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The Man Comes Around

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Walking the ancient gladiatorial arenas of Geonosis, Darth Proeliator drew upon the ancient Sith Code, far older than even he, and he by most standards was ancient, though he certainly did not look it.
Through Passion I Gain Strength.
Passion, he undoubtedly had. He was a walking pillar of controlled fury, hate, and unbridled emotion. His every move spoke in the Force as one of a warrior, reborn in battles he did not remember, though he had the hundreds of scars and grievous injuries to show for them. He was clad only in simple black, form fitting robes that did not reveal these old wounds, nor did they show the tattoos that adorned his body, save those on his face. At his side, the lightsaber that, like he, was ancient. Umbra, he called it, for it's midnight-hued blade.

He was hunting now, that much was evident in his lethal gait, that bespoke of elegance and danger in one. Searching for a challenge, something that could prove the worthiness of this group he had joined with little knowledge of them. In this pursuit, he had called upon one man who's reputation he had heard of through those few people he had interacted with since he return to the Galaxy. Alen Na'Varro, they called him. Well, if he dared to accept, then he would learn why the Sith had once called him the Marauder, long ago.

His eyes, one of them a cybernetic reminder of his battle-ridden past, scanned the sky in search of a ship, the vessel of his would-be foe. Sighting it, his lips pulled back in a feral grin reminiscent of a primal beast. He had found his prey.
 

Aran Finn

Redeemed
Writer
@[member="Darth Proeliator"]

Na'Varro had been summoned for a reckoning, and by the Force he would meet it with a hand on the summoner's throat and a foot on his back. It was odd to be called out in this way. He had garnered a small reputation amongst the Fringers but he was by no means the most powerful, the most wise or the most respected. But a new man had called him out, perhaps as a way of trying to impress the others, and by the Force he'd regret it. Alen had grown powerful, not powerful beyond measure but powerful enough to become a considerable obstacle. This new man, this Sith, would take a hell of a beating. Na'Varro wouldn't kill him. This man could still fight and die for the Fringe, and Alen was not in the business of killing assets. But he'd teach him humility. Teach him respect. But a powerful, elusive feeling crept over him ... a feeling of familiarity. There was something here that he'd experienced for. Time was repeating itself, and those watching from the realm of eternity would see the flat circle of life, and smile knowingly.

"You..." Yes, he remembered the man. As Na'Varro strode into the arena, seamlessly dropping his cloak to the sands, he recognised the man instantly. Proeliator, the Sith's Sith. None had quite fit the title of Sith Lord as well as he ... one of his greatest foes from almost a thousand years ago. Xextos, and now the man once known as Daniel Aldan, had all found themselves in the same time and the same galaxy. This had the taint of fate about it, and it left a sour taste in Alen's mouth. He had thought himself rid of Proeliator, and now they would come to grips once again. There was no point in talking to the Sith, for he was a man who understood the language of violence better than any tongue of all the worlds of the galaxy. They would fight.

"Let's begin." The Lion of Ascension ignited his crimson lightsaber casually, giving the appearance of diffidence, though he was only too alert. He began circling, pacing arrogantly, and awaited Proeliator's first strike.
 
Writer
@[member="Alen Na'Varro"]

And here was his enemy. Politics never his strong suit, war spoke to Darth Proeliator. And it spoke clearly now, even if the man's words threw a cloud of confusion over the issue at hand.
"Do we know each other?" He queried, even while pawing free his curved lightsaber with his left hand, and igniting it with the obvious skill of a million repetitions. Moving forward with the lethal grace of Makashi, he maintained his central line against Alen's angered pacing by simply turning on his heel ever so slightly to face the man wherever he was, conserving energy and denying Alen a flanking attack in one smooth motion. When the word to begin was spoken, the Sith hesitated not.

A quick jump forward, landing on the front foot and delivering a powerful jab at the heart. He was fighting to kill, as always. He followed up with a lightning-fast slash at the upper arm, a move given greater speed by the Dark Side and designed to cripple his foe for the kill, as he knew the first attack would not succeed, barring great fortune.
 

Aran Finn

Redeemed
Writer
"We did, almost a thousand years ago."

Proeliator began with an attack that he had used on Alen once before many years ago, a quick, viper-like jab at the heart. The black blade searched for Na'Varro's flesh but only found his crimson blade, which swept right to left powerfully and batted the initial attack away from the center line. Na'Varro's stance was split now so he shifted backwards and slightly to the right with his left foot to regain, switching stances so his balance couldn't be compromised. @[member="Darth Proeliator"]'s follow up was equally quick and vicious, but Alen was already moving away, the midnight blade passing next to his shoulder as he brought his right foot forward.

