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Relona 2nd, 3632 BBY

Darth Atrox's Personal Chamber

 

 

Darth Atrox sat upon his durasteel seat, the discomfort as obvious as the room that laid to right of the man, the durasteel door closed tightly and no noise escaping it as a smile was placed upon his lips. The package was to be summoned according to plan, though he did not know how much resistance Setsuna would provide, though it was doubtful she would be dumb enough to flee. She had to have some form of intelligence if she was to survive Korriban, though he was not interested in enforcing her death, in fact, he had uses for a woman who had been close with his former apprentice, the disappearance of the man being a simple stepping stone. The office had been decorated with red cloths and a handful of tomes were placed behind him on a shelf, war notes and his own personal notes on the power of Force Walking, though the freedom he felt from breaking the bond with the Sith spectre was immeasurable - though he would need to find another spectre to occupy his being if he wanted to be the feared head of the Empire.

 

Dressed in dark garb, the man did not wear his cumbersome battle armor, instead wearing what would be expected of a man who held his standing. Stitched into his cloak was the symbol of House Sideralis, the golden stitching being embroidered in the center, while the rest of his attire was a simplistic black tunic and black trousers, and instead of typical leatheris boots that many wore, combat boots were worn - partially due to the fact the man hadn't returned to Ziost. Regal was one of the words to describe the man as he sat there, though the prominent scars that sat upon his face and the hidden scars underneath his clothing showed that there was more to the man than his diplomacy, if it could be called that.

 

Blood had caked under the man's boots and it was very obvious that the man had preoccupied the room as the blood trail led directly to the man's very position. His arms sat out in front of him on his desk, fingers steepled together as he sat waiting, his hair slicked back as he sat there waiting, his corrupted complexion grey and the scar upon his eye merely amplified by the molten color of his eyes. Within the dark corners sat two of Darth Atrox's personal guards, though they merely sat there due to their skills with the task that had been in progress prior to the summoning of Setsuna. Positioned beside his right elbow sat a pair of bloodied rubber gloves, set out nicely for use once more, though it was merely meant to be a symbol of the Kaar's faux kindness. 

 

To think he wouldn't have left a seat for his esteemed guest was offensive, though it wasn't the most prestigious position to be in. To meet with Darth Atrox was to either seal deals, or to be manipulated into a puppet - both outcomes only favoring the man, though the meeting would decide Setsuna's true fate. Would she be free or would she merely be a puppet upon strings that could be cut at any time? The question brought a cruel grin to his face as he narrowed his eyes upon the entrance to his chamber, watching as the woman was escorted into the chamber as two durasteel columns flanked her.

 

"Welcome Apprentice Andal, please take a seat! I unfortunately lack a beverage cart, though I suppose you could always go with Solomon to see Verrin after this, no?The greeting was meant to reveal the obvious, that he simply did not care for his former apprentices little moniker and he knew to keep closer tabs on most individuals that socialized with Verrin, most were heretical after all - and Darth Atrox simply allowed them to do as they bid, but for Verrin to think they weren't spied on, well that was the Zabrak's downfall. Extending out a hand towards the seat in front of his desk, the Kaar feigned a friendly smile before speaking up once more, "I know what you probably think.. that you were merely brought here to die, but I am not here to perform your execution personally. I'm here to assist you, though you will be assisting me at the same time. I also apologize for you being led on by my apprentice, though he did his duty to ensure you stayed there long enough. S'irakar is a creature of habit, he pretends weakness and it works perfectly - a lesson I told him to practice, of course."

 

The friendly nature displayed was obvious a facade, but it was obvious the man wouldn't simply execute the woman with a swift strike of his lightsaber, he rather enjoyed when people suffered. Suffering was beautiful, an art form, and like his other guest the suffering of one individual could reveal so many truths, yet some of those truths were only half-truths. Similar to how he found out the woman was the only real reason at to why the Imperials survived the space station, though the knowledge that fear only guided her hand was far from what the Kaar desired. It was the beginnings of true potential, but fear had to be silenced to grow.

 

"Now, I understand you have skills in the medical field and some understanding of the light side of the Force, but what do you know of torture?" Bringing his hand back once the woman either took the seat or refused, the Kaar planted his hand onto the desk near the rubber gloves, the blood slowly drying and crusting, "I suppose torture is a loose term in this case, what do you know of vengeance? Perhaps nothing, after all your mother is still alive and I am still here, seated before you," tongue clicking against his teeth in a mocking manner, he rolled his hother and in a gesture of thinking of how to relate her skills to something that was the reverse of her field, "I understand very little about typical medical procedure, but I do know the difference between poison and medicine is in the dose - meaning things that can heal can also inflict pain and death.

 

"I used to be like you, I did not wish to spread suffering amongst those weak, though sometimes the weak need to be culled so those with potential can thrive. I suppose that is why Solomon chose you, though I wonder if there is more? He hunted you down with such passion, yet showed Verrin you while you were being prepared to re-educated. It'd be silly not to think he had some sort of lust for you, he even tracked you down to be his apprentice," the words meant to taunt and share that the man before her wasn't always ruthless, though he only gave a friendly smile. 

 

"I am shocked, personally, that Verrin never sought you out afterwards, perhaps Verrin witnessed Solomon's advances, though he tends to have a thing for weak and repulsive individuals much like yourself," he laughed at the words that he spoke, the recording HK had of their discussion and the mouthy Zeltron reminded him far too much of Chen Karnok, and he would deal with his apprentice at another time, once he fully understood the teachings of the Luka Sene. "I have something for you, that lets your anger take form outside of failing to lash at me - I do not need to sense your emotional state to understand how someone like you works. Women are fickle and emotional creatures, but much like my former apprentice I offer you freedom, and maybe once you are cooperative.. revenge against who ever you would like, maybe even the person before you," the insults were not withheld, he knew how vengeful a single woman could be, how their thirst for vengeance could drive them to garner more power - Darth Sanguira practically thrived off her thirst for power and vengeance.

 

Fingers clenching into a fist, he cared very little for the woman's own personal morals, he hardly even cared for her emotional state - emotion had to be removed from the killing of another individual, especially one that stood in the way of progress.

 

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Here's your post Setie, as I said there are pieces probably not complete, but I was working on it while I waited for others to post in the Dark Council thread. Sorry if there are random parts missing, tell me and I'll fix 'em ASAP! :P

 

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Setie was getting very tired of being a damn pawn in a game she got nothing out of but an ulcer...

 

She had hoped she was done with cells too but apparently she was not.  Though she wasn't sure if she could call it such.  Sure it was rather plain, and she wasn't allowed out.  At the same time though no one bothered her, there was no interrogations, she was fed, there was even a bed.  In comparison to other accommodations she'd resided in this one wasn't too bad.

 

That probably said something terrible about her life...

 

She was left for a day, which frankly just annoyed her.  The boredom was the worst.  It had her wanting to climb the walls but there was nothing for it.  She was left in her room with no datapads, books, entertainment, or even her lightsaber.  Though that last one would have surprised her anyway to be fair.  With little else she settled as best she could and spent much of the day meditating on things.

 

She was a pawn, somewhere in a game.  She knew Sith that enjoyed their games and some that preferred being straightforward.  There was also some that just liked to be both.  The people playing the game were the ones that dictated the rules and players.  Somewhere along the line she got included in this.  That was a dangerous thing and she was likely to end up dead if she did not pay attention.

