Jump to content

Darth Verrin

Imperial Kaar
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

1,352 The One


About Darth Verrin

  • Rank
    Kaar of Ancient Knowledge
  • Birthday 07/20/1970

Profile Information

  • Alignment
    Corruption III
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Main Account
    Darth Verrin

Recent Profile Visitors

11,774 profile views
  1. Peace on Nirauan

    All was quiet. Life was downright peaceful. It had been months since Verrin had been attacked in his Library office, within the walls of the Archives. It had been a joint effort attack - an aspiring Sith who had allied with both a Mandalorian and two Jedi to take him down. For the Jedi, it was removing a Darth from the Sith. For the Sith, it was an opportunity for advancement in a broken organizational structure of refugees. For the Mandalorian - well... they were known for loving a good fight. Credits were just part of an exchange to fund ammo, repairs, and drinks afterward. That attack had failed though, due to the accidental (?) intervention of another Mandalorian. Since then, the Library had been repaired, some of the damaged or destroyed materials had been replaced, and 'life' had gone on. There had been no other attacks since, and if he was being honest with himself, there hadn't been much of anything else going on either. Oh sure, Verrin had his pet projects - he always did. The pursuit of knowledge never stopped for him, and he had several lifetimes worth of reading material in the vast collection. He was also a practitioner of Sith Alchemy, and researched ways to refine or improve that power whenever he could. Verrin was never at a want for something to do, and he was often overloaded when he took on students, or when events like that 'attack' took place. But he wasn't overloaded now. The last 'student' he had - a Jedi woman - had left the planet. His apprentices were both off doing SOMEthing, though he knew not what. He sometimes saw @Vanessa Sallin if she chose to serve a shift as a Guardian, and he heard rumors that @Holle might be causing a ruckus in pursuit of freeing slaves somewhere, or maybe she was back on Dathomir, building an amazon army. That planet clouded senses in the Force, so Verrin wouldn't know if she was there or not - nor if she was dead or alive if she was on that surface. And he wasn't about to go there himself to check. She'd either return in due time, or she would not. It saddened him to some degree, but then he embraced sadness as power, so he tucked those feelings away like a battery, and wondered when he might be called upon to use them. Even the horrible Republic that had caused such destruction on Dathomir had gone quiet. One could suppose that they were building their power silently, preparing to unleash some great and terrible assault on the remaining organized Sith and Jedi forces. But there wasn't a peep - or at least, no news had come back from any spies in the Intelligence division. For that matter, news of the Sith'ari and Darth Sanguira had fallen off too - and Darth Tanit. If the military might of the fallen Empire was active in the galaxy, nobody on Nirauan was talking about it. There had been no Council meetings in recent memory. The last Verrin had seen of the Sith'ari was when Verrin had first moved into the Archives on this planet. Maybe the leader of the Sith was quietly marshalling forces elsewhere. Or maybe... ... maybe they didn't trust Verrin with such preparations. That thought crept into Verrin's mind every now and again over the years. He was old, especially for a Sith in power, and he didn't share a lot of other Sith's philosophies. He was much more moderate in his dealings with others, and whether he liked or hated them, he was often able to work with them to some degree. Verrin was loyal to the Sith - perhaps to a fault - but he didn't hold the passion for power that most did. He never aspired to be the Emperor, nor the Sith'ari. He was quite happy chasing after the knowledge that enabled others to rise as well, for the Sith to return to power. So he spent the majority of his efforts training the young, instructing the more mature, and mediating conflicts. One of Verrin's core philosophies was that the dead didn't feel, and if there were no feelings, then there was no power to be had. If his enemies were all gone, then there wouldn't be any challenge for him to overcome. He wouldn't be threatened - he would grow complacent in a time of 'peace' - and that was when he would perish. But as he walked through the mostly empty halls of the Archive Library, his inner alarm system was active. It was always active, from years and years of honed practice. He was ready for any attack, any threat from within or without. But the anxiety that came when there was no threat, day after day, week after week, was driving him stir-crazy. He considered making trouble, and eyed the other half of the Archives where the Jedi had set up shop around the same time he had. But there too - all was quiet. All was peaceful. To date, he had never met his Jedi counterpart, @Homra Azner. For all Verrin knew, the Jedi archivist was a made-up story rather than a real person. He sighed. Verrin paced over to a window, and peered outside. The small city of Nirauan was bustling, active. There had been no great apocalypse that had taken every living being and killed them. There was no event that had thrown Verrin into a parallel world where there were no Sith, no Jedi, no Force. He could look down at his fingertips and watch lightning crackle between his fingers. And he hadn't died, that he knew of, and gone on to some Purgatory, or other 'place' where he was the sole practitioner of the old ways. It was simply that everything was at peace. And that bothered him. It went against his Code, and even his scientific mind. Peace was a lie, and merely potential energy building to become kinetic. Something surely had to be building... something was going to happen. It was just unprecedented since he had become a Sith, that the energy would build for this long without revealing where it was going. He was either going to die at peace, or else something incredible was going to happen.
  2. One Dark Night

