Brightsteel

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Star Wars: Sirak

The first respect thread in a series of respect threads for those relatively impressive side-characters from the Darth Bane Trilogy, that I'm making to occupy my copious amounts of free-time. With that out of the way, respect Sirak.

Sirak was a Zabrak, one of three apprenticing here on Korriban. Zabrak tended to be ambitious, driven, and arrogant-perhaps it was these traits that made the Force-sensitives of the race so strong in the ways of the dark side-and Sirak was the perfect embodiment of those characteristics. He was far and away the strongest of the three. Wherever Sirak went, the other two usually followed, trailing at his heel like obedient servants. They made a colorful trio: red-skinned Llokay and Yevra, and pale yellow Sirak. But right now the other two were conspicuously absent.

----

In the dim torchlight of the temple, Sirak's pale yellow skin had taken on a sickly, waxen hue. Unbidden, it brought back memories of Bane's first year working the mines on Apatros. A crew of five-three men and two women-had been trapped in a cave-in. They had survived the collapsing tunnel by escaping into a reinforced safety chamber dug out of the rock, but noxious fumes released in the collapse had seeped into their haven and killed them all before rescue teams could dig them out. The complexion of their bloated corpses was the exact same color as Sirak's: the color of a slow, agonizing death.

----

Bane's only reply was a steady, unblinking stare. The flickering torchlight reflecting off the Zabrak's pupils made it seem as if hungry flames licked away at the inside of his skull.

Path of Destruction

Accolades

Sirak was the top-apprentice of the Sith Academy.

Bane felt the presence of someone following him down the stairs from the temple roof long before he heard the footsteps. He didn't change his pace, but he did stop at the first landing and turn to face whoever it was. He half expected to see Lord Kas'im, but instead of the Blademaster he found himself staring into the orange eyes of Sirak, another apprentice at the Academy. Or rather, the top apprentice at the Academy.

Path of Destruction

Sirak was far more powerful than Llokay and Yevra, two members of a race described as "so strong in the Dark Side".

Sirak was a Zabrak, one of three apprenticing here on Korriban. Zabrak tended to be ambitious, driven, and arrogant-perhaps it was these traits that made the Force-sensitives of the race so strong in the ways of the dark side-and Sirak was the perfect embodiment of those characteristics. He was far and away the strongest of the three.

Path of Destruction

Bane regards Sirak as both powerful and dangerous, and Bane did all he could to avoid drawing his attention. He also regards Sirak as the Sith Academy's most advanced student.

There were rumors that Sirak had begun studying the ways of the dark side under Lord Qordis nearly twenty years ago, long before the Academy at Korriban had been resurrected. Bane didn't know if the rumors were true, and he hadn't thought it wise to ask about it. The Iridonian Zabrak was both powerful and dangerous. So far Bane had done his best to avoid drawing the attention of the Academy's most advanced student. Apparently, that strategy was no longer an option.

Path of Destruction

Qordis states that Sirak is the strongest student at the Sith Academy, and muses that he may one day surpass all other Sith Lords in the Brotherhood of Darkness.

Qordis shrugged. "Sirak is the strongest student at the Academy. For now. Perhaps in time he will surpass Kas'im and me and all the other Sith Lords. Perhaps not." He paused. "Many of the Masters do not believe in the legend of the Sith'ari," he continued after a moment. "Lord Kaan discounts it, for one. It goes against the philosophy underlying the Brotherhood of Darkness."

Path of Destruction

In the first days after Fohargh's death, Bane considered Sirak to be his only true rival.

In those first days after Fohargh's death his only true rival had been Sirak. Now every apprentice on Korriban was a potential threat. The hopelessness of the situation tore away at his guts. It made him want to scream and claw at the stone walls in impotent rage. Yet for all his frustrations, he was unable to summon the passion that fed the dark side.

Path of Destruction

Of the apprentices at the Sith Academy, Kas'im regards Sirak as the only one strong enough to participate in the battles against the Jedi on Ruusan.

"No," Kas'im replied after a moment's consideration. "Sirak, perhaps. He is strong enough. But his pride is too great, and he still has much to learn."

