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The Dark Edge of Deep Space

Zane Richards's picture

Woken from a deep sleep Lavaeus bolted upright in bed, throwing the sheets back she stormed from her chambers, her saberstaff coming to her hand as she passed through the door.. The three subordinates present froze as the Sith Lord strode nake into the cockpit of the transport. While most recently full of a cold calculated control, the Sith Assassin was known to have bouts of wild rage, whether this was one or not, none of them were interested in being caught staring.

With but a thought, Lavaeus tosses the navigator from his station and onto the floor. Leaning over the console her nimble long fingers tapping across the controls entering a new set of coordinates.

“My Lord”, one of the men gathers the courage to speak, genuinely concerned that something has gone very wrong?

“Prepare to jump to the new coordinates immediately, and I am not to be disturbed until we arrive.” Slowly she turns to them, none raise their eyes, none wanted to test her temper.

Lavaeus stormed out of the room, as she did the navigator turned to look his curiosity winning out over his common sense. The force lightning that was his reward sent his body into spasms and convulsions but was brief. The point was made, his death was unnecessary and wasteful.

Some time later a cautious crewman approached the hatch to her chambers triggering the chime once briefly and waiting for a response. Within moments Lavaeus emerges in her battlegear, buckling the last of the straps on her gauntlets.

“We have arrived.” It wasn’t a question it was a statement that had best be true if he was at her door.

“Yes my Lord, sensors have picked up a derelict vessel, it resembles vessels on record from the last war, an Imperial destroyer.” It was difficult to speak to this Sith, being of an alien race she was quicker to punish and enforcer her authority on human officers from whom she perceived a slight.

Lavaeus simply nods and walks past, continuing to adjust her gear. Lt. Aare followed his lord obediently, not that there was really another safe way to follow a Sith Lord. She clearly expected him to follow as she continued talking.

“How far are we from the ship?”

“We have remained at the position indicated by your coordinates my Lord, as per your instructions on arrival coming to advise you.”

“Very good, you have scanned the vessel.” Once again this was not a question.

“Yes my Lord, odd faint lifesigns difficult to lock onto no more than one based on readings but there are other odd energy signatures. They do not match anything in our database.”

“No they wouldn’t.” Lavaeus stepped into the cockpit at this point. Lt Aare took his place in the co-pilot’s seat.

“Bring us in, find a point where we can dock. I’ll be going in to investigate. You will all maintain your stations until I return.”

Several minutes later the docking port opened to the stale air beyond, the smell of decay and age poured out of the ancient vessel. Yet somewhere beyond she could sense the thing from her dreams.

Drawing her cold rage about her like a cloak she stepped through the docking port and as she strode into the darkness it closed behind her but not before a wisp, an almost invisible mist like presence slipped into her ship.

Lavaeus turned, but the presence was gone from behind her and the one deeper in the ship drew her onward toward her fate.

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Zane Richards's picture

The corridors of the ship were littered with the desiccated husks of what must have been its crew. Each one frozen in the throes of an agonizing death, sheer terror, or both; mummified with no outward signs of what killed them. Yet Lavaeus knew, she had seen it in her dreams. The entity here had drank them, consumed their very life force, and now it hungered for more. The being's darkness permeated the superstructure of the old destroyer. So ripe with darkside energy, yet nothing Lavaeus dare touch, at least, not yet.

With only her saberstaff as light she moved forward, she knew this battle had to come, and only one entity would leave the ship. The Force guided her deeper into the bowels of the vessel. She could sense the entity waiting, it knew she was coming, its anticipation and hunger was almost palpable. The air itself become colder as Lavaeus moved toward the command deck of the ship, her breath becoming visible before her.

There was no physical form visible as Lavaeus entered the room, but the presence was undeniable.

“You have come, you are strong, your life force will sustain me well, as will that of your crew.” the voice was female it had a taunting tone, edge tone.

Lavaeus did not bother with a response, banter would serve no purpose in the battle to come, at least not for her. The entity needed hate to feed, it would try to provoke her.

“Once I have you, your crew, your ship, then maybe I’ll find that brother of yours. See if he is as full of such delicious potential as well.”

Again the Sith Sorceress didn’t bother with banter, she drew her cold rage around her pulling it taut, armor against come coming assault. Lavaeus had fought such a creature once before, but it was a pale echo in comparison to the entity that gathered from the darkness before her.

“You are strong, and well versed in the talent.” the voice almost purred, but the icy edge remained. “Perhaps I will possess you first, your own body will consume the lives of your crew, but perhaps not right away. It has been some time since I felt the pleasures of the flesh...of a man.”

Lightning crackled across Lavaeus’s skin, crawling down her arm, gathering then spreading out along the handle and blade of her saber, charging it. Only a whisper escaped her lips, “Then come get me.”

To an outside observer it would see that the scene froze, Lavaeus lunged into the darkness her saber mid spin, force lightning arcing out toward the shadows that seem to move to consume her then everything just stops.

The battle is one of the mind, not the body, inside Lavaeus’s own head, a battle is fought for her very life force. The assault of the entity comes prying, digging seeking to push and drag memories of pain, fear, and hate. Trying to unlock the terrors of the past. But for each terror and weakness Lavaeus had already found her strength. She had clawed her way up from slave to lord, broken and rebuilt over and over. Fueled by her own will and cold rage she clawed back seeing the entities own fears. The isolation, lost in the cold emptiness of space, alone starving, drifting forever in the black.

Push and pull back and forth, then in the confines of Lavaeus’s mind the battle took on the shape and form. The entity that of a black shadow wielding a saberstaff of icy white, almost a twisted reflection of Lavaeus’s own form.

The whirl of sabers gave image to the battle of wills, every thrust, jab, feint, and parry a much more intricate mental manuver. How long the battle raged between them on that cold dead ship none could call to counting or understand.

In the end Lavaeus woke, she sat in her seat on her ship, her crew dead, the entity must have somehow taken them to fuel itself in the battle. Numb and weary from the trial Lavaeus set course for Empire space.

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