(This may become a a series of posts, or it may just stay as a single story. Either way, I hope you enjoy!)
It was a period of relative silence aboard the Titan of Edusa, where many of the crew occupied themselves with their duties and others chose to rest. The activity of each deck varied as not much needed to be done, save for the crew deck, where Darth Mochirsa’s apprentice busied herself in the sparring room. Her eyes were closed as she moved, her body flipping and twisting with a fluidity that could only be achieved with hundreds of hours spent in disciplined practice. Each form she took had a purpose, each step made with precision, the force guiding her limbs with an unnatural speed and strength behind each move. Yet despite the calm appearance, an anger boiled within her. She felt a presence, one of which she’d come to despise over the many years, the being she held responsible for the grief she felt and the torments she suffered. He was the one with whom she was associated with by name alone, a name which meant heightened scrutiny in her days on Korriban, a name surrounded by scandal and disdain so long ago. And he drew closer..
The blast doors slid open, which heralded the arrival of her older sibling, a man who appeared much different than the Apprentice remembered, but his presence in the force was unmistakable. She could feel how he tried to shield his emotions, a crumbling shell of rehearsed deception that couldn’t mask the sorrow and pain he felt at the sight of her. Her routine brought her closer to him, eyes still shut as she ignored him for the time being, just as he stood there in silence. Several moments passed in constricting silence before he attempted to speak.
“Do not even think of speaking to me. Not after what you did.”
Her rage bubbled at the mere sound of his voice, the diplomatic tone that came from his silver tongue made the hairs of her neck stand on end. The pang of guilt that she sensed from him only heightened her anger as she knew full well it was a heavy weight upon his shoulders, a weight only she could know of upon merely occupying the same space together. Her eyes opened, glowing a soft yellow as her emotions continued to rise to the surface, and she looked to him with a glare so harsh that it cut through whatever shield he had hoped to muster.
“I would cut you down right now if you weren’t coiled under Lord Edessa’s wing like the snake you are… You will not convince me of whatever lie you gave the Inquisition, brother.”
She spat the last word out with disgust, her fists clenched as she looked upon him with revulsion. The sight of him appearing so calm, so professional despite the sweltering salience of his true feelings was both nauseating and impressive. There had been a reason he’d risen to the station he had before his fall, that much she had resigned herself to. Yet to have him here, so blatantly displaying that skill to her… it made her want to lash out, to demonstrate her station over him.
“I didn’t come here to deceive, My Lord. I came to prove myself in the only way I’d know how to you.”
He’d caught her off guard, cutting straight to the matter at hand. A visible look of confusion overtook her features for the briefest moment as she looked him over. It was no formal suit or uniform of any kind that he wore, merely a humble set of training fatigues reminiscent of military trainees. Even now, he stood tall before her, hands clasped behind him and his legs braced at shoulder width. The implication made itself so apparent that she couldn’t help but grin at the notion, to finally direct the culmination of hatred and rage she’d bore over the years onto the very target himself. She let her fists relax as she spun around towards the center of the room, while the wicked sneer on her face grew.
“Fine. You can have your pitiful act of self righteousness, but I won’t apologize if I enjoy beating you into the floor so much that it’s intent is lost.”
As soon as she’d begun to walk forward, his weight shifted to follow where he’d silently take up a spot within the rooms center. When she turned back to face him, he’d already assumed his stance of choice, a relaxed stance that had his feet spread apart and his palms pressed together at chest level. She eyed him curiously for a moment, her gaze narrowed at the unconventional stance before her eyes locked on his. He appeared almost wearily calm, yet there was a determined fire behind that emerald eye of his, one that she could feel beginning to slowly take hold over the prior well of rawness that he had been before.
Sister and brother stood together now for the first time in nearly twenty years, silently analyzing each other as they waited to see who would strike first. Something stirred within the Apprentice as she watched him, an itch of anticipation which lurched her forward into a series of jabs and hooks. She held back, relying solely on her body’s strength and finesse as she pushed forward. Every move she made was met with little resistance, as her brother deftly weaved around her arms, or redirected them with a gentle push. She spun around, bringing her heel up in a round kick aimed at his head, to which he simply ducked around and circumvented her. Her flank lay exposed, yet no counter came. Quickly Kialla spun around, taking up her defenses once more only to lay eyes on her brother standing there in his readied stance.
“It was Admiral Varrow.” He suddenly said aloud.
Kialla blinked, a moment of hesitation had before she lunged forward once more, her blows again being circumvented or cast aside. It was irritating, both his voice and passivity as she continued to her assault on him.
“Varrow learned of my deep cover assignment and planted evidence in Father’s quarters.”
She growled audibly as her blows became more forceful and vicious, the calmness of his voice spurring her irritation even further. Still he ducked and weaved around her, his hands only coming up to redirect her momentum and made her stumble past him.
“He used me as a scapegoat, claiming that Father had utilized my position to hand off several documents of sensitive natures. All for not promoting his son to Captain.”
