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Writer's Corner

moderation
Writer
Writing is an Art in itself.
So recently I refound my journal full of old poems, a few short stories, etc, and I thought I'd share them with you. More so than this I'm encouraging you all to share a piece of work you wrote that made you proud, made you happy to reread, that has a profound meaning to you, etc. Anything!​
I'm going to begin with a coursework piece I wrote last year, titled Out on a Limb, which was part of my first year Literature Course. This piece, alongside the commentary - which I'll spoiler at the bottom - meant a lot to me at the time I wrote it, and still does. I must have done something right, as it's the first time I've ever gotten full marks across the board on a piece of written work, and I was encouraged to enter it into a college-wide competition which I won :huh:​
Words touch us all in different ways, whether it's a good book, individual piece of writing, poem or the lyrics to your favourite song. They often reach a level and realm within us which nothing else can quite achieve. Anyway, here's Out on a Limb and the commentary for those who want to read it ^-^;' I may even throw in some poems if this thread picks up.​
--------------​
Is life a dream wherein I’m living, or is it real and am I dreaming? Life’s not long enough to find the answer, and I doubt I’d like it either way. Besides, if we’re not given enough time to seek answers then we weren't meant to know them in the first place. Or at least, that’s how I see it.
They wouldn’t agree and perhaps you shouldn’t either. After all, I am standing perched on the edge of the world, contemplating, thoughtful, so small and insignificant in comparison to it all. Hardly someone you’d choose to entrust the answer with anyway. Yet here I stand regardless, out on a limb.
The wind billows through the treetops, causing stray leaves to settle at my side and the bough beneath my feet to tremble. I look down and fight the rising uneasiness, ruffle my feathers to show false confidence to an audience of none, for what kind of bird fears flight?
None I know.
I tap my feet impatiently against the branch, talons clenching and unclenching to grasp the bark. It is futile. The freedom of flight only comes when you are ready and only you know when that is.
I, however do not know.
I think back to their words. If they could only see me now, I’d prove them wrong, I’d make them proud. Every good bird longs for flight, for freedom. Every good bird wants to make their flock proud. Alive and dreaming or asleep and living, it does not matter. I will find my answer soon enough.
From the oaks and the birches other birds take flight, fighting off the chill of the air against the beat of their wings, leaving me alone amongst the ashes. They drop, like one of the leaves that are also falling, carelessly swooping to the ground. In the last moment their wings catch the wind to take them soaring into the distance, the occasional downstroke keeping them airborne.
I stand there and I watch, watch them take their flight, watch them claim their freedom. Because they are good birds and they make their flock proud. As usual I am left to wait alone. I hardly mind, in fact I take the time to settle down and rest upon the branch I’m perched upon.
“You can’t rush this kind of thing, there’s always a time, you can’t rush it...”
Not even when your flock has gone on without you.
I watch the sky, feel the air, and wait for the perfect breeze. Why settle for second best, when perfection is just around the corner? You shouldn’t, that’s why there’s perfection.
I rise again to lightly scurry along the branch, the air is icy and if you don’t move you risk freezing. Or at least that’s what they say. They always have something new to say. I’m just supposed to nod my head and agree - to conform like all the good birds.
Only then will you be free” they said “only then will you fly”.
But you cannot fly in chains.
I unfurl my wings and test them slowly, allowing the imperfect wind to snag at my feathers, to mimic flight, but I quickly stop. The breeze is too much; it threatens to pull me from the branch before my time, it reminds me of how things were.

“What are you doing?”
“I’m going to burn them.”
“You can’t fly if they’re burnt.”
“Of course you can, all you need is hope.”

I shake my head against the memory and lift my chin to feel the beat of the air across my face, to brace myself for what is to come. I can feel it now, taste it even. My time is just around the corner, waiting for me to claim its perfect breeze.
A rush of cool and crisp air, winter’s air, brushes my cheek and I stop, holding my breath. And then I step – onto nothing. My stomach drops, body spiralling, plummeting down.
I spread my wings, soaring through the air.
In my body’s flight I open my eyes to the heavens. I see the sun glistening through the trees, the ground rising to meet me, and I glide on the breeze. But now I see my mistake, for a bird I am not. No feathered wings or talons. No flock to make proud.
No hope.
Now, in my final second, I realise that this is it, the answer to my question.
The answer which will remain unspoken.

I studied a range of stimulus texts in preparation for this task, and decided to focus specifically on ideas taken from The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe, So much Water, So Close to Home by Raymond Carver and The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin. I was interested in the first person present tense style shown within Carvers story, as it enables the reader to go on the story alongside the narrator. I particularly enjoyed it because it allowed the narrative to be unreliable and purposely ambiguous. Poe’s story was also first person, like Carvers’, but the part which enticed me most from Poe’s was how it used the narrators internal thoughts and feelings to connect with the reader on an emotional level, and to have them sympathise. Likewise I wanted to use this within my own writing. I wanted to mix this with Chopin’s text, where there is an unpredictable turn of events at the end, only where in Chopin’s the husband is revealed to be alive, “He had been far from the scene of the accident”, and my own revelation was that the bird was not as it seemed, in fact it was not a bird at all.

A continuing theme shown throughout The Black Cat is the ‘Spirit of Perverseness’, a sudden moment of perverseness which seems to take over the narrator and cause him to do things that go against his true nature, and in Poe’s writing the spirit of perverseness seems to be created through the narrators inebriation. I wanted to encapsulate this theme within my own, only I did not want it to be as obvious as Poe intended it to be; as such it is a hidden undertone throughout my writing, shown through use of sardonic humour which is likewise arguably within the Black Cat, “buried the axe in her brain”, the bluntness of Poe’s narration reflecting this. It only really comes to surface within my text during a brief flashback wherein the narrator is attempting to burn his wings “I’m going to burn them” which, like in The Black Cat is written very bluntly whilst also suggesting it to be an innocent act due to how casually it is stated, which downplays the grave connotations of the word “burn.”

Instead of the narrator’s drunken ways causing the spirit of perverseness it is their unrealistic trust in hope, the narrator even stating “all you need is hope”. I took this idea from a poem written by Emily Dickenson, called Hope is a Thing with Feathers. I liked the idea that the poem brought forth, and through it considered the connotations of feathers and flight. Even in Chopin’s story birds are represented in such a manner “countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves” to reflect her hope and freedom, Mrs Mallard even repeating "free” several times over. I came to the conclusion that through flight comes freedom, and then considered why it was that my bird could not fly. My conclusion was society.