 

She was a pawn...but she was not without a will of her own.  She meditated on that fact as she did her best to connect the dots on matters.  Setie had been pulled into this game.  As far as she could tell it was something of a contest between Atrox and Verrin but it seemed...shallow.  No there was likely more than just the surface facts and she did not know enough.  Such facts also likely were not going to be brought to light to her either.  She might have been a peon in matters but she doubted anyone in this game was stupid enough to just tell her everything going on.  Besides, they could only tell her what they knew from their perspectives much like the conversation in the cantina with the others.

 

Her mother was the one to have her pulled in, that much was clear.  Though Setie doubted her mother even knew what she had been doing.  Kelna Andal did not think long term enough usually.  She was direly short sighted in some cases but both women were born survivors.  Setie was set on surviving this game.  Sometimes that was all one had to do in order to win a particular game.

 

On the plus side, if she was considered a piece in the game, it meant she was less likely to be killed.  As it was she could only assume that she was going to live.  If Atrox had been set on her death then she doubted she would have been taken alive in the first place.  She wasn't important enough to warrant an actual public execution.  Korriban (at least she was pretty sure) was a fluke because of Verrin's presence.  Atrox would the piece be broken and removed from play than to be given to the enemy.  She couldn't say the same with Verrin, though she couldn't say how he operated at all.  She didn't know either Kaar well enough to make particularly firm judgements.

 

Finally her cell opened and she was told to follow.  The two guards were covered in durasteel and while it was tempting to try and escape she behaved herself.  She had not been privy to seeing where she might be and while she was pretty sure she was still on Dromund Kaas and probably in the Sith Sanctum somewhere she wasn't likely to get far if she tried to escape.  Who knew how much worse that would make things too.

 

She would have to take the evil she somewhat knew and hopefully could survive.

 

Setie barely look in the grandiosity of...well she supposed it was something of a throne room?  That was what it made her think of as she was escorted into it.  No need to wonder what Atrox wanted out of life, the short answer was everything.  Though she did have to say she felt sorry for the droid or slave that likely had to clean up that blood.  She'd been required to do it enough that she knew it was likely to leave stains. 

 

She sat carefully after giving a proper bow.  After all, no matter what else he was Atrox was a Kaar and a leader of Sith.  She might have been many things but Setie had manners drilled into her as a young child before she grew into her force sensitivity.  The only thing she technically did not do right was lower her eyes, that was simply because Atrox was a big threat to her existance.  She didn't see a point in not regarding him as such, even if she showed proper respect to his station.  

 

It took her a moment to realize who he meant when he stated the name Solomon and another to connect the dots on who S'irakar was.  At least it was validating to know she had been right to be suspicious of the eyeless bugger...ugh!  To think she actually thought he might have been a nice guy.  She had to remind herself that there was no such thing as a nice Sith.  Case in point with Atrox here even apologizing.  She was pretty sure he didn't mean a word of it, he probably thought such a thing hilarious.  After all, there wasn't any particular reason for that tactic.  He could have just had her tracked down to her home or followed.  She might have called it cruel, which considering who she was talking to and the fact that just being around him made her skin crawl and self preservation tell her that fleeing was a really good idea...made that almost expected.

 

Still, she couldn't help the scowl that crossed her face at the run down.  Even if she had been suspicious of the ploy, it had not mattered overly much and in the end she had sat there like a good little lamb to the slaughter.  She didn't bother wasting her breathe trying to defend herself or accuse anything.  She had gone with her master to visit Verrin, even if the place was a public building that apprentices and acolytes and even lords could walk into without being harassed.  She should have realized that something was probably amiss for Inoruti...er Solomon to be talking to Verrin of all people.  As for S'icari...er S'irakar, she would have been sitting there anyway chattering away without the man showing up.  These were failings on her part, not on anyone else's.  She was the idiot that just went strolling along without considering past if something would end up with her as a corpse.

 

"Now, I understand you have skills in the medical field and some understanding of the light side of the Force, but what do you know of torture?"

 

The question confused Setie and she knew it was evident on her face, as if she could have hidden her reactions in the first place.  Her medical skills were likely a matter of public record but the light side part was not something she knew of.  She couldn't think of any light sided people she had been around, at least that she had heard of.  Void she never met a Jedi or another force sensitive that wasn't an acolyte on Korriban.  Then again maybe she had and did not realize it?  It would be just her luck...abysmal as usual.

 

She opened her mouth to answer the question and ask about that but Atrox was already plowing onto things.  As such she opted to shut up and wait her turn to speak.

 

"I suppose torture is a loose term in this case, what do you know of vengeance? Perhaps nothing, after all your mother is still alive and I am still here, seated before you."  The mocking clicking of his tongue set Setie's teeth on edge, making her remember strongly how patronizing her mother would get when she mocked Setie in public.  Usually before the private beatings.  Atrox continued and Setie made it a point to breathe against the panic attack that was trying to claw it's way out of her throat.  Atrox might indeed beat her like Kelna had but Setie had to remember that Atrox was a lot more powerful and trying to fight back with words, physically, or with the Force was likely to have dire consequences.  

 

It was a struggle, but she managed not to roll her eyes at Atrox when he commented that he used to be like her.  She didn't know anything about the man to be fair but somehow she strongly doubted he had been anything like her.  It was mildly amusing that he assumed she didn't make the weak suffer because of some kind of morals.  Honestly it had been more because she was certain she was the weakest link.  Culling, bullying, or whatever one wanted to call it required a set amount of confidence in self that the other person would not be stronger than you.  Setie had opted not to gamble that.  In hindsight perhaps she could have done such things, she had not had the confidence though in the training her mother had given her, didn't believe she had enough potential.  

 

Then the struggle against her face too a critical hit.  At Atrox's comment about Solomon apparently lusting after her, Setie to looked at the man like he had lost his mind, then slowly her face started turning red and she squirmed.  She wasn't completely in the dark about er...things of that nature but she also wasn't an idiot.  She had a few flings before and they all ended...well pathetically and frankly the odds of trouble from such entanglements made it simply not worth it.  There certainly was not a line of boys mourning her decision of celibacy out there.  Since the only occasion she had thought about that decision again had been when someone was actually employing a tactic to hold her up, she considered it evidence that she was correct in her beliefs on the subject.  She would not be attending any Sith orgies anytime between now and her demise.

 

Just the topic though was enough of a shock to get a reaction from her though.  "Guess Verrin and Inoruti will have to be happy handling their own sabers," she muttered under her breath as she crossed her arms a moment.  Then she realized what she said and the color leaked out of her face as one hand darted to her mouth as if hoping to silence herself.  Ugh, just great...she really could not resist stupid comments could she?

 

"I have something for you, that lets your anger take form outside of failing to lash at me - I do not need to sense your emotional state to understand how someone like you works. Women are fickle and emotional creatures, but much like my former apprentice I offer you freedom, and maybe once you are cooperative.. revenge against who ever you would like, maybe even the person before you."

 

The confusion over everything returned, leaving Setie mentally scrambling to try and figure out what was going on.  A multitude of questions buzzed in her head demanding to be said.  Thoughts ran amok and panic had it's claws in deep as she tried to breathe.  Instead though her brain settled on what was likely to be the worst damn comment.

 

"Wait, you were expecting me to lash out at you?  Did someone tell you I have a death wish?  Who in their right mind is going to pick a fight with the bloody Kaar of Military Defense?  I think I'd rather punch a terentatek because it would be over faster!"

