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Say My Name

the bedbound bard
Writer
Who am I?

There was no recollection, no memories to call upon, no answers to find within himself.

Who are you? You are nobody, you are a spectre, a ghost, an empty shell...

There it was, an ever questioning entity at the back of his mind, the voice not his own... Yet it was familiar, even soothing, it echoed his wants, his curiosity, his insatiable drive for... Something more than this. He could not will it to be true, yet no matter how hard he tried, how much he fought against such a notion, something within him tugged to hear the words spoken softly. It could not be true, for he was very much a somebody, he was physical, tangible to the touch, he could think, Although often my thoughts are not my own - and neither were the words, the vocabulary which did not belong to him. Everything he said, everything he thought, was alien, foreign. I should not know of such things. And yet he did.

The nameless being stood within the confines of 'his' room, pacing from wall to wall, corner to corner, frustration growing with each step, then calming with the next, presence flaring continually through the Force.

Who am I?

Unable to stop the drive within, he probed his own mind, the voice which lingered there, was it real? An entity with a body of its own? A spirit which had latched onto him like a parasite? And why did it refuse to tell him what he sought to know? To keep answers from him... Had it been a physical being, he had no doubt that he could force the answers from it, leave it a wreck, a ruin upon the ground... But it wasn't, so he couldn't. All the while his rage grew, at a far greater rate than the calm which sought to protect him, to enshroud him and quell the darkness. Finally he trampled the meek attempts underfoot, lashing out against the bare room which contained only a bed.

Fist struck wall with a gut wrenching crack, accompanied by a ferocious, animalistic growl.

"Tell me who I am!"

In his anger the man had shouted this aloud to the empty room, and for once the voice within failed to answer. Enraged the man's pace rose as he stalked across the room, a dangerous sight had anyone been present to witness, before finally he bellowed:

"SAY MY NAME!"
 
Eternal Father
Writer
"His mania continues to evolve, this may be counter-productive sire."

"The forced mental growth has destabilized his psyche, he could prove to be unusable like the last one. We should end him befor-"

"End him? Just like that? You would destroy this project so far into it's development? We may never find another subject with this midichorian count before the Jedi do!"

The bickering among the three scientists continued to escalate in the ominous dark room, made even more ominous by the relentless onslaught of blue electronic lights above. Nearby an entire wall of monitors showed the child in the room from various angles, the reception wavering slightly when the child slammed his fist into the wall in a fit of maniac rage. The scientists faltered in their argument to stare in cautious bewilderment at the boy's outburst, which one used as an advantage in his argument against keeping him as a test subject. "You see! That's exactly what I was talking about! He's a complete liability, and he needs to be destroyed now before he-" "Before he does what?" The icy cold voice tore through the tension between the three like a freshly sharped blade through flesh, and all turned in fear towards it's source. At the far end of the room opposite of the wall of monitors was a large metallic throne, and upon its seat sat the lord of this realm, Kaine Zambrano.

Kaine adjusted himself slightly before continuing before the scientist had a chance to explain himself, "Before he goes mad and ends your pathetic life, Doctor? Before he rends the soft flesh from your bones and spills your innards across the polished floor? Your weakness disgusts me, Doctor, and I do not tolerate weakness in my tribunal." Without warning beams of blue lightning forked from Kaine's outstretched fingers, filling the air with the sickly scent of ozone before crashing into the offending scientist's chest. The impact of the blow threw the man off of his feet, slamming him against the wall adjacent to the wall of monitors with a sickening crunch of bone. No one bothered to go over and check his vitals, they could already tell by a glance that the man was dead, his coat and flesh burning with a steady pool of blood forming beneath him. "This boy will be my greatest creation, my strongest weapon, and my sharpest blade. Do not dismiss him so quickly, this bout of mania will pass once his trials have been completed."

Kaine pressed a button on the arm of his throne, "Bring test subject 7-B to the training chamber immediately. It's about time I fulfilled his demands..."


