Star Wars: The Old Republic: Darth Nihilus(II) Continuation

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The Shroud of the Dark Side

Part I

Chapter IX

The Galactic Republic barely recovered after a costly war caused by the Dark Lord Exar Kun and his apprentice Ulic Qel-Droma, both assisted by the overwhelming force of the Mandalorian warriors. These two Sith Lords were victorious, but their triumph was short-lived. In the ensuing ambush on Ossus, Ulic struck down his own brother, Cay Qel-Droma. Remorseful for killing his brother, Ulic left the dark side and betrayed Exar Kun, willingly going in exile on the cold world Rhen Var.

Seventy years after Exar Kun's Sith campaign, the Republic went through another series of conflicts, witnessing another mass destruction caused by another pair of two fallen Jedi turned Sith Lords, Darth Revan, then by his treacherous Sith apprentice Darth Malak. When the Prodigal Knight was betrayed by his own student, the Jedi Bastilla Shan saved the Dark Lord instead of killing him, keeping alive his life-essence and together with the Jedi Order they wiped out the memories of his past self, hoping he will take the right path this time.

When Revan remembered who he actually was, he decided to face the mistakes of his past. On the Star Forge, a living Rakata dark side-based factory machine, Revan challenged his former Sith student and defeated him.

Ulic Qel-Droma and Revan were two of the greatest Jedi ever, known for their combat skills and Force strength. But their most defining trait was neither of these two. Their ability to make the right choice after they passed through the cruel and deceptive heart of the dark side reminded the galaxy of who they really were. Ulic with Revan were heroes, villans, conquerers, but in the end they became living lessons for the future generations, either Jedi or mere people. The message, 'All who fall can always rise again'.

When the evil Sith Lords Exar Kun and Malak perished, some of the greatest threats to the galaxy, the people celebrated with joy and gladness the freedom and the justice.

In every civilization it comes a moment when the darkness seems to fade away, to disappear. But the darkness always returns, and always has to be a balance in the universe.

For if one does not experience the shroud of the darkness then how could they understand the beauty of light?

When the darkness expands its black tentacles, the light severs them. And when the light extends its bright rays, the darkness corrupts them and devours them.This is one of such moments.

This time the darkness will swallow the galaxy, and unfortunately, it shall win, bringing an end to everything the galaxy holds the most dear.

The end of the Jedi Order is near.

The darkness is close, embodied into a super warship held by the sheer will of a Dark Lord, and a zombie crew which knows only one thing, to serve their master no matter what. Mindless devotion.

The battlecruiser roamed in the vast emptiness of space.

The only things the Dark Lord could see were the meteors, the asteroids, and the stars. Despite his monochromatic vision, Nihilus was able to 'see' the energy signature of every thing. The meteors and asteroids were black, devoid of Force energy and life-force.

The stars were of a luminous red color constantly blowing with dangerous radiations. And the planets where neither side of the Force affected their environment, they were yellow. Planets permeated by the light side were shining with bright light sending waves of light side energy. Those tainted by the dark side were covered in a concentrated violet aura emitting streaks of dark side energy.

As the Ravager left the Malachor system, a large group of pirates flying super-sized stolen warships and average sized-ones came in his way, in the darkness's way.

The communication established, and the face of an old almost withered Weequay appeared on the Ravager'scomputer screens.

"My name's Kraylyn, and your ship is mine. Prepare, we're comin' to take it.", the transmission ended and the pirate was so sure of his doing, so overconfident.

The average-sized warships hooked the battlecruiser and remotely deactivated for a limited time its laser weaponry.

Had they know this ship was filled with Sith, and a powerful Dark Lord, they would have run. Unfortunately for them, the darkness shall swallow anything that stands in its path.

These pirates that Nihilus met were called the 'Thras'--a crew of space pirates that roamed isolated solar systems in search for treasure or ship components to sell.

The Republic never managed to capture them, but at least this darkness shall destroy them.

The pirates were aboard the Ravager only to be greeted by a vile number of shadow troopers and some Sith Warriors.

The pirates were weaklings neither. Among them there were also pirates schooled in the arts of combat, oflightsaber combat, among them there were even Force sensitives.

In the Command Room, increasing his hearing with the Force, Nihilus could hear the loud cracks of lightsabers, the kick and fist strikes, the laser blaster blows hitting the ceiling, the floor, people.

But any lord has their reasonable servants who are able to make the right choices in bad circumstances. Such one was the black male Zabrak Dwayk Dredd, who became a Sith general under Nihilus's command when Traya was exiled.

Dredd stood next to Nihilus, caressing the hilt of his lightsaber,

"Master Nihilus, should I assist them?", his green eyes shun with dark side power while the breeze inside was fluttering his dark robe.

The Dark Lord hissed three times showing him a vision of death with all the pirates in the ship.

"As you wish, my Lord.", Dredd slowly walked away from the Dark Lord with no apparent reaction of stress or impatience even if the number of pirates was greater. He knew that his Master's power was even greater.

Dredd watched the zombie crew once more and gently Force-opened the door, leaving the Command Room.

He was not alone, though. Nihilus was with him watching through the omnipresent eye of the Force. He watched the Zabrak Sith's every step, every move the alien made.

Halls were infested with bloody pirates shouting,

"Ar-ar-ar!", and with many fallen shadow troopers or Sith Warriors.

A group of pirates broke the door with their blaster rifles. Dredd powered up his red lightsaber easily dodging the laser blasts. As he used the Force, everything seemed to move to a slower pace, while he was moving just normally. The Zabrak span his saberstaff like an airscrew repelling off the laser blows, piercing his lightsaber into the guts of the pirates, severing their arms, slicing off their bodies in half, beheading them, strangling their necks and crunching their bones with the Force.

As the Zabrak made his way through the crowd of pirates, slaughtering them, each body falling before the Zabrak's eyes fed the Dark Lord, empowering him with their deaths.

Every pirate that had no Force sensitivity and a lightsaber were an easy prey for the Sith Lord.

Dredd slid to oblique killing every pirate with blaster rifle rapidly Force-pushing through a door.

The next room was full of Sith troopers fighting against Thras Warriors, Force sensitive pirates wielding blue lightsabers stolen from fallen Jedi or acquired from crystal caves.

The door opened and a Thras Warrior noticed a black figure irradiating with dark side energy. A crimson blade came out of the alien's double hilt.

"A Sith Lord!", the Thras Warrior pointed at the alien after he pierced a trooper's stomach.

They entered into the very lair of the Sith, one of the most mistrusted, vicious and dangerous forces in the galaxy.

The Sith were the hunters and they were the hunted.

"Dammit!"

"Contact Kraylyn!"

Another Thras Warrior took the portable comlink and set a transmission with the pirate leader.

As the Thras Warrior contacted Krylyan, the Zabrak started to run, Force-slamming them by the walls. Dredd's red blade and their blue blades clashed.

Dredd dodged a pirate's lightsaber blow with his second blade and quickly struck him down with the first blade.

"You have brought the doom upon yourself. The Sith cannot fall that easily."

"We're the predators and you're our prey."

Dredd closed his eyes, allowing the dark side to flow through his veins.

Rage burned his body like fire, enhancing his muscles and his physical senses. The Zabrak's green eyes turned to yellow and they were glowing with orange flames.

The Sith Lord moved at a different pace than the Thras Warriors, overwhelming them with his sudden burst of power.

Dredd broke through their defense with his empowered dark side sheer strength.

In Kraylyn's private room, a hologram appeared,

"Sir, this a Sith warship.", the signal was jammed by the Zabrak using the Force preventing them from calling any backups,

"Se-, for-", the Zabrak sliced the Thras Warrior's head. Kraylyn saw the pirate's head rolling over the floor, and the transmission ended.

Kraylyn placed his fingers on the button that controlled the ship's speakers,

"We got some Sith here. Prepare to send more Thras Warriors on the Centurion Battlecruiser."

