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Beyond - Legends Dark Currents 2: Vengeance - AU, OC's, 420 ABY

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Darth_Furio, Dec 27, 2018.

  1. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Nephros should walk another path. Cora and Phillip are nice to him
     
  2. Darth_Furio

    Darth_Furio SWC Jedi Draft Commissioner star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Chapter 5, Part 4 420 ABY

    Nephros had taken his air speeder and raced across the Scarif desert that the Galactic Empire had created with its Death Star. The area where the Imperial building used to stand was basically a kilometers wide crater with salt water surrounding it. All the islands in the area were either destroyed or swallowed by the tsunami waves that followed the blast. It was a curious phenomenon of nature as a disastrous event had created a unique place, a desert in the middle of an ocean. Nephros debated over what these beings were thinking when they decided to wipe out a section of a planet. What were they thinking when they destroyed a whole planet? Alderaan had been erased from existence. Was it madness or was it necessary to maintain order?

    It was peaceful and quiet to a point that the silence would cause Nephros to wince when he tries to meditate there. The sun was hot and dust mixed into with the perspiration on his face. No plants grew in the crater nor did any animal live within it either. Life had been evaporated like the water that used to be there. Only death remained here. Death and the taint of the dark side.

    Nephros sat down, crossed his legs, closed his eyes and for the first time in almost two decades he reached out within the Force with full attention and focus. It was still amazing to him how natural it felt to do so. Many beings like Praxis and Darth Erebus tried to control and harness his power into something they could use for their own ends. The Jedi wanted to cage him like an animal. Arianna wanted him to use the Force ‘the right way’ and Vikka echoed the sentiment. All of them had died save for Vikka who had eventually rejected him. The result was that Nephros could carve his own path once again if he choose to. He knew that revealing himself now within the Force now could bring unwanted attention. There would be a disturbance and someone could come looking.

    In the Force, Nephros felt an imbalance. The Jedi and therefore the light side were dominate once again as the threat of the dark side had been defeated Even though Nephros considered himself a dark side user at one time, his current limited presence did not count for much. Nevertheless, there was still something lurking within the darkest parts of the Force. It was elusive, but ever present. With a continuously evolving future, Nephros began to see images of his haunted past as he concentrated harder. Then he saw a home on a patch of land with greenery and then a familiar training circle. Flashes of light by fire danced across his vision and then the home was burning. Screaming, pain, loss, until finally darkness again.

    It is a powerful vision that Nephros knew the Force did not show him by accident. He reached out again concentrating on the burning home and Nephros began to hear the screams again. However, this time he understood what was being said. The voice was somehow familiar to him and saying ‘mother.’ A boy. The picture enhanced in his thoughts and he could see the boy trying to get into the burning house but he was being restrained by another man.

    The vision ended abruptly and Nephros opened his eyes again to the nothingness within the crater. He shook his head. Nephros should have known that as soon as he reached out, the Force would begin to show him things he would not understand. He was surprised that he had not seen anything concerning Vikka though. Nephros began to think that it may have been by his own subconscious design. It could have been fear of what Vikka would think about him after all this time, or it could have been that Nephros did not want to see that she was happy with another. He mocked himself over the thoughts, but it could not be helped. Their night together was burned into his mind and it was the best day of his life. She was beautiful he could recall her scent and he remembered every curve of her body. Intoxicating.

    Suddenly a disturbance in the Force rippled through him as his body jerked forward. Nephros began to feel unsteady as it had been some time since he had sensed danger within the Force. Something was happening locally on the system this time. Nephros reached out again and felt a mass of fear and anger. It was coming from the village. Aggressive feelings from numerous beings had flooded the Force. The raiders had returned for their credits and Nephros was not sure how he felt about it. Usually he did not interfere, now, with the Force running through him again he felt compelled to act.

    ***
    Cora walked the square and was making a trip to the local markets. The last conversation she had with Marcus she had left on bad terms once again. He was closed off more than usual even though he was not as inebriated. Cora wanted to make a meaningful connection with Marcus for some time as she felt his pain. His past ate him as did hers. Cora had told Marcus her story but he never revealed it. Always shrouded in secrecy.

    She never told him that once while they had spent one of their nights together he would utter names in his sleep and then scream with night terrors. Cora would try and comfort him but the thoughts had taken their toll on Marcus’ mind. He would deny everything and Cora would pretend she had not heard the name Arianna, the words ‘mother’, and ‘father.’ The word ‘father’ Marcus would say with so much distain and hate in his voice. Cora guessed that he was maintaining a long held grudge, but what could a father do to his son that could trigger such animosity and disgust. It scared her when Marcus would say ‘I’m glad you’re dead.’