@[member="Cassus"]
 
the bedbound bard
Writer
Whoosh, the solitary door, the only thing which adorned the walls of 'his' room, opened abruptly, sending a sudden rush of cool air into the stagnant room. The result of such was a twitch which spread throughout the right side of his body, and slowly he turned. His actions were precise, each movement pinpointed to predatory perfection. And before him he could see his target. Or targets. Two men had been sent in, one held a weapon of some sorts, the other restraints. He knew where this was going, and he also knew that the pair were fools. They have left the door opened, he mused, some of his rage becoming lost in his amazement, his brief moment of hope. And then he lunged.

Before they could react he had one of the men, the one with the weapon, pressed up against the wall by his throat, hand threatening to choke the very life from him. The other man, the one without a weapon, tried to pull him back, but he was enraged, adrenalin filled his system and pushed his body to breaking point. Then he turned and launched the body across the room, with another inhuman growl.

Finally he turned to the direction of the second man, swatting him aside like a fly. He paced over to the door and managed to catch it before security could lock it shut again. He was done with the room, the cell he had been put in, with the cameras monitoring him. Oh yes, he had spotted the cameras. He did not, however, get very far. This institution was unknown to him, the corridors a thick tangled maze of confusion. This time several men flocked to him, and he was finally subdued and restrained. While he was hauled away he did all he could to fight back, to break free, but it was useless at this point. Instead he found himself being led through the institution, but strangely enough not back to 'his' rooms.

When they entered the alien room his gaze snapped around, looking for any indication as to where they were, why he was here. They've come to put you out of your misery the voice in his mind whispered, almost seductively. I told you, you're nothing... Hollow. A waste of air... And yet for once he knew that the presence in the back of his mind was wrong... They would have killed him by now, if that was the plan... He had been in the room for many sleeps, such was the only way to monitor the passing of time. Besides, had he not just given them the opportune reason for killing him on the spot? Maybe there is another who wishes to do the deed themselves. But this too seemed wrong. Instead he gritted his teeth, clenched his jaw and pulled against the restraints, waiting to see what would happen.

All he knew was that he would not be going down without a fight.

@[member="Kaine Zambrano"]
 
Eternal Father
Writer
He didn't have to wait long. Soon enough a door opposite of the one he came through opened silently, the silhouette of a tall man covered by cloak and hood dominating the portal before wordlessly stepping within the threshold of the rather expansive room, the door shutting behind him. A voice echoed throughout the room, but although you were sure it's origin laid within the hooded man, it appeared to come from everywhere at once. It was a jumble of words, mixed up and skewed, unbearable incoherent, but one sentence struck out against your ears, one that was unbearable coherent. "Guards, leave us." The guards obeyed without question or hesitation, turning away from the boy and exiting through the door they came from, but left the restraints on him. The door closed shut behind the departing guards, leaving the boy and the man alone in the room, an ominous and awkward silence slowly filling the room until it's unbearable presence was broken by another garbled string of incoherence from the cloaked man, followed again by one single sentence of coherence.

"You will no longer need those."

Suddenly the restraints binding the boy unshackled themselves and fell down to the floor with a resounding clang. The man slowly approached and in a voice that was no longer plagued by incoherent madness uttered the boy's salvation, "Would you like to know your name?"


@[member="Cassus"]
 
the bedbound bard
Writer
The growl which left the boy at the sight of another was raw and animalistic, causing him to shrug off the grip of those who flanked either side of him. Was this the man who had kept him for goodness knows how long? He who had monitored, and kept any answers from him? The words that were spoken sounded wrong, disjointed, and they sent a shudder through his spine, forcing him to grit his teeth once more. Yet there was one small mercy in that the guards finally left him alone, with only the hooded figure for company. His voice... The way it sounded as opposed to the words themselves... It was all so similar to him, that it made him frown, but a rage bubbled up through his body, through every fibre of his being. It sounds like the voice in my head he realised, but for once the voice offered no insight.

Alongside the words came the removal of his bindings, which fell down, much to his approval. But it left him wondering why... Why bind me, then release me? It did not make sense... But the voice chimed in all the same, This one is more powerful than the guards who brought you here. That was both a reassurance and a dismaying thought. Finally he heard the words he had been longing for all this time... His name... This man knew it, and he was determined to hear the answer. "My name... Tell me" he began, almost demanding, "Say my name..." It was an insatiable desire, something he required from the very depths of his soul, if he even had a soul. The voice did not believe so, but the voice wasn't everything in this world... The boy began to move closer, hands clenching into fists of annoyance. It was growing difficult to keep himself under control...

