It didn't take Tirus long to get through the weaklings. He was absolutely pulsing with the Force, something he had not felt even when he was a Jedi. But all that was over now. He did not care about the Jedi, about friends, about anything else. He just wanted Darien to not be what he was. Tirus wanted nothing more than to bath in the power of the Dark Side. But first, he would have to find the rest of the Jedi and kill them.
Tirus was given a ship. It was sleek and powerful. Very Imperial looking. It as black, with a ball for the body of the ship, almost like the TIE fighters, but larger. It had a form of the wings on the TIE fighters, but was eye shaped instead. He was absolutely surprised at how quick it was when he got it into the air. Tirus knew it probably had some kind of homing beacon on it and once he was in lightspeed, searched the ship for it, found it, and destroyed it. He was going to the heart of the Jedi. The one who was left. Yoda. But he didn't want Vader knowing where he was going. He didn't know why, but he didn't want him knowing of his actions.
As Tirus got closer to Degobah, he felt the feeling of his family, his old friends, and Yoda growing stronger. He felt the touch of Serenity on his heart and for a moment, relaxed. At that very second, all the implants in his body erupted into a furious pain. It felt like fire was burning his bones clean. He let the pain take over for a moment and the hatred returned. The pain was gone. He breathed hard and realized this was his way of keeping his mind in check. He growled slightly and prepared himself.
He wore a black cloak that covered his entire body. It masked his presence well. He felt the ship lurch as the landing sequence begun. Breaking the atmosphere, he felt the sensations growing stronger. He was surprised to find that Dante was not with them. Perhaps he was still back at the Sith base, or maybe dead. He didn't care. This gave him an advantage. He was the best saberest of all of the Jedi and Tirus knew it. This would make things easier.
As the ship landed, he pulled the hood over his head and walked off the landing ramp. As he did, a small green creature stood waiting for him. Yoda stepped forward, unarmed, and looked up at him disapprovingly, "Come to me again you have. But this time, not by your will it is. Why have you come Tal Mantalus?"
"That man is dead now. He was weak, arrogant, and vulnerable. I am Darth Tirus and I have come to purge the Force of the virus that is the Jedi!" Tirus stood motionless and starred at Yoda who sighed and shook his head.
"So be it. Warped you have become. But Jedi, you are still. Do what you must do, but defend myself I will." Yoda said calmly.
Tirus grinned, "All in due time Yoda. First, where's that bitch of a wife of mine?"
Tal felt himself being dragged deeper and deeper into darkness. Two people were dragging him across the floor and pulling him by his arms as he his surroundings became louder and louder. He felt the darkness beginning to swell inside him as he was dropped on the floor. The cold metal stuck against his skin as he heard delicate footsteps walking towards him.
"The great Jedi Master Tal Mantalus." Said a mouse like voice and he cackled lightly to himself. "Strip him and put him down there."
The same two men picked him up and tore the clothes off his body. His bare skin against the cold air caused him to shiver slightly as he was put onto a cold metal table and strapped down. He bit down slightly as his skin met the cold metal. His arms had been spread out and his legs straight so that he took the shape of a Y. He was having a hard time seeing with all the pain and lose of blood, but he could make out the slender figure of the mousy man walking forward. He had an instrument in his hand and touched it to Tal's chest. In a sudden rush of pain and surprise, the device burrowed into his chest and into his heart. Tal let out a scream of pain and the man smiled.
"Begin the process." Said the man and Tal was turned so that he was now vertical. He began to rise slowly and opened his eyes enough to see turbines and machines twirling about above him. He couldn't move, could hardly breath and his heart was starting to falter because of the device. He heard the machine above him begin to whir and almost charge. Static discharges told him that this was going to be extremely unpleasant.
It got louder and louder as he was raised in the middle of the machine and the turbines began spinning wildly around him. The thin man looked over to a panel and pressed a few buttons. Then smiled at Tal as he pulled a lever and electricity began to course through his body. The pain was so intense, he couldn't scream, couldn't breath, couldn't even think. He smelled burning flesh as the meat off his arms began to burn away. The blood on his chest from the devise evaporated and his hair fell from his head. Just when he thought it would never stop, that the end was near, the discharge stopped and machines began to come toward him.
One by one, the machines probed his charred body. One by one, they removed burned flesh and useless tissue. It was excruciating and his eyes snapped open and looked up in absolute pain. Tears of blood fell from his eyes as the machines began to burrow into his muscles and implant devices into his tissue. Gloves went over his fingers and hands, boots of some kind, went around his feet and calves. He felt a chest plate over his chest and a neck brace support his head. Each piece had it's own barbs that burrowed into his flesh and duck into him. The chest plate attach to the devise in his heart and whirred to life.
