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The Geomancer's Retreat!

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Cambul    15

Cambul, as he stared nervously at the other side through the small window, he got faint scratches of memory from what was left of his brain.


She had been lithe, and quick. Used the maze expertly to try hemming him in. First turns were right, left...


He'd seized her wrist, stabbed her when she had tried to disarm him. It had nearly taken his head off, that vertical slice. He'd caught her out of her "guise". He despised that form she took. Revolting.


He looked at the Mute. He had no connection to any of them. Not really.


"No matter what happens past here...you'll protect the boy, right? Might be able to buy time for you and Kev to escape...


The Mute looked at him and nodded.


"It's waiting for us, isn't it?" Kev breathed nervously, trembling.


"Oh yeah. Its waiting."


"Can spirits be destroyed?"


"There are old tales of such things, but we have none of the means they tell of at our disposal. We're likely about to die."


Kev thought a moment. Then he scowled. 


"I didn't kill that witch on Tattooine just so I could die at the hands of its predecessor. I'm going home. Even if I gotta go through Ghost-Schutta."


"A grand attitude! You will need it. There is a fire prepared on the other side. A fire that is fueled by the foolish and wicked," the cyborg said. "Only fools cannot see the fire until they stand in front of it."


"We'll have to take rights and lefts, in that order, three a piece. Forward after that, ignoring passages to the side, then a left, then a right, then another forward. You'll know we reached it, when we are at a pit of sand under a dome. The emergency hanger is beyond that. We move quickly. Cane-fighter, you take the boy and run when I give the signal. We wait for Morgana. No splitting up until then. Got it?"


They both nodded. Kev sensed some unspoken plan, but he was not certain what.

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Morgana    0
Posted (edited)

       Morgana was at once intrigued at the design of the place, even if she noticed the unusual spike in fear among her Jedi companions. Still, she admired the spirit of the boy especially as he declared he would survive at all costs. In another life, he would've actually made for a wonderful Sith apprentice to have had ruling by her side in the vision of her master. After all, it was Lord Inferis the Imperial exile, who declared that the Sith would survive in the manner that had nearly carried Darth Revan and Malak to victory over the Republic, three centuries before. The Sith would be no more than two and legions of Dark Jedi would be at their disposal.


       But where Revan and Malak had trained expendable assassins, Inferis had meant to train the ones who came to the service of his vision as capable of becoming Sith apprentices, should the current one fall. He confessed that the most significant problem with banking all the teachings and wisdom of the Dark Side on a single apprentice would be what happened if they fell to a Jedi's blade or otherwise failed. The master would have to start again with another warrior who could take years to train once again and while Inferis would have the longevity for that if Morgana failed, he figured it was safer to train all who joined him that were Force-sensitive in the most basic teachings then reward the strongest of that lot the apprenticeship in descending order. Apart from having a pool of assassins who could slay Jedi as easily as they could be tossed aside if they should fail, it would give the then-current master a pool of Force-sensitives to choose from (unless destroyed before the apprentice was) when forced to start again.


       Naturally, the Council had been against the idea and Inferis had been forced to endure a self-imposed exile in order for his vision to endure. But now, so far as Morgana knew, the Empire was going nowhere and was even diminishing as her master had warned it would by the very nature of the Dark Side. Of course, in hindsight, Morgana knew better than to believe that the only obstacle wasn't the deal with apprentices being killed or the pool of assassins being extinguished. There was also the contention that the Master in question might not know everything about the Dark Side and would need to gather materials necessary to explore it in greater depth, hence Li's mission to Pendragon and Morgana's inquiry here. Depending on the resources this Darth Vious left behind, Morgana's vision could not only survive but thrive under her more eternal watch.


        After all, the Emperor who first led the Empire into the known Republic boundaries had allegedly succeeded in immortality and so, Morgana doubted it was impossible for her to do the same. In truth, what she was hoping for was to learn the art of essence transfer, having tried to see if her Master uncovered a way for Bith science to explain and coming up short when he initiated a contingency based on his death. Still, Morgana braced herself for the maze, knowing that it would be fraught with dangers and while she wasn't as worried about the boy as the Mute and the cyborg had become, she knew better than to leave him behind if it could be avoided. Far better to have an edge over her apprentice for as long as possible than to hope she could remain controlled without it. She just hoped she could do something about Cambul relying strictly on that blasted slugthrower and not on the lightsaber at his waist, sooner rather than later. 