@[member="Kaine Zambrano"]
 
Eternal Father
Writer
The man seemed not to care for the demanding tone in the boy's voice, nor the aggressive stance the boy took whether he realized it or not. "A name is not given, it is earned." The echoing voice said simply, following up with, "If you wish to know your true name, then you must earn it. As of right now you are incomplete... not whole." The man's hands suddenly became encased in what appeared to be orbs of blue electrical energy, a buzzing hum radiating from them as they lit up the room with cascades of light and dark. "If you wish to earn your name, you must pay the price." Suddenly a cylinder of metal emerged from the man's robes, floating over to fall into the boy's hands, and the boy knew that even though he had never held such a weapon before, he knew exactly what it was and how to use it.

The man's form began to shimmer slightly as his body moved back several meters as if in slow motion, and the voice plagued by incoherent voices once again filled the room.

"Allow me... to test your worth." Suddenly the man outstretched one of his hands and unleashed a direct and singular torrent of blue lightning towards the boy.


@[member="Cassus"]
 
the bedbound bard
Writer
The boy seemed to twitch somewhat involuntarily to what the man said. The fury rose within him yet again, until he could not contain it, only this time there was no wall nearby for him to punch. "Of COURSE I am INCOMPLETE!" He screamed, "I have NO NAME!" And then the darkness swirled around him dangerously, igniting a fierce Force-presence that was strengthened by his heritage, the child of two strong Jedi... And together it came, forming into a blast of pure Force energy that was aimed in a 360 degree radius around his body...

... The moment this happened, however, he seemed to ease up, his fists uncurled and he found himself able to breathe again. Another shudder made its way down his spine, and he arched his back with a slight crack. Then he exhaled, and looked back to the man, looking as though he'd been revived, or something akin to that. "Then I shall pay... Whoever I am." Apparently the uncontrolled release was what he required.

When the metal neared his hand the boy grasped it, and instinctively his thumb pressed the ignition, causing a sickly red beam to ignite outwards, just in time for him to direct it into the path of the lightning, attempting to redirect it rather than simply have the blade absorb the energy. A determined glare appeared on his face as he held off the lightning, which threatened to work its way up the hilt towards his hand... Yet he would not allow that to happen.

@[member="Kaine Zambrano"]
 
Eternal Father
Writer
Kaine caught the redirected electrical energy with his other hand, the arcs of lightning being absorbed into the tips of his fingers harmlessly. Without warning every single light in the room went out at once, covering it in darkness. The only light available came from the crimson beam of the boy's lightsaber, casting a red glare around him while the man was all but invisible in the darkness. Thus allowing him to move effortlessly around the room as if he were a specter, and unleash periodical blasts of lightning towards the boy from a different angle each time. After about six or so rounds of lightning fired at the boy, the man would suddenly be behind him, and would create a rectangular shield of shimmering energy through the force that if touched would knock the boy back, but would also block an attack from his lightsaber. Whichever outcome was achieved the voice would persist through the darkness, "What a sad little shell, doesn't even have a name to call his own. He doesn't even exist."


@[member="Cassus"]
 
the bedbound bard
Writer
Darkness... Save for a sickly red streak of light. The boy allowed his eyes to shift around slowly, trying to keep track of his silent assailant, he who was provoking. This was all just a joke to the man, he knew, but it was anything but funny to the boy. The first few times lightning jolted through the air he was taken unawares, and only managed to direct the blade in the way after an initial shock which made him gasp. The latter times, however, he learned to anticipate, to adjust, like a predator who had found a new prey but needed to find out its weakness, to counteract its strengths.

Thus after the first few shocks he batted away the lightning, and when he felt the presence behind him, a cold shiver having spread through his body, he span the blade around so it was held in reverse, and slammed it back... Directly into a barrier, no less. He hissed in annoyance, a feeling which only grew with the words that bounced around the room. The words he heard, akin to those in the back of her mind, almost identical... "I DO exist!" He shouted, "Give me MY NAME!" With that the boy span on his heel, raising the lightsaber in guard against any possible attack.