“Shut up and fight back!”
She yelled out as her anger grew, instinctively drawing upon the force to increase her speed. Each blow she sent at him went faster than the last, and his defense shifted as he began to block more of them than he could avoid. Even still, she felt the determination behind his movements, though with more urgency than before.
“You ALWAYS find some excuse! Some convenient explanation that no one else seems to think of! You betrayed us Riv, and you got them KILLED!”
Her fingers curled together as she conjured up a blast which sent him back several feet, her teeth bared in anger as she watched him twist in the air and gracefully land on his hands before he flipped back into a readied stance. She could feel his own anger rise as his face contorted into a scowl.
“Eighteen years I spent being hunted by our Empire and the Republic, sister, and not once did I EVER consider turning my back on our people… I scavenged what supplies I could and delivered them in the dead of night to those that would’ve seen me shot-”
She leapt forward, the space between them hardly an obstacle for her as she resumed her furious advance. Her attacks grew even faster, and began to hit their marks as she slipped through his defenses. Even as she began to found success, she sensed that undying resolve of his that pushed him to continue, which only infuriated her more.
“YOU LET MOTHER AND FATHER DIE! YOU ABANDONED M-”
The hit was sudden. So unexpectedly packed with force that it sent her stumbling backward. She could feel the sting so painfully clearly after his fist collided with her jaw, the taste of blood slowly beginning to make itself evident within her mouth. That had been the first time he hit her. Ever.
“Don’t. You. Dare..”
For a moment, all she felt was shock as the orange faded from her eyes, replaced with the emerald green that her brother shared. Her hand came up to gently touch her jaw as the icy chill of his voice crept through her mind and straight to her core.
“Don’t you even THINK for a second that I abandoned you, or Father, or Mother… There hasn’t been a day that I haven’t wished that I could’ve taken their punishment, innocent or no.. If it had meant sparing their lives, there would’ve been NO hesitation in my steps towards the firing line.”
Her fist balled up tightly as he spoke, and as she readied herself to continue, she saw him tear the glove from his left hand. She saw a fury in his eye that had rivalled her own just moments before as he presented his palm that carried a long thin scar along its length.
“When Zakuul forced the Empire to its knee, I walked straight into a sanctum of what I expected to be certain death in order to take up arms to defend our people. I swore an oath of BLOOD that I would lay my life down for an Empire that wanted nothing to do with me! And once we forced them back? I took action on the plan to prove my innocence, a plan that took me years to come up with, and several more to complete!”
She stood her ground as she watched him advance slowly with the fiery rage that burned behind his gaze.
“Even now, even being outcast from those I hold dear to me, I find ways to serve. The credits I earn from Lord Edessa? I put towards supplies for the war when I could indulge myself with an endless amount of luxury.. Everyday, I apply myself to my work, because I know that despite this curse of no longer belonging to my people, I can help them far better now than I ever could before. So tell me sister, are these the actions of the traitorous bastard you think me to be?”
He paused only a couple feet from her, arms outstretched to either side. She raised her fist to strike at him, the orange fire returning to her own eyes as she called upon the force and yet.. She hesitated. His gaze didn’t waver from hers as he stood there with his guard non existent, and in her moment of indecision, he spoke much softer than before.
“'Become the beacon of inspiration through your loyalty and resolve.' Those were the words that Father spoke over us when we were little. And the day you discovered your attunement, nothing filled us with more pride knowing that you would rise to the upper echelons of the Empire. To ascend and become a Lord of the Sith, perhaps a Dark Lord in time… Kialla, you were the gem of our family, and if they saw you now, they would bow to you with overflowing pride in their hearts.”
His arms dropped to his sides, and Kialla watched him silently as he stepped back so that he might bow before her. She wanted to strike him then as her rage bubbled up once more within her, yet she sensed no deception in his words. Nothing but an earnest intent within him to find some sense of atonement for the suffering he’d caused her regardless. With a sharp inhale, she composed herself and crossed her arms.
It took effort for her voice to remain chillingly calm. She took another moment of silence to maintain her composure, her eyes narrowed as she examined him thoroughly. He stood just as he had upon entering the training room, his features set in stone save for the streak of moisture that ran down his cheek, the only indicator of his emotional state.
“You.. will refer to me as a Sith regardless of the circumstance we interact in, brother. I will not overlook blatant disrespect again, but… I will consider what you’ve said moving forward..”
A lump formed in the throat of the Apprentice as she looked over her brother once more. There was a new mixture of conflict toiling within her after everything he’d said, but, in a very quick gesture of care, she reached toward him and wiped his cheek.
“Go. And don’t disturb my training again..”
She spun around, standing still as she drew upon the force in a quick act of distraction. The only sound she heard was the gentle footfalls that grew fainter as he made his way away from her. Her fingers flexed as the blast door slid open and then closed, where she then knelt down and began her meditation.