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Crymoon
5 January 2007, 08:41 AM
It's the first chapter in the life story of Jez Kal'am from IAOP roleplaying thread. More may follow.

Great thanks to Terras for proofreading. He did what I, as a non native speaker, could not. As my translation teacher once said "You can't make honey out of sh@t." ANd thus Terras is not resposible for my story.


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Chapter 1 “Operation Phoenix”

The cavern was illuminated by sparse lamps placed as if by a madman here and there, leaving more things hidden in the shadows than out in view.

A lone man hung suspended in a force field near some kind of obscure machinery. His arms and legs were bound by sturdy magnacuffs. He was dressed in tattered dark brown Jedi robes. His blue eyes scanned the area around him from the moment he regained his consciousness about half an hour ago. Until now he couldn’t discern much except that he was in a cave and, what disturbed him, was fully cut off from the Force. He tried many techniques: at first he tried to manipulate the controls of his prison to set himself free, when it didn’t work, he tried changing his own metabolism to cut off the pain as he struggled to get one of his hands free, as this didn’t work either he tried to enter a meditative trance but something prohibited even this. If it wasn’t for all his years of training and teaching, fear would have been swarming over him, but now he just calmly waited.
Last thing he remembered he was chasing a well-known murderer Gradle “Silk” Yuuiker, a Zabrak known for his blaster skill and utter lack of conscience. He got a message from one of his underground contacts that the scoundrel has been last seen in one of his favorite gambling spots “The Flaming Eye” Casino located in entertainment orbital station over Regan in Olabron system. As the only Jedi assigned to this region of space Master Tren Horon took his duties very seriously and because his last padawan became a knight a few months ago he had enough time to give himself fully to the task at hand. It was quite simple - he flew in his trusty fighter to the casino and after a short chase through the bottom levels thereof he fell into a trap. It was as if someone had dropped a black blanket over his head. He tried to catch breath as an immaterial hand clutched his throat. Beads of sweat covered his forehead as he struggled in vain only to be swallowed by darkness.
And now he was here.
The strange machinery beside his prison hummed silently. He focused his sight trying to understand the purpose of the device, but he wasn’t technically gifted and failed at that task. Somewhere in the darkness he heard steps and in one of the rare blobs of light he has seen a darkly clad figure.
“Is anyone there!” he shouted, his voice hoarse. “Why are you holding me here?”
The figure looked at him and then disappeared in the darkness again.


A few thousand kilometers above the cave in an otherwise nondescript room in the station sat two creatures. One an elderly Ithorian dressed in rich clothes uncommon for his race looked sternly at a young Rodian.
“No! We cannot attack him. There is no way we could succeed. He is Sith. You young ones don’t even remember what this word means. But I know. All my family has been wiped out by him only because we stood in a way of some of his probably minor plots. I have tracked him ever since but we don’t stand a chance. Not without some major support.”
The Rodian jumped up from the chair and started walking around the room.
“But that’s exactly what I was trying to tell you for the last hour or so. I have the support. Well sort of...”
“What do you mean by sort of...?”
“I have used all of my contacts and influence to find this man. But now I have succeeded and guess what. He is here. In the casino...”
“Who?... Sit down and speak coherently.” The Ithorian raised his voice a bit.
“ Oh, Umwaw. Listen to what I’m telling you. The officer who will help us eradicate this ’sith’ of yours.”
“Neeik! I’m starting to lose my patience. What officer? What are you bubbling about?”
“Well. From one of my contacts, a Neimoidian named Teultay Donn, you heard about him, didn’t you?. I met him during my smuggling escapade in the....Ok. Ok. So I have heard about a republic air force officer who for a certain amount of money does jobs. You know?. I see you don’t. Well he can look in another direction when needed, provide military transport for civil personnel and.. and what is most important he can decide where certain maneuvers take place. I have already talked to him – of course through another of my contacts here and he said that such a job costs 500.000 credits.”
“How much?! Neeik. How do you plan to get this amount of credits. Even if I sell everything I posses it’ll be not more then 300.000.”
“Well. I have a cunning plan.”
“Oh, no....”
“This time is foolproof. You’ll see by yourself.” The Rodian came to the Ithorian and looked him almost straight into the eye. The feat a bit difficult to manage minding the difference in height and intraocular distance. “Umwaw. Trust me. You know that I’ll do anything to help you. And this time we’ll get this bastard. Sith or not.”