    That would cause her to recoil and not persist anymore with her questions. Cora, would let him be but she worried. There were many aspects worth saving from their quasi relationship. Marcus had a side that Cora felt he did not even know about when it appeared. He would say something kind, give her a gentle caress, and he would occasionally close his eyes and bask in the sun light. It did not happen often, but it did. This is what Cora wanted to hang on to.

    As Cora passed a few vendors she could hear the hum of approaching speeders. She thought of the date and knew that this was not a regularly scheduled visit by the mercenaries. When she looked at them she saw them with drawn blasters. This was something different.

    ***

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha @earlybird-obi-wan @AzureAngel2 @mayo_durron_666

    As always. Thank you for reading.
     
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  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Intense vision thNephros had, driving him to a pivotal action. [face_thinking]
     
  4. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Sorry it’s been a lil while - but I’m finally caught up! [face_blush]

    Getting to see Nephros, his point of view, dwelling on his angst/pain over past events/actions and his attempt to make a connection with someone, like Cora, was very interesting to read.

    I don’t like the vision he saw!!! [face_nail_biting]Makes me very worried for those possibly in it in future..?!

    I hope Cora doesn’t get into any trouble with those mercenaries either! [face_worried]

    Great writing, great updates! =D= And thanks for the tags! :D
     
  5. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Visions of the future? I hope he can help Cora
     
  6. Darth_Furio

    Darth_Furio SWC Jedi Draft Commissioner star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Chapter 5, Part 5 420 ABY

    As Nephros arrived at the commercial district of the village he was surprised by the chaos and violence. Usually the pirates would simply use intimidation tactics to get their credits from their targeted vendors and move along. This time around they were looting businesses and destroying street vendor’s carts and merchandise. Citizens were running as they were looking for somewhere to hide in the bedlam. With their blasters drawn, the pirates had proceeded to also pin down the small Island’s Police Force. Police departments from other islands were called in to reinforce, but the damage was already being done.

    From the corner of his eye, Nephros saw into the cantina’s broken windows and patrons were peeking into the street, Cora among them. From what he could tell she was motioning for beings to move away from the windows. Nephros admired Cora’s strength and leadership traits since he had met her. She was always certain in her actions and rarely doubted herself to the outside world. However, Nephros knew different. She questioned much regarding her life choices. Cora was very good at hiding her thoughts when her guard was down. When she was with him that was usually the case as she hoped that would help him from his own guarded state. Be as it may, Nephros was not surprised Cora had taken control of this situation.

    Nephros debated engaging the pirates as he had never done so before throughout the years. If he attacked the pirates he could reveal his powers and possibly reveal himself in the Force. He would have to explain his abilities to Cora and the rest of the villagers. The fallout of all this could expose him to any Force sensitive. Tactically, Nephros knew from his days with Cor-Sec that he was outmanned and outgunned. As a Force wielder, this conflict would be over in less than a minute in his Sith form. Morally, he knew what the right thing to do was. Help the innocent without killing the interlopers and ending the senseless violence.

    When Nephros had killed civilians that were destined for death due to Cyrax’s biological weapon at the Fobosi Medical Centre he considered it a mercy to them and the rest of the system. If the plague had spread, Coruscant would have been ravaged by death. The other beings that had fallen by Nephros’ hand, had been destroyed out of necessity and the acts also fueled the rage that powered the Dark Side within him.

    Now that his heart was not bound to any tenant of the Force any longer, he felt an urge to let life continue and flow naturally. These pirates had escalated into an unusual amount of violence this time around. The citizens of the island here had never fought back as they knew it was a pointless gesture. The cruelty of these pirates was something that Nephros recognized all too well. He did not want to be associated with it ever again. Peace here meant peace for him. Whatever his motivations, Nephros felt the urge to stop it. The Force it seemed was not done with him yet.

    ***

    Phillip saw the smoke from his cabin in the forest. He wasted no time in jumping onto his speeder and making his way to the village. Phillip had seen on his chrono that today was the pirates pick up day for their credits. He would usually already be there to help with the collection and keep the situation in a peaceful state. This time he was confused as to why they were collecting much earlier in the day.

    Along the way Phillip noticed a freighter docked in a clearing within the forest just a few kilometres away from the village. The branding on the hull was the familiar logo of the pirates it belonged to. A large black fist crushing a star within its grasp. A bit dramatic for Phillip but it certainly alerted anyone looking at the vessel as to who flew it. The Black Fist.