@[member="Kaine Zambrano"]
 
Eternal Father
Writer
"You can't have your name unless you prove yourself to me, give into your hatred. Channel this hatred and annoyance, and prove to me that you actually deserve to exist, little shell." Another barrage of lightning was sent the boy's way, followed by another barrage of verbal abuse. "Can't you do any better, shell? Do you not want to know your name? Do you not want to exist? I said show me that hatred and aggression I know burns deep inside of your body!" Suddenly the hooded man was in front of the boy again, his body wreathed in a shimmering energy field as he extended his right hand, and beckoned him to come at him in a taunting and provocative manner, knowing full well that the force barrier around him would protect him from any lightsaber strike. "Unleash your anger on me, boy, and I may just consider giving you your name. Until then, you are nothing, not even a person in this world we live in. A hapless little sack of meat and bone with no soul, come! Claim your soul, or be forever damned!"

@[member="Cassus"]
 
the bedbound bard
Writer
This time the boy did not say a word. An animalistic growl was followed by a swipe through the air with the lightsaber blade, effortlessly battering aside the lightning strike. He stepped closer to the man, around the same time as he moved forwards, and redirected his blade in a volley of Djem-So-esque power-attacks, slamming the lightsaber against the shield. And when this failed to work his anger only grew, until his eyes flashed dangerously and his presence in the Force expanded. He began to physically shake, before letting out a huge guttural shout, enhancing it with the Force in an air-trembling manner. And then he allowed the Force to release around his body yet again, only this time there was true power behind the blast which was sent in Kaine's direction, hammering against his shield to near-breaking point, while the boy raised his blade overhead and brought it arching down into a Falling Avalanche style attack. Even when the blast was over his anger prevailed, something in the boy had snapped, in truth he no longer even cared about the name, he just wanted this man's head.

@[member="Kaine Zambrano"]
 
Eternal Father
Writer
A blade of fire exploded into existence to connect with the boy's vicious overhead strike, sparks exploding as the two blades connected and held. "Yes! That is what you can achieve if you give into your hatred! This is the real you!" Suddenly the man thrust out with his other hand, sending a concentrated blast of telekinetic force into Cassus' gut, which most likely would send the boy flailing backwards away from the man. The blade of fire suddenly flickered into non-existence as a massive telekinetic force applied itself to the boy, pulling at his arms and legs as to keep him held firmly against the metal floor of the room as the lights turned on one by one, bathing the room in a bright light. If the boy reached out with his feelings, he would sense the overwhelming telekinetic force originating from the hooded man before him, who was actually slowly strolling over to where the boy laid. He towered above him, his shadow casting darkness over the boy as he slowly pulled back the hood concealing his face, revealing a handsome visage of a man who has seen some horrors in his life.

The man's face was completely scarred all along the right side, some of the cheek bone revealed where flesh had once been. The man's eyes glowed a sulfuric yellow behind bangs of raven hair, which was bound back in a tight ponytail by an unseen black band. The man smiled and with perfect clarity spoke to the boy, "You have proved your worth, Cassus. I am proud of you, my son."


@[member="Cassus"]
 
the bedbound bard
Writer
Warmth spread across his far as the intense fire-sword sprang up in defence against his blows. Another roar of rage left him, completely ignoring the ecstatic words of the man before him, all he could think about, all he was, was the blade in his hand, the urge to fight, to slay, he would not back down, not even when his blade locked with that of fire... Until the blast sent him reeling backwards. With a gasp he struck the ground, and almost immediately felt his limbs being pulled against, his body fixed down to the floor, he could not move, but the man could, and did. Towering over his body, the boy had no choice but to look at him when the lights overhead flickered into a blinding light. The fallen lightsaber lay to one side, no longer active it had lost its glare. And finally, finally, the boy could see the man who had kept him here, for however long it had been, in captivity, to be watched, monitored, to be trapped like some wild animal brought in for testing. Rage boiled up within him again, and his eyes flashed, but the restraints used through the Force held him in place. Kaine had the stronger mind.