Edited by Morgana

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Cambul    15

Cambul, after a few moments hesitation, turned to Kev.


"Like a star, boy. Like a star," the cyborg grunted before hitting the switch. Kev paused at Cambul in curiosity."


"Private joke," the cyborg explained to him.


Kev could only stare in curiosity...before nodding in understanding.


The cyborg hit the switch and the door lifted.


Metal feet touched soft sand, and the cyborg, Kev and the Mute went forward, turning when the cyborg said to turn. The Mute kept a close eye on Kev while the cyborg took point.


The cyborg gave soft little whirs as he advanced from his mechanical body.


"How did you cheat death?" Kev asked.


"Like I said to Morgana...heh...I'm a good swordsman."


"Too cryptic."


"Truth is...I'm not so sure I did...take my advice, boy...sometimes winning is worse than losing...because you may find that in winning, you've sacrificed so much the victory is almost meaningless...or the conditions of your victory give rise to worse problems. Unavoidable sometimes, but that doesn't mean there is no point in going out of your way to avoid such victories."


"So why bother trying to survive down here?" Kev wondered.


"Well, do you want to die in this tomb?" Cambul asked pointedly. "Everyone's death comes for them eventually. That's why Death doesn't mind losing a sword fight now and then...because one way or another, you're going to have a lapse in your defense eventually."


"You think we'll make it?"


"Kid, I'm not gonna sugarcoat it...we're all looking at a nasty end...I'll do what I can but it isn't looking good. Surely it knows we are here..." 


Cambul made a turn, and found the slashed open remains of multiple scientists. He did not see the one that had upgraded his body. 


He did see claw and print marks, large ones. His Force senses tingled, and he open fire in front of him as a Hississ came out of force concealment to attack. The bullets buried themselves in thick hide but didn't quite pierce it. The three dodged out of the way as it leapt, Cambul emptying the magazine into the back of its head, which stunned it from the sheer kinetic impact as it hit. Cambul leapt onto it and felt his joints creak as it thrashed about trying to throw him off in the confined space to no avail, he kept his face from drooling jaws as he snatched his curve hilt and pressed it into its eye, activating it. It thrashed mightily even as the blade burned through its skull. Cambul didn't even stop to catch his breath as he retrieved his rifle, shutting his saber off.


"Dark Side Dragons!" Cambul snarled. "Where there are one there are dozens! Hurry!"


The three took off just as there was a snarl behind Morgana.


"Morgana! Behind you!" Kev shouted.

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Morgana    0
Posted (edited)

       Morgana couldn't believe that Cambul was still relying on that rifle of his which made Morgana realize that the dragons would not easily be slain by blasters (that was a slugthrower Cambul used, after all) but they could be slain with a lightsaber. That was, if she hadn't decapitated the one behind her before it could devour her as it probably hoped to do. Even so, she let him use it because she knew that there was sooner or later going to be cause for its removal like when he tried to recover the blaster.


      In that moment, she made a decision. She decided that while she needed Cambul alive, she needed to push him into revealing his hand if she was to survive a confrontation with him and the Mute.


     At the moment, she was sure she could destroy the Mute in a fair fight but she needed to know if she could destroy Cambul or if his remark about his swordsmanship was just a boast to make her think twice. Then she detected something that made her feel better about the situation: he was down to his last clip anyway and if she could just give him cause to unload it on another one of the dragons? 


      That was when another came out of the Force Concealment bubble in an attempt to pounce her. But she used Force Speed to dodge it at the last moment and let it fly some ways before landing closer to him than her. She figured, if nothing else, she could force his hand in a lightsaber battle long before she needed to worry about being defeated. In any case, the lot of them would be too wearied for a good duel, it was just a question of whether or not Morgana would outlast them all. Hell, she even gave increasing thought to letting Kev be buried with them and lie about how he met his end when she reunited with her apprentice.