    The next couple of hours passed in a whirlwind of activity. Medical teams scoured through the destruction, but only recovered the body of the Mandalorian. They discovered organic matter that they pointed to authorities - the fragmented bodies of the Jedi and the Sith hopefuls who had come so close to killing Verrin. And during that search of organic matter, they found the cloaked body of the other Mandalorian, who was still alive. They hastened to get him medical aid, and through some effort, got him on a hover-gurney and into an ambulance for more effective treatments. But they never found the body of the last Jedi - Garak Nuk'tar. At some point in the chaos, he disappeared, and Verrin didn't mention him to questioning authorities. In fact, he was laying in his 'grave' - the very floor upon which he had died. Verrin had phased him, and left him in the otherwise solid flooring forever. It wasn't the first time he had done something like that, and Garak Nuk'tar now shared the same cemetery as the likes of Darth Parasis. In weeks to come, Verrin would re-assess his decision, and determine that the Jedi wasn't deserving of the same fate as his former nemesis, but it was far too late to recover him. The investigation team eventually determined that four attackers and one 'other' had engaged in an assault. Verrin explained to them that this wasn't so unusual on Dromund Kaas, but here, it was probably new. They both agreed that the very idea of Sith, Jedi, Mandalorians, and Republic and Imperial Refugees was new too - and they hoped that matters like this wouldn't repeat themselves. Verrin informed the investigating officer that he bore no ill will towards the Jedi as a whole, nor the Mandalorians, and assured him he intended no acts of vengeance for the attempted assassination. When asked if he bore any similar ill will towards his fellow Sith, the Darth simply chuckled and explained, "That is merely assumed EVERY day, by EVERY Sith, my dear Officer." Cleanup crews were dispatched to the Archives that morning, and Verrin finally headed back towards his office to attend to his own personal things. He paused at the crate though, and gave a silent thanks to his unintended ally - whoever he was. Whether he had been with the original hit group, and turned on them, or he'd simply been a bystander brought into the fray, his timely intervention had unintentionally extended Verrin's life another day. Verrin could pursue the Mandalorian by tracking him through the medic channels, the hospital where he'd been sent, or even the Mandalorian organization as a whole. But he didn't hold grudges, unlike some of his peers. Then again, like Garak Nuk'tar, he didn't often leave evidence either. The rogue Mando was a matter for another day. For the moment, Verrin bent and picked up pages laying upon the floor, and pondered how long he would have to spend to repair the damage caused. To date, this one attack had caused more literary destruction on his watch than any other. He would have to come up with better safeguards. Just then, six fresh Gaurdians arrived, in their uniformed robes, and bearing staves, to explain what had happened to their brethren - and to apologize for the failure in upholding their oath. They, too, would make adjustments so such an attack could not happen again. The Guardians were made up of both men and women of various races - but all were Sith, and all had made a promise. A particular, feminine-looking one earned a hand upon the shoulder from her Darth - assurance that he placed no blame upon their sacred Order for this event. He nodded, and entered his office, quietly closing the door behind him.
  3. I think I'm all caught up on posts - sorry for the delays. If I missed you, just PM me.  

  4. A bright blade in the Darkest of Night

    Verrin felt the heat of her saber at his throat. It was very uncomfortable, but similar to be close to a hot frying pan - the radiant heat was noticeable, and if you touched it to bare skin, it would burn - but it was nothing like a full-blown plasma lightsaber. He swallowed as she held it there, and looked up at her face. She was breathing heavily, and sweat dripped from her brow onto the covering that shielded her eyes. He could see her chest rising and falling from both the exertion, and the natural high that came with channeling the Force so intensely. And then, as she slowly began to catch her breath, she started to talk. At first, it sounded like she was talking to him - telling him how the Jedi were wrong - and he wondered if she forgot who she was talking to? But then he recognized that she was verbalizing her inner thoughts, speaking them aloud. So he remained where he was, and listened. When she spoke of feelings, he thought to himself, "Finally." She then removed the blade from his neck, and used it to sever the Jedi braid from her head. It fell to the ground, seeming not to care a whit whether it was part of her or not, and landed upon the floor without a sound. Mirran spoke on though, and as she did, Verrin rolled over into a seated position on the floor to listen. He looked up into her face as she announced her decisions - to not be a hypocrite... to find her own way in the Force... to seek out her people and experience more of the galaxy at large before deciding whether she would pursue a life as a Jedi, Sith, or something else entirely. Verrin reached over and gingerly picked up the discarded padawan braid. It felt soft to the touch, and looked fragile - though it was strong, not unlike the person it was connected to. He looked back up to Mirran and smiled a little, even if she couldn't see it. And he said, "I'm so proud of you." It wasn't so much that he'd turned a Jedi from her point of view - though that certainly would have been a badge of success for him - because he figured that he merely showed her another way, and she chose to take the steps she did because of it. He certainly had the power to corrupt her young mind. They could have fought against one another mentally, with her either turning to the Dark Side, or dying in the process. But was that the point? Was that a goal? He didn't think so. He explained, "You are making decisions for yourself, not because you've been told to do something. No parent is insisting on your path... no Jedi, and no Sith... you are opening your proverbial eyes to the galaxy at large, and finally seeing all the options available to you. You weren't born a Jedi or Sith - you were born Miralukan. Just as children aren't born preferring one sex or another - they don't have to be told who they like by society or anyone else. They can simply choose who they like, and pursue them. Miss Kai... you are finally stepping out into the world on your own, and I couldn't be happier for you." He smirked a little, and added wryly, "That said... should you decide to pursue a life as a Sith... you know I will teach you what I can." He chuckled a little, but added, "And if you simply desire knowledge... I can help there too."
  5. One Dark Night