Tren Horon lost the track of time. He tried to think of ways to escape and failed. He tried to think of reasons for being held captive here and it seems that his captor wasn’t interested in any information he might posses. The Jedi Order bargained from time to time for the lives of its members but it will take at least a week for any representative to get here. Then maybe he was a bait for someone. He cleared his mind of any speculations as they were leading to nowhere.
Some time passed and he has seen the same black figure watching him. He also learned to recognize different types of humming sounds coming from the machine beside him. And he noticed a pattern - every cycle the device went quieter only to go louder then the cycle before. It has now reached the level of a starting transport ship and Tren was sure it wasn’t the end of its capabilities.
In one other blob of light he saw machine quite similar to a Sith forge where their weapons and armors were created. But this one has been modified to fulfill a completely different and at the time unknown purpose. The Jedi Master has studied Sith all his life as he never accepted the common knowledge of their eradication. He believed that they went into hiding and changed their ways. He had this terrible feeling that he'd been right.
Without Force as his ally he grew weaker. No food. Nothing to drink. No possibility of rest. He tried to stay conscious for as long as possible but after some time his body, despite his mind’s orders, just gave in. As he fainted a figure dressed in what he recognized as Sith armor came into light and a feeling of dread flashed through his heart. It was as if he has seen a long dead creature still walking by some art of dark sorcery.
The Sith came closer and checked the machinery. Everything was going according to his plan, there was just one ingredient left and it will soon come to him by itself. Then he will have immortality. At last.
Tren was happy not have seen the smile on the lips of the creature standing in front of him.

The difference between day and night in the casino wasn’t really noticeable. But it was late evening when Neeik met again in the same room with Umwaw. The older of the two seemed to be dozing when the door opened and in came the Rodian holding his hands under a cloak behind his back. He was smiling brightly, but the Ithorian sensed pain in him.
“Told you you could trust me. I did it.” He said thrusting his left hand towards the Ithorian and letting a credit stick fall on the table in front of him. “See I did it. Over 200.000 credits.”
“Where did you get this?” asked Umwaw carefully. “I hope no one was harmed by your actions.
A grimace of pain flashed across Rodian face “Hurt.?... No. I won it. In a high stakes game. Won it fair and square. “
“Show me your other hand.”
“I got the money don’t you see. I contacted the officer and he’s waiting for the transfer till midnight today. Will you manage selling all your belongings till deadline? Or should I go play some more” Neeik was hoping the Umwaw wouldn’t see through his false bravado.
“Show me your other hand” said Ithorian with a weary voice not raising it a bit.
The Rodian slowly outstretched his left arm. Where once there was a green hand now only a stump was to be seen.
“What have you done?” Cried Umwaw jumping to his feet and moving to Neeik. “I’m no doctor but you need medical help. What happened?”
Rodian looked at him with a surprise written all over his face, he has never seen his companion so worried. “I told you I entered some high stake game. I haven’t told you that it was kind of back room sabbacc rules. I won a bit then lost big time and had to sell my hand for possibility to play further. I couldn’t have failed you.” Tears appeared in Neeik eyes “Not this time. Not when we’re so close. So I did it and won. No big deal.”
Umwaw was stunned. Nothing came out of his throat. For the first time in his whole life he was left speechless. He took the little Rodian into his arms and hugged him tight. A few teardrops fell to the floor behind Neeik back.
“Ok. Big guy. We don’t have time for this. Will you manage to get the cash until midnight.”
“Yes” said Umwaw his voice full of certainty although he knew it’s gonna be very very close.
“Let’s go to work then we have still lots to do”


