"Quaestor Denath?" The young boy opened his eyes, heaving a weary sigh as he lifted himself out of the Quaestor's chair. "I knocked; you didn't reply. Good morning though." Epis D'hak stepped inside the Quaestor's office. It was small and functional, with little more than a desk, a couch, an elaborate bookcase and a small bar... much sparser than any office D'hak was accustomed to. The boy turned to face him, and the clone politely averted his gaze as Denath reached for a loose robe. "It is customary for Dark Jedi to wear clothes these days," D'hak quipped as he helped himself to the bar.
"It is customary for me to be six feet tall and heavily muscled," the young boy replied, sparing himself a quick glance. "I had a mind to take a bath... I must have fallen asleep at my desk."
The eleven-year-old picked up the lightsaber of Ulic Qel-Droma as he approached the clone. He had seized it during the recent civil war, and much to D'hak's disapproval, he had taken to carrying it with him. "I do not wish to battle this morning."
"Very well," D'hak replied over his shoulder as he replaced the stopper on a crystal decanter. He handed a fluted scotch glass to the boy. "I think you'll like this," D'hak reassured him as he sniffed the drink.
"This is the one you recommended," Denath remembered as he headed for the door. He sipped it tenatively, and grimaced a little. "Bitter."
"Its an acquired taste," the clone replied with a smirk before he also took a sip.
"Was there something specific you required?" Denath asked. D'hak took another sip.
"Consul Halcyon sent out an announcement. We have a new member, a Lucius. I asked him to introduce himself to you some time." Denath nodded. "I just thought I'd let you know we have a new guy, just in case you didn't receive the message."
"You've run out of alcohol, haven't you?" the boy asked as he handed the decanter across. D'hak grinned.
"I was also worried about you," the clone continued. "You've been acting very strangely over the past week."
"I have not been sleeping well," Denath confessed. "I've had strange dreams."
"What of?" Dhak asked, taking a seat on the couch.
"Voices... as if someone is talking to me while I sleep." The clone frowned. "I have sometimes surveyed the video footage for the past week; no intruders have entered this room." The clone glanced at Ulic Qel-Droma's lightsaber suspiciously. "It may be side effects of the resurrection." The boy shrugged it off as the door to his office opened.
"Do you suspect something strange is happening?"
"I am unsure," Denath concluded as an officer stepped inside the room.
"Quaestor Denath," the officer saluted. The boy nodded at him. "The acquisition list for kitchen supplies for the week." The boy sighed and took a mouthful of the dark liquor, grimacing again.
"All right, lets get the mornings work started."
D'hak bowed and left, taking the decanter with him. He let out a worried sigh as he marched back to his room. "He's awake."
Karan Callidus Entar
As he stepped out his room and pressed the door lock button, Valnir heard the soft footfalls of a child. He turned and saw his Quaestor walking down the hall, reading a piece of parchment. Some sort of daily agenda he thought. Valnir bowed slightly as his diminutive master passed.
“So Valnir, how’s that new guy doing in your phyle, Lucius was it?” He continued reading through the list and Valnir walked slightly behind him.
“Yes lord. He seems to have settled in well enough. He’s ambitious and apparently was a damn good member of Oriens. He isn’t too bad…for a Sith.”
“Valnir, I know how you feel about the multi-order system, but either learn to deal with it or just shut up.”
“Yes. My lord.”
“I have things to organise, one of them seeing this Lucius, do you know where he is?”
“Library, reading up on the house history I think. If you would excuse me my lord, I need to go meditate.”
“Indeed. I have to go…ugh…” Denath stopped and rubbed his temples. Whispering. what was that whispering? His head began to ache. He began to make out some of the whispers. They grew louder. 'Qel-Droma'.
“Lord Denath?” He opened his eyes. The world came back into stark reality, he hadn’t noticed it, but he must have lost consciousness. The voice remained…
Valnir was knelt in front of him, his hand on Denath’s shoulder.
“What? Oh, slight headache, think nothing of it.” Valnir looked unconvinced.
“Very well my lord. I’ll be in the meditation room if you need anything.” He stood up and walked away. Denath thought about the whispers for a moment. He looked down at the light sabre of Ullic. Just bad dreams he told himself. He headed to the library.
Kandos piloted his ship into the Hanger bay, he was returning from an assassination mission that had taken a little longer than anticipated, he landed the ship and quickly removed his gear before heading back to his quarters.
When he reached his quarters he checked his computer terminal and found he had some messages waiting to be read. All of them were from his superiors in the clan apart from one which told him he had won a prize in a galactic competition he had never heard of and that all he had to do to get the prize was send his galactic banking details to the people running the completion. With a groan he deleted this one and quickly read through the rest.
“So they finally closed down Prophecy, oh well.”
The Krath Priest then went about unpacking his equipment and then went to get something to eat.
Kandos wandered through the halls of Arcona, approaching his destination. He looked up and saw the statues of some of the greatest Dark Jedis to step foot within Clan Arcona. As he admired the stone sculptures, his head turned as a stone door stood in front of him. The Krath gave the stone door a hearty push and stepped through to the Kitchen that resided behind it.