 

She bit her tongue, easily visible even as she closed her eyes tight.  Her already icy hands clenched into fists in her lap as if she wanted to hit something.  No amount of mind reading was needed to tell she was mentally shredding herself for her stupidity.  Apparently she did have a death wish if she was going to be getting sassy at a frigging Kaar!  Sweet Force...maybe he would just rip out her tongue instead of beheading her...she couldn't say she liked the idea of either really.  How in the Force had she ended up here?

 

"I-I'm sorry...um my lord.  I'm a little- uh I mean..."

 

Force she hoped the man had a sense of humor about things.  She might survive with her sanity intact then.

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Darth Atrox didn't truly mind her more vocal nature, women were unfortunately more vocal than most - even in the face of someone with more authority. Practically bubbling a sharp laugh after her apology, he had examined her shift in color as she spoke, even though it was typical for the woman - she was either emotionally distraught or trying to recoil back within her mind. She had much to learn, but that was the point of the Sith - many overcompensated power for understanding and were left for dead at the worst of times.

 

"Oh no, I very much expect you to turn and run once you believe you have my trust, and I'm very sure that you'd rather a terentatek kill you than someone who lacks remorse in ending the life of pointless mutts. I'd much rather die from another Sith though, there is a chance they may kill you instantly, though there is the fact the terentatek don't exactly kill you instantly. Their claws and tusk are poisonous enough to basically slowly kill the body and paralyze you, though their mouths are filled with countless teeth in rows. You'd probably be in complete unbearable agony as it would eat you alive," speaking as he stood up to his full height, staring down at the woman as he picked up the gloves from the table, studying her features.

 

Walking over to one of the nearby columns, the Kaar rested his palm against it before a control panel was revealed beneath a shifting panel of durasteel. Fingers going over the correct combination of letters, the Kaar pondered on why she was so aggravated by the mentioning of Solomon and Verrin, though the comparing of lightsabers comment made him almost roll his eyes - after studying the recordings, that came up a few times and unfortunately the Kaar wanted to claw his ears out. 

 

"You speak of Verrin and Solomon as if you hold no love for them, did Solomon leave you? He wasn't one who stuck around, and to be completely honest with you I regret even elevating him to the position of mentor for those lower caste members. He never was one who could be trusted, neither was he one to entirely grasp how a Sith apprenticeship works.. and please, do not treat that insect with the respect of calling him by his Sith name, it's rather degrading for someone who wishes to become a Sith to speak of one in such a manner, though Verrin never chose a Sith name to my understanding - though it isn't shocking, he never was one to keep to tradition," speaking towards the wall as the chamber door slowly opened, the hissing of mechanisms and the sound of metal locking into place to keep the chamber open.

 

If it wasn't obvious from the way he spoke of the impudent rodents of the Empire, the annoyance that bubbled throughout the Kaar's own presence turned the air cold, the dark side being almost able to reveal annoyance, anger and hatred in many different forms. The hairs on the neck of the guardsmen stood up as they shifted uncomfortably, readjusting their position to keep their force pikes in a tighter grip. Force-blind guardsmen were regarded as more skilled than Sith guardsmen due to their ability to utilize their training in multiple styles of combat as opposed to singular lightsaber combat, but they were still susceptible to the Force. 

 

"I expect that is why you are more willing to cherish your life instead of fighting back. You lack a savior currently, and I can inform you that no one will come and save you from whatever fate you think you will experience here.. but I can be that savior - I can elevate you from the miserable slums of Imperial society into a life of grandeur. I would never take anything as weak as you as my own personal apprentice, but I can use you and guide you to becoming more like a Sith," turning around to speak to her directly, he slid his arms behind him and seized his hands together in a vice-like grip, his voice almost emotionless as he looked upon her, "How much do you know about the Sith? Obviously your mother taught you barely anything, or else you would've stayed put on Korriban. Everyone has their own interpretation, but to learn of what the Sith truly are.. that requires time and dedication, something very few desire to waste time on - that is why I want to know yours."

 

He stood there, chin up and back straight as he looked at her, he wanted to understand her grasp of the Sith - for all he knew, she thought some were monsters and some were kind and generous, though perhaps S'irakar's display was what could be best described as what most 'kind Sith do', tricking weak-minded individuals into a false sense of security.

 

 

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Lost my bigger and more detailed version of this post, but here it is Setie :P I'll try not to have Atrox go on rants openly, though I did have that as one of his old flaws :P

 

Corruption III provides a sense of dread and other emotions, depending on what emotion is there towards those weaker in the Force - go amplifying emotions and stuff!

 

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Setie couldn't deny that Atrox's assessment that she would turn and run was correct.  That was after all how she had managed to survive.  

 

"My lord, you are the Kaar of Military Defense.  I highly doubt you became a leader of Sith by trusting anyone.  It would be stupid of me, not to mention deadly, of me to assume you trust me in the slightest," Setie stated in a factual manner.  "As for terentateks while yes their claws and tusks are poisonous they feed on the flesh and blood of force users and hibernate for centuries.  I doubt they take time with their food to I'd be likely to die on the first bite if a claw didn't cut me in half first.  They would likely attack the neck first like most predators and severing the major blood vessels there would lead to death in seconds if not the teeth.  I'm not a large bite like yourself.  As such my odds of being devoured whole are very slim."

 

She flushed a bit, realizing she was...well...correcting the Kaar.  She was batting a thousand today it seemed as he stood up and reminded Setie just how damn big and powerful he was without probably meaning to.  "I uh...I had a strong interest in biology my lord.  I-It's not useful to most but I found teretateks and other creatures drawn to the dark side to be fascinating.  One of the reasons for my medical training."

 

She let out the breath she was holding that he went to a column and didn't attack...yet.  Maybe she would manage this but she really needed to watch her mouth.  She was pretty sure she was pushing it as it was.

 

"You speak of Verrin and Solomon as if you hold no love for them, did Solomon leave you?" 

 

"Should I have love for them my lord?" she asked even as she tried to twist to see into the room he uncovered, though she failed from both Atrox and the column being in the way.  She had not been instructed to follow or rise though so she stayed in her seat like a good subordinate.  "From my understanding In- er Solomon dragged me into a cell and threw me around, twice.  As for Verrin him coming for a harmless little chat almost got me executed, not to mention...other events.  Why should I have any love for either of them?"

 

The statements were true.  She didn't really have much love for either man.  She didn't hate Verrin technically, and she certainly had to respect the old alien's abilities given her last adventure on the rakghoul fill space station.  Respect was not the same as love or caring about the zabrak's welfare.  You could respect an enemy and still murder them.  Solomon she was a bit more mixed on.  She wouldn't claim she had any great love for him either though.  He might have came and found her, twice, but he'd still beaten her and then ignored her like she was some kind of pet.  She knew very well that she was a tool to various Sith, so being particularly attached to any of them would have been moronic.  That was how Sith worked, you were useful or not to them.

 

Besides, she certainly was not about to claim love for either of them when just talking of them had such an effect on Atrox.  His hate was a powerful thing and she dearly hoped never to be on the receiving end of it.  It had her hands curling hard into the chair's arms until her fingers hurt and a few loose things rattled quietly as she struggled against the urge to hurl things everywhere and run.  She had to stay and deal with this, running would not help her.  She tried to argue that in her mind as she tried to remember how to breathe.  Panic making her feel like a tuk'ata was sitting on her chest.  Atrox's words of how she lacked a savior did not help matters nor when he called her to weak to be his own apprentice (which she believed he had plenty of already) but the rest of his words were confusing so she opted to focus on battling down her reaction to his displeasure until she felt a bit more steady.

 

"How much do you know about the Sith? Obviously your mother taught you barely anything, or else you would've stayed put on Korriban. Everyone has their own interpretation, but to learn of what the Sith truly are.. that requires time and dedication, something very few desire to waste time on - that is why I want to know yours."

