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Make Me a Sith

Valgærd

Well-Known Member
Writer
dagobah_concept_art_by_jackiefelixwei-d9duu7b.png
There really was no reason for me to be sitting in the cockpit of this decrepit piece of junk of a ship. The same vessel that had taken father and I to Orcus now stealthy carried us towards Dagobah, the belly of the swamp-planet rolling into view before us. From here, it looked like a green jewel hanging before a glittering black backdrop.

However, I knew that upon the surface of this force-strong planet, the swamps and gasses would be anything but beautiful.

My lip curled back a little in a snarl at the thought of trudging through the muck and mud. It seemed that no matter how hard I trained, what I went through, that penchant for the finer things, that reflexive urge to turn my nose up at the unrefined. Letting out a sigh, I forced myself to relax my features. Dagobah might not be my favourite place, but it was where I was meant to be right now, so I would make do.

I glanced to the Sith Lord next to me. For once, the mighty Darth was the one following me, rather than I him. I hadn’t even told him why we were going here. Yet he’d done what I asked with nary a word. He even piloted the ship as I couldn’t. I felt my chest grow warm as I considered how readily the man had made room in his busy schedule to indulge his daughter’s probably foolish-sounding request.

It was a warmth I quickly buried. I wanted to become Sith, Sith didn’t let in weakness.

As our ship descended into the atmosphere, gently coming to rest in a clearing, the surrounding swamp seemed to envelop our craft. I pulled myself up from the seat I was in, walking down the ramp as it descended. Instantly I was assaulted by the thick, acrid stench of the bog water. Steam arose from the ground. Stringy, mossy vines hung from the spindly trees, branches reaching out to claw at us from all sides. In every direction the marsh seemed to extend into infinity.

Goosebumps arose on my skin the second my boots sank into the soft mud. The force was strong here. Taking a step to the side, I waited for father to follow me out. I suppose it was time to tell him why I’d dragged him all the way out here.



[member="Darth Metus"]
 
A P E X
Character
He was trying.

Darth Metus was the furthest thing from an impeccable father. For the overwhelming majority of his children, he was an absent figure for the near totality of their lives. In times past, the Sith tried to justify why he was not there. He blamed his occupation - that many of them were conceived during drunken flings between Bounty Hunts. He blamed their mothers, pointing out that they never told him that they existed. He blamed everything under the sun for why he was not present. But that didn't change the fact that he never got to see [member="Amaya Cardei"] take her first steps.

That didn't change the fact that he wasn't the one to give [member="Runi Verin"] her first Multi-Tool. That didn't change the fact that he wasn't the one to show [member="Riggs"] how to shoot. The list went on and on and on; and now, the Sith was playing catchup. When he could and when they would allow, he tried to be apart of their lives. He would send them messages on the regular. He would try to support them. But, for some, the chasm of his absence was just too vast for him to bridge now.

And so, with [member="Hadashah Vi'dreya"], he tried. She was the only one who had him on a daily basis now. She was among the youngest of her siblings - but she was within arm's reach of her father. And he owned up to how abyssmal of a parent he had been through her. Thus, whenever his Haddie had a need, he provided it. Whenever she wanted a moment with him, he made the time. For Haddie, he was a present father. Through Haddie, he tried to atone.

Thus, they went to Dagobah.

It was an odd request and one that required quite some doing, but Darth Metus obliged the whim of his child. As a Dark Sider, he flinched at the notion of entering Alliance space for any reason - but, for his child, he would grit his teeth and get it over with. He made certain that his Apprentice, [member="Srina Talon"], reached out to her friend inside the Alliance beforehand. They would not have any trouble during their field trip - of that he was very certain.

So, when they touched down on Dagobah and finally set foot upon its horrendously moist ground, Darth Metus folded his arms. Not impatiently, but rather out of curiosity.

"Alright Princess, I've bitten. Why bring me all the out here?"
 

Valgærd

Well-Known Member
Writer
Princess

Hardly a word I normally liked to hear. If it wasn't my brother Izak taunting me, it was usually said with disdain, through gritted teeth; a criticism of my fondness of finer things. But when father called me by that name it was... different. I was his daughter, his princess, heir to everything that he had. He was powerful, connected, he brushed shoulders with viceroys and held his head high to royalty. Yet, even after all he'd seen, after all he'd done, I was his princess. Perhaps this was one of the reasons I pushed myself so hard, why I was forever competing with Izak and the others, I wanted to earn that title.