The text itself is a metaphor for society and the chains it creates, the idea that “you cannot fly in chains” coming from the philosophy of Rousseau, who claims that ‘mankind is born free, but is everywhere in chains’. Thus, my bird could not fly, because he was not a bird at all but a man, and he was tied down by society’s chains. The text reflects the unattainable, with constant reference to freedom, “only then will you be free”, and perfection, “wait for the perfect breeze”, yet regardless of how unattainable they are mankind seeks out both. The bird cannot fly because he has become dependent on society and thus his hope has left him, represented in the burning of his wings. This is reflected in the ending with the line “No hope”; it gives a direct yet unphysical reason for why he cannot fly, which suggests that this is the reason the narrator gives and not the true reason.

In the Black Cat the idea of foreshadowing is used when the house burns down and only one wall remains standing. It is described as having “the figure of a gigantic cat” embedded upon it, and due to the fact that it is upon a wall it foreshadows the ending where the cat is found within a wall where the narrators wife’s corpse has been placed. I wanted to reflect this in my text, using the phrase “leaving me alone in the ashes” near the beginning, which is both sardonic and foreshadowing, the “ashes” represent both the tree, ash, and the ruin and destruction, a representation of the burning wings shown in the retrospective flashback. This foreshadows the ending of the story, where the bird finds itself unable to fly, and the idea of an inability to fly is shown throughout, with constant use of the words “can’t fly”, and through the frequent use of the foreboding a circular narrative is created.
 

Darth Vazela

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Character
Back in 2012, I wrote these two pieces called "Emergence I" and "Emergence II" in the forum roleplay in intswrp. I was told they were really good by members of that community.

Pydyr was bright tonight. The sand covered moon that orbitted Almania shined a orange hue overhead in the night sky; a contrast to the bleak darkness that surronded it. It looked eerie and mysterious from this perspective; but Vazela knew the history of Pydyr, the Pydyrians and how insiginificant Pydyr had become over the course of the last few millienia. The wind was a barrage of waves that shook the tower and made it seem unstable and unsafe for Vazela to stand on top of it. Any other man might have climbed off, navigate the broken, crumbled and weather steps to the bottom and never look back. But Vazela did not; the view of Stonia was both inspiring and relaxing at the same time. He couldn't feel the cold around him; as he was warmed by the sense of calm that he felt on top of the Je'har towers. The calmness and serenity he felt gave him a source of power some lacked to understand or comprehend.

Vazela's attention was averted away from Stonia, and back to the sky. As Pydyr disappeared behind its body, the gauntlet on his left wrist bleeped for his attention. He gave the gauntlet all the attention it needed, and activated the transmission that was being broadcasted from the ship to him. The holographic image of Malus Bligh was broadcasted on the minature holoprojector he had installed in the durasteel gauntlet, with an assortment of other devices. He began to speak.

"My Lord, the Essence is ready and waiting for your arrival."

"Excellent. Is my fleet in orbit of the planet? Have my men and resources been transported on board the Essence?"

"As per your orders, my Lord. The technologies recovered by your men have been stored in compartment A-364. Meanwhile, I have shown them to their quarters."

"Very good Malus. Dispatch another transport to meet me at the city square. I will arrive momentarily."

"As you wish, my Lord."

Vazela streched a finger to the gauntlet, and turned the holoprojector offline. As the image of Malus Bligh stopped broadcasting and the transmission between the Essence of Darkness and the Almanian Sith Lord was severed, he turned his attention back onto Stonia for a final time. It would be a long time before he would have the opportunity to relax, to think and to experience the calm and serenity he had enjoyed since he was a child. The Je'har Towers would still be here when he could come back to Almania, whenever that would be. Until then, he would have to settle for the observation tower on board the Essence, and enjoy the viewpoints and perspectives of the worlds he and the Star Dreadnaught would be visting together; the many star systems they would be passing through; and all of the stars.

With rapid decline of the Grimm Dynasty and its Empire, came the emergance for an opportunity to exploit all of the governments and leaders that had resided in it for so long. The Essence of Darkness would serve as his source of transportation, for now, until the time for war came. Until then, he would settle for the subjugation of worlds; the manipulation of their leaders and governments; and the gathering of strength and power.

When the time was right, he would bring victory for himself and the Empire he sought to recreate and rebuild. Only then, would the chains that bound him to serving others, would be broken; and then he would be the Dark Lord of the Sith. Of course, patience, a good plan and great execution of that plan would be crucial in the steps leading to that rise. He would be patient, he would come up with a good plan and he would execute it with perfection.

Vazela lowered his centre of gravity, and began his descent. He left behind the top of the tower, and crossed the bridge to the small opening that reminded him of a hut. Inside of the opening, was the stairs, and he navigated them with precision and caution; and when he arrived at the only entrance and exit to the ancient building, he navigated the foot path leading back to the Stonia gates, where he's transport would be waiting for him.

The trees of the Mem'Kabarr thinned out and left the crumbling walls of Stonia; which were covered with an assortment of moss and filled with an abundance of insects. He left behind the footpath and his feet met with broken pavement from conflicts that were thought to be long forgotten about; but he, Vazela, had not forgotten about them, and as long as he was alive, they would be remembered. His walk came to an abrupt stop as the Lambda T4a-class transport came in to the horizon. Standing at the foot of the open ramp were the men and women he had been teaching for the past three years; as part of the preparations he had made for his move. Vazela's most notable student was the Dark Jedi Alice Alfonsi, whom he had found on Pydyr five years ago. He had helped to hone her affinity to the Force, and in particular, her attunement to the dark side. Together, Vazela and Alice searched Pydyr, Auremesh and Drewwa for Force sensitive children, and together he taught them what he had taught her; and she taught to them what he had taught to her. Now the time for training was over and it was time to move on from Stonia, Almania and it's moons.

"We're ready to go when you are Master," said Alice. Vazela averted his cool yellow calculative eyes to hers before walking up the ramp of the transport and inside.

"Have your team buckle in Alice, we're leaving now."

"I know. I assume they have already gone ahead and began strapping in."

"Never assume; check."

He turned away from her, and then lowered himself into his seat. His attention switched to the pilot that was sat at the helm of the transport, and recognised him as one of the Essence's Starfighters pilots that Malus must have recruited from his recruitment drive on Ziost and other worlds that had remained in the adminstration and occupation of the Sith Empire before, during and after the reign of the Grimm Dynasty. He watched as the pilot ran through preflight checks, and had retracted the ramp after the transports passengers had boarded. Meanwhile, Alice had retaken her seat and had said, "Done," to the Sith Master whilst she lowered herself into the seat next to him, and strapped herself in.