 

The mention of her mother made Setie twitch, a spurt of anger making things rattle dueling inside her with the knee jerk reaction to defend her mother, like any normal person would.  Thankfully she had a decent distraction in his question though she didn't know how to respond to it.  No one wanted to know what she thought.  That was something her mother had drilled into her quickly and early.  She did not matter.  No one had ever challenged that concept, even her Master had tossed her around and told her she didn't matter either way when he convinced her to be his apprentice.  The Kaar couldn't actually want to know what a lowly peon actually thought about Sith.  It had to be a test, he was trying to see something.  Maybe she needed to answer closest to what he thought Sith were?

 

Force take her but how in the void was she suppose to know that?!

 

"I doubt what my mother would have taught would have had any baring now.  She is of the old Empire before Emperor Cideon after all," Setie pointed out in an attempt to buy time and think.  "Korriban now is different from Korriban then.  As for Sith..."

 

She went quiet a moment, trying to organize a good answer in her head.  Force guide her tongue because she had no idea what to say.  Hoping the Force might help her in this as she tried to think of everything she ever read in history, mysticism, philosophy, biology, psychology, and even that her mother might have told her to aid in this.

 

"Sith are complex.  One doesn't just define them as power or cause or monsters or men.  They are...different things to different people as you have stated.  To you I assume...perfection?"  She looked around the room again.  Yes that made some sense to her.  Some Sith would have been happy to have a gloomy dungeon for a home.  This one though did not.  He wanted to be the ruler, everything in a place that made sense and complimented him.  She was likely sitting in the room of the next one to challenge the Emperor.  She was not a seer though that might tell if he would manage that or not.  

 

It made this game all the deadlier for her and she knew damn well that her life was in the man's hands right now.

 

"Perfection.  That seems right to me a correct term to apply.  No matter if someone wants power, a cause, survival, or a title; they must seek to strengthen themselves against weakness.  Hone themselves into what they see as perfect.  To me...," her voice changed a bit without her knowing.  Hardening from the anger and frustration at her life that boiled under the surface waiting to be let out, though fear kept it in.  "To me it is to be without chains.  Without being a slave in the mind even when I have no collar.  To have the power to stand for myself and what I choose and make those who have stood against me quake even just a little.  To be...like a terentatek in a way.  Wild, mighty, and alive instead of always a shadow cast by a tree."

 

She frowned then, cringing as she realized that she was rambling.  "Apologizes my lord I'm sure you don't want to hear some weakling girl rattling on," she said, the fear coming back and her mind telling her that he did not want to hear such drivel.  "You asked how much I know.  I know history, philosophy, I've tried to follow the Sith Code to the best of my ability without a...proper guide.  I'm sure you can attest that one can only get so far without direction.  I might have been given it but that doesn't mean it was ever within my abilities.  My mother herself seemed to delight in giving me tasks I could not complete to her exact wishes."

 

That was of course an understatement.  Her mother had been very picky on what Setie could and could not do.  Case in point the night she found Setie had made a lightsaber without her expressed permission.  A hand reached up and rubbed at Setie's cheek as she memory twisted in her mind.  The memories as clear as the day they happened.

 

"And you my lord know In-er Solomon much better than I do.  You have said yourself what a teacher he is."

Edited by Setsuna Andal
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Setsuna's replies mostly filled the Kaar with suspicion, she seemed almost different than the woman that had been captured and held prisoner - she almost felt like a Sith, almost. Her understanding of biology was a blessing, and potentially a curse, but she did not know what a Sithspawn was capable of doing to a living being without seeing one face-to-face. The fact she showed no real allegiance, not even to Solomon was impressive, though her acknowledging that Verrin could have very well have spelled her death caused a smile to play upon her lips - she didn't know why, but she acknowledged it. Her hatred for her mother made her strong, the distaste for the women could be held onto and controlled for power, but that simply wouldn't assist the Kaar in his endeavors.

 

Unfolding his hands and placing his right hand upon his chin, he gently stroked his beard as he listened to her explanation of what Sith were, and while she had some grasp on the basic ideals of the Sith and a bit more, her answers were at best satisfactory. Sith were complex, though their complexity came from not understanding the dark side fully - how they didn't let the dark side flow through them and to command it when the Force wasn't willing, to properly dismantle the Force and recreate it through sheer force of will. Removing his hand from his chin as she returned to her more timid and docile nature, he shook his head slightly with a laugh.

 

"Understanding the enemy is half the battle, Andal. You've revealed that behind your rather pathetic demeanor, there is something stirring, something powerful - yet you have yet to fully grasp it and cling to it," speaking almost softly as he closed his eyes for a moment and reopened them, he began again, "I would rather you not refer to my former master as Emperor," obviously annoyed by the mentioning of his former master, the Kaar continued, "I do not see the Sith as perfection, in their current state they are plagued by disillusion. Instead of power, most simply seek knowledge, believing that through study they can gain some form of power, and as an example from that one Sith, the xeno - the pink one - their ego could easily be their downfall. Someone could pretend all their chains are broken, though there is always one chain clinging to them, even to the Sith'ari."

 

Moving from his position as he slowly contemplated on how to force her to stand up and perform the task ahead. He walked with simple grace, though he kept his eyes forward - refusing to acknowledge the woman with his gaze. Complex beings as they were, he could not simply break her mentally or physically, he could cheaply entice her through subtle manipulations. Pain could excite or limit an individual, though he simply didn't believe the woman could properly grasp torture methods of Sith Philosophy, though she could adapt her medical knowledge into it.

 

"Doctor Khul, or Lyle Khul as you may know him, is my other guest of honor. Like any good host, I have made preparations to properly, oh what is the word, provide sustenance. I may have lied about there being nothing to drink, but alas I am not the best host," clicking his tongue against his teeth as he lowered his head and seized the gloves from his desk, turning to look over his shoulder towards the woman with an emotionless gaze, he spoke once more before he moved towards the freshly open chamber, "I hope you haven't ate anything in the last handful of hours, it would ruin the meal."

 

"Please do follow, we simply wouldn't want to leave my other guest waiting," slipping the gloves over his hands while speaking and sliding his hand into his robe, he removed a vibroknife and exhaled calmly - Niman taught the importance of emotional control and in such manners as this, it was best to have some form of it.

 

Sprawled out and bound to a torture table was the man, most of his cybernetic implants removed and laid beside him, including his cybernetic replacement for a hand and a couple of teeth, each showing different levels of decay. There was drink, at least for the dark side, and there was sustenance for the Sith by inflicting pain on nuisances. Rough cuts had been made across his exposed torso and face, lines carving up around his cybernetic implant that was located near his ear and torn from it's place and even one of his eye sockets was empty, though the area around it was torn apart, there was no sign of the organ or implant any where. An intravenous drip and monitors were attached to his body to ensure his survival and to properly check to see if he was dying, though there was a steady beat to the man's heart, though it wasn't obvious from the lack of motion.

 

"He had even spoken of you highly, 'the reason the Empire escaped that space station alive', though I believe that matters little in the long run," speaking as he moved around the table in a large circle, he picked up one of the teeth and crushed it inbetween his thumb and index finger, liquid soon dripping down from between his fingers as he tossed what remained back onto the table.