    The Jedi was dead beneath him, and through the Force, Verrin couldn't detect any other immediate threats. How many had there been this time, anyway? Three? Five? He had lost track earlier when he was in more dire straits, and as he thought back on it, he considered that his enemies had come much closer this time than they had in a while. He hadn't been pressed like that since @Corey Black, and Darth Vic... Darth Var... no... "Frack it... what was her fracking name?" Verrin cursed in his head. He didn't like not remembering things, and the longer he lived, the more it felt like he was starting to lose some memories. Perhaps his great mind was simply getting full, and some older ones were being replaced by newer, fresher ones? He slumped over onto his rear, sitting beside the corpse, and thought more, "Darth Var... no... Darth Val... no, that was Valerian. Valyrian? @Lucian Eidolon! He had many names. And they wonder why they don't have legacies - stories in the historical texts and holos! They change fracking names so often!" "@Darth Venix...DARTH VENIX!" He finally shouted aloud as the memory suddenly flickered to life in the depths of his mind. But the call echoed unanswered into the depths of the Library and carnage that surrounded him. At least, to him - the Librarian - this destruction and damage of books, history, and information was carnage. He sighed deeply, wincing a little. He had absorbed what remained of the Jedi's life force, even as he slowly killed him, but it wasn't enough to completely heal the injuries that the attack had done. He'd still need rest... or more life force. Still. The Library was so still now that he could hear sirens in the distance, getting closer. They were likely fire, medical, and police-like groups closing on the facility to tend to matters. Verrin couldn't sense fire at the moment, but guessed that the explosions from earlier would have stimulated someone to call authorities and services. Maybe that's why nobody was in here with him - perhaps they all fled? It was late, yes, but so late that no Jedi showed up to see if the destruction had harmed their side of the facility? So late that no Sith showed to see if an opportunity for advancement was around? Verrin grimaced once, and then again as he stiffly rose back to his feet. He supposed that if the assassins had done their job, they probably figured out a way to remove any 'innocents' from the premises before they began their attack. After all, the Guardians were missing too. Verrin frowned at that. This strike was executed almost perfectly. But something had thrown a spanner into the masterful plan. What was it? He looked around, taking in the various points of disorder. There was the Jedi, whom he killed himself. There was the body of a Mandalorian - but his injuries didn't show signs of the Force. They were ballistic in nature... or something. Someone else had been here, because Verrin was fairly sure the other attackers were all Force users. In fact - he spotted discarded firearms here and there in the wreckage. As he made his way back to the small crater where he'd nearly been decimated, he recalled that he had phased himself to avoid the deathblow of a lightsaber. Lightsabers don't cause craters. Some Force powers could, but no - there had been a loud explosion. Something had gone very, very wrong. In the Force, he could sense the deaths of the Sith and Jedi who had tracked him to that spot - 'holes' in the fabric of the Force. And then a small noise got his attention, as some rubble shifted, or something else. And he looked carefully all around the area. Someone was here. But the sirens were so much louder now - the services were practically on the doorstep. In fact, he heard the front doors being opened as the first responders arrived.
  6. Negotiating Rough Water

    So far, Verrin was satisfied with the investigation. He wasn't particularly thrilled when his partner took a stroll through the area, interrupting the flow of the questioning, but he knew that some Force users had an affinity to 'read objects' - to tell what had happened to an inanimate thing, as if it carried a historical diary with it. Maybe Tala Vir was one of those. She soon returned, the Jedi couple had moved away, and the two Acolytes had begun their explanation of events. Twice, though, Tala Vir had to tell them to recount the event that took place - not the summary, and not the defense of their actions. The two young men now looked to one another, unsure of how to answer. Typically - among the Sith - their superiors wouldn't stand for a long explanation of some event that happened. Those superiors wanted the summary version, or else they expected a defense so that they could mete out punishment on whoever seemed most guilty at the time. This form of questioning... without torture - was foreign to them. Verrin set down his cup and leaned forward in his seat. His elbows rested on his knees, and he looked up at the two men in understanding - but his patience was wearing thin. "Go on," he offered, "this is an opportunity to see how the other half live. Tell the story." The sandy-haired Acolyte nodded, though there was still some trepidation in his eyes, as if he was expecting a lashing for taking the bait. "Well... we were coming down the street over there..." Unchecked, he went on, telling how he and his fellow Acolyte came upon the couple. They spotted the lightsaber hilts at their waists, sensed they were Light-Side affected, and rightly picked them as Jedi. The idea that they were holding hands, having a grand time with one another, bothered the two young men. They had always been told the Jedi were passionless, not allowed to love or show affection, and so they assumed the couple was either 'sneaking' their feelings and breaking their Code, or they were open about it, which also went against their Code. The two men had only ever known Jedi to be aggressive and self-righteous. As boys, they had been told what Jedi were, and their masters had often used the Jedi ways to teach how the Sith 'shouldn't be'. Then, they lived through the vicious attack the Jedi had orchestrated on Dromund Kaas - an attack that killed so many of their brethren and sisters. In the boy's minds - Jedi shouldn't be allowed to love and have relationships - because they took those things from these Sith less than two years ago, and now it was like they were flaunting their feelings in front of the men. The sandy-haired Sith's companion added that it was like the couple knew the Sith were there, and were teasing them on purpose. He had a girl on Dromund Kaas, who was dead now because of the Jedi. Verrin sighed, and wiped a hand down his face. He considered that this was a situation where feelings got out of control, and had the boys seeing things that weren't there. He felt it was highly unlikely that the Jedi couple had been aware of the Sith's presence - they were so rolled up in themselves. But the aggression that followed was certainly emotion-filled - that much was obvious. When he asked the boys what happened then, the sandy-haired one explained that they had called out Tatto for showing emotion. The other Acolyte verified that they had whistled at them, and insulted them by pointing out their Code, and throwing it in their faces. Sandy-hair said the two groups got closer and closer, exchanging insults and jibes - he claimed that Tatto said that the Sith were a bunch of muck-feeding nerf-herders, and deserved the thrashing they got at Dromund Kaas, and he added that the girl Jedi barked something to his 'buddy' about how Sith couldn't know love anyway - they were so hate-filled, that they couldn't get a girl if they wanted to. That one had prompted Sandy-hair to take a swing at Tatto, and the row errupted from there. But when Verrin pressed them to find out when the sabers got involved, the man couldn't quite remember. He admitted that the punching got harder, and that at some point there was a grapple that escalated into Force pushing, and imbuing themselves - all of them - with either Light Sided Valor or Dark Sided Rage. The next thing they all knew, it was like some Training Room exercise, with sabers swinging, powers clashing, and furniture flying. Verrin leaned heavily onto the table, resting his horned head in his hands. It really sounded like a street fight that got out of control given the powers the youths all wielded. He muttered something under his breath that Tala was the only one close enough to catch. "I'm tempted to just pay the credits out of pocket to make this all go away." But just then, the table flipped up and flew at him, knocking him over and scattering the others gathered there. It appeared that the Jedi Knight had held out enough for 'justice', no matter what form it would be, and was taking matters into his own hands. Using the distraction as his element of surprise, he leaped through the air. There was the typical snap-hiss of a lightsaber, and a wicked, blue glow traced the young man's trajectory as he aimed to dive atop the table - and the buried Darth - and end so much that he saw wrong in the world.
  7. A bright blade in the Darkest of Night

