Chapter 1: Thank You for Sending Me an Angel
Olmondo, Ruusan, 201 BBY
“First time here?” a random Bouncer telepathically communicated to Rugess as he looked upon the massive desert plains that stretched across the planet’s surface. As he turned his head to face the individual speaking to him he could see the furry friend in full with luscious green locks matted together in a spherical shape.
“It is,” Rugess responded telepathically as well setting the Bouncer aback for a brief moment. Instead of the tall figure regurgitating some Bith noises, which would be translated through the telepathic brains that all of the Bouncer species possessed, the tickle of a voice in the back of the Bouncer’s mind drew in its attention to the Bith male even more than when he was going to speak for ideal chit-chat.
“I didn’t know that the Bith had telepathic capabilities.” The Bouncer said.
“We are not like the Iktotchi, but, through the force all things are possible,” Rugess replied again telepathically. His eyes focused down on some of the sand that had fallen down from a nearby hill onto the ship that was carrying Rugess, the Bouncer, and all the other individuals a top of it. Dozens of microscopic creatures looking for any small scrap of food to bring back to some nest yet they were met with nothing but the course, rough sand that gets all over. Rugess returned his attention to the small companion he was speaking to as the many humans and Munn spoke to each other as the two suns rained heat from above.
“Amazing, I wasn’t aware that the banking clan was sending a Jedi for a simple reconstruction project.”
“They didn’t, not all force users are Jedi,” Rugess said as the ship began to slow down as it arrived towards the destination it had set out towards. Looking over the ledge revealed a large swath of destroyed buildings and ruined monuments stuffed to the brim with rivers of sand.
“I still fail to see why the republic is wasting so many credits on restoring such a pathetic planet,” A Munn said moving over to the side of the ship where Rugess and the Bouncer were located. “The Banking Clan will not be happy at how much effort will have to go into this backward planet but the credits we will make off of it should quell any quarrel.” Rugess cocked his head slightly to meet eye contact with his friend Hego Damask.
“I assume one of the first constructions to be completed will be the expansive shipyard.” Rugess telepathically commented with Hego letting out a chuckle.
“That is something you have no need to worry about friend,” Hego replied as a bubbly drink was handed to him from a simple servant droid used so much that the paint was chipped away. “Such dull surroundings, you there captain would you like me to buy you a replacement droid?” Hego gestured to the Wookie captain who roared in response.
“It’s never wise to upset a Wookie Hego,” Rugess telepathically responded with the Bouncer looking upwards towards Rugess’s face and then down to a series of scars upon his pale neck. “Is something troubling you friend?”
“Can you not speak?”
“Not physically anyway, a simple but trivial poison required extensive surgery on my neck to save me, yet it hinders me not as my ships are what will put me in history, not my words.” Rugess telepathically said as the Wookie captain who was roaring at his worn-out droid suddenly became quiet. He moved away from the controls of the ship with the droid taking over and he pulled out a blaster from a holster resting against his left leg. His nostrils flared as if he was attempting to find the location of a pungent odor that would radiate from a fat Hutt, keeping his blaster pointed towards a cliffside now with the attention of the humans and Munn’s pointed there as well.
“RAWRGWAWGGR,” The Wookie captain said as a score of rocks started raining down from the cliffside towards the individuals on the ship below. Looking up and swiping his hand, Rugess sent all of the stones flying away from them only to reveal a group of humans dropping down from the distraction a top of the ship they were all riding. Their skin was tanned as fine leather and their heads shaved bald with a mixture of both men and women in the group yet it was not any physical characteristics that set them as something to be feared but the giant energy packs strapped on their backs with a coil attached to it leading up to an ancient-looking protosaber. As if they had a mental link with one another each of them ignited their sabers in unison with yellow light mixing with the natural light twinkling down from the sky.
“Oh my…” Hego quivered as the Wookie captain along with the few mercenaries hired by the banking clan to protect the group that was exploring the ruins of the old capital Olmondo began to fire upon these powerful raiders. Surprisingly, despite Rugess not feeling an ounce of the force beaconing from these people, they were skilled enough with their forms to deflect some of the blasts being fired at them while dodging and weaving away from others. One particularly timed deflection led to a blaster bolt hitting the Wookie captain in his right knee causing him to fall over in pain as another of the bald raiders slice a mercenary’s blaster in two. With all of the chaos a top of the ship, a raider attempted to rush at Hego, Rugess, and the Bouncer pointing his saber towards the frightened Munn but that same raider was sent flying away when Rugess extended his right arm out and utilizing the force against the enemy.
