(part II)

"Grant my clauses in the contract without question and yes, we have a deal."


Slowly the image of Lon gazing into the last empty case fades away, sweeping to a close, while another image begins to unfold of a darkly lit, vast chamber where the only source of light streams through the exposed portion of a semi completely roof. This location of course is now recognized from its half constructed gantries, terraces, and walkways to be the prototype haven for Quillion. Inside this chamber of darkness, bathed on slight hues of cool blues and deep purples, there is a set of hollowed, crude skeletal beam like stairs leading to a semi finished dais where Quillion would have sat, for the moment the main throne chair is turned so only the back of it faces our view, but what can be noticed gazing down to the crude, steel rivet construction is a pair of black boots…this chair is occupied.

Without warning the silence of the cold steel fitted room is broken, as three robes figures, followed by the recognizable slightly hunched stature, yet razor sharp clawed visage of Skel enters the room. Held between two of the robed warriors, is the hunter from the Adega invasion, still wearing the severely damaged Scout Trooper/Mandalorian armor, which now barely clings to a jagged, torn, and the outright shredded remains of his black body glove under suit. Some dried blood is noticed along his thighs and arms, and the wooden splinters that were previously driven into his forearm are now removed and wrapped up most likely due to some medical procedures aboard the archaic MARC, controlled by what remained of The Killian fleet.

The hunter breathes evenly, less fatigued then he was upon the beachside where Skel had commanded his colleagues to bring him to this place. The hunter’s eyes roam the dark corridors of the half finished interior; trying to search for possible escape points should things turn less then pleasant.

A voice, that is Jenner’s booms from the dais where the main seat remains focused with the back to the hunter’s eyes.

JENNER – (echoes, unseen) I spent a great deal of my time examining that place…months of planning you see, to uncover all of the defenses and artillery of “Adega” as it has been named. In one night, ONE NIGHT you squandered our efforts.

The hunter smiles softly behind his mask, he didn’t really care much for the décor much less anyone who owned this scrap yard excuse for a living space. However his apparent sense of danger triggered from Jenner’s words. Laced with aggravation, it didn’t take a protocol droid to figure out that things were either going to get very brief in an “execution” sense or very heated.

Before the orange and red assailant can formulate an escape plan, Jenner’s voice continues.

JENNER – However…You have proven to be quite resourceful haven’t you? You see rare hunter I have found a great deal of interest in you, which is the ONLY reason you still breathe. Do not cloud your thoughts with dreams of escape; I assure you there is none.

HUNTER – (mechanized) I’ve little time for theatrics, get to the point.

JENNER – (grins) Ah a man of business, I respect that. Of course then it leads me to consider what business have you with Lance Jade?

HUNTER – I wasn’t after Jade, I snapped him like a twig. He means nothing to me. My “business” was with the girl.

Jenner clasps his hands together as he sits on his steel gray, metallic throne. His eyes, well we could say normally functioning “eye” narrows to a slit, while his mechanical red eye also achieves the same synthetic function to narrow to a liner red slit. Jenner closes his eyes and draws on the force, trying to delve deeper into the mystery of this figure’s ambitions.

HUNTER – (grins) If you are trying to get into my head, you’re going to have to come down here and take off my helmet, you will find it is well formulated against your “magical” abilities.

JENNER – (smiles sadistically) Clever, very clever. You are rare indeed. I can’t probe your mind obviously so I will simply as you “nicely” but one time. What is your business with Sara Versai?

The hunter scowls towards the two reptilian Ssi Ruuk who keep his arms spread, straight to his sides, as he glances upwards to the throne then back to the creatures. His eyes narrow behind his cracked mask which flickers in static distress; making his vision even more limited by its half-functioning visual abilities. He’s faced with a dilemma. If this talented bounty hunter chooses to take advantage of seeing every detail of his surroundings with his sight, he will have to remove his helmet and compromise his ability to block Jenner from looking into his mind.

With this stalemate in place, the hunter figures that if need be he could go down fighting either way, he had survived odds like this before and with his extensive military background he had the power to take advantage of even the highest odds stacked against him.

HUNTER – Come down off your perch birdie and I will tell you what you wish to know.

Jenner growls under his breath, tightening his left synthetic hand as his body no longer shows in any portion, save for his face. Between the time of his reconstruction and this moment he had decided to pursue the path sought out by Anakin Skywalker when he ceased to be human and embraced his mechanical prowess as Darth Vader. Jenner had crafted his new attire similar in style to Vader, but he possessed angular sweeping “V” like arched gantlets. The same pattern echoed in his boots as well. Along his chest he did share one major connection with the Dark Lord of the Sith, even with all the advancement in technology he had the same make, although not the exact model of Vader’s illuminated chest plate, complete with blinking red lights and buttons.

All of this was woven into a black leather material, not in the weave pattern of Dark Vader’s attire but rather closer to the details of Lon Wol’s “ribbed” black pattern, which ran entirely through Jenner’s covered arms, and likewise ran down the outer thighs of his pants. The inner thighs of Jenner’s pants were smooth black leather.

JENNER – I suppose if we are to co-exist under the same roof, I should show you one measure of trust. I will grant your request but know this…you may not be prepared for what you are about to see and once you do, you can never leave here outside of my ranks alive.

Jenner then, finally spins his chair around slowly, standing to his feet as he clenches his gloved hands tight and begins to descend the stair case where only his illuminated chest plate, his red eye, and some light sweeping along the outer edges of his lustrous gauntlets and boots emerge. His face and most of his body is still covered in a hideous black void, a dark silhouette that is terrifying to any who gaze up on it. As Jenner looms closer, reaching the bottom of the staircase, pacing at his leisure towards the hunter, the guards that hold him securely suddenly release their hold and scurry into the shadows, far away from Jenner’s proximity.

HUNTER – You might scare these overgrown lizards “Dark Lord” but I am not so easily disturbed.

Jenner paces, eye to eye with the hunter, swiftly removing his hood back to show the metallic structure of his artificial skull, revealed to the light cascading above from a full moon lit night. While the right side of his face reveals his full identity to his guest, leaving nothing to the imagination as to Jenner’s battle scars.

HUNTER – (a bit cautious now) Congratulations whoever you are, your face has officially disgusted me.

Jenner scowls again, grabbing the hunter by the throat in a lighting quick motion, but he slowly releases his grip, remembering that he cannot exactly blame the man for his lack of respect. After all if Jenner were put in his place me might have similar feelings. That is if he were still human.

JENNER – As easily as I could snap your neck for such insults hunter, I didn’t bring you here for this mindless contest of superiority.

The hunter stands firm in Jenner’s face and adjusts his helmet, until it is in alignment, looking eye to eye through his cracked mask, while Jenner’s brown eye and red eye glare in a competition of who will flinch first. Two powerful men in the eyes of the more timid Ssi Ruuk who occupy the shadows of the room, their race preferring to send others to handle their combative needs and not so much groomed for personal combat which gave Jenner complete dictatorship over all but one, Skel being the most intelligent of the species.

HUNTER – (glaring) Who are you?

JENNER – No, I am the leader here. You will answer my question first. I have been generous granting your request. Tell me what your business with Sara Versai is?

The hunter curls its fist and turns its back on Jenner a moment, looking down, mirroring the arrogance that Jenner showed him by giving him the same treatment, keeping his back turned as he answers Jenner’s inquiries, but carefully as to not give away too much of his true identity.

HUNTER – Call me Skorne. Secondly, I have unfinished business with the one named Valaryc Versai.

JENNER – (raises a brow) Unfinished business you say? Ah I see…to get to him you planned on going through his sister. Then I assume you have not heard the news have you?

SKORNE – What news?

JENNER – About five months ago, in a climatic showdown with my predecessor Lord Quillion, Valaryc Versai destroyed most of our civilization. In that chaos my Master was able to plunge Valaryc Versai into a coma where since then he has remained.

SKORNE – Do not underestimate my methods of deduction. I am aware of these events. I do not know however where Valaryc is being protected, so I figured killing his sister might yield some new information.

Jenner paces across the room a moment, spinning back on one heel as a wicked grin spreads on his face, a smile that echoes Cire’s demonic contortion when he knows he has something he could use against his opponent to bend his will.

SKORNE – (growls) We had a bargain remember?

Jenner gravitates towards Skorne then walks up to him calmly and nods somberly.

JENNER – The name is Jenner…Lord Jenner and I have a mission for you.

Skorne looks around the throne room and then glances back towards Jenner. For the first time, he falls silent, short of a quick remark because in his quest to locate Val, Skorne had kept close tabs on his positions, from his re-emergence at Mos Espa, to his duel on Tabbanopolis, all the way through the invasion upon the Versai Mansion on to the final showdown on Xyquine.

What irked him though was he also knew of the limited details released by Versai Tech about the mole in the company being discovered and terminated by Lance Jade. Jenner was that mole, along with Tula An. Skorne’s resources had recorded any intelligence information that was possibly available, and then things started to make sense. Jenner wasn’t truly dead that was obvious it also came into focus that Jenner had some how rebuilt his body and here now, was seeking out his services. With this realization, Skorne decided to better achieve his own goals of locating Valaryc; he would play this Sith Lord’s game and let him believe that he was so easily swayed to declare his allegiance for clearly Jenner knew something he did not.

SKORNE – Why would I possibly be interested in doing business with you?