The man had clearly been in some kind of fight, part of his face looked as though it had been mauled but never re-healed. And then his salvation. The man spoke, only this time a name came with it... And more so than that, a glimpse into who he was. My son ... I am his son? Cassus... The name sparked a memory, albeit a very brief one, of a whispered voice, humming... And then nothing. There were no more memories for him, until he woke up in his cell. Cassus said nothing, his eyes locked upon the man... What could he say?

@[member="Kaine Zambrano"]
 
Eternal Father
Writer
Kaine released the hold he had on Cassus, "I know that you are confused, my son, and you deserve answers. You see, after you were born a group called the Jedi kidnapped you from your crib in the dead of night so they could train you to be their pawn. Your mother and I were devastated, your mother more than anyone else. She took her own life in grief, and I vowed to one day reclaim you from the vile clutches of the Jedi. I did, but at a price." He gestured to his face, "I was wounded in battle, but I was able to save you from them, Cassus. Although the brainwashing damage they did upon your mind wasn't easy to remedy, and most of your memories were lost to the void, that's why you didn't know your name or anything that had happened to you before you woke in your room. Listen Cassus, I know you must hate me for all the things I said, but I had to get you angry. I had to make sure they didn't remove the one thing that made you my son, the one thing that made you a Sith."

Kaine's expression softened ever so slightly, although it was all a farce, a facade to trick Cassus into truly believing Kaine was his birth-father, although Cassus couldn't possibly know that. "I love you Cassus, just like your mother loved you before you were taken away from us."

@[member="Cassus"]
 
the bedbound bard
Writer
The moment the hold was released the boy moved back on the floor and found his feet, after grasping for the lightsaber hilt again, a precaution of sorts, he felt safer with it to hand. His eyes narrowed in utter abhorrence of the man stood before him, and it took every bit of willpower he managed to retain to keep from striking him down... Not that he could at this present moment in time, no that wouldn't be so simple. What the man said at first made no sense, but as the story went on he began to find it believable. Why else could he remember nothing save humming? Had that been his mother? None of his anger left him but the confusion subsided. The boy outstretched his hand, pointing at Kaine with the lightsaber hilt, still keeping it disactive. "You have made me feel such anger" he stated, body twitching as a violent rage overtook his body, "Yet you... You..." The twitch expended to the point where Cassus could barely even focus, "You call me a son and think it makes... Makes the past however long okay..?" Taking a step back, to avoid lashing out at the man, the young boy shook his head, "You k-kept me in that room... You made me feel... C-Crazy..."

The day had been an exhausting one. Never had Cassus done so much nor exercised his body as much as he had done today. All his life had been spent cooped up in that cell, the lab not withstanding, it was taking a very serious physical toll on him, and likely was the source of his convulsions. Keeping a tight grip on the hilt he stepped backwards again, but by this point his footing had become off-balance and he stumbled back to the ground, breathing heavy. He hated the man before him. "I'm NOT crazy!"

@[member="Kaine Zambrano"]
 
Eternal Father
Writer
"I did not make you crazy, Cassus. All the voices you heard and all the pain and confusion you feel is the side-effects of the Jedi brainwashing. Anger is an emotion Sith embrace, Cassus. The Jedi do not embrace anger, and they force themselves to become emotionless drones. We Sith are better than that, and you are my son, you are Sith. It may seem harsh and cold to you how I have treated you up to this point, but I had to be absolutely sure that what the Jedi did to you didn't make you something you weren't. Please, Cassus. I don't expect you to trust me or understand my methods after such a long period of brainwashing, but give me a chance." Kaine stepped forward towards him, extending his right hand out to help Cassus to his feet with a benevolent, and concerned expression plastered on his face. "Please son, give your old man a chance to make things right after all these years."

@[member="Cassus"]
 
the bedbound bard
Writer
He raised his hands against his temples and pressed them into place, closing his flickering eyes, after dropping the lightsaber hilt to the floor at his feet. "I... I want them g-gone..." He sounded somewhat pained, and he couldn't even open his eyes at this point. "T-They sound like y-you..." Moments later he too stumbled back and landed on the floor, clutching at his head. "I want them dead. The voices, the Jedi, all of them." Suddenly his eyes snapped open and set to Kaine, as though a sudden understanding passed through him. This man could help him achieve that. "T-Teach me how..." He said, glaring at the hand which was offered before... Slowly taking it and using it to stand. "P-Please... I want this to s-stop..." When he saw the expression on this man's face he crumpled slightly, and stopped in his demanding manner... Was this man being genuine? Was he really his son? "W-Who are you..?"