Kandos' mouth fell open. In the kitchen stood the last person he wanted to see. Ark stood in the center of the room, the refridgerator wide open. A trail of snacks and litter lead from the fridge to where Ark stood. Ark turned his head towards the stone door that had opened. Kandos stood there, disgusted with the way Ark was drinking.
"Yo! Eef it ain't me friends Gibbles and Frubby!" slurred the swaying Twi'lek, seeing doubles. He clutched 2 half empty glasses of wine. Kandos shook his head as he saw several empty cans of beer laying near Ark. The mighty drinkard swayed as he took a final sip and flung the glass at Kandos, which just missed by 10 feet and shattered on the table.
"Errmmm... I'll come back later," muttered the Krath Priest. He quickly slammed the door shut. As he walked away, starving, he heard Ark throw his second glass at the door, which shattered.
Kandos shuddered, wondering why the Prophecy Phyle had to go. Now, he was stuck with this idiot on his battleteam.
"Ah, perhaps I should go and talk to my new Tetrarch," said Kandos to himself. "I heard that there's a Sith in Dark Orb."
Denath nodded at the chief librarian as D'hak slipped into the library, keeping a suspicious eye on the boy. The librarian handed the boy a small scroll, and he left quickly. The clone approached the librarian, glancing around as he went. "Ah, Dorihak," the old man greeted him. "Always a pleasure to see you." D'hak smiled politely and gave a short bow.
"How are you this afternoon?"
"Edgy," the librarian replied. "That Denath is so unnerving. Theres just something unnatural about him."
"Many would agree with you," the Epis replied. "I was wondering what he was after?"
"Someone named Lucius," the old man said. "I believe he left for Naga Sadow. The boy probably scared him off."
D'hak glanced at the vault. "Has anyone shown an interest in our artifacts lately?" the Epis asked.
"Lord Denath was just inquiring about Ulic's lightsaber. There have been a few people studying copies of the K'hamar'an tomes... and I believe Valnir has taken the Dark Orb." The clone thought about this for a moment. "Is something the matter?" the librarian asked as he headed for one of the study tables.
"Has the lightsaber shown any recent activity?" D'hak asked. The librarian sighed and stroked his beard.
"The child just asked me that. There has been no activity since the days of Consul Mejas Doto. Do you think he is stirring in his sleep?" The Epis considered his answer carefully before finally nodding wordlessly.
"Keep me informed," he requested as he turned and left. The old man stroked his beard slowly as he watched him leave.
Karan Callidus Entar
Valnir stormed from his room. He'd just got off his comincator with Kandos. When he got hold of Ark he was going to tear him limb from limb! Getting drunk, wrecking the kitchen. If he'd raided the command staff's private drinks cupboard and stolen his special port...he marched slightly quicker.
D'hak needed a drink. He needed to relax his mind. Denath's behaviour was starting to unnerve him. He was sure the diminutive quaestor was up to something. Or hiding something which should be out in the open. He could really use that drink. As he got closer to the kitchen, he heard raised voices. Well, one was more of a raised slur. He was only a few feet away when the door flew open and a Twi'Lek landed a few feet behind it. He was cut and bruised.
"Do you know how much it costs to get that stuff shipped here?! Your wretched little protector!" Valnir roared as he marched out of the kitchen. He picked up the whimpering Ark and threw another punch at his face. He was sent reeling backwards and hit the wall, dropping down to the floor and covering himself.
"Valnir, what are you doing?" D'hak said with a quizzical look on his face. Valnir turned to the clone and bowed.
"Discipline my lord. This pathetic weakling," Valnir kicked the cowering Twi'Lek, who let out a whimper, "has...well, cleaned us out of our alcoholic beverages."
"Ah. No chance of a drink then?"
"I'm afraid not."
"Twasch, um, very goot though." Ark said, peering at D'hak from behind his hands. Valnir kicked him again, and stood on his hand as it hit the floor. Ark screamed and tried to free himself.
"Oh, I see. Pity. Anyway, keep up the good work." Valnir bowed again and pressed harder on Ark's hand, making him scream louder for effect. D'hak turned to leave.
"Oh, one other thing Valnir. I was speaking with the librarian and he tell's me you have the Dark Orb. May I ask, why?" He turned back to the tetrach who scowled.
"I merely thought it was time to...meditate with the object and understand its nature, as I command the phyle which is named after it."
"Hmm. Very well. I excpect it returned to the library."
"Yes lord." Valnir bowed again. D'hak turned and walked away. Ark howled in pain.
He was lying, of course. D'hak knew that from the tone of his voice. First the quaestor taking a sudden interest in the Qel-Droma artefacts, now the tetrach of Dark Orb. He hoped it was coincidental.
Valnir kicked the drunk Protector once more before releasing his grip.
"From now on, you get one bottle a week, not fourty seven!" snarled the Tetrarch. With a last threatening look, Valnir walked off. He left the drugged Twi'lek alone in the Kitchen, who was now muttering something about He-man. Valnir neared the stone door and looked on the floor, at a shattered piece of glass. He pulled the door open and met Kandos face to face.
"Is he gone yet," asked the Krath Priest urgently.
"Nah, the Twi'lek isn't, but all the booze is," replied Valinir, throwing a dirty look back at Ark.
"Oh well. When's the next shipment?" inquired Kandos.