Jenner clasps his hands behind his back, striding across the onyx black floor paneling that reflected the same used in Quillion’s final throne room, grinning broadly as he arrogantly reveled in luring Skorne closer and closer to his grasp.

JENNER – Because we have a common trait.

SKORNE – What might that be?

JENNER – Revenge Bounty Hunter…Revenge.

Skorne paces closer to Jenner, staring through his mask, seeing how easily Jenner slips into his hand. Both men tried to control the other in this moment of bargaining, neither had the superior bargaining position obviously and both seemed to believe they had the other right where they wanted them but that is what allowed these two to co-exist with their stubborn need to be in control, they both were blinded by their own arrogance, truly with that trait they also both shared another common bond…villainy.

SKORNE – You are correct Lord Jenner. I do seek vengeance against Valaryc Versai and anyone who is involved with him. He stole my life, now I will take his.

Momentarily distracted; Jenner takes full advantage snatching off Skorne’ helmet with blinding speed and clever skill. Skorne quickly tries to take it back, far too late to react exposing his true face. Both men stand
silent for a instant before Jenner breaks the silence, running his fingers along the metallic portions of his face, while gazing to Skorne’s own facial details which are to say the least, unpleasant to view.

JENNER – We are not so different then are we Skorne? We both understand the need to wear a mask…to shield our imperfect images. May I ask what happened to your face?

SKORNE – The product of betrayal. That is all I will speak of it.

Skorne snaps his hands forward grabbing his mask from Jenner, putting it back over his face shielding his identity once more. Jenner is amused by this revelation, because now he knew a significant part of Skorne’s true identity. He of course did not yet have the full picture, he knew that this stranger’s mannerisms, goals, and physical change was contributed to something with Val’s actions in the past.

Jenner could have easily read every memory in Skorne’s mind while his helmet was off, but that you see is the problem with being Jenner in a position of power. Due to his own arrogance of being the strongest, most powerful existing Dark Lord left in the galaxy…at least this part of it, Jenner does not think to take advantage of the momentary weakness. Instead consumed by being content with knowing that now Skorne and Jenner can no longer afford to part from one another for the sake of their secret existences , the time for greeting and breaking the ice was past, now it was time to get down to business.

JENNER – Neither one of use can afford to part company now, therefore here is my proposition. I know where Valaryc Versai is being kept; I also know the specific layout of his location. I even know his exact room number.

SKORNE – I assume there is a point to this babbling?

JENNER – (growls) THE POINT SKORNE…is that I can give you Valaryc Versai on a silver platter, but I need two things in return.

Jenner smiles and regains his composure as he paces back up the stairs and sits down upon his throne, looking down to Skorne who strides, confidentially towards the edge of the staircase, tilting his mask upward to give Jenner his full attention.

JENNER – You must understand  in this line of work, my Master had few rules for his organization. Only one man shall lead The Killian and that one man, is the one who holds the only symbol of power within it.

SKORNE – If you tell me it’s a royal scepter, I’m going to lose my lunch.

JENNER – No, what I require is my previous leader’s Sith Sword being kept in a secured location. It is the one element of The Killian faction that can never be broken. Bring me his sword and I will give you everything that you desire. I want the authentic sword, Quillion took measures to construct cheap decoys to avoid his theft of the true sword.

Skorne looks skyward, then around his surroundings from one computer console to the other, until his eyes fall upon a singular item of interest. There in the shadows, he can make out a glint of transparasteel that connects to a large cylinder base. Within this case is a semi complete set of armor, belonging to the infamous Bounty Hunter cut down on Geonosis during the Clone Wars named Jango Fett.

Jenner can see, just in the rare hunter’s body language that he is intrigued by the relic encased within the transparent glass like structure. Grinning broadly once more, he runs his fingers under the base of his chin and continues speaking from his throne.

JENNER – Yes…you want that don’t you? Does it interest you Skorne? Ah! But of course it does, you Bounty Hunters share a distinct interest in Mandalorian design.

Skorne traces his fingers along the glass, looking at the details of the semi-complete suit. There was much carbon scoring on the breastplate, and the flight jacket under suit was torn in several locations. The gloves and boots were also missing from the garb, but there was the original helmet worn by Jango Fett at one time or another, and for the most part even though the color scheme didn’t match Skorne’s likings, finding blue and silver a bit too “flight attended” mimicking a Starspeeder 3000, often used for touring ventures.

SKORNE – I care not for the design much less the color, I do however see great potential value.

Jenner paces over to Skorne standing shoulder to shoulder with him, looking into the glass as they both stare to what remains of Jango Fett’s personal battle armor. This suit bares the same damage attained during Jango’s battle with Obi Wan Kenobi on the rain drenched platform of Kamino. The armor Jango Fett was decapitated in was the latter of two produced sets of armor, for Jango knew well that one suit would never stand the test of time. This much is known, the property by right of leadership belongs to Jenner but the items were originally retrieved by Skel whom took pleasure in owning cherished treasures from the past. In his extensive collection, Skel had gained possession of several historical items through the canon of republic history, specifically the Clone War and Rebellion eras. Skel was a shrewd dealer in antiquities and he had proven that everyone and everything had a price. However these items were deemed far more valuable then Jango Fett’s Kamino battle suit and thus were kept elsewhere, far below the throne room level.

JENNER – (gazing in the case) Close this deal Skorne and it is yours to do with as you desire.

Skorne takes off his damaged red gloves, tracing his fingers down the surface of the glass, looking greedily into the case through his helmet. With a snap of his wrists he rips off the damaged Scout Trooper helmet and tosses it to the ground, then returns his gaze back to the case to look upon the suit with his true vision.

Jenner grins broadly, this time however it weaves into his mind to take advantage of Skorne’s mesmerizing stare at the armor configuration before him. Jenner calls upon the dark side of the force, trying to scan through Skorne’s mind, but to his surprise, even with the helmet off, Skorne is able to block him. Skorne glances towards Jenner a moment as Jenner quickly diverts his gaze.

SKORNE – Don’t even think about it, I am aware of your mystical abilities and I assure you that I know how to counter each one of them.

JENNER – (shrugs) I do apologize, it is my nature to know everything. Do we have a deal?


Jenner gasps a moment, turning sharply towards Skorne, trying to cool his steadily rising anger. For Jenner he needed Skorne’s abilities simply because although Jenner could invade Versai Tech with a small fleet, he knew very little about how to move about the interior undetected in his present form. When he was human, Jenner had the Killian togs and the technology and mobility to move around stealthily but with his body dependent upon mechanics and not merely his brain, his ability to handle the situation was now hindered. Added to this fact, VT assumed for all intents and purposes he was dead, having found and placed around his neck Cire’s force masking amulet revealed in the time of Revelation, his force signature was absent from detection anywhere in the galaxy.

Still it irked him that he wasn’t able to close the deal with this hunter so easily. For Jenner had swallowed his pride on more then one occasion, extending more patience then he had ever shown anyone else, including his loyal servant Skel. Then again Jenner was in control of The Killian and he viewed the Ssi Ruuk too incompetent to handle any real mission of importance, for they lacked the killer instinct and raw emotionless void that a Bounty Hunter shows to his prey.

JENNER – (takes a deep breath) What more do you require?

Skorne neglected to wait a moment longer, showing how resourceful he is, reaching into a compartment on his belt, pulling out a small hand held device, running it over a security locking apparatus on the case. In seconds the latch opens, allowing Skorne full access to the armor as he pulls out each piece, tossing them to the floor, seeing what really interests him most, grabbing the helmet, examining its now, outdated technology.

SKORNE – I require access to all of your electronic equipment, drills, metal presses, electronic store houses, armory, and fabrication departments. I demand full access to anywhere on the grounds, complete freedom to take what I need to complete the mission.

JENNER – Then we have a deal?

SKORNE – Grant my clauses in the contract without question and yes, we have a deal.

Jenner smiled wickedly as Skorne roamed through the various portions of Jango Fett’s armor, inspecting the damage done to the armor plating, seeming to size up mentally the abilities of each device, tracing his fingers over a button as he presses it, instantly shooting out blades in the gauntlets, the same blades that Jango once used to prevent himself from sliding off the roof of the cloning dock back on Kamino against Obi Wan Kenobi. Jenner found the request insulting, how dare some failed Bounty Hunter allow him full access to all of his secrets? It has taken a considerable amount of money and time to rebuild what little resources The Killian had acquired and yet this idiot wanted full access? It occurred to Jenner for a moment he could try to find another way to achieve his goals and strike Skorne down at this very moment for such ridiculous demands, Jenner was not a giving man. However being a leader he did show continued restrain wagering that Skorne already had one advantage over any other foreign hired assassin.

Skorne had a hatred for Valaryc Versai, if Jenner played his cards right he could kill several birds with one stone. He would have his Sith Sword back in his possession, Valaryc Versai would be no more and he would also possess the second item Jenner was hoping to attain, a sample of VT’s latest experiment, closely guarded and known only as “Project Reflect.”

JENNER – (swallowing his anger) Done…Take all that you need.

SKORNE – Also everything used in the mission belongs to me after the contract is completed.

JENNER – If you complete your mission in full Skorne, what you use will mean nothing to me.

SKORNE – Good.

Jenner curls his hand into a tightly balled fist at being “told” what he can and cannot have, but again patience was a virtue he was learning he had to pursue to complete his own selfish goals. Should he attain a sample of “Project Reflect” he could amass himself a bigger advantage over VT then Cire had accomplished with Luxor Armor.