    The Black Fist was a relatively new entity in the underworld. They were former soldiers of the Blood Rocks. After the Rocks had unsuccessfully tried to take over the galaxy with two Sith Lords they scattered in defeat. The ones that foolishly returned to Nar Shaddaa were rounded up by the Empire and the rest had relocated to an unknown system in the Outer Rim. It was on that system that these mercenaries, assassins, saboteurs, and soldiers rebranded and formed the Black Fist. The Fist moved from that unknown system and took over a space station that was abandoned on the edge of Wild Space and the Outer Rim. From that station they staged their forces and slowly began to grow in influence with the power vacuum left by Cyrax and Lorn Nyeb among the criminal syndicates.

    Phillip dropped the speeder and progressed on foot in the large foliage surrounding the ship. He stopped as he heard the hiss of the boarding ramp’s hydraulics lowering and watched as a group of Mandalorians descended with a few Nikto, Gran, and Twi’lek pirates. He had never seen Mandalorians among the pirates and he wondered if these Mandalorians were mere mercenaries or actual representatives from Mandalore. The Mandalorians did not have much say in galactic politics since the sanctions against them some time ago. The Fist and the Mandalorians could have been forming a troubling alliance.

    Regardless, Phillip watched and began to notice that they had all become troubled and were speaking into com links. The Mandalorians boarded the ship and the three Nikto along with the Grans and Twi’leks boarded a small transport. Phillip went back to his speeder and took a short cut through the woods that the mercenaries would not have known about. When he arrived at the village he was met by sight of either an act of justice or an all-out act of war.

    The Force sensitive man Phillip had occasionally seen in the cantina was standing in the middle of four unconscious mercenaries. There was a look in the man’s eyes that conveyed a sense of comfort within him. Like he had done this before and seemed to enjoy it. Villagers walked out and were not sure whether to approach the Force sensitive or flee completely. A woman that Phillip knew as Cora was approaching the man. He had seen them speaking before in the cantina and could only guess as to what their relationship actually was.

    Phillip had to warn them of the incoming mercenaries coming from the ship. He approached the couple and before he could let a word out blaster bolts flew by his head forcing everyone to scramble to the ground for cover.

    ***

    Nephros rose from the ground after realizing that reinforcements had arrived. He saw five more mercenaries arrive on speeders and when they saw him rise they stopped firing and realized that this was the being that had defeated their comrades. Without further hesitation they opened fire on him and Nephros reached out and deflected the blaster bolts with the Force absorption technique. The mercenaries stopped in disbelief.

    “Jedi” One of the mercenaries said with disdain.

    “Not a Jedi. Just a man.” Nephros corrected him before he grabbed one of the mercenaries with the Force and threw him into two others to disarm them. He Force pushed yet another into the side of a building and Nephros moved forward and grabbed the fallen pirate by the throat with his hand

    “Now, leave this place and never return.” Nephros snarled.

    He sensed their confused and smelled their fear. Nephros’ desire to use that and destroy these fools was overwhelming. It was normal that the dark side within him drew on these sources from others and the power would manifest within him and drive him to end them. The bloodlust was strong but Nephros had to control it or risk being a slave to the madness again.

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha @AzureAngel2 @mayo_durron_666 @earlybird-obi-wan

    This entry was late by my usual schedule. I was sick. Thank you for reading all! :D
     
  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Great action and details on Nephros' inner struggle =D=
     
  8. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Great to see Nephros helping and struggling to be good
     
  9. Darth_Furio

    Darth_Furio SWC Jedi Draft Commissioner star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Chapter 5, Part 6 420 ABY

    After Nephros dropped the Nikto to the ground the mercenary let out a whistle to the others and they collected their unconscious comrades. The Nikto looked back at Nephros, “This is not over.”

    The group boarded their speeders and left the village. Nephros watched them leave with disdain as he wanted to follow and destroy them. They had bothered his peaceful situation and while he was happy to let them carry out their minor extortion ring before, this new escalation in violence was unnecessary and puzzling.

    Phillip and Cora approached him but Cora got to Nephros first and threw her arms around him. “Thank you Marcus.” Nephros barely returned the embrace and Cora’s face showed disappointment with the lack of reaction. It was difficult for Cora as every time she tried to be closer to him, Nephros would pull back and become cold towards her.

    Phillip looked at Nephros. “The pirate is right. This isn’t over. They have a ship with more men on it in the forest about three kilometres north east. The others there are Mandalorians.”

    “What do they want old man?” Nephros grunted in reply.

    “I’m not sure what the Mandalorians want and more importantly I don’t know why they resorted to this kind of violence today.”