"This afternoon, thankfully. We'll have to keep this idiot out, though," said Valnir in a low whisper. "I can't believe he's on my Battleteam. What was Denath thinking?" Valnir closed the door behind him and the Dark Jedis walked off.
Ark swayed on the spot, not taking notice of Valnir and Kandos' conversation.
As Valnir marched off down the corridor Kandos took one last look at the drunken Twi’lek, shook his head and ran to catch up with the Tetrach.
“I think I had better escort that drinks shipment, he may not look it but Ark can be rather ingenious when it comes to getting alcohol.”
Valnir muttered something under his breath that Kandos didn’t fully hear before stopping to think for a second.
“Okay, I’ll send you the shipment details. If you can keep Ark away from it then alls the better.”
With that the Tetrach continued on his way, and Kandos headed down to the hanger to make sure his ship was fuelled and ready.
Meanwhile Ark stumbled a few steps forward and fell flat on his face.
"Uuugghhh..." muttered the drunk Twi'lek. Minutes passed by as Ark layed on the floor. His head tilted in several directions, everything in sight was blurred. But Ark took a closer look. Some colorful, blurry thingies were moving towards him, their arms outstretched. Ark put his hands up to his temple and began concentrating slightly. As minutes passed, the Twi'lek gained a slight bit of control [DP].
Ark staggered as he tried to stand. He took a closer look at what the blurry things were. Such color... it was too peaceful. The drunk was surrounded amid a cast of colors such as blue and yellow.
"Aarrgghh," gasped Ark, realizing what the fuzzy thingies were. Ark limped towards the door, almost tripping himself up. "Git awaaay from meh, blarshted carebearsh!!"
But no, the cuddly creatures were advancing upon him. Hug bear was upon him.
"Give me a hug!"
"Aaarrggghhh!!! I shadn't!" slurred the tipsy Guardian. He took up a stance that looked similiar to Drunk Master. However, this was a different style of unrefined fighting full of errors and stupidity. "Taste my freakin' wrath! My style is Drunken Disciples of God!! Hyaaaah!!!"
Ark lunged towards Hug bear with his fist raised. The fool tripped while advancing upon the cuddly bear, and banged his head on the nearby. Ark clutched his temple, blood gushing from his wound. Ark cursed the creatures, which were now multiplying. The Guardian ran forward with his fist, this time at Sleepy bear.
The puzzled Krath was mildly surprised as to why fist went through the menacing doll without hurting it. His fist missed the mark and impacted against the Frdige. Ark looked up as the last bottle of beer fell down from the top of the refridgerator. The bottle landed in his right hand just as the doors burst open again.
"Hmm..." said a triumphant Kandos. "I thought I heard something. No more beer for you!"
The Krath Priest dragged the hallucinating Twi'lek out of the Kitchen.
"Twasch a misoonderstandin'!" slurred Ark, clutching the bottle, while Kandos dragged him towards the Clan's dungeon. Ark looked back and shrieked as the mob of multiplying carebears followed.
Krath Epis D'hak stepped inside the Quaestor's office quietly, surveying the room with a quick glance. Denath sat in one corner, meditating before the lightsaber of Ulic Qel-Droma. The clone frowned as he approached, clearing his throat to announce his presence. "Denath?" D'hak asked. The boy breathed a long sigh and glanced over his shoulder. "I thought I'd stop by for a quick chat." The clone fidgetted as the boy rose gracefully to his feet. Denath lifted a steel half-mask and pressed it across the scarred side of his face. Somehow it stuck there, whether through suction or the Force the clone was not sure. The boy turned to face the clone with a chilling stare.
"You interrupt my meditations."
"Yes, I... err... someone drank all the alcohol. I thought you had some."
"I gave you some this morning," the boy replied.
"Yes, you did... I forgot." Denath stared at him suspiciously for a couple of moments before marching to the bar and pouring out some vodka.
"Your feelings betray you," the Quaestor said as he handed a glass across. "I sense confusion and suspicion in you." D'hak frowned as the lightsaber of Ulic Qel-Droma floated across the room, landing in the boy's hand. "You think this is twisting me?"
"Ulic's spirit has been known to show itself from time to time," D'hak replied guardedly as they both took mouthfuls of their drinks.
"I know; the librarian told me about two incidents concerning previous Consuls."
"Are you trying to bring him back?" the clone asked.
"I know what I am doing," Denath whispered. "For a House that bears the name of Ulic Qel-Droma, we show him no reverence. I believe we should show his memory more respect." D'hak glanced at the tightly-gripped lightsaber.
"That is dangerous. You should return it to the vaults."
"Trust that I know what I am doing," the boy instructed as he wandered past the couch.
"I do not." D'hak finished his drink quickly, setting the glass down.
Denath glanced over his shoulder at D'hak, fixing him with a formidable glare from beneath his mask. "I find your lack of faith disturbing. This House can be very powerful if we make it so. We should take what strength we have and wield it." D'hak narrowed his eyes, returning the glare. He thought he heard whispers, urging him to attack. "Do you wish to wrest this from me?" The clone tensed as he considered his options, but suddenly Denath flicked the weapon at him. The clone snatched it out of the air quickly and smothered it in his robes, drowning the room in silence. Denath's shoulders relaxed noticeably. "Then take it. I have no need for it. I am my own valor." The boy returned to his corner, dropping to his knees and resuming his meditation. D'hak frowned as he stared at his Quaestor, wondering what was on his mind. Perhaps he was already too late?