"No matter what, that ship will be ours."

Thras Warriors embarked on the Ravager from numerous space ships. But each time they came to seize the battlecruiser, they always fell by the Zabrak's red blade.

After two hours of trying to take over the massive ship, Kraylyn realized that if the Sith ship is not blown up, they will come and get him. After all he could've taken the remaining components of the battlecruiser, if any were left in the ensuing battle.

As his trusted servant, the Zabrak Dredd, butchered Kraylyn's pirates, Nihilus observed the warships charging energy to shatter his Ravager.

The Dark Lord created a massive shield of dark side energy, repelling off the warships's orange blast attacks.

Nihilus looked at them, at their failed attempt to break his dark side field. And then as he looked onto window, an idea struck his mind. What if, what if he would make the pirate warships clash one with each other, crunching them, or sending them into the extreme heat of a star, just playing with them as the cat plays with its little ball.

As Kraylyn ceased firing the battlecruiser, seeing that his ships couldn't shatter through the Ravager's dark field, the Dark Lord quickly Force-gripped the warships around him, clinking two one by another creating a spectacular explosion. Three warships were tossed like nothing into the heart of a blazing star like a child throwing their toys in the air.

Only one warship remained, and that was his own.

Taking advantage of the Dark Lord lowering the dark side field, in a desperate attempt, Kraylyn pressed the ship speakers button,

"Use the 'Black Spot'!"

Nihilus Force-gripped Kraylyn's warship, ready to implode it, and then a tiny unnoticeable black missile hit the star nearby destroying its very blazing core. The star's light began to fade away and a black hole was formed.

The Dark Lord didn't lose the Force grip over the warship and he pressed it, killing everyone in it. Nihilus fed with everyone's death making himself stronger.

When the last Thras Warrior in the Ravager perished, the black Zabrak healed his own wounds with the dark side. Dredd came back in the Command Room only to see a black hole ready to sink the battlecruiser into the sea of void.

Nihilus clung on the void, using the Force to make him suck into itself.

The Dark Lord strived more and more with each passing moment. Nihilus called upon the full power of the dark side making the black hole sucking into itself until it disappeared. And so it happened, the void was gone, but the act itself was difficult, leaving Nihilus almost to the stage of collapse despite the fact he could no longer feel the physical pain. If he did feel the pain when he made the black hole to suck into itself, then he'd have felt each bone of his flesh cracking, each organ blowing inside him while his blood dripped down the floor, maybe he'd have died too.

The Zabrak helped the Dark Lord to get up and he appeared to be in shape again.

"I knew you'd succeed, my Lord. I knew you would not fail the Sith Triumvirate.",

"But", he said,

"what now?", Dredd waited for an answer from his master. The master hissed for five seconds and offered one,

"Understood."

"The Deep Galactic Core."

The worlds from there should be ready 'cause the darkness comes for them. It comes to swallow them.

Part II

Chapter X

As the Dark Lord Darth Sion began his swift vicious strikes within the Coruscant system, wiping worlds aligned to the Jedi Order, the other Dark Lord Darth Nihilus intended to reach the Deep Core for acquiring alien dark side secrets. In the end the planets from where he'd have furnished dark side lore would have been destroyed, anyway.

Deep Core was a profitable wide galactic space housing countless of unknown planets, some contained light side teachings, other possessed dark side lore.

Since this alliance was made, Nihilus didn't show any particular interest of destroying the Jedi as he did before, with a passional hate. Now he looked like more bent on achieving power than the anihilation of the entire Jedi Order and their supporters.

The Jedi no longer held a primary goal for him. Everything that was now important for him, it was the power. Yes, the power. Supreme power.

For Nihilus it didn't matter what or who was destroyed in order to take it. Power was all that matter. The only purpose of his very existence.

The secrets were there, sealed within the Deep Core. Nihilus knew, however, that it would have taken him a quitelong, long time to reach that vast place and the Sith needed his aid, after all he was but one of such individuals. There had to be an easier way, there should be.

Dredd had something to confess to his master,

"My Lord", he hesitated a bit. Nihilus felt he hid something and the he hissed,

"I kept something I took from a Thras Warrior.", Dredd show it to Nihilus. It was grey, pyramide-shaped, and it was relative light to hold in the hand. It was a an ancient holocron. But whether it contained knowledge from Jedi or Sith, they couldn't know, at least until they didn't open it to discover its mesmerizing secrets.

Though, a flying drone came out of the darkness spoiling their attempt. The drone displayed a blue tridimensional image with Sion.

"I am on the barren planet Platoril.", Nihilus saw a couple of Sith assassins behind the Marauder,

"It seems this is a place infested with Jedi after our spies informed me about this world.", Sion turned his look at a great fortified Jedi Temple for a moment.

Nihilus hissed four for times,

"There's a huge gate protected by the Jedi Masters inside. They use the Force."

"We did our best but we can't break through."

"We need your assistance.", Sion deflected a laser bolt from a republican soldier killing him.

But Nihilus wasn't there, so how could he help them? Unless, unless if he'd have used the Force to shatter the massive gates.

Sion moved himself three-hundred-sixty degrees away from his portable comlink's range allowing Nihilus to see a clear shape of the Jedi Temple's huge doors.

They were brown, solid, concrete made, marked with Jedi symbols.

Sion saw the tiny tridimensional blue image from his comlink as it bent its hands straight, tightening its black glove fists.

The Dark Lord Force-gripped the massive gates. Sion saw a barely visible white aura of neutral Force energy covering both of the huge doors.

Nihilus broke them off their big hinges tossing them in the air flying over Sion's head eclipsing for a fraction of second the bright rays of the sun.

Sion'd have chatted more but Jedi Knights came out of their precious temple, running, igniting their green and blue lightsabers.

"Jedi are coming.", Sion interrupted the conversation and stormed into the Jedi Temple's yard.

Meanwhile, on the Ravager, Nihilus and his trusted servant resumed their activity.

"It won't reveal its content to us, my Lord.", the Zabrak added.

Although Nihilus spotted an inscription written in Basic on the holocron's downside.

No longer able to speak, Nihilus had Dredd to recite the inscription instead of him.

"I summon the Lord of Knowledge of Hedens. Show me the power of the dark side.", Dredd slowly recited staring at the Dark Lord's boned-mask painted with vertical blood lines and the forehead amulet.

The holocron opened, unleashing waves of dark side energy, filling the Command Room with violet flashes of light. The zombie crew didn't show any reaction to the sudden apparition of purple light, they were just doing their work.

"Lord Khas'denarri of Hedes is at your service."

Since the holocron held the knowledge of its creator and not their living consciousness. The holocron itself couldn't understand its summoner's hissings, a reason why Dredd received the order to communicate with the holocron.

"My master wants your secrets, Lord of the Hedens."

The holocron beeped,

"My creed is to spread the dark side knowledge not to keep it for myself.", it beeped again,

"Say what do you want?", the holocron's voice echoed with a lower tone,

"Master Nihilus wants to get into the Deep Core. You might hold the power we're looking for, my Lord."

The man who stored his knowledge into the device had yellow eyes, brown skin, grey beard, half of his smooth face covered by a brown hood.

In spite of Khas'Denarri's dark side alignment he seemed to be healthy in the holocron, not having its corrosive effects on his face. Or it was a just a recording before the human male committed fully submission to the dark side of the Force.

"The time goes away very fast and you need to try your best. Fortunately for you, there is a way to reach there, though."

The Hedens Lord's tridimensional image said in rhymes,

"A bright light will touch both of your minds showing you how to bend the time."

Every holocron was designed to response in a unique way to those who wanted to discover its teachings; some did it through words, others testing the people's skills.

The one that Nihilus held in his very hands sent not harmful small orange laser beams. One hit his forehead, another beam that of the Zabrak.

Now he understood. He understood how to move himself and others through the fabric of the cosmic dark. How to move the Ravager.