“Master Tren. Wake up.” Came a voice like two stones grating each other “It’s time.”
“Yeah, wake up, old chum.” Another voice, a familiar one this time. “Is this the mighty Jedi who tried to catch me? Hahahahahaha. You don’t look so tough to me”
“Don’t tease me, Gradle! Or I’ll reconsider and let him free for a moment or two to see how he deals with you.”
Tren opened his eyes slowly. In front of him there stood the infamous Zabrak, two blasters at his hips, smiling brightly even in the presence of the other person, if that is the best word to describe it. Standing nearly 6 feet tall the armor-clad entity had its face hidden in a hood. The armor and a sword hanging by its side were clearly of Sith origin.
“Ah, he’s awake” two stones grated some more.
“So he survived your little experiment. It’s time for the payment. You know what we agreed upon.” Silk smiled boldly “The location of this ship, if I may ask”
“But Gradle, do not be so hasty. My experiment is not yet concluded. If you want I will show you the final step.”
Zabrak’s hands fell to the blasters. “I don’t care who you are. If I don’t get paid things will get nasty, and no hokey pokey magic will save you.”
“My oh my. If you knew how many times I have heard that.” The armored arms rose to the hood and with a swift movement shucked it down. The creature standing there must have been at least 100 years old and another 100 dead, the skull was tightly clothed with skin, no muscles, no fat visible. The small dried up eyes moved from Tren to Gradle. The mouth still showing some sharpened teeth grinning in an everlasting smile.
Silk felt he couldn’t move. He’s seen plenty of monstrosities in his life but this... thing... was something else. The aura of menace was so overwhelming that he couldn’t move a muscle.
“You both should be honored, as you are the most important ingredients to me becoming immortal. You see I call it my operation Phoenix. I am in the process of creating the perfect body to hold my powers for eternity. But for this Master Tran, I need your life Force. And mind that I said Force using capital F, for indeed it will suck your Force and mingle it with mine, as I’ll be reborn even more powerful. But just to be sure that your goodness and so called ‘light side’” he spat the last two words “Don’t interfere with my well being I had to balance them with someone’s dark soul. And who is more suited for this task then you, Gradle. I’m also hoping that some of your skill will become imprinted in my new body. And to honor you properly I will name him by your both fathers – Kal Horon and Jez Yuuiker – how about Kal Jez...No, I know Jez Kal’am. That’s perfect. But enough of chit-chat – I don’t have much time left.”
He moved his hand and Zabrak floated through the air towards the darkness. He felt that he touched a flat metal surface of a vertical table. His arms and legs have been forced into restraints. He felt a pain in the back of his neck as something sharp punctured skin and struck the spinal cord. Then he stopped feeling anything.

“Blue squadron, here’s squadron leader. Drop bombs on my mark. 3....2...1...”
“This is blue one, bombs are go.”
“Blue two, done”
“Blue three, all babies are on the way”
“Blue four, dropped the whole load”

After setting all machines in motion the Sith lord moved towards the rear corridor to reach the focus chamber where he would finalize his change. He checked all the monitors noticing that both of his involuntary subjects were either dead or close to it and sat at the throne attaching the last cords to the crown placed firmly over his head. The ancient artifact which he had wrestled over 50 years ago from the hands of Sith lord Bagen Toll was the key focus element in the whole process. As he fitted his head into the crown he heard whispers of tens of its previous users throughout the history. His dark Force powered up the throne and he began the slow process of transferring his essence into the crown from where it will be then moved into his new body. This ritual required his utter and undisturbed attention.
Suddenly the room shook with an explosion. A huge chunk of ceiling came crashing down nearly missing the throne. The lord sat unmoving trying to get his essence as quickly as only possible to his new host. Another explosions shook the whole cave. Here and there great fragments of ceiling and walls fell down smashing machinery and burrowing two Sith victims under tons of rocks. And after what seemed like an hour the explosions stopped. The Sith lord sat triumphal on his black throne when a loud crack was heard from above his head. He raised his eyes only to see the whole mountain above him descend right onto his head. A silent scream escaped his lips. And then everything was quiet.

“Blue leader this is blue four. I think we may have hit something back there.”
“That’s the point of an exercise, blue four. Over and out.”

Tens of meters below the former focusing chamber a lone naked man crawled through what looked like a remains of great metal doors.

Grimace
9 January 2007, 06:47 AM
Good start to the back story for your character, Crymoon. You've got pretty good descriptions...I especially liked the "100 years old and another 100 dead." That gives a good picture in the mind's eye.

Keep up the good work!