I turned to watch him, noticing the very slight involuntary curl of his upper lip.

Silently, I agreed. Dagobah was a mysterious place, powerful in the force, but why by the gods did it have to be a swamp? Father folded his arms and looked at me, asking why we were here. Suddenly, I felt my heart leap into my throat. I'd dragged him all the way out here for my own reasons. The Sith had no reason to be here. In fact, I'd made it difficult by choosing a planet in alliance space. What if my reason wasn't good enough? What if it wasn't worth everything he'd spent to get here? I bit my lip, tossing my braid over my shoulder so I didn't play with it. These fears, though constant, were baseless. Father was strict about our training, and made sure we were proper and made him proud, but never had he belittled me for my ideas.

Taking a deep breath, I raised my arm, gesturing to him,

"I want to be like you." I began, pausing for a moment to get used to the foul swamp air filling my mouth, "I want to be Sith. I want you to make me as powerful as you are."

I had to stop, turning to cough as the acrid stench of the swamp threatened to overwhelm me. There was no 'please' to my request, no quiet asking. Izak and I had been raised not as meek little ones, gently begging to be given what we required. We were the children of the crusade, we didn't ask; we took.

"Dagobah is strong in the force, you can use that, right?"

I found myself taking a step towards him as I spoke, eager to hear his answer.

[member="Darth Metus"]
 
A P E X
Character
Ambition.

When Darth Metus looked upon his child, it was obvious to see what she had inherited from him. Her height. Her eyes. Even her nose. But in that moment, the Princess had revealed another trait gleaned from her Father. His Ambition. When he was her age, he had just begun to train at the feet of his first Master, Gregor. And under his tutelage did the hunger first manifest. It would not do to simply learn how to push or swing a saber - Darth Metus craved true power. And now, his daughter wanted the same - to be Sith just as he.

At first, pride bubbled the surface. His lips twitched slightly, as if he were stifling the beginnings of a grin. But...

At what cost.

Over the course of those decades spent amassing personal strength and prestige, Darth Metus cast practically everything by the wayside. He only aided the Mandalorians when it served his interests. Only lifted a finger for any cause when there was a benefit to him personally. And this selfishness cultivated a single truth within the Sith: he would do anything if it meant fulfilling his goals. Above Maramere, he had taken the life of his younger sibling - the same little girl he had protected throughout their childhood. The same little girl he endured the sting of abuse for so that she didn't have to.

But when it came down to choosing between his Desire and her life, what he wanted came first. He could rationalize it was protecting the Confederacy, but there were other ways. Interdictors, pursuit craft, etc. Ginnie Verd did not have to die that day. But when there was no line...when there was nothing more important than his desire and his ambition, not even blood could cause him to hesitate. Of course, there was remorse after the fact, but in that moment he struck.

This was the path she wanted to take? The life she wanted to lead? Conflict burned in his eyes.

"Listen closely girl." he began. It was rare that he addressed her in such a manner - reserved only for when he was teaching a lesson and required her undivided attention. "I killed my sister, your aunt, without hesitation. And while I've lost sleep over it, I'd do it again in a heartbeat if the circumstances were the same."

"Because what I am - what Sith are - is a creature of Ambition and Desire. If anything threatens what is mine, it will die. If anything gets in my way, it is crushed. Friends. Family. It matters not."


"That is why when [member="Srina Talon"] became my Apprentice, I warned her not to betray me. That is why I give you now a similar warning. To become Sith, you will be willing to destroy what you love for your own gain and your own benefit."

He reached out, placing both hands upon her shoulders.

"If this is what you desire, then I will show you. But do not walk this path to make me proud girl - you are already my Pride."

[member="Hadashah Vi'dreya"]
 

Valgærd

Well-Known Member
Writer
I watched the expressions that passed across his face.

The first was pride, that single glint in his eye, that look that made me know I had done something right, that lone could fuel me. But the look hardened, it became something deep, something more intense. I pursed my lips, gritting my teeth as I prepared myself for whatever came next.