      If nothing else, it would give Li reason to surrender to her passions and become the disciple Morgana had been looking for from the first day she set out for revenge on Hyperion. Who knew? Maybe this would be the point where the dragons of the Dark Side did her work for her. She'd heard of these things before and wondered if it was at all possible for her to tame one for herself.


      Then she thought better of it and for good reason, apart from her inexperience with beastlore, she would still need the kind of concentration their surroundings couldn't afford her. On top of that, the only creature that it could've worked on was the infant she just slew. There would be no dragon taming today as it were and even if there could've been, they needed every lightsaber they could get.


    Still, she did remember something about how to turn reptiles on one another without the need for Force suggestion. Reptiles tended to have a hierarchical system of food distribution where the largest ones acquired the largest share by bullying their way through. If there was somehow a way she could make the Hsiss fight each other, they stood a better chance. Plus, Morgana didn't like the idea of being bitten, leading to their infamous venom possibly having an effect on her.


     Then she thought of an idea at once. "Jedi! See if you can get them fighting with each other, have the little ones attack the big ones somehow! If we can get them to focus on each other, they might do what a lot of lizards do and fight each other!" Morgana shouted. She just hoped it was enough, as she demonstrated when a young Hsiss tried to approach, only to give chase as she led him to a much larger one though not too large. 

Edited by Morgana

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Cambul    15

Cambul heard her distant shouts as he ran ahead but it mattered little, with Kev and the Mute following behind as he had problems of his own. He drew rifle when his force senses screamed a warning into his brain and he instinctively threw a right hook with all his might, cracking the skull of a Hississ, another runt by the looks of it, and caused the still alive animal to crash into a side wall, still flaying, disoriented, and in pain. The Mute rushed forward and jammed his lightsaber into its still snarling mouth, burning it from the inside out.


"Don't bother trying to use the Force directly...sithspawn are resistant," Cambul warned. "You'll just waste your energy."


They heard snarls from where Morgana was being attacked.


"She wants the damn lizards," Kev said sourly. "Maybe we should give her what she wants."


Cambul stared at the boy. "You really want this woman dead, don't you?"


Kev stared back. "Wouldn't you, if your mother was being turned into something terrible?"


"Boy," Cambul said slowly, "You should be just as worried as to what thy own zeal shall turn you into."


The cyborg looked ahead. "Just look at me. People like me...we don't get happy endings."


Cambul turned back to the boy. "Better to nurse the instinct that causes you to recoil from savagery than ignore it."


The Mute tapped his cane in annoyance. He was clearly wondering what to do about Morgana.


Cambul sighed. "Time to deliver her the wages of her sin. Let the animals tire her out a few more seconds. Cane-fighter, take the boy and take a right, a left and a straight, than two more lefts, than another right, you'll come to a vast dome of sand. At the center of that dome will be the stone chamber I assassinated Vious. Avoid it at all cost. You'lI know why when you see it. Go to the door at the far end of the dome. That leads to the emergency hanger. Maybe there is a ship we can take. Maybe. I'm gonna take Morgana up on her suggestion," Cambul croaked electronically.


The Mute nodded. Cambul turned to the boy.


"You'll know when," he said to him. "Dont be too close, of course."


Kev nodded in understanding. The Mute looked at them both, and furrowed his brow in curiosity.


"Never you mind, stick man. Just be sure that boy survives. And if that spirit goes for you, make sure that boy gets to the hanger. Stay there until me and Morgana arrive."


The Mute acknowledged him with another nod, grabbing the boy and running. Meanwhile, Cambul took off in another direction in the maze, knowing he had sent them through a route that lacked Hississ...the other parts of the maze were infested with them. He ran down those parts, careful to activate his lightsaber to leave a trail back to the point he had left the others.


He heard the snarls as he twisted down one path, deactivating his lightsaber and firing off a shot to rouse a nest of runt Hississ, and when they came out of camouflage, he went running the other way, leading the snarling mass of animals chasing him right to where Morgana was.