He was lowered out of the machine slowly and the man walked up to him. He inspected Tal and all the implants, making sure they were working properly. Tal's eyes were closed and his head lowered slightly as the man put his bony fingers on his chin and raised his head.
"Open your eyes." He said slyly and Tal opened them. Tal looked at the man with absolute hatred and anger as his fingers flexed and he rushed toward the man. The restraints snapped off his wrists and his fingers, now with black metallic gloves of steel and razors, wrapped around the man's neck.
"WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE WITH ME!!??!" Tal screamed in absolute rage.
A dark voice, deep with a rhythmic breathing, walked forward, "He has given you new life. You have been reborn and baptized. You are no longer Tal Mantalus. He is dead. But if you do not give yourself to me here and now, I will have your son burned alive. You will watch as I bath in his blood." Tal looked over at Darth Vader with hatred and his eyes flickered red and orange. "You are now Darth Tirus. You are my servant and will do my bidding. If you want you son to live that is..."
Tal was confused he took a step forward and dropped the man, who's neck was slightly bleeding. He took another step to Vader and raised his hand to grab him, but as he did, an intense pain shot through his body. He fell to his knees and grabbed his chest in pain.
"That was just a taste of the suffering you will be given if you do not obey me. The device in your heart will inflict more pain than anyone should ever be aloud to be submitted to. Give yourself to me and you will feel no more pain. I will let your son go..." Vader said looking down at him.
Tal thought for a moment about the offer. He looked at his hands in disbelief and sadness. "Swear it...if I submit myself, swear to me you will let my son go."
Vader paused for a moment then nodded, "I swear it..."
Tal sighed and let the hatred take him. He raised himself to one knee and lowered his head. "I pledge myself to you....my master......"
The comm link crackled to life as an emergency channel opened. "TO ANY JEDI ON THE EMERGENCY JEDI CHANNEL! THIS IS TAL MANTALUS! I'M ON A PLANET WITH A SITH BASE AND AM UNDER ATTACK! I REQUIRE ASSISTANCE IMMEDIATELY! PLEASE HURRY! MY COORDINATES ARE ON THIS TRANSMISSION WAVE!" The transmission ended and began to loop.
Tal blasted a couple storm troopers that tried to storm his position and chucked a thermal detonator. It exploded and he dived into a ditch as he saw a blur of dark robes fly over head. Vader had sent his Sith after him.
Tal pulled out his lightsaber in his right hand and shot after troopers with his left. He went deeper and deeper into the forest trying to lose them, but he knew it was no use. The Sith could sense him and knew where he would go.
He turned around and came face to face with a Sith as she began to slash wildly at him. He blocked the first few attacks and raised his blaster to try to blast her. Her blade moved quickly and decisively as it sliced through his wrist and cut off his hand. He cried out in pain as he watched his hand and blaster fly away into the brush. Tall dropped to his knees and his lightsaber fell infront of him. He cradled his hand in pain and shook as he watched the Sith raise her blade to finish him off.
Tal had imagined dieing like this, but never when he was so weak. Never not while he was one with the Force. Just as the blade began to fall, he closed his eyes, accepting his defeat and death but death never came. Instead, he heard the crash of another saber and heard the deep, rhythmic, breathing of Darth Vader's mask.
"NO! I want him alive!" Vader pushed the girl into the woods using the Force and Tal heard her crash into a tree. If she wasn't dead, she would be soon.
"No, you are going to live. And you are going to bring all your friends and family to me. This Jedi rebellion will die today!" Vader said in anger and picked Tal up with the Force. Tal clawed at his throat as blood poured out of the stump at his wrist.
"I'LL....NEVER....BETRAY THEM!" Tal said desperately.
"Yes you will and you will also join me Tal Mantalus. Soon, you will be another pawn in my temple of Sith and a tool that I will use at my disposal. Either that, or I will kill your child." Vader pulled out a small holovid of Darien in a holding cell. He was naked and shivering and looked scared.
"LEAVE HIM ALONE!" Tal cried out and felt a surge of energy run through him. Tal felt the Dark Side begin to breath life in his heart and Tal used it to rip away the hold on his throat. "He's my son! AND I WILL HAVE HIM BACK!!" Tal let loose with a lightening storm of force lightening and tried to destroy Vader. But he was weak, untrained. Vader focused the energy and collected it in his hand. Turning it around, he threw it back at Tal and it enveloped him in a shower of sparks and pain. He cried out in agony and fell to the ground in smoke and smoldering clothes.
Vader stood over him as Tal went unconscious, "Take him back to the lab. I want the implants in him right away! Give him the tools that will make him a Sith..." Storm troopers picked him up and dragged him back to the temple as Vader walked behind them. These Jedi would die, each and everyone of them, and before this day was over, no use of the Force, including his Sith, would live to tell the tale.