    When Mirran collapsed to the floor, muttering about pain, Verrin understood but didn't relent. He didn't beat her about the head and shoulders while she was defenseless, but rather he kept circling around her - sometimes swinging the training saber half-heartedly at her shoulders. They were easy blows to deflect, and even in her state, Mirran did so almost reflexively. Verrin could sense she was trying to cope, to understand how she was feeling, how the Force worked with those feelings. The Jedi were trained to ignore feelings, to maintain 'peace' and calm, and remove emotion from the equation. Sith were taught differently - to use base emotions of anger and hate to fuel their power instead. But Verrin had always taken a different path with emotions. He embraced them all. Anger and hate, surely - for those came easily, and were strong emotions. But in order to truly hate, one needed to know love. In order to be angry, one had to lose something they were attached to, or fail to obtain a goal, no matter how simple. Envy, desire, lust, hunger, sadness, despondency, shame, depression... all could be used as fuel to empower the Force. The Jedi rejected them, the common Sith neglected most of them. There were many Sith who would say Verrin was weak for doing that - for taking on all emotions. Yet... he was here, long past the age when most Sith burned out or were slain in their rise to power. Verrin believed the Code was right, that the Sith were right-eous. But history showed that when the Sith went too far down their path, they imploded. Managing one's chains was certainly tricky. Quite suddenly, Mirran swallowed, the laughed, and got to her feet. Whatever she needed to come to terms with, she had apparently done, and she began to launch a series of emotion-fueled attacks with a fury she hadn't had before. Verrin could sense the Force around her - could even see it with the naked eye as it made her hair stand on end and wave about her like a white halo. "Finally," he thought, satisfied. Her blows came in harder and faster than she had managed up until now, and Verrin had to admit to himself that if he wasn't as skilled in the Force, and in Ataru, as he was, then she would be trouncing him soundly at this point. She was young, and strong, and vibrant. It was too bad she didn't want to be a Sith - Verrin thought she might make a good one, maybe even a great one. She pressed him, and he let her - though to be fair, many of her blows were coming closer to hurting him than he wanted to admit. And then, in a moment of inspiration, he let one through. The training saber burned his robes - but only lightly, for Mirran was already on to her next attack. She probably didn't expect to land a blow - or maybe she didn't care. Verrin moved to block that one too, but she overpowered it and scored another hit. Verrin made a move forward to attempt an elbow to her chest, to knock her off balance, but she moved faster than he did, and he took another sharp sting on his extended side in appreciation for his pathetic effort. And then, he blocked her saber, but left himself exposed, and felt a different kind of sting as Mirran flat-out punched him in the face. He rolled his head sideways, even as he realized he was only half-acting (she tagged him hard!), and fell to one side. On one knee, he raised the training saber up to block her next attack, but it was whacked aside easily, leaving him open and defenseless. He waited to see what she would do.
  8. A bright blade in the Darkest of Night

    Sure enough, whether through his urging or Mirran's personal desires, the Jedi began to attack him in more earnest. The strikes came harder as she let her emotions push her muscles beyond their normal limitations. And they came faster and faster as she utilized the Ataru form, and tapped into the Force to fuel it. Verrin remembered, back to when he was a fledgling Sith, when he finally broke down the barrier that separated martial prowess, the mental effort of integrating the Force, and the emotional walls that let energy flow through him. It was like a faucet with a filter on it, draining through a funnel, and down a strainer-protected drain. The filter, funnel, and strainer were finally removed, and the water flowed freely - and powerfully - marking the precipice that separated Padawans and Acolytes from becoming Jedi and Sith. Watching Mirran break through that gave him an incredible sense of elation and pride. It also reminded him that he had to step up his own game as one of her rapid-fire strikes got through his casual defenses to sting him in the arm. Fortunately, they were still using training sabers. But Verrin could also remember how tenuous that grasp of perfect unity could be. While Mirran was in the moment, she was truly fearsome. But if she focused too much on any one aspect - her footwork, her Form, the Force swirling around her, or even her feelings - that perfect balance of power would all fall apart. Even now, he heard her cry, "It burns... it burns like fire!" Verrin replied, "Yes - you're nearly there! Let it burn, but let it out! Come ON. Give me all you've got. Come at me NOW!" Anticipating something climactic, Verrin focused the Force within himself for protection. Outside, he executed a couple of quicker counters in an attempt to nudge her the last step or two to realizing her full potential.
  9. One Dark Night