Morgana had been correct on the general knowledge but what she failed to understand about these lizards is that they were inherently a product of the Dark Side. To them, any target would do.


As he neared Morgana he saw more beasts surrounding her.


"Sinner! Is this enough lizards for thee?" Cambul asked, running right towards her with pack of small lizards even as she was threatened with being overwhelmed by three lizards already trying to kill her. He made a simple, crude Force jump over her, while the lizards chasing him focused like a laser on the one still in their path. He took another route down the maze, drawing his lightsaber and running it on the walls of the maze so she could follow him as he ran to the exact center of this hell, adrenaline and desperation forcing him to remember the correct path.




The Mute ran desperately with the boy, only meters ahead of the Hississ chasing them the claustrophobic nature of their surroundings only made it worse.


But Cambul's memory had not faltered. The dome was vast, and covered in white sand. The chamber at the center stretched into the ceiling as a dark tower made of stone.


The Mute moved cautiously, nervously with the boy.


Nothing. Nothing at all.


As he moved quickly, the boy in tow, he spotted the door to the emergency hanger. He made sure Kev was close by as he went to it, shoving his saber into the large, square door. The magnetic seals looked to have failed, so he began the process of cutting through it.


As he did so, the sand behind them both shifted. There was no wind that could account for it...

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Morgana    0

      Morgana had to confess that Cambul had played into treachery very well for being a Jedi, he might have even been a fine Sith in another life. Still, before any of the beasts could do real damage, she used Force Speed to escape the worst of the conflict even if she still had a couple nicks or two from their scratching and clawing. Even so, there was still the matter of picking up the trail then destroying Cambul and the Mute before killing the boy.


       Telepathically, she sent out a message to Seth, describing the cyborg and the Mute via her memories of their descriptions with very simple directives. They were to find and destroy both the Jedi then find the boy and bring him to her for her own personal execution that she would perform. Then she'd find Mr. Prosper and destroy him before heading back to the colony to continue Li's training and immersion into the Dark Side.


        If she found any valuables in this place then she was going to take them to enhance her own knowledge then complete the plan her Master had set them on, all those years ago. Her Master had been a wise man, believing the Sith's actual numbers needed to be reduced to two and then have a fleet of Dark Jedi to act on their behalf. He'd been wise about having a pool of experienced Force-sensitives to rely on in the event of an apprentice's failure.


         Where he had been astray was that he had wanted to die in the name of his cause when he could've lived forever. Had he learned essence transfer, as Morgana intended to do, he would've had a chance to see his vision to its end. Now, Morgana could hardly wait to see if the secrets held by this Sith Lady would also teach her other rituals she needed to know in preparation for her ultimate goal. That goal, simply put, of transferring her consciousness into Li then repeat the cycle until she was stronger than even the Emperor who'd launched the war against the Republic. Then she would wipe away the descendants of Hyperion, vaporize the worlds of the Republic asunder, and expand beyond to the cosmos beyond especially once she completed the ritual that allegedly gave him his infamous immortality.


          But first, she had to start with destroying these Jedi, this boy, and this place. She had to get back to her apprentice and her world before she could perform all of that. Meanwhile, the spirit within the place, the one she intended to conference with if it emerged, was beginning to stir.

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          Seth realized that finding his way in was the easy part but getting into the deeper levels where he sensed his mistress had been would be the tougher part. Then he heard the telltale rumbles of something shaking the foundations of the place and he could only guess that his mistress was down there. After all, from what little he'd been taught of the Sith, it wasn't uncommon for ancient masters to hide their knowledge where they could lay traps and bury any who would seek the knowledge with them.


         Morgana had somehow triggered one of these traps then she could be doomed to a fate far worse than a quick death by lightsaber, the slow and painful end that came with being entombed in stone for the rest of the planet's life age. After all, even if Morgana somehow used the Force to save herself from being smashed to a pulp, she would still be too powerless to escape from her improvised sarcophagus without help from the outside such as Seth would have to be if he escaped with his own life. Even then, excavation would take him countless weeks (if not months), assuming he did it by himself and that was with the aid of the Force at his disposal: far better to find her now and make do with whatever she managed to acquire than chance total annihilation for a grand treasure.