Skorne signals to the two robed Ssi Ruuk in the shadows to approach him with a confident wave of his hand. Without question having heard what their Master Jenner had granted the man, they fear Jenner’s wrath having seen others less fortunate fall before them.

SKORNE – I will be reviewing your weapons and armor salvos. See that I am not disturbed as I prefer to prepare for my missions in solitude. I intend to improve this prehistoric technology and fashion some personal weaponry of my own.

JENNER – (nods) All will be done to your satisfaction, providing you do not renege on our bargain.

SKORNE – (nods back) I am a man of my word, of that you can be sure. After I have attained the proper equipment, then and only then do I want the full details of the assignment verbally given. For the moment however, I only desire to know one thing.

JENNER – Speak of it.

SKORNE – I wish to know the location of Valaryc Versai.

Jenner paces inches from Skorne’s ear and whispers into it.

JENNER – (whispers) Tulaab - Versai Tech Medical Ward 227.

SKORNE – (grins) Send the full readouts of the location to my quarters which I am certain you will see I am provided. I want to know everything about the room, its defenses, and its outer parameter. No surprises.

Jenner nods slowly, as Skorne nods back and gestures with one of his fingers for the two Ssi Ruuk carrying the bits of Jango Fett’s armor to follow him, pacing through an entry way, where the two dual doors that would enclose the throne room lay against a wall, never placed into position.

SKORNE – (turns back) I mean it Jenner, make sure I am aware of all the occupants and their abilities.

While Jenner watches Skorne walk out, he quickly paces back up the stairs to his dais, sitting in his throne clasping his fingers together, closing his eyes as he looks forward through narrowed natural and artificial slits.

JENNER – (speaking to himself) Enjoy yourself Skorne, bask in what is feels like to be in power. There will come a day very soon where you will no longer hold any meaning to me. HAHAHAHAHAH

Jenner burst into a maniacal laughter that is laced with human and electronic reverberation, arching back into his throne with a wide smile. Mentally Jenner begins to plan out his battle strategies in advance, looking to a control panel along his right hand, tapping a keyboard, recording his thoughts in an electronic log in an outline format, from what he expects to happen when Skorne is sent on his mission to AFTER its conclusion.

Skel watches through a view port of the room, deep in the shadows, scowling under his breath as he sees his precious artifact given away to the stranger. His yellowish catlike iris narrows in anger, glaring to his minions surrounding him.

SKEL – Watch thisss stranger. Question Jenner’s actionsss we must, reckless he has become. Our presence have we protected for many a time. In jeopardy he has placed usss. Arrogance is never a trait that hasss preserved our freedom my followers.

Skel gestures with his clawed digits for three of his best men, well reptilian subjects to exit the room and keep close tabs on their chosen “leader”. Since he had come into power, Jenner had consistently demanded full ownership and privilege to sensitive Killian secrets, from bases of operations to storage houses, which was his right as leader, what Skel questioned was the lack of respect given to himself and his men…that Jenner boastfully made it clear how powerful and pre-ordained he was to be followed without question, making his minions his slaves rather then his trusted regime.

Skel believed that The Killian were led by a single leader, but they were held together but a unified structure of command, offering checks and balances from one rank to the next. Jenner came in from his rebuilt period and demanded that the delicate balance Skel had believed in and had kept this section of The Killian alive, be broken down immediately and that every soul in this “palace” would bow to his will. Ownership and individuality were forbidden, even for Skel though Jenner let the infraction slide at the cost of his invasion and thefts of Skel’s precious relics.

Skel raked his claws into the side of a metal wall, scoring the metal with a flickering of sparks, knowing well Jenner probably heard it but wouldn’t care. With his eyes transfixed on his “leader”, Skel recognized behavioral patterns, he was the smartest of the Ssi Ruuk and what he profiled Jenner with was a continued display of growing overconfidence and superiority.

By their very nature, Ssi Ruuk were not warriors, they didn’t openly combat anyone they had others do their bidding for them. This is why Skel chose to have his trusted advisors track Jenner’s actions where he could not. Still Jenner was the Leader and as leader, Skel had vowed to carry out his previous Leader’s wishes, in gratitude for the gifts Quillion had given him…access to relics of the past and allowed to have a sole sense of individuality in The Killian ranks, before Jenner ever entered the picture…Skel was Quillion’s right hand man, prior to the completion of The Killian Citadel.


Slipping away from the dismal interiors of “Site B”, the scene ripples into a blanket of sunlight, lush greenery, and of course the glittering ivory white exteriors of the Versai Mansion, towering above anything in its surrounding, leading a circular pathway to the restored main fountain of slanted crystalline architecture one mired and outright devastated by Crymson Vachon in her brutal fight against Val, months ago when the mansion was under siege.

Moving from the fountain over to an artificially shaped path of trees reaching the heavens, converging to a single point, making a “V” from above we can see Foe Raker and Lon Wol standing before a odd series of objects that seem to blend in with the surrounding environment, not constructed of the same patterns you would find in a spaceport or home setting.

Foe stands upon a wooden plank walkway, where there are three, roughly 50 gallon sized wooden barrels spaced evenly apart about two feet from one another, in sequential order along the wooden walkway, where hanging two feet from the last barrel there is a suspended sheet of  thick wood secured by chains hanging from a primitive series of beams. Two feet from that there is another setup of the same exactly design except hung is a thicker sheet of metal, with several dents placed into it, far from perfect condition.

LON – You want me to do WHAT????

FOE – Did I stutter boy?

Foe walks over to the first barrel, looking down into it to see his reflection in a pool of water, before pacing down to the second barrel, which contains sand. Moving with one arm draped along his back to the third barrel that contains shredded pieces of broken glass, shimmering multifaceted reflections upon the serious visage of Foe’s eyes while he casts a glance to the wood and steel hung devices before craning his brown eyes back towards Lon, keeping his eyes transfixed in a serious look as his muscles bulge a bit, jutting outward from his sleeveless tank top garment.

LON – This is a joke right?

FOE – Do I look like I am joking Lon?  I told you I was going to give you your shot at greatness. You either start taking this seriously or I’m going to lock you in the Powerhouse on its highest setting and let you call out to whatever force spirit you think can save you.

LON – Well errm since you put it that way, I guess it’s not that hard to believe.

Foe Raker walks calmly to the first barrel full of water, keeping his gaze trained on Lon. In a blur Foe’s arm is completely submerged in the water, his hand curled in a tight fist as he retracts it, sending water rippling through the air, some of which landing on Lon’s tunic as he watches.

FOE – You wanna to get stronger, better, faster…it all starts in your mind. You must release your mind Lon. There must be no fear, no doubt, no regret, and most of all NO hesitation in your actions. If you show one moment, one single second of doubt you will fail.

LON – But you ask the impossible! I can’t punch through broken glass! I can’t dent let alone break through solid steel! Are you nuts? You have any idea how many bones I’ll break in my fist?

FOE - Twenty-seven actually, do you fear pain? Pain is merely the expulsion of weakness from the body and already you’re not going to pass this trail Lon. I can see the fear in your eyes and if it’s in your eyes it’s in your mind….you must understand that what you see doesn’t limit what you are capable of.

Foe walks over towards the barrel of sand, clenching his fist, focusing his eyes and suddenly thrusting his hand forward, as dust billows upward, flying out in deadly debris while his hand then emerges from the smoky clouds of dust unscathed.

Lon stands there awestruck as he observes Foe’s actions. To him, sure water was no problem, it had little resistance from his altitude. Sand on the other hand, punching into the beach is one thing, but this sand wasn’t your ordinary wet beach sand, no it was 50 gallons deep at least and Foe had breached into it all the way up past his elbow, even with the speed of his punch, imagine jumping off a one story building and landing on a bed of sand, his hand was still impacting solid rock.

FOE – Water appears weak at first glance…but given high enough depth of pressure, water could slice you in two cleaner then any lightsaber can. Sand is earth, unforgiving and unrelenting. If you invade its space, like a swarm of insects, sand will engulf you and suffocate you.

Lon nods slowly, stepping up to the first barrel, as he looks into the water, staring at his reflection.

FOE – Very good Lon you are learning. Look at your reflection, water will never hide your true appearance whether you are charismatic or ugly, it has no mercy. It will show you who you are inside and out. Look in the water, what do you see?

Lon stares hard into his reflection, looking at every detail of his face, from the curled blonde hair cascading down his face, to his own emerald orbs shimmering with a focused determination to do whatever it takes to become a full fledged Dark Jedi Master.

LON – I see the face of a man who is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve greatness.

FOE – Do you now? How are you certain it is not the face of a boy who would rather remain at a beginner’s level?

Lon growls a moment, then thrusts his fist hard into the barrel of water, up to his arm, even submerging his gray suit attire with the split second gesture, before recoiling his hand back, glaring into Foe’s eyes.


FOE – Excellent, you’re learning, embrace it…To be in the elite class with myself, Gen, and Val you will have to conquer your fears and rely on your instincts, as you have just done now. You didn’t have time to think did you? No, you decided and your body followed.

LON – I did feel something deep inside…like an impulse.

FOE – That’s your instinct Lon, that is what makes you different from anyone else. However with that instinct you must also have two things before you can fully trust in it. You must learn absolute trust in your instinct’s decisions and above all else you must never ever lose train of thought.

