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Dark Tidings

Posted on Sun Sep 30th, 2012 @ 6:40am by Axion & Trey† & Mentis

Chapter: Chapter I: Web of Fate
Location: Penthouse, Casino Zorb
Timeline: Sometime after "Confessions of a Gran"

OLD

Suddenly, Bomoor felt a surge of passion coming from the wounded Gran - an intense scream within the force energising the drained prisoner. It was a far different technique to the revitalisation ability Bomoor used, it was a calling to deep within oneself. A summoning for the rage within. The Gran kicked Thane backwards, freeing himself to leap upwards with great might. However, he did not intend to flee - his pure rage urged him to fight and he landed by Berry, hoping to take a life and feed on the dark energy.

"Damn it!" Bomoor shouted, calling on the force and sending a blast of physical energy into the attacker, knocking him away and onto the floor once again, "I would have given you a chance!"

A flicker of pleasure intermingled with anger could be felt coming from Thane at the move, and thrusting his open palm towards the Gran, sent him spiralling backwards with a gust of Force power. Jumping over to where the Dark Jedi lay, Thane thrust his boot firmly onto the alien's chest and swung his blade across his foe's throat, decapitating him.

NEW

The penthouses at the tip of Casino Zorb's impressive tower were nothing but luxurious, the best Nar Shaddaa had to offer. Despite the world's reputation, there were plenty of beautiful and wonderful locales here and there, for those with power and money, although they were far outnumbered by the putrid dens that were littered about, both above cantinas and within the depths of the the never-ending city.

Although smog and smoke were ever-present, the view from the accommodation Axion was now residing in could only be classed as breathtaking. Through the reinforced and protected clear window, he could see for miles. Bright neon lights greeted him from both far below and high up, although few buildings met the height of Casino Zorb. Zorbo the Hutt, whilst young, was indeed rich and powerful - not richer or more powerful than his nemesis, Grogga the Hutt, of course - and had a spectacular establishment. Almost impervious to assault from the outside world, the penthouse had been designed to cater for all manner of patrons and guests.

Naturally, there were listening devices installed throughout the chambers the Hutt had given him during their business, but he had nothing to hide. Or, rather, he would say nothing to anyone that would expose his deeper thoughts and plans; many in his Cult were not even aware of those, as plenty of them were only a means to an end, although not all of them. Some were gifted and more intelligent, in particular his chosen apprentice, but he shared at least a fleeting bond with each of them, which was how he had felt the death of one of his cultists a short while ago, somewhere on Nar Shaddaa.

Since he had pledged his support to Zorbo to take down Grogga's criminal empire - for the riches he wanted within, of course - he had ordered some of his cultists to join Zorbo's gang, leading them in their attacks on Grogga's own gangs and businesses. Largely, they had already been successul, but this was the first death of one of his own. He had felt Grash's anger and confidence from here, before pain took its place, and a short period of hatred followed prior to the end of his existence.

And now, he could sense the arrival of another of his flock, likely coming to inform him of the death. He rose from his meditative position and turned to face the beautiful gold and red double doors that the casino's lift opened from.

After a brief mechanical chime, the doors slid open to reveal the interior of the lift, with it's blood red walls and carpet. Everything in the hotel was designed at the greatest of expense - a testament to Zorbo's wealth. From inside the box, a young Ratattaki by the name of Mentis, adorned in a black cloak and vest, strode forward and up the steps towards the window seats where Axion stood. His great confidence in his power and ability were almost visible in the twisting black tattoos covering his face and arms.

He approached his cult leader and bowed with great force before him, "My master," he spoke, "I bring grave news..."

"Grash is dead." The words came quickly and simply from Axion's mouth as he stroked his beard in contemplation, looking as though he were examining the being before him for answers. Finally, he asked, "And how did this come to be?" His voice was not full of anger, but curiosity, although the former emotion was sure to rear its face soon.