The clone shook his head and marched out of the room. Regardless, the Lightsaber needed to be kept safe. The super human clone was the strongest and fastest person here, so he'd be the perfect guardian. No one could wrest it from him.
The drunk Twi'lek was now located in the bottom of the Arcona's headquarter, the Dungeon. Ark looked around gloomily at the glass cell he had been placed in.
The Twi'lek staggered as he smirked and stuck his tongue out at the multiplying carebear crowd outside the cage.They could not get in and Ark knew this.
"Ha haa," slurred Ark, taunting the crowd before him," Yousch can't get in heeeree..."
The imaginery carebears' faces tauntened and seemed to grow birght red with surpressed anger. Ark watched lazily as they gathered around Hug bear, who placed his hands together and muttered something wit his eyes closed. Then, the Hug bear opened its eyelids. He revealed a sinister smile and chuckled like a madman. The other carebears, following its lead, did the same. When all of them held the same, evil smile, their eyes glowed red. The mob followed their leader, Hug bear, into the glass cage. Ark watched in horror as the illusionary creatures melted themselves into the cage.
"Okaayy. Yousch arsked far this..." Ark staggered and forced himself into his Drunk Master style. The drinkard watched as the carebears surrounded him. "Hyaaarrhhh!!!" Ark lunged at Hug Bear with a kick, which went right through the hallucination. Ark's kick, however, made contact with the glass cage, cracking it slightly. The Twi'lek wheeled around as the mob continually multiplied. "Taaake thisch!" Ark Ark ran forwards a Grumpy Bear with the slowest punch ever. The blow went right through the enemy and made contact with the surrounding glass.
The glass cracked from being hit in two different spots. Watched the glass shatter in awe. It was like a glassy rain.
"Purttyyy colorsch!" mumbled Ark, his eyes wide with amazement. But this was no time to stand around. Ark looked behind him, staggering as the mob of carebears regrouped. He had to leave. Now. Ark limped towards the stairways up, avoiding the mob of hallucinations. Ark crept upstairs slowly, several of the wicked creatures grabbing onto his arms. The Twi'lek had managed to escape the falling glass with just a few cuts on his arms due to his tough skin.
He grabbed at the carebears and pushed them off. When he managed to get them all to release their grip, he started a slow run, tripping occasionally.
Kandos walked out of the hangar, whistling. The beer shipment was to arrive anytime soon. And Ark was to be kept locked up in the Dungeon. The Krath Priest quietly shuffled through the empty Corridor, preparing to go downstairs to check on the Guardian.
"Hmm? What's this?" muttered Kandos. He wheeled his head around just as he heard someone yell utter nonsense.
"Die, ye blaschted carebearsch!"
Ark had appeared in the Hallway after emerging from a doorway. He tripped as he ran, Kandos making no effort to help. He merely watched as the fool began streaking off in the opposite direction, his arms flailing crazily.
Reality hit Kandos. What was Ark doing up here? He should be in the dungeon. But there was a more pressing issue. Ark was going the way he had just come. That meant Ark was heading towards the Hangar! Either that or he was going to burst right into Denath's room.
Kandos shook his head as he picked up his pace in pursuit of the drunk Twi'lek.
As the Krath Priest ran to catch up with Ark he say the Guardian suddenly stop and stare at the wall next to him, he also seemed to be mumbling something under his breath. Kandos gained ground quickly as Ark stood there, when he shouted Ark’s name the Guardian looked toward him, gave a cry and ran off again.
“Ark, watch out for the……”
There was a smash as Ark into the doors of Denath’s room, rebounded off them and ended up in a heap on the floor.
“Never mind, your coming with me Ark.”
Kandos tried to pick Ark up but the bleary eyed Twi’lek refused to get off the floor, mumbling something about Carebears. After finally getting Ark to his feet Kandos dragged him to the high-security cells of the dungeon and locked him up again.
The Priest then made his way back to the hanger to meet the beer delivery, once again happy in the knowledge that Ark was locked up.
Ark looked gloomily at his new cell. His head was pounding and the effects of alcohol was wearing off even more. The carebears that had been pursuing him had vanished mysteriously and Ark was puzzled on the matter.
The bars were of a Durasteel Alloy and the keys to the console were hung in the next room. Finding an escape route would be quite a challenge.
"Ahhh... the alcohol delivery shall be here any moment," said the Krath Priest, thoughtfully, standing in the hangar. He looked outside. Yes, he needed some booze. Especially after Ark cleaned the Kitchens of any remaining drinks. Kandos shuddered. "What if Ark escapes? After the effects of alcohol wears off, he will regain his sanity. As well as his intelligence."
The child Epis Denath opened his eyes as his meditations reached their end. Something was wrong here. He quickly found his feet and marched out of his room, grabbing a spare lightsaber as he went. He stood outside his office, listening to the Force as it whispered secret things to him. There was something happening in the hangar. Igniting an emerald blade that matched the deep green of his eyes, he ran towards the hangar bay, stretching out with the Force long enough to sense D'hak's presence.