           Seth didn't mind admitting that he shared the Sith's desire at self-preservation even if he realized that the best result for that would've been never to come here. But Morgana was the only one who could teach him anything about the Force at the moment, the only one who was capable of helping him complete his immersion into the Dark Side. Hyperion might've done a better job of that were it not for his brief lapse in remorse where he aided that Nautolan scum but in these pressing circumstances, he still needed a teacher... More importantly, he still needed her.


            As he traversed the castle, following the steps that led him down deeper (steps of which he learned whenever he interrogated staff he then killed to silence them), he sensed that Morgana wasn't alone. Apart from the boy and the Mute, who Seth would've already expected, there was another more ancient and alien presence. It didn't seem quite fully alive but also not fully dead either, instead living in an agonized limbo between the two of them until someone finished it off and made whatever it was fully dead. Seth wouldn't mind remedying that problem if his lady ordered him to which it sounded like when his mind was flooded with images that carried the mark of her presence: he could guess that the more robotic figure he saw in those projections was the limbo presence he sensed and when it occurred to him that the Mute had a bounty on his head, he grew excited.


             Apart from serving his lady by destroying the cyborg and incapacitating the Mute, he could also serve the creditors who'd issued the bounty on the Mute's head for a few extra credits he could forward to an account of his mistress' choosing. This way, they could fund their combined effort to find Hyperion and make him pay for his sins against them before they ended his life... that and Seth ended Morgana's so that he was free to pursue Dantius and his other enemies with impunity from some superior being to himself commanding his whims. He didn't deny he had treacherous intent for his lady and he didn't mind confessing she would probably betray him if it suited her as well: that was the way life usually tended to work.


           You met people, you found uses for them, they exercise those uses, then you discard them in interaction after interaction. The ones who walked away without scars were those who realized this and kept the people they knew at a professional arms length. It was important not to let things get personal or else disaster could occur, especially if you were someone like Seth who pursued mastery of the Dark Side as his endgame and to sweep aside everyone who wronged him. He was ultimately here, not because of self-preservation in the short term (which was still important) but for self-preservation in the long term: he would serve Morgana until he could choose his own fate and then he'd destroy her. When they made it out of this alive, he wanted to see if maybe he could persuade her to finally let him fight her "apprentice" and prove who was the better servant once and for all. Why couldn't he when he would prove himself to be worthy of the privilege when this was over?


            At any rate, he reached the bottom corridors which were indicated to him by the bodies present. He didn't even really care to look at whether or not Morgana had killed any of these. After seeing the surface of his homeworld completely destroyed by the war between the Jedi and the Sith, nothing seemed as bleak. Still, sensing something was wrong up ahead, he opened the sturdy gates before the corpses and entered with a steady pace to his walking. Apart from his lightsaber being ignited, he didn't really do very much fighting not least when the Hsiss corpses became visible: too much dead meat for most of the scavengers and predators to be concerned with him. But he could tell that the corpses were recent, an indication that if his mistress and her so-called allies had fought the beasts then he wasn't far off from them.


            Still, the fact this place was a labyrinth meant that they could technically be near but he had no way of knowing where or how to find them in the winding passages. The blinding sands didn't exactly make it easy and the few predators that preferred live prey did still come out to play. Even so, they were too small for him to really strain himself in their demises... not least when he used a Dash or two at the last possible moment to make them ram themselves into the walls nearest him and snap their necks. Finally, when he was left alone, he found what looked like an empty arena even if he had every reason to believe otherwise.


             There were books and scrolls on every side as far as the eyes could see, indicating he was in some kind of ancient library with the knowledge of the ancient Sith awaiting any who reached it. But he also sensed something else, something as old as the collection and hungrier than the knowledge within here. However, unfortunately, he sensed another presence: the cyborg had beaten him to the punch and Morgana was nowhere to be seen just yet. "Where is she, droid? Tell me or I'll make you fully dead!" he hissed, his lightsaber pointed ahead. Best part was that he sensed that the cyborg was still alone even as he knew they would be approaching. 

