, the Jedi could see behind him a young man with a
murderous glare in his eyes holding the now dead bounty hunter upright.
Darth Malorum smiled when he saw the look of horror not only in
the Padawan's eyes but in the Jedi Master's eyes as well. The Jedi
immediately produced their lightsabers and two emerald green blades
flickered into being.
“What manner of demon are you?" cried the younger of the two
Malorum swelled with dark pride. "Do you not know? I am a Sith
"No, that is impossible!" Replied the Padawan, nearly screaming.
"The Sith were destroyed, I don't believe you!"
Darth Malorum could sense the churning of the young man's fear.
Malorum's face cracked in a wicked grin. "Then don't."
With that, he pushed out with the Force, hurling the dead Bounty
hunter straight at the Padawan. Foolishly, the young Jedi did not parry the improvised missile with his lightsaber. Instead, he held it out wide,
apparently in an attempt to prevent cutting the already dead bounty hunter
in half. He was repaid for his actions by the Force assisted full weight of the dead man crashing into him and toppling him backwards, crashing
through the door and into the street.
Malorum did not have long to appreciate his brilliant use of his
environment. Even as the dead bounty hunter flew through the air, Master
Karfu pushed out with the Force, slamming Malorum back onto the stairs.
The Force blow felt to Malorum as if he had been smashed in the chest by
a giant hammer. It was all the young Sith could do to get back to his feet
as the Master Jedi sprang the entire length of the room, lightsaber held
high. Darth Malorum parried the downward chop, bringing his own blade
into a high horizontal block.
The contesting blades crackled and hissed as they came together.
This maneuver brought Jedi and Sith face to face, beads of sweat
sprouting as the warriors pressed their blades together for dominance.
Out of the corner of his eye, Malorum could see the Padawan climb back
through the door and start around to his right.
Master Karfu must have sensed the return of his Padawan, too. He
spoke with confidence as he locked stares with the Sith. "You were
foolish to come alone, Dark Lord."
A dark robed figure stepped from the shadows near the
approaching Padawan. "Who says he came alone?"
Darth Iratus moved into view facing the dueling pair. Ryeth,
positioned on the Sith Lord's right flank, saw an opening and rushed in.
Iratus, without even looking at the charging Padawan, raised his
right arm out to his side and shot a crackling jet of force lightning into the young man's face.
The Padawan fell to his knees, lightsaber tumbling to the side, as
he grasped his ruined face with both hands. Master Karfu pushed hard off
Malorum's blade spinning out to the side and disengaging his blade.
"Another Sith?" the Jedi asked.
"Always there are two." Iratus replied dryly.
Malorum, still a bit surprised by his Master's unexpected arrival,
cleared his thoughts and started to slowly work his way around the right
flank of the Jedi, attempting to trap him between himself and Darth Iratus.
Iratus still stood across the room near the kneeling Padawan, who
was softly crying into his hands. Iratus produced two lightsabers, igniting one and then the other.
Karfu, keeping a wary eye on the two Sith asked Iratus "You need
two lightsabers, Dark Lord of the Sith?"
"I need none, this only makes it fun." Iratus smiled, bringing his right saber up in front of his face in a classical salute toward Master Karfu.
The Sith Lord held the saber in place for a moment, looked into Karfu's
eyes and with a callous smirk brought his saber down hard diagonally to
the right. The slash cut into the kneeling Padawan's neck, cleanly
decapitating the young man.
Karfu's eyes shot wide in horror as a scream tore from his throat.
The Jedi Master charged toward Iratus. Malorum saw his opening
and lunged at the Jedi, blade leading in an „a" to „b" thrust at the man's
midsection. Karfu was barely able to get his own blade down in time to
intercept the orange blade, but he used the momentum of that parry to
launch himself into a somersault over Malorum and toward Iratus.
Darth Iratus stepped into the Jedi's path, catching the man's
lightsaber with his right blade. In one fluid motion, the Sith Lord pushed
Karfu's blade high and out to the Jedi's left, then dropped onto his left
knee and brought his left lightsaber straight across severing both the
Jedi's legs just below the knee. Before the surprised Jedi could fall to the floor Iratus extinguished his right saber and used his right hand to force
push Karfu back against the far wall. Karfu flew past Malorum and
slammed into the wall, sliding down it to come to a rest in a sitting position.
Miraculously, he retained his grip on his lightsaber and brought the
weapon into a vertical guard position before him.
Malorum looked at the grievously wounded Jedi, then to his Master.
"Master, when did you arrive? I did not sense your presence until you
stepped from the shadows."
"And you are surprised by this?" remarked Iratus. The Sith lord
looked to the Jedi, "Not going anywhere for a while? Good." Iratus then continued to address his apprentice. "I arrived before you and have been 12
watching these..." Iratus spat the next word, "Jedi... from the shadows of their very base of operations."
Malorum shook his head in awe, "Then you could have taken them
at any time."
"Yes," Iratus replied "but it was your test."
"Did I pass?"
Iratus paused briefly, locking eyes with his apprentice, before
answering, "You did not fail. Now go finish your test."
Darth Malorum turned on his heel and approached the crippled
Jedi. With a snarl, he brought his lightsaber across in a powerful two-hand
swing. The impact smashed the Jedi's guard to the side. Malorum
instantly reversed his swing, bringing his blade back across and splitting
the Jedi's head in two.
"Now you have passed.” remarked Darth Iratus.