Nihilus raised his arms horizontally unlocking the power of the dark side through uncontrolled rage and wrath.

Red-purple streaks of lightning passed through the Command Room's windows forming a huge hole of green color, enough for his battlecruiser to fit in.

The Ravager started slowly to shake itself again.

The ship got into the hole's centre, disappearing from the Malachor's borders.

The Zabrak warrior saw the diversity of colors inside the vortex. But the Force was absent. Dredd couldn't sense anymore the familiar energy of that flowed through his black veins. There was no cold and there was no warm either.

Though their trip into the multicolored cosmic whirlpool seemed quite long. Actually the time was relative short outside of it.

After three long hours of waiting and stress, the unknown was before them at last. . .

THE DEEP GALACTIC CORE!

Part III

Chapter XI

The Ravager roamed the vast cosmic vacuum of the Deep Core, ready to blast worlds into chaos.

The Shreggernemyx was the very solar system in which Nihilus roamed with the battlecruiser for dark side knowledge.

The Shreggernemyx system contained fourth suns--Derkl, The Small Derkl, Shyst, and Croz; two planets for each sun, and one moon for each planet.

Nihilus could feel worlds teeming with life, though some were devoid of it.

As Nihilus ventured with his seemingly invincible flying cruiser, he saw a planet bursting with the dark side of the Force. Its violet aura was intense and constantly blew with dark side radiations.

The Zabrak who stood next to his lord sensed the same feeling. He sensed the planet's tainted energy as if he were there, as if it were pulsating into his own flesh.

Stratos--the dark side planet which Nihilus aimed for acquiring dark side lore--was lit by Croz's sun rays and orbited by the Shedrik moon.

The Dark Lord watched Stratos through the eye of the Force. The world was barren with a mountainous relief and little fauna or vegetation.

Though, somewhere over there, it was evidence of sentient life form.

Nihilus saw ancient stone-made temples, a valley of tombs, and an average-sized altar worshipping a dark side mysterious divinity made of iron mixed with stone material.

The god looked like a human male wearing an unnatural black armor and a two-horned mask that covered the upper half of its face. It seemed familiar.

The strange suit remembered the Dark Lord about a bizarre alien he met during his days as a simple merchant.

And then, he saw men. They were a tribe of people dressed in red robes marked with purple symbols adoring their priceless statue of the god.

This tempted Nihilus to enter into their world, but he didn't know their habits nor their reactions seeing a ghost spaceship.

He thought that his Sith presence might trigger some alarm among the Stratos's inhabitants. And he realized that if he scared them, any chance to claim dark side lore would have been gone. Unless if someone else visited the planet. Someone like Dredd.

Some could say that the Dark Lord's professional relationship with the black Zabrak enhanced. Some could say they become something very much alike master and apprentice.

Darth Nihilus hissed once but on a low tone, with more depth,

"I'll do as you command, Master."

Dredd headed at the hangar bay; his body released imposing waves of dark side energy. Most of the crew feared the cold blooded Zabrak. He was the strongest of them. No one dared to challenge him. If they did, Dredd'd have pierced his laser blade into their guts.

"Open it.", Dredd said on a low tone to a Sith trooper,

"Yes, Lord Dredd.", the trooper pushed the lever and the hangar's doors opened.

Dredd picked a random but operational starship and made himself comfortable.

The vessel's engines slowly started to burst heat, and then, fire. The ship burst with speed in a blink outside of thebattlecruiser's hangar bay.

Dredd was approaching the barren mountainous planet, though at the first impression there was no danger as his vessel penetrated through Stratos's atmosphere and there was nothing to threaten the structure of the ship

The Zabrak landed near the inhabitants's houses but he left his spaceship on a small mountain's peak so he wouldn't lose it, if something bad happened.

Dredd climbed down the mount with his right hand laid on the double lightsaber.

The Zabrak was a cautious Sith Warrior, always having a keen eye for anything wrong might happen and always a blade with which he'd strike down anything that threatened his own life.

Dirt peeves crumbled, the air was warmed by breathing, two iron blades friendly clashed in a 'x' by two black gloves. Someone was coming up, or it was behind him.

Dredd stepped more carefully, slowing the pace of his walk, ready to strike down the unknown life form.

In a blink, twenty red-eyed blue human-like creatures with dark robes made their presence known. They carried metallic blades empowered by the dark side.Their faces were barely visible, but they were physically deformed and withered. Dredd said nothing and activated his crimson saber.

The men lunched. Dredd Force-pushed three away, hitting their organs. Ten men shot dark blasts from their blades.

The Zabrak was tossed by the mountain's rocks.

The alien took his lightsaber back and struck them. Blade clashed blade, Force power clashed with Force power. Dredd cracked his teeth and screamed succumbing himself to the dark side becoming a mindless beast.

The rage became the fire that made him a living weapon of destruction.

The black Zabrak's eyes looked as if they were filled with red flames and his appetite for blood grew.

Each human-like creature fell under the edge of his red blade; pierced, decapitated. Dredd grabbed one with his bare hands tearing him apart as his blood blew over the furious Zabrak's face white marks.

The Zabrak made from them a pool of death and blood. But there was still one. The last one placed his palms on the dirt.

The soil trembled as if it were an earth-quake. A huge dragon made of rocks appeared, ridden by the freak creature.

The sudden fire that burned his very flesh was gone allowing the alien to gain back his lucidity.

To not slide over his Sith robe accidentally, Dredd took it off. Underneath the robe, the Zabrak wore a black loose-fitting desert-like garb for maximum movement efficiency.

The stone dragon stomped the ground with its massive feet producing shock waves. Dredd Force-leaped fifteen meters to vertical, ready to deliver the fatal blow by striking the dragon's forehead.

The rider span his shinny purple blade like an airscrew unleashing a powerful blast that struck the Zabrak and let him knock-out on the harsh soil.

The rider's dragon bent at his command checking the alien's condition.

Dredd slowly opened his yellow eyes and rapidly jumped on the dragon's bulky back.

Dredd dodged the rider's blow and grabbed him by the neck throwing him off from the stone dragon's back.

Dredd let once more the dark side to consume him inside. Potent blue sparks of lightning engulfed the beast turning it into small pieces of hot rocks burned by the residual fire of the lightning, still shaking themselves on fire.

The angry Zabrak Force-gripped the human-like creature before he ran away and pulled him back.

The Sith Warrior caught him by his right leg and pierced the red blade into the man's very heart.

The blow was swift and painless. Just as the rocks, Dredd was tough and cold.

The man's death didn't upset him nor the frightened sight of the man who seemed to beg for mercy before being struck down by the Zabrak's blade.

In the ensuing fight, a shadow appeared out of nowhere behind the Zabrak's back,

"Such cruelty, such cruelty.", the shadow sighed with a bit of irony,

"What?", the Zabrak said before a red lightning touched his very skin, making its way through his entire body, rendering him unconscious. Or was he more than unconscious, was he dead?

On the Ravager, Nihilus saw and sensed his servant's death as a major disturbance in the Force when he was hit by Force lightning.

The Dark Lord thought it was the time to reveal himself, until he was the witness of something, of something extraordinary.

Through the Force's eye Nihilus saw the black Zabrak with metal restraints on an operating table.

The uncanny figure placed the right first three fingers on the alien's forehead. Blue lightnings crossed through the Zabrak's body, healing his injuries, and somehow, even bringing him back from the depths of the death.

Dredd slowly regained his consciousness, still seeing blurs of the reality. As his sight got better, he saw a human with white skin and black long tied hair standing before him.

When the shapes of the reality were again like being 'whole', Dredd saw a man dressed in a black suit wearing a dark elegant cape.

The man seemed as if he were there to observe his reactions.

Dredd tried to break free of the restraints shaking his hands and legs. No successful result.

"You can do that all the day", the man added,

"you won't escape."

"Those restraints are blocking your Force abilites."

