Chapter IV - Confrontation
 


THE KILLIAN

VC Deception - Confrontation

INTRODUCTION

    Devon was dead. The imagery raced through Val head in a never-ending loop. He wondered how he could be so blind as to not have SENSED the attack, why he didn’t sense the people inside the bar? He had the same reflections as he did with Malcom’s death. The Killian proved to be both more resourceful and deadly then they had let on. It was clear the swoop gang that chased he and Malcom on Mos Espa was just hired help. The real Killian was far more ruthless and yet the full extent of their skill was yet to be displayed to him.

Val knew that an unknown opponent was extremely deadly. Information is power, and without the information to The Killian’s fighting styles, he didn’t know how to adapt to their tactics, all he knew was they carried lightsabers which meant they had to have had some training in using them. Other indications according to his Intel at VT indicated they also are force users. The full extent of their power was still unknown at the moment, but Val would approach the situation carefully. In all his years of combat he knew a trap when he saw one.

The formula was always the same. The head honcho of the group would spout on about saving the girl before he could reach her, then the coward would make sure to have plenty of “obstacles” in the way before the hero could catch up to him. This was the same ol game and Val wondered now after years of peace, letting his training falter, if he could run this hideous “gauntlet” that he knew he was being dragged into.

Only one thing stood out in his mind as he began to run down the long, curved, corridors of Tibannopolis network of tunnels, he needed to reach the girl before Efface did. If Val wanted to prevent this domino effect of people dying whenever he appeared to speak with them it would be here and now. This is where the chase is on….

The race for life, for survival, and for destiny has begun….
 

VC Deception – Chapter IV - Confrontation
 

INTERIOR – TABANNOPLIS – MAIN HALLWAY

Val’s shiny black boots clicked along the hard, smooth surface of the Tibannopolis tunnel floor. Along his left and right, there were evenly spaced windows. Between some of the large, oval shaped openings were various doors, leading to some conference rooms, some others leading to private quarters and others still leading to vast dining halls. Since this location was meant for the upper class gambling crowd, the interiors were luxuriously lit with earth tones. Val didn’t much care for the scenery though, coming to a curve, arching towards the left. All Val wanted to do was stop Efface and save the girl. The sunlight pouring in through the windows was more of a distraction then a breathtaking sight. Every time he approached it, the rays blinded him, but he pressed on driven by an undying instinct to reach Isis before Efface. This is the reason he doesn’t sense the attack that comes from a figure lining up against one of the spaces between the windows, in wait for its prey in the shadows.
 

INTERIOR – TABANNOPLIS – DINING HALL

As Val passes a medium set of opened doors leading into a Dining Hall, He feels a foot kick him with such thunderous force, it sends him skidding into the room right through the opened doors. His armor slides along the highly polished floor as he peers up he view a tall, dark, figure approach him. The silhouette is surrounded in a dark black, torn robe. Along its body were traces of gray, from its boots to its gloves and the menacing cowl covering its facial features. Val understood who just knocked him on his behind; it was one of the Killain warriors, obviously confirming his theory of Efface setting up “obstacles” for him to overcome.

FIGURE – Mr. Versai…your Angel of Failure has come for you, you will FAIL to save her from Efface Versai, because you will not leave this room in time. I am Deceit, and I will crush your plans to save the girl. This is truth.

Val gets his bearings, focusing on the figure, which apparently is named “Deceit”. Very fitting considering he had caught Val off his guard, enough to separate him from his pursuit. The figure then wrapped its menacing gloved hand over the hilt of a lightsaber, pulling it from his belt with a sudden upward jerk. Val couldn’t even see the figure’s eyes through the darkness of the hood, that was always important to Val, to see his enemy’s eyes, for through the windows of their soul, he could detect their next move. It was a whole new ballgame though, whoever was their boss had planned to exploit Val’s talents and counter them. This guy had done his homework, but nonetheless Val was upset at being interrupted and the only thing on his mind was…payback.

DECEIT – Show me your skill relic, show me how well you wield a lightsaber…come forget the girl! FIGHT ME!

Val glares towards Deceit, narrowing his eyes as he watches Deceit extend a shimmering lime green saber blade, waiting for Val to extend his own cutting edge and clash with him. Val has other plans though, he had no time for this bravado he needed to get past this punk and out the door to Isis. He could easily kick this kids butt any day of the week but time was not on his side, still not lowering his defenses as he gets to his feet, Val ignites Obi Wan’s saber, standing to the side, extending out his arm towards The Killian warrior, akin to what he did with Cire in the forest…calling to him.

VAL – I have no time to fight you! STAND ASIDE NOW!

DECEIT – NO! You will only get out of here, through my dead body. This is truth!

Val stood strong, looking towards the closed doors behind Deceit, then towards the massive banquet table, and the chairs, plotting a distraction strategy as his free hand extended out, hurling a chair towards the guardian of the door.

Deceit proved to be more resourceful however, barely moving an inch, his saber cleaved the chair in two smoldering halves, as his own hand extended out, seconds later sending Val skidding across the banquet table, with a thunderous Force Push. It was clear as Val tried to stop his decent from the exit, this guy was serious, and peaceful tree-hugging Jedi like negotiation was useless.

Deceit front flips on to the surface of the table, starting to dash down its seemingly mile long stretch towards Val, who rolls back to his knees, then to his feet, standing in wait. Deceit dashes full on, his lightsaber blade a blur of green as he closes the distance between he and Val. Val waiting for just the right moment, extends his free hand out suddenly, whipping his fingers towards Deceit, the impact of his OWN Force Push sends DECEIT sliding back along the table now, Val’s lips curling into a smile.

VAL – TOCH’E IDIOT!

Deceit only glared then stopped himself using his free hand to balance his entire body back up to a standing position, holding his lime saber blade down, glaring to Val who was a good ten feet from him. Shaking his head, Val knew time was slipping from him as he ran down the table at full force enhanced speed, not only closing the distance, but with such velocity, the slam from Obi Wan’s saber impacting Deceit’s own saber, sent the Killain youth hurling back into the closed doors, his back slamming against the smooth surface, as Val stood still in wait on the table.

DECEIT – CURSE YOU OLD MAN! ENOUGH OF THIS PETTY DISTRACTION! LET’S SEE WHAT YOU ARE MADE OF!

With blinding speed, too fast for even Val to track, Deceit’s lime saber clashes into Obi Wan’s blade, Val turning his wrist in a diagonal, downward counter, then sending a upwards thrust towards Deceit’s shoulder. Deceit quickly counters with a precise upwards defense, pushing his blade into Val’s as their shimmering sabers clashed with white hot sparks of energy. On one side Deceit glared from behind his mask, into his opponent’s eyes, while Val on the right side tried to see into the darkness of the hood, finding it impossible but seeing closer now, two shiny plates of black, where he presumed Deceit’s eyes were looming at him.

DECEIT – You are weak old man! Look how you struggle!

VAL – Son, you know nothing of how I fight, I cleave pieces of meat like you for breakfast!

Deceit brings his saber sliding across Val’s blade, breaking the lock, sending a thunderous horizontal swing to Val’s exposed legs, in which Val quickly leaps above the blade as it races past him slicing into the table, sending a barrage of sparks from the sizzling impact. As Deceit is clearly off guard, Val quickly goes into a reverse spin, sending his saber blade racing towards Deceit’s back, but Deceit quickly kneels down, bringing his saber blade down across his back with both hands, hilt in a vertical position to absorb the impact of Val’s swing, using his raw power to deflect Val’s saber back away, sliding out from under it as Val is forced to lean forward to straighten his blade’s path. Deceit smiles from behind his mask seeking a opportunity to kill off Val, sending his saber racing in a horizontal arch under Val’s own, the blade racing towards Val’s exposed chest area.

Val sees the vulnerable spot just in time to leap back from the blade racing past him, too close for his tastes. Something about Deceit’s saber skills was impressive to Val, Hell in the old days opponents wouldn’t last more then a few seconds against him, perhaps his lack of training had affected his judgment, for if not for the quick response he could have met his end to a punk kid in a cheap costume. This fueled the fighter within Val, his anger and his rage for being knocked off guard, off his quest to rescue Isis consumed him, and he fought back with fierce revitalized intensity.