 

Deafened by the removal of his cybernetic implant, the man was almost completely unaware of his surroundings and simply was forced to stare at the ceiling by a metal strap that had locked in around his forehead. Blood was freshly smeared across his face as if a hand had grabbed the man by the chin, as well as agitated cuts along his rib cage that caused fresh blood to be released with every breath he took. There was no need to draw out answers from the man through physical torture as the Kaar had successfully probed the mind of the man, but Setsuna didn't know that - nor did she know the reason she had been selected.

 

"Medical procedures typically allow one to separate the man on the table from their humanity and turn them to a simple animal, at least from my understanding," speaking coldly without turning to look at the woman, continuing to look at his 'masterpiece', "I learned from my tenure in Sith Philosophy how to properly gouge and maim an individual until they reveal their secrets, though I also learned that infiltrators typically had tooth implants that when bitten down upon with excessive force would release toxins into their body, so I took extra measure to ensure he had less teeth to proper bite down on. He has, however, not revealed his secrets to me and that is where you come in. Go ahead, try your hand at prying answers from him, there is a scalpel somewhere over there. If you fail, well, maybe you will be the next one of the table."

 

Turning his gaze down to the woman he towered over, he grinned slightly. As someone with the inability to properly keep up a strong front, he personally doubted she could continuously torture someone and pry answers from them - but perhaps getting the answers out of someone who was mentally damaged by the physical torture he had been put through over the course of his occupation in this chamber was a lot easier than getting it from someone unwilling and suicidal.

 

 

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Spoiler

Atrox is such a nice, young-looking-kind-of-old man. Let's see you write Setsuna's own personal battle with being forced to torture something she has no real connection to and even the false praise Atrox has promised the Imperial Agent gave :P I give you full creative reign, though he is mentally broken so some things may be too far-fetched, like a rancor hiring him or something :P

 

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Setie wished she could have read the Kaar’s mind.  While he certainly wasn’t trying to hide his expression she couldn’t tell if he was pleased or not from her answers.  It made her nervous and hope dearly that the little smile he wore for a second wasn’t one meaning he was about to use her blood to paint something.  Just the thought made her pull back into herself more...which only made Atrox laugh?  

 

"Understanding the enemy is half the battle, Andal. You've revealed that behind your rather pathetic demeanor, there is something stirring, something powerful - yet you have yet to fully grasp it and cling to it."

 

She couldn’t help but sigh at the first comment, frustration once again filling her.  Everyone seemed to think Setie had power yet she didn’t see it.  She supposed that was what the Kaar meant by she had yet to grasp and cling to it.  Frankly she thought it would have been more helpful if someone would just fracking give her an instruction manual on this because she was getting tired of hearing she was powerful and not seeing it anywhere.

 

She could not however help but cringe as Atrox told her not to refer to Cideon as Emperor.  How was she suppose to know Cideon had been his master?  She had not exactly been around when Cideon had ruled after all, she had been hiding on Nar Shaddaa.  Setie decided it was better to just nod and remind herself not to talk about the man again unless she had to.  She didn’t trust her voice to work under the terror.

 

She continued to nod as Atrox spoke about her answer.  She agreed that knowledge wasn’t everything.  She had grown up on Korriban and learned well but she’d never been able to apply anything on top of being limited in her learning.  Theories were one thing but you needed experience and experiments to learn and stretch.  All the knowledge in the galaxy was useless if you didn’t use it.  It had been one of the reasons she had left after all.  She had wanted to get out and live instead of constantly stagnating.

 

The Kaar shifted topics then, speaking of his other guest of honor.  Setie was confused about it as he grabbed the bloody gloves and headed for the room he’d revealed.  Her nerves increased but she managed to hold onto them as he commented that he hoped she hadn’t eaten in the last few hours.

 

She followed nervously, edgy from Atrox’s demeanor and the smell of blood that hit her along with less pleasant stenches.

 

Setie blinked as she took in the sight on the table.  Her brain already cataloging wounds by severity.  She could tell the man wasn’t dying.  Shock was nasty but from what she could see he was tended for that as well.  She might have missed that entirely if it had not been for the blue tinge on his lips showing issues with blood flow.  From all the cuts however that was hardly surprising, not to mention the removal of implants from the look of things.

 

Confusion crossed her face as Atrox said Khul spoke highly of her.  She had to take a moment to place what he was talking about and then she paled a bit from the memory.  

 

“I-I didn’t ...uh what I mean is-”

 

She was tongue tied from things.  She certainly did not believe she was the reason the Empire escaped.  It was complete luck that she hadn’t gotten them all sucked into space and killed honestly.  She had not done anything worthy of praise but then Khul couldn’t have known that.  He was from an older empire, like she was.  He probably thought her intending everything she did.  

 

She had to struggle against that internal voice that always sounded like her mother scolding her for pretending and telling her how dead she was when the Kaar found out what a lie it was.  She had no idea how to correct it though without admitting to gross incompetence and she really did not want to do that.

 

Then finally Atrox explained why she was here...or at least the overt reason.  First there was panic as Setie’s brain zeroed in on the threat of being next on the table.  A few things rattled as she breathed and held onto control by simple will to live.  She started looking at her options in her head then even as her eyes snapped around to take everything like a wild animal looking for a way out.

 

It was all a struggle, but she had to concede that she wasn’t getting out of here without doing what Atrox wanted.  She was puzzled though on what exactly it was that he wanted.  She didn’t believe for a second that Khul kept whatever information from the Kaar and she certainly did not believe that she was going to get answers that Atrox did not already get.  So if he wasn’t looking to get information out of the former cyborg then what was he wanting and how was Setie figured into this?

 

This had to be some kind of test that told Atrox something, but was it about her or about the man on the table?

 

As she tried to remember to breathe Setie stepped closer and started looking over Khul like she would a patient.  She needed to have a good idea of the damage done so she didn’t end up killing the man, at least not physically.  From the look of him he was already destroyed mentally and was just waiting for the body to catch up.  She recognized the demeanor of a broken person well, she’d seen it in the mirror often enough growing up after all.  Khul would tell her anything, but that was the problem with torture.  When you inflicted pain so much people would tell you anything to make it stop, that was why you had trained interrogators who knew how to manipulate and detect the truth.  

 

This wasn’t about Khul, this was about her in some way.   

 

Biting her lip Setie shifted to Khul’s feet and elevated them just a bit.  It would help with the blood flow issues he was having for a little bit.  Atrox might not like it but she had something of a plan going in her head...she just hoped it was good enough.

 

She took off her outer robe next, using it like a blanket over Khul.  He seemed to register the kindness and looked puzzled up at the ceiling.  She knew that pain too.  She needed him to come back a little though to answer her questions otherwise she was likely not to get anything.

 

Trying to remember some of the psychology she had studied when trying to understand people better she did her best to keep her voice light, like there wasn’t a very large and dangerous shadow towering over the pair of them watching her every move.

 

“Hello Lyle, it’s nice to meet you.  I’m Setie,” she said, hoping the first name basis might help him think of her as a friend and confide in her better.  “I have some questions for you and I need you to answer them honestly ok?  I’ll sense if it’s a lie and you will not like that so do be careful.  I wouldn’t want to accidentally kill an esteemed guest of the Kaar here.”

 

Khul swallowed but said nothing else, his one eye still staring up.

 

Taking a breath in hopes of calming nerves Setie did her best to focus on Khul, trying to feel out any dishonesty she might encounter.  She didn’t doubt he would be cooperative at first but at some point he was going to test his boundaries.  She didn’t inspire fear like Atrox did and he’d probably think her weak enough to con.

 

“Let’s start with some easy questions yes?”