Krath Epis D'hak smiled as he greeted Kandos. He had not seem him for some time, and was glad to know that he was running about. The superhuman clone ran a finger across the length of Ulic's lightsaber as he listened to a report on alcohol delivery. Such concerns were beneath him; he guarded Ulics lightsaber, and naturally was above the meager comings and goings of the House.
He would rise in power once again.
Kandos wondered why D’hak seemed to be hanging around the hanger entrance but quickly pushed these thoughts aside as he saw the delivery ship heading towards the hanger.
As the ship landed Kandos was about to go over to it when a commotion at door behind him caught his attention. Krath Epis Denath had entered the hanger at a run and was heading for the ship when it suddenly exploded.
As the Krath Priest was thrown across the room the nearby ships were caught in the blast and exploded as well, soon the hanger was full of fire.
The alarms flared up, contaminating the hangar with annoying sirens. Denath looked up, as though he could not believe the preceedings behind him. His hawk- like gaze flew from the sprinkler systems down to the clone.
"What is going on?!" yelled the Quaestor. His racing mind was no longer focused on the lighsaber.
"I- I don't know. The shuttle just blew open! " said a calm D'hak, clutching the lightsaber tightly. He glanced behind him at a piece of rubble, which had moved. Kandos emerged from the debris and shook his head. The Krath Priest raised his left hand to his head, panging from the impact.
"WARNING!! LOSING POWER IN HANGAR!!" blared the sirens in the background. Denath looked up, not impressed.
"So what's the status? Is the alcohol gone?" shouted Denath, trying to yell over the alarm.
"I'll check," said D'hak, still watching Kandos staggering around.
"WARNING!! LOSING POWER IN KITCHENS AND THE MEDITATION CHAMBER!!"
Denath stole a look at the power conduit, hanging on the wall. It was in disarray. The conduit had fallen off the wall, hanging only by a few strands of cords.
"WARNING!! LOSING POWER IN THE DUNGEON CELLS!!"
Kandos looked up in blaring sirens. The last announcement had caught his attention.
Ark looked up. He had fully regained control of himself. He was no longer drunk.
"Yet I'm still locked up," said Ark, cursing. "Hmm? What's this? Uh oh, this can't be good..."
Ark noticed that the console in front of him began sparking and was brimming with overflowing electricity. The sparks, however, did not seem friendly. The sparking grew bigger and bigger as Ark's eyes grew wider. He looked around. He was locked in Durasteel bars. Not good.
Metal conducted electricty, and Ark knew this. The Twi'lek backed away from the bars. But it was no good.
"This can't be- AAARRGGGHHH!!"
The sparking console blew open, electricty directing itself towards the closest metal. Ark, who happened to be locked behind metallic bars, felt electricty flow through him.
It was over in a couple of seconds, though the pain would ;ast months. Ark looked up. The Durasteel bars had been zapped by the exploding console's energy. But here was a bright side.
Ark noticed that the door blew open, as the console controlling it had blown. Smiling through gritted teeth, Ark limped out of his cell.
"Uhh... where are those stairs?" groaned Ark through a mouthful of blood.. His tough skin had endured the electric assault, though he was heavily bleeding from his mouth.
Karan Callidus Entar
The outer exterior hanger doors came down heavy and the windows and doors of the Qel-Droman temple base bared themselves. The emergency systems had locked the place down. The lights flickered in the hanger and then went out. The sirens ceased their whining and silence descended in the darkened hanger. The sound of someone gasping broke the silence followed by a loud thud as a body hit a wall and fell down, followed by the sound of small running footsteps, echoing down a corridor. The emergency lighting systems activated and bathed the hanger in a cool blue-ish glow. Valnir ran into the room as Kandos was helping D’hak to his feet. He looked at the wreckage and then turned to the clone.
“What the hells happened here?”
“The cargo ship exploded, we lost power, and then Denath grabbed Ulic’s sabre from me and sent me flying into the wall.” He twisted his torso. His back was killing him.
Kandos looked at D’hak, puzzled. “Wait, Denath? Our Denath? Why would he do that?”
“I don’t know, but it must have something to do with the lightsabre.”
“It does.” Valnir replied, matter of factly.
“And how would you know that?”
“The Dark Orb.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Well the orb is primarily a communication device, but being so close to other force sensitive artefacts its learned to…well, talk to some of them, like the sabre.”
“What do you mean, talk to them? And why has no-one else tried this? And why did you try it?” D’hak was looking worriedly at Valnir. What else had the knight been up to?
“Well its been able to pick things up from them, and see through them. I was meditating with the orb and I began to hear…whispers. I checked the room and there was nothing there, not even a force presence, apart from myself and the stone. I looked into it and I could see Denath. I don’t know why its suddenly started working.”
“And what did the whispers say?”
“I couldn’t make most of them out, but two kept cropping up. Qel-Droma and destruction.”
There was silence for a moment.
“Why did you tell no-one of this Valnir?” D’hak looked coldly at the knight.
“Because if word got to Denath what do you think he would have done?”
“Hmm…very well. But now we have a problem, were trapped in a building with a…with Denath and whatever’s influencing him.”
“But we can track him right?” Said Kandos, “With the orb?”
“From what I’ve seen in it so far, yes we could.”
“And where is the orb Valnir?”
“In my quarters, my lord. When the power went out I rushed straight here.”
“Well then, Lets go shall we?”
