Following the events of the Agents of Chaos invasion of CIS-held Rodia
The Sun Guard slashed through the space where his opponent’s neck should have been but tumbled instead into a cold nothingness. The void swallowed him whole, letting him fall and spin until he had lost all sense of direction. Finally his feet touched some invisible ground and he regained some semblance of equilibrium.

His grip tightened on his force pike as he searched his surroundings for the opponent that had brought him here. Madalena Antares, the vile and honorless creature that she was, must have invaded his mind. He could not feel the electromagnetic waves flowing through his skull from his stabilizer mask. Had she somehow disabled it, then created this illusion? He could see his weapon in front of him, but nothing past it. He had thought his mind strong but she had proven that notion false.

No, that wasn’t right -- the portal. Yes, he remembered. Right in front of him she’d created a portal to swallow him whole; the same sort of portal that had produced the ghastly limb that had grabbed his weapon. It took him only a moment to realize where he was.

Théodoro Pirran was in hell.

The Void. Chaos. The Netherworld. Manda. There were so many names for it. As a warrior, death was always a possibility, but he had always assumed when it came there would be nothing for him after. Past his own life and being there was nothing that he could be certain of, thus it did not concern him. He would live and die a great warrior. To ponder things that were not relevant to that was for wise men with skinny arms.

Yet there he was, in a cold darkness. He straightened and his helmet retracted. There was a hum, a persistent energy to the place that tugged at his heart and mind, telling him to surrender to the nothingness.

He refused.

The battle of the living was left unfinished. He could not leave the galaxy in such a dishonorable way. If Antares had sent him here with a saber through his heart he would have accepted it without question, but this was cheap and unearned. Death was an enemy to be raged against. Théodoro wanted to die screaming, writhing as his enemies’s weapons tore through him. Nothing else would satisfy him.

He roared into the void. “SEND ME BACK TO RODIA!”

The void roared back.

With a crash a great gate appeared before him; covered in wicked spikes and bones. Every time he tried to guess how large it was it seemed to grow taller and wider before him. The gate’s enormous black doors swung open; through it, he could see an appropriately hellish landscape. It reminded him of the sands of Thyrsus, only there was no radiance from the twin suns above. The cloudy sky held a dull red glow instead.

While the hum of the void was ambient and peaceful, the land through the gate radiated hostility. There was a heat, a danger that blew against him in a warm gust of wind through the doors.

It was a challenge. He would not back down from a challenge.

The young warrior forged onwards, stepping into the hellscape. As soon as he set foot on the sands the doors slammed shut behind him; when he spun around the gate had disappeared, leaving him surrounded by the arid landscape. In the distance he saw scattered, shambling figures, wandering the endless desert. The winds whispered lies and tugged at his mind, hoping to rob him of his will and soul to turn him into another husk.

Perhaps that was the existence he would be damned to.

Still, he remembered the stories of those who had escaped death. Palpatine had resurrected himself twice. He was not one to follow the example of the Sith, but there was a lesson to be learned. He would leave this place and return to the galaxy.

It followed that he needed to find a way out. It only took him a quick glance around to spot a tall hill, the base of which was only a klick away. He began to walk towards it, passing the cursed creatures that inhabited the wasteland. One of the husks, though, stared at him with knowing eyes as he approached. They had the focus of a warrior, something Theo had seen in his own.

“You are… a Thyrsian…” The husk’s weak voice spoke. He limped closer, and Theo could see the dead man’s disfigured features and deathly white skin. To be cursed to be as pale as an Echani… he wished that on no Thyrsian.

“I am. My name is Théodoro Pirran.”

“How are you here? You are not dead.”

“I was fighting a powerful warrior. She sent me here, though… not through the usual means,”
he said. He still did not know how she’d made the portal. Could he escape through when she created another? “She created a portal. Now I am here.”

“Then you are trapped,”
the husk said.

Theo shrugged. “I am not dead; I do not belong here. I am sure there is a way out.”

“Brother, I have spent an eternity wandering this place. The desert is vast, and the gates that surround us are closed.”

“You are a Thyrsian?”
Theo paused. “That must be why your mind remains.”

Even after his ethereal body had withered away, the other Thyrsian remained sane enough to speak to Theo. Perhaps there would be a life for him even after he was killed in battle.

“Do you remember your name? How did you serve Thyrsus?”

“I served, but then I… I betrayed them…”
The man stared at his hands. His eyes lost focus and filled with despair. “I didn’t mean to hurt them, to do that. The way they looked at me… I fled, and they called me the Betrayer.”

“The Betrayer.”
Theo frowned.

“Y-Yes!” His gaze snapped back up, some semblance of pride finding its way into his eyes. “That was what they called me. They meant it as an insult, but… ha, I killed them.”

“I remember. You were a great warrior,”
Theo said.

“I was.” The shriveled creature drew himself up as well as he could, a new resolve entering his gaze. “I battled the Sith, the Echani, the Jedi-”

“And your brothers.”
Theo’s gaze stayed fixed on the long-dead warrior.

“Yes… I became a better warrior for it! And of course I became rich enough to buy my own moon,” he said, letting out a rasping laugh. “I am remembered! Thank you, brother, for telling me this. Surely, now, if you were to bring me back to the living world with you I would be welcomed. We are a people of war, and is that not all that matters? I can tell you are a strong young man. You must be willing to do anything to be remembered.”

The Sun Guard snorted. “You were a great warrior. You are not remembered as such.”

“W-what? But you said-”

“Your sword arm was strong but your will was weak. You were so easily swayed by the promise of riches, but even when you went through with your treachery you regretted it. You call yourself the Betrayer yet even in death you hope that those you betrayed have forgiven you.”
He advanced towards the husk of a warrior, who shrank with every word. “Yes, I remember you well. Thyrsus remembers well. But you are not remembered as a warrior, you are reviled as a disgusting creature whose greed overtook his honour.”

“You- I was great! I was a Sun Guard!”
He squealed even as he cowered under Theo’s gaze.

“Perhaps you were. But a Sun Guard without honour is no Sun Guard at all.”

“But… you must become a great warrior! Do anything to achieve greatness!”
He fell to his hands and knees.

“I will do anything but be weak.”

“I was strong! I was a Sun Guard!”
He screamed, his voice breaking as he shriveled further.

“You are nothing.” Theo reached out and grabbed the husk’s head. With only a little pressure it crumpled like paper in his hand, the ghastly body falling and dissolving into sand.

The Sun Guard stared at the ground. As much as he looked up at the great duellists and warriors of the galaxy, there were a great many unworthy and failed warriors. This hell was a place bound to be filled with them; dark creatures and evil souls who had failed in life. He would not be swayed, but he would take each one as a lesson to be learned.

He turned and continued towards the mountain.