“Stay behind me you two.” Rugess telepathically warned the two beings next to him as he opened his left palm causing a lightsaber to land in his hand from under his robes. With a simple flick of his thumb, a green beam emerged from the metallic hilt and the Bith moved his posture towards that of form one, Shii-Cho, causing the raiders to cease ransacking the members of the banking clan and focus their full attention towards Rugess. The ancient yet simple style would be something that trained duelists would be able to counter quite effective yet when it came to these backward simpletons the motions were as enigmatic as basic hygiene. Flashes of green begin to overtake the raiders with limbs being chopped off, eyes blinded with a quick swipe, parrying followed by the protosabers powering down as the coil connecting the power source to the weapon itself being severed, and the once headstrong brutes realizing how outmatched they were by a ship architect from Clak'dor VII.
“Raaaaaar!” The Wookie captain screamed as he shoots another blaster bolt towards the raiders who were distracted enough to get hit in the head. With the tide of the battle turning against them, what remained of the bandits cut their losses and jumped off of the side of the ship to return to the desert plains of Russan fleeing from an opponent they never dreamed they would encounter. Jedi hardly ever traveled to this planet as it was one of the three planets only approved masters were allowed to visit and the mercenaries near Russan were notoriously poor in quality. For a trained duelist to be in the midst of the banking clan’s survey for the repair and restoration program of Russan commissioned by the galactic republic completely ruined their planned action for some quick credits, along with the fact that the same duelist had also jumped off of the ship in pursuit of them.
“Rugess!” Hego shouted but it was too late, his Bith friend had already landed on the sandy dunes below and dashed after the fleeing group of Jedi imitators. Within moments he had caught up to the stragglers and sliced two of them down in an instant leaving only three remaining who jumped onto three of the multitude of speeder bikes hidden under sand for a timely getaway or at least that was the original intent of them. As the three began to ride off into the distance Rugess made a quick flick of the wrist causing one of the bikes controls to jerk leading to a collision between two of the three speeder bikes an, explosion reverberating amongst the sand. Another flick of the wrist brought an unused speeder bike to Rugess who hopped on and began a pursuit of the last raider at high speeds.
Normally a ship architect on commission from the banking clan would not be chasing after some cave lurker in the desert on a speeder bike moving at speeds faster than legally allowed on any civilized world, but Rugess was no normal ship architect. It was true he was primarily here to figure out areas where the shipyards would be best to construct that was only what he did to pay the bills, his true purpose on Russan was something much deeper than any one of the brainless members of the banking clan could understand. A planet closed off to most Jedi means nothing to the lay individual in the galaxy just trying to survive in the bureaucratic nightmare but to a force-sensitive, it is a mystery box holding unknown truths inside that could change the way one looks at reality itself. Rugess himself was lucky enough to be one of the dozen or so forced sensitives to be trained on how to best use their gifts without being tethered down by the Jedi’s obsolete and antiquated religion. The force was something to be harnessed and used and Russan itself emanated a link with the force so strong that just being in the same star system he could feel something calling out to him on this planet that he had never felt before.
Even the pathetic individuals who had just attempted to rob him and his business associates that had no gift with the force had a slight stench of something that drove Rugess further and further towards identifying the source of it all. If he had wanted to he could have easily killed the last of the bandits that he was chasing with nothing more than a simple thought but that would bring him no closer to understanding what was drawing him in. Bandits on a planet barely cared about by the republic was nothing out of the ordinary but the fact that these ones had protosabers and smelled of the unknown was something very interesting indeed. Mere moments later the remaining bandit swerved on his speeder bike towards the direction of a lone cave so hard that he ended up falling off of the vehicle which crashed into the wall of the cave.
“I meant no harm please!” The bandit screamed in an incredibly thick accent that Rugess had never heard before. Jumping off of the speeder bike, Rugess slowly followed the bandit into the cave that he ran into using his lightsaber as an illuminating source to guide him through the crevasse. His eyes while able to see the microscopic world was horrible at seeing things far away and utterly useless at seeing in the dark but the combination of his lightsaber and the force gifted him clarity that no other Bith would be able to access. He used the force reaching it out deep into the cave far beyond the photons his lightsaber emitted seeing the frightened bandit run hearing him panting before tripping on a rock and collapsing on the ground.
Rugess began to approach the lone bandit who was trembling and skirting away backward beyond the reach of his lightsabers glows slipping back into the shadows. Then, however, something began to cloud Rugess vision through the force making him unable to see what he could mere moments ago. The cave itself began to produce an eerie echo throughout and pressure began pushing against Rugess almost as if it was trying to stop him from advancing any further. This meant nothing to him and he pressed on only for the echo to get louder and the pressure to increase to the point where he needed to use the force in able to move deeper into the cave feeling as if he was about to be swallowed up by some great beast. After pushing onward and onward Rugess eventually was able to see a dim light at the end of what felt like an incredibly long tunnel in which a red flame trapped within a pyramid-like structure was emanating a dark power that both drew Rugess in and attempted to push him away.