Dredd saw the room's walls decorated with strange paintings, hunting trophies.

"Who are you?", his voice was deep,

"My apologizes, Zabrak.", the man smirked,

"I am Alosyius Zevestyre. Head of the Hedes Lords."

"Hedes Lords?", Dredd responded with shock.

Alosyius foresaw his words after reading fragments of Zabrak's mind. All became clear.

"It seems you found the holocron of one of our banished members. The so called 'Lord of Knowledge', am I right?"

"Then you must know why I am here, Lord Alosyius."

"What else but dark side techniques."

Alosyius was the most powerful of the Hedes Lords, son to Shael Zevestyre and grandson to Sirak Zevestyre.

Alosyius was royal blood. And his roots went back to the blood of the famous Sith Lord Freedon Nadd who had used his terrible power to enslave the planet called Onderon.

Some of Nadd's related had managed to escape and they journeyed the Deep Core after the Dark Lord's death at the hand of his Sith apprentice Exar Kun.

Nadd's related found a species of near humans.

The descendants easily got rid off Stratos's authority and subjugated the people's will with the dark side as Nadd did in the past with Onderon.

Alosyius told Dredd of what he knew about the planet, about the other Hedes Lords, and about him as well. He knew that anyone who visited Stratos came to seek dark side power for various reasons. But as the tradition of Sith dictated. . . 'If one craves power, they have to face the trials'. Many faced those trials, but no one succeeded, at least until now. Dredd was sure of his doing, so overconfident in his abilities.

Ten Hedes Lords ruled Stratos under Alosyius's command. And Dredd had to face them if he'd survived the other tests.

The Zabrak managed to pass the challenges in one hour, almost flawless. His Force potency allowed him to slay the hordes of freak near humans and Sith-alchemized blood thirsty monsters created by Alosyius.

Yet facing the ten Hedes Lords was like he passed through the very bowels of fire and chaos. Alosyius was so desperate to keep the dark side knowledge for himself that he ordered the ten Hedes Lords to fight together the mighty Zabrak warrior. And still lost, whereas their deaths only made Dredd more powerful.

The Zabrak used the draining power absorbing the ten Hedes Lords's Force energy strengthening his own to marvelous heights of power.

Dwayk Dredd was a blazing hurricane where rocks and peeves exploded when he walked over them or passed by them. With his strength in the Force increased he looked like as if he were the bright orange magma storm of a sun, sustained and fueled by the pure rage of the dark side.

Alosyius was sitting on his majestic throne paved with gold. The Hedes Lord was surrounded by a few primitive men who were making his own fancy whims. Dropping wine into his royal glass, waving wind over his pale face with their huge folding fans, bringing him exotic fruits harvested on Stratos's plains with the use of Sith magic.

Meanwhile, the Zabrak was lying in the Chabssa Arena. The very place where he slew the ten lesser Hedes Lords and many other horrible monsters. No, Dredd was the horrible monster and he irradiated with dark side energy.

Though the black Zabrak grew more powerful, his body started to crumble. Slowly. Still unnoticeable.

The Chabssa Arena was completely ruined. Broken pillars, broken gates, broken 'lords'. The whole arena was swallowed by the voracious blue flames resulted from their contest, either by blade, either by the Force.

The blue flames ignited slightly the sand, making the hot grains to blow.

The flames burned the sand even now despite their fight was over about two hours. The only thing Dredd did during that time, was 'nothing', because he was fainted. Although the Zabrak was collapsed, the Dark Lord did nothing with his unfathomable powers.

Nihilus waited to see what the Zabrak'd do. Had he failed, the Dark Lord would have come personally to claimAlosyius's knowledge. Had the tough alien succeeded, he'd have to go on with the mission. So it happened. Dreddsurvived.

The air molecules passed through his body, restarting his blood flux, pumping air again into his lungs, his heart, and veins. His black nose slightly moved, his lips tasted the air instinctively, his eyes opened a bit.

A high pitch sound woke up the ferocious Zabrak. His portable comlink on the sand beeped. His hands were shaking as he tried to get up, his muscles trembled because of the great physical effort he did.

Dredd used the Force lifting up in the air the comlink pulling it in his own hands. As he pressed the button a blue hologram with the dread Dark Lord appeared. He waited to hear what would the Lord Nihilus tell. Nihilus hissed through the comlink; his voice echoed in the Chabssa Arena, and the wind there seemed carrying the disturbing sounds further.

"I see, my Lord.", Dredd's injured shoulder provoked him pain. He groaned and sweat dripped down his forehead and black eyebrows.

"If I'd not be in such a bad shape. I might defeat the Supreme Hedes Lord Alosyius."

Nihilus hissed, demanding Dredd to face him if he wasn't willing to share his secrets.

"I forgot to tell you, but the holocron you possess belonged to one of their members who was banished."

"This planet with the last one living known offspring of the ancient Dark Jedi Freedon Nadd might help us in destroying the Jedi."

"I succeeded in facing Alosyius's ten lesser Hedes Lords who were meant to be a trial for me to have a chance so he could tell me what knowledge he may hold.", Dredd cracked his teeth as the sweat dripped down his black nose,

"If I weren't that hurt. . .", he silently groaned of the pain caused by the ten Hedes Lords who were responsible for his pain back, his bad right knee, his wounded left arm, his chest slightly burned by their bronze lightsabers.

If Dredd'd have spent more time studying than practicing with a blade, he'd have had healed himself. But, he couldn't.

Nihilus saw the alien's ravaged body that passed through a pandemonium. And if the pawn was broken but still loyal, then he, as a Sith Lord opportunist that he was, why not to fix the tool?

Nihilus slowly raised to horizontal his right palm. Black steams engulfed the Zabrak's wounded flesh forming a concentrated dark orb blocking his physical sight as if he were eaten by the very essence of darkness.

The dark side energies made their way into his body, healing his bad shape limbs and his back pain.

The process hurt. Dredd felt the dark energies rapidly and aggressively healing his wounded points.

The blackened sphere faded away and the Zabrak's body was in good shape again.

Nihilus hissed three times,

"Yes, my Lord. I appreciate your helping hand."

"And yes, I won't fail you. I cannot allow myself to disappoint you."

Nihilus gently laughed hissing again,

"May the Dark Side be with us.", Dredd added and Nihilus nodded.

The Zabrak ended the contact looking at Stratos's sun's crimson-like rays.

"Yes. The Sith shall win this day.", Dredd watched the orange sun as its rays reflected in his yellow eyes filled with vindicative flames.

Inside the Hedes Castle, Alosyius was enjoying in watching red hot-looking Twi'lek slaves dancing for him. How they got there, only Alosyius held the answers in his grasp.

As his lust for woman flesh grew, the doors of his large room opened.

"Lord Alosyius. I passed the infernal trials. I'm here to show my Lord what you know. You'll pass your knowledge to him through me. I am the Messager."

"Leave us, my servants.", Alosyius waved his right hand from his golden throne telling his Twi'leks to go

But something happened, something unexpected. A Twi'lek pierced the Zabrak's cold heart that started to warm the ice around it.

Alosyius sensed it. And what better way to defeat an enemy than breaking their very heart. And Dredd slowly began to have one, now.

"My bad, Sith Warrior. I promise I'll show you everything I know. If you'll beat me in a fight."

"Fine. Let's do it.", Dredd readyed his saber. Though, Alosyius didn't desire to battle. At least not at this moment.

"Let's don't rush. Let me be kind with you, at least now."

"Kyira", he said about one of the Twi'leks,

"will lead you to the Guests Chambers."

"We will fight tomorrow.", Alosyius added watching the window thinking how he'd get rid off that hateful Zabrak; how he'd torture him.

Dredd left Alosyius's room and followed the red nice-looking female alien.

The hefty black Zabrak contacted the Dark Lord,

"My Lord, tomorrow I'll fight Alosyius."