Foe quickly paces to the third barrel, without a moment’s hesitation thrusting his fist arms length into the razor sharp shards of glass, pulling his arm back out unharmed, or so it might appear. Lon stares for a long time into the barrel of sand, curling his hand into a fist, taking a deep breath.

LON – Release your mind Lon, come on you can do this…free mind, mind free, mind is free now…GO!

Lon instinctively hurls his fist into the sand, boring through it until he reaches the extent of his arm, snapping his fist back from the dusty cloud that emerges, coughing heavily as the dirt chokes his lungs. As he coughs he notices that his arm really starts to hurt, grasping it tightly.


FOE – What did you expect Lon? You just hurled your arm into a bucket of sand, of course its going to hurt!

LON – But you did it and you’re fine, heck you just put your arm into friggin glass!

Foe retracts his arm and smiles slightly to Lon, walking over to him as he shows that there is no damage to his skin, where glass would have easily pierced it.

FOE – Yes I did because I have complete control over my body. I’m going to show you why your arm feels like you just slammed it into a brick wall.

Foe walks over to the barrel of glass again, as he once again punches into the glass, but this time he does it slower, and this time as well the glass starts to cut into his bare skin, and yet Foe drives his arm deeper into the sharp edges of the glass shards, driving them deeper into his skin, causing several lacerations, raking into his muscles, persistent until he reaches the end of the barrel, then retrieves his hand. Foe’s hand is covered in cuts and gashes, with bits of glass sticking in his skin as Lon’s eyes go wide.

LON – Dude you’re nuts!

FOE – Am I really?  People keep saying that I am starting to wonder if it is true.

Foe closes his eyes a moment. In literally seconds, the glass is flung from Foe’s arm, and torn flesh instantly heals, only the trails of blood still visible as Foe grabs Lon’s tunic, wiping his blood off with it.

LON – Hey man, I just cleaned this!

FOE – (growls) STOP BEING SO CHILDISH. Don’t you understand? It is not the glass that cuts me it’s the lack of concentration. When you plunge your arm into razor sharp material you’re going to get hurt.

Foe looks down to his arm, fully restored then the barrel of glass.

FOE - If you hold complete focus in the force and spontaneously heal your injuries as they occur, you’ll discover NOTHING can stop you but your fear. FEAR Lon. That is why your arm hurts.

Lon knits his brows a moment, then focuses on the power of the force, channeling the energy into his bruised arm, closing his eyes to place his complete trust in the force to comply with his bidding, it is then that Lon’s arm completely heals itself as if nothing was done to it at all.

FOE – Excellent you are finally learning. You are however still far from my league. Only when you have breached through water, sand, glass, wood, and steel uninjured will you attain our level of skill.


FOE – You hard of hearing all of a sudden boy? I mean it when I said all of them. I will tell you exactly why these elements are arranged in this order, but first you must prove to me how bad you want this.

Foe gestures to the barrel of glass, as Lon steps away timidly. Trying to clear his mind, he can’t seem to shake the damage he witnessed to Foe’s arm when he tried to breach the glass a second time, but his ambition was stronger, he wanted to know everything, everything Val would not show him. This was a trail, no doubt it wasn’t a “test” anyone could study for an test, it was an evolutionary event, the passing from what you were into what you can become, in this case from a cocky boy to a confident man. Lon wanted this more then anything, and on impulse struggling to keep his mind completely clear of any distractions, he plunged his arm into the barrel of glass.

The shearing pain was immense as he felt the glass shred into his skin, but he refused to give in to he sensations as his arm hit the bottom, feeling the glass cleaving into his skin, then raking into it as his arm retracted. Still Lon was transfixed on passing this test, his lust to know more, everything he could from Foe drove him beyond the pain, pulling his arm free, completely healed.

LON – I…I…did it.

FOE – Yes you did, but this is only one step. You have to make the grade through the whole trial, till then you’re still a kid.

Foe takes a deep breath, wondering deep inside if Lon is truly ready for such a trial. Sure he wanted to push the boy no doubt, but he didn’t want to make the mistake of showing Lon how much potential he has, then see Lon go out and get himself killed because he forgot other aspects of the lesson. This was a trail of faith but it was not a final exam, far from it.

FOE – Alright, this is the deal. You are human, these elements can harm you but they have no ability to think…you do. They all have no abilities to use the force, or to act on instinct. You have the ability to become more then you were made to be. These elements have no soul, no mercy, no emotion, no sense of remorse…nothing, they are simply obstacles placed to intimidate you.

LON – (nods) I see, but why these? What significance?

FOE – All of these elements…water, earth, glass, wood, and steel you will encounter in one form or another durin battle. You must overcome their limitations. You must have the power if you need to break a window with your bare fist and sustain no damage, you must be able to punch through solid steel if you are giving no other choice in combat. Survival Lon is having more on the table upstairs, then your opponent.

LON – I understand, but what about lightsabers and flipping and stuff? Hurling objects?

FOE – (shakes his head) Kid if your opponent isn’t effected by inanimate objects what good is it going to do to through stuff at him? It’s not going to stop him. Sure and if you run, no glass and no steel is going to stop him from reaching you and killing you. Likewise ya should be on the same mindset, battlin through anything that stands in your way to accomplish your goals.

LON – Yeah! I could do that!

FOE – (growls) Do not confuse confidence with ignorance. Lightsabers and all that combat stuff is one thing but when you have only your wits to survive, you have to be strong enough to face every element and over come it…Release your mind.

Foe quickly dashes from Lon, running towards the suspended piece of wood, hurling his closed fist into the heart of it, as the wooden board shattered to splinters. Foe pays little attention to the damage as he charges in against the steel plate, driving his fist hard into the center, buckling the metal inward under the raw power of his bare fist, the metal beginning to creak and groan, until Foe’s fist pierces through the plating, as he quickly recoils his hand backward, thrusting forward again in a rapid succession of movements in separate sections of the metal plating, until it is full of punctured holes like a slice of swiss cheese.

Lon’s eyes widen in shock, watching Foe pant heavily, as he cranes his eyes backward to him, adjusting his shirt and cracking his knuckles, looking down as his hand is unaffected, let alone uninjured from the barrage. Foe doesn’t say a word to Lon as he replaces the wood and steel panels with fresh ones.

FOE – No doubt, no fear, no resistance…let your mind control what the body feels, not the other way around.

LON – I can try…

FOE – NO! Trying is an excuse for those who cannot succeed! You won’t “try your best” nor will I give you one shred of compassion for your “best” efforts. You either pass this test boy, or Ill send your butt packing back to your girl. There is no second place in my school.

LON – But I’m sure if I’m ready to…

FOE – You still refuse to listen. RELEASE YOUR MIND! Don’t think about doin it…JUST.DO IT.

Foe points his finger towards the wood paneling as Lon stands before it, as Lon tries to take his swing; Foe stops his hand in mid punch, pulling it back.

FOE – Initiative is good…lack of preparation is bad.

LON – Huh? But you said…

Foe paces back from the wood paneling and stands behind Lon, guiding his fist backward, shaking Lon to relax for the moment, speaking behind him.

FOE – You must understand this is only a small part of a greater whole, as I told you don’t confuse confidence with ignorance. You have the confidence but you don’t know exactly what you are doing do you?

LON – Uh not really, I was just hoping for the best.

FOE – Hope is a trait of doubt. You gotta focus your mind on your hand and the wood, don’t see the wood anymore Lon, picture the wood as nothin more then a large piece of paper. You can convince your mind that you can punch through a piece of paper more then you can a sheet of thick wood right?

LON – You betcha!

FOE – Ya need to realize that it takes more then one task to accomplish this. You need confidence, the ability to visualize the wood as a weaker structure and most importantly in addition to focusin to keep your hand in tact you MUST learn how to create a force field around it, so you can breach the material unharmed.

LON – Uh wait I know this…ummm Lesser Force Shield right? Val showed me how to do that.

FOE – (grins) Did he now? Using what I have told you, show me.

Foe paces back from Lon, standing with his arms crossed watching Lon prepare himself to pass the next evolution in the trail’s sequential test of mental, physical, and emotional strength.

Lon closes his eyes a moment, then curls his fist tightly, imagining first a force field around his clenched fingers, trying to maintain a level of thought that nothing can touch it, while the force does not give any indication that his concentration is really working, leaving the field completely up to his faith that he places in it. The second thing Lon focuses on is the wood itself, trying to visualize that it is nothing more then a sheet of foam board. He knows paper is all fine and dandy but foam board makes an even more impressive display when it fractures into pieces.

LON – (mental thought) Release your mind….

Instantaneously Lon’s fist slams hard into the wood, which shattered to splinters on impact as Lon’s eyes glaze over with concentration, his vision only revealing to him the success of his accomplishment as his concentration drops, leaving his hand completely uninjured, while the bits of wood lay splintered at his feet. Foe smiles a bit, but he seems unrelenting to give much more then a nod.

FOE – Do it again.

Lon shrugs his shoulders grabbing a fresh piece of wood, resetting the paneling again, getting back into position as he glances back to Foe.

LON – What are we making now? Firewood?

Foe is motionless as he leans against a nearby tree, tucking one of his boots to rest along it, ignoring Lon’s attempt at getting a laugh out of him. Foe wanted to prove a point that while Lon is just discovering his potential; he was far from a master of his new found abilities. Foe already knew that to do something once was an accomplishment, anyone can build a lightsaber once and anyone could study to pass a test but often after the victory and the student could rarely ever repeat the same task multiple times.