Djem So was all about momentum, and Na'Varro's mobile variant, taught to him by Invictus to make up for his lack of massive size, emphasized flanking as a key ingredient of victory. Flanking or the center line, Na'Varro needed to have one or the other. His step forward with the right foot brought him past Proeliator's defences, flanking the Sith on his left, but at the same time Alen did not have room to bring his blade into play. No matter, Na'Varro was always a lover of brawls. Aided by the Force, the Dark Side flowing through him and increasing both his speed and power, Alen attempted to smash Proeliator's liver with the butt of his lightsaber hilt.

He was tempted to Force Push away as a follow up but at the same time, he wanted to win this one ugly. Up close and personal, inside Proeliator's reach and in his face. If successful with his first attack, Alen would attempt to cut upwards and take Proeliator's left hand off from the wrist. Force knew he could get another hand, or how many times he'd got himself a new one.
 
Writer
@[member="Alen Na'Varro"]

"I recall nothing of that time. But I wonder, if you were as weak then as you are now, why I did not kill you then?" Darth Proeliator quipped, with the classic Dun Moch he had used many times before.

Darth Proeliator was 6'4. He was tall, and it gave him reach. Reach that was wonderful when your opponent was at the end of it, when you could hit him and be could not hit you. Unfortunately, Alen was inside. A problem for any Makashi master, but one that Proeliator was skilled at countering. It was why he had built the second hilt into his lightsaber.

Stepping backward, Alen's blow made contact but not with his liver. Instead, in a move extremely unexpected for a Form II practitioner, he threw his right hand forward, closing it around the other man's hilt and pulling forward and down, trying to cause Alen to come off balance, all the while raising the hilt of his weapon with the end of the lightsaber facing Alen's abdomen. The dormant end, but not for long.
With a simple brush of the secondary activation trigger, another black blade burst forth from Umbra. The goal of the brutal, Trakata-inspired maneuver was to have Alen come forward, right into the blade that had just swiftly came forward, and thus skewering the man on the blade. Or, as a second but not much better option, Alen could leap backward, but to do so he would hopefully have to relinquish the hold on his lightsaber, in order to not fall prey to the Sith's attack. This would save him from injury but deprive of a weapon. Either way, a win for Darth Proeliator.

He had been absent from the galaxy for some time, but by no means was he any less skilled than he had been, all those centuries ago.
 

Aran Finn

Redeemed
Writer
As Alen's right foot was forward during his last attack, his knee merely bent to avoid losing his balance. Proeliator's seizing of his lightsaber hilt was extremely fortuitous or skilful, which the Dark Jedi would replay to see exactly how he'd managed to do it, but for the time being it only slowed and slightly redirected his attack. Alen's lightsaber hilt crashed into Proeliator's hipbone, and he quickly and violently pivoted the hilt, wrenching it free from Proeliator's grasp. But now he had the second blade of Umbra to deal with. Thankfully, Alen had full control of his lightsaber, and full control of his body. As the second blade ignited, his crimson moved to intercept it and bat it aside as he moved.

Still on the inside of Proeliator's reach, he twisted away from the secondary blade as his crimson one batted it to the side and up, shifting now to a position to the back and left of the Sith. As he did this he sliced for the back of @[member="Darth Proeliator"]'s left leg.
 
Writer
@[member="Alen Na'Varro"]

Darth Proeliator took the jarring hit to his side without any sort of flinching or grimacing, though it was painful. He had more pressing matters however. Alen moved to his left, still in his reach. With a turn on his heel, the Sith managed to bring his second blade up to knock aside the strike at his leg in a hasty swipe that left his entire stance unbalanced. Thus he retreated, backpedaling rapidly to regain his stance. He shut down his second blade, preferring to use it as a surprise attack then a dedicated weapon. He advanced again, in perfect Makashi poise. Yet he stayed outside of combat range for a brief moment. In a tactic he had used many times before, he grasped the other man's dominant leg with the Force and Pulled, trying to rip it out from under him and compromise the powerful stance that made Form V as strong as it was; and at the same advancing, thrusting at Alen's chest twice in rapid succession.
 

Aran Finn

Redeemed
Writer
@[member="Darth Proeliator"]

There were many ways that Alen could counter the Pull at his front leg, as he had encountered the tricky maneuver before, both in spars and fights to the death. Instead of a Force Shield, the Dark Jedi sought to counter Proeliator by going with the flow. As he did not have the gargantuan size of many Djem So practitioners, Alen's style was mobile and flexible. He could bend if he needed to. Dropping to his right knee, he was pulled forward by the Sith but maintained balance, and the two thrusts at his chest passed above him due to the rapid change in levels that he employed. Now Alen had momentum, and he propelled himself past Proeliator's midnight blade while aiming a cut at his right knee, looking to separate the lower part of his leg from the upper. He was on the inside once again.