Valnir, Kandos and D’hak made their way to the hanger exit. Quaestor gone mad, no power, artefacts suddenly displaying strange properties. This was going to be one of those days, thought D’hak.
"What if the spirit of Ulic Qel- Droma is possessing him," said D'hak thoughtfully. He knew that this had happened twice before to their former Quaestors.
"Well, we shall see when we get to my quarters," reminded Valnir. The trio proceeded up to the second floor, where their destiantion layed.
"Oh god," said Kandos. The Krath Priest looked to his right and saw a certain Twi'lek walk out of a doorway. The Guardian noticed the group before him and his bleeding mouth split into a grin.
"Hi!" yelled Ark, as though seeing if the halls could echo. "You know, funny thing just happened. I just saw Denath run by, clutching a lightsaber ors something. He looked utterly mad. Kinda funny." Valnir looked at Kandos and nodded. Ark wasn't drunk and could help them out a bit.
"Listen Ark, we need to find out what has happened to Denath. Help us and," Valnir took a deep breath," And we'll let you drink alcohol again." Kandos looked horrorstruck at the Tetrarch. It was obvious he doubted it was a wise idea.
But Ark nodded. It was clear he would do anything for a drink.
"Excellent. Let's go." Valnir gestured at the Kraths behind him.
"Valnir, are you sure that was a good idea?" Kandos whispered urgently.
"Don't worry, the last shipment exploded. There's no alcohol left," was the whispered reply.
The group quickly reached Valnir’s quarters and went in to retrieve the Orb. As they did so the emergency lighting shut off and the room was plunged into total darkness.
“Okay, this isn’t good” said Kandos.
There was a crash and a yell as somebody fell over, without looking every one of them knew who had fallen over something. The Krath Priest ignited his Lightsaber and bathed the room in a green light, he then helped Ark off the floor and back onto his feet.
Valnir quickly retrieved the Dark Orb from where he had left it.
“Now what?” said Ark as he rubbed the bruise on his leg.
"Now what? Well, perhaps we should tie you to something here," whispered an agitated Valnir. He glanced towards the night table that Ark had tripped over. Pieces of a shattered vase was illuminated by the eerie green glow. "Ark, do try to be more cautious."
Ark nodded shamefully, though only a sliver of his face was illuminated. Valnir did not look satisfied at Ark's response and continually threw glances towards his Tyro.
"Ahem," whispered D'hak. "Perhaps we should focus on the Orb now."
Everyone jumped. They had forgotten about the Orb in light of the recent scolding. The group immediately turned their attention back to the Orb, now lying innocently on Valnir's bed.
"So, how do you think it works?" inquired Kandos. He waved his Lightsaber around a bit, as though it might encourage ideas.
Karan Callidus Entar
“You mean you’ve never used it before?”
Kandos shook his head.
“Has anyone ever used it before?”, D’hak and Ark looked at each other nervously, “By the darkness, does no-one get curious about these things any more?”
Valnir turned his head towards the orb, a dark green in the sabre light. He ran his hand from the front of it to the back and closed his eyes. The assembled dark jedi stared at the orb as they felt the force fluctuate in the room. A moment later Valnir’s eyes snapped open and he stared blankly in front of him. His eyes were glazed.
“He’s walking from the generator room.” His voice had an echo like a whisper. “He’s coming up the corridor leading to the library. He’s looking down at the sabre…he-” Valnir was blasted across the room. He landed in a heap and dropped the orb. D’hak and Ark helped him to his feet.
“He…he sensed me. The orb must work both ways when you look through it. I don’t know how but he…he blasted me through the sabre and the orb. Surely he’s not that powerful?”
“I was afraid of this.” Mused D’hak, mostly to himself.
“Afraid of what?” Ark was looking puzzled.
“It appears that the spirit of Qel-Droma is definitely possessing him and channelling his own powers into Denath.”
“Well what does he intend to do?”
“Isn’t it obvious Valnir? Ulic died a light jedi, and what do you think a light jedi would do if he was trapped in a temple with a group of dark jedi?”
Kandos and Valnir gave each other worried glances.
“So…drinks are definitely off then?” asked Ark. Valnir hit him across the back of the head.
“So what are we going to do?” Ark said as he rubbed the back of his head.
“I guess we have to get the Lightsaber away from him or something.” Kandos said with a worried tone. There was silence for a few seconds as everyone thought about the difficulty in separating a Jedi from his weapon.
“A great time for there to be nothing to drink.”
“And who’s fault is that then Ark?” Valnir said, the Tetrarch’s frustration with his Tyro rising by the second. The Guardian fell silent and wandered over to the doorway.
“Maybe someone should go down to the library to see what Denath is doing.” Suggested D’hak.
“Yes but who?” The Krath Priest asked. A second later everyone turned and looked at Ark. The Guardian turned round again and saw the others looking at him.
"God, why am I always the labrat?" muttered Ark, creeping down the corridor. The others had sent him to try to steal back Ulic's Lightsaber. His destination was the Library, where his Quaestor was. Breathing heavy sighs, Ark swallowed his pride. "Hope this works."
He arrived at 2 large, metallic doors with the words 'ARCHIVES' clearly cut into the surface. Ark gave the door a little push with his mind [TE], but it refused to budged.