Nihilus hissed raising the tone. He seemed angry,

"Yes, my Lord. But I promise you won't wait anymore. Tomorrow, Alosyius will give us his very secrets.", the hologram faded away.

Kyiara jumped in the bed with Dredd, luring him there like a siren sings and draws sailors to the depths of the seas.

"The bed's warm and cozy. Don't be shy.", Kyiara said slapping the bed's red fur bag. At first, Dredd was harsh, but after his hell trials, he slowly began to soften. Wine, alcohol, unlimited attention, the carnal desire--they made him to break. Kyiara asked for secrets from the Zabrak, and the Zabrak full of overconfidence confessed secrets about him and his allies, and especially about the one whom he served. It was a crazy night for the two aliens. They escaped the physical reality through their fancy words, body lust, and jokes.

The night burned bright with their intense passion for hours. But as beautiful as it were, it had to end. It ended.

The fire of passion was gone and the cold silence of night fell over the colossal castle.

The rays of Stratos's sun made their way into his room through the large transparent window glasses, warming the Zabrak's nose stimulating his sensory system.

Dredd half-opened his yellow eyes and stretched his arms. This was one of the best days he had ever had. Hewas relaxed both physically and mentally. He finally fulfilled his lust for flesh; a Sith, after all, they are not allowed to sleep with anyone. That would only have weakened their strength in the dark side of the Force. And Dwayk Dredd forgot this thing; he broke one of the tenets of the Sith Order. Whatever, the Dark Lord must not find out this.

"I can't believe, I slept with a slave.", Dredd thought, in the same moment frowning his eyebrows, somewhat behaving with indifference with the red attracting Twi'lek.

"Whatever, Zabrak Sith.", Kyiara took her slave suit back on her body. And now she seemed distant too.

After the Twi'lek left the room, Dredd dressed with his black clothes and contacted the Dark Lord.

Nihilus's holographic image appeared,

"This is the day when the secrets shall come to you."

The Dark Lord hissed; his voice echoed throughout the room.

"I understand, my Lord. I'll not disappoint you.", otherwise he were destroyed by the Dark Lord.

Dredd turned off his portable comlink and picked up his hilt that he placed on the wooden table.

Now this was the day he'd strike down the Supreme Hedes Lord and take his secret of resurrection. Even as he looked onto window he remembered how he killed the lesser Hedes Lords. First Hedes Lord had the head chopped off; the second fell crushed by the arena's pylons; the third was blasted into a wall and his body crumbled, where the rest were turned into charred husks by the Zabrak Sith's blue lightning bolts.

But maybe was too late. Kyiara informed Alosyius about Dredd's weaknesses.

"Excellent.", the slave alien was dismissed.

"Now that Sith Lord won't even know what hit him.", Alosyius laughed in silence prideful and overconfident.

Dredd put his hands on the golden doorknobs slowly pressing them down.

"Lord Alosyius. I am here."

Alosyius gently stood up Force-pulling his lightsabers--one from his right side, another from his left side. Both of his laser blades were placed in two Hedes Lord stone statues's hands.

"Since you destroyed my Chabbsa Arena, we will battle...", the human stooped for a moment,

"Where will we fight?", Dredd asked. Alosyius activated his two lightsabers,

"RIGHT HERE!", the left red blade and the orange one crossed; Alosyius lunched and the Zabrak did the same. Their blades collided--Dredd attacked with ferocity and aggression; Alosyius struck with elegance and precision. Both swiftly Force-leaped back. Alosyius tossed chairs and wooden tables on the Zabrak; Dredd sliced the chairs and jumped on the tables running. Alosyius choked the alien with the Force, ready to twist his neck. Dredd struggled to reach out with the Force and slammed the human by the golden throne.

Dredd slowly but menacing approached the Hedes Lord ready to spit his secrets.

Was the Supreme Hedes Lord so easily defeated, the most powerful of them?

No.

Alosyius learned about the Zabrak's arrogance and overconfidence. And now he was ready to use them against him.

Dredd looked at the pathetic Hedes Lord, prepared to break him and unveil his very dark secrets.

Dredd's red shiny blade was at the Hedes Lord's neck,

"Now, tell me.", the Zabrak grabbed Alosyius by the neck with his left hand. Alosyius slowly half-opened his eyes and,

"Fool!", Alosyius Force-gripped the Zabrak and struck his flesh with powerful red lightning bolts. Lightning bolts crossed through the Zabrak's body and his organs. With enough strength, Dredd filled his own body with Force energy. Dredd unleashed a potent telekinetic sphere slamming Alosyius by the ceiling.

Alosyius fell down and manipulated the fabric of space shaping a multicolor vortex under the Zabrak's feet.

Both reached into the whirlpool fighting inside. Alosyius and the Zabrak got outside of the massive castle.

Their blades clashed and clashed. Collided and collided.

Dredd caught off guard the Hedes Lord Force-pulling Alosyius's red lightsaber.

The Supreme Hedes Lord began to float using the Force. Small things like rocks and peeves were attracted byAlosyius's huge dark hurricane with red lightnings.

The vile wind produced by Alosyius's hurricane began dragging the Zabrak within it. Dredd bolstered his pace with rage and hid behind a house.

"Stupid Zabrak. I am Alosyius Zevestyre--descendant of the Dark Lord of the Sith Freedon Nadd.", the human shouted as his voice was amplified by the hurricane.

"His power flows through my black veins.", Alosyius laughed with malevolence as the red lightnings got stronger and stronger while his rage and hatred were growing.

Dredd never faced anything like Alosyius Zevestyre. Alosyius's green eyes turned to purple. His eyes shun with dark side power. He was a mobile nexus of the darkness. His dark energy blackened the blue sky of the morning and tainted the lands as he laughed.

As his power intensified, it seemed as if an eclipse swallowed Stratos's bright orange sun.

This was no longer a battle defined by lightsaber prowess. This was a sure loss for the Zabrak.

In a desperate manner the Zabrak called for help from the Dark Lord.

Inside the Ravager, Nihilus saw the planet's immersion into the fully grip of the dark side as well.

The planet suddenly began to manifest potent lightning storms, purple lightning storms.

"Lord Nihilus, this is beyond my power. Come here and deliver me."

Had he failed, he'd die. That was the Dark Lord's last word after all.

But blind loyality and executing orders without questioning them, it was a rare quality found in most Sith Lords. Dredd was useful and still loyal to his Sith Master. Nihilus agreed his call for help and prepared to came.

The ghost battlecruiser penetrated Stratos's atmosphere. And Alosyius felt 'nothing',

"What's this?". Alosyius enhanced his vision and saw 'nothing', he saw a void.

The Dark Lord's Ravager was near his Sith servant, ready to save him from a tragic death.

Alosyius spotted a shuttle and there he felt the same chill.

Nihilus landed with the shuttle in the middle of the lightning storms ready to rip the secrets from the Supreme Hedes Lord, in the same time telekinetically holding his own Ravager from being self-torn apart.

Alosyius directed lightning bolts at the void, but the void caught them with bare hands redirecting them at theHedes Lord hitting him.

The Dark Lord Force-choked the royal blood and assaulted his body with dark thunderbolts. Yet, Nihilus spared him.

Nihilus's 'hissings induced vision' made Alosyius to understand who was the real person that craved his very knowledge. Alosyius agreed and gave the Dark Lord a scroll that was inherited from his father. The power of bringing one back to life from the very depths of the death.

"This is my father's scroll. Take it Sith Lord. But spare me."

The Zabrak showed himself again standing side by side with his own master.

The Dark Lord was about to destroy Alosyius Zevestyre alongside Stratos. But a far more terrible idea came from the black Zabrak.

"Lord Nihilus don't kill him, that would be a fortunate for his highness."

"Better block his ties to the Force.", Dredd smirked joyful,

"He shall see what will happen when the Stratos people gonna figure out that he no longer can control them.",Dredd added.

Nihilus conjured an aura of blackness around Alosyius, blocking his bond with the Force.