Na'Varro had dueled Proeliator to know he was no slouch, and the cutting stroke of his blade would probably be avoided, most likely by a leap in the air to clear his crimson lightsaber blade. As a result, he decided to follow up with two of his most devastating telekinetic attacks. IF Proeliator managed to find a way to avoid the cut without jumping (as Alen was already past his blade and was moving forward at a decent rate, with momentum), Alen would simply return to his feet and retake a high guard, waiting to counter Proeliator's next move.

However, if Proeliator was forced to jump, he would find that Alen was searching him with the Force, looking to take hold of his form with a devastating Force Grip, holding him in the air while exerting tremendous pressure on his body's frame; muscles and bone together. Knowing that the Sith was skilled and could quickly force his way out of the Grip, Alen would himself rise into the air and look to smash him into the ground with a devastating Force Push.

If Proeliator managed to avoid becoming airborne, he would have no such troubles.
 
Writer
@[member="Alen Na'Varro"]

Darth Proeliator again was forced to deal with an enemy inside of his reach. This would call for an adaptation of strategy. But first, he was under attack. And as Alen predicated, the Sith did indeed leap up in the air to avoid to cut. But he turned in mid jump as he did so, and from his right hand burst forth Sith Lightning. He had felt Alen call the Dark Side, knew the man was probably preparing to strike him while he was vulnerable in his jump. After all, Proeliator had used the same tactics in several of his duels.

When he landed however, the Sith was not in the stance of his mastered Makashi. But in another form he excelled with, Ataru. If Alen was going to continue to try to brawl with him, then Proeliator would force him to reconsider that choice with Ataru's aggressiveness. He shot forward, the Dark Side aiding his Speed. Then he struck high at the throat with a brutal horizontal slash. Swiftly afterwards he cut down at the right shoulder, then the midsection diagonally ending at the hip, rounding out the offensive with a thrust at the right thigh. All of this was executed with the Dark Side giving it Speed and Strength. It was a classic Ataru attack, the "Saber Swarm". And with luck, it would score a hit or several against Alen.
 

Aran Finn

Redeemed
Writer
@[member="Darth Proeliator"]

Alen would never, ever reconsider brawling with Darth Proeliator. There were others who would give him pause in that respect. Brawling with a tank like Ashin Varanin would likely get him killed, as an attrition-based style relied on how many more hits you could take than the other guy. Proeliator was a graceful technician, where Na'Varro's style was technical but more brute-like. It just so happened that the Sith was now playing into Alen's hands a bit. He'd hurt him, but Alen felt he truly had the upper hand now.

His defensive style was very technical, espousing the virtues of footwork and keeping the blade tight to the body. It minimalised effort while using the enemy's momentum as an ally rather than a difficulty to be overcome. Now he backpedaled, his crimson blade cutting off Umbra before it reached his throat, then twisting his right shoulder away to avoid the follow up. Proeliator's blade grazed it, burning flesh, and Alen grimaced. The Sith had the speed advantage for sure. The Dark Jedi still had the centre line though, and he intercepted the diagonal slash with a flick of his wrists. Proeliator followed up with a thrust at his thigh, which was when Na'Varro made his move.

Shifting to a right-handed grip, Alen rotated his wrist to turn the crimson blade from pointing up to pointing down and swept around, turning Proeliator's blade around his right leg with inches to spare. This freed up his left arm for an attack. Alen launched a quick jab at Proeliator's jaw with his left fist. It wasn't entirely indefensible, he supposed, but it was quick and sharp, once again on the inside of Proeliator's defenses, and he was sure it would be entirely unexpected. Force signature masked now (a dueling trick he'd learned from Killian Quane, where you removed your presence from the Force mid-duel to take away a crutch your opponent had been subconsciously using, mentally throwing them off balance), Proeliator would have to rely on precog as he would not be able to read Alen's intentions through the Force. Alen hoped the jab would stun the Sith for a second.

After the left jab, Alen considered stepping forward and running the Sith through, but realised that Umbra's second blade would come into play. Instead he stepped to the left and forward, circumventing the second blade problem for now, and slashed down, diagonally, at Proeliator's right arm, looking to catch it at the elbow.
 
Writer
@[member="Alen Na'Varro"]

Alen's jab connected, and while Proeliator had much hit much harder, many times, it was unexpected, and he instinctively reared backed, thrusting outwards with the Dark Side in a crude but powerful Force Push. This saved him from amputation, as Alen's blade, now mostly out of range; only seared the skin of his right arm, filling the air with the acrid stench of burned flesh. He could give credit where it was due, the fellow Fringer was skilled. Another Force Push was designed to keep Alen at a distance while Proeliator plotted his next move.