    “I’m going to go ask them.” Nephros said decisively.

    “Marcus, you can’t go alone.” Cora replied.

    “Cora’s right Marcus.” Phillip finally discovered his name. “There are about a dozen of them that I saw and I have no idea how many more are on board their freighter. You can’t fight them all. Even with the Force.”

    Cora looked at Nephros in shock and Phillip stepped back when he saw Nephros develop a scowl on his face. Suddenly Phillip was very aware of how physically large Nephros was. Cora stepped in between the two men when she recognized that look in Nephros’ face. “He’s right. You’ll need back up and I have a blaster.” Cora offered.

    Nephros did not want to put Cora in danger but admired her loyalty. “You’re not coming Cora. It’s too dangerous. I can’t do what I need to do and worry about you as well.”

    “Nice to see you care Marcus, but I’m still coming. I owe you, we all do. Besides, I can handle myself with a blaster.”

    “This is not negotiable Cora.” Nephros said quietly between the two of them.

    Phillip realized that a personal conversation was about to happen and made his way over to make sure the other villagers were cared for.

    “I already told you. I can’t be who you want me to be. Please don’t make this harder. Help the villagers get their things together. The Mandalorians are mine.” Nephros continued.

    Cora took Nephros by the hand and pulled him towards her. She lightly kissed his cheek. “I know what we’ve been since the beginning. We helped each other survive our past demons to make our present lives a little more bearable. I can’t help it. You’ve shown me a little compassion and respect and I owe you for that.”

    “I’m sorry Cora. I enjoyed our time together too but you’re asking for something I’m incapable of providing. Love someone else.”

    “No. You owe me.” The anger in her voice was gaining momentum. “How many times have I picked you up, brought you home, and supported you when drowned in self-pity. You made me feel lonely even though you were lying right beside me!” Cora collected herself and after a long exhale she watched Nephros looking at the floor for answers.

    “I don’t know what to say.”

    It hurt him to say it and hurt even more to see Cora become upset by it. At first it was a physical attraction because Cora was a beautiful woman and then when Nephros saw that she was becoming enamored, he began to push her back despite her trying to convince him. Nephros did not want her to rely on him for emotional support as he could barely support himself emotionally.

    “There's nothing to say. It’s fine Marcus. I’ve learned to live with disappointment. I could tell you were always somewhere else, with someone else when we were together. Lucky girl.” Cora finally said as she let go of his hand and walked away. Nephros sighed heavily. Cora was better off without him. She would realize it soon enough.

    Nephros returned to his speeder and called out to Phillip. “Show me where they are old man.”

    “My name is Phillip.”

    “Fine. Where are they Phillip?”

    “I’ll go with you. Aren’t you going to need a weapon?”

    Nephros turned to Phillip. “The Force is my weapon. Give me the coordinates and I’ll make sure these mercenaries never return.”

    “I can see the hell fire in your eyes and I feel the taint of the Dark Side within you. You bathed in it for years.” Nephros was the one who was caught off guard now. “I also felt that you’ve walked away from it as well. That means you’re stronger than most my friend. Where are you from Marcus?”

    Nephros turned away from the loaded question. “I came from a past full of more pain than I want to remember and for decades I’ve lived in the darkness that was created by that past.”

    “Move on Marcus. I’m not saying bathe in the light by at least acknowledge that there is a better path.”

    I’ve been trying to forget it all since I came to Scarif. Though now, I don’t want to run from it anymore. I won’t deny the will of the Force any longer. I can’t stay silent on this.”

    “There haven’t been many Force sensitives here and I can’t believe how many years you’ve kept this a secret. Since you’ve exposed your powers I can feel the Force radiating from you like the crater here on Scarif. At the very least you’ve let go of the Dark Side.”

    Nephros thought about Phillip’s last statement and then turned back to him. “Have I?”

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha @AzureAngel2 @earlybird-obi-wan @mayo_durron_666

    Thank you for reading. :D
     
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  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Intense on many levels with Cora and Phillip
     
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  11. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    He is helping and I hope Phillip is right about him
     
  12. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    I hope Phillip is right, too. Sorry for having been away that long!
     
  13. Darth_Furio

    Darth_Furio SWC Jedi Draft Commissioner star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2008
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  14. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    I am happy to have had such a nice thrill while reading your recent updates.

    In the wee Dutch hamlet, where my mother-in-law lives not much happens apart from the next-door church bells sounding, the cows making noises, the North Sea wind being chilly and everyone in the house reading all day long. Apart from cooking now and then.
     