Lon gathered up his concentration, rebuilding the force shield around his fist, glancing to the wood visualizing foam board, curling his fist into a tight ball, lining up his eyes with his target. As Lon’s fist flies outward, he suddenly sees out of the corner of his eye the image of his girlfriend Xola gazing back to him, in a very revealing, sheer dress that hugs her tightly toned, well rounded curves. As soon as Lon lets his vision divert from the wood, already driven by instinct, it is the mind numbing pain racing like wildfire through every bone in his hand that makes him snap his gaze back on the wood, still in tact with blood now staining the front of it.

He had failed…

Foe watches the scene a moment, as Lon grabs his hand in pure agony, feeling for sure that his hand has been shattered into a million bone fragments. Foe gives a small sense of condolence, standing over Lon sinking to his knees in utter agony at his feet. Channeling the force, Foe uses his superior power to instantly restore the damage in Lon’s fist. It was a lesson after all, and it was clear by the momentary hellish minutes of a broken hand, Lon had learned of his tolerance for pain.

FOE – Why did you fail?

LON – I…I…I don’t know, I did it before, I don’t understand.

FOE – Think Lon, that is what this whole lesson is about, THINK don’t guess. Why did you fail?

Lon’s eyes roam the ground a moment as he slowly starts to get back up to his feet, staring at the small splotch of blood on the wood paneling where his fist had hit it. He tried to think about the problem, rerunning the scenario in his mind bit by bit, and then it hit him.

LON – I was distracted.

Foe smiles more gently to Lon, smacking his hand hard on his back. The power of Foe’s strength nearly knocks Lon flat on his face as he stumbles to remain standing.

FOE – Good boy now your getting it! Do you think your opponents will just stand by a tree and let you concentrate? They will not give you a moment to focus your strength; you must learn how to adapt to that.

Lon stared a moment at the wooden plank, then trailed his green gaze back to Foe. Suddenly it was all so clear to him. Foe was teaching more and more by each passing second, letting him into his own world. It was obvious Lon was still far our of Val or Foe’s level of control, he had failed to maintain his focus under his distraction. Quickly dashing towards the wood, he drove his hand clean through the panel, much to Foe’s surprise, which was again on pure impulse.

FOE – I’m not convinced. Start over.

Lon begins setting up a third wood panel, then steps back into place. Foe sharply stops him and stares a hole into his eyes so focused and serious, Lon could swear his eyes pierce right through him.

FOE – I mean the BEGINNING.

Lon arches a brow, giving a moments resistance then decides to prove himself to Foe once and for all, diving towards the first barrel, easily punching through the water in a split second already racing to the sand, breaching that as well, before the dust can even settle heading to the barrel of glass, carelessly launching his arm through it, and pulling it back, showing no damage from the shards, racing towards the wood panel as Xola appears again out of the corner of his eye, but this time Lon ignores it and slams his fist forward as a flurry of wooden shards fly over his shoulders and collapse at his feet, completely reducing the wood to twigs.

FOE – That is strength boy, THAT is power! Your confidence, your perfected will to overcome all of these elements to prove yourself to me. You have shown improvement. No doubt, no hesitation, no distraction…you just blazed through anything put before you. However….

LON – However what?

FOE – There is still one more obstacle you gotta master. It is the strongest of all of the latter elements combined; it has the strength to equal your potential, and twice as much determination to keep your face down in the mud.

Foe gestures towards the sheet of steel, which shimmers in the light. Freshly replaced unlike the one Foe had punctured through like a hail of bullets with his fist, the second sheet had no imperfections what so ever and stood valiantly in front of Lon’s dreams and his conquest to complete the trail.

Lon swallowed hard as he gazed to the metal sheet, this was not as easy to focus into a sheet of foam board because unlike the wood paneling, the metal had a luster then constantly shone in Lon’s eyes blinding him from the sunlight above as a wind passed through the forest setting, slightly moving the metal panel in the breeze.

FOE – Not so easy is it? Come on Lon you’re a tough man now right? Show me how bad you want it! Don’t let the steel defeat you, remember let your mind dictate how your body feels, not the other way around.

Lon takes another breath, glancing to the damaged metal paneling laying on the ground, then slowly cranes his eyes back towards Foe, back to the metal, then back to Foe who’s eyes resume their full steel hard gaze of brown, unwavering in pure seriousness. Inside Lon wasn’t sure, he had the confidence but this metal sheet kept throwing him off each time he felt ready to hit it. His mind kept telling him, “Steel really hurts” and his arm started to mentally pulsate with pain, the same feeling spreading to his fist where it felts as if his hand was falling apart, all mental mind you but the mind made it real to him…the pain seemed very real even though there was no physical evidence of it. So was his first enemy rearing back its angry head, telling him things like, “Don’t do it, you’re going to break your hand again.” Or “He asks you to do the impossible, steel cannot break.”, likewise the worst thing of all, “You can’t do this, you’re not ready.”

Lon tried to block all these thoughts of doubt from his mind, focusing on the steel plate, then rearing his hand back he let it fly forward, using all the lessons Foe had taught him. As flesh and bone met steel it was a question of which one would break first, unfortunately for Lon…

He lost…

Lon’s hand erupted in a plethora of agonizing, mind numbing pain. His knuckles were split from the impact, and once again it was as if he had reverted back to the first attempt on the wood, everything that he feared had reoccurred, his hand was once again fractured.

Foe growled loudly, sending his fist hard into the tree behind him. The impact of his bare knuckle assault caused the tree to splinter up the middle until it reached the tip of the tree, then down into the heart of the trunk, with a rustling of leaves followed by twin THUDS, both halves of the tree tumbled to the ground hard, causing it to shake from the tremendous collision.

Lon clenched his hand to his body, trying to block the pain and cope with it, damning the steel plate in front of him, as Foe growled deeply, walking up towards Lon, shooting him a disappointed glance.

FOE – When are you gonna learn to let go of your doubt Lon! If you keep letting your fear determine your destiny, you’re going to keep failing at everything you do…you will NEVER be a Master.

Lon is crushed deep inside, mad at himself for letting the steel defeat him, but Foe’s harsh words cut him to the quick, shattering his ambition to train anymore on this stupid trial. Foe had proven his point, he finally won, Lon was still a boy…he didn’t belong in the big leagues with Val, Gen, and Foe and not he wasn’t sure if he ever wanted to be anymore. He would always be just a stupid, weak willed student who would never move anywhere beyond what he has become.

FOE – I’m not going to heal your hand this time Lon, you’re going to do it on your own. When you’re ready to become a man, you let that piece of steel know it. I gave you your shot and you blew it.

Foe glared towards Lon, he could hear all the thoughts building inside his head, the force told him nothing leaving zero up to the imagination. Disgusted with his student’s lack of complete commitment, Foe began to walk off back towards the mansion, leaving Lon close to tears on the ground.

FOE – Val’s still flat on his back and there ain’t no point in me being here no more. I’m packin up and heading out…you’re no longer worthy of my instruction…you’ve proven that. I have a business to run.

Foe casts one more glance to Lon then heads towards the Shuttle Bay portion of the mansion grounds, pacing down a series of corridors, disappearing from Lon’s sight. A few moments pass as Lon looks down to his hand and concentrates, managing to use his force ability to restore his fractured bones and close the wounds, however he isn’t able to stop the bruising and swelling moving from his fist upward along his arm. His eyes glare towards the sheet of metal taunting him with its victory. Lon did have his shot and unfortunately what might have been viewed as progress from Val, was an utter failure to Foe Raker.

In that realization, Lon was comforted to see a Delta Class Imperial Shuttle emerge from a hidden docking bay to the very far left of the mansion grounds fly off into the sky, leaving only a burning ion trail of blue before disappearing into the horizon as quickly as it had appeared.

Lon gazed one more time to the swaying sheet of metal, that bucked more as the winds of Alpha Xeridia picked up, getting to his feet holding his injured fist with his good hand glancing upward to where the shuttle had been.

Suddenly a comlink on Lon’s belt began to beep as another vessel quickly flew in where Foe’s shuttle had just departed, baring brilliant hues of gold and crimson red…it was a familiar vehicle, a MARC named none other then The Assailant. After Val’s coma, the vessel was entrusted into Lance Jade’s possession, which meant only one thing…someone was piloting the craft here to the Versai Mansion with good reason and only three people knew the access codes to bypass the newly reconfigured planetary shields.

SACUL –  (comlink) Master Wol? I have just received a transmission from The Assailant, apparently Lance Jade is in need of medical attention.

LON – (comlink) Yeah I see em Sacul, I’m on it. Send the other droids to help. If it’s Lance then it means Sara will be with him.

SACUL – (comlink) Umm it’s more serious then that Master Wol. Neither Sara nor Lance are in the condition to operate the vessel, it was programmed to come here on auto pilot. I only have a small string of text that reads, “Adega compromised, need medical attention…and shelter.” The words were tapped into the computer by Sara Versai. I fear the worst for their safety.

LON – They aren’t the only ones that require medical aid, my hand could use some assistance. If their condition is that severe, I suggest you not only send the droids down here but bring your surgical skills as well.

SACUL – (comlink) I’m in motion as we speak, I should reach the door…now.