And he had it, something he had used before with great effect, though it was a departure from Proeliator's normal . The Dark Side came to his aid, and with the power of Force Resonate he concentrated on the heart of his enemy, vibrating the molecules and seeking to literally explode the organ. It would cause extreme pain, and of course damage a very needed part of Alen's biology. Hopefully, the pain would be too much for Alen to pose any effective counter but he doubted that very much. And so he would followed this attack with a burst of Force Lightning.
 

Aran Finn

Redeemed
Writer
@[member="Darth Proeliator"]

The Force Push caught Alen in its grasp and carried him back about ten meters, knocking him to his back. The Dark Jedi knew how to recover from being blasted back, however, and an awkward fall turned into a graceful roll backward. He was back on his feet in a millisecond, just in time to see another Force Push coming. Head throbbing slightly, Na'Varro erected a strong Force Shield to intercept it and skidded back another few feet ... it was testament to Proeliator's power. Relinquishing his Shield, he charged back towards the fray before the Sith started to Resonate his heart! In all his years, Alen had never seen such an ingenious use of that power, but it was entirely too painful to be appreciated at this time. He sunk to one knee during the surge of pain before acting, erecting a wall of Force energy between he and Proeliator, cutting off the Sith's connection to his body. The Resonation stopped, but not before causing some internal trauma. Na'Varro would be feeling under the weather for weeks.

If Proeliator wanted a TK battle, that was what he would be getting. The Wall remained, turning the Sith's burst of Lightning aside but flickering and then perishing as a result. However, it had bought Alen enough time to remain in this duel. He stalked forward now, his left hand catching hold of Proeliator's legs and pulling them forward, while a powerful Force Push came simultaneously from his right hand. The Sith's top half and lower half would be moving in opposite directions unless defended correctly, meanwhile Alen would be closing the distance.
 
Writer
@[member="Alen Na'Varro"]

Proeliator's enemy was good. It was why the Sith could respect him as much as he did. But he was wounded now, that was certain. No one could simply shrug off a wounded heart, and the Resonation had not been complete but had done damage. It would certainly slow his enemy over time.

But he now had much more pressing issues to be concerned with. Alen was clever, moving Proeliator's body in opposite directions. Proeliator erected a hasty Force Shield that stopped his legs from being pulled, but did not have time to stop the Force Push, which collided into him, throwing him backward. The Sith pushed off the ground with his legs as Alen's attack hit, moving with the Force Push to flip while airborne and land gracefully on his feet, still facing his enemy and still with distance between them.

Darth Proeliator then called the Dark Side to him, in a different sort of tactic, Force Illusion. Using the Dark Side to cloud Alen's mind and conjure images that were not there, he made it appear as if there were not one but five Darth Proeliator's, with the real Sith being indistinguishable from the crafted ones. He even Masked himself in the Force, leaving him with no Force Signature, same as the Illusions. They all advanced as one, fanning out to surrounded the Dark Jedi, and slicing at all angles. Some struck high, some low, but the real Proeliator sliced for the right knee, seeking a disabling blow. Alen would have to find some way of detecting the real Proeliator, or avoiding all of the strikes entirely.
 

Aran Finn

Redeemed
Writer
@[member="Darth Proeliator"]

In the realm of the mental Force, where illusions and dark auras were commonplace, Alen was a relatively weak Force user. There were some aspects of it that he had learned to deal with over time. After countless duels with Killian and Invictus, Dun Moch was rarely a problem. But Force Illusions were another matter entirely ... they were something that Na'Varro had trouble fathoming, and the skilful way in which Proeliator set up his gave the Dark Jedi pause. Though there were ways of discerning which of the multiple Sith was the genuine article, Alen had never learned one. Force Illusion was an incredibly focused power that would take up a lot of Proeliator's energy. That was where Na'Varro's riposte lay ... but more about that later. But the thing was, Alen did not have to avoid all of the strikes entirely. He only had to receive one. Na'Varro raised his blade ready to strike and lost himself in the illusion. Immersed himself in the Force, knowing that this was the culminating point of the duel. Here was where he would win or lose. There were five Sith with five blades. The blade that struck true would reveal the real Darth Proeliator, and as such Na'Varro tapped into what little precognition instincts he could muster, attempting to make sure that the blow he took would not disable him.

The Force jerked his mind and he twisted his right knee to minimise the effect of the real Darth Proeliator's slice. The strike yielded a two inch cut on his right leg, missing his artery by a hair. It would have hurt but Alen's adrenaline pumped through his body and the Force controlled his pain, and he acted regardless. His riposte was quick and smooth ... using Force Grip on Proeliator's lightsaber hand, he held it in place while applying enormous pressure to both that and the hilt, using the molecules around it to lock its position. His lightsaber, in his right hand, stabbed forward at Proeliator's left trapezoid, attempting to render his left arm useless. All of this happened within half of a second ... It was an immobilizing strike aimed at ending this duel here and now.
 
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