This story is exceptionally important to me. It was written in response to a task given to me by Gladius Quaestor Scion Altera. This story earned me my promotion to Dark Jedi Knight.
It was dark throughout the Sword’s Sheath. Although some of the Gladians were still awake, the lights had been deactivated for the night. Severon Vercingetorix, the Rollmaster of the House, sat in his quarters; staring at the recording device he was going to use to record his past, his memories.
Although far inferior to a holocron, the device would take what he said and convert it into a holobook so that his thoughts could be looked upon for generations.
Severon looked back at the message he had received from his Quaestor, Scion Altera, when the Warrior had given him the recorder. All it basically said was to record his past on the recorder and turn it in to him. The assignment appeared simple and yet was deceptively difficult. Severon had never recorded his memories or let anyone else know about them. Now, he had to do both.
After sitting for a few minutes, Severon cleared his throat, activated the recorder, and slowly, carefully pronouncing each word, began. “The Story of My Journey into the Darkness, by Jedi Hunter Severon Vercingetorix.”
Severon stopped the recorder and smiled. He had a title, which was progress. He rose from his seat and paced the room, trying to arrange all of his memories in an order suitable for the task. Finally, he returned to his seat and reactivated the recorder.
“It all started in the year 30 ABY, when I rejoined House Gladius as a Protector. I was young, and inexperienced. However, the Quaestor, Apollo, welcomed me in as if I was an old friend which, in a since, I was. Back then, I wanted everything right then. Medals, Promotions, Awards, Honors, I wanted them all for myself as fast as I could get them. But I didn’t want to work for them. I wanted them to come to me because that’s the way I wanted it.
That was soon to change. When Darth Sarin, the Brotherhood’s Grandmaster at the time, called for the retake of the Brotherhood’s home world, Antei, he had all the clans join him. Everyone in Tarentum was getting ready to go, even me. We all knew it would be big, a chance for the journeymen to prove themselves and for the leaders to test their limits.
After Apollo marshaled us, we boarded our home for most of the war, the B/CR Cocytus, Gladius’ main battleship. While Apollo, Scion and Telona Murrage were piloting, I practiced my saber skills. I was incredibly clumsy with a saber as many of the other Gladians would point out.
I met Brimstone a little way into the voyage through the Shroud. Telona had sent him to me when I had nearly interrupted the pilots to warn them of something that they already knew. I was very easily distracted by the slightest influx in the Force back then. Even if it was something small I treated it with the utmost care. After a while, I grew to enjoy being on the Cocytus. I had staked out a routine. Every morning, I woke up and ate. Then I trained. It was nice to be in a normal rhythm.
I think that the first time I really felt fear was aboard the Cocytus. Sure, before I had fears like every other person, but the was the first time that I felt a pure, unadulterated feeling that sent shivers down my spine and made my conscious retreat to the recesses of my being. I saw bodies, in space, of dead Dark Jedi just like me. Some of them were even my rank, I could tell by the armory sabers some of them carried. Their haunted, vacant expressions still fill my mind when I try to remember the war. Most of them carried a look of surprise. Some had the look of infinite calm. And some had looks of pure rage. But none of those things mattered as they floated, lifeless.
By the time I was sufficiently recovered, we had landed on Antei. I was ordered to guard the AA batteries that had been set up. Brimstone was with me. The dark sand flew into my face as the winds blew across the surface. Most of the time I spent on Antei was filled with spitting the dirt grains out of my mouth. Some of the time I spend with my hand on the cold steel hilt of my armory saber. I don’t know why, but having that saber made me feel more comfortable. However, the quiet was disturbed by a tank droid, which thundered for the AA batteries shooting sand up from its tracks as it sped. I went numb with shock, but Brimstone took command of the situation. He sped toward the tank droid with me in tow, kicking up dust as he ran. As the distance between us and the droid closed, the one emotion that stood out in me was fear again. I was afraid of the tank droid. I was afraid of dying.