The purple eyes turned back to green, the pale grey face turned back to white.

"My power?", Alosyius clenched his right fist trying to Force-choke the Dark Lord,

"What have you done!?", fear crippled into Alosyius's mind and his eye pupils dillated.

Noooooooooooooo!", Alosyius shouted with vile and rage picking up his bronze lightsaber trying to strike down the Dark Lord. Nihilus quickly Force-pulled his red blade from his belt in his right hand dodging Alosyius's bronze blade. Nihilus grabbed the human by the neck with his left hand and lifted him up. Alosyius heard the Dark Lord's twisted evil laughter as he gently shook his head up and down.That was not at all a human laugh. But a disturbing deep distorsioned laughter.

Nihilus held the human in the air and then blasted him with the right hand by the castle's walls with the Force leaving him unconscious.

Darth Nihilus and his Zabrak servant entered into the space shuttle heading back at the battlecruiser, leaving the dark side focal planet.

"Lord Nihilus what do we do now?", Dredd added crossing his black arms. Nihilus hissed for forty seconds,

"Yes, my Lord."

They were returning back on Malachor Five. . .

A Zabrak's Mission

Chapter XII

The Dark Lord was walking in circle with quick steps inside the Trayus Core. Next to him were the Academy's Headmaster Shersach and the Sith Marauder Darth Sion.

"Our Sith students are getting stronger day by day.", Shersach added standing in Nihilus's left side.

"Soon our forces will purge all the Jedi weakling.", Sion raised his raspy but imposing tone of his voice. Nihilus hissed unsatisfied by Shersach's results with the Sith apprentices and Sion's elimination of the Jedi. Nihilus wanted them to disappear all at once.

"I fought Jedi and killed them. Shersach managed to produce powerful Sith Lords.", Sion added boiling with hate,

"And you!?"

"Everything what you did was to haunt the galaxy for some ancient tricks."

Nihilus hissed, angry as well. He knew that his trip was worth of time.

Shersach felt the tension hanging in the air,

"Let's end this nonsense fight and find a better use for our enmity."

"I agree with the Headmaster."

If Sion was the Sith assassin who struck down Jedi and Nihilus was a planet-destroyer driven by an insatiable Hunger; Shersach, on the other hand was the one who was in charge with the infiltrations and information leakage.

The Core Worlds slowly fell under the Sith's influence as the Jedi were destroyed losing the grip of the light side.The balance of the Force was unnoticeably changing in the favor of the dark side. Each death fueled the creepy shadows. Hatred, rage, self-insecurity, the lack of hope and the faith of civilizations enhanced the grip of the Sith. With each day passing the Sith grew more and more powerful. The light diminishes and becomes just a tiny light as small as an atom. A flicker of pale light. But even so, there's still hope and faith somewhere out there. Despite the great darkness, the light never vanishes. Shrouded by shadows, yes. Faded away, never. Sometimes it is needed just an intention, an act of benevolence. Such things put everything back in order so quickly that you can't even realize. A small action of kindness is enough to vanquish the greatest evils in the universe.

Yes. For some, like the Jedi, the dark side of the Force seems to be the most overwhelming and dangerous power in the galaxy.

What if they were wrong? What if there's something much more threatening than the dark side? What if there's things above and beyond the will of the creator force, something that exists entirely outside of its grasp?

What if. . .

***

Darth Sion's Warship's engines hummed, warming for a fraction of second the colorless soil of Malachor before it disappeared into the dying blackened clouds.

This time Nihilus was not leaving the barren world. This time the Dark Lord would spend his time delving deeper into the allure of the dark side, expanding his own Sith knowledge. There were plenty of tomes and volumes containing dark side power. He had to discover their secrets!

Meanwhile, Dwayk Dredd, the black Zabrak, was inside the Ravager training in his Sith chamber.

After the events on Stratos, the Dark Lord made Dredd his Sith apprentice.

The Zabrak was fighting training battle droids and Triumvirate troopers.

Red blade touched red blades. Heads fell rolling over the floor. Arms and legs collapsed.

Metallic heads were severed by a crimson blade directed with swift precision. Proccessors and wires blew up before the Zabrak's yellow eyes.

Dredd Force-pushed them like a tough hammer hitting a heavy nail.

As the ferocious Zabrak fought droids and 'volunteer' Sith troopers, the room's doors gently opened. A masked Dark Jedi with dark robe and a light armor interrupted the Zabrak's harsh training.

The Jedi had a vocalizer mask--like most of the Sith Lords had--which lowered his voice to sound more dominating.

"Lord Dredd.", the fallen knight added by nodding. Dredd deactivated his double-bladed lightsaber,

"Enough!", Dredd was exhausted and hardly breathed.

The Zabrak laid his hilt back while the Sith troopers were leaving and the training droids were disabled.

"What is it?", Dredd crossed his arms,

"Lord Sion demands Lord Nihilus's presence. Immediately."

It passed a few hours when the Marauder left the waste planet and reached into the Core Worlds to wage brutal wars against the Jedi and their supporters.

"My Master studies the ancient Sith secrets within Trayus Library. I'll see what Lord Sion wants.", Dredd took on his black coat and dark robe as sweat dripped down his forehead, nose, and lips.

"As you wish, my Lord.", the corrupt knight waited for the Sith Lord.

Dredd's and the Dark Jedi's step sounds were heard by troopers as they actively stomped the metallic floor with harshness and quickness.

The Zabrak entered in the Bridge Command Room alongside the fallen Jedi. On the bridge's platform, a flying drone was waiting, ready to transmit.

"Leave me, Jedi.", Dredd added as he made contact with Darth Sion,

"Yes, my Lord.", the knight left the Command Room returning to his usual activities.

"I see you. But where's Nihilus?", Sion said while he was on Chesom Chissan.

"Occupied with studying ancient Sith lore.", Dredd replied,

"Again?", Sion grew frustrated cracking his teeth and frowning his eyebrows.

"I'll contact my Master, now."

The Zabrak reached out with the Force sending his inner voice into the Dark Lord's very twisted mind.

Darth Nihilus sent his own thoughts as well into the Zabrak's head.

"I know what he said to me."

"What?", Sion asked,

"Lord Sion, whatever you wanted from my Master", Dredd added with resolveness,

"I'll come."

"Very well, then."

"We are waiting for you on Chesom Chissan."

The contact ended and Dredd left the Bridge Room to take a Sith shuttle.

On Chesom Chissan, a battle between Jedi and Sith took place, a conflict between light and darkness.

In the sky full of Sith starships and Republic ones, Dredd was coming.

The Zabrak opened the ship's door trap and jumped out of it. Dredd used the Force smoothing his fall as if he were falling with his feet on soft furry pillows.

The Zabrak was lucky to find Darth Sion and his assassins near the Stronghold Izaya's Gates.

Sion fought Jedi and soldiers of the Republic. Killing them merciless and with ruthlessness. Dredd did the same, maybe even with more ferocity. As he ripped their heads off their bodies with bare hands while their blood was oozing down over his very black hideous nose, eyelids, and lips.

After a few fun fights with soldiers and Jedi, Dredd finally met the Dark Lord Darth Sion.

"My Lord", the Zabrak dodged green laser blasts,

"what's the mission?"

Sion Force-pushed three Republic soldiers in the air and they hit the ground. They were dead.

"We managed to ambush them. But this fortress is impenetrable."

"If Nihilus were here", Sion sighed,

"he would have made this fortress to crumble itself."

"But what am I supposed to do?", the alien added,

"Izaya, fortunately for us, it has a weak spot. But we can't advance together."

"The Izaya Stronghold has many hidden escape tunnels which Jedi don't even know about."

"We could use those old tunnels to destroy them within."

"But my best men must be here to counterattack the Jedi and the Republic forces. And we can't risk drawing their attention."

"You, on the other hand", Sion repelled a rifle blaster's fire shot,

"can adapt to environment. And your Master holds you in a very big esteem. I'm sure you can do that."