Then the transport was mobile, and headed towards the Essence of Darkness. The Star Dreadnaughts tractor beam locked onto the transport, and pulled it in to its many hangar bays. As soon as the transport was on board, Vazela was already moving. He had already unstrapped himself from his seat and had ordered, "Open the ramp," to the pilot before making his way out and into the open.

At the foot of the ramp, Malus had positioned himself at the end of it, and was waiting for him. The Sith Commander bowed his upper body to him, and ushered, "My Lord," in a respective tone to Vazela as he passed him.

"Send a fleet wide broadcast explaining that we are leaving the Almania system," said Vazela, stopping at the side of Malus, "And that we will be making our way to the Roon system along the Death Wind Corridor; I want you to transmit co-ordinates of the entrance of the Death Wind Corridor to their navigational computers, and give orders for their helmsmen to follow the precise bearing allocated by the navigational computer on board their respective ships. The Essence will be leading the fleet; when I give the order for us to stop then do so immediately. I will brief you on what I have planned for Roon and the Cloak of the Sith when I am ready. Until then, I am not to be disturbed unless absolutely necessary."

"Very good, my Lord. It will be done."

Vazela nodded and continued on his course. By the time the Sith Master had reached the observation tower of the Star Dreadnaught he was on board, the Essence would have cleared the atmosphere of Almania and be making its way to the jumping point for its hyperdrive systems. The rest of his fleet would have followed, and together, they will have begun making their way to the back way into the Roon system.

And as the Sith Commander that commanded the Essence of Darkness would be going about his daily duties of adminstrating the crew and the ships operations, a nagging question would be going in his mind; What was Darth Vazela planning?

It had been a day since the Essence of Darkness had disembarked from Almania. Leaving behind the Almania system, the Star Dreadnaught had led the assembled ships from the front through Sith space. An encounter with a Derriphan whom had taken the liberty to try and stop the Essence and its surrounding ships had almost proved deadly for its crew; the same could not be said for its unfortunate Commander, whom was executed in a public display on board the Derriphan itself by Lieutenant Kane and his disruptor pistol. After that, Malus had taken the liberty of sending a secure broadcast to all nearby ships that were not apart of the Vazela fleet to stay out of its way. The example of the Derriphan had worked, and there were no more interruptions for the rest of the fleets journey inside Sith space.

Malus's thoughts were receded back to present day; and the Sith Commander turned around to give his attention to Kane, his second hand man on board the Essence, and the one that would be helping him co-ordinate the upcoming battles that they would face together.

"Sir, we're picking up reports from our scans of the system that a ship is about to drop out of hyperspace."

"That would be the Kissai then," thought Malus. After the incident involving the Derriphan; Malus had been summoned at the request of Alfonsi, as he called her, to the observation deck to meet with Darth Vazela. The encounter between Sith Commander and Sith Master was brief, as he explained about the Kissai of Death. Through unknown means to him, the Vazela fleet had procured the use of the prototype Executor for the upcoming siege. The movement to the Roon system had been cancelled as well, for unknown reasons to him, and instead of heading to Roon to deal with Syrus Lionheart; Malus had been ordered to bring the fleet to a stand still at the Munto Codru system. Hiding behind the radiation of the Codru sun, the Essence of Darkness had laid in wait; until now.

"Have the Codru-Ji picked up the arrival of the Kissai, Lieutenant?" Malus asked.

"It would appear so sir. The arrival of any Star Dreadnaught would cause a panic on any number of worlds."

Malus nodded to Kane in agreement; trust a Commander that had served in the Lionheart Dynasty for so long to be both bold and stupid. Fortunately, they were prepared for this situation.

"Malus."

Malus Bligh turned around on the spot, and then bowed his upper body. Before him, stood the Sith Master that he served. Like it was to be expected, his hands were in the pockets of his robes, and he had that sombre expression on his face; which was a bleak contrast to the cool calculative look that he could give with those yellow eyes of his.

"My Lord?"

"I trust Alfonsi and her team are in position, like I ordered?" As Vazela talked, he had began approaching the command center that both Sith Commander and Lieutenant stood in; surrounded by screens displaying data about the ship, the current events that all the officers were doing on the ship and so on. It was here that Malus and Kane administrated the operations of the ship, and made sure that it was performing at peak efficiency.

Vazela smiled momentarily at Malus before it was replaced by the sombre expression and cool, calculative stare. "You didn't know, did you?"

"No, my Lord. I apologize, my Lord."

"Not to worry Malus, I didn't want you to know until the time was right." Vazela stretched a hand out to the keypad in front of one of the screens, and his fingers moved slowly to each button; until the screen switched from what it was displaying before and what it was displaying now.

"You see Malus, we have arranged a meeting with the administrator of the Codru spaceport."

On the screen in front of them, displayed the life signs of several thousand lifeforms inside a building. Each life form was distinguished between three colours; green, blue and red. Malus moved to the side of Vazela and looked at the screen, before pointing to the red dots. "Is this Alfonsi and her team, my Lord?"

Vazela nodded to him, and then Malus pointed at the only blue dot on the screen, "The administrator?"

Vazela nodded again, and then Malus lowered his hand; the dawning expression of understanding what each colour was. The red was Alfonsi and her team of Dark Jedi; the blue dot was the administrator; and the green dots were the various sentient beings that were going about their business on board the spaceport itself. It was obvious to the two soldiers that stood beside Vazela that Alfonsi and her team had been going about this mission since they had arrived in the system. Trust Vazela to be ten steps ahead of you.

"What is the mission that Alfonsi and her team are on, my Lord?" asked Kane.

Vazela averted his eyes to look at the Lieutenant, who almost flinched, before averting them back onto the screen. "To make sure the Grimm Dynasty don't know we're coming."

"Coming, my Lord?"

"Indeed."

Vazela turned away from the screen, and left them in the commander center; his destination obvious to both Kane and Malus. As he left them for the observation deck, where he would spend the majority of his time during the planned campaign; both Commander and Lieutenant turned to the screen before them; too watch Alfonsi and her progress from the safety of the Essence of Darkness.

The compressed air of the turbo-lift hissed as the doors opened, as the group of five inside of it stepped over the threshold onto the hangar bay floor. A protocol droid rolled in front of Alice Alfonsi as the Dark Jedi began her descent along the steps into the area where the star fighters and shuttles were all parked and ready for deployment, at a moments notice. Pilots were sat on turned upside down crates, adding to the explosion of noises that surrounded Alfonsi and her team as they made their way to the waiting Sith Infiltrator that was parked directly in front of them.

"Commander Kerval," said Alfonsi, with a hint of surprise, to the man stood at the foot of the ramp, his hands clasped behind his back. Whomever the Dark Jedi expected to be piloting the Sith Infiltrator to Munto Codru, obviously didn't count the Commander of the Kerval I. The smirk that had crept along the Commanders mouth gave away that he had picked up on the surprise of Alfonsi and her team, and she didn't like that one bit.