Tella lay in one of her ship's cramped bunks, trying to sleep but failing horribly. It was so cold on this planet... did no one else feel the freezing bite of the air here? It would seem that she was the only one that could feel the shivers that ran down her spine. Either way, whether it be her insanity creeping back up again or just plain sensitivity, it was distracting and made it impossible to sleep. What was worse was that she didn't want to open her eyes. She refused to open them and see all the reflective metal surfaces that covered the ship - she was too afraid of her reflection now. Every time she saw it, it took on the form of her mother.
Cold but gentle hands caressed her cheek, but still she refused to open her eyes - she knew who this was.
"Have you come to fuck up my life some more or have your come to plead your innocence? Either way I'm not listening. Get out."
"Oh, love," said a soft female voice that rang melodically throughout the ship, "I think that's a bit dramatic."
"Being upset because you never told me why other children hated me? Why everyone stared at me back home? Why Dad resented me? Who I really was? Who you really were? Oh, I'm sorry, that'd make to much sense, wouldn't it?" Tella hissed with the venom of two centuries of pent up anger.
"You know I did that to protect you-"
"From what?! From myself?! Do you know how dumb you sound right now?! Did you think I couldn't handle the thought of you being a Jedi, of both of us being what we are?! If anything that would have helped me! At least then I wouldn't have felt alone for so long!" Tella's eyes shot open as the instinct to defend herself kicked in. Of course, there was nothing here but the reflection that was not her own. Its mouth moved though Tella's did not.
"Perhaps I underestimated your understanding. I'm sorry, all I ever wanted was a happy life for you, and you can see how that's turned out."
There was a long pause before Tella spoke again. "Make it up to me then. How do I get rid of this?"
Her mother's reflection shook her head. "You can't."
Tella clenched her teeth. "What do you mean I can't? All my life you never once changed!"
The reflection smiled weakly. "It gets harder the longer you don't do it, but it never goes away."
Tella stood now, shaking. It was not her mother's fault, she knew, but she still felt the urge to punch her in the face. Her fist went into the nearest wall, denting one of the reflections. To her dismay, however, she found that she'd only made a thousand more smaller reflections that smiled back at her. She punched the wall again and again, only creating more of the smiling faces. "STOP IT! STOP SMILING!" No matter how many times she hit them though, they kept smiling.
There was a knock at the door and Tella gritted her teeth. "LEAVE!" The voice that came from her lips was not her own, but instead an animal's.
Tal walked through the murky swamps of Degobah and sighed deeply with sadness. Serenity was acting strange around him and it seemed that he was the only one that wasn't getting helped by Yoda. He thought of his son Darien and how he would have to save him. He knew that he would probably die in the process, but he couldn't just leave him there.
"Betray you, your thoughts do." Yoda said coming up behind Tal and walking next to him.
"Master," Tal said surprised and bowed slightly, "I was just thinking..."
"Tainted you have been in the Force. Healed you must be, but only so much can I do. Found a way I have to help you, but you are the one who must complete the healing." Yoda spoke not looking at Tal but rather off in the distance, as if knowing the future already.
Tal looked at him with frustration, knowing that he knew something, "Master, what do you know? It's obvious that you know something about me, but you aren't telling me."
Yoda sighed and closed his eyes for a moment. He opened them slowly and looked up at him, "In danger, you will put your friends and family. To save your son, turn to the Dark Side you will..."
Tal was in shock. He would never turn to the Dark Side. It would do more harm then good. "Master....I would never turn to the Dark Side...I know what that would mean!"
Yoda turned to him sharply with a look of frustration on his face, "Lecture me you will not on the sufferings of the Dark Side!" He scrunched his face and took a few steps forward, "Long the responsibility was yours to take care of the rest. Now, fall to your wife the responsibility will." He pointed his small green nailed finger at Tal, "But go to Darien you must not!"
Tal looked at Yoda with surprise and his anger began to build, "DON'T help Darien?! That's my son your talking about!"
"And exactly why the Jedi Council stopped Jedi from marrying, we did!" Yoda was not pleased with Tal. He was supposed to be in control of his feelings, in check. He could sense the Dark Side begin to grow in Tal. So Vader hadn't stripped him of the Force, but rather encouraged and teased the pain and suffering in his heart to the point that he couldn't use the Force unless it was for the Dark Side.
Yoda stood defiantly as Tal began to breath hard and a flicker of red danced in his eyes. "YOU WILL NOT KEEP ME FROM MY SON!!"
Vader sat in his chambers sensing from afar the battle Assenda had fought with the deathwalker. Now he could feel her travelling to him. The deathwalker could cloud his mind to him but the face he could sense it all showed Assenda had failed.
Vader did not tolerate failures. He sent a mental message to darien.
" I require your presence now"
He wanted them both present for what he had to say