Chapter 2: With Our Love
Rugess’s Mansion, Naboo, 196 BBY
“Keep your form up!” Tenebrous’s Master Darth Zimbra commanded as she rushed towards him slashing towards his throat while having a lightsaber in both of her hands, forcing him to use all the power his body could muster and draw so much power from the force just so that he had enough to properly parry and block her. Over the past five years, Darth Tenebrous had been forced to expand his dueling capabilities drastically in order to have any chance of surviving in the training duels against his master. While he had been tutored by numerous Jedi who had either been exiled from the order or left on their own accord throughout his childhood in how to use the force and be a competent duelist but none of what he was taught or the sparing droids his parents had purchased for him could compare to the onslaught that was Darth Zimbra. No matter which forms he switched to whether it be forms one, two, three, or four, he could seemingly never overtake her in areas that only a few years prior he considered himself a master in.
Green and red beams clashed dozens of times within a few seconds as Darth Zimbra was pushing her apprentice back while slashing towards the floor in an effort to make him lose his footing. Yet it did not succeed as the one teaching Tenebrous had internalized from his training was the acrobatic style of combat that the fourth form, Ataru, allowing him to perform multiple backflips in order to put space between him and his opponent. This was for naught, however, as Darth Zimbra quickly put her hand out towards Tenebrous pulling him towards her at a high velocity allowing her to grab his throat and slam him into the ground. One quick maneuver latter both of her knees pinned his arms as both of her red lightsabers blades stabbed the ground right next to both sides of his neck with one simple flick of her wrists leading to him being decapitated.
“You said we would just be practicing form.” Darth Tenebrous said as his master smiled and stood up.
“So? Would you not expect me to use the force if I confronted you outside of your luxurious abode wanting the clothes off of your back?” Darth Zimbra countered as the red beams quickly retreated back into the hilt as Tenebrous turned his lightsaber off in turn. “What’s holding you back are the connections to the world you came from before we met. That green blade you hold onto so dearly should have been bled a long time ago.” She said as she used the force to take his lightsaber from him and into her mouth. The unsanitary nature aside of holding a lightsaber in one’s mouth, it was the sight that reminded him of his master’s greatest contribution to lightsaber combat of using three lightsabers at once with one in each hand and one in the user's mouth.
“The color my blade has absolutely nothing to do with my connection to the dark side.” Darth Tenebrous said, lying straight through his teeth. His ability to truly harness the greater Sith magyks had been at a standstill for the last two years. Due to this, his master had begrudgingly allowed him to continue his exploration into what he had dubbed Dark Side Technology, using science to harness the pure essence of what the force could be. While his normal force abilities were fine and the Dark Side Technology had allowed him to draw in greater amounts of the force into his being, he made no strives towards the end goal of surpassing his master without the access of the Sith magyks. Yet he did possess extraordinary abilities to see deep into the future through clairvoyance that could only be activated for four hours a day when Darth Tenebrous slipped into a meditation state.
“Eventually that blade will be as red as my skin,” Zimbra said as she spits the blade back down the ground and kicked it over to her apprentice. Walking away her entire back could be seen, with the shirt, she was wearing only covering the front part of her torso, showing the blood-red skin tone and black tattoos with words written in the ancient Sith language that covered every part of her body from the neck down. She stopped for just a moment and turned her head ever so slightly towards him with a smile on her face. “I’ll be in the bedroom when you’re ready.”
Three hours later Tenebrous stood at the edge of his bed with his master snoring loudly and the expensive blankets covering more of her body than what little clothing she had was. Sleep was always something that Tenebrous had envied not being able to do, life itself never really offered a moment to just tune everything out and relax. Instead what rest he could get was not only him being conscious during a meditative trance but without intense concentration would lead to him glimpsing into the great beyond. Time and space would suddenly become meaningless concepts to him with his spirit wandering around attracted to important moments deemed by the force even if he himself was not able to truly understand the significance.
He looked back upon his master who was currently drooling on pillows that were almost as expensive as the lightsabers they had been dueling with over the past five years. When she had first come back to her senses after he had the Banking Clan pick them up from the cave he had found her in, thankfully he was the only force sensitive member of the Banking Clan there or else they would have been able to feel the great darkness emanating from both the cave and the pyramid he took from it. He would quickly learn the name of, a Sith Holocron, an object so powerful that it was not only able to contain an almost boundless collection of information relating to the ways of the dark side and the Sith Order but it also was able to hold onto the consciousness of multiple different Dark Lords of the Sith. His master’s eyes opened ever so slightly while she was turning in her sleep facing Tenebrous himself, the yellow emblematic of a powerful dark side user being on full display even with the small glimpse one was able to get.