"Alfonsi," replied Kerval, extending a hand from behind his back to the woman in front of him. Both of them shook hands and then retracted them, in the case of Alfonsi, into her trench coat pocket and the soldier, whom clasped his hands back behind his back. "We're ready to disembark at a moments notice. Myself and my own team are waiting inside."

"Your team?"

"Thats right. We've been given our own mission." Together, Alfonsi and Kerval climbed the ramp, and the four men whom made up Alfonsi's team followed both of them up and into the small compartment where four other men were sat on the left hand side, with their rifles and gear pressed up in between their legs and feet. "And before you ask, no, we can't tell you why we're going to be down their with you. It's a classified operation that's on a need to know basis."

"I wasn't going to ask," lied Alfonsi. Kerval smiled again, and raised a hand to the side wall, where he pressed the button to open the doors leading into the cockpit. Behind them, both Alfonsi's team had taken their seats and remained silent, as both team leaders took their seats in the cockpit and shut the door. Both of them took their seats, and began pre-flight checks on the Sith Infiltrator.

"Stygium generators online," said Kerval from the pilots seat.

"Check," replied Alfonsi.

"Impulse and hyperdrive engines, all online. Lifesupport systems are okay. Shields are operational."

"Check, check, check and check," said Alfonsi, "Sending transmission to control to open hangar bay doors."

"Check," replied Kerval, "Transmission sent and... Response received."

In front of the Sith Infiltrator, the hangar bay doors of the Essence of Darkness began to slide open. The blue hue of the hangar bay shields were operational, and kept the vaccum of space from killing everyone inside the hangar bay. Kerval took control of the control stick of the Sith Infiltrator, and said, "Engaging engines. Taking off."

The Sith Infiltrator then lifted up and off of the hangar bay floor, and zoomed through the shields into space. Alfonsi typed along the control keyboard that was in front of her in the co-pilots chair, and engaged the stygium cloak over the shuttle. The stygium generators on board activated, and the Sith Infiltrator disappeared from view; it's pilot piloting it on a course away from the sun and towards the planet itself.

"Radiation on the shuttle was minimal. We should be alright." Alfonsi unstrapped herself from the co-pilots seat, and pushed herself up from it onto her feet. "How long until we reach Codru?" she asked.

"Fifteen minutes," replied Kerval, whom didn't turn around to speak to her; his concentration on flying the ship.

"Thats good. I will relaying a transmission to the Essence, explaining that we have departed and began making our way to the planet." Kerval didn't respond this time, and Alfonsi took the silence as a silent approval, moving away from the co-pilot seat and towards the screen at the back of the cockpit, near the door.

She pressed a button underneath the screen, and a keyboard came out at the same time as the screen flickered into life. As the on board computer booted into life and uploaded the operation system that it was programmed to use; Alfonsi slid a hand into the inside pocket of her trench coat, and pulled out a memory stick. She raised a hand, and plugged in the stick into the USB port on the side of the screen; then activated the files on the stick and uploaded the programme that she would be using to transmit the coded message she would be sending to the Star Dreadnaught.

"The time is 6:39pm, Almania time frame. This is Alfonsi. Myself and Kerval have began making our way to Codru; to begin our seperate missions. So far, we haven't be detected by the enemy. I presume we will be splitting up when we arrive on the planet surface; we will organise a way of both teams making it back to the Sith Infiltrator together when we've both completed our missions. I have activated a programme on board the Sith Infiltrator that will detonate the self destruct device. Before this happens, another message will be sent to you regarding our failure and our advice to abadon the planned invasion and leave the Codru system immediately. Alfonsi out."

The Dark Jedi stopped typing, and sent the transmission, before activating the second programme on the memory stick. A silent timer began to count down from twenty four hours. "That should be all the time we need for what we're about to do," thought Alfonsi as she turned the screen offline, leaving the memory stick inside the USB port.

As she lowered herself into the co-pilots seat once more, she checked for herself how long left until they began to break orbit of the planet and enter Munto Codru. "Five minutes until we reach our destination," she said to Kerval. Kerval nodded again and Alfonsi took the time to relax in the seat, and prepare herself for the upcoming mission.

It had been four days since the Sith Infiltrator had departed the hangar bay of the Essence of Darkness and landed Munto Codru. Darth Vazela could feel the presence of Alice Alfonsi as she climbed the steps leading up to the observation deck of the Star Dreadnaught, and his calculative eyes remained locked on the planet surface, it's moon that orbited it and the Codru star that shined so brightly from the left hand side. As Alfonsi stepped to his side, his eyes averted to watch her momentarily before turning them back onto the spectacular. Albeit beautiful in her own way, Alfonsi was nothing compared to the spectacle that was before him. As always, he would without looking. He liked how it kept them on edge.

"My Lord," said the Dark Jedi, bowing her head as she did, before raising it up with the knowledge that Vazela had given her his silent approval to rise.

"Alfonsi," muttered the Almanian Sith Master, almost in a whisper, "You have returned."

"I have, my Lord. It is done."

"Is that so?"

Finally, he turned fully to meet Alfonsi; knowing that the importance of her small operation was apart of a larger scheme that he had thought up, planned and then decided to execute. A hand slipped out of the pocket of the white trench coat he wore, and his fingers uncurled to reveal the palm of his hand; waiting for Alfonsi to give it to him. Again, she complied with the silent order and her slipped into the inside pocket of her robes, and withdrew a device from it to give to him. Remaining where she was, Alfonsi watched as Darth Vazela turned away from her and walked into the middle of the room; waving his hand mysteriously over an open space. The open space retracted and out of the small circle of darkness came a device that rose up and out of its depths. The Sith Master proceeded to place the device into the one that had rose up from the floor; and it began to play.

-------

Malus Bligh was stood on the bridge, in the command center that helped him to run the activities of the Essence of Darkness. It was here that he adminstrated the ship and made sure that it was working on peak efficiency. To his side, was his second hand man Lieutenant Kane, whom was busy helping Malus adminstrate the ship.

It was a crucial time in the operations that they were helping to make sure worked. Hopefully, the Essence of Darkness would be in battle soon with the other dozen Harrower Dreadnaughts, and the new Terminus-class models that made up the bulk of the fleet. Hopefully, Malus wouldn't have to hide anymore. He hated it.

"Sir, the ship is picking up an energy build up in the Kissai of Death," said Kane. Malus turned away from one of the screens that surronded him, and joined Kane at his left to observe the hightened energy readings that the Executor prototype was giving off.