Shouting at the top of his lungs, Val charged towards Deceit, in which Deceit set his saber blade into a lunge position, the blade facing straight out to impale his charging foe. Val was too smart for such a Padawan mistake, he sent Obi Wan’s blade under Deceit’s, slamming the shimmering lime green length into the air. While Deceit was distracted, Val brought his saber down in a forty-five degree angle, to slice Deceit across his exposed chest, and the tip of the saber hit its mark as Deceit roared in pain. However the killing blow turned out to miss, as Deceit had cleverly thrown his body back hard enough to avoid the shaft of Val’s saber, but not the inch long gash across his chest from the searing tip of Obi Wan’s blade.

DECEIT – DAMN YOU! DAMN YOU FOR LIVING VERSAI! WHY DON’T YOU JUST EXPIRE LIKE THE REST OF THE TRASH!

VAL – (blinks) Damn me? DAMN YOU, I’M NOT THE ONE PICKING A FIGHT HERE PAL! IF YOU WANT TO GIVE UP JUST SAY IT AND GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY! I HAVE MORE IMPORTANT MATTERS TO ATTEND TO!

Deceit glares towards Val, extinguishing his lightsaber, as he clutches his lacerated chest. The blood was not flowing for the wound had cauterized, but the sting of the second-degree burn was intense, though it fueled Deceit’s rage even further. Inside Deceit, his anger rose to a boiling point, putting all his concentration into his own desperation attack, waiting for just the right time to strike, as Val loomed over him unaware of the energy bolts forming around his free fist.

Val quickly attempted to dive out of the way, but it was a fraction too short as Deceit hurled a menacing stream of force lightning towards Val’s chest. Val tried to bring his saber up to block, but soon realized as he was sent hurling to the floor, that a lightsaber’s energy and force lightning went hand in hand. He should have remembered this from Cire’s attacks in the past but it was a lesson learned in pain and suffering.

Adding to the wave after wave of agonizing electricity, Val’s metallic armor didn’t help, the form of energy did bounce off his Luminex plates to his surprise, but the lightning was like a predator, heading to where it sensed weakness, penetrating his bare forearms and shoulders where his armor did not reach, then into his breastplate to his body underneath, using the metallic surface like a huge superconductor, reaching Val’s body, searing the flesh with scorching pain.

DECEIT – (looking down towards Val) OH YES!!!!!! LOOK AT YOU NOW OLD MAN! WRITHING LIKE A DEAD FISH! FEEL THE PAIN VALARYC! FEEL THE MISTAKES YOU HAVE MADE END THE GIRL’S LIFE!

VAL – (struggling to adapt to the pain) UHH I UHHHH I ASSURE YOU UUUUUGHHHHHH IF ANYONE UGHHHHH KILLS ME UGGGGGGGGH IT WILL NOT BE YOU WHO DOES UGGGGGH THE DEED!

DECEIT- GIVE IN TO FAILURE VERSAI! SURRENDER AND I WILL BE MERCEFUL! ADMIT IT! ADMIT THAT THE UNSTOPPABLE VALARYC VERSAI HAS MET HIS MATCH!

The bolts of lightning tear into Val’s body as his armor smokes from the intense heat, still though Val endures the pain having suffered ten times worse to Cire’s “shard” lighting, Deceit had wielded his force lighting well but it was far weaker then a real master, allowing Val to accept the energy, the pain, and feed off of it, adapting to the energy he soon focused the brilliant purple and blue bolts into his own well of strength, drawing from it his own lesson to teach the boy as the force rippled through his views, his own fists now charging with an fiery orange glow.

DECEIT – THAT’S IT GIVE IN VAL! SURRENDER TO YOUR SUPERIOR! WHY DON’T YOU FIGHT BACK VERSAI! YOU MAY BE THE BEST AT LIGHTSABER COMBAT BUT COMPARED TO MY DARK SIDE POWER YOU ARE WEAK!

Val narrows his eyes calling upon the force in greater strides, the waves of purple and blue bolts igniting his flesh starting to subside unknown to Deceit. For unknown to him, Val was playing possum, pretending to still be ravaged by the searing heat from the lighting, in actuality Val was focusing the energy AWAY from his body, sapping the energy from the bolts themselves, and absorbing and dissipating the remainder, unknown to Deceit all that was coming from the Killain youth was nothing more then a fancy lightshow. In his arrogant presumptions Deceit did not realize that the hatred he was pouring into his dark side lightning was not fueling the intensity of his power but slowly draining his focus from him.

DECEIT – LOOK AT YOU! SOME MASTER YOU ARE VAL! YOU’RE PATHETIC! YOU’RE JUST ANOTHER RELIC, ANOTHER OLD JEDI WHO DESERVES TO BE PUT OUT OF HIS MISERY! SHALL I GRANT YOU RELEASE FROM YOUR PATHETIC LIFE VAL! SHALL I END THE SUFFERING?

VAL – (concentrating) Uh...Uggggggggg keeep talking jerk, eeeeeeeeeergh almost there.

DECEIT – (raises an eyebrow) Huh?

Val extinguishes Obi Wan’s lightsaber, clipping it slowly to his belt, while coming to rise on one knee, his fists flaring with orange energy as Deceit babbles on, not aware that this man was no “Jedi”, Deceit had not thought that this relic he was facing was beyond the Jedi Code, a man who played by his own rules, so depending on the feeble “Jedi” to stick to his Jedi Code limitations, Deceit learns too late of his overconfidence.

DECEIT – BEG FOR DEATH VAL! THE BOLTS FRY YOUR FLESH! SEAL YOUR DOOM! COME ON RELIC FIGHT ME! GET OFF THE FLOOR OLD MAN AND FIGHT BACK!

VAL – (focusing, as the lightning bounces off him) I can’t…

DECEIT – Huh? Why not?

VAL – (glares up towards Deceit) Because…I’m concentrating…

DECIET – (blinks) Concentrating???

VAL – (grins) Yes….

DECEIT – On?

Val - ……you.
 

INTERIOR – TABANNOPLIS – MAIN HALLWAY

The next scene shifts to the very same hallway Val was running down before Deceit ambushed him, seeming peaceful as the sunlight streams into the interior, the multi windows glistening with light, shadows weaving along the floor as ships outside race through the skies to various destinations. The kind of scene you would just want to sit down and savor. Suddenly, the closed doors of the Dining Hall fly off their hinges, exploding out in a hellish ball of fiery orange and yellow hues. Smoldering shards of metal fly out to the left and right, as a inflamed skeleton in gray and black burning attire is sent hurling into the wall, slamming back first into the hard, smooth, gap between the windows. The fire roars from the devastated entranceway of the Dining Hall as smoke billows outward. The skeleton looking like a sleeping figure, hunched over, its arms out to its sides, as the flesh of it withers away into smoldering cinders, flaring up into the once calm atmosphere of the hallway.

From within the fiery interiors of the Dining Hall, Val paces out, a big grin on his face as he strides right by the flaming remains of what was once known as Deceit, obviously a victim of Val’s patented “bolt of hatred”. Val’s hair whips across his face as stops only momentarily to whisper into where Deceit would have had his ear

VAL – “Ashes to ashes…dust to dust. “

Not giving his mission so much as a second thought, Val races down the hallway, whipping past the endless line of windows to his left and right, as well as other doorways, his last location now far behind him disappearing into its flickering orange darkness. Knowing full well he has lost valuable time, Val streaks down the hallway as it stretches to the left, seeing a doorway about fifth teen feet from his grasp, as he passes under a archway, another Killian Warrior lies in wait, timing her motion just right, she leaps from the archway like a hawk, landing on Val, grabbing him by his shoulders, tossing him into another doorway.
 

EXTERIOR – TABANNOPLIS – LANDING PLATFORM 33

VAL – OH DAMN IT I AM GETTING MIGHTY SICK OF THIS!

The figure, obviously a woman by its slender build sends a sharp kick to Val’s face, nailing him in the chin, causing Val to tumble backwards into what appears to be a landing bay outside the building. The platform is rectangular shaped, with six columns extending up to an upper level landing pad above them, an interstellar garage if you will. His eyes flare with anger as he is once again interrupted from catching up to Efface and the strange girl, now more determined then ever to reach her with each passing moment of time ticking away from his “obstacles”.