Lon looks to see Sacul coming out of the doors of the mansion right on cue, with several droids in tow as the MARC doesn’t touch down on a landing pad, settling down near the trees where Lon was training with his “former” instructor. With the arrival of Lance and Sara to the mansion, Lon didn’t feel so alone anymore and he quickly made his way over to the ramp lowering beneath the MARC, which was refitted by Val to land on the surface. He could see Sara limping down the extended ramp, as he rushed up to catch her stumbling into a heap in his arms. Her body was cold and her skin was pale but she was still alive, just very, very, exhausted. Lon looked to see the various bruises and scratches where her clothing had been torn from her battle with Skorne.

SARA – (dazed) We made it?…Lance he needs….needs help…I can’t…can’t seem to…stand…up anymore.

He didn’t know exactly what had happened but he knew it had to be serious if Lance wasn’t capable to fly the ship on his own power. His eyes darting up to see Lance slowly trying to make his way down the ramp, using a piece of stray metal for a splint, tied around his broken leg, while his other hand held a piece of steel like a cane. Shortly into his stumbling limp, medical droids flooded the craft and placed him on a hovering stretcher device, doing the same with Sara.

LON – Hang on President Jade, help is coming…just relax and breath. You too Sara we’ll get to the details later. Let the machines do their work; they’re here to help you. You’re safe now.

Lon was relieved to see Foe leave the property and go back to his “world”. His hand ached from the steel barrage and Foe’s sharp tongued words still raked his soul with anger…how he was still a boy, how Foe pressed and pressed until Lon cracked under the pressure. The thoughts lingered in his mind as he watched Sara and Lance’s stretchers hover towards the entrance to the mansion. Lon gazed over beyond the MARC where he and Foe were not more then ten minutes ago, training. All of the guidance with the barrels and the wood did was remind him just how much he really missed his TRUE master, only one man in the universe who could accurately understand and respect who he was.

His Dark Jedi Master and dearest friend…

Valaryc Versai.


While Lon contemplates his true feelings to pursue his up till Foe’s words, life ambition we are swept from the windy exterior of the Versai Mansion back up to the Master Bedroom, where in a bed of silken white sheets and exquisite bedding, seeming out of place and out of time. We can see Val’s eyes closed, sleeping peacefully in his bed. He looks completely at peace here, as a nearby window streams in rays of glittering sunlight, spilling across his bed and steadily rising until they illuminate his face.

Val’s deep brown eyes, tired and exhausted slowly begin to lift as he gazes skyward to the ceiling, barely coming into his own senses before suddenly snapping his head to the left and right in disbelief. Val still retained the horrible imagery of the battle with Cire in the Citadel and the last lingering image of his lover having defeated the rules of death to come back to him.

Was it all a dream? Was all of this, the return of Cire T’Negun, the production of Agen, the destruction of Obi Wan’s second lightsaber…was it all just one long nightmare? How else could it be explained, here he was asleep in his own bed, exhibiting no evidence of any injury. Blinking the last of the blurred sleep away, letting his vision come in to focus rubbing his eyes he slowly drew back the covers and turned to stand, feeling the floor cold and solid below him.

Surely he could feel everything in the Versai Mansion bedroom, he could smell the sweet fragrances flowing through it, and see everything around him but then a disturbing thought had occurred to him as he started to deduce the possibility of everything being a dream.

Reality you see now scared him, a shiver of fear and extreme sadness plaguing his heart as he came to realize if everything was a dream then that would mean he would still be in seclusion, and none of the events of The Killian would have occurred.

Isn’t that a good thing though? No one who was killed would still be dead…ah there you see factors in the price for resurrection, the true price for resurgence. Val stepped over to a mirror and looked within it, trying to make sense of this awoken state. The price you see was that in order for lives to brought back, other lives had to be traded in their place to maintain balance. Whether it was a trade of someone pure for someone of complete evil or the trade of someone evil for the return of someone of great importance, death still had to come with purpose.

This realization frightened Val as he paced away from the mirror, wrapping a silk black robe baring the Versai crest on it, heading to a flight of stairs, that if no one had died then no one has come back.

If it was all some long, drawn out dream of his hopes and fears then there is no Isis Surul, no long lost sister, no Terra T’Negun. Crymson Vachon would be very much still alive and Cire would be very dead, however then his torturous words will still plague with suffering, that in his death then there would also have to be understood that Gen Zeridian never returned from the grave either.

VAL – (thinking to himself) A dream? ALL ONE STUPID DREAM??? No it doesn’t make sense, it was too real…too vivid, I couldn’t have possibly created all of that in one night! There is something else behind this but what?

Val knitted his eyebrows in deep thought as he roamed down an elegant flight of ruby red carpeted stairs, looking out to see the full details of his luxurious mansion Foyer. Nothing was out of place, there was no evidence of any fight occurring in this memorable location where he battled Crymson Vachon during the Killian droid invasion. He could also physically feel the railing of the stairway as he descended the steps.

VAL – Everything looks the same, the windows aren’t broken, my bookcases are in place and the carpet is finely vacuumed and the picture…

Val spun around from midway down the stairway to look at the massive picture of Gen Zeridian, unscathed and fully intact cresting the top of the stairs gazing back to him. The portrait of her was just as radiant as ever from her long flowing purple locks to her captivating violet eyes.


Growling in frustration, Val races down the steps and runs towards whatever he can find in his path, grabbing a lamp and smashing it to the floor, screaming in utter anger as his fists find their way into wall paneling, and curtains find themselves torn off their rods. Val’s eyes flare with aggression as he unleashes his pain upon anything before him, glaring to the window panels above him, he walks over to a chair lifting it up with his brute strength and then hurls it hard into the windows, sending the chair sailing through them with a thundering crash of broken glass, clear out into the courtyard.

Pain seethed through Val’s eyes as he narrowed them, fighting back tears. Everything that brought him balance was nothing more then an illusion, his sister was never found, Lance never returned to him and Gen was still in her grave lost from his embrace.

He stood there, unmoving for several minutes staring at his hands a moment. It was what he wanted though wasn’t it? He hated society, he hated the so called heroes of his time…he forced himself into this five year seclusion, he was alone…he wanted all that right? That was his wish to be left alone!

But now, his eyes pooled with realizing although he wanted society to disappear, his choice to vanish from the public eye also cause him to abandoned his friends or possibilities of them. Retirement was his self built prison, a prison of luxury but a prison none the less.

Slowly he drew the strength to accept the truth, or as it appeared to be. His eyes roamed around his vast wealth, money would bring him no happiness and no satisfaction now. That was the moment Val decided enough was enough, he charged his way towards the two shimmering gold gilded doors to open them, step out into the courtyard and head directly towards his shuttle bay. The time for reflectance had passed, Val wanted adventure, he wanted danger if everything he had awoken from was simply a cry from his subconscious to be the man he needs to be, and not the retired legend he thought he was supposed to be. His destination would be Mos Eisley, maybe he would run into Corrie there, maybe he would find someone he knows from the many adventures in that dismal location.

Val smiled softly now, forgetting the pain of losing Gen. He knew in his dream the answer to bring her back, perhaps her soul really was trapped in the crystals of her lightsaber, perhaps he could have all he wanted, contact VT and bring her back to life. Everything seemed to feel better as he thought about it more and more that is until…

He opened the door…


As Val opened up the two doors to his mansion, he noticed that what was before him was no longer the elegant fountain and shrubbery of his courtyard, even the weather had changed. Inside the mansion where he still remained, he could see sunlight streaming into it, falling on the floor but outside it was night in the middle of the forest.

Val rubbed his head a moment, stepping out into the forest, then back into the mansion, watching sunlight turn to night in impossible displays. Wanting to know more, Val stepped completely out of his mansion and entered the forest which looked quite familiar to him.

The second he exits the mansion, when he turns back the doors and the entire property vanished, trapping him in a circular expanse of evergreen fir trees, redwoods and shrubs.

Val knew this place very well; the memories began to come back to him. To the far left was where a tree was tumbled across the ground, the same tree he had to step over to reach Cire in the clearing to the far right. But Val has already passed this moment, it was the moment Cire had revealed that he had stolen the Versai locket from Val’s room and this was the location of the event known as “The Prize”.

Val cautiously, in confusion started to roam the grassy earthen local, his eyes gazing to every tree surrounding the area into one circular battlefield of nature and man coming together in balance at a single point, just outside of the Dark Jedi Academy.

Val glanced upward to see one branch still burning an orange-reddish group of embers, where he used his lightsaber to sever it and free his locket from where Cire had tossed it, winning the contest before Cire chose to break the rules and unleash his Force Shard lighting upon him.

It didn’t make any sense though? Was Val still dreaming or what? How could he possibly roam from one point in his life to another in a matter of steps? Off in the distance, Val started to pace through the arena into a dense gathering of fir trees, pacing through them, exiting the scenery where Cire would team with his sister to bring the greatest tragedy of all to Val’s life, the loss of Gen Zeridian the next day during the trial.


Val paces through the forest, suddenly he finding himself walking through a door leading into the torch lit interior of the main Dark Jedi Council room. He snaps his gaze back to see that the forest has disappeared, now he was trapped in the greatest significant location ever in his lifetime, it was the one place he swore he made sure of he would never walk into, in tact again.

But Val had torched this place! His journey during “Destiny” had proven that, there should be nothing of this room but ashes! When Val held his slain lover in his arms and his dark side persona had taken over all of his actions, he set everything on fire! Nothing and no one to his recollection was spared from his rage. Cire was dead, Gen was Dead, Draconis was dead…everything was destroyed but here it was all erected just as if he had never entered the room in the first place! Val gritted his teeth as the memories started to plague him, and he could even see now just off to the far right the very same table that had bound him, complete with its iron chains he failed to break free of in time. His brown eyes flashes a momentary glimmer of red as he snapped his vision down to a single drop of blood, leading back into a bigger trail…there the worst sight sent tremors down his spine.