Path of Destruction

Combat Skill

Bane states that Githany would be unable to beat Sirak in the dueling ring.

"He may not be the Sith'ari, but he's still too strong for you. You can't face him in the dueling ring, Githany. I've studied him; I know how good he is. You can't beat him."

Path of Destruction

Bane, even after undergoing training from Kas'im, and growing skilled to gain praise from the blademaster, states that he isn't good enough to defeat Sirak.

"Very good, Bane," the Twi'lek said, giving him a slight bow. "I thought you might be caught off guard by that move, but you were able to anticipate and defend it with near-perfect form."

Bane basked in his Master's praise, but he was sorry to know the session was over. He was breathing hard, his muscles glistening with sweat and twitching with adrenaline, yet he felt as if he could have continued fighting for hours. Sparring and drills had become much more than mere physical exertion for him now. Each movement, every strike and thrust, had become an extension of the Force acting through the corporeal shell of his flesh-and-bone body.

He longed to engage another opponent in the dueling ring. He hungered for the challenge of testing himself against the other apprentices. But it wasn't time. Not yet. He still wasn't good enough to defeat Sirak, and until he could take the Zabrak down he had to keep his rapidly developing talent hidden.

Path of Destruction

Aside from Kas'im, Sirak is the only student of the Sith Academy that wields a double-bladed lightsaber with any signs of skill, and to Bane's inexpert eye, his technique is near-perfect.

Unlike most of the students, Sirak preferred the double-bladed training saber to the more traditional single blade. Apart from Kas'im himself, Sirak was the only one Bane had ever seen wield the exotic weapon with any signs of skill. His technique seemed almost perfect to Bane's inexpert eye. He always seemed in complete control; he was always on the attack. Even in simple drills his superiority over his opponents was obvious. Where most students took two to three weeks to learn a new sequence, Sirak was able to master one in a matter of days. And now Bane was about to face him in the dueling ring.

Path of Destruction

A double-bladed lightsaber is repeatedly noted to be a difficult weapon to use as well, thus making Sirak using one skillfully more impressive.

Using a double-bladed lightsaber is dangerous and difficult, because the weapon relies on totally different manoeuvres from those mastered during standard lightsaber exercises.

The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology

Wielding double-bladed lightsabers is incredibly dangerous, and unskilled Sith have ended their own lives -and the lives of those around them - when attempting to use such a weapon before their training is complete.

SWTOR Encyclopaedia

A familiar image from the last Sith War, the dual-bladed lightsaber is known as a Sith weapon, but there is nothing inherently wicked in its design. Using one takes years of study, and few Jedi – besides myself – can instruct you.

Skarch Vaunk, Jedi Battlemaster in The Jedi Path
Any Jedi Knight could wield a single-bladed lightsaber; only a master fighter could use the weapon first designed by the legendary Dark Lord Exar Kun millennia ago. Unless one was in perfect attunement with it, the weapon could be as deadly to the user as to the opponent.Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter

While it took most students two or three weeks to master a new sequence, Sirak was able to master one in a matter of days.

Where most students took two to three weeks to learn a new sequence, Sirak was able to master one in a matter of days. And now Bane was about to face him in the dueling ring.

Path of Destruction

Sirak is capable of using Juyo, a style that requires high-level mastery of multiple forms to be used effectively in combat.

The next round of attacks kept Bane in full retreat, but he was able to prevent Sirak from gaining an advantage by giving ground and reverting to basic defensive sequences. He was still desperately trying to gain some advantage by watching his opponent's moves. At one moment Sirak seemed to be using the jabs and thrusts of Vaapad, the most aggressive and direct of the seven traditional forms. But in the middle of a sequence he would suddenly shift to the power attacks of Djem So, generating such force that even a blocked strike caused Bane to stagger back. A quick turn or rotation of the weapon and one of the twin blades was suddenly swinging in again at an awkward angle, causing Bane to reel off balance as he knocked it aside.