Blaster bolts sizzled past my ears as I ran, my saber flashed as I deflected shot after shot away from my body. Some that I missed burned through my cloak, leaving ragged shreds upon my back. The closer we got to the droid, the stronger my fear built until it screamed within me, almost forcing me back. Brimstone lunged onto the droid and proceeded to dismantle it with his saber. The droid fell. After that, I lay down in the sand, shaking uncontrollably. I had come so close to being killed.
The war ended soon after that. We were victorious, but I felt defeated. Something was changed, something had happened to me. Physically I had changed; if I reached up I felt thick, course stubble on my face and if I felt around I could feel knotted scars on my body. But the real change was inside me, in what I had become, in the emotions I had felt.
While I was in my tent recuperating, I heard the tent flap rustle. I looked up to see a well dressed Dark Jedi Knight standing before me. His eyes looked me over critically. His gaze was stern, yet there was a slight friendliness under their harsh appearance. When he finally spoke, his words came out clear and concise. He asked me, very courteously, if I would like to become his apprentice and if I would like him to teach me the ways of the Dark Side of the Force. Here before me was a choice, I could join Vai, and use his experience and wisdom as a support to lean on in these later years, or I could refuse and continue to stumble in ignorance.
It wasn’t a hard choice. I chose Vai. I chose knowledge and experience over ignorance. I honestly believe that by choosing Vai, it was the one decision that changed me the most. With Vai’s experience, I began to progress rapidly, earning my promotion to Guardian within the month.
I began to work, not for the medals, but just for the satisfaction of doing something. I began to see a purpose for myself. I began to see that I could do something, that I could be great. My Quaestor, Scion now, obviously thought the same for soon after my promotion to Jedi Hunter, he offered me the position of Gladius Rollmaster, an honor that I quickly accepted.
Another real turning point was before I was given the title of Rollmaster, right before my promotion to Jedi Hunter. I was honored again by being the only non-Summit member of Mechronage’s Trial. It was a sensitive moment for Mechronage and I knew that. Here his master’s eyes were red and tears were flowing. I felt the tears welling up in my eyes as well. But then, something else boiled up inside me like lava. Jealousy. Here I had worked my butt off too and they hadn’t even acknowledged me, or so I thought. I could feel my face burning as Scion went into a story about his first crystal and I just couldn’t take it. I snapped. I blatantly voiced my anger and jealousy at not being recognized. But as Apollo turned to me, his face also red, the burning gave way to the iciness of guilt. I had ruined the short ceremony that Scion was trying to give Mechronage. Apollo chastised me using the low voice of disappointment. Every word felt like a bee sting on my heart. However, I was rewarded that day. Apollo thrust my promotion papers into my hand, on the spot. Euphoria washed over me in a watery splash.
I guess the real story of my journey is in my emotions. Along my path, there were things that tempted me to anger, jealousy, and fear. I embraced the feelings afterward, knowing that in the right times, these feelings were appropriate for a Dark Jedi. My knowledge has grown and my power has exceeded even my expectations.
I am proud to call myself a Dark Jedi and hope to soon hold the illustrious title of Dark Jedi Knight.”
With a flick of his thumb, Severon deactivated the recorder. He felt lighter somehow, as if a burden that was slowly gaining weight had been lifted off him. He felt smaller, as if the robes he wore had grown. He slowly pressed the finalize button and watched as his words appeared on the screen, as if he had written them down and not spoke them. When the recorder had finished, he picked it up and left his quarters. As he traveled to his Quaestor’s office, he looked at the base around him. He saw it differently now as a place of solitude where he could hone his skills in the future. He pictured his fellow Gladians, moving about to different sectors of the enormous base.
He reached Scion’s office and as the door hissed open, he spotted Scion at his computer. Scion swiveled around in his chair to face the Rollmaster, his face registering no surprise, just patience. “What is it Sev?” he inquired.
Severon carefully handed him the new holobook. “It is finished.” He said, quietly. He then turned on his heel and exited the office.
As this piece is very special and emotional to me, I was glad to share it with Scion and others and finally earn my Knight status. I would also like to know what all of you think, if this piece is truly as great as I think it is, or if you just think it is trash.
Post comments below. Thanks.