 

It went on for a few moments with Setie covering the basics.  Occasionally she made it a point to slip in a question about the station.  Those Khul resisted a small bit.  She was pretty sure it was from pre-programmed behaviors of an agent trained not to speak of his mission but it might have been the mental trauma as well she supposed.  She could not have claimed to know exactly so she would ease around them instead.  They did however come up more frequently as she spoke, reminding him that they would get to them.

 

Eventually the inevitable happened, Khul told a lie.  Maybe it was nerves or terror or his broken mind or he was testing his boundaries and trying to come back into the fight.  Setie didn’t know and short of ignoring the lie and risking Atrox’s ire she couldn’t do anything about it.  He was being lenient right now and he wasn’t likely to stay that way if she veered off in a direction he didn’t care for.  The person on the slab was however dead no matter what she did, and the kindest thing to do likely would have been to put him out of his misery.

 

She couldn’t do that though, she was pretty sure Atrox would have an issue with it.  So she simply sighed and shook her head at Khul like a disappointed parent.  “I warned you about lying,” she said.  There was no emotion in her voice as she did her best to pull herself back from what she had to do mentally.  Not that she was sure what to do in the first place.  Setie wasn’t use to having power over someone, any kind of power.  She wasn’t use to inflicting pain on people, not when they were effectively helpless.  She’d hurt others in a fight but never like this.

 

She was a Sith though and she needed to act like it...even if it simply felt wrong.

 

Biting her lip Setie looked to Atrox for a moment, trying to gauge if he was going to be upset by things.  She couldn’t but it was habit to try and avoid potential reprisals by asking permission, even if it was silently.  Still gnawing on the lip she looked back to Khul and tried to calm and center herself better.  The nerves and fear in her belly were making it difficult but she could use those...she hoped.

 

She didn’t dare cut Khul, the shock already had him in a bad spot and if she kept slicing he was likely to die from blood loss.  Lightning or choking also were likely to cause to much damage to help either.

 

“The ability to heal is the ability to harm…” she murmured under her breath quietly to herself.  She’d never tried using her healing ability on someone else, but S’irakar’s words of how the dark side did not heal were true, it hurt to use that ability.  At the same time though, if she could pull it off Khul would be in a better condition, and Atrox might get his “answers” still.  The only one off poorly would be Khul but that couldn’t be helped.

 

Carefully Setie pulled the Force to her, focusing on Khul’s body as she pulled the robe down enough to eye one of the gashes on his chest.  Blood pulling skin from the clothe and making Khul squirm a bit.

 

Slowly Setie applied the Force, trying to push it to Khul instead of using it on herself.  It was harder to do, it felt strange in so many ways.  She tried to imagine it as part lightning attack and part heal as she focused on the wound and pushed hard at the body’s natural processes.  She had to muscle it along instead of letting it take it’s time.

 

Khul gasped and then let out a wailing scream, it was such a horrible sound that Setie jumped and lost her concentration thinking she had killed the man.  The wound was a knitted together some though not all of it.  The flesh pulled angrily and fresh blood seeped from it.

 

Khul blinked at her in confusion and agony.  “Wh-What was that?”

 

Setie’s wrung her hands together, trying to contain panic as she double checked Khul’s vitals.  “Uh...W-Well…”  she bit her lip against saying that she wasn’t entirely sure.  She was never going to get Khul to answer things if he didn’t think her competent in some degree.  “I closed part of your wound,” she said, deciding to stick to the facts about things and let the human mind play havoc with the unknown like it usually did.

 

“Y-You what?”

 

“I started fixing your wound,” Setie said, annoyed at having to repeat herself but the horror in Khul’s tone gave her an idea.  “Every time you lie, I will do that again.  If I fully restore you...well then I won’t be needed and the Kaar can see to your comfort again like a good host.”

 

She wasn’t scary no, but from the expression on Khul’s face the idea of being put through the Kaar’s entertainments again was not something he wanted.  This was a much better method for Setie, she wasn’t hurting the man (at least not exactly) and she didn’t have to risk killing him outright on Atrox then.

 

“Now then, let’s talk about the station hmm?”

 

“W-What do you want to know?” Khul asked, for once looking scared of her.

 

It was a new thing for someone to be afraid of Setie.  She wasn’t quite sure what to do with this feeling or how to even process it so for now she put it aside.  “Tell me about it.  Tell me about your mission.  I’ll let you know when I have questions or need clarification.  Remember not to lie though.  You don’t want to upset our host right?”

 

She did her best to have Khul cover everything, doing her best to keep her senses open to pick up any lies.  Whenever she caught one, even if it was small, she worked on another wound until it was closed.  The hard part was not so much the questions or the manipulation of tissue, it was keeping her focus.  She got lost a time or two after Khul lied, fascinated by the process she was doing even if she failed a few times and trying to see how good or bad it worked without really paying attention to Khul’s screaming.  She knew how to tune that out from her days working in labs after all.  

 

Other times she would sit quiet just staring at Khul, trying to get a better hold of the emotions running through her.  This unnerved him but she needed it to just calm down.  It was a heady thing to suddenly have power over someone, even under the pressure with Atrox breathing down her neck.  Between the Kaar and her low opinion of self she managed to keep from getting overly eager on matters.  It was a difficult balancing act between enjoying the moment and being frustrated that she’d never have power over someone again.  Not to mention the prospect of ending up on the table still hanging over her head.

 

Finally Setie was out of time, or at least out of questions.  Khul had talked about everything she could think to ask him about, save for what he had said about herself.  While she was curious she didn't think them relevant and didn't want to waste anyone's time.  Sweat was running down her back from matters but even if she didn’t learn what the Kaar wanted she was pretty sure she could do the odd flesh mending again. It wasn’t much different from using tools, it was just that the Force was her tool instead of other things this time.  

 

Using her sleeve to mop her face a bit since there wasn't any rags around Setie looked to Atrox, trying hard not to fidget from nerves.  “Was there anything else you had for your guest my lord?  I am afraid I have exhausted any questions I can think of.”

 

Please let it have been enough…  


Setie was pretty sure if she ended up on that table she wasn’t leaving as anything but a mangled corpse.

 

Spoiler

Since things are focused on Setie and not actually digging out information figured keep it simple.  Also since she has a background in medicine I figured she's likely to understand how to use the Force on the body better than the average guy.  Let me know if I should change that though since I'm not positive how things work with the shift in rules and such.

 

Powers Used:

Force Sense for detecting lies.

Attempted Force Infuse with some success.  I'll let you decide how much Kure! :D

 

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Darth Atrox stood silently, his eyes fixated upon the flesh that was mended, even with the woman's promises of it being 'complete', it wasn't permanent - at least without bacta. Eyes traced each wound slowly as the woman struggled to take the man's life, the shadows over Atrox's own body masking what disgust he felt - had the worm lied to him, then perhaps the joints would have cracked almost succinctly, along with the pained scream that would follow. Eyes turning to Setsuna with a slight scowl, her uncertainty would be her undoing, but there had at least been some form of advancement in her from the pathetic girl that once sat in the Sith Academy prepared for re-education. There was maybe some form of hope for her, even if she seemed hopeless at the moment.

 

Brushing his thumb along his beard to fix it slightly, he nodded at Setsuna once she turned and sought if he had any questions, though he could not think of many. There was, however, the question of how the Kaar would dispose of the agent of the old Empire, and as he moved silently, fingers quickly picking up one of the teeth that had been torn from the man's mouth, he stared at Setsuna with almost zero emotion - his eyes showing no sign of remorse for the action he was about to perform.