Path of Destruction
Only high-level masters of multiple forms can achieve and control the ultimate discipline known as Form VII.Insider #62: Fightsaber

Sirak is able to use sequences that blended several forms at once, and rapidly switched among different styles in complex patterns. Bane muses that if he were to try this, he would gouge an eye out or smack himself in the back of his head.

Bane watched the extravagant flourish with a sinking feeling. Sirak had been toying with him in the first few passes, dragging the fight out so his victory would seem more impressive. Now he was showing his true skill, using sequences that blended several forms at once, switching rapidly among different styles in complex patterns Bane had never seen before. It was just one more sign of the Zabrak's superiority. If Bane tried to combine different styles into a single sequence, he'd probably gouge out an eye or smack himself in the back of the head. It was clear he was overmatched; his only hope was that his enemy would get careless and make a mistake.

Path of Destruction

Sirak stomps a pre-prime Bane in a duel.

All his concentration was focused on the fluid movements of the unfamiliar weapon in Sirak's hands. He had tried to memorize the sequences Sirak worked on during the drills. Now he was looking for clues that would tip his opponent's hand-that might reveal which sequence he planned to use to begin the battle. If Bane guessed right, he could counterattack and possibly end the battle in the first pass. It was his best chance at victory, but without being able to draw on the Force, his odds of correctly guessing which sequence his foe would choose were very, very slim.

Sirak raised the double-bladed saber up above his head, spinning it so fast it was nothing but a blur, then lunged forward. One end came down in a savage overhead strike that Bane easily parried. But the move was only a feint, setting up a slashing attack at the waist from the opposite blade. Recognizing the maneuver at the last second, Bane could do nothing more than throw himself into a backward roll, narrowly escaping injury.

His foe was on him even before he got to his feet, the twin blades slicing down in an alternating rhythm of attacks: left-right-left-right. Bane blocked, rolled, twisted, and blocked again, turning back the flurry. He tried a leg-sweep, but Sirak anticipated the move and nimbly leapt clear, giving Bane just enough time to scramble to his feet.

The next round of attacks kept Bane in full retreat, but he was able to prevent Sirak from gaining an advantage by giving ground and reverting to basic defensive sequences. He was still desperately trying to gain some advantage by watching his opponent's moves. At one moment Sirak seemed to be using the jabs and thrusts of Vaapad, the most aggressive and direct of the seven traditional forms. But in the middle of a sequence he would suddenly shift to the power attacks of Djem So, generating such force that even a blocked strike caused Bane to stagger back. A quick turn or rotation of the weapon and one of the twin blades was suddenly swinging in again at an awkward angle, causing Bane to reel off balance as he knocked it aside.

There was a brief lull in the action as the two combatants paused to reevaluate their strategies, each breathing heavily. Sirak twirled his weapon in a quick, complex sequence that brought the saber under his right arm, around behind his back, over his left shoulder, and around to the front. Then he smiled and did it in reverse.

Bane watched the extravagant flourish with a sinking feeling. Sirak had been toying with him in the first few passes, dragging the fight out so his victory would seem more impressive. Now he was showing his true skill, using sequences that blended several forms at once, switching rapidly among different styles in complex patterns Bane had never seen before.

It was just one more sign of the Zabrak's superiority. If Bane tried to combine different styles into a single sequence, he'd probably gouge out an eye or smack himself in the back of the head. It was clear he was overmatched; his only hope was that his enemy would get careless and make a mistake.

Sirak moved in again, his training saber moving so quickly that Bane could hear the sizzle as it split the air. Bane leapt forward to meet the challenge, trying to call up the power of the dark side to anticipate and block the dual blades moving too fast for his eyes to see. He felt the Force flowing through him, but it seemed distant and hollow: the veil was still there. He was able to keep the paralyzing edges of Sirak's saber at bay, but it required him to concentrate all his attention on controlling his own blade . . . leaving him vulnerable to the real purpose of the attack being unleashed against him.