"You're both big and agile. A perfect deadly weapon. I always appreciated your kind."

"Yes, my Lord.", Dredd nodded in reverence.

The Zabrak Force-crumbled the stone-paved floor 'till a hole appeared. Sion covered the Zabrak as he jumped down in the mysterious, black hole.

The halls were empty and pretty dark. The place was dry as if the halls were not walked by centuries. Perhaps they were not walked.

In the past, the stronghold had been used by certain members of the ancient Sith Order. The Naga SadowDisciples. Disciples who had a sought a way secretly to call the ancient Lord's spirit--that was trapped inside his final resting place on Yavin Four--through the use of Sith magic on Chesom Chissan. This planet became a dark side focal and they'd have succeeded if the Jedi hadn't learned about their presence and hadn't prevented their doing. When the Sadow Disciples were destroyed, the planet's dark side taint was cured by the Jedi through a massive use of Force light.

Yet, maybe the dark side's heart still beats, hidden somewhere in the depths of the Izaya Stronghold's tunnels.

The tunnels were full of traps meant to protect the stronghold, and kill the unwelcomed guests. Dredd was about to be hit by giant boulders enough to fit into a hall but he Force-crushed it, or pierced by arrows if he didn't use a Force shield to protect his own body.

The Zabrak walked carefully, having a keen eye for anything unfortunate might happened.

The halls were like a hell of a maze. Dredd could barely orient in them. It was difficult; yet with the Force, nothing was impossible.

The Zabrak stopped for a few moments and laid himself down on the icy black floor. He calmed down and called upon the eye of the Force. Through its eye he could see anything he wished. In fact he could see all the paths of the halls--those who led to nowhere and the one that led him beneath Izaya's lower levels. It was all clear now. He knew which was the way to the lower levels. The key to the stronghold's collapse and the destruction of the Jedi and their supporters from there.

Dredd took again a keen eye in spite of no real danger. He just liked to be careful. For him if one lost their defense, they lost their live.

The Zabrak walked the long hallway that had fire torches at each two meters on the both sides. Dredd used the Force causing friction between air molecules and turned them into orange glowing flames. Fire touched the torches. And it was light.

Grey bricks filled the gone-doors at the end of the hallway.

And the Jedi had no idea about the danger behind the walls. A Sith danger.

Dredd got at the end of the hallway and laid his black right ear on the wall's surface, trying to listen to their talking. Vague sounds of voices. Dredd could hear them thanks to the tiny spots in the wall.

"I got to tell ya a few words, man.", a soldier added holding his blaster rifle,

"I hate the lower levels. It creeps me out.", the voice didn't stop,

"I think this place might be haunted."

"Whatever this battle's outcome, I hope I'm outta here, fast."

"Don't worry. The Jedi will win. I know it.", the other soldier looked at the ceiling as dust fell down caused by the men's stomps above Izaya's lower levels.

Dredd was lucky as the soldiers were called by a high-ranking general's voice,

"Men. Get your asses over here and fight. You stood enough this day!"

The general's voice startled them.

"On a second though. I think the general creeps me out much more."

Laser weapons sounded as the soldiers charged their laser bullets in a hurry.

Those thirty soldiers left the room from the Lower Levels and civilians, like researchers, archeologists, historians,they remained there. With a Zabrak peeking. Though there were more rooms inside the Lower Levels, but the black Zabrak was next to the one that was with more civilians rather than hefty soldiers.

The black alien stepped back a few meters, he was relaxed. Then he slowly tightened the grip of his red lightsaberwith his big fingers.

And. Boom!

The bulky alien struck the grey wall shattering it into dozens of pieces with a single laser blade strike. It was a passive sword blow, but it was enhanced by controlled fury and aggression.

"Oh no!"

"A Sith Lord!", the Sith Lord's crimson blade shun in the most darkness of that room.

As fearsome and imposing the alien was. They seemed to be invisible for him, as if they weren't an important matter for him. He's a Sith and he doesn't kill them. Why wouldn't the Sith Lord do that?

Because a Sith is not a brutal and mindless warrior as most would tend to think. A Sith attacks only those who might signify a potential threat for them. A Sith is more than that. A Sith values everything in advantages and weaknesses. A Sith won't waste their resources or their time on insignificant matters.

But if a Sith is threatened, they will kill any potential threat no matter the gender or age.

An archeologist screamed, he was terrified,

"No! Call the Jedi. Now!", none did anything except the man who yelled in a heart beat.

The archeologist ran at the computer terminal, accessing the communication root, trying to make contact. But a red blade came out of his chest,

"Ahhh-chhhkkkk!", he groaned in pain. Brown eyes slowly closed and a body collapsed over the floor as the alien retracted the blade from the man's holed chest.

Rage burst forth. Released at its finest and purest. For one's foolish defiance, the other ones had to pay the price as well.

Innocents were slaughtered. Total carnage. A shiny red blade pierced chests, severed limbs, sliced off heads; a black hand manipulated the air waves turning them into powerful force waves. Force waves slammed men by the room's walls, crushed their bodies, broke their neck bones, blew their hearts 'till blood exploded all over the place. It was a huge mess of brutally slain corpses. . .

Dredd caused immeasurable damage to the room. He slashed the computer terminals with his red saber. And sparks were everywhere. He wrecked the astromech droids and those droids serving for communication between two sentient beings.

Soldiers heard the men's desperate screams who were outside the room's automatic doors. And those who were next to them in some other rooms, they heard their screams too.

A foot stomped the ground, and then another one. Dredd broke the hinges of the automatic doors with bare hands and quickly grabbed the two room's guardians. Dredd slammed each one by the opposite wall 'till he heard the joyful sound of their spines cracking themselves.

The cruel alien dodged the soldiers's blasts using his blade. Dredd jumped in the air keeping the blade's rhytm. He surrounded himself with Force energy and unleashed a huge telekinetic black sphere-like wave demolishing the men's skin and bones. Their skin and bones turned themselves into small light particles, invisible to simple eye. One could see only streaks, like vague yellow residuals of their bodies.

Dwayk Dredd continued to make his way through the countless soldiers Force-pushing them, Force-choking them, Force-tossing them by the tough walls.

Rage turned the Zabrak into an unstoppable and invincible Sith machine. Soldiers stood no chance against such a big alien armed with a deadly weapon wielded with exact precision Unfortunately, they died.

He cleaned each room from the Lower Levels to be sure there was no other threat.

Dredd left after him dozens. No. Hundreds of dead bodies.

The whole place was clean and he powered down his blade laying it back in his swords belt. He stopped for a few moments before the elevator that transported a person from the Lower Levels to the Main Jedi Headquarters.Dredd grabbed his portable comlink hidden in his dark robe and contacted the Dark Lord Sion,

"Lord Sion. I broke in and I killed them all. I'll head now at the Jedi."

A blue hologram showed itself and Sion seemed busy holding off Jedi and Republic soldiers.

"Excellent.", Sion caught a laser shot with bare hands and threw it back in the soldier. He screamed when Sion hit him in his own face, burning it.

"Go and turn off the stronghold's defence turrets."

Lord Sion instructed the Zabrak to make his way in the Weaponry Chambers and deactivate or destroy the turret controls system. Yet hordes of Jedi lurked above the Lower Levels, ready to strike down any threat. Jedi could arrive here anytime from now since they were able to use the Force's light side to sense and track down darkness. Somehow he had to go unnoticed. Somehow he had to be invisible to their Force sense.

The technique of shrouding one's very presence from the Force's eye. Precisely.

He intended to lay his fingers on the elevator's buttons. Right then. Five Jedi Knights. Dredd could feel those five Jedi's light side signature, and the Jedi sensed his dark side signature too.

The Knights reached the Lower Levels, the doors opened. And there was no one.