"Strange. It is like they're preparing for a hyperspace launch," replied Malus. "Get me a transmission with their Commander."

"Of course sir." Kane leaned off of the screen that was showing the building energy output that the Kissai of Death was giving off and went to send a communication broadcast with the Vazela-class Star Dreadnaught and the Executor Prototype-class Star Dreadnaught. Malus turned to the screen that would broadcast his image to the Kissai and the Imperial Commanders to the Essence, when Kane leaned up and said, "No response sir."

Malus frowned and turned to the screen showing the energy readings of the Kissai. Suddenly, another screen flashed and the Sith Commander turned to it.

"They're gone."

Darth Vazela was stood at the transparsteel of the observation deck. Behind him, the sound of Alice Alfonsi's feet padding against the durasteel surface of the Essence of Darkness shattered the silence that was normally there. It shattered the calm and peace that he had experienced since he had left Almania with Alice, Malus, Kane and the thousands of other men and women that served him and ultimately, the Sith Empire. Albeit a weak example of the Sith Code, it reminded the Sith Master of one thing...

Peace was a lie.

His attention was diverted away from the sound of Alice Alfonsi's descent, and back onto the view outside. Codru shined to his left and illuminated the screen; powerful enough to blind him if not for the simple technology that shielded Darth Vazela from its light and its radiation. It was almost amusing how the Essence of Darkness could hide behind the sun. Wasn't the light meant to illuminate, not hide?

But Darth Vazela's attention wasn't on the sun. It was on the Kissai of Death, and the sudden betrayal he was feeling through the Force. Before the ship had even entered hyperspace, he had already figured that it was leaving. Too late to stop it. Another glitch in his master plan.

No matter. He was prepared for this. In the event that the Kissai of Death should ever leave the Codru system, the surronding Harrower Dreadnaughts would uncloak and reappear, giving Munto Codru that same threat level that the Kissai had given it. And that was the plan for the Mandalorians, and how he would lure them and the majority of their defence to the Codru system.

Ever since Almania, Darth Vazela had been putting together the puzzle. His forces would wait in ambush behind Codru and the Munto Codru's moon, ready to attack the arriving Mandalorian ships once they had been deceived by a certain woman. Thinking that they will have entered a friendly system to deal with a threat to the Mon Calamari's trade, they will have arrived into an enemy system. The Essence of Darkness would lead the Harrowers and Terminus ships into battle, and the Mandalorians would be out flanked, and out gunned. Darth Vazela couldn't foresee no more than a few ships arriving from the Dac system to deal with mere outdated Sith Dreadnaughts; afterall, the misinformation Alice Alfonsi would give to them would make them arrogant; and thus weak.

And when the deception was put into place; the rouse given for the Mandalorian to heed Munto Codru's call; the Sith Empire would strike and deal the defence of Dac a blow. Then the siege could begin.

He couldn't wait much long. Patience was a virtue that the great needed, and it was one of a handful of sayings Darth Vazela would relate, understand and agree with Darth Mendacium. But patience could only be held by someone like Darth Vazela for only a small amount of time. Soon, his patience would break; and then all hell would break loose.

Whether it happened to the Mandalorians, Munto Codru or Dac wouldn't seem to matter if that happened. Hopefully, he would remain calm until the time was right.

-------

In the Vazela fleet there were two ships that shared the same name: Kerval. To distingunish between each ship, they were called the Kerval I and the Kerval II, as named after the two Sith Commanders who commanded over both of their respective ships. Another thing that both of the Kerval brothers shared was their names; James Kerval. And so too distingunish between which Kerval would be called James and which Kerval would be called Jim as their nickname, both men had fought in a bare knuckled fight five years ago whilst they had trained on Almania under a secret recruitment drive for the Sith Empire and its military.

Although reprimanded by their commanding officer at the time, which involved an entire month for both of them in solitary confinement, the Sith Commander of the Kerval I had won the right to take James Kerval as his name, and so the latter was hence known as Jim. Whilst Jim Kerval had seen to making sure that the Alfonsi operation had gone smoothly, his brother had been seen to a more important task; making sure he was bait for the inevitable Mandalorian flottia that would be arriving in the system any day now.

"Sir, the Kissai of Death is powering up their hyperdrive engines," said a nearby Private. Sith Commander James Kerval turned his attention to the private, whom went on to say, "Shall I order the gunners to target their engines?"

"No Private, leave them be. Darth Vazela has ordered us not to touch that ship. They don't even know we're here," he replied in response to the Private.

"Wasn't that the point sir? So we could ambush them?"

"Thats what I thought too. But who am I to question Sith politics? Darth Vazela has something else planned, I am sure. When the Kissai leaves the system, we will uncloak the Kerval and send a broadcast to the Genocide and Sneak to do the same."

"Sir?"

Commander Kerval turned to the Private, whom had a confused expression on his face. It was evident to him that the Private did not understand why they were there. What the plan was and how they would execute it. And although he didn't like how the Private had questioned his orders, he understood why; and that was why he would let it go just this once. The crew of the Kerval I was in for a tough time in a day or two, and morale would be important for the fight ahead. Executing a Private would be out of the question in these circumstance.

"The Kissai was bait for the Mandalorian's in the Dac system. Now that the Kissai is leaving we will have to be bait for them instead."

"Bait sir?"

"Thats right soldier. The plan is to lure a substancial amount of the Mandalorian flottia from the Dac system to the Codru system. We will be the bait for this Mandalorian flottia, who will be arriving under the understanding that they will be assisting Munto Codru from the threat of a Sith invasion. The idea is that the Mandalorian's will be interested in making sure that the Sith Empire does not gain a beachead for the invasion of Mon Calamari, and to protect the Mon Calamari assets on the planet itself. Munto Codru operates a lot of trade with Dac and thats important. If the Sith present a threat the Mandalorians will have to rise to the challenge. But they will only think it is just the Kerval I, the Genocide and the Sneak that are presenting such a threat. In reality, the Essence and the rest of the fleet are laying in wait to ambush them when they arrive. That is Darth Vazela's plan."

Commander Kerval looked around the bridge, whom had stopped to listen. Each of them caught the eyes of the Sith Commander and then each of them returned back to work; and even though he did not have the abilities that Darth Vazela nor the rest of the men and women in the Sith Order possessed; you didn't need to be Force sensitive to feel the rising morale of the men around him.

James Kerval smiled momentarily, and turned back to the command seat of the Kerval I's bridge. There, he would wait for the other Harrower Dreadnaught's to uncloak and begin their attack runs. Now that the Kissai of Death was leaving, it was up him and the two other Sith Commanders to rain some destruction on Munto Codru to make the deception look geninue. It was up to them to make sure the Mandalorians came; that they saw; and then they fell.