Bane's skull exploded as Sirak's forehead slammed into his face. Pain turned his vision into a field of silver stars. The cartilage of his nose gave way with a sickening crunch, a geyser of blood gushing forth. Blind and dazed, he was able to parry the next strike only by instinct guided by the faintest whisper of the Force. But Sirak spun as his saber was turned away and delivered a back roundhouse kick that shattered Bane's kneecap.

Screaming, Bane collapsed, his free hand slamming into the ground as he braced his fall. Sirak crushed the fingers under his boot, grinding them into the unyielding stone of the temple roof. A knee came up, fracturing his cheek and jawbone with a thunderous crack.

With a last, desperate burst Bane tried to hurl his opponent backward with the dark side. Sirak brushed the impact aside, easily deflecting it with the Force-shield he had wrapped himself in at the start of the duel. Then he moved in close to finish the job with his blades. The first blow hit with the impact of a landspeeder slamming into an irax, breaking Bane's right wrist. The training saber dropped from his suddenly nerveless grasp. The next strike took him higher up on the same arm, dislocating his elbow.

A simple kick to the face sent jagged bits of tooth shooting out of his mouth and bolts of pain shooting through his broken jaw. He slumped forward, barely conscious, as Sirak stepped back and lowered his saber, reaching out with a free hand to grab Bane around the throat with the crushing grip of the Force. He raised his arm, lifting the muscular Bane as if he were a child, then hurled him across the ring.

Bane felt another bone snap as he crashed to the ground, but his body had passed into a state of shock and there was no longer any pain. He lay motionless in a crumpled, twisted heap. Blood from his nose and mouth clogged his throat. A coughing fit racked his body, and he heard rather than felt the grinding of his broken ribs.

Everything began to go dim. He caught a glimpse of a pair of blood-flecked boots striding toward him, and then Bane surrendered himself to the merciful darkness.

Path of Destruction

Sirak briefly contends with Darth Bane, before surrendering when he realized he was outnumbered.

The weapon flared to life and he turned just in time to block Sirak's charge. Yevra and Llokay were a few meters behind, rushing forward to join the fray.

Bane counterattacked, slashing down at Sirak's legs. The Zabrak parried the blow, and their blades collided with a burning hum. On the edge of his awareness Bane heard the sound of Githany's whip igniting.

A quick flurry caused Sirak to retreat. Bane feinted as if he was going to press forward, then took a step back, opening a full meter of space between them. It gave him just enough time to cast out his arm in the direction of the unsuspecting Yevra. Catching her up with the Force, he hurled her against one of the nearby shelves hard enough to splinter the wood.

She crumpled to the floor, dazed. Before she had a chance to rise, Githany lashed out with her whip and ended the Zabrak female's life.

Bane barely had time to register her death before Llokay was on him. The red-skinned Zabrak was overmatched, but his grief and rage empowered him, and he drove his much larger opponent back with a brutal series of desperate slashes and strikes.

Staggering back, Bane was almost too distracted to see Sirak unleashing a bolt of crackling blue lightning at him. At the last second he twisted and caught the potentially lethal blast with the blade of his lightsaber, absorbing its energy. The move had been one of instinct and last resort, and it had left him vulnerable to a single quick thrust from Llokay. But Githany's whip was snapping and cracking at Llokay's eyes and face, and his blade was busy frantically warding off the blows.

Bane turned his attention back to Sirak, who hesitated. At that moment there was a scream from Llokay: he had misjudged the erratic path of Githany's energy whip and lost an eye. A second scream would have followed, but she gashed open his throat, the burning tip of her weapon searing his vocal cords so he died in agonized silence.

Outnumbered, Sirak extinguished his lightsaber, dropped it to the ground, and fell to his knees.

Path of Destruction

Strength

Sirak generates such momentum behind his attacks when he switches to Djem So, that blocking them causes Bane to stagger.

But in the middle of a sequence he would suddenly shift to the power attacks of Djem So, generating such force that even a blocked strike caused Bane to stagger back.

Path of Destruction

Sirak breaks Bane's nose with a headbutt, blinding and dazing him, then shatters his kneecap with a back-roundhouse kick.