I could count on one hand how many times he’d called me girl in that tone.

This was important, more so than anything else. What was to follow was a lesson. I steeled my gaze as I listened to him. His words came out in a sombre tone; low, yet rumbling with power and intensity. He spoke about him, about what it meant to be sith, about the hunger for power. Izak and I are close, and father loved us both equally I’m sure… but while my twin had wisdom and patience I lacked, I had the ambition he didn’t.

My chest rose slowly as I drew in a long, deep breath.

I didn’t want to answer straight away, to rush in and let him think, let myself think, that I was answering with anything other than the absolute truth. After holding it for a moment, I let my breath out in a sigh. You will be willing to destroy what you love for your own gain and your own benefit.

All of father’s words swirled around in my head. My thoughts flew into overdrive. What if he would one day do to me what he’d done to Aunt Ginnie? What if… I did that to him? What if I had to do that to Izak? What if…

What if I one day overshadowed him?

Turning my eyes up to his, I sought to lock onto my father’s gaze.

“I’m sure.”

Like his own, my words were quiet, but by no means soft or timid. I felt a slight nod overtake me, as if assuring myself of my own words. I took in another deep breath, letting it out in a sigh as well,

“I want to be as powerful as you… no… I want to be more powerful, one day. I will do anything.”



[member="Darth Metus"]
 
A P E X
Character
I will do anything.

She was indeed her father's child. As the young woman spoke, he could see that same fire burning within her eyes - that same resolve which saw Isley Vi'dreya become one of the greatest alchemists in the Galaxy. For Hadashah, there was no turning from this path that she had chosen. Like her father, if she could not learn from one source, she would inevitably find another. She craved power more than anything - so much so that she would cut down anyone to obtain it.

Perhaps this was a form of divine penance. To raise and love a child who would walk his same path. A successor a vicious cycle of ambition, power, and loss.

Regardless of his warning, the future did not scare Hadashah at all.

The Sith gave his child's shoulders a light squeeze before releasing her. A solemn nod was given. "Then your life as Hadashah Vi'dreya has come to an end." he began. Darth Metus outstretched his hand, directing power to the muck behind them. Ancient Sith lyrics fell from his lips, contorting the Force to his whim with every syllable. Shadows pooled and billowed - rising to form a towering, humanoid creature. The Smoke Demon lumbered forward.

"When I was young, my Master gave me only my name. I had to earn - had to take - everything else. You will do the same."

The Sith unclasped a relic from his youth, an Obsidian Lightsabre, from his belt and tossed it into the beast's waiting grasp. An azure blade erupted forth from the weapon.

"Prove yourself worthy of my teaching. Take your weapon."

[member="Hadashah Vi'dreya"]
 

Valgærd

Well-Known Member
Writer
I felt something almost… almost seem to shift in father.

He gave my shoulders a light squeeze. Approval, perhaps? Pride? A brief farewell embrace? It could have been any of these, all of them perhaps. When he spoke, I felt the same solemn tone as earlier, but ringing with what was almost a renewed determination. My choice had been made; and he would see it through to the end, just as I would.

I gave him a nod, pursing my lips but saying nothing for now. Hadashah Vi’dreya, the little girl who hated to be called Haddie, the young upstart always striving to be better than her peers, would be no more. I watched as the sith that was my father reached out towards the swamp. The sludge stirred, darkness and fog swirling and billowing, the dark side beginning to manifest at my father’s command. A creature soon emerged from the shadows; one I’d known to be a Smoke Demon.

I froze, father’s words in my ear as my eyes locked onto the creature. This was it. If I couldn’t face this demon, this creature of my father’s own creation, then I wouldn’t be worthy of anything else he could teach, of the mantle I wanted to leave with. I knew what this meant; I had to fight this thing, or perish. One way or another; Hadashah Vi’dreya was not leaving Dagobah.

At his final command, my hand fell to my hip. I unclipped the latch on my blaster pistol as he tossed a weapon of his own at the creature. I drew a deep breath, my fingers twitching as they brushed the surface of my blaster pistol. That was when I realised what he’d meant,

Take your weapon.