@[member="Kaine Zambrano"]
 
Eternal Father
Writer
Kaine smiled, a smile tinted with subtle hints of arrogance that were so minute Cassus may not have picked up on them in the state he was currently in. "My name is Kaine, Cassus. Kaine Zambrano, and you are Cassus Zambrano. You are the youngest member of a powerful and proud bloodline that spans back centuries, and you are the heir to my legacy, and my father's legacy, and his father's before that." Kaine helped Cassus up to his feet, planting his right hand on his shoulder to keep him upright and steady. "I will call for my best medics and psychologists to help you, my son. I swear it, I swear that I will help you, if not to stop the voices, then help you quell them so that they do not bother you any longer. Once the voices in your head have been dealt with..." He said with a mischievous smirk, "Then I will help you kill every last Jedi."

@[member="Cassus"]
 
the bedbound bard
Writer
He didn't know what to do, instead he stared at the man who was trying to explain the legacy of his family. Cassus' family, apparently. Did he believe him? Could he? All he knew was that for however long he had been in that room he had been a prisoner to this man, to his watchful eyes while being at the mercy of his whim. "I-I... I don't need help" he spat, despite having pretty much just asked for it. He made a move to step back, yet by this point Kaine's hand was upon his shoulder, holding him in place. His mouth could not make sense of the words it was sounding, he felt clumsy as though he were forever tripping over his tongue. After a moment he realised that he had been offered the assistance in bringing down the Jedi, and he settled. "Y-Yes... Jedi, should die. All of them." The voice in the back of his mind chimed You want them all dead, Cassus... Not just the Jedi but the rest of the Galaxy too... His annoyance at the voice became obvious, jaw clenching in frustration.

@[member="Kaine Zambrano"]
 
Eternal Father
Writer
"All in due time, my child. For now you must rest, and dream of a better tomorrow." He smiled and then said a rather peculiar phrase in Epicant, "Let slumber take you child." Suddenly all of Cassus' motor skills would turn off and his mind forcing itself into a coma as if turned by a switch. Long before Cassus originally awoke in his cell Kaine had implanted multiple sleeper codes within his mind, allowing Kaine to command Cassus to do a multitude of things triggered by a simple phrase said in Epicant. One of those commands was to force Cassus into a coma, which Kaine utilized in this instance. After Cassus had crumpled to the floor, Kaine ordered for the comatose Cassus to be transferred to the medical wing of the Castle, which was situated far above the subterranean laboratories that stretched deep below the Castle grounds. There Cassus would be monitored with a mixture of medical equipment and the Dark Side as a cabal of sorcerers bound to Kaine's will began to implant false memories into Cassus to convince the young lad that everything Kaine had told him before was true.

These false dreams involved very faint memories of Kaine and Cassus' mother together before the Jedi snatched Cassus from both of them. The next series of memories would be flashes and scenes of the Jedi brainwashing Cassus and teaching him their own code and ethics, but Kaine ordered those sequences to be tweaked to make the Jedi appear to be self-serving templars who cared about nothing except their own philosophy and their control over the Republic. The final sequences of memory would be Kaine's liberation of Cassus, and then it would be nothing but darkness until that memory links up with the memory of Cassus awakening in his cell. Once that process was finally completed, Kaine would undo the coma he had put Cassus in and wake him. Once Cassus began to show the signs of coming back to consciousness Kaine spoke up, "Ah, thank Bogan you're awake my son. It took a long time, but I think we've finally managed to undo most of the brainwashing the Jedi had done to you. It was difficult, and there might be some parts we can never truly get rid of."

What Kaine was speaking about, was that damnable humming from Asha Seren that forever continued to linger in Cassus's mind. The only true link in his mind to his actual parents, something Kaine would never be able to get rid of no matter how hard he tried.

@[member="Cassus"]
 
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