Bane's skull exploded as Sirak's forehead slammed into his face. Pain turned his vision into a field of silver stars. The cartilage of his nose gave way with a sickening crunch, a geyser of blood gushing forth. Blind and dazed, he was able to parry the next strike only by instinct guided by the faintest whisper of the Force. But Sirak spun as his saber was turned away and delivered a back roundhouse kick that shattered Bane's kneecap.

Path of Destruction

Sirak crushes Bane's fingers with a stomp, then fractures his cheek and jawbone with a knee.

Screaming, Bane collapsed, his free hand slamming into the ground as he braced his fall. Sirak crushed the fingers under his boot, grinding them into the unyielding stone of the temple roof. A knee came up, fracturing his cheek and jawbone with a thunderous crack.

Path of Destruction

Sirak hits Bane with the force of a landspeeder impact, breaking his wrist and disarming him, then dislocates his elbow, before finally breaking his jaw with a kick.

With a last, desperate burst Bane tried to hurl his opponent backward with the dark side. Sirak brushed the impact aside, easily deflecting it with the Force-shield he had wrapped himself in at the start of the duel. Then he moved in close to finish the job with his blades. The first blow hit with the impact of a landspeeder slamming into an irax, breaking Bane's right wrist. The training saber dropped from his suddenly nerveless grasp. The next strike took him higher up on the same arm, dislocating his elbow. A simple kick to the face sent jagged bits of tooth shooting out of his mouth and bolts of pain shooting through his broken jaw.

Path of Destruction

Sirak lifts Bane as if he were a child, then hurls him across the dueling ring with enough force to break another of his bones upon impact, and send him into a state of shock.

A simple kick to the face sent jagged bits of tooth shooting out of his mouth and bolts of pain shooting through his broken jaw. He slumped forward, barely conscious, as Sirak stepped back and lowered his saber, reaching out with a free hand to grab Bane around the throat with the crushing grip of the Force. He raised his arm, lifting the muscular Bane as if he were a child, then hurled him across the ring. Bane felt another bone snap as he crashed to the ground, but his body had passed into a state of shock and there was no longer any pain.

Path of Destruction

Speed

Sirak spins his saber so fast, that it's nothing but a blur to Bane's eyes.

Sirak raised the double-bladed saber up above his head, spinning it so fast it was nothing but a blur, then lunged forward. One end came down in a savage overhead strike that Bane easily parried. But the move was only a feint, setting up a slashing attack at the waist from the opposite blade. Recognizing the maneuver at the last second, Bane could do nothing more than throw himself into a backward roll, narrowly escaping injury.

Path of Destruction

Sirak moves his blade too fast for Bane to see.

Sirak moved in again, his training saber moving so quickly that Bane could hear the sizzle as it split the air. Bane leapt forward to meet the challenge, trying to call up the power of the dark side to anticipate and block the dual blades moving too fast for his eyes to see. He felt the Force flowing through him, but it seemed distant and hollow: the veil was still there. He was able to keep the paralyzing edges of Sirak's saber at bay, but it required him to concentrate all his attention on controlling his own blade . . . leaving him vulnerable to the real purpose of the attack being unleashed against him.

Path of Destruction

Force Barrier

Sirak's Force-Barrier easily deflects Bane's attempt to hurl him back.

With a last, desperate burst Bane tried to hurl his opponent backward with the dark side. Sirak brushed the impact aside, easily deflecting it with the Force-shield he had wrapped himself in at the start of the duel.

Path of Destruction

Force Lightning

Sirak, alongside the other top apprentices of the Sith Academy, were taught how to use the Dark Side to corrupt the Force into a deadly-storm, to produce lightning.

Only the top apprentices had been present when Qordis had taught them to use the dark side to corrupt the Force into a deadly storm.

Path of Destruction

Sirak looses a bolt of lightning against Bane, who regards it as potentially lethal.

Staggering back, Bane was almost too distracted to see Sirak unleashing a bolt of crackling blue lightning at him. At the last second he twisted and caught the potentially lethal blast with the blade of his lightsaber, absorbing its energy.

Path of Destruction
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