Not my pistol, but the lightsaber. That was my first test. I narrowed my eyes at the beast, studying it for a moment. It was much taller than me, likely stronger and faster as well, considering it was a manifestation of the force and I was merely flesh. And it wielded the most elegant of weapons, to boot. I had to outsmart it.

It would be no good trying to fight it in the muck; the mud and sludge made walking around difficult… unless I could use that to my advantage. I tore my gaze from the creature just long enough to glance at my surroundings. One of the weeping trees nearby draped its willowy arms over us. It would be tricky, but…

Without giving myself the time to doubt my decision, I pounced.

In a single, swift movement I yanked my blaster pistol out with my dominant hand as my other hand stretched towards the branch. In the same moment I leapt from the ground with both feet, intending to grab a hold of the branch and use it to propel myself over the creature. Normally a mere human, especially one of my size, wouldn’t be able to accomplish such a feat, particularly with enough speed to avoid getting hit by its saber. So I augmented my jump with the force, drawing on the immense power that Dagobah had to get over the beast and fire off a single shot at the top of its head before landing behind it.

That is, of course, if everything went according to plan.


[member="Darth Metus"]
 
A P E X
Character
He saw where she was going with that.

The young warrior had clearly learned from the lessons he had drilled into her skull. One must always take into account their strengths, their opponent, and their landscape when engaging. Where Hadashah always excelled was in the close range, but, the muck of the swamp would hamper mobility. So, instead of getting her boots stuck in the mud, she overcame the handicap with sheer mobility. An empowered leap saw her grab a high branch and vault over the Demon, firing a single shot towards its head before landing behind it.

The Sith made his puppet bat the bolt away with a flourish of its saber.

The Smoke Demon turned on Hadashash's exposed back and launched a mighty kick towards her posterior. This was the sole warning she would receive for the totality of the bout - to never leave her back exposed. If the blow connected, it would do nothing more than propel the young woman facefirst into the mire.

"You're going to have to try harden than that Hadashah." the Sith mused. "It will kill you if you don't."

[member="Hadashah Vi'dreya"]
 

Valgærd

Well-Known Member
Writer
Landing with my back to the creature, my instant response was to spin around to face it. However, the demon, having begun to turn before I landed, had raised its leg to kick me. With a grunt and a grimace, I was sent sprawling to the mud. I didn’t have time to shudder in disgust as the slimy, wet much coated my arms and torso, splashing up onto my face.

Scrambling to my feet, I spun around to face the creature again.

Father’s words rang in my ear, confirming what I’d already guessed; it was me or this creature. One way or another, Hadashah Vi’dreya was not leaving here alive. Keeping my attention on the shadow demon, I nodded slightly, indicating I understood.

The blaster pistol was still in my hand. I raised it, aiming for the demon’s right shoulder. I knew that by firing there, it would have to sweep the saber’s blade out to the right to deflect the blast. In the same moment I pulled the trigger, I stretched out my other hand, using the force to propel the demon backwards into the swamp. My hope was that in deflecting my pistol blast, it would be unable to block the force push, and be knocked backwards. If that was the case, I could fire off a second shot while it was distracted and its grip weakened, aiming a bolt for the centre of its chest.


[member="Darth Metus"]
 
A P E X
Character
The Beast weathered her Storm.

And she fired back.

Round and round did the ambitious one tangle with her demonic adversary. Back and forth went their clash of nimble and mighty. And, all the while, Darth Metus watched in relative silence. His arms remained folded above his chest - a Stern expression coloring his face. Underneath it all, he afforded himself a small modicum of pride to witness [member="Hadashah Vi'dreya"] battle against the Smoke Demon. She was strong, and never let any disadvantage hamper her will to fight. Not the muck. Not the size of her opponent. Not even the difference in Power.

And when it was all said and done, a blaster bolt rang out over the sound of battle. A sizzling round tore through the beast's skull - prompting a low gasp to claim its features. Physicality abandoned the creature as it immediately flowed into smoke. A stray breeze was enough to dissipate the monstrosity. In its wake, laying amidst the muck, now laid her weapon. Her prize was hers for the taking.

A clap broke the quiet of her victory.

Darth Metus smiled.

"Rest in peace, Hadashah Vi'dreya." he began.