    Garak's back hugged one of the many bookshelves that filled the immense Library. Tears streamed down his dust-covered face, leaving dark smears on his otherwise fair skin, and blood ran down his arm, both his legs, and torso too, beneath the tattered remnants of his Jedi robes. "My Jedi robes," he thought wryly, as he shrugged them off. They were fairly useless as clothing at this point, and much more useful as bandages. His night had gone from a mission to slay a Sith to a horror show of trauma and pain. His Jedi 'sister' was gone, their debatable Sith ally too, and even a stalwart Mandalorian was dead and gone. And more importantly, the target of their efforts, the goal of the mission, was still alive... at least Garak assumed he was, because the Darth should have been dead three times over. "Is he even a-live?" He wondered as he bound his wounds as quickly as possible. The past fifteen minutes had been an exercise that no amount of Jedi training could have prepared him for. After the Darth rose from the crater of destruction caused by the explosive grenade, Garak had dodged, hidden, and sometimes fought the yellow-eyed Zabrak throughout the building. Every time he thought he had the upper hand, the Darth lashed out with his cursed Dark Side powers, and Garak found himself on the run again, trying to avoid the stinging saberstaff, or worse - the slashing blows from some wicked-looking dagger that Garak was fairly certain had a mind of its own. He'd never fought anyone like this, and he certainly wouldn't have signed on for this mission in the first place if he'd known what he was getting into. His Jedi training was shaken, and his emotions were running high. He knew this, and made every effort to calm himself and find his center, but every time he thought he was getting a handle on it, the Darth appeared again - impossibly - either emerging from a solid-looking wall, or dropping out of thin air. The startling entrances were like something out of an awful horror holo, or feverish nightmare. But Garak was fairly certain that no matter how scary a dream was, that it didn't compare to the reality he was experiencing now. He finally caught his breath, and had the makeshift bandages in place. With the Force, he'd heal himself, but for now he needed to use every ounce of energy to get away. Yes... Garak Nuk'tar was going to run from a fight that he truly believed there was no way to win. He had slashed the enraged Zabrak with his lightsaber - he was fairly sure that he had successfully stabbed the Darth at least twice - and he had thrown all kinds of obstacles at him that would have crushed a normal person. But somehow, the Darth kept coming - it was like Garak had somehow disturbed an ancient curse, and now couldn't rid himself of it. He was sure though, that if he got out of the building and into the city, that he could disappear into the crowds. He wasn't sure he could return to the Jedi bearing the shame of this failure, but at least he would live. He peered around the bookshelf to see just how far away the doors to the building were. They weren't far - maybe fifty more feet to salvation - but a dark fog began to coalesce around them even as he spotted them. And stepping out of that fog was the dark-robed embodiment of all that he fought against. There was no visage quite as disconcerting as the tattooed Zabrak. Garak knew that their race used the tattoos along with their horns to appear more ferocious than some of them were. But he also knew that those markings were earned, and this Darth had more than most. Through the Force, Garak could even see some of them writhing - seeming to move of their own volition - as if the Dark Side was somehow beneath the Darth's skin, trying to get out. And that awful vision was coming towards him, accompanied by the snapping hiss of two violet-colored plasma beams. Garak summoned his will, and the Force, and the massive bookcase he hid behind flew at the oncoming Darth... and through him, smashing against, and blocking, the exit. It was as if the Darth was intangible - a ghost. But the heated plasma beams hissed in the air, and Garak couldn't imagine they were spectral too. As if to make the point, the Darth attacked - a vicious, fast, series of blows that Garak had to use all of his training to deflect and divert. As trained as he was, he still took yet another knick, and suffered the sting for his failure. No... the Darth was certainly no ghost. They traded more blows, but it had become apparent from earlier that Garak's skill was no match for this master of Ataru. The only thing keeping them on remotely equal footing was Garak's youth and vigor - or so he believed - but even those reserves were quickly melting away as they locked blades briefly. He was so close now that he could count the lines on the Darth's face, could see the wrinkles, the scars. He could smell the coppery blood, the sweat. And he could feel the hot breath in his face. Shaken to his core, Garak cried out - "Stop - stop already! I give! Mercy! I'm sorry!! Just stop... please!!" But if Garak's plea for forgiveness was heard, it didn't show. Their blades remained locked, and no matter how hard Garak pushed, he couldn't seem to dislodge the Darth who pressed his weapon closer, inch, by inch. Garak felt himself getting physically weaker, and summoned the Force to him for aid. But it wasn't enough. He felt his muscles failing him, and then his organs as his heart pounded like a pod-racer's engines, and blood ran to his eyes. The world washed in red, and still the Darth pressed him - slowly. It was as if he was being drained, that his connection to the Force was... To his horror, Garak realized the Darth was somehow doing just that. Somehow... some way... the elder Zabrak was feeding off his very life energy, like some vampiric leech. And the weaker Garak got, the stronger the Darth became. Sure enough, Garak saw wounds closing on his opponent, and even the man's face seemed to be filling out. Garak screamed. The sound rang out through the Library again, and again. Those screams continued as the violet saberstaff finally pressed so close that it burned him. Still, it came forward, pressing into his flesh, searing as it went, cooking him alive. His resistance to the Darth faltered and failed, but the Zabrak never pressed harder, never pushed faster. The saber kept going, slowly. Garak's wailing went on for a good minute before the weapon sunk deep enough to finally silence him.
  10. A bright blade in the Darkest of Night

    Verrin noticed the change in Mirran's posture, and the more aggressive nature of her attacks. It didn't take a Force Prophet to tell that she was angry, and that her anger was the fuel behind her martial efforts. It probably didn't hurt that her Miralukan nature allowed her to use her emotions to fuel her power in the Force too. Verrin mentally nodded in satisfaction; she was doing better. "You are not unlike a hydrospanner or perhaps that droid I had. A tool to be used and when you have nothing more of value to teach me, I will move on." She said. Verrin paused in his defenses, and stood almost straight as an arrow while placing a hand to his chest. In mock offense, he remarked, "A spanner? A SPANNER? You wound me, my dear. Truly you - OUCH!" One of Mirran's attacks got through while he was play-acting. It was well executed, and well-deserved, but more importantly to Verrin, it showed that she could strike to harm and not just defend. He quickly brought his training saber back up to defense, and commented back to her, "You'd really raise a blade against me? I... I can't tell what hurts more, your physical attacks or your verbal ones. Tsk." He backpedaled in a wide circle, taking what attacks she threw at him and deftly blocking them. An experienced Sith might have been able to use the Force and her emotions all at once, and push him hard, but he didn't sense that Mirran had quite made that step yet. Still... he didn't know her well. She might surprise him. He teased her further, "You're holding back on me. Come on, girl. Make me believe the words you're saying." He was trying to goad her even further, to really go all out on him.
  11. A bright blade in the Darkest of Night