Tenebrous reached his hand out towards his master’s head with only being this close letting him feel some of the darkness that oozed off of her even while she slept. He allowed the force to flow through him, out of his hand, and move into his master's head applying pressure on an incredibly specific part of the brain so slightly that it did not even awake his master at all. Yet at this precise moment calling her his master would not be accurate which was further illustrated as her eyes opened up again slightly with the yellow having been completely replaced by pieces of multi-colored kaleidoscopes like they were when he first discovered her. All of the darkness that she had coming out of her just moments prior had dissipated instead with a radiance that could only be the work of the light side of the force, even her posture changed as her muscles loosened up finally relaxing and not being on the defense in her sleep.
He could use the force to look deep inside his master's mind but he never dared to as whatever turned her into the way she was now was something Tenebrous was not sure he would be able to stomach. Instead, he looked to what he could only describe as her soul with the force, or more accurately the two souls she possessed with one being in tune with the dark side and the other clinging onto the light side. The transformation of personality was not only a change in her mental state but one of how she could connect with the force itself, one where she was his master and the other where he was her protector. What’s worse, regardless of which one it was, he had committed blasphemy against the Rule of Two as it was not the power his master had that he coveted but her instead and the thought of eventually having to strike her down brought despair deep within his heart.
Dwelling on concerns relating to the future was something that Tenebrous refused to commit to, however, after all with a simple slip into a meditative trance he would be able to see the future presented before him. Standing up from the edge of the bed Tenebrous used the force to quietly open and close the door leading to the bedroom as he left and then had the door to his steam room open up automatically as he approached it. With him already being undressed with the exception of the most basic of undergarments he simply pressed a button letting a slow stream of steam enter the room and he sat down with his legs crossed in front of him. He placed his fists together and closed his eyes allowing his body and soul to enter the meditative trance he had done every night of his life with his body slowly floating into the air as the noises around him began to dim away as the void of black began to consume him.
His eyes began to open as his surroundings had completely changed with Tenebrous floating in the middle of vast space with stars lit up all around him in every direction. He dropped his legs down and began walking forward without any direction in mind just letting the force guide him to whatever he was going to see and in just a moment the starry backdrop that surrounded him began to morph drastically. Multiple sets of images began to flash before him, young padawans training with a small green Jedi one of them getting incredibly frustrated, a blonde boy spacing out during the meeting of some bureaucrats, a great soldier relegated to the role of a lowly farmer, and a lone Mandalorian trekking through the sand in great pain. Yet these were only the beginning to fates epic that the force did not feel he was justified to see as the quick transitioning of visions began to fade away and three images he had seen before came before him again.
An enormous battle station being destroyed, a Jedi being dominated by a powerful Sith Lord, and that same Sith Lord dying in the hands of the one he had previously defeated. Tenebrous had analyzed these visions before and could come up with very little to understand them, the force may have wanted him to see these events but was too proud it seemed to give him a slight glimmer of context. Continuing to move forward he was granted a rare vision as it was not foresight into the future but instead was a look into the past which he could only know because it was his own past. A small bith child was scarred and being cradled in the arm of a giant armor-clad mercenary who was using his other hand to crush a Jedi’s head with one simple squeeze before jumping out of a window and into a ship that was parked outside of the Jedi temple on Coruscant.
His parents would never let him forget the story of his past and how he was kidnaped from them by the Jedi order because of the strong tie to the force that he was born with. Many parents throughout the galaxy had to suffer through the same event but unlucky for the Jedi, an angry Gen’Dai had emerged from the Unknown Regions and Tenebrous’s parents had enough credits to get him to rescue their child. It was an enormous scandal for the Jedi and the Republic at large leading to the largest reforms of the Jedi by the republic since the Ruusan Reformations restricting their ability to take in children. Tenebrous was forced to learn how to defend himself by his parents through the use of highly paid ex-Jedi teachers in case they ever came back for him.