The figure glares down sending another kick to Val’s ribs, but Val quickly grabs her leg sweeping the other sending the figure crashing to the floor, Val getting his bearings as he stands back to his feet. The figure dressed in the very same attire as all the other Killian warriors wastes no time going into flurry of kicks and punches, in which Val barely manages to block the lightning fast assault, still feeling the draining effects of his “lesson” to Deceit, with much skill Val manages to deflect the attacks, trying to peer into the cowl of the girl, again finding nothing but two sparkles of light and darkness.

FIGURE – (serpent like voice) YOU HAVE PASSED BEYOND DECIET! YOU WILL TRAVEL NO FURTHER THEN MALIGNA!

VAL – (rolling back to his feet) What in the hell is with you people and your introductions? DON’T YOU KNOW WHAT A HANDSHAKE IS!

Maligna responds by sending a sharp, crushing blow towards Val’s ribs. While Val is distracted, the blow hits its mark as the wind is knocked from him, her attack seemed to fly right past his armor, and that’s when he realized what she was actually doing…she was using a telekinetic kill tactic on him!

Having the knowledge of her attack, Val stepped away, trying to focus his Force of Will to counter the assaults, but Maligna was as deadly as she was agile, proving to be too much of a distraction with her flurry of assaults on him, her approach was lighting fast. Val glared to her as he felt her crushing blows slam into his body, beyond his armor. Maligna’s speed was uncanny; the blur of punches and kicks was so fast it could have given Crymson Vachon a run for her money in speed intensity. The woman was pure evil as her name referred. Her assault was perfect in every combination of attacks, against a hero of today she would have easily defeated them in seconds, Val however was no normal fighter. He had faced countless opponents and various combat techniques, always seeming to be one step ahead of her physical blows towards his body, though her telekinetic attacks slipped past. Val grew more aggravated with each slam into his chest, he knew if she kept this up after forty years she could wind up very well re-injuring his ribs again from his last battle with Crymson many years ago. He had to do something fast or his journey would cost too much time and the girl would be dead for sure.

Reaching for his saber, Val grabbed Maligna’s fist, sending a devastating backhand, with the hilt of Obi Wan’s saber square into the hood, hoping to strike her nose or whatever was under that cursed cowl, knowing he did SOMETHING as Maligna tumbled backwards, her hand coming to sooth the sting from her face as she hunched over.

VAL – LOOK! I DON’T WANT TO FIGHT YOU! CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG HERE!

MALIGNA – NO! MY LORD DEMANDS YOU BE STOPPED FROM THE GIRL! YOU WILL FAIL VERSAI! YOU WILL NOT MAKE IT TO HER IN TIME! THIS IS SWEAR!

VAL – For Yoda’s sake, DO YOU ALL STUDY FROM THE SAME BOOK! TRY COMING UP WITH AN ORIGINAL BAD GUY SPEECH! YEESH!!!!!

Val grips his saber, sending another crushing blow to Maligna’s back, but she proves too fast this time, having regained her focus, though her telekinetic blows had ceased, she reached for her lightsaber and ignited the same lime-green blade as Deceit. To Val it was clear they all truly had studied from the same book, or bought their saber parts from the same store, in either case he also knew her saber skills would be as sharp if not sharper then Deceit’s was.

Val was correct in his theory as Maligna hurled her saber towards Val, mimicking the same technique Crymson Vachon used on him, her saber spinning on its axis whipped towards him in a deadly discus of energy, as Val narrowly leaped out of its path. The blade spun around, slicing clean through two of the landing platform support columns that rose from the floor to the upper deck of the interstellar garage. The metal started to creak and groan. Val knew this was defiantly a bad sign…

Maligna called her saber back to her hand as the blade stopped spinning instantaneously, sending a well placed downward slash towards Val’s neck, Val still being on one knee from evading the discus on instinct, ignited Obi Wan’s saber again, jerking up seconds before Maligna’s shimmering lime saber blade clashed into his own vibrant blue blade. Using the leverage of holding off Maligna’s blade, Val pried her saber back as he got to his feet, but to his surprise Maligna quickly jerked her saber back, then around to send a searing sweep across to Val’s legs. Val leaps just in time to avoid the impact, sending a swift kick towards the small of Maligna’s chest, enough to send her flying back momentarily.

MALIGNA – YOU MEN ARE WEAK! I WILL SUCCEED IN MY MISSION VAL! YOU WILL FAIL!

VAL – (sends a forward slash, quickly countered) FOR THE LOVE OF JINN WILL YOU PLEASE SHUT THE HELL UP! YOU ALL SOUND LIKE A PROTOCOL DROID! SQUAWKING THE SAME DAMN LINES ARGH!!!!! I HATE REPETITION!

Maligna responds by irritating Val further, sending a repeating pattern of her last moves, each easily countered by Val, then she starts to focus again, sending more waves of telekinetic blows towards Val’s chest, sending her saber hammering down on the blue blade of Val, hoping to cause enough pain, enough distraction to best him.

Val growls low, growing quite annoyed with the woman, trying to control the pain of his chest being slammed into by invisible fists, while he uses both hands to fend back Maligna’s saber, driving into his blade as flashes of white and yellow flare from the two blade’s impacts, blinding both competitors momentarily.

Timing the time between flashes, Val tries to focus on Maligna, having distracted her by allowing her to slam her saber upon his own as she wished, venting her frustrations knowing clearly the girl had some serious issues to deal with, he had time to evoke Force of Will and counter the telekinetic blows to his chest, having gained the freedom from the menagerie of pain, Val refocused his efforts into one thing…taking this skirt…down.

VAL – I HAVE HAD!!!

Val sends his saber with fierce intensity back into Maligna’s blade, forcing her back

VAL – ENOUGH OF!!!

As Val shouts in concentrated efforts, he is now back to his feet sending Maligna stumbling back further and further towards the edge of the landing platform. Her wrists moving in blinding strides to counter Val’s upper and lower assault on HER now.

VAL – YOU!!!!!!!!

Sending a devastating uppercut under Maligna’s blade like a well placed, two handed golf swing, she is unable to hold on to the hilt with her hands as Val’s arching blue blade sends her saber flying out of her grasp into the air, then hurling down to the regions of space, off the landing platform spinning still ignited to the abyss of orange and yellow clouds below. Her eyes snapping back as Val stands above her, his saber vibrating with fierce intensity knowing her end is near, she decides to try a new strategy.

As Val prepares to send Maligna to her maker “airmail”, Maligna speaks to him in a frightful voice.

MALIGNA-  WAIT! STOP!

Val is about to bring his saber down, stopping short of her head, the blue blade illuminating the interiors of her hood now. He sees within the darkness a jet black facial mask that covers her entire face, even her hair with two angled pieces of smoky black transparasteel, which reveals the two sparkles he had seen before not able to see her true face but understanding now, The Killian’s tactics for making them look like walking specters.

VAL – Who are you…What in the hell do you want with me!

MALIGNA – I am Maligna, loyal apprentice to Crymson Vachon.

VAL – I KNEW IT! TELL ME WHAT YOU KNOW NOW!

Maligna reaches back and pulls off her mask, revealing her dazzling blue eyes and long fiery-red hair, looking to Val with a vulnerable expression of submission.

MALIGNA – Crymson Vachon is my Master, she has told me about you Versai, she trained me only for this task…the task of stopping you, beating you. I...I have failed.

VAL – Many have tried woman…all have failed, INCLUDING your master.

MALIGNA – Yes…I see that now, you are the better. I throw in the towel to you, go….save the girl.

Val shoots Maligna an awkward glance, knowing this to be way too easy, after all the woman had fought with an intention to kill, he knew better then to turn his back blindly and go free, still he let her play her mind games with him, knowing some of his own.

VAL – (nods) What will you do? Your kind will surely kill you for failure…

MALIGNA – My life is worthless…I will simply expire as others have before me.

VAL – It doesn’t have to be this way…you don’t have to destroy yourself, you know much, it could be used to better purposes.

