CHAPTER THREE

 

        Mathis awoke to find himself in a holding cell.  The thick metal bars were far enough apart to fit only an arm through.  He could see his saber in a locked compartment on the wall.  It was too bad his guard was a dark apprentice, getting out would not be easy.

        All of a sudden, a robed figure appeared in front of him.  The figure lowered it’s hood to reveal Liz’s face.  “We have much to talk about.”  She lowered her gaze.  The cell door slid open, and Elizabeth stepped into the small area.  She sat down on the cot next to Mathis.  “I have joined with Targon.”  Mathis closed his eyes, hanging his head. 

        “You are destroying everything we fought for, what your father is fighting for.”  Mathis took her hand.  “You cannot do this.”  He looked up at her, his eyes cold, distant.  “I cannot join you.  This is wrong.”

        “What do you know!?” She scowled at Mathis. “You don’t know how I felt!  So helpless, so alone.  Next time I will be strong enough.  I can’t let myself be broken down.”  She fell silent, putting a hand on Mathis’s cheek.  “You know where I’ll be.”  Liz stood, walking out, and down the hallway.  Mathis sat in silence, formulating a plan.

 

         Targon’s saber collided with Daeken’s and he pushed the giant away.  Daeken’s boots left skid marks on the metal floor of his personal arena.  “My, how you have grown, my old apprentice.”  Targon’s slow steps echoed in the room as he circled the man.  Daeken leapt at Targon in a frenzied attack.  His saber flew around with sickening speed, with Targon deflecting each block with the greatest of ease.

        Daeken lowered his saber, extinguishing the blade.  “Thank you.  It has been long since I have fought a challenging battle.”  Daeken took his seat at the throne and offered the chair next to him to his old master.  Targon sat, putting his saber away.  “And what of this padawan?  You have turned her?”

        Targon gave a sinister grin.  “You know my influence is powerful.  She is made for greatness; I will teach her.  The boy on the other hand; his will is strong.  He might not be turned, but he is no longer a threat.  I will destroy him if he gets in my way.”

        Daeken turned his gaze to the Sith lord.  “I hope you are right, for a strong blood flows in his veins.”  Daeken knew Mathis’s father.  He had been Daeken’s teacher when he was a young boy.  Targon kidnapped Daeken and trained him in the ways of the dark side.

        “Bane was powerful, but he has lost much of his spirit since we last fought.”  Targon’s eyes darkened.  “The only battle I have not finished.  I intend to add it to my list of victories.”  The Sith lord stood and headed for the bridge.  “Yes, if I finish off Nobez, I might be able to turn Mathis.”

        Targon’s footstep echoed in the halls of Daeken’s Palace.  He headed down the hallway, to Liz’s room.  He reached up, knocking on the door.  It hissed open and Liz stepped out.  She looked down at her feet.  “Where are we off to, master?” 

        Targon grinned as the word “master” rolled off her lips.  “You are going nowhere.  I have business to attend to.  You will stay hear and duel with Daeken’s dark Jedi.  Learn the ways of the Sith.”

        “Yes, master.”

        He turned in a stride down the hallway, towards the ship bay.  He would capture Bane and use his death to turn Mathis.  Either that, or he would make another notch on his belt for Mathis’s death.  After Targon disappeared around the corner, Liz scurried away towards the prison center. 

       

 

She entered the prison hall and was stopped by Layla, the dark Jedi guard.  “No admittance.  Sorry.”  A sinister grin appeared on her face.

        Liz attempted to step around her, but the persistent apprentice gripped the light saber on her belt.  “I said, NO ADMITTANCE!”  Layla scowled at Elizabeth.  Liz thrust forward, pushing the dark Jedi into the wall.  She quickly drew her saber, igniting the crimson blade before the fallen guard could regain her footing. 

        Mathis stirred awake, seeing Liz standing over the fumbling guard.  “Liz!” He cried.  She turned her head towards Mathis.  It was just enough distraction; the guard force pushed Liz into the wall.  Liz’s light saber skidded toward Mathis. 

        The guard ignited her own red blade of death, holding it toward Liz.  “Targon will love to hear of his new ‘pet’s’ disobedience.”  Another force push from the guard sent Liz’s head against the wall, rendering her unconscious.  “Then again, I may just kill your ass right now.”

        Mathis reached out with the force and pulled Liz’s saber to him.  Before the guard even noticed, Mathis activated the blade and had already begun to cut through the bars.  The Dark Jedi stood, as the cell door fell with a loud Clang!  Mathis glared at the dark apprentice.  “Don’t touch her again.”

        Layla grinned, springing toward the Jedi.  She struck at his head with lightning speed.  He ducked under it and flipped back.  She bolted at him, but he raised his saber toward her.  She parried it away, and they clashed together with a few overhead swings.  Mathis flung his hand forward, pushing her away; but she had expected it.  She used the force to pull him with her. 

She stuck her boot up, flipping him over her head as she landed.  Mathis’s body skidded into the corner.  He leapt into the air, just missing a swing from Layla.  His body glided over her, and he brought his light saber down toward her head as he landed.  Layla rolled to the left, away from the red blade.  Mathis spun around, slicing the top of the box holding his own saber.  He pulled it to him with the force.  Layla tried to smite her opponent with a slice to the chest, but it was too late.

Mathis ignited the saber, slamming hers away with both of his blades. She spun around in a clumsy attempt of a counter attack, but to no avail.  Mathis crossed his blades and cut her in two at the torso with a powerful swing of both sabers.  She fell backwards in complete shock.  Layla gasped and reached for her saber.  “How can this be?” she hissed.  Layla’s head rested on the ground, finally, as her life was spent.

Mathis ran to Liz.  He lay his hand on her cheek.  Her head fell forward, revealing a large gash on the back of her head.  Mathis picked her up and carried her over his shoulder.  Mathis quickly headed for the ship bay.  He did not know if he would be able to escape the palace of Dark Jedi.

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