 

"Since we have a traitor on the table before us, I will show you what I do to traitors should you ever get the idea," speaking with an almost hollowed tone, the Kaar clutched the tooth in his hand before forcing his palm over the man's mouth and forcing the false tooth down his throat, thumb digging into the man's nose as he continued to ignore the scrambling of the asphyxiating man, "I expect you to continue to grow, continue to turn into your own Sith and once I feel you are fully ready to commit to the ways of the Sith, your mother will be yours."

 

The dark side rippled as the Kaar released a small spark of electricity into the man's mouth, searing his lips and tongue before forcing out more energy to seal most of his mouth shut through melted skin. Once more seizing the tooth, this time through the Force, the Kaar applied enough pressure to break the fake tooth. A suicide pill was one way to keep an agent from talking, but it was also extremely pain for one who was ill prepared for such an outcome. As the poison leaked into the man's system and slowly reached his heart. Watching the man convulse was almost pleasing to the Kaar, though as spittle and other fluids escaped the man, the Kaar removed his hand and finally looked down at the freshly deceased agent. 

 

"Perhaps it is time I did take another apprentice though, one that can assist me by not being well known. One that can be thought of as my enemy - one that is you," the words that escaped the Kaar's mouth even shocked him - why would he take someone so weak and frail? He hadn't truly seen his old self in the woman before him, but he could see that she had the same will to survive.

 

Beginning to walk away outside of the torture chamber, the Kaar did not wait for the woman to follow, instead he sought a single tome that rested on the bottom shelf behind his desk. Pulling the tome from it's place, he set it upon the table and sat back down onto his chair, two fingers resting against his forehead as a dull pain grew within. The tome itself was simply made from hides and contained no real description on the front cover, though there was obviously blood staining it from the dull red hue - that or wine, the Kaar was truly unsure. What it was, however, was the Kaar's own translated words from the tomes he had discovered on Yavin himself.

 

Waiting for the woman to either take a seat or to reach for the tome, the Kaar set his hand upon it. "If you are to become someone of importance, it is best to seek out answers of your own - though sometimes receiving a helping hand can always lead you in the right direction," looking up towards her, he didn't feign kindness, there was no such thing as kindness towards those that weren't his own blood - but he showed interest at most.

 

Every Sith had a beginning, and every Sith would have an end, but there was only one solution to becoming more - the mold had to be broken to properly become more than the faceless Sith that littered the Sith Empire. The comfort of the Sith had slowly started to chew the stitch, there had been no true adversity and with the plan on Coruscant there was only one solution - the prophecy had to be fulfilled. How and when, the Kaar himself did not know, but he knew he would protect those he thought could change the Sith for the better.

 

"Within this tome you will find answers to things that most Sith desire, the understanding of the emotional spectrum that empowers us, powers of the dark side that are typically thought of as twisted, but most of all - the ability to mask your presence and appearance through rituals. I do not believe you are ready for either, but in time you will understand the importance of them. It was previously held by S'irakar, but perhaps you can find some use out of it," ending the final statement with the mentioning of S'irakar, the Kaar removed his hand from the tome.

 

"My offer stands as it is, if you are to accept my apprenticeship then we will have a solution to your problems. If you choose to not accept it, but you will work for me the outcome is fairly similar. Now, if you choose to betray me or flee.. I will find you and I will make sure your suffering is ten times that of Khul. Do you understand your situation?" The ultimatum was loose, but that was how you dealt with someone who was.. eccentric like Setsuna, you couldn't simply offer one or the other, you needed to offer something.

 

 

Post Information

Spoiler

Force Powers: Force Lightning, Force Grip

 

Good post Setie, I liked reading it - kept it loose, with some creativity :P

 

Kinda crappy post, but I felt it was needed. Plus, time to throw Setie on her head :P

 

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Setie did not flinch or speak as Atrox used one of the spy's teeth to deal with him.  That was something of a mercy, if a horrible way to die.  She could think of worse fates though.  The threat was registered in her head but honestly she could only mentally shrug at it.  If death was the worst Atrox had for a traitor she couldn't help but be unimpressed.  Torture, science experiment, slavery, and other such unpleasant methods of living popped to mind for Setie.  She did not fear death, she feared the cage and the chains.  Horrific as the man's death was, his suffering was done.

 

There was a flick in her eye at the mention of her mother.  She wasn't sure of what Atrox said but she could understand the part about her mother.  She was both amused at Atrox for parading that before her and disgusted.  Part of her did want to gleefully jump at the prospect of visiting revenge on her mother but another part fled from the thought.  She wasn't sure which part was her and which part was just rhetoric beaten into her.  She'd have time to puzzle over it though.

 

Setie might have been lost in her own thoughts but her hearing was still good.  As the Kaar spoke she could feel her jaw drop and hang there in shock.  He hadn't just said what she thought he said...er had he?

 

Before she could form a coherent thought though Atrox was moving away leaving Setie to shake off her paralysis and scramble after him.  She was still trying to force her brain to work as the Kaar hunted down a book.  Curiosity perked but she forced herself to contain it.  It was never wise to let others know things you desired, even if it was as small as satisfying curiosity over a book.

 

She could only stand looking stupid for now.  She wanted to question, demand to know what was going on in Atrox's head.  He couldn't want her for an apprentice.  He had to have been joking.  

 

As the Kaar spoke again Setie counted herself glad that she contained herself enough not to stare with her jaw on the floor more.  While she did not believe in the slightest that the man was offering a helping hand out of kindness she did have to agree with his statement.  She was stronger than she had been before, but she was rudderless and more vulnerable than she liked.  

 

She gnawed on her lip nervously as Atrox spoke more, trying to review her situation.  He might have tried to phrase things differently but Setie could read between the lines.  It was amusing to her that Atrox seemed to dislike Solomon but the two had the same method of achieving their means.  They demanded you bend to them or die, maybe that was just a common attitude among Sith.

 

"If I may ask two questions my lord," she asked, her fingers twisting together as she mentally braced for some kind of punishment for just asking questions.  Her mother had always hated questions, Setie couldn't claim to know if Atrox would be the same.  "First, what is the actual difference between being your apprentice and working for you?  Apprentices work for their masters after all, so is it only the question of if you teach me anything versus me fumbling in the dark?  I would like to know what to expect when making an agreement...er...please?"

 

She waited patiently for his answer, still twisting her fingers about as she wondered if she would get any answer to that or the next question.

 

"And secondly... Why me?  There are certainly others you could have brought in who are um... more qualified.  Why me?"

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Darth Atrox looked up at Setsuna with a slight grin, his hand soon coming up to his eyes to brush away the sleep that had formed there. Sleep was still something the Kaar had lacked for awhile, and yet he showed no real weakness - outside of the corruption that flowed through his veins, the aging process hastened bit by bit. Her way of asking a question brought slight amusement to the Kaar, her hands practically snapped into an awkward position as if she was going to be reprimanded immediately, though the Kaar had some restraint for questions - at least after providing her with a proposition.

 

The difference between working for Atrox and being his apprentice was obviously the most concerning, at least for those that didn't understand how Darth Atrox worked - and rightfully so, she assumed there was being trained versus being thrown to the wolves. Her politeness brought slight disgust to the Kaar's face as he set his hand down onto the table and began to tap his index finger against the durasteel with a small pinging noise that echoed through the silence - he already knew the answer she would want, or so he thought, but to make her wait and to think of what was to come merely brought joy to the Kaar's cold heart.