Maligna blinks softly, licking her lips in thought for a minute, considering the possibility, as her master Crymson Vachon communicates with her telepathically.

CRMYSON – (telepathic) Excellent my student, he is falling right into your hands, now complete your mission!

Maligna stands to her feet, nodding slowly to Val.

MALIGNA – You’re right? There must be another path…show me Val, show me to unlearn what I have learned…go, rescue the girl.

Val turns his back with a nod, racing towards the door as Maligna smiles seductively, knowing her plan will work, drawing a dagger from behind her back sheath, lunging to stab Val at his only fatal vulnerable spot, his neck.

Val having anticipated the betrayal, leaning that in this day and age to trust no one, stops short, sidesteps away from Maligna as she lunges forward, then backhands her with the backside of his gloved wrist, stamping her naked skull with his Versai crest, square between her eyes, craning his body backwards with authority as Maligna flies back tumbling off the platform, holding on to the base of it with one hand.

Val spins around, standing above her, his saber unlit, back on his belt again, glaring down toward his attacker.

VAL – (shakes his head) Uh uh uh, I’m not that easy.

MALIGNA – I’M SORRY IT’S HER CONTROL! I CAN’T STOP IT!

VAL – Prove it…

Maligna sheathes the dagger and reaches her other hand up, hoping Val will pull her up, but Val is too wise to tricks, standing above her, almost comically waiting for her to beg for his help, his eyes looking over the skies and the various craft flying over head.

MALIGNA – VAL! PULL ME UP BEFORE I FALL!

VAL – Beautiful isn’t it? Look at the outlines of the clouds and the elegant lights…ah absolutely breathtaking…

Maligna struggles to keep her grip, growling, knowing Val is just playing coy finding it necessary she asks her Master telepathically what she can reveal to gain his trust, getting her answer in time.

MALIGNA – WHAT DO YOU WANT TO KNOW! GEEZ VAL COME ON I’M ONLY A WOMAN I’M LOSING MY GRIP!

Val slowly cranes his neck downwards, glaring into Maligna’s eyes with an emotionless stare, parting his lips as he speaks…

VAL – Oh now I see, teetering on the edge of life and death you’re ready to talk hmm? Very well show me your loyalty, tell me everything.

MALIGNA – My Master Crymson Vachon is helping The Killian, our leader is Quillion, he runs our guild, I do not know what he wants with you, his next target is Isis Surul! That’s the girl you are trying to save!

VAL – Interesting…continue.

MALIGNA – I was forced to join their cult! Crymson tortured me with frightful visions! She hurt me until I gave in to her wishes! She killed my sister and my brother! SHE MADE ME KILL MY OWN MOTHER! PLEASE PULL ME UP!

Val raises an eyebrow, feeling a spark of compassion for the girl now at the mention of her family. The visions of the little girl and her mother being butchered by Crymson’s saber blade was all Val really needed to see the girl could have just been led upon the wrong path, forced into her servitude doing what she could to survive.

VAL – Swear to me Maligna, you are loyal, swear to me you will not attack me! Renounce your master and your ways and I will save you.

Maligna nods slowly, hanging on the base of the platform as the winds began to increase, the pain in her arm was unbearable, her fingers longed to be released from her death grip on the metallic ledge of the landing platform, finding no other choice she replied to Val.

MALIGNA – YOU WIN! I THROW IN THE TOWEL! I RENOUCE CRYMSON AND ALL HER WICKED WAYS! I RENOUNCE THE KILLIAN AND THEIR LEADER QUILLION!

Crymson’s voice echoed throughout the landing platform as Val could hear her screaming to her apprentice in anger…

CRMYSON – YOU FOOL! YOU WEAK PATHETIC GIRL! HOW DARE YOU CURSE YOUR ROOTS! NOW YOU ARE LEFT TO DIE! NO ONE WILL HELP YOU! ENJOY AN ETERINITY OF DARKNESS!

Maligna’s body begins to shake from an unseen force prying her fingers from the landing platform as Val watches, still unsure if he should lower his arm and become vulnerable to being thrown off himself. With her last two fingers being pulled from the ledge by Crymson’s unseen force, Maligna screams out, but her fall is cut short as Val’s hand races out to grab her, stopping her fall.

VAL – GIVE ME YOUR HAND! GIVE ME YOUR HAND AND I WILL PULL YOU UP! YOU HAVE TO TRUST ME!

MALIGNA – I…I do trust you!

Val arches his arm down further to take Maligna’s other hand. Maligna reaches behind her grabbing something, revealing her true intentions. Like most females, their expressions, their moods, and their true intentions can be faked, their pleasure and their pain can be nothing more then a smoke screen for a deeper purpose, and it was clear by her free hand wrapping around the hilt of her dagger, she was evil to the core.

VAL – TAKE MY HAND MALIGNA I ARRRRRRRRGH!

Crymson’s laughter fills the landing bay with a bone-chilling echo of seductive tones.

As Val tries to pull up Maligna, she arches her hand up holding the dagger, and sends a brutal slash to Val’s only exposed vulnerability besides his neck, hitting her mark as a heavy line of crimson blood streams from a fresh laceration just below Val’s arm, just past his armbands.

VAL – WHAT THE!!!!!!!!! WHY!

MALIGNA –Men are the weakest of all species, simply because Versai, it is my NATURE to fulfill my Master’s wishes…I told you before, my life is WORTHLESS!

VAL- YOU SON OF A!!!!

Before Val can finish his sentence Maligna laughs sadistically as she lets go of the ledge, hurling to her doom into Bespin’s void of clouds, all the while her sick laughter fills the air with its poison, as she embraces her destiny and completes her master’s wishes…hurling down, down, down, to eternity.

Val grabs his arm, trying to dull the searing pain as he hears the creaking he listened to previously intensify. It appears that Maligna’s saber had sheared through more supports then he had first though, as they began to buckle and bend under the intense weight of something above. Having only seconds to dash towards the doorway.
 

INTERIOR – TABANNOPLIS – MAIN HALLWAY

Val leaped back into the hall he was in earlier, as he could see through the windows, a hideous domino effect of destruction upon the weakened platform. The levels above caused the landing pad to be torn from the building, the metal shearing away as the weight bent, then eventually snapped the remaining columns in waves of sparks and electrical wires, crackling from being ripped in two, the entire structure he had just fought upon, the stable platform was now gone…hurling straight down into the void of Bespin’s atmosphere.

Shaking off his memory of Maligna’s eyes, Val tried to purge the imagery once again refocusing on his accursed “gauntlet”, his boots again racing down towards the opening at the far end of the hall, leading into a massive multi-story shipping complex. His arm seared with pain as he looked down at the blood streaming along his skin, adjusting his armbands up to cover the wound, whizzing by window after window, door after door until he closed the distance between he and the massive circular doorway before him.

As the doors slide back, standing on the other side was Lord Efface, laying in wait, standing straight his head town, slowly raising his eyes towards Val grinning…

EFFACE – I’ve been waiting for you Versai…I see you’ve made it past two of my best warriors…impressive, but do you have what it takes to get passed me?

VAL – (reaches for his saber igniting it again) Only one way to find out…
 

INTERIOR: TABANNOPLIS – TURBOLIFT

Instantly Efface stands back, spinning his double bladed saber hilt as two fiery orange blades extend from the left and the right, his spinning pattern creating a shield like pattern against Val’s first blow, sending the shimmering blue blade of Obi Wan’s saber hurling back as Val stopped its advance, controlling the hilt to a stop, standing, watching Efface’s next move.

EFFACE – Oh I have planned this out rather well Versai, you see my purpose isn’t so much to kill you as to bring you to your knees! You think the others were tough? You know not the depths of my skill.

VAL – I don’t need to know anything about your depths Efface, all I need to do is wipe that stupid grin off your face with my boot.

EFFACE – How colorful…you will have your chance old man…but first we’re going for a little ride.

VAL – What?