    It sounded to Verrin like Mirran had some real separation issues in regards to her master. He couldn't blame her. He didn't blame her. But her complaint struck a chord in him in regards to his own daughter and their time apart - a time when she'd been captured by the Sith, and he had been rescued by another group of them. All that while, he sensed she was alive, and had pursued her as best he could. But without a clue as to how, it had taken time - a few years, in fact. During that time, he wondered if she had thought him dead, or if she'd sensed that he too was alive, but had for some reason abandoned her. The chord was struck, but it was brief. His daughter had been killed by Jedi some time ago now, and despite all his efforts, and the Force, he'd been unable to bring her back. But the point was that he empathized with Mirran's abandonment feelings, from the point of view of her master. Mirran had no idea why her master left - or if it had even been a conscious decision on her master's part. All Mirran seemed to know was that she felt hurt by it, and was trying to deal with those feelings. If she were an aspiring Sith, then those feelings could be used - the pain fueling her power. As a Jedi, she was supposed to grieve - perhaps - and then suppress those feelings so she didn't act rashly. Verrin was left with a decision - to help her deal with her emotions to become a better Jedi, which was something he was not so inclined to do - or he could actively cultivate those feelings and pain, and try to turn her. OR, he could let matters take their own course - if she was meant to lean towards the Sith, she would, and if not, she wouldn't - but if he interfered would it help, or would it push her back towards the Jedi? "Oh, if only I were a prohpet," he mused silently, as Mirran reignited her training blade and made her declarations. He nodded silently, and went at her - not harshly, but certainly effectively. He commented idly as he exercised her, "So you will fight me as you see fit? Who is the student then - and who the master now?" His blows came in more quickly, and more heavily that before. He wasn't so concerned about hurting her as he was pressing her to do something that would show him some spark he was looking for. He wanted to see her be an aggressor, not just a defender. "In the end - as you put it - that is true. You will be your own master, and the Force will be all you need. But you have to get there first, and the journey is more important than the destination, don't you think?" He performed a quick, high double-attack, but they were feints. His intended blow would come next, and low, attempting to strike her across her outer thigh. Perhaps a sting from a training saber would spark her to show him offense.
  12. One Dark Night

    Garak had healed himself enough to move, and he did so, trying to get a grasp of the current situation. That situation was ugly. The simple execution of a single, old Darth had gone sour when the untimely arrival of a random Mandalorian threw a spanner into the plans. Now, there were knocked-over shelves, broken furniture, and - "Ahh, there he is," Garak thought as he spied Grukkar. The Mando wasn't moving, and the Force told Garak he was dead. "Fracking Mandos," he mentally cursed them. They were blunt instruments, where this operation required surgical precision. Now, there were enough slugs and spent munitions to identify Grukkar as an attacker. Garak could only hope that any investigation would surmise that Grukkar had acted alone, and maybe the Jedi wouldn't be involved or identified. If they played their cards right, they might be able to get their Sith ally to absolve them, assuming he had killed the Darth by now. Garak's eyes roamed over the rest of the Library, and he finally spotted Ennid - his fellow Jedi - and the Sith moving a moderate distance away. Force, but this place was big. But he didn't see any sign of the other Mando - the one who had thrown the spanner. He looked around his immediate area with a little more scrutiny, and through the Force, but the only evidence of him was a discarded RT-97C. "Hmm... he wouldn't just leave that behind. He has to still be here," he thought. He then started watching the area around his allies, but still couldn't see a sign of the armored instigator. Meanwhile, the Sith was approaching a large conference-room sized reading table. One would think, for all the spent ammo and incidental damage, that there would be a lot of obscuring dust in the air. But the Library was kept immaculately clean, and so the only impediment to his search was the lack of lighting - a factor that he and his allies had brought about as part of their operation. Still, there was some ambient light, generated from some skylights high above, and the starry night sky illuminated the area enough to navigate through. It even glinted off the slick, wet area on the table, showing a splash of blood where his target might have been. The Sith, believing his target to be wounded and laying on the table cloaked in the Force, shot forward. His red lightsaber slashed and thrust at the area, but all it did was hiss violently as it contacted the blood, and then smoked as it burned into the table itself. There was no contact with a body, and the Sith growled with rage. He hopped onto the table and began to kick about, praying that his hard boot would find a masked body to strike. But there was none, and that only enraged him further. Ennid stood several feet away, still sensing with the Force. The Sith's growling and fussing was making concentration more difficult, and she hissed at him, "Would you stop already? Focus! He's right there!" She pointed fiercely to the spot on the table where the blood was. The Sith turned and barked at her, "No he's not! There is nothing here!" He kicked again at the empty space. Then, to further make his point, he raised his lightsaber high and thrust it point-downwards through the table where the pool of blood was. A dull thudding sound of metal on wood came immediately after, causing both the Sith and Jedi to look at the source. It was roughly fist-sized, and metallic, and had just bounced off the tabletop next to them. "What -" The sound of the explosion that followed was impressive, but not nearly as impressive as the damage it caused. The anti-armor grenade went off, sending shards of metal through everything they touched - the table, the durasteel flooring, even the protective coverings that safeguarded the materials on the nearby shelves. The weapon, designed to blow the levitation guidance systems on hovertanks, was overkill against wood, books, and most importantly - flesh. The Jedi woman never got to scream, and the Sith's sentence was cut off as abruptly as it began, as both were shredded from proximity. The table splintered and flew apart, and everything within five meters was destroyed - living or dead. Almost. Verrin had become conscious, albeit barely, as the Sith approached his location. He vaguely heard the commotion on the tabletop above him, and the cursing anger of his fellow Sith. The conversation between his attacker and the Jedi - "He's right THERE!" was the trigger that warned him of an impending attack. But he didn't dare beg them to stop, and he couldn't muster the energy to move - even to try crawling away. But the Force screamed at him in alarm, so he did all he could. One more time, he phased his being - the space between his molecules vibrated at a frequency that wasn't the same as everything around him. The lightsaber came down through the table, and pierced right through his side - or it would have, if he was solid. Instead, it passed unrestricted through him, as if he wasn't there. So too did the fragments of grenade and table that followed. The explosion, however, was loud, and even though the debris didn't touch him, the sounds waves did. They were dulled by the variant frequency of the vibrations, but still left a ringing that would probably last for days. But more importantly, the explosion touched Verrin in a different way. The attack on his person was enough to anger him. But the attack on his beloved Library? Unbridled fury flowed into Verrin, and with it came the Dark Side of the Force. It gave him the power and energy he needed to slowly stand. The phasing was complete, and as he rose, his eyes glowed fiercely with power. Whoever had destroyed his books would pay. Whoever had harmed his artwork, or even shattered his flooring would be erased from existence. Somebody would die today - if it was the last thing he did. His eyes locked on Garak. Garak Nuk'tar saw the explosion that made meat out of his allies. Garak Nuk'tar, the Jedi Knight, saw a dark figure rise from the crater left by the explosion. Garak Nuk'tar froze as glowing eyes of hatred fell upon him. Garak Nuk'tar was looking at Death Incarnate. Garak Nuk'tar was afraid.
  13. One Dark Night