It was Gen’s blood soaked torn, costume in the exact place that she was killed. But no, Val buried her whole she never disappeared? Sure she sent her soul to the core of her lightsaber crystals but her body was still buried on the Forest Moon of Endor. None of this made sense to him! Val rushed over to the garment and picked it up, despite the fact it was soaked in dried blood, he held it possessively to his chest, somberly weeping for its owner’s presence to grant him guidance in this strange world he had entered.

Soon though, that all changed. Val craned his eyes over where he knew he would find another iconic symbol of his past and there before him were the charred remains of Cire T’Negun.


Val growls in dark side induced rage as his eyes shift to red and his hair begins to whip around, his eyes focused on Cire’s skeleton as he rips off the head of it, taking Cire’s skull and hurling it with all his might into a wall, sending fragments of Cire’s cranium to the four corners of the room as it shattered in countless pieces.

Val drives his boots so hard into the ribcage of Cire’s skeleton that he breaks the bones as if they were made of starch, grinding the power of human remains into the ground below, mashing Cire’s bones to dust before his feet where Val felt he would always belong.

Not wanting to spend one moment further in this hellish den of repressed memory, Val spotted the exit to the room, dashing towards it with force enhanced speed, not even opening the next door, smashing straight through it.


Val topples into a street cart, knocking over various foreign food items as he looks around this new location to see Mos Espa. The sun hammers its unforgiving rays down upon him, making the heat intense as Val steps through the deserted down. His eyes roaming the, what should be, bustling marketplace just outside of the same exact Cantina Val met Malcom in.

Not much time is spent here however as Val begins to understand what is going on, deducing to find the nearest exit and run through it, knowing now the pattern that is emerging, that one room will lead into another and another and another…that each place, though he couldn’t explain it was a location he had visited sometime in his life’s travels.


Val’s assumptions were coming true as the next door plunged him into the dark recesses of his showdown with Lord Efface in the bowels of Tibannopolis. His eyes darted upward to see the lightsaber struck decks, stretching endlessly still sizzle with white hot metal. His gaze diverting forward, then down to realize that below him, he steps on metallic flooring, the same floor way leading to his final duel with Lord Efface by the recognizable patterns of orange and red beams of light, like hellfire spilling along the dark chrome of steam hissing vents in the floor. It was the wall that Efface met his final end against, where Val had used the force in one swift move to sever Efface in two, up the middle.

What struck Val as odd though, is that he noticed while this was where he dispatched Quillion’s first apprentice after a blinding and exhausting volley of clashing lightsaber blades and stomach wrenching elevator drops was the damage done to the wall was still there!

Streaking from about three to four feet up was the entry point of Val’s lightsaber, training upward in a bubbling pathway of molten metal, high along the steel structure of the wall until about two or three stories, barely noticed was the exit point of Val’s lightsaber maneuver, where he used the force to propel himself upward and end Efface’s efforts in one skilled stroke.

Val scratched his head a moment, turning his focus on a elevator lift to the upper left corner of a series of four elevator tubes rising within the lowest deck of the interior, where he could remember Efface had knocked him off the catwalk and in desperation Val used his lightsaber to slow his fall.

He squinted his eyes then looked closer, to see that while the freshly heated trail in front of him was still white-hot, the line where Val’s lightsaber had slowed his fall, was already a deeper cold silvery crevasse in the cool steel of the elevator shaft.

VAL – No, this isn’t right…there’s something wrong here. If I killed Efface, where is his body?

That was it! That was the next thing Val needed to uncover in this mysterious journey of memory. Without a second thought Val ran towards the exit heading out to the docking bay where his shuttle would explode, just to the left of the exist where Isis collapsed.


Val continues to run through these places, wondering how quickly his mind or his dreams can construct them, seeking to test the limits of his imagination if it indeed was erecting every location that he passes through in an attempt to overload a computer’s circuits.

He slips hard on the floor however as he skids across the slick rooftop of his mansion. Looking upward rain is pouring down on the hard surface of the sleek floor. His eyes take a moment to register where this place factors in. Getting back to his feet, ignoring the water splashing upward with each step of his boot, sloshing and soaking his traditional attire, complete with rain logged sleeveless trench coat, Val gambles that in the next “room” he would emerge no longer wet and drenched from head to toe. His eyes lock on the target but he realizes that this roof has no exits, no doors.

Likewise he also deduces this is the location where Crymson Vachon met her final end. In a duel to the death by her own choosing, Val had sliced Crymson in two with his saber discus technique. He had given her a chance to survive the clashing of lightsabers and bitter feelings, but in the end there was nothing but darkness and hatred…revenge in Crymson’s soul over the death of her brother.

Imagine how she might have acted differently had she known that the whole time, Quillion was playing her for a fool, and that in fact he was her brother still alive and in his evil tendencies he never told her the truth. Val’s eyes narrow a moment and he clenches his fist into a tight ball.

Val couldn’t have all the answers here; he couldn’t understand how this world functioned in its entirety. Even if all this was STILL a dream, he was still trapped! Every time he walked through a door or any form of exit, the entire room, the lighting, even the frigging weather changed! He couldn’t survive in a place like this it was still a prison, there was STILL no escape!

Val growled angrily reaching the end of the roof, if he didn’t find himself an exit he would be trapped here, soaking wet in an endless downpour. His eyes looked for some form of escape, spotting a window a few meters away, the catch of course were two factors. If Val took a running leap of faith off the roof and aimed for the window to crash through it would it work? What would happen if he fell down into the darkness where the other halves of Crymson’s dead body were certainly found? He tried to think clearly a moment, letting the flashing lightning cease to distract him.

If this was a dream, then diving off the roof would wake him up from it. It was as simple as that solution to escape the prison right? Wrong…Val knew he also had to factor in the evidence that if the events in his “dream” had occurred, knowing there must be some sort of truth to them entering the place where he fought Lord Efface, a person he couldn’t have possibly created on his own, let alone the location that his mind would clearly not have remembered because it would have no residual memory of ever being there.

Therefore Val decided to take the approach that all of these locations he’s entering are in fact real places he has visited and if that were so, then the events of Cire and Quillion and Gen and Sara and all of the pain and suffering he had felt could only lead up to one conclusion.

He was trapped in his coma…

But why does that really concern him? Because the truth of the matter is, if he is indeed laying in a bed somewhere, trapped in a coma then that means this “dreamscape” didn’t have the same parameters of a normal dream.

If he leaped off the roof and he failed to reach the window, he could in theory very well sever the last connection to his subconscious his physical body had left! He would truly die in both realms because in a dream it is the shock that awakens you from the spell, it is the body’s understanding that in dreams you cannot feel pain because to do so, sends the response of it…shock you see, brings you back into your conscious state.

But in this circumstance, a shock to his body could either revive him, free him from his mental prison or it could send him to oblivion. Val knew he had to defy his destiny; he could for some strange reason feel everything around him from the cold chill of the rain, to the blazing heat of Mos Espa.

Drawing in a deep breath, he decided that whatever path he would take; he could no longer allow himself to freeze in the rain a minute longer. Drawing the force into his body, or perhaps thinking he could feel it helping his senses Val walked back to the beginning of the roof then sprinted forward, dashing at great speed as a trail of water erupted behind him.

He had to keep complete focus, if his mind was governing the properties of his actions; even though his body was still dormant then it would surely put into place all the elements of reality, from gravity to exhaustion. Val cleared his thoughts as he reached the end of the roof, keeping the glass window in view, leaping off the roof as our view shifts to see his shadowy form, illuminated only by a single burst of lightning through the air fly impossible distances through the air, whipping his coat furiously, before we can see Val hit the mark, the view shifts to his back as he brings his arms across his face to shield himself from the impact of the glass, smashing through the window and into the next location his “minds eye” has in store for him.


Val finds himself skidding across the polished black floors of the Death Star corridor. His eyes focusing for a moment as he comes to a complete stop before the same entranceway, wrapping around to the right where Obi Wan and Vader commenced their final duel.

Drawing in a deep breath of relief, Val can see he’s now trapped in the oval pattern light hallways of the dull gray passage to the battle station. He gets to his feet and adjusts his clothes, which much to his surprise have completely shifted to his Scout Trooper armor, not the Bounty Hunter armor but a standard, Imperial issue Scout Trooper uniform. He knew this memory well, this was when he decided to destroy Krevlin once and for all with a special present, Val had constructed…a bomb.

Val’s eyes narrowed a moment, taking in the straight forward details of the room. The walls were a dull bluish gray, where several oval pattern holes in them, revealed white lights that lit up the attenuated heart of the hallway. There were divisions on the walls, where they wrapped around to other unseen artificially stylized catacombs and Val knew that following them would be fairly useless for the moment he passed beyond the sight of this single hallway, spotting the exit in front of him, banking off towards the right, that the forgotten deco of the Death Star would be replaced by sometime else. He took a moment to gather his thoughts, viewing the various beveled panels sunk back inside the main electrical, pipeline of the complex machinery that wove its way throughout the entire station. This of course was covered up by the crude gray wall panels and illuminated elliptical lighting, to give the local a much more acceptable industrial, military appearance.