Suddenly the large, circular room began to shake violently as the floor began to move. Val didn’t understand where he was but he soon figured it out as his feet were planted against the floor by the gravitational pull of a huge freight turbolift, racing past decks divided into sections of twenty per level. This gave Efface all he needed as he leaped up, defying gravity with the force, sending a forwards slash towards Val with the front of his dual bladed saber, Val having his actions slowed by the pull of the elevator, screaming past ten floors at breakneck speed arched his back away from the oncoming blade, narrowly missing it, trying to send a swing up under Efface’s blade to knock him back, but with the gravitational pull his swing was drastically reduced. Efface was toying with Val, he didn’t want to beat the frail man too quickly remembering his master’s wishes, his swing wasn’t to kill Val it was to reach for something Val had on his belt, but with Val’s counter, Efface had to quickly lunge his hand back to avoid losing it.

As the turbolift reached the second “level”, it stopped with a sudden jerk, Val growling with his eyes affixed on Efface grinned, having now been on even ground. Val sent a swing with authority to Efface’s shoulder, Efface countered however by swinging his blade up and forward, clashing with Val’s attack.

Efface flashed a grin of his own, evil and sadistic from his blue and black tattooed face, turning into a reverse spin, sending his blade in a slash towards Val’s side. Val quickly counters by leaning forward, turning his saber at a downward slop to deflect the attack, only to reverse his saber to the other side as Efface spun around to try from the other side with the other end of his saber. As Val counters the attack, the doors behind him open and Efface sends a vicious kick towards his chest.
 

INTERIOR: TABANNOPLIS – CATWALK GANTRY

Val is knocked back onto a narrow catwalk with only two guardrails along it, on the left and right leading to what looked like an open platform then another turbolift at the far south side of the building. Looking up Val could see a maze of platforms and turbolift tubes surrounding him, obviously he was in the web of a shipping and freight network, which transferred the guests luggage and other items from one deck to another along conveyor belts and the platforms.

Efface prowled upon Val like a cat, waiting to strike a mouse biding his time, as he sent a forward slash, then as that was countered by Val a series of rights and lefts with opposite ends of his dual saber, occasionally spinning the entire hilt in the center to deflect Val’s advancing swings, forcing Val towards the exposed platform where the guardrails were so thin, one could easily breach them and fall off. Val knew this, and he HATED heights, not looking at the darkness, illuminated by smoking orange and red grooves in the floors far beneath him.

Efface drew closer, sending a reverse spin slash towards Val’s legs, which Val quickly leaped over, bringing his saber forward to strike Efface’s chest. Efface having predicted this move spins his saber hilt in series of 360 spins, as his dual orange sabers blur to widened arches. Efface slams his saber square into Val’s blade, sending a powerful upwards stroke into the blade, forcing Val to curve his body to avoid falling. While Val is turned, Efface brings the other saber blade, his lower one back to score a mark on Val’s back. Val proves to be wise to this attack, ducking low as the saber races over his head, using his feet to sweep Efface to the ground in which Efface lands with authority, square on his back, holding his elongated saber hilt with both hands to balance it, jutting his foot towards Val’s shins, sending Val tumbling towards the saber shaft, his skull cracking on the center of the metal, recoiling his body backward.

Seizing the momentary distraction, Efface slithers back then to his feet, sending a swift kick to Val’s ribs, hard enough to send Val skimming into the next freight turbolift, as Efface takes his time striding into the circular structure.
 

INTERIOR: TABANNOPLIS – TURBOLIFT

The floor again shaking as the increased gravitational effects pins Val to the floor, while Efface stands above him, taunting Val to do something, as Efface holds his vibrant orange saber blade to Val’s throat, the fiery light illuminated the facial features of Val, his skin being pulled as he grit his teeth from the tug of the gravity created by the elevator racing up another twenty floors to the third level.

Efface was delighted at having the so called “legend” pinned at his feet, not taking into account the only logical reason was because Val couldn’t freaking move. Val had studied his attacker since the first encounter with the gravitational forces of the elevator, wondering how Efface was able to deny its effects on his own body, and then he noticed that Efface’s feet were not touching the ground.

Efface was levitating! Knowing this bit of knowledge, Val waited for the right time to make his move, slowly curving his blade back and forth along Efface’s blade, pinned back by Val’s hold over it, prying the shimmering length from running him through as Val turned his gaze to the numbers on the turbolift control panel, reading to floor twenty knowing that the turbolift would stop and the doors would open, allowing Efface to believe he has the upper hand.

As soon as the doors slid open, he waited for Efface to send another kick towards him, or bring his saber down to impale him. Using sheer will, Val quickly slide Efface’s blade out of range of his neck, turning the hilt of Obi Wan’s saber at a downward angle, forcing Efface’s saber to pierce the thick hull of the turbolift, as the metal below began to glow orange and very, very hot from Efface’s saber heating it. Efface blinked momentarily as he leaped back….
 

INTERIOR: TABANNOPLIS – CATWALK GANTRY

EFFACE- OUCH! DAMN THAT HURTS!!!!! ARGH!

VAL – What’s the matter Efface? Having a hot foot? UGH!

Efface sends another kick towards Val’s chest, again finding its mark as Val is sent skidding along the platform again, but Efface has to pull away his saber blade from the floor, leaving a white hot trail of molten metal in its wake, Val had time to get back to his feet, this time he waited for his opponent to approach not the other way around. Efface did approach with a vengeance, sending a barrage of rights and lefts towards Val, turning his saber from one side to the other as Val barely managed to deflect them into the weaker railing of the catwalk, sparks flying from the metal as the blades contacted it, creating  sizzling gashes in its surface.

EFFACE – I TIRE OF YOUR GAMES VERSAI! GIVE IT UP I’M TOO STRONG FOR YOU!

VAL – NEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!

Moving at a lighting fast pace, from the first level if you were to gaze up, you could see the silhouettes of Efface and Val fighting back and forth along the slender catwalk, each missed attempt met by either, raining sparks of metal from above, while hues of blue and orange clashed back and forth in a deadly symphony of death creating a pattern of strobe like flashes of light as each blade impacted one another.

Reaching the mid platform before the next freight turbolift, Efface hammered Val against the thin railing encircling the platform gantry. The metal began to creak and buckle as Val’s back was forced against it. Val sends a sudden kick to the center of Efface’s dual saber hilt, causing Efface to fly back and lose his saber, the weapon hurling off the platform towards the second and first levels, However as Efface leans out, stretching his hand towards his falling weapon, Val doesn’t see until its too late, that by doing so Efface calls back his saber, as the blade shears through the floor of the platform like tinfoil spinning around at break neck speeds. Efface quickly leaping to the safer, supported end of the catwalk, while Val is left on the teetering, severed platform, quickly calling the force to him to force leap to safety.

As Val leaps, Efface sends a weaker Force Push out, enough to send Val slamming back into the side of the teetering platform, and enough to snap the support rails, hurling Val off the platform into the center of the massive building, plummeting down towards the floor below. Efface smiles softly figuring he doesn’t need Val alive to complete his task, striding to the turbolift hitting the button for the first level as the doors close.
 

INTERIOR: TABANNOPLIS – MAIN FRIEGHT NETWORK

As Val plummets down the racing tubes of turbolifts around him, saber still in hand ignited he has to think quickly, hurling his body out of the way of various suspended conveyer belt devices and floating luggage traffic ways. He Forces his body over towards one of the turbolift tubes in front of him, calculating how strong the metal must be, having knowledge of metallic composites, timing his stroke just right. Turning his saber blade completely horizontal, then slightly downward like a scythe, Obi Wan’s blue blade cleaves into the metal of the turbolift, slashing through the first layer of steel like butter, then slower into the second, and barely piercing into the third. Using the friction from the saber blade cleaving into the layers of metal, Val begins to slow his decent, the saber only able to cut so far in the amount of time the energy blade pierces the layers of metal, leaving a good mile long vertical slash of bubbling white hot metal trail down the cylinder structure as Val uses both hands to hold on to his saber hilt for dear life. Efface having reached the first floor looks up, to see Val gliding down through the turboshaft opposite to him, directly to his north, his saber leaving a longer and longer trail of melted, bubbling metal on his path downward. Efface replies…

EFFACE- (looking up and over) Impressive and resourceful…He’s harder to kill, then a Jawa hiding in a clothing factory.