A brown shoe appeared out of the elevator's doors,

"Have you felt it?", the Knight added,

"Yes. I felt the Sith's presence. But it looks like he's. . .gone." But he wasn't gone. He was just looking at you suspended on the ceiling holding himself by iron pipes.

"By the Holy Holocron", he was shocked of the number of corpses laying down the icy floor,

"what happened here?", he activated his short saber. A green blade made its way out of the shoto's hilt.

"No idea. But we should be careful.", another blade appeared. It was blue this time.

The Knights went further disappearing from the Zabrak's filled with rage yellow eyes.

Dredd fell down and set a hunt season. A Jedi hunt season.

He followed them from behind, staying in shadows.

The Zabrak Jedi who carried the blue lightsaber heard a few steps stomping the ground. It was perfect.

The light yellow Zabrak's brown robe was the perfect disguise. He was almost as tall as Dredd, and almost as bulky.

Shadows whispered. And curiosity crippled into the yellow Zabrak's mind.

The Jedi remained behind unnoticed by his fellow.

When the Jedi was all alone. A black hand grabbed the Jedi's mouth from behind and dragged him into shadows. But the brown robe appeared with its wearer. It was the Jedi. He managed to destroy the figure.

No. He did not. A Sith wears the brown robe now.

The Sith Lord murdered a Jedi. And not any other Jedi. He murdered one of his own kind.

When such things happen you finally begin to understand the grip of the dark side. Its cruelty and its corrosive effects over the weak minded. Its effects are so destructive that they can change the noblest of beings into the vilest of killers. In Dwayk Dredd's case. From a humble and honorable military protector of the Republic turned into a conqueror merciless Lord of the Sith.

The Zabrak left behind the cold corpse of his very own brethren and returned to the lift. As the other Jedi within the Lower Levels. . . They had unlimited time for searching their enemy; but not before the Sith Zabrak blocked the elevator at the upper floor destroying the buttons. These Jedi were trapped. And the Sith finally got into Izaya'sheart. Sion's victory is without doubts and obvious.

The black Zabrak stepped outside of the elevator and covered his face with the brown hood.

But bad luck. Three Jedi Masters heard the elevator's buttons blowing off and its crackling sounds. They appeared. They were there.

"Son, what happened here?", the old human Jedi said,

"The Sith is here.", the alien added,

"Where?", the old Jedi Master said. A bright red blade appeared before his eyes and he startled,

"RIGHT HERE!", the Sith Lord struck down the Jedi before he could power on his saber. Two green blades hummed showing themselves before Dredd's eyes. Dredd pierced in the heart the second Jedi, a Duros. He had no time to react.

"Chhhkkkk.", the red blade crossed with the last, female human Jedi's green blade and then it pierced her very guts. She died. She stood lifeless on the floor together with the other two Jedi. The Zabrak hid their corpses inside the broken elevator and he resumed his mission.

Dredd re-contacted the Lord of Pain,

"Lord Sion, I entered into the stronghold. I'll turn off the stronghold's weaponry in a few moments."

Sion kept fighting the Republic's forces and the Jedi,

"Good. But hurry up. These soldiers are pests and the Jedi are a pain in my back.", Sion said,

"Understood.", the holographic image disappeared back into the comlink.

The Zabrak was moving among the Jedi and the Republic soldiers with no stress. He was undetectable.

They could see only a strange person slowly walking. Reserved. With hooded face.

The Sith Lord avoided any contact with his foes focusing at one thing; the Jedi's destruction.

Republic soldiers, Jedi Knights and Masters walked by him, but they didn't question his intentions.

The Zabrak walked the long and large hallways full with dangerous Jedi. It was too bad that they couldn't feelDredd's dark side presence. 'Cause if they did, Dredd'd have been dead for good.

After twenty minutes of wandering inside the ancient large halls; the Sith Lord found the security room. Although it was easy for the Zabrak given he had a developed sense of intuition. He aways relied on intuition when he had to go somewhere. And he was always right.

Eyes were too busy to fight the external threat; and they couldn't realize about the one inside. Arrogance and stagnation. The Jedi Order was deeply immersed in incompetence and hypocrisy. Dredd thought about them. He always had. Even when he was a Republic soldier. Yes. Even when he was one of them. . .

The Sith Lord laid his harsh fingers on the terminal computers. When eyes paid no attention, Dredd pressed them. The computer beeped showing a warning and then a robot voice pronounced that said so warning. Though the sounds propagated only to the Zabrak's ears.

"You are about to deactivate the defense system. Are you sure about it?"

The Zabrak's index finger leaned forward. "Yes.", Dredd added in silence. He watched the surveillance cameras seeing the laser turrets turning off bending down and beeping all at once. It is done.

The turrets are deactivated. Izaya Stronghold is weak and defenseless now.

Dredd saw Sion killing Jedi and soldiers. And now he shouted looking at the ancient structure,

"The turrets are deactivated! All of us, advance!" Sion did more than that. He Force-jumped in the air,

"And now they are going down.", he shot with blue lightning sparkles in the stronghold's mounted weapons. Pure raw electricity crossed throughout the shells of the turrets, blowing them off.

The grey broken turrets were so damaged by lightning bolts, they were extremely hot and started melting.

Red lights changed Izaya's atmosphere. Everything was covered in bright red lights.

"Hey what did you do there, Jedi!?", a hefty soldier shouted aloud with authority.

"I won't ask again. . ." No response came from the 'Jedi'. But he was no Jedi. He was. . .

"A Sith Lord!", the soldier shouted as he heared and saw a red blade coming out of the Sith's hilt.

"Men! Fire!"

Dredd finally decloaked his dark side presence and dodged their blasts by enhancing his senses with the Force. Green laser beams fried the surface of the walls leaving tiny cracks within them. Dredd Force-pushed them and hit them by the room's walls.

"Fools. The Sith have already won!", the Zabrak tapped into the reservoirs of dark side power. A powerful Force scream was unleashed. The cry was enough big to shatter the windows of the room. Small and big pieces of transparent glass were spread all over the place by the Zabrak's cry--inside and outside likewise.

Dredd relaxed his body for a moment, he stepped back. When he was ready, Dredd stormed out. A Force shield surrounded the Zabrak's body protecting it from random rockets, green laser blasts, and shrapnel.

Darth Sion saw a huge figure blocking the sun rays as if an eclipse came.

Dredd made his way through soldiers and Jedi regrouping with the Lord of Pain at Izaya's Gates.

"The Sith entered. I repeat. The Sith entered."

Sion finally could seize this world. He penetrated the stronghold, mercilessly decimating Jedi; it didn't matter they were Masters or just Knights--they were struck down by the Dark Lord's blood-like laser blade.

The blade was really thirsty for blood.

Jedi fell. . .Soldiers fell. . .Only the fittest survived. And those who survived left the planet going on Coruscant--the heart of the Republic.

In the flames which burned down the Izaya Stronghold and the ashes ascending in the air, a shadow walked--Dwayk Dredd. Dredd took a deep breath and inhaled the smell of burning and of corpses. It was, mesmerizing. . .

This reflects the very creed of the Sith Order. This is how the Sith view the world around themselves. Like a bright fire that destroys and consumes everything where only the fittest can resist it. And only the fittest are granted with the precious gifts of the Force. For the Sith, the dark side is what gives an individual a purpose and a reason to live. For the Sith only power and conquest it's what truly matters. As the light side is nothing but a lie; it represents stagnation and the very perversion of the natural order. It chains the individuals and does not let them to meet their true potential.

The path of the Sith Order is one based on individuality.

For the Sith there's no such things as right or wrong. Power. Yes. For the Sith; Power is the perfect tool which justifies every action and act of the individual. Power gives them the right over life and death.

"This planet belongs to the Sith.", Sion added looking at the flames that sank the building into the pits of hell,

"You can return now, Lord Dredd."

"Understood.", the Zabrak bowed before the Dark Lord and took another Sith shuttle returning. . .to Malachor Five.