"Kneel."
 

Valgærd

Well-Known Member
Writer
The fight raged on.

Every move I made, the demon countered. Every strike I threw, it threw back. In the muck and grime we tangled, blaster versus blade, wit against will. All the while I could feel my father's gaze on us both, watching, judging, scrutinising my every decision. The quiet swamp of Dagobah was rocked by bolt after bolt, the peace interrupted by the screech of the bladed weapon deflecting my shots. I narrowed my eyes, gritted my teeth, squared my jaw.

But I was tiring.

It felt like every strike the demon made would be the one that ended out fight. But the more I considered that possibility, the harder I gripped my blaster. The more those thoughts of defeat encircled my mind, the faster I ran, the higher I leapt. No. If I died under my father's gaze, it would not be without having fought to the very last morsel of my strength. It would not be without having pushed myself as far as I could, and then further.

Finally, a single shot rang out throughout our surroundings. The Demon stopped, a smouldering crater in its head. For a single moment the entire world seemed to stand still. Then, it crumbled, dissipating into the air, the gleaming weapon left to fall into the muck. Panting, spent, but alive, I paused. Waiting on aching muscles, I watched for a moment, half-expecting some trick to bring it back, a second test, a reason not to lower my guard. My chest heaved as I finally had the chance to draw in breath after ragged breath.

The sound of clapping brought my attention from the ground where the smoke demon had been, to my father. There Darth Metus stood, smiling. As he spoke, I reached down, picking up the lightsaber. I'd done it. I'd won. I had made him proud. My mind could barely process everything that was going on; only a single thought dominating all others: I had done well in my father's eyes.

At the single, spoken word, I lowered myself to one knee in front of him, gazing up into his face.

Never had a bigger smile graced my lips.



[member="Darth Metus"]
 
A P E X
Character
This was one of those moments...

Darth Metus had made a point to raise [member="Hadashah Vi'dreya"] from the moment of her birth. She, unlike the majority of her siblings, was able to take her first steps while her father was present. Speak her first words. Her greatest days and lowest nights transpired while he was within earshot. And now? Now she had grown further than any of her siblings before her. While each had gone off to carve out their own greatness among the stars, only one knelt before Darth Metus.

Only one witnessed his lightsaber burn into existence. Snap. Hiss.

Only one would see the pride burning behind his sulfuric gaze.

The Sith raised his saber and leveled it just above her shoulder. The heat and light would certainly be intense, but there would be no sting. No pain. Nor was there any threat of agony any longer. "Hadashah, I have held you since the day you came into this world. Heard your every cry. Shaped you. Guided you onto the path of a warrior."

"But this day, the daughter I sired has died. She is no more."

"She has been laid low. Slain. Ripped from this world by a ferocity that is worthy of the mantle. I have witnessed your might. I recognize your power."

"Rest, Hadashah Vi'dreya."


"Rise, Darth Sentis."

[member="Hadashah Vi'dreya"]
 

Valgærd

Well-Known Member
Writer
I kneeled before my father.

Throughout my life he’d been many things to me; teacher, mentor, comforter, friend. He’d mad sure I was disciplined when I messed up and praised when I had done well. Sure, I’d hated him at times, what teenaged girl didn’t hate her father at some point? But having grown beyond that, I was more grateful than I’d ever be able to tell him that he had worked so hard making sure I was the best.

My heart raced in my chest, blood pounding in my ears. I heard the sound of the lightsabre roar to life, saw the glow out of the corner of my eye. I kept my eyes locked on Darth Metus’s, staring up at the pride that filled his gaze.

The heat from the blade was powerful, hot and intense like the ferocity I felt growing in my core. At his words, I felt my heart swell. From the moment I could begin, I’d fought and trained and struggled and battled and sweat and bled for this.

Hadashah Vi’dreya, the princess was no more.

The entire world seemed to fall away as father spoke those final three words. My heart stopped beating for a moment, my breath holding still in my lungs. I stood to my feet slowly, no longer the girl that had landed here, but a woman; terrifying and determined, finally worthy of the title bestowed on me.

I looked into my father’s eyes, my own burning intensely.

“I made it.”




[member="Darth Metus"]
 
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