A thought had struck Val as highly odd though. He thought for sure Vader or his Storm Troopers would come striding down the hall and catch him at any moment. The flashback did not let him forget that the last time he was in this place, he had “found” Obi Wan’s second lightsaber and had chosen to keep it, seeing that the owner had passed on, shortly after, walking right into the path of Vader himself, barely able to escape certain death.

That was it! That was what was out of place…Cire’s skelton, Gen’s attire, the empty marketplace…and the abandoned hallway. There were no people! Val was roaming places from his past but in none of them was there evidence of anything living, everything was artificial or dead.

Val sprang to his feet and darted down the winding exit to the room, plunging into darkness, running for what seems like hours, until he sees a light emerging at the end of the tunnel.


Only seconds are spent as Val dashes through the darkness, emerging outside once again, but this time he sees the skies are orange and red, those matching the atmosphere for Bespin. It no longer mattered to him, Val was tired of the mystery, he was starting to unravel it, racing through the enclosed hallway, leading endless circular panels of glass, revealing that off a few feet away as he shot a glance through the windows, the double decked landing platform where he first encountered Terra…when she Maligna.

Seeing a set of circular doors part wide, triggered by the motion of his sprint, Val wastes no time slipping through them and into the next room…a room he finds so strikingly unrecognizable that the impact forces him to stop dead in his tracks and absorb its presence.


Val attempts to catch his breath, as he looks around him. This place, he could have sworn he has never once stepped within shattering whatever conclusions he was making about his “dreamscape”. How was it even possible? Val hated Jedi!

Sure his father was a Jedi, or rather a “Fallen Jedi” as the Council had dubbed him, due to the fact Russel left the order to protect his wife…an action that violated the “no love, no family” rules of the Jedi Council’s order. How could the Jedi forbid love? What the hell were they? Val didn’t understand as he walked in utter scrutiny inside the sunbathed interior of the Jedi Temple, housed as it was countless years ago, even beyond The Clone Wars on Coruscant.

The architecture was very intriguing, but too earthy for Val’s tastes. He could see the palette of browns, ivory, and red dominate the sweeping curvilinear makeup of the room. Rising white columns rose from the floor, surrounded by beveled structures, which appeared to be rectangular like a file cabinet, but was cut off at a stark 45 degree angle, where the column protruded.

The windows were evenly spaced and resembled cathedral design, arching downward into two singular falling lines, creating an oblong box. Likewise, looking skyward, Val could see the distinct rows of flying buttresses supporting the dome that capped the building, or rather one of several spires for it was not the main Jedi Council room itself, but rather appeared to be much like a foyer.

VAL – I always knew I was right about the Jedi, nothing but tree hugging nature freaks.

Val shakes his head in spite of his sarcastic impression of the décor, for he still could not come to grips with how his mind would know to create this place in such stunning detail. His eyes narrowing and closing, trying to clear his mind of his questions and trust that somehow he would find the answers.

Much to his surprise, for the first time in his journey he can hear another human voice echo from the brightness, but he cannot see where it is coming from.

VOICE – Clever young Val, but it has nothing to do with neither trees nor nature. The Jedi bask in the tranquility of the sunlight and the peaceful visage of curves as opposed to the abrupt nature of square interiors.

VAL – (blinks) Who said that!

Val’s eyes weave through the concentrated brightness of the room trying to locate the source of the voice, his heart racing with anticipation and excitement to speak to another living soul in this endless abandoned world of revisited places. He didn’t care exactly how this other person could be in the same room with him, perhaps its was the will of the force that of all the places he has been this other voice would speak in a room Val could have sworn he had never encountered.

VOICE – You possess the glimmer your father once had in his eye and his driving urge to know his surroundings young Val.

Val spins around and calls out the darkness, racing around it, careful not to accidentally pass through an exit before he can make eye contact with the figure. Did he just say he had resemblances to his father? What did this place have to do with Russel? Russel left it before Val was born, so how could he have possibly ventured here?

VOICE – I must commend you. You’ve wielded my weapon far better then anyone else could have. It served you well just as at one time it served me equally as favorable.

Val ponders the stranger’s words a moment, then notices that his armor has vanished, leaving him dressed in the same attire as a Jedi Padawan. Disgusted by the colors, Val rips off the brown robe, and undergarments until only the white tunic and tan pants remain, even his boots are stylized in the design of Qui Gon Jinn.

VAL – WHAT IN THREEPIO’S HIDE IS GOING ON HERE??? I’m not a Jedi, much less a Padawan lackey! This doesn’t even match my fashion sense! Enough games come out where I can see you!

VOICE – (calm, slightly echoed) Very well, I suppose its time you came to understand the truth behind our relationship.

The figure paces from behind one of the white pillars, peacefully revealed shortly after to be dressed in the exact garments it wore before he vanished from them. Val takes notice of the brown robe as well, having remembered the same robe tucked under the lightsaber atop it…then Val spoke before he could realize his own words, recognizing the illuminated spiritual blue form as the old man he had seen battle Vader on the Death Star.

VAL – Obi Wan Kenobi???

Obi Wan’s spirit as impossible as it may seem, paces into a closer view so that we can now fully grasp his image as a mirror of the one that spoke to Luke, on the murky depths of Degaboth. His eyes still sparkle with his years of wisdom, and unlike his earlier years, Obi Wan is not in his youth but rather maintaining the same traits of his passing, perhaps it is because Val had more of a developed sense of recognition of him during his later years then his youth.

OBI WAN – (nods) Some people call me Ben. You may call me whatever you wish young Val, providing it’s respectable. I’m quite aware of your prowess with sarcasm.

Val stares in utter shock to Obi Wan, but he soon remembers that he’s more then a “young” Val at this point, taking a few deep breaths, then resuming his usual cautious and confident manner, walking to one of the pillars, tilting one of his brown boots back against it, while the other foot tips forward draping his arms across his chest, finding the white tunic a disturbance to his eyes, keeping them transfixed on Obi Wan.

VAL – Wait a minute…you’re dead, I watched you vanish. Does this explain that you’re in blue while I’m still in color?

Obi Wan smiles slightly, pacing closer to Val while gazing through the room as his own memories of the location remind of him of just why this place is etched within Val’s psyche, he is however very impressed that at such young age, Val’s underdeveloped mind was still able to catch the subtle details of the Jedi Temple main hall, where all paths met at a single point.

OBI WAN – (nods) You are correct, however you might wish to look upon yourself a bit more astutely, while I may be a ghost (chuckles) You’re appearance is not exactly as complete as you believe.

Val arches an eyebrow and then looks closer. He then notices that while his colors are all in tact and not the monochromatic blue of Obi’s spiritual composition, Obi was correct that Val wasn’t entirely there either. While Val could feel things around him, smell them, and see them, his body was semi-transparent, he could see right through himself.

VAL – I don’t get it…nothing here makes sense. You, I have seen once…I’ve never been a Jedi Padawan nor will I ever wish to be. I’ve never even been in this room! I have deduced enough to know that each place I have visited has been a place I’ve ventured to before but this room…it doesn’t fit!

OBI WAN – Maybe the answers you are trying to uncover are not known to you, young Val. At least in the conscious sense, you are not entirely accurate in your assumptions, you have been here.

VAL – How would you know? I wasn’t even born when my father left this place!

OBI WAN – (breathes deep) That unfortunately is true, but none the less you were in these walls.

VAL – I don’t understand…how would you know if I was with Russel and Kathryn?

Obi Wan gathers up his robe and paces in a circular path, following the ring of an ornamental symbol along the floor, contemplating how he will fill in yet another moment of Val’s checkered past that has been left in the dark.

OBI WAN – Val, if I tell you why you must promise me one thing. When you listen to the details of what I am about to reveal to you, you hold back your anger, your conclusions, and your feelings until you have heard the entire extent of my story.

Val’s thoughts rise once more, wondering why Obi Wan would factor into his past, and just what he had to do with his family let along his father Russel. The most disturbing element of all to his mental soup, what could Obi Wan tell him that would warrant his anger? Drawing in a deep cleansing rush of air, then releasing, Val spoke to Ben.

VAL – I am a man of virtue and my word. Even if I could, I will not harm you.

OBI WAN – (nods) I know of your virtue and your sense of honor well Val. You inherit that trait from your father’s stubborn sense of loyalty. I believe he told me once of a motto he invented. What was that…ah yes, “Before victory comes humility, before duty comes family.”

VAL – (staggered) How do you…you knew him as more then an acquaintance didn’t you? No more games or riddles, I need to know what this infernal place has to do with my past!

OBI WAN – Patience Val, patience. I feel it is the will of the force that I have been allowed into whatever mental world you have constructed. By all means I shouldn’t be here, I spoke my goodbyes to Luke and I figured that would be my last appearance. It means but one thing, there is still a part of me that is not complete and I feel it has to center around you.

VAL – I’ve read how you trained Anakin and how he turned on you and became Darth Vader. I’ve read about Luke Skywalker’s resurgence of the Jedi, I don’t need a history lesson in that legacy. Tell me about our connection then, anything else does not concern me.

Obi Wan walks over to Val, taking a seat next to him, gesturing Val to do the same as he complies. Waiting for Val to settle in, Obi Wan starts to close his eyes, taking our journey in a flashback explaining the events beyond the birth of Val, the very moment…Russel defied the council.


[ Back to Main Story Page I To Part III ]


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