Although capable and a strict adherent to the dark side, Grash the Gran had been no master, over himself or his abilities. Whilst not the weakest, he had not been the strongest either, yet his death was still a blow to the Cult of Axion; any cultist lost was at least an annoyance, but Grash had often been useful. This was an insult.

Mentis looked up, "Oh, my master," he hesitated, realising Axion's awareness of the situation, "He was fighting with Zorbo's mercenarys in the Corellian Sector when it happened. But it was no simple thug that did this. Grash was found decapitated a short distance away from the fighting..."

"You are not answering my question, young one," Axion said, malice dripping his honey-coated words, smiling as he stepped towards the cultist. Any Force-user would be able to detect the growing dark side power emanating from Axion's hand, and soon enough, small crackles of purple electricity began to hop between the master's fingers. Certainly, Axion had the power to force his cultist to tell him what he wanted to know, but that was far less interesting for him, and no lesson could be possibly learnt from that.

The young cultist flicked his eyes to his master's hand as it began to crackle. A steep fear spread through his body, any confidence he had as he strolled in lost at the sight of the threat. He had seen Axion's punishments and he did not intend to be at the receiving end of them, "I...I'm ever so sorry Master Axion. It's just that the reports come from Zorbo's thugs - I wasn't sure whether they were trustworthy."

"Do not waste any more of my time or your breath, acolyte," Axion said, half-warning but still smiling as the sparks continued to dance between his digits. "What did they say?"

"They saw two Jedi, master - they supposedly fought Grash and led to the defeat of Zorbo's forces in the sector. I don't trust them though. I think they could just be covering for their loss."

Axion felt his ire build, but rather than unleash the anger through his lightning upon the poor Ratattaki, he let it build up within him, absorbing the hatred. The static dissipated, and the Dark Jedi let his features soften a little more. "If poor Grash was decapitated, I highly doubt any of Grogga's men would have been able to do it so cleanly. No, Jedi were certainly involved." The master turned on his leather heel to face out of the window once again.

"I felt him; his confidence, anger and hatred swapping interchangeably as he took on his opponents. Grash would not have acted the way he did against common thugs." Axion crossed his arms as he watched the speeders darting around the world-city. "If the Jedi learn of what the Cult is doing, it will certainly complicate matters. Were it possible, I would have them leave with doing nothing, but should they report back to their blasted Jedi Council, it will do more damage than their curiosity over a couple of dead Jedi." He paused, flaring his nostrils as he took in a deep breath, feeling the weakness within the Ratattaki amused him, and also added more vigour to his determination.

Once the Kaiburr crystals were theirs, each of his lowly pawns would be invigorated with almighty power, and all so subservient to his whims and desires. Riches, power, immortality... Axion could almost taste the future, but it was not one of the abilities he had been blessed with. No, manipulation and guile were his tricks, and getting others to deal with petty matters he cared little for.

"Grash was in the Corellian Sector," the master stated, not looking at his cultist, "where that confounded Mandalorian was also hunting for me. I doubt he would work with the Jedi, so Nala can handle him... but you say there were two of them?" It was a perfect time to unveil his new weapon, a chance to see it finally in action against superior opponents.

Through his connection with the Force, he reached out to his newest investment, who had been residing in the next room whilst Axion had been musing on his alliance with Zorbo, prior to this news of death.

"You are not capable enough to fight such beings," Axion told the Ratattaki cultist, "but Trey is." He motioned to the door off to the side as it opened, revealing a new figure.

A slight Human male ambled in, his hair mussed as if he had just rolled out of bed. He glanced over at the Ratattaki and nodded in acknowledgement, giving off that charming smile that seemed to revitalize anyone on the receiving end. “How’s it goin'?” He was dressed in very simple clothes, so that he would have blended into anything if it weren’t for his face. He didn’t so much as swagger as he walked up to Axion, but his eyes…they glittered, almost desirously. Not for Axion’s position, or for his power…but for another reason.