Edited by Seth al Ugolio

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Cambul    15

Cambul, as he ran through the maze, leaving false trails on other routes with his lightsaber to confuse Morgana as to which route led to safety. He was remembering more of this place, and what had led him here.


Vious had been killing Jedi Knights through use of poison and torture. Cambul had trailed her for weeks before storming the place with hired mercenaries and as many weapons as he could logically carry and had proceeded to kill most of her assassins, weakening her by introducing a psychotropic into her food an hour before the attack. She had still nearly killed him. He had still been too far gone to care how close he had come to death back then. Not now. He was tacitly concerned about dying now.


Hello, Cambul.


A voice, in the back of the mind. Silken. Seductive. He recognized it.


"So...You are a better swordfighter than I thought," Cambul said quietly, under his breath.


It would seem so.


"I escaped your sanctum once before, Sith. I will do so again.


Not if I'm wearing that woman you brought with you before you do.


Cambul was given pause. For his part he didn't consider it so much as personally condemning Morgana to a fate worse than death...he had actively warned her of the dangers. She had not listened. His concience was clean.


"You are merely delaying the inevitable, as I have. Stalling for time. Sustaining thyself in this empty, godless, hole," Cambul grumbled. "But we'll both go into the ground eventually. It is simply a matter of how we get there."


Your path to the grave involves your slavery to me. Your first task will be to dispatch your friends once I am returned.


"We shall see."


Cambul stumbled through the maze a bit more, taking a left, than a right. He found himself in some sort of library. He doubted any of it was the real deal. Vious would have kept the genuine article much more secure. This was likely training notes for her acolytes, intel reports, most of it rotted or about to rot. Some looked intact though.


Cambul was about to be on his way when what was left of his connection issued a faint warning about a dark presence close by.


Cambul turned as a snarling voice issued a threat.


Cambul's lightsaber was out, the ancient white blade humming, lighting the shelves.


"Boy, I'm going to give you one chance to space off, and I suggest you take it, because there's a spirit in this place and it'll kill both of us once its strong enough. You wanna play Stupid Darksider, you can do it on your own damn time. Now, either draw your blade or stand aside," the cyborg ordered. "I may have one foot in the grave...but I still have more than enough to put your wrinkled hide down."


The cyborg gave a Makashi salute, waiting for the response. 




It watched Morgana pursue the cyborg.


It was so close, yet so far. If it had lips, it would have been licking them. This was the one. Great potential, but an inept pilot at the controls.


It could see the others in its sanctum, the blind man still cutting through the door.


Morgana was not close enough for it to try. There had to be more death and suffering for it to feed on. Much more.


But it could still feel the sand, feel every grain everyone stood on.


A shift in its will, and the boy started to sink into the sand, screaming and yelling. The blind man instantly shut off his saber and rushed to help his charge even as the screaming grew louder...


Just loud enough for Morgana to hear, and follow.

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      Seth smirked slightly, knowing he'd gotten under the cyborg's metal skin especially as he could sense that something about the cyborg was wavering, as if he was concocting some elaborate bluff in the hopes of scaring Seth off. "Look at you, puffing your mechanical chest and warning me of spirits like you're a match for me. I've been at the mercy of a Wraith, I faced down and helped defeat the rogue warrior Hyperion, and I have fought Jedi more powerful than you: even Dantius was a worthier match for me than you seem to be, right now. No matter, I'll destroy you quickly then reunite with my mistress and take what is rightfully ours from this place and the galaxy!" Seth said. Seth initiated the attack by angling his lightsaber diagonally underhand then using a Force Dash to close the remainder of the gap between them as he prepared to conduct a series of power moves.