"And how they will fall..." thought Kerval with a malicious smile.

I was rather proud of these...
 
moderation
Writer
I read those on-site, Ben :) I found another that I hadn't expected to see again - a poem which was never intended to be a poem o.o

Thread or Paranoia?

I am stood, looking from wall to wall. Nothing stirs, all is quiet.
I am looking up, and I see the ceiling, yet it does not stay in place.
No, it is lowering, and I look away, yet the walls... They are moving too. Inwards.
I stand, stuck in place, as the room closes in on me. Stark white walls, falling ceiling.
I cannot move. I cannot see the door. I cannot run. I look back up, it is almost upon me.
No window. No door. It will crush me, the walls, the ceiling, the floor.
I am powerless to stop it. A moment more and it will crush me.
I manage to sit, and I stay there.
I am sitting, and I am waiting, waiting for the room to close, whilst the silence drags on.
 

Gib

Just under the upper hand.
Writer
This is just something I wrote when I was younger but I thought I would share it.

Standing alone the willow wept.
Her long hair hanging down.
Her thick skin had long concealed the soft heart whose tenderness did abound.
How long had she longed to lift her boughs and stretch them to the sky?
Prehaps as long as she had loved and lived her willow's cry.
Her lot, she guessed, it ever be, that she should stand alone.
She could not move or walk away from the spot on which she'd grown.
And so she wept before every eye who chanced upon her place.
Her long tresses hanging down to hide the tears that stained her face...
 

Antoir Setrrin

I've Met My End
Character
Oi. OI. Gosh darn it, y'all are amazing writers.
Poetry is my favorite thing ever, but my stuff is nowhere near as good as these.
The best poem I've ever written is six pages long, as was for a friend who was moving away... and who I also used to love.
Part of me longs to share it, but I promised myself not to. For I wrote it for her and me, no one else.
Perhaps I'll let a piece of it go later, but for now I'll just post the poem that got published a while back:

Until the end of time these scars will last
A forever reminder of our dark past
But we will march on, 'til the sun is gone
In memory of those lost in pain
We'll dance to the thought of their words
Never forgetting how much it hurt
Turning to stone in heart and mind
Left those here, and to the end became bind

May those hurting know our name
Saviors of the lost, and of the pained
-Anthem of the Lost

It has a rather sad tone to it, as (unfortunately) most of my poetry seems to. But this one has a good reason for it. Originally I wrote it after a friend of mine killed herself, and I was trying to comfort the others. It's hard to believe this thing is over a year old. My newer stuff is a lot better...
So much changes in a year.
 
moderation
Writer
This is what I was wanting to see :D Great job guys, lovely.

Another; Blank Pages.

Opportunity awaits on blank pages -

An ancient tome, untouched
Crisp white pages, soon turn yellow
Crinkled and aged with time

Leather bound casing
Home made leaves
An expression of undying love

For literature, prose, imagination
The sky's the limit, should you wish it
To be, or not, the choice is yours
 

Antoir Setrrin

I've Met My End
Character
Oi. Looking over my old poems makes me want to face palm. Time for a few from this year.

Rise Above Normality
The first time my lungs refused to function properly…
It was like a slap in the face from a distant, and annoying, reality.
When the first migraine hit
It was like waves crashing against an already broken shoreline
Just part of another siege against an already broken heart.

One I didn’t think I’d get out alive of.

I guess it was fate.
That a life already cruelly riddled with hate would be shot again.
After all, what is existence without resistance?
Perhaps I am meant to never get better,
Simply receive letter after letter from the doctors,

Telling me they don’t know what’s wrong.

When the first mark was made…
A crudely drawn line against my pale skin,
Standing out in its shining red, dripping down…
That was the moment I found out I would never be what society considered ‘normal’.
That I would always be un-average and unappealing to most.

But nowadays I simply say: Rise Above Normality


Those weren’t the only times that I got hurt,
And well, they sure won’t be the last times.
But these days are different from before
Not just because I’ve been through more…
No… something else entirely.

I’ve learned that I’m not alone.
Trust me, neither are you.
Wasting Time on Flimsy Feelings
|Another hour wasted on attempting to romance|
|The space in her heart, between friends|
|And family.|
|
|
|Usually reserved for lovers so young and bold|
|Now just a gap left,|
|By memories old|
|
|
|Another moment spent on feelings strong|
|Filling a pit so quiet and cold,|
|Yet so alone|
|
|
|Left by a man without a heart,|
|Or at least one that|
|Refuses to function properly|

|You could say…|

|It seems a habit has been formed|
|Of wasting time,|
|On nothing more than flimsy feelings.|
 

Darth Vazela

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Character
@[member="Darth Kyros"]

Thanks Libs. You should post that story you wrote about Asha discovering @[member="Carn Dista"] had passed away from intswrp. That was really good, from what I remember.
 

Gib

Just under the upper hand.
Writer
@[member="Vilox Pazela"] @[member="Ven'Rain Sekairo"] @[member="Darth Kyros"]

This may well be my favorite thread. I will run out of likes at this rate.
 
moderation
Writer
This is what Vilox spoke of, it's known as Dead Man's Legacy and it's from the old board I was on. I found another one too, about Order 66... I may add that to this thread at some point :)


spaceship-girl-in-a-fantasy-386079.jpg

The Dead Man's Legacy
'Read it in private' the Republic Agent had told her, moments after downloading it to her datapad. 'One last thing; how well did you know him?' She hadn't known how to respond to that, but after a moment the words had flown naturally from her, it hadn't taken even a moment of thought. 'I will not claim to have known him well' she had replied 'But he was once my Master, and he has helped me more than anyone I know' the Republic Agent had simply nodded, having briefly looked away from her notes. 'That is something we have in common.' she had said.

Now she was sat aboard The Warden with the datapad resting on her lap, having found herself within her quarters. The sheets lay sprawled about the floor, where she had pulled them around her body, and her back rested against the side of her bed. She did not look upon the datapad quite yet; she waited for the world outside her window to darken. She had sent The Warden into orbit upon reaching it; now no one would be able to disturb her. The sight of the planet calmed her slightly, she could see it from where she currently sat, but she knew that she was simply buying more time, giving herself a chance for the realisation to sink in.

To say she had not mourned him already would have been a lie; new to the sensation of emotions she had found grief to be an overwhelmingly difficult emotion to overcome and with his death still relatively recent it had hit her twice as hard. 'How can they live with emotions?' she often wondered, her thoughts directed at all sentient beings who feel, but never more so than now. She missed him. 'Keep everything safe, and nothing at your side' she had told Kobe earlier, before the Republic Agent found her, but she had failed in this herself. Her former Master had saved her countless times, yet now she felt helpless; she had not done the same.