"Aaarrrgghhh," why won't it open?" pondered an agry Ark. He kicked the door and thrashed at it, and eventually, slamming himself into the cold entrance. Luckily, Ark recieved a telepathic message in his head from Valnir [RT].
'You're supposed to pull it, not push it.' was the angry thought.
'Whoops,' Ark thought back [PT]. The Twi'lek gave the door a hearty tug, and it opened easily. Ark cursed at himself for not figuring that out himself.
There he was. The eleven year old boy was sitting at a round table, reading a book about something Ark could not comprehend. Ark gulped. Why had he been set up for this stupid job anyway? The Guardian began a slow advancement on his target. It was unbelieveable how slow one could walk when the distance was just ten yards away.
Ark approached Denath, slowly. He even bent down and pretended to tie his shoes multiple times to slow down a bit. It might have seemed normal- had Ark been wearing any shoes in the first place. He did not want to do this as he knew it would be impossible to steal a Dark Jedi's Lightsaber.
Denath looked up from the ancient book he was perusing. He saw Ark slowly walking up to him. When Ark was just three feet from Denath, he turned a full 90* to the right and ran to a shelf and dislodged a book. Denath was even more suspicious.
'What are you doing?!' Ark heard in the back of his miknd [RT]. He could tell his Tetrarch wanted him to hurry up and steal the Lightsaber.
'It isn't easy! Give me time!' Ark relayed back [PT].
'Well, I've been watching you through the Orb. You've done absolutely nothing except stall for time!'
'Alright, I'm on it!!'
Ark looked back at Denath. The Twi'lek dropped his book as he proceeded straight to the table where Denath sat.
"Hi! Interesting book, huh? What's it about" said Ark, squinting at the letters. Denath looked at him suspiciously.
"Ok," replied Ark. he looked around the room, trying to think of something. "Sooo... have you ever thought of selling that Lightsaber to eGalaxy? You could earn some credits for it..."
Denath rose to his feet, slamming the book on the table.
"You're after the Lightsaber, aren't you?"
In Valnir's room, everyone looked up from the Orb, now showing a stunned Twi'lek talking to an infuriated Quaestor.
"So, why did we send this idiot to go steal the Lightsaber?!" asked a frustrated D'hak. This was going to get complicated. "I knew he was bound to mess up somewhere!"
Denath closed his eyes for a moment, and then with a twisted smirk as he began choking Ark through the Force.
Valnir and the others were slammed back as Denath disrupted the Orb's vision once again. D'hak flipped back to his feet and ran off cursing, quickly followed by the others. Their hearts pounded in their chests as they rounded the corners to the library, and came to a sudden halt to pull the door open. D'hak led the way as the Qel-Dromans marched inside, to find Ark lying on the floor. Valnir shook Ark's shoulder and he jumped up with a start. "I didn't faint!" he shouted.
"Are you all right?" Valnir asked. Ark nodded.
"The d-dome," the Guardian stuttered as he got to his feet.
The Qel-Dromans reached the top of the long staircase and looked about the dome. Supported by large pillars, the dome rested upon the majority of the temple's lower floors. Tremendous murals of House and Clan victories were engraved in the walls, and an eerie light illuminated the room from torches and braziers that rested around. Normally this served as a meeting room, or some times for meditation, but today it would serve a new purpose.
Denath half-turned his head, showing the steel half-mask that concealed his scars. The engravings glinted in the firelight. He turned fully, fixing them with a cautious glare. "Hello Denath," D'hak greeted him as he stepped forward, removing his curved lightsaber and igniting the blade.
"Denath! What is going on?" Valnir demanded. "The lightsaber has possessed you. Hand it over now or suffer the consequences!"
"The lightsaber is mine," the boy replied with a contemptuous snarl.
"NO!" D'hak shouted as he stepped forward. "You are a thief and a traitor!"
"I am no traitor. I serve my master well." Kandos and Valnir ignited their lightsabers, striking fighting stances. Ark shuffled to the back, ready to throw a cunning insult.
"You are a slave to a forgotten memory," D'hak rasped as he paced forward, nicking marble the floor with a blade of violet light. "The days of Lord Arcona have fallen to shadow. There is only one light."
"Is this where I'm meant to care?" Denath spat. "I could never time that right." He lifted the lightsaber of Ulic Qel-Droma behind his head.
"Give that to me!" D'hak demanded. "You stole it FROM ME!!"
"Yes, I did..." Denath replied. "...Ulic Qel-Droma." The others turned to D'hak in confusion as Denath ignited the lightsaber, casting an amber light across the battlefield. "You want it, come and claim it!"
The super-human clone leapt at him like a man possessed.
Denath raised the lightsaber of Ulic Qel- Droma and parried the assaulting clone with apparent ease. The boy then circled around to Kandos and Valnir, who were flanking eitther side of him. D'hak let out a wave of furious slashes and blows, attempting to cut off the boy's hands.
Ark watched from the rear as Kandos and Valnir joined in the duel between Denath and D'hak. He would have to do somethin to throw D'hak off of his guard. He had thought Denath was the possessed one up until now.