       He was confident of his victory over the cyborg because apart from his experience with Form V, which was starting to integrate some of the basics of Djem So such as the Fluid Riposte, he already had enough experience to be able to say he could use Shien as a dueling form. The battle with Dantius where he had also lost his left arm was proof that he had been getting better even as he had vowed to help Hyperion in taking revenge against their mutual enemy before Inoy's presence in their lives. More to the point, he had used the expertise he had acquired on his travels with more than one occasion where he had sent ordinary blaster bolts back at his enemies (a process which had gotten easier even as he had journeyed deeper into this place). On top of that, even if the cyborg had been an expert in Makashi (which Seth highly doubted), the precision form faced problems when up against someone of great strength like Seth or of great agility and dexterity like Dantius or Hyperion. It was usually better for countering one's performance of Soresu or Shii-Cho than it was for Form V onward with the possible exception of Niman which sacrificed strength, precision, and agility for moderation. 


         So when he used the Force Dash, he also put all his strength into the underhand thrust of his arms so that when he was clashing with the cyborg, he could put full strength behind the blow and also offset him in the overhead pass he had planned if the cyborg should escape the first strike. He planned on a series of three or four overhead strikes in that manner with Force Dashes to augment his dexterity from time to time and the occasional Force Jump in order to keep the cyborg from using the full might of his mechanics. That and, when the cyborg could use that might, it would be on terms where Seth could absorb his strength then reflect it back on him to finally perfect the usage of Form V at his disposal. He also had every intention of using his mechanical arm to punch the cyborg's chest on the rare occasions that Seth might have a chance to put any of his brawling experience to use against this foe, apart from the fact his left hook would be the only likely thing strong enough to make a dent since it was metal. 


         And once this one had been beaten, he would find Morgana, help her kill the other Jedi and the boy, then return to the colony to complete the training that Morgana had set Li and Seth on. If he proved himself worthy when Morgana finally gave the order to kill Li, they would fight side by side against all their enemies. It would be beautiful, by the Force, most beautiful indeed if they could find him and destroy him together as enemies of his. 

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Cambul    15

"Names that mean nothing to anyone except you," Cambul muttered, tossing his gun aside as the Weequay charged.


The Force dash that assisted his under slice was only barely evaded with a force dash and sliding parry of his own, but the cyborg found himself drawing on what command of the Force that he still had to survive what came next.


Overhead slashes. Power slashing. A shien fencer. Cambul did not try to meet the attacks head on, diverting the first swing with a dodging parry that let the cyborg manuever his way out of the force assisted power attack and shunt the blade aside one handed into a book case.


Cambul almost danced to the weequay's side, balancing himself and augmenting his speed to catch the next overhead attack. He whirled in place, twisting his wrist as he caught the blade then twisting his body to absorb the kinetic impact and let it transfer to the ground, while guiding it into another shelf, where the tip caught the corner. But the weequay was quick and had soon reacquired him. Cambul used his augmented strength to catch the next attack as he retreated, letting the force dash assisted cut lead his until twisting his blade at the last second as he twirl-retreated further and let the weequay's lightsaber impact into the floor. Parts of the library had caught fire, and his slugthrower had been lost in the chaos. He'd tossed aside a second before the darksider had attacked, and he dare not search for it now.


The last strike came and Cambul caught it boldly with his blade, twisting it out of the way and going for a stab when he saw the center exposed, only for the weequay to leap out of the way. He did this the next two times Cambul executed wide but fast slashes designed to bisect him. Cambul increased the wideness of his slashes as well as their speed, attacking anything that looked exposed, beginning a counter-attack on torso of his opponent, most especially his weapon arm. Cambul's precise slashes and thrusts resembled at times a quick figure eight pattern, keeping a tempo between speed and strength, to keep the weequay focused on defending himself and his weapon more, but also keeping him at range so he could not build up the momentum for power assaults. The slashes and thrusts at his neck came fast and fluid, designed to frustrate his power based attacker with a death of a thousand cuts strategy.


Cambul taunted the weequay, using his experience fighting darksiders to try and unsettle his opponent.


"A street thug. No real common sense. All alone in a spirit's tomb. Foolishly serving whoever tosses you a scrap or two, I bet. That you are still alive is not a sign of skill...it merely means you were not worth killing. A spry young man like yourself and you can't even put down an old busted cyborg in the first few blows. Your teachers would be terribly disappointed."