Flicking his gloved finger to the second floor, Efface watches the door close in front of him, clutching his extinguished saber. Val having reached the second floor, uses his feet and the force to fling himself, and his blade from the side of the turbolift to a catwalk, using a momentary fraction of a second of levitation, Val manages to aim his body upwards, landing feet first, square in the center of the catwalk, his saber coming to bare in front of him.
 

INTERIOR: TABANNOPLIS – CATWALK GANTRY

Val glances to this handiwork, seeing the line of cooling metal where his saber had sliced into the turboshaft across from him, extending as high as the eye can see in a upwards perspective view, fading to nothing, uttering to himself

VAL – Oh lord the good people of Tibannopolis are going to stick me with one HUGE repair bill.

As Val focuses on his property damage, the doors to the turbolift open once more, as Efface dashes out, his saber again igniting from both ends, clashing with Obi Wan’s blade, leaning his hooded, Zabrak facial features in Val’s face uttering…

EFFACE – Now, where were we? Ah yes….

No sooner had Efface answered his own question, did the saber melee continue, their blades clashing against one another as Efface spun his saber to deflect some attacks, while Val spun his own to deflect others. Each warrior displayed their talents upon one another, each showing they had far more skill then they let one as Val deflected Efface’s attacks, while Efface deflected Val’s counters.
 

INTERIOR: TABANNOPLIS – TURBOLIFT

Reaching the entrance to another turbolift, Val had a new idea this time. As the doors closed and the floor began to shake again, Val quickly used his free hand to reach into his belt and hurl three miniature glop grenades at Efface’s feet. Efface tried to get away, but before he could call upon his hovering technique the grenades went off pinning his feet to the floor with a sticky glue like substance. Val’s lips curled as the tables now turned, focusing his force abilities to enhance his attributes of levitation, rising above the floor, he sent a stunning slash towards Efface’s midsection. Having to succumb to the effects of gravity Efface, was barely able to deflect the blow, having to use every ounce of strength he had to fight off the gravitational pull on his arms. In lue of using levitation using electronic manipulation the elevator came to a crashing stop as it shot up to the fourth level at alarming speeds, then stopped for a few seconds before plummeting under Efface’s new commands downward.

With his new strategy, the gravity was reversed as Val was sent flying up against the roof of the turbolift, giving Efface enough time to focus on the glop material below him, with the effects of gravity pushing, instead of pulling, his feet tore free from the glop material, as he once again focused on hovering, to defy the effects of neither rising nor falling, while Val did the same technique, spinning 360 as if in space, from the roof of the turbolift, stopping in the middle between the roof and the floor, glaring into the eyes of a hovering Efface, his sabers humming with anticipation of the midair confrontation.

It took only a fraction of a second for the fight to begin again, a fight that only true masters of the blade could withstand having to adapt to the loss of both a ground and a roof, fighting practically weightless as Efface went into a reverse spin to nail Val along his side, Val quickly countering, sending Efface’s blade up with authority, having to flip himself back and away, as the other end with no weight to stop it, carried through the swing, sending Efface spiraling out of control in a twin bladed furry of light. Using the wall of the turbolift, Efface straightened himself, then used the wall to catapult back towards Val, holding his saber hilt out, clipping Val across his chest as the long shaft of Efface’s saber hilt collided with the shimmering red and gold patterns of Val’s Armor sending Val crashing towards the floor, bouncing off of it back in the air. Val adjusted his saber so that he rose with a stunning uppercut, his blade facing completely horizontal as Efface watched in horror, propelling himself back a second too late, as Val’s upper cut under Efface’s blade sent him racing into the hard surface of the roof, Efface again holding his saber hilt across his chest to avoid injury from the vibrating blades, which from both of their sabers were leaving carbon scoring marks all over the interior of the turbolift as it plummeted sixty floors down, then suddenly came to a screeching stop.

The change in atmosphere sent Val slamming down to the floor, laying on his back looking up as Efface turned the south end of his dual saber blade to face down in a stabbing gesture, hurling from above. As the doors opened, Val somersaulted himself backwards away, as Efface’s blade pierced into the floor of the turbolift, with his decent, the velocity of his stabbing motion passed clear though all the sections of steel to the turbolift floor, as the steel floor began to glow orange as it had done before but much swifter, Efface’s boots began to melt as he struggled to pull out his blade, having pierced so many levels of metal, so many layers, it was like pulling out a plunger from a stopped up toilet. The metal had grown into a dripping, oozing, liquid state causing friction to muddle down his saber’s accent back up, making Efface’s boots get hotter and hotter as he finally decided to shut off the saber ends and leap out of the turboshaft, landing on his feet, on the cold metal of the catwalk, feeling the steel cool his boots. The rubber having been pried from the scalding metallic surface like freshly chewed gum, from the bottom of a shoe.

EFFACE – ARGH! YOU’LL PAY FOR THOSE VERSAI!

Val stands confident looking at his fingernails, craning his head back towards Efface, with a grin spread across his lips, finding the sight of a great Killian Warrior? Complaining about his boots quite comical, even though Efface’s saber skills were very well honed to his position. Still he had in the back of his head a purpose, to get to Isis. It’s obvious with he and Efface fighting as long as Efface was in his views, he couldn’t fulfill his words of getting Isis before Val did. For this reason Val held back his full fighting potential, but Val’s laughing penetrated Efface, whose anger grew more and more.

EFFACE – STOP LAUGHING! THIS IS NOT FUNNY! STOP IT NOW!

VAL – (snickering) What you going to do? Hobble your way over to me and shut me up? HAHAH! FLOPPY!

EFFACE – Floppy? FLOPPY! YOU DARE INSULT ME VAL! THAT DOES IT TO HELL WITH QUILLION YOUR BUTT IS MINE!

Val narrows his eyes seeing that the game has been taken to a new level as he looks behind him, seeing a ramp leading down to the bottom floor of the area, and from what he could make out the girl was using a lightsaber against two other Killian Warriors, who attacked her, Val knew that she wouldn’t last too long, force user or not, turning his gaze back to Efface.

VAL – Enough games you say? Fine then…come on little Effie; let’s see what you got!

EFFACE – ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!

Efface charges Val with renewed strength sending a forward push with the right end of his saber, trying to run him through, Val accommodates the attack by turning his body to the side, sending a strike towards the opposite end of Efface’s double saber, causing Efface to spin around and send another slash towards Val’s head. Val steps back reaching the ledge, to the downward ramp behind him, keeping his balance as he counters Efface’s strike, sending his saber under Efface’s who responds with a spear charge towards Val’s exposed midsection, Efface’s saber held out to his side as he succeeds in sending Val spiraling down the ramp, Val’s saber held out away from him, severs clean through the supports affixed to the side of the lowering catwalk ramp, a shower of sparks flying out in succession down a steady line as Val’s body is sent hurling down further and further by the weight of his armor, towards the bottom level of the facility.
 

INTERIOR: TABANNOPLIS – MAIN FRIEGHT NETWORK FLOOR

Efface runs behind, slashing his saber down in stabbing motions with both hands on the center of his saber hilt to try and impale Val, missing with each downwards thrust as Val plummets in front of him, until he reaches the bottom floor, stopping at the base of the ramp. Efface leaps from midway of the ramp up, bringing his saber down to run Val through the floor, as Val looks up, and rolls to the right, Efface’s saber again like the turbolift piercing into the floor as he cranes his head, withdrawing his saber with ease from the smoldering hole in the surface of the deck.

EFFACE – There is your prize Val, if I lose my men will let her go, if I win you will be dead.

VAL – Suits me, but I don’t trust scum like you.

EFFACE – Oh I give you my word, if I lose my men WILL let her go peacefully.

VAL – Whatever…..fin………uhh?

Val begins to shake his head, his vision starting to blur as he watches Efface standing above him, Val’s body starting to weaken from some force that’s overtaking him, driving him to his knees. Efface grins from above, curling his lips as his orange and red-eyed flicker with delight.

EFFACE – Feeling a bit under the weather legend?

VAL – What the….what is going……?

EFFACE – What’s the matter hero? You aren’t backing out on the bargain are you?