"D- D'hak!! YOU'RE SO DUMB, YOU ONCE TRIED TO STEAL A LANDSPEEDER!! ONLY YOU COULDN'T BECAUSE IT WAS VOICE IMPRINTED!! SO YOU FAILED TO GET IT AND THAT'S WHAT MAKE YOU SO DUMB!!" shouted Ark. He smirked and looked proud of himself as though he had made the wittiest remark ever. No one paid any attention to him. Slightly crestfallen, Ark began pondering why no one else found his insult comedic.
"Ark!! Help us out!" roared Valnir. D'hak was pressing his attacks and only Denath was able to keep up with his movements. Ark nodded, and plunged into his robes. He withdrew a canteen, which was obviously filled with wine, and began swinging it by the leather strap.
Ark ran forwards, swinging the canteen at D'hak. In a flash of purple, D'hak sliced the flask open and the contents poured out. Ark shrieked as the Alderaanian Hound Vodka spilled onto D'hak's robes.
"Those are rare!!" cried Ark. Alderaan had been destroyed and that specific drink was, indeed, highly valued as it was in short supply. Ark moved his left hand into his robes again and took out a blaster and started edging away.
He took careful aim at D'hak. It was common knowledge that Alderaanian drinks were highly flammable. One well placed shot from his blaster would ignite the wine stain on D'hak's robes, setting him on fire.
OOC- Whoops, editted because I missed an important detail.
OOC (Denath)- You missed a spot
The superhuman clone grunted in pain as small flames engulfed him, flicking across his robe and biting the skin. He fell to the ground, and the three lightsaber wielders levelled their blades at his throat. The clone glared at Denath menacingly as the Quaestor stepped back, raising Ulic's weapon.
"Fools," D'hak growled. "Look around you, your empire is crumbling. This Clan is falling into a chasm of apathy. The new blood desires only power, and the old blood is rapidly clotting." Denath signalled for the other two to step back as the clone continued to burn. "You are a slave to a fallen master of forgotten times."
"You are that master, Lord Qel-Droma," the boy replied. D'hak sneered. "You have forsaken us."
"You endured well without me for so long," D'hak replied, "but now in your darkest hour I return." The Quaestor sighed as he watched the flames burn.
"I return to lead you once again into glorious battle. Follow me and we shall reclaim the legacy of Arcona!" The possessed clone sounded almost desperate as he stared imploringly at those around him. Denath turned his back and deactivated the lightsaber.
"We are our own valor," the boy whispered. "We make our own legacies, we forge our own strength. Some remain who have the devotion and commitment to make this Clan great."
"This Clan is a ghost of its former self. I can save you from the shadows that surround you!" Denath flicked the lightsaber of Ulic Qel-Droma aside.
"So can we."
The burning clone moaned as Denath left the dome, stopping at the top of the stairs to speak over his shoulder. "I am not some pathetic little boy, Ulic, I am a legendary warrior and a powerful Dark Jedi. I carry the memories of a proud kingdom of mighty warriors. I am my own valor, my own strength, because I can save myself. I take what strength I have and I wield it." He sighed as he felt trickles of the Force flowing around him. These trickles crawled their way to the legendary lightsaber, where they were slowly absorbed. "Leave him," Denath called over his shoulder. "He has no power here." The boy marched down the stairs, followed slowly by uncertain Qel-Dromans.
"Is Ulic gone?" Ark asked. Valnir watched Denath carefully as he answered.
"Yes. I was reading a journal of his first summoning in the library. Ulic's power is derived solely from faith. He was able to take D'hak because he didn't see hope in our future without Ulic. He forgot the strength this Clan can have, if we make ourselves strong. I'll inform Consul Halcyon that the threat has been contained, and that we need more alcohol." The child Quaestor quickened his pace as he headed towards his office.
Karan Callidus Entar
Valnir picked up the Dark Orb from his room and made his way to the library. The power had been restored to the temple and the rest of the Qel-Droman's were returning from their varied errands. Apparently the clan summit was most pleased with how the situation was handled. Good job they didnt know most of the story. Valnir opened the doors to the vast library with a slight telekenetic pull and walked in. The place was in order again after Ark's scuffle with Denath. Valnir saw the librarian and wanderd over to him.
"Im returning the Dark Orb."
"I heard it was showing some unusual properties?"
"Yes, I kept a journal of sorts whilst experimenting with it. I'll get you a copy to look at first chance I get."
"Excellent. Oh, Denath wants to talk with you, he's in the hanger bay."
"Did he return the lightsabre?"
"Not yet actually, he said he had one last thing to do with it."
"Hmm...I'll go see him at once." Valnir couldnt hide the concern in his voice.
There was a shuttle in the hanger bay and Denath was stood beside the open access ramp as humid jungle air came in around him. He heard the interior doors open and Valnir stepped through.
"You wished to see me my lord?"
"Yes Valnir, I've had word from the summit, Halcyon and Dalthid have stepped down due to varying circumstances, and I have been chosen as the replacement."
"Thats excellent news my lord! I wish you luck."
"I'm just about to depart for Arconae primus, but first, I have one last thing to do..." he took out the lightsabre of Ullic and looked at it for a moment. He held it out towards Valnir, who took it.
"I hereby appoint you as Quaestor of Qel-Droma, with all the powers and rights therein."
"But my lord! I dont have this kind of experience, I shall tr to be worthy of your trust."
"Try only one thing Valnir. One thing and you will succeed."
"Be your own valour."