'It is time' she felt something say in a quiet voice, right at the back of her mind, and she rose as though already knowing what to do. She dragged the sheets back onto the bed and sat down, bracing herself for what she knew was coming. Finally, after a moment of stillness, she reaches out. The datapad blinks into life, casting light across her face, and she found the file that the Republic Agent had sent her. Her heart tugged as she realised it was written directly by her former Master. It began with one simple thing; Ash. No one had called her that before him, and no one after him.

She found her emotional barriers slipping away as she read through the letter, sobs escaping her uncontrollably as she read his apology, as he asked for forgiveness. I should have been the one at your trials it read I should have seen you Knighted. Amidst it all was frequent apologies, and she felt a slight anger seeping through her; conflicting with the overwhelming sadness and grief. I should have done more he had written I should have been a better Master. She wanted to scream, to cry out and tell him otherwise; to tell him everything she had never said to him. And soon she found herself doing just that, her lips moving, the words uttered, to an audience of none; yet an audience of all. The Force was her crowd, and at the heart of it she sought the presence of her Master.

'You were good enough!' she began, as tears fell uncontrolled and forgotten 'You made me who I am. You brought me to the Light, you kept me there; you tore me from Tyree... You saved me! And I never saved you...' the words trailed off slowly, and she bowed her head, stifling a sob. 'You knew... Carn, you knew this was going to happen. I could have helped, I could have stopped it...' yet the same presence at the back of her mind stopped her mid sentence.No, you wouldn't have. You trust in the Force; you know this happened for a reason. Do not dwell on what if's and could have beens... Look to the present, and in turn the future. Instead, she looked back to the letter. I am proud of you it read, and it was more than she could bear. It took all her willpower to refrain from throwing the datapad.

And then, as she read further down, she noticed something else. Additional notes, separate from the letter but still addressed with Ash. She scanned through them, wiping her eyes with her free hand, and found herself halting. I disclose to you my notes on Form VII; Juyo. She tensed, as realisation hit her. Reading through she found not just notes but explanations on how to train in the form, how to learn it and use it. But she saw so much more than that. She saw a glimpse into her former Masters mind, into his mentality and his training, into the life he kept shuttered from her for so long.

Suddenly she felt too far from reality, away from the stability of the planets pull, and it was more than she could take. She rose, clutching the datapad to her chest, and the sheets around her body, and moved through to the control centre of The Warden. She watched as the ship descended back to the planet surface, through the forest landscape and down into the hidden hangar, before flicking one simple switch. The ship began to disappear from sight, while she returned back to her room. She crawled under the bed, like she used to do as a child when she was worried or scared, and curled up; allowing the sobbing to take over.
Later...
She had been found, eased out from under the bed, crushed into a hug and made to speak. Now all she wanted to do was sleep. The blue haired woman sat before her on the floor, but another presence prickled in her senses. 'Kobe...' she muttered and before she realised what she was doing she had risen, her form gliding across to him. He said nothing, he simply wrapped an arm around her and brought her close. He left her to cry, before tipping up her chin so that she would look at him. 'Everything will be alright. You're going to be okay' he murmured, his usually rough voice low and comforting. She buried her face into his chest, and murmured 'I know', finding her peace in his presence.

Then it all happened so quickly. The ship was suddenly full of people, faces, both foreign and known. She couldn't make out their words, her head was abuzz with emotion, and soon she realised that her peace had left her also. Kobe was stood in heated discussion with a man in Beskar'gam. Whether their voices really were loud or not she could not say, but soon it became too much. 'Everybody off my ship!' she had shouted, yet the look she gave Kobe was different to the one she gave the others. Stay it begged. He ushered the others off the vessel, yet she knew he would return.

She turned to find the Republic Agent standing there. 'We should sit.' the Republic Agent said, but she remained standing instead. 'Say what you need to say... Please.' She realised how badly she had been handling the situation, and attempted to clear her mind. 'He spoke of you often' the Republic Agent began, and only then did she realise that the woman held a velvet cloth which was covering an object. 'He often remarked on how he wanted me to be more like you, the way you look at the galaxy...' Her heart tightened, and she forced herself to ask something that she had not known she had the courage to ask. 'He knew... Didn't he? He knew he was going to die.' The woman shook her head. 'He knew it was inevitable, and he knew it was soon, yes. But when and how? No...' This puzzled her, and she found herself touching the pocket which now held the datapad. 'But... The letter...'

The woman began to unfold a corner of the velvet cloth, and spoke as she did so. 'He wrote you a new one on every planet he landed upon. He knew... That it would be soon.' She fought back a sob, and forced herself to remain calm of mind. Carn would not want you crying over him she told herself. 'Perhaps this is not the best of times...' the woman remarked, as banging occurred from outside of the vessel. 'Please... I'd rather hear it now.' She knew that she could not get this way again, the emotions came about too suddenly, like uncooling lava. The banging subsided and soon she felt at peace again as Kobe returned. He sat back from them, atop a pile of crates.

'We had been hunting a group of Sith Priests' Continued the Republic Agent 'He was surrounded by their bodies when I found his. They had been hunting him too. I... Found this, on him.' The woman finally revealed the item, to be a black lightsaber hilt, one that was instantly recognisable to her due to the crystal matrix that was visible through the indistinguishable metal; the purple crystal pulsating with life. 'Carns Lightsaber...' Yet the moment she said it she realised something was up. She could not quite place it. The Republic Agent offered the lightsaber out to her. 'Why are you giving me this? she asked in a distressed tone, and her legs buckled beneath her. Without so much as a moments hesitation Kobe was at her side, supporting her. 'You were his last Padawan, Asha. It is only right that you have this.'

When she finally took the lightsaber she realised what was wrong; it was not Carn's at all. She peered along the lightsaber hilt, a tremor in her lip. She would find out whose it was. 'Thank you...' she managed, before simply turning away. She could not bear to be near the Republic Agent any longer, not tonight. 'You need to rest' Kobe said, and for once she did not fight it. She let herself be led away into her cabin. As she lay there, with Kobe knelt at her side, numerous thoughts past through her mind. Carn, Sith, Kyra, Kobe, Juyo, Jar'kai, Niman, Trakata... she knew what she had to do. Kyra, the Republic Agent, had been led to her. She could not mourn her former Master any longer, instead she would honour him; she would find out more about him through his notes, she would use the lightsaber that had been upon his person to reestablish herself with Jar'kai and Niman, and she would learn Trakata - the very first non-conventional thing she saw Carn Dista use.
 
moderation
Writer
I have to say though, I think I prefer The Aftermath following Order 66.

explosion%2Bin%2Bspace%2B2.jpg

The Warden: In Orbit: Coruscant
She strode through the door way and down a corridor lined with archive shelves, before realising her commlink was going off. She paused, and looked to it before listening to the transmission. She recognised the voice immediately. 'The Chancellor has been assassinated. The Jedi are being blamed. Order 66 is in effect. Save any you can...' The transmission ended abruptly. For a moment she couldn't think, she couldn't breathe, and couldn't move. And then that moment was up, and she turned the corner. She stared at the Mandalorian who was stood at the centre of the meeting hall. One glance to him and she knew that he knew. And she knew what was going to happen. Instinctively she reached to her belt, her hand brushing the array of hilts, but for whatever reason she did not remove one.