“Whatcha need?” Trey asked, smiling to Axion as if they were speaking about the weather. “Scare ‘em, maim ‘em…give ‘em a message?” He blew out air, pouting a little. “I hate doin’ that, but if you want…”

"No, my young friend," Axion dismissed the notions with a wave of his gloved hand, still offering a friendly smile. He placed a firm hand on Trey's shoulder as he spoke to the other cultist still in the room. "This here is our newest member. His ability far outmatches even most Jedi at his age, and his wits are as quick as his blade." The master gave a nod to the saberstaff hilt at Trey's hip. "His mastery of the dark side may be only in its earliest stages, but he has such potential! He will serve me and the Cult admirably... first by ridding us of this pair of Jedi."

Once again, Axion stepped away and began to glare out of the window. A madness glinted in his eyes as they reflected the neon lights from all about, and his tattoos seemed to grow darker for a few seconds. "Find these two light-siders, teach them what it means to have true power, and avenge the death of one of our own. Do this, and you will prove your loyalty... and your worth as my..." He gave a glance back to Trey. "...apprentice."

Certainly, this would anger Nala, but the rivalry it would inspire would be palpable, fuelling them both as his agents and agents of the dark side, their aggressive attempts to clutch for power fuelling Axion's own desires and needs.

The human beamed a smile at Axion, laughing amusedly. "Whaaaat? That's awesome!" He shot a grin at the other cultist as if their leader made the funniest joke ever, then continued grinning at Axion. "But don't Jedi turn on your hottie assistant more?" He smirked a little. "It's not every day some Jedi pop up, least of all two."

Mentis glared at the newcomer, a rage building inside him. He had worked his way up in this cult, training alongside Nala and the other disciples to Axion. They had all been promised power and greatness for their loyalty. How could Axion allow this stranger, this cocky slime, to become his apprentice?

He rose to his feet, his anger getting the better of him, "This is a load of Bantha dung! You'd promote this man over your faithful servants?"

The Ratattaki shrunk back, realising what he had said, as his master turned to him. His anger was once again replaced by fear.

Trey shook his head, smiling faintly at the other member. He didn't even need the Force to sense his conflict, but rather preferred basking in that sudden wave of anger. "Did you suddenly lose your balls??" The human's smile was regretful, sad...sympathetic.

Mentis' anger rose again, "Did you lose your respect for the glory of the cult?" he hissed through gritted teeth, his eyes flicking to Axion, "Master...Please..."

Certainly, Axion enjoyed seeing the Ratattaki pleading to him in the sight of Trey. Not only did it satisfy his ego, but it allowed the Cult's newest addition to see the respect and deference he deserved from his follower's, although one of the very reasons he had chosen Trey for this prestigious honour was his freethinking. Of course, there may come a time when the other Human would have to be dealt with, but not yet. For now, he was a worthy subordinate and enforcer.

"Mentis, my child, do not think yourself set aside, but also do not question your master in matters of governance." Axion wiggled a finger in front of the cultist. "You should know your place, and that if I make a decision, it is for my benefit and that of the cult, and not for you to doubt... but I am not without a heart." Smiling, the Cult leader stepped towards Mentis, extending his arms outward. "If you so wish to prove your loyalty to myself and the Cult of Axion, then take up your blade, join with Trey, and show me what you are capable of. I would have the Jedi's lightsabers as trophies, as proof of your courageousness and strength."

Instead of going towards the window, Axion moved to settle himself into one of the luxuriously large and comfortable seats Zorbo had adorned the penthouse with, a large cylindrical glass of green liquid already awaiting the Dark Jedi Master.

After taking a sip, Axion waved his hand. "Leave now, and do not return until you have faced these Jedi in combat, and know that failure will be met by severity on my part." With a sardonically sick smile, he watched as the two departed, the mix of fear and rage bubbling within Mentis matched only by Trey's ambition and sadism. With his drink clasped firmly in his hand, Axion knew that - even with the odd setback - no mere Jedi could prevent the Cult from winning Zorbo this war against Grogga... and the bounty the Human sought.

 

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