VAL – NO, I never break my word…I ugggggggh WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!

Val starts to swing blindly at the blurring shape of Efface, missing the mark by over three feet, not understanding why his body seems to be trying to shut down, calling the force to remain conscious, Efface stands above him smiling as his saber hums with intensity that matches that of the glare in his eyes.

EFFACE – You see Val, in exchange for my word well you see….do you recall a dagger not to long ago?

Val’s eyes narrow as the image of Maligna slashing his arm with her dagger plays through his mind, starting to see the full picture now.

EFFACE – Yes, that’s right Val, that dagger was POISONED! YOUR EYES WILL DIM! YOUR BREATH WILL SEAR YOUR LUNGS AND YOU WILL LOSE THIS BATTLE RELIC! THAT IS THE PRICE FOR MY HONOR VAL!

VAL – (struggling to focus) You………damned………cheater………ughhhhh I won’t lose to ughhhh you.

EFFACE – Then we are in agreement…THE BATTLE HAS BEGUN!

Not giving Val so much as warning, Efface cracks Val’s skull with the middle of his saber hilt, bringing his foot to pin Val to the floor, lunging his saber straight down to stab him through and end the game quickly. Val having been trained in various forms of combat, grabbing Efface’s foot prying it off his chest, rolling away just as Efface’s blade slices into the floor, Efface drawing his saber back, tries to get a cheap shot in on Val as he tries to stand, aiming to take off his head. Val hearing the humming location of the saber, brings Obi Wan’s saber blade slamming under the blade, then back down to counter Efface, as his bottom blade comes to attack from below where his upper blade was previously. Val sends a inward, diagonal stash down towards Efface’s thigh, as Efface spins his blade 360 degrees to deflect the blade away, sending a kick to Val’s head, Val moving with the momentum and the force hurls his body in a 360 degree spin, whipping back with catlike agility landing on his feet, bringing his saber back to bare on Efface, his lungs started to burn as Efface had predicted, vision blurring occasionally in and out of focus.

Val sends an upper slash towards Efface as Efface counters with a rising forward counter, his orange blade colliding off of Val’s blue saber in flashes of light, which didn’t help Val struggling to focus too much, Efface knowing this instigating more strobe light effects with each slash to Val’s saber, lightning fast from the top and bottom of his dual blades, to confuse Val to the point of making a fatal mistake. Val had focused his force abilities away from his attacks now, having to go on the defensive as he predicted the course of Efface’s strikes, letting the force flow through his veins, guiding his saber to counter each lighting fast flurry of attacks. The more Efface dealt out, the more it was sent back into his general direction from Val’s meditative like blocks. Efface was shocked to see that Val wasn’t even following his moves with his eyes anymore, Val was staring like a zombie into space, as his hands seemed to just know exactly where to counter Efface’s every move.

Efface decides on a new strategy backing away; spinning around so that Val is facing to the north and he the south, concluding that taking a new position would knock Val’s concentrated efforts off kilter. Efface’s strategy seemed to work as Val had to leap away from oncoming attacks rather then deflect them with his saber, but it wasn’t long before Val had re-adapted to the new locations and was once again “blindly” deflecting Efface’s attacks once more.

EFFACE – IT ISN’T POSSIBLE! HOW IN VADER’S NAME DO YOU DO THAT!

VAL – It’s called skill…

Efface spins into a stunning 180 degree twirl, his cloak whipping around with his movements, as his shimmering orange blades arch with vibrant light into a slash with his lower end of his dual saber. Val instinctively counters with a forward diagonal counter, turning his saber towards the floor, then back up to block Efface as his saber spins to the opposite direction, back and forth in a series of eight revolutions, in under a few seconds, both fighters deflect their blows with remarkable precision. Efface turns his saber into an upper swing, as Val performs a two handed horizontal counter.

Efface’s scorching hot blades spin 360 degrees again, countering three successive upper and lower arched swings towards him, Efface now having been driven almost against a operations consul, with two twin generators on either side, aligned along the left side of the complex. Isis kept her own against The Killian warriors still trying to breach her defenses, but her body soon showed signs of fatigue as her defensive blocks soon grew slower and slower. As Val’s vision faded back to crystal clarity momentarily, he could see her time was running out and that this battle with Efface was taking much longer then it should ever have, his eyes craning back to Efface, narrowed.

VAL – Now Evil One…Lord Efface…we end this!

EFFACE – I whole-heartedly agree!

Val sends a one handed swing up towards Efface’s shoulder in which Efface counters, sending his saber downward, but being against the console unit behind him his options start to slip away from him, his 360 degree movements were cut to a 180 degree revolution, only able to attack from the front and the front only, having been pinned from evading the wall either left or right. Val keep coming faster and faster, his saber swings grew into hammering strikes upon Efface’s saber. Efface could feel the intensity as his blade sputtered and crackled against Obi Wan’s saber, he could feel the rage being unleashed as his saber hilt shook with violent vibrations, felt all the way through his gloves. Efface had to do something fast, sending a kick to Val’s stomach, knocking him back a bit, Efface brought his saber down in a stabbing motion towards Val’s head. Val quickly sidestepped away, twirling his body around to slash his deadly vibrant blur saber cross Efface’s back. Efface swiftly arched his hands back, aligning the dual saber vertical along his back, catching Val’s blade on the upper orange length of it.

As Val’s blade was forced upward, Efface spun around for the killing blow, knowing Val’s arm would be up in the air to control the speed of his saber hurling upward. What Efface didn’t see until it was too late was that Val had leaped back towards the wall, then away to the left of it, sending Efface’s shimmering orange blade straight through the center of the console as it exploded in a shower of metal and flaming debris. The flash from the explosion erupting from the damaged console was enough to distract Efface from Val, that Val tossed Obi Wan’s ignited saber up into the air, using the force to guide its path streaking upward a series of ten stories, while taking his hand slipping it above Efface’s chest, pushing him back, as Efface’s saber withdrew from the wall, long enough for Val to grab Efface’s arm, and with both hands, standing to the left of him, hurl his body right into the wall with a sharp jerk forward, face first, while keeping clear of Efface’s saber hilt which was aligned vertical, flush with the wall, the blades had extinguished from Efface’s lapse of concentration. Val’s saber now hurling back down as gravity took a hold of it.

Efface spins back around, pinned against the wall as he re-ignites the menacing duel bladed unit again holding his dual saber in front of him with both hands, just in time for Val to catch his saber in his own hand and spin around, standing straight in front of him, Efface preparing to continue his assault.

Val only gives him a small grin stepping back, before he channels the force into a force leap, aiming his saber in front of him between Efface’s legs lunging forward into a menacing uppercut, the blade with the aid of his leap, shears into the wall, and straight up. The rising motion, causes Val’s blade to sever through Efface’s groin, on up through his two coupled saber hilts as the coupling device parts with a tiny flurry of sparks, carrying on further through his abdomen, clear up through his neck and skull. Val’s accent rises up in a reverse direction of what he had done to stop his fall from the turbolift, leaving a white hot, bubbling trail of metal oozing down the wall and on to the two halves of Efface, that fall to the left and right, his dual sabers hitting the floor with a metallic clink, before extinguishing like his life…

Into their darkness of their shrouds...

Val’s feet kick off the wall as he flips backward, flinging back down towards the floor below, his legs outstretched landing with a thud, bending his knees into the impact, slowly rising back up to his feet, his saber held in both hands shifting his eyes towards the two Killian warriors who have ceased their attack on Isis, standing in silent awe…

VAL – (glaring towards the two warriors) Who’s next….

One Killain warrior spins around behind Isis. Using the blunt end of his saber he cracks her over the head with it, stunning her long enough for the other Killian warrior to draw a syringe from a compartment in his belt, injecting her arm quickly squeezing the plunger to its extent, before the two dash out the door, as Isis’s body suddenly falls limp to the floor.

VAL –ARGH DAMN IT NO!!!!!!!
 

EXTERIOR: TABANNOPLIS – LANDING PLATFORM

Val quickly gives chase, heading out the doorway to a massive landing pad, as his vision begins to blur again, more severely then before, turning his view of color into shades of gray, and objects into negative forms, as he searches for the two warriors. The two Killian warriors leap from the archway above him and tackle Val to the floor, one making a upwards jerking motion, before dashing off towards what appears to be their death, nothing in their pathway but the burning atmosphere of Bespin.