 

"Serving, as you have made most obvious, is similar to an apprenticeship. There is no direct training, not immediately, that is for those that prove themselves worthy," letting the words fall from his lips, he trailed his eyes to the book itself, "A servant is bound to one's will, an apprentice is given some form of freedom. It is expected that an apprentice kneels, but they also have their own aspirations - those that see their own cause greater than the master's though, well you already know Solomon and his traitorous nature," snapping his finger as he spoke the name of Solomon, he soon clenched his hand into a fist as the veins crossed the surface.

 

"You can expect revenge, you can expect power, and most notably of all, you will be expected to understand your weakness by the time you are chosen by the dark side. It will be expected that you seek your name by focusing on the dark side, then once it is clear you will be expected to prove that it is who you truly are," finishing his sentence as he eased his hand back down to the table, waiting for the second question as he eased himself into the emotions that seeped from answering the questions.

 

Listening to her second question, he practically laughed as she was unsure of herself, of her qualifications - it showed that her mother's own influence still held her. Her self-doubt was the thing she clung to, the thing that ate away at her own resolve, the one thing that made her weak. Clicking his tongue against the back of his teeth, he stood up from his seat and placed his hand down onto the table, silently contemplating informing her of what he once was, before he let the dark side consume who he was.

 

"Why not? I wasn't born a Sith, and I hardly would call what you have been up until now a Sith. A Sith is built from being crushed and remade - their mold broken by a sculptor and then reforged in the heat of conflict," speaking as he looked at the woman's eyes, the chaos within him surfacing as he dredged out his own past from the back of his mind, "I would suggest you take a seat, unless you want to be bored to death listening to why I think you are the best fit."

 

"I was born on Alderaan to a Jedi and a simple noblewoman, though my mother did have ties to the Sith, I did not know until after I took her life. I was raised much like you were, expected to be perfect from day one, I was destined to be the patriarch of my small house, to live a life of luxury and bound by a forced marriage. Unfortunately, teenagers have hormones and I simply wasn't going to be bound by anything, my mind tricked me into thinking that my family was falling apart and I confided in a woman who would give me a daughter - though they both aren't alive anymore, I'll leave you to fill in those details yourself. Afterwards my true potential in the Force showed itself, I killed my father in anger, let the dark side begin to corrupt me and then.. well, I simply lived on my own on the streets of Alderaan for a few years," stopping to breathe in some air, a smile crossed his face as he shook his head, "I eventually tried to escape by boarding a Sith shuttle, thinking nothing of the symbol - I was a desperate animal attempting to survive, and then I was introduced to the Sith. It took me two years to properly understand what it meant to be a Sith - how one had to learn to live in secrecy, how one had to survive.. and that is why I believe you are similar enough to have the chance."

 

Turning to the guardsmen who stood there motionless, he nodded for them to move as the scraping of durasteel sabatons echoed through the room, finally leaving them both alone. Hand reaching towards the back of his belt, he seized his lightsaber and held it out in his hand. It was nothing flashy, nothing that determined he was some Sith Lord who was flashing what credits he had - it was simplistic, it was human. The bladeguard jutted out with three spikes and the handle was elongated, enough to fit the Kaar's monstrous hands around it, yet it showed how he kept things that were part of who he was - he wasn't grandiose like the former Emperor, yet he still held himself with what he had learned from his past.

 

"I can provide you a swift death, or I can provide you with a chance to seek out what is before you. You can continue to run, or you can seize the opportunity. Continue to be a coward, embrace your human side, or let the beast within you fester to the surface. A Sith controls their own destiny, yet many choose to abide by visions. The choice is yours," letting his speech end, he sat back down into the chair and flipped his lightsaber in his hand almost care-freely - his appearance hardly shifting from the typical stone-faced look he gave most.

 

 

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Good post, I wasn't expecting that from you writing Setie :P

 

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Setie did her best to contain her nervousness as Atrox let time stretch before answering her question.  She saw the disgust on him but wasn't sure if it was her questions that brought it or something else.  The combination had her spine stiffening as fear warring with a frustrated impatience to simply get the matter over with.  For now the fear won out, and she waited for whatever fate was in store for her.

 

When he spoke, she listened, trying to make sure she understood and might see any pitfalls.  A look of confusion crossed her face though as he spoke.  Her mind taking what he said and turning it over a few times like some prospector finding a metal they were not sure of.  She had asked the question out of genuine puzzlement.  Her mother had always taught her that a servant and an apprentice were the same thing.  One was simply taught while the other was not.  Apprentice, servant, and slave were all the same thing, just with three different terms.

 

Atrox was telling her otherwise and he was certainly more creditable in this then her mother who was a mere overseer.

 

A lifetime of programming was hard to combat though.  Her mother's conditioning had the word "no" floating in her mouth.  Fear of what would happen when she failed (because Setie did not know how to even think of being a success) and doubt in her own abilities to even manage pressing harder than any force power Atrox or the Emperor might have conjured.  She could only purposely clench her jaw and force herself to silence while she tried to think through the panic.

 

There was probably some kind of cosmic irony that the Kaar came to her mental rescue.  It was hard to have a mental critic railing at you when you had a very large and deadly individual looking you right in the eye.  Her own mother never had looked her in the eye, and strange as it was Atrox doing that was...well not comforting but is certainly cut down that inner voice of her mother's.

 

She blinked a moment as he told her to sit and opted to do so this time.  His words already milling about in her head.  Her mother always painted Sith as something akin to gods.  To have power and freedom from everything.  It wasn't exactly true but it was an image Setie always held in her head even as her mother informed her of how she was not going to be one for this flaw or that.  

 

The picture Atrox painted was much more manageable and sounded exactly like what Setie was trying to do.  Had she not been trying to break free from what she had been told tim end again she was.  Chart her own fate no matter what others said?

 

Her brows rose as Atrox's tale of his past.  She didn't claim to know if he was lying or not, but she couldn't imagine why he would bother to.  After all, most of this was probably common knowledge somewhere, otherwise he wouldn't have told her in the first place.  Still it amused her that there was some similarities in their backgrounds.  Perhaps that was why he had taken an interest.  Solomon's weird obsession pulled her into the light (so to speak) and Verrin's curiosity marked her enough to pull Atrox's attention.  

 

Though she did also note that none of this stated why he picked her, an actual reason besides some...empathy?  No that was incorrect, it might have been the picture Atrox was trying to paint, psychologically make her feel like he was somehow an ally or a friend.  Reality was not as such though.

 

If anything, there was a lovely stark reminder of that as the Kaar pulled his lightsaber out.  Setie flinched at the sight, one hand pulling on the hair that commonly hung to the side of her head and hid the burn mark there.  Healed as it was it as still ugly and a source of shame to her and she always tried to hide it more when the memory sparked and pained her.

 

Atrox spoke of her options but Setie knew them to be pretty words.  She only had two actual choices, she lived or she died.  The question was how she wanted to live, for she certainly did not wish to die.  She might not fear death but that didn't mean she was ready for it to claim her.

 

Everything in her was shaking violently but she managed to pull herself out of the chair again.  She wanted to be on her feet when she made her choice, even if everything in her screamed it was a death sentence.  It very likely was, but maybe, just maybe there as a chance she would survive and actually gain what she truly wanted.

 

Very carefully Setie gave a bow, opted to kneel just to keep her knees from giving out under her.  "Never did have visions nor care to.  I pledge to abide by your teachings then Master..." she said, her voice shaking the entire time but she made it a point to keep looking at Atrox in the eye so he had no reason to question her sincerity on the matter.  Mentally she hoped that she wouldn't displease Atrox any time soon.

 

She wasn't going to be long for this universe if she did that.

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