Continuing forward was all Tenebrous could do to escape the images of his past being pushed against him as they were not something he particularly wanted to stay for. His world transformed around him once more allowing him to see a small maiden by a pool looking down into the water with a small creature bobbed its head up from the water. It was a truly beautiful creature with immaculate green and gold scales and beady eyes that just made you want to admire it, apparently so much that the maiden was drawn in closer to the beast to where they were practically touching. In a moment so quick Tenebrous could barely perceive it the creature transformed into a twisted beast that stuck a dark tendril into the maiden’s mouth causing her to break apart and reform as a cancerous entity constantly breaking down and replicating into more beings.
Then the beast turned its head towards Tenebrous with a sinister smile and black eyes that could see him as if he was actually there. It waved to him and motioned him to come forward to which he obliged almost entering the world of the vision he was having. He bent down to look at the creature who was returning back to its beautiful form and it jumped out of the water and onto his shoulder. Suddenly he could feel the world around him change again but despite this, the creature stood the same on his shoulder as visions began to bombard him again.
These were no normal visions that he was used to with the world around him straining to almost contain what he was seeing as it ebbed and flowed. As Tenebrous continued to move forward he came across a woman trapped in a machine as a man laid his hand upon her forehead with the girl screaming as he seemingly pulled her soul out of her body. This soul was lifted up and then absorbed into the man as a massive concentration of the force was pulsating out of him so much that Tenebrous could feel its power even though it was only a vision. Darkness swallowed the lot of them up as Tenebrous and the creature reappeared in a graveyard with large statues atop each grave.
As he pressed onward he could see the statue of a human clad in an armor that was practically burgeoning out of his skin but it was deformed almost as if it melted like a wax figurine. Another statue, also of a human, was unique in that it possessed three eyes with the third one located at the man’s forehead looking down at Tenebrous and following him as he walked through the graveyard. Endless statues were all that surrounded Tenebrous with the only ones of note being that of a Wookie, one of a small creature identical to the one that was training padawans from earlier, one of a Hutt, and one of a human that was defaced with urine and feces. Ultimately all of these statues seemed to collapse around him as two monoliths sprouted from the ground of a man in a cloak and a warrior in a robotic suit.
Tenebrous was levitated towards the two monolithic beings being drawn into the dark empty opening of the cloaked man before floating again in a starry void. He began seeing a cowardly blue man and a confident woman in white signing a document with half of the room ecstatic and the other defeated only for the paper to morph into that of a crib. Walking up closer revealed a human infant with a black and white blanket lying atop her while a deformed man and a young boy looked down upon her and placing a small brand upon her forehead from a small piece of force lightning coming from the boy. Yet suddenly the baby began to morph into a deformed skull-like creature and the crib begin to warp as it was transforming into being made of flesh only for the deformed man and the boy transformed into two identical insects who had strong force energy radiating off of them.
All of them began to fight which sent Tenebrous flying backward from the sheer force of the battle only to feel another battle happening when he turned around seeing two men, one with a cross-guard red lightsaber and the other a normal red lightsaber, dueling each other with enough ferocity that only that of family could possibly bring out. The red light eventually began to drown out the battle leading to three more red lightsabers being raised up by a Bith, Munn, and Twi’lek who stood together in unison before being struck down simultaneously by a human wielding a blue and green lightsaber in each hand. When Tenebrous looked down at the fallen force users they were no longer three non-humans but instead two human females and four human males all with brandishing a crest that was similar to that of the noble houses of Corellia. Looking back up to the man who struck them all down Tenebrous could see that he was panting ferociously throwing his lightsabers down and his eyes turning yellow before the ground around them began to crack with dark energy spewing out like hot magma.
A loud boom coincided with the grounds destruction and the visions finally seemed to stop their intensity as the creature that was on Tenebrous’s shoulder had disappeared and he had returned to a nice rainy on his home planet of Clak’dor VII. Looking up at the sun revealed something off as a dark hand cast a shadow across the star and a chthonic entity reared its head from behind the star and looked directly down at the minuscule Sith Lord before blasting an enormous bolt of force lightning directly at Tenebrous ripping him apart and only then did Tenebrous break from his meditative trance. Tenebrous could feel his heart racing at a thousand parsecs a minute as he floated down onto the ground of his steam room trying to comprehend everything he had just seen. It had been years since he experienced a peek into the future with enough power to shake him like this and it was not something he was enjoying. Standing up and wiping some of the water that had condensed on his skin off he walked out of the bathroom toward his training room to burn off some of the tension he had riling up.