As Val gets up to his feet, he shakes his head and runs back in to the Bespin facility and extinguishes his lightsaber, clipping it back to the left side of his belt, picking up Isis in his arms, carrying her from the building as she lay unconscious, and deathly limp. He looked into her face and memories of Gen, and other females he had either failed to save or were taken from him began to pour through his mind, but he brushed them off dashing off towards his Howlrunner with Isis’s body in his grasp.

The Killian warriors were waiting for something, standing still looking out into the regions of Bespin’s cloudy atmosphere. Val didn’t know exactly what they were doing or waiting for, quite frankly he didn’t care he had had enough of their games for the day, dashing towards his Howlrunner “Nemesis”.

As Val neared the ship, he had figured out what it was The Killian were waiting for, stopping short of his ship as it suddenly burst into flames, exploding into a shower of deadly metallic shrapnel, Val having Isis in his arms ducking behind a rising column as his prized possession met a fiery end on the landing pad, sections of armor plating useless as they landed with a clang and clutter upon the landing dock deck.

VAL – DAMN YOU PEOPLE! DON’T YOU EVER GIVE UP!

The Killain warriors smile, as they see their ship arrive…or rather decloak. The very same Sith Infiltrator that had appeared shortly before Malcom’s death had arrived to carry its troops home. The back hatch opened as a ramp lowered. The two surviving Killain fighters slithered into the recesses of the ship as the doors closed and the engines roared with a green luminescent light.

As Val tried to approach the ship, the shockwave of the ship taking off knocked him back, sending Isis hurling hard into this chest, his fingers struggling to hold on to her. Scowling as the Sith Infiltrator roared off into hyperspace, Val was more concerned about how he was going to get off this crazy station, he knew the good people of Tibannopolis would demand money for the repairs to their facility from his battles with The Killian and claims of, “But they started it.” wouldn’t work against them either.

Val’s answer came as he looked over the edge of the landing platform, as a Marauder Corvette rose from below into view, hovering as a hatch opened on the side of the craft, a ramp lowering to Val’s feet as he gazed up at the medium sized capitol ship, unsure if he should leave his surroundings with a stranger.

However the logo he saw attached to the side of the Marauder’s wing gave him all the assurance he needed, for it was the very same logo of a figure with both purple and blue triangular shapes extending to the left and right, bathed in a background of black, with a “V” behind it, he recognized as the emblem of Versai Tech.

Without further hesitation he slowly made his way up the ramp, the poison had infected his balance and his judgment and with Isis in his arms, he had to take it slow. A figure appeared from the top of the opened hatch, walking down to assist him in the same attire Malcom was dressed in, sans the VP plate along his chest.

Val could instantly tell it was a woman, who she was, was still a mystery but in his current condition he didn’t have time to ask questions, curling his lips in thought to address the issue later, following the strange woman up the ramp into the belly of the Marauder Corvette.

VAL – (panting, exhausted) Who are…are…you…?

VT REP – That’s not too important right now Sir, right now we need to get you and this girl to safety, I’m sure those people here are going to be pissed you wrecked their buildings.

VAL – How did you know I wrecked their buildings?

VT REP – (laughs) The word at VT is that when you show up, things get broken.

Val – (sarcastic laugh) HA HA VERY Funny…(cuts off)

Val begins to feel the full effects of the poison in his bloodstream, having fended off Efface in a truly exhausting battle, and with carrying the full body weight of Isis, his body was screaming enough was enough, even the force was strained to its limits on his failing frame. Val collapses to one knee, then to both, using his hands to hold himself up, feeling his body shutting down as the VT Rep grabs a med kit scanning Val. The screen reveals the cause of his illness, quickly preparing to inject the proper antidote into Val’s bloodstream, Val’s eyes glaring up at the needle as part of him shrinks back, tumbling down, supporting himself with his other hand now, using both to try to stay awake and focused.

VAL – I…I hate…need…les (passes out)

As Val passes out, the VT Rep calls some medical droids to carry Val to the med bay quickly, and then she looks to Isis and has them do the same. Both Val and Isis are taken to separate med labs, as the droids remove their clothing/armor and get them changed into temporary medical outfits, hooking them both up to machines to regulate their progress…
 

~10 HOURS LATER~
 

INTERIOR: MARAUDER CORVETTE – MED LAB

After ten hours of sleep and recuperation, Val looks around the medical bay, stumbling from the cold steel table, walking towards the hallway of the ship leading to the cockpit. Though a bit rubbery on his feet, Val is for the most part fully healed as his body has purged the venom from within it, the force helping immensely with its nifty “detoxify poison” technique.

Val reaches the cockpit, looking into the eyes of the VT Rep who saved him. Her eyes are green with jet-black hair. The VT uniform hugging her hips extends from the suit coat wrapped around her shoulders, down to the matching slacks, as she looks to Val with a smile.

VAL – Who are you?

VT REP – The name is Adna

VAL – Ad…na? What you don’t look like you’re eighty.

ADNA – No, no, Sir it’s pronounced Ah-de-na.

VAL – (rubs his temples sitting in a chair next to her) Whatever…

ADNA – I see your back to your charming self.

VAL – (raises an eyebrow) Have we met?

ADNA – I don’t think we have Sir. After the attack on you and Malcom, the good people of Versai Tech sent me to keep an eye on you and from what I can tell not a second too soon.

VAL – Remind me to give you and them a big raise…So they sent you to watch me? Why? They think I can’t handle my own company or something?

ADNA – No sir not at all. May I call you Val? Sir is so impersonal.

VAL – Go ahead knock yourself out.

ADNA – Well Val, you were the victim of poisoning. While your version of poisoning is common, umm it’s not the same case for Isis.

VAL – Oh? Do tell…

ADNA – You see while your infection is known, hers is not. I don’t know how to heal her brand of poisoning and I don’t even know its effects! It’s not in any of the medical logs and I have VT working on it as we speak.

VAL – Ugh, you better leave orbit then and plot a course for VT Headquarters, I have a feeling I’ll have to find new ways to motivate them in their tasks, as of late they have been waaaaaaay behind the times with me.

ADNA – Understood Val, it’s nice to see you’re back to your old self again.

VAL – (nods) It’s nice to just be IN ONE PIECE unlike Lord Efface, Adna. You have no idea how much of a crappy day this has been for me. Remind me to avoid turbolifts for awhile.

ADNA – Who is Lord Efface? and turbolifts? Why?

Val shoots Adna a glance of “don’t go there”; reclining in the soft, lush padding of his chair. Listening too the soothing hum of the MARC’s engines as the view screen shows a blanket of stars around him, the ship breaking the atmosphere of Bespin’s gravity.
 

CONCLUSION

Val looks down to his shirt, seeing he’s been stripped of his armor and his usual battle attire aside from his combat utility belt, where Obi Wan’s second lightsaber hung upon his left hip. Gazing to the luxurious black attire he was wrapped in now, akin to a Jedi Knight’s attire glancing  from his left hip to his right hip

Then it stuck him…

Picturing The Killian running into the Sith Infiltrator, his mind concentrated on a shiny black sparkle from one of their hands….

It was then he realized what it was The Killian were after all along, it wasn’t Isis and it wasn’t his company, it wasn’t money, it wasn’t blackmail. But why he didn’t understand but there with the absence of his prized possession he finally understood what Efface was blundering on about….

They had come only to seize something valuable from HIM directly because what they wanted was not at the Versai Tech facilities they invaded. It had all made sense now! They wanted something more precious then gold, silver, titanium, or any denomination of credits. Something one of a kind, something that could never be replicated…

Glancing to his RIGHT hip he noticed that Gen Zeridian’s Personal Lightsaber…

Was gone…
 
 


(what does this mean?)
 

TO BE CONTINUED...

What happens when you run a Star Wars based "gauntlet" with lightsabers and force powers?

...Stay tuned.
 

**END OF CHAPTER FOUR**
 
 

[ Back to Main Story Page I To Chapter V ]


 

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