    The Jedi who approached with Grukkar appeared to be down and out of the fight, particle beam bolts blew holes through his skull while he was on his knees, coughing blood. Or at least... that's how it appeared. A fledgeling padawan might have made the mistake of leaving themselves vulnerable to a walking arsenal like a Mandalorian, but Garak Nuk'tar was no padawan. If he had been, he would never have been selected to aid in taking out a Darth. He hadn't worked with Grukkar long enough to learn a lot about how Mandos fought, which was why he was nursing a leg wound as he crouched behind some shelving. He was trying to buy a little time, let the Force heal him. Doing that meant he couldn't fight alongside his ally, but at least he could avoid being a casualty. He saw the enemy Mandalorian hunting him, and he hastily utilized the Force. He created a facsimile - an illusion of himself, appearing more wounded than he was. It wasn't so far from him, and it was something he had practiced many times. If an enemy was tied up with nothing but air, it often left him able to retaliate and win a fight. Plus, with Grukkar still in the mix, it was unlikely that the Mando would differentiate his helmet's targeting computer as it pinged his position. Instead, he'd go after the easy target, and sure enough - he did. As the Mando fired his particle beam into the illusion's head, Garak completed the illusion with the desired effects, and then Grukkar was on him, forcing the Mando to move and fight elsewhere. Garak breathed a sigh of relief while letting the Force wash him in healing power. "Fracking Mandos," he thought. "Why is he even here?" Elsewhere in the Library, Verrin was crawling away, hidden by a personal cloaking device, and trying to make himself invisible through the Force. It was working, he thought, as the Sith slashed where he'd just been. But he heard the woman's command to follow the blood trail, and he winced - both in pain and in realization - he was more hurt than he thought, and he was leaving a distinct trail. He didn't have a lot of time. He managed to get his head up enough to spot what he was looking for - a large reading table, far across the Library. He had to get away, and fast. He focused his will, and the air around him 'popped' as he transported himself the considerable distance in the blink of an eye. He landed on the table smoothly enough, and with the Mandos duking it out, he wasn't heard at all. But he didn't stop there, he used the Force once more, phasing the molecules within his body, and he passed through the table's surface to land on the floor below. The effort took the last of his reserves, however, and he fell unconscious again. The Sith who was hunting him heard the 'pop', and dashed to where it was, lightsaber leading the way. But again, he impacted nothing, and shouted his growing frustration. The Jedi woman, however, wasn't so thrown. She kept her emotions and wits about her, and tried to understand what was happening. In all her years, she had heard of teleportation, but had never witnessed it firsthand. She had to admit, this Darth seemed to deserve his position. She doubted that the Sith she was helping would have still been alive had the Darth been hunting him instead. She reached out with the Force, sensing things all around her. The Darth was here, still, but nowhere near them. She wasn't sure why she could detect him now, versus a moment ago when he'd been close, but she guessed he had been blocking her efforts and the power required for teleportation was more than one person could manage while trying to utilize the Art of Small. She got his general location, far across the Library, but she couldn't 'see' him. "He's over there... somewhere," she announced. The Sith's eyes shot in the direction she indicated, but he didn't see his foe either. Still, he started heading that way, the Mandalorian forgotten for the moment. The Jedi woman, however, wasn't so blinded by her ambition. She had noticed the conflict, blaster fire, and explosions had stopped at least a moment or two ago. And given that Grukkar was no slouch - and not particularly quiet even when he wasn't fighting another of his brethren - that meant their enemy might still be present. At least Garak seemed to be getting up. She would have been upset if her fellow Jedi had been a casualty today. And nobody wanted to see her power if she was upset...
  14. One Dark Night