Five steps, five steps are all it took to close the gap between him and the flame but those five steps took as much strength as the most intense duels and force battles. Then it was there, directly in front of him feeling as if it was whispering to him to smash it open and see what lies inside to revel in it and worship it as his lord. Yet those whispers were suddenly silenced as the bandit jumped from above attempting to slash down at Rugess yet with a simple skip backward and a slash towards the bandit’s neck led to a quick and painless decapitation something the lowlife did not deserve. What was once a group of bizarre protosaber wielding thugs were now all dead and the pyramid with the red flame was glowing even stronger and the whispers began to grow greater and turned into chanting, ordering him to open it up.
Rugess reached out with the force in an attempt to break the pyramid down only for it to strike back at him sending him flying, crashing into the side of the cave with stalactites falling down from the sheer force of the impact. He got up slowly with the chanting gone and the pyramid no longer emitting a dark red flame instead illuminating the entire cave it was in with a blood-red light. A stench suddenly hit him harshly as the floor of the cave was riddled with broken glass that seemingly was from drained death sticks. This was in conjunction with an unconscious purple Twi’lek lying in the center next to the pyramid and with a high density of empty death sticks surrounding her.
“Are you ok?” Rugess telepathically asked her with the force causing her eyes to open slowly. They were so bloodshot that her eyes almost looked like two pieces of multi-colored kaleidoscopes with blue, white, purple, and black colors swirling together. Before Rugess could ask her anything else the color of her eyes immediately transformed into a sinister yellow and red and she lifted her arm up shooting lightning from the tips of her fingers. It was only through a quick transition to form three, Soresu, that Rugess was able to prevent the lightning from striking at his heart and killing him.
“Who dares disturb my slumber?!?” The Twi’lek said raising her other arm and shooting lighting from those fingers as well causing Rugess to be pushed back from the sheer ferocity of the attack that was happening against him. Bolts of electricity were scattering off of the green lightsaber and hitting all throughout the cave destroying entire sections before one bolt happened to strike the pyramid causing a giant wave of force to smash into both Rugess and the Twi’lek throwing them off balance. Rugess attempted to get back to his feet only for what could only be the force keeping him down only allowing him to begrudgingly look up seeing the pyramid crack open and the red flame burst into a small inferno forming into the image of a giant male Twi’lek clad in armor. The figure looked down at Rugess only to change the focus of his attention towards that of the female Twi’lek with a sneer on his face.
“You pathetic pile of trash, the fate of the Sith resting in you will lead to the death of a plan hundreds of years in the making,” The male Twi’lek said while raising his arm causing his female counterpart to raise into the air as if she was being forced choked. Her eyes had changed back from the yellow and red back to the bloodshot ones they were prior as she clawed at her throat. “The dark side only embraces you when your drugged mind is able to suppress itself and let the force restore your faculties.” He said flinging her against the wall knocking her back out again. The male Twi’lek looked over towards Rugess with hatred in his eyes barley masked by the red flames making up his body.
“Rise Bith, the force has chosen you to save the Sith from the errors my family has made.” The male Twi’lek commanded with the weight atop of Rugess being removed and he slowly stood up with the being of flame floating closer towards him.
“What are you?” Rugess telepathically asked.
“I am the great-great-grandfather of the waste of flesh that lays unconscious; you may refer to me as Darth Tenebrous,” The male Twi’lek said as he extended his hand out to Rugess. “What lies before you is the fate of the Sith which must be preserved in order to save the galaxy from the evils of the Jedi. I sense the dark energy that swirls within you beneath the façade you put up, the lineage of Darth Bane must be restarted.” Tenebrous said as Rugess took the hand that was extended before him causing the flames making up the Sith lord to be absorbed into Rugess making him glow red.
“What are you doing?” Rugess thought as an intense sense of euphoria came over him and he could feel as if the force itself was embracing him. Yet this was nothing like the way the force had interacted with him before, instead of simply being an energy pool for Rugess to take from he could sense the binding of the universe through the force and at the center of it all was him beaconing into the universe.
“You will be the focal point where the Sith become reborn, you will take my name and protect my great-great-granddaughter while her brain recovers from the damage she has caused herself. In the brief moments, her senses to the dark side recover she will be your master but in any other case you will be her master.” Tenebrous said as Rugess could see the history of the Sith flashing before him.
“I will do as you ask Darth Tenebrous…” Rugess said as the male Twi’lek chuckled slightly before the red energy surging in Rugess began to fade away.
“My boy starting now you are Darth Tenebrous, do not fail me.” A final whisper into Rugess mind states as he stood up seeing the pyramid returned to its normal shape and the Twi’lek female unconscious. Quickly grabbing the pyramid and putting it in a knapsack that was lying on the ground and clicked a button signaling the banking clan his location. Ruusan will be rebuilt and with it so will the Sith Order.