'Asha, cyar'ika...' the Mandalorian spoke, before noting her hand and stepping closer; he rose a hand in warning. 'No' he said, with a heavy sigh. Instead of continuing he reached to his utility belt, and removed a set of thermal detonators. His gaze did not waver from hers. 'I have no choice, cyar'ika. You know this. The alliance...' The girl simply nodded, but she spoke her own piece, halting him for a moment. 'During the last purge, I joined your kin' again...' She said, but she knew it was already too late. He had a duty to uphold, and she had her own. 'Asha, I am their Mand'alor. I have no other choice, if I ruin this alliance-' She cut him off. 'Then don't. Kill me.' She said, and as he nodded she leapt aside, behind the shelves, with the Force rippling around her.

He placed the thermals the moment she landed, and was gone before she could react. A ricochet of explosions emitted throughout the ship, ripping it apart from the inside out. It was then that she noticed the boy to her side. She leapt onto him, and encompassed his body within her own as the first explosive wave of fire hit them, engulfing him with the Force. And then the rest of the ship followed. As the Mand'alor's ship reached hyperspace hers briefly imploded in on itself, before the pressure got too much. The explosion lit up the sky, thrusting debris and shrapnel into the orbital atmosphere of Coruscant.

Large pieces were pulled down to the surface, close enough to be within the gravitational pull due to the explosion, and they plummeted down into the planet below where riots had already broken out. They hit ships and buildings and rioters alike, crushing and destroying. Parts of the city were set alight, while the sky appeared to be on fire.

And then it could be seen, free falling against the orange backdrop, tumbling and spinning uncontrollably. A body. Or was it two?

When her body collided with the back streets of Courscant the barrier shattered, but it remained up long enough to protect the boy. She felt her bones splinter, but her conciousness remained. The boy was a foot from her, but coming ever closer was a fiery piece of scrap from the ship. She fought against the pure heated agony of her broken body's refusal to move, and lay close enough to the boy to protect him with what little focus she could muster with the Force. When it hit the ground the air exploded, throwing them back; yet the barrier remained up long enough to see the boy through. It faltered for a moment as the explosion spluttered into nothingness, before disappearing completely as her conciousness slipped away; her body utterly broken. In her hand rested a commlink, different to her usual one, and moments before she slipped away she had muttered just two words into it; 'Vor entye'
Later: Tython: Planet Surface
'The Jetii Temple has been destroyed, adiik' came a voice in her helmet. The young girl raised a hand to stop the small squadron she was leading, and turned on her heels to face them for a moment. She spoke aloud, her voice authoritative despite her age, the beskar'gam muffling her words slightly; yet all listened. 'Change of plan. We are changing route.' She does not tell them where, she simply gestures for them to follow her lead. With a simple signal of her hand the men split up, covering her from all sides. Only two remain to formally flank her. After an hour of trekking silently through the forestry smoke could be seen in the distance. 'Cyar'ika?' one of the men enquired curiously. She does not respond, instead she keeps them moving. The destroyed ruins of the former Jedi Temple appear before them, after having been internally exploded. 'Spread out and stand guard.' She says, and they remain in place; all save the two that are flanking her. She moves inside.

She steps through the charred remains of the formerly glorious temple, burnt bodies lying everywhere, bodies of those too young or too old to have left immediately. Bodies of those who had remained to defend all they had sworn to uphold. She moved past them, however, they were not the body she was looking for. The pair, now at her sides, say nothing; they remain silent in their vigil, their guard. The girl felt herself drawn further and further into the remnants of the temple, until she halts. She taps her foot directly on the tile beneath her, and frowns as it resonates hollowly. Without a word the two men at her side lean down and begin to pry open the floor; revealing a small flight of steps that appear unharmed but ancient. A fleeting shadow of a ghostly smile creeps onto the young girls lips, and she begins to ascend. 'The usual entrance was destroyed' she murmured to her silent guards. 'But there is always another way.'

The flight of steps led them to an earthen structure built amongst the stalagmites and stalactites of a cave. They ventured further and found a hidden hollow, which descended further down; but only briefly so. At the centre was a wellspring, which had been contained in marble years before, and at the centre was a small alter upon which was a glowing holocron. 'Touch it if you dare.' She muttered to the men, as she stepped around the wellspring and further into the area. On the other side was a small rise; marble pillars spread to the ceiling at uneven heights. She passed along and up to them. Beyond were several marble alters, more like slabs of stone, long enough to fit a body. All were empty save for one. She raised her hands to release the helmet, and brought it down to her side; against the floor it rested.

With a gesture of her hand her two silent guards stepped over to the alter and raised the body of a young man. The young girl moved over to the alter and settled her hand to it. After a moment she pushed, and the alter opened up, revealing the possessions of the one who had rested upon it. The set of beskar'gam armour was removed by the second man, and the girl slid the altar back into place. Finally the girl looked up at the two tall men. They were identical, more than identical, they were clones. She smiled to them, and her head tilted one way, before she looked to the body that the first had cradled in his arms. The boy was long and lean; he had the typical brute muscle of a Mandalorian, and yet he wore the robes of a Jedi, only they were white to mark his passing. The girl reached out to the corpse with a gentle frown, and brushed her hand across a braid that had fallen over his face. Then she leaned in close and whispered.

'You saved me, you gave me a new life, ori'vod. Now, let me do the same.' With that the girl turned, and her men followed. As they ascended from the caves she threw a cloak over the body of the man to hide his identity from the others, and she commed into them. 'Head back to your ships. I need to see to something.' Before anyone could raise their voice in protest at the thought of letting the Mand'alor's daughter wander off on her own in such a dire time she was gone, with the two clones at her side and the body of her brother among them. 'Where to, Cyar'ika?' one of the men finally said. She simply looked to him, and said; 'You know where.'
2012-FEB-SFF-Temple-by-AlexTooth-269x300.jpg
 
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