    The Mandalorian named Grukkar and his allies had prepped for this strike, removing the Guardians, the droids, the security systems. Then, the Force users and his own tech had made it possible to sneak up on the target and attack. They were so close to dropping him when his armored sensors picked up the presence of a bystander. "We're not alone," he warned, and one of the Jedi immediately reached out with the Force to sense what the technology couldn't. The new arrival's cloaking was good though, and even using the Force, he couldn't quite sense the source of the disturbance. But what he COULD sense was where there was no disturbance. It took longer, but eventually he pointed in a direction and said simply, "There." Grukkar opened fire, relying on suppression and area-of-effect damage to catch his suspected target unaware. He was rewarded when some of his ammunition caused flickers, as a cloaking device failed and revealed another brother-in-arms. Another Mando? Here? That one stood up, shaking off the incidental damage and roared at them, "Is that all you have chaakar!?" Grukkar roared back at the challenge, and started to head that way. The Jedi who had pointed out the target went as well, the pair intended to close and make quick work of a single foe. Mando on Mando was a fair fight... and likely a lot of property damage. But this new 'Library' abutted the Jedi's own archives, and mass property damage would not only mean more possibilities of getting caught, and having to answer for their strike against the resident Darth, but the loss of information and artifacts by both Sith and Jedi could become... excessive. The Sith attacker started to turn from Verrin to join the fight against the intruding Mandalorian, but was stopped by the Jedi woman's voice. "Eyes on the prize, you idiot! If this all goes to poodoo now, at least we'll have done the galaxy a service! If he lives, this is a catastrophic failure!" The Sith paused, but then nodded as that wisdom got through. He frowned. He loved to deliver a good thrashing, and while he wanted the claim to the Darth's position, executing the downed old man wasn't as enticing as slaughtering a Mando. Besides, they didn't want witnesses. He saw the other Jedi and Mandalorian rushing towards the fight he wanted to be involved in. He paused, indecisive. ************* Lord Galadon was a Sith of the Dromund Kaas Empire, and had signed on with the Guardians when he was merely an Adept. It was a special Order within the Sith, comprised of a select, elite few who could put their personal aspirations for power aside for a while, and dedicate their lives to a noble cause. The Order took an oath, and was responsible for protecting the Library and its contents from all harm. They safeguarded the books, the flimsi, the data... the holocrons, the datacrons, and the art... even the Librarian himself. Even though the Order of the Guardians had only been active for about fifteen years, they followed a code that derived from older orders of Sith, dating back to Xo'Xann and her allies. They were not a large Order, but they were able to staff six Guardians in the Library at all times, night and day, every day. Historically, they'd defended the Library against an attack by Mandalorians, three strikes by Jedi, the Rakata invasion, and even a rancor-assisted attempt to breach. So Lord Galadon found it immensely odd that he was in an infirmary. He asked the nearest staff what had happened to him, and they answered, "You were brought in by medical personnel, in a horrible state. Scans detected that you were poisoned." Lord Galadon thought that was odd. In this day and age of modern medicine, bacta and kolto, poison was rarely used anymore. He started to think that some foolish Sith had learned a few things while they had been sequestered on Dathomir, but the more he considered that, the more he thought it odd. Poisons were usually used to kill... not incapacitate. He should be dead. "What was the nature of the poison," he asked. "Was it lethal?" The medic smirked. "Obviously not," they lightly quipped. But they quickly changed to a more serious note at a look from the Lord patient. "It was a non-lethal toxin, similar to what would be used to tranquilize a rancor. But given your size and weight, it made you terribly sick. The effects should wear off in a few hours though... but I think you won't feel 100% for a few days." Lord Galadon looked relieved, but something nagged at the base of his skull, in his brain. It felt like he was forgetting something - a gnat buzzing just out of range of his ear. He looked around the Infirmary, and spotted another Guardian who had been posted with him. Right - they had been on duty. He rubbed his side and felt a bandage. The medic said the poison had been delivered dart, and left a nasty puncture wound. Galadon turned and saw another Guardian... then another. His heart started to race, and he asked, "Wait! How many of us were brought in?" The medic, not understanding, replied casually, "Six." Galadon's eyes went wide, and his heart monitor started to beep an alarm, causing the medic to hasten towards him in concern. "What... what's wrong with you?" The medic asked, trying to find out what ailed his patient. "It's not me, you fool!" Galadon cried as he slapped away the reaching hands of the attendant. "Get me my datapad... NOW!" ************* "Frack! Where is he?!" The woman Jedi screamed. She had just tried to see where Darth Verrin lay, figuring she'd have to finish the job that the indecisive Sith could not. But the old man wasn't there, or he'd rendered himself hidden in the Force. Her cry startled the Sith, and he snapped his head and lightsaber around to deal with Darth Verrin after all. But she was right - he couldn't see the prone man. Alarmed, he jumped the last few feet to the bookshelf the Darth had been laying upon, and he slashed with his saber a few times. But he impacted nothing, and sensed nothing. He looked wildly around, trying to get a sense of where the old man might have gone. But it was the Jedi woman, who was able to maintain her calm enough to look around intelligently. "The blood trail... follow the blood trail!"
  15. A bright blade in the Darkest of Night

    It sounded like Mirran was about to go 'all out' as she put it, and Verrin was ready. This was what he'd wanted - to see where she really was, not how well she could strike a pose. She amused him by offering a warning, and then - quite suddenly - she stopped altogether. He would have thought it a trick to set him off guard, and he would have respected that even though it would annoy him, except her face went pale, and her voice changed drastically. He'd seen this before in his Prophet apprentice - when the Force gave her a vision while she was in the middle of doing something else. He cocked his head as she spoke, listening. Mirran spoke of her old master returning, but Verrin didn't sense anyone in the immediate vicinity. The bond between masters and apprentices was strong though, and Mirran would likely sense her mentor if they arrived on the planet, nevermind this building. And then Mirran seemed upset... disappointed... offended? She spoke, explaining in short. But that short explanation was informative to Verrin, and he knew how to answer. "Yes." It was a simple statement, but a truthful one. Some of the students he'd taught over the years were ones who had been dismissed or neglected by their own masters. His own master, Drackonis, had disappeared on Verrin more than once. He'd had to seek his instruction from others during that time. But every time the master returned, Verrin had also returned to him. He was faithful that way... loyal. Perhaps that was why the Sith'ari really kept him around. He knew Verrin would always serve the Sith... the Empire... in whatever form it stood. He stood upright, letting the training saber rest - still in hand - by his side. He had no reason to defend the master of a wayward Jedi woman, but he suggested, "Sometimes, the galaxy takes us places when we don't expect it, and suddenly too. I'm not saying it's right or wrong to do this, but my advice would be to meet with your master and find out what happened... why she left you to train on your own, or with another. Perhaps it was a choice to have you learn this way. Perhaps it had nothing to do with you at all, but with her. Communicate first, then render judgement when you are better informed." He paused and turned to one side. "Oh right... you probably wanted me to say something like, "Leave her then... join me, and together we will make her pay for what she's done to you. Her crime against you will not go unpunished!"" He smirked, though he figured she couldn't see it. "I'll tell you what... I'll offer a compromise... something in between. Your master is a chain that binds you. According to our Code, we gain strength by breaking the chains that bind us. But the truth of it all is that we - all of us - have chains. We choose the ones we bind ourselves with. You could ignore your master's return... forsake her altogether. You could let her come to you, instead of you running to her. That would be leaving the choice to renew your bond in her hands... assuming you trust them. You could run to her side, clasp her gratefully to your chest, and never let that chain go. It's one you choose to bear, or not. But please... Stop trying to guess what others want for you, and decide what you want for yourself. If you want her... go get her. If you don't... dismiss her, and we'll move on with your training. But own your destiny. CHOOSE the chain you wish to bear. That is my advice to you, Miss Kai." He waited to see if she'd return to her attack, or give up. Perhaps today's lesson wasn't going to be about lightsabers at all.