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Morgana    0

       When Morgana sensed the presence of the cyborg closing in, she also sensed another more comforting presence. Seth had finally arrived and given his saber skills were superb, even compared to hers, she knew the threat of the cyborg would be eliminated. However, her thoughts soon pivoted when she heard screaming, the voice of a woman screaming in an almost rhythmic manner as if it was calling to her.


       Deciding that Seth would take care of the damned cyborg, she pursued it and as she did so, the voice seemed to become more familiar. She hadn't heard it since the day she finally decided to kill her parents, following the suicide of her sister at Hyperion's hands. Recalling the pleasure she took in the death of her parents, she following the screaming as it grew louder and louder. She could've sworn that she had even heard it begin adopting a myriad of different species, races, not to mention different sexes, probably an indication of the extent to which Vious had been shapeshifting (if she was truly a Shi'ido). Finally, she came to an open arena with a sarcophagus at the center and both the Mute and Kev were beholding the tomb.


         "Well, well, well, what have we here?" Morgana mocked as she ignited a lightsaber. She marched up closer to them, realizing that she would have to be quick and easy about killing them once duels started. "Your friend thought he could get the slip on me and I suspect one or both of you was involved. Now, step away from the sarcophagus before someone gets hurt! I spared you once, because you were still useful to me, Kev. But when I return, I'll be sure to tell your mother every single detail of your death so she can fulfill her destiny and bring about a glorious new age in the history of the Dark Side!" she hissed.


         And it was true, what she said. She wasn't going to spare Kev nor was she going to lie to Li about how he'd died when she returned from this place. Assuming she'd survived Pendragon and obtained what she was sent to find, she would continue her training until she was finally worthy of taking Morgana's place in the line of Darth Inferis' vision of the Sith. Oh yes, and then Morgana would possess Li's body for its power and grow stronger until she finally was strong enough to conduct the ceremony of Darth Vitiate's immortality and become the most omnipotent force of darkness in the galaxy. But if Li didn't survive, there was always another especially if Seth survived (though it would be peculiar, performing essence transfer on a man and being a woman herself). But even if he didn't there would be other chances... hell, she might let Hyperion become her ally so she could just snatch his power as the ultimate act of revenge.


          She savored the moment, however, pointing her blade ahead at her foes even as the screaming became more and more incessant. More desperate it became in its nature, hungry and pained as it spoke its need for freedom without words. Disembodied spirits, Morgana felt, were greater loads of fun than even most mortals.

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       Seth was hardly enraged by the comments that this cyborg had said before and he already knew that the cyborg was either amnesiac or thought Seth a fool. When news of the defectors from Vornu became public and bounties were issued on all surviving Uriek defects, this one had appeared on the same list that had seen Dantius for a time. Still, no sense in keeping this secret hidden from the cyborg any longer than was necessary.


      "Spare me the condescending attempts at deception, cyborg! You have the same price on your head for defecting from the Republic that Dantius had. You both took refuge in Uriek with the other traitors or else I wouldn't be seeking your head to deliver to the authorities. Besides, I know your style and I know you will not when: if your evasions are indication, your defenses are pathetic and your Makashi is just as bad. I've fought worse foes than you, including a few fully fledged Sith Lords; you aren't even very much flesh and blood yet still you flee from me!" Seth said.


       He had learned as much about the cyborg's style as he could presume the machine had learned about his and he wasn't having anymore of this annoyance. So when the cyborg mad for his next stab toward Seth's neck, the Weequay countered by first swiping his blade across the business point faced down then dashing in close to punch out the cyborg's eye with his mechanical left hand. It was the only thing on his arsenal that was strong enough for that sort of purpose and he knew that if he struck at a blind side he created, Cambul would have next to no chance of countering him, having already revealed he couldn't defeat him.


      All Seth had to do from here was toy around with him for a little while then finish him off while he waited for his lady to reveal herself. Once she did, they would both flee together to finish what the witch had started when she first retrieved Seth from the ashes of Hyperion's destruction.

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