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  15. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    I'm glad Nephros helped against the pirates. Though it appears the Dark Side was tempting him as he took action. [face_nail_biting]

    I feel sad for Cora. I hope she finds happiness elsewhere.

    Oh I hope Phillip is right about Marcus/Nephros. [face_worried]

    Great updates! :)
     
  16. Darth_Furio

    Darth_Furio SWC Jedi Draft Commissioner star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Chapter 5, Part 7 420 ABY

    The freighter was a hive of activity as Nephros and Phillip watched from behind the forest’s cover. Mercenaries were preparing their weapons and about five Mandalorians had revealed themselves at the same time. Both men hoped that this was the extent of their presence here in Scarif. Or the mission could become much more difficult. Nephros looked at the Mandalorian’s armour and he recalled the Mandalorians that had tried to kill him on the Tiber while he was helping Vikka. They were formidable warriors and it took considerable focus on his part to defeat them.

    Nephros reflected on Phillip’s words about letting the Dark Side go. He had not used the Force this much in almost two decades and then today he tasted the power again. As addictive as it was, this time around it was different for him. He pondered if it was because he had used it for a good purpose, a so called just cause.

    Nephros believed that his previous acts were just and fair at the time. Joining Cor-Sec in his youth to honour his mentor and prove to his fiendish father that he was worth something. He justified avenging Arianna and destroying the Blood Rock leadership that had murdered her as one of his just causes. Those events lead to the Jedi coming after him and he was forced to defend himself again. Nephros considered his actions at the time as just because he was defending himself. Ultimately Arianna’s death was the tipping point that sent him over the edge and looking for the teachings of the Sith.

    The training that he received at the Dark Side Temple on Dromund Kaas from Darth Erebus and Praxis was vital until their fears over his training drove them to manipulate and then try to kill him. Moreover, it was not until he met with the spectre of Tulak Hord on Korriban that he was truly a Dark Lord of the Sith. It was the perfect decent into darkness and into the madness of the dark side of the Force.

    Of course Vikka shattered all of that programing and showed that many of his justified acts were in truth an evil vision, an unjust cause, and terrible memories that would haunt Nephros to this very moment in his life.

    Nephros tried to focus on the task at hand as Phillip tapped him on the shoulder and asked, “What are you going to do?”

    Nephros looked at Phillip dead in the eye and replied, “I’m going to introduce myself.”

    Philip watched the larger man leave the cover of the forest and brazenly enter the mercenary camp. One of the Mandalorians was first to notice Nephros. He raised a blaster and before he could say anything, Nephros pulled the blaster to himself with the Force. The Mandalorian paused and it cost him dearly as Nephros enhanced his speed and slammed his opponent into the ground knocking him unconscious. The rest of the party took notice and Nephros opened fire and aimed for the mercenaries as they were not armoured like the Mandalorians.

    After a flurry of blaster bolts four mercenaries went down. The Mandalorians had drawn their blasters and Nephros was forced to find cover behind a few supply crates. One of the Mandalorians used his thruster pack to gain a high vantage point until Nephros Force pushed him into the side of the freighter with a hard thud.

    One of the Mandalorians called out to Nephros. “I am the leader of this clan. Who are you? Jedi? The Order has no jurisdiction here.”

    Through the Force Nephros could sense another of the Mandalorians trying to flank him while the leader spoke to him. Nephros stuck his head out and saw the approaching threat. He immediately fired a number of shots at the Mandalorian’s legs as not to kill him and still stop him.

    The leader yelled out over his comrade’s cries of pain. “What do you want?”

    “I want you to leave.” Nephros yelled back. “This system is under my protection.”

    “This system has no protector and you’ll be killed soon enough Jedi.” The Mandalorian said dismissively.

    From the corner of his eye, Nephros watched the freighter’s boarding ramp lower and three more Mandalorians came out. He was surrounded. The Mandalorians created a perimeter around him and he was out flanked. Nephros debated whether to strike out but the blasters surrounding him were too close and would inevitably end him. As Nephros was about to stick his head out and survey the situation the Mandalorian leader came around one side and two more of his men came from the other side. While Nephros looked at the leader the other two escaped his notice and without hesitation they knocked Nephros unconscious with the butt end of a blaster.

    When Nephros awoke he was tied up and surrounded once again. He cursed himself for not bringing his lightsabre. After the final battle with Cyrax he had lost his own blade and kept Cyrax’s weapon. Nephros had modified the crystals to his liking and had kept the blade aboard his ship, the Furious Rancor. The ship was hidden in a private hanger that he had maintained and rented for the years he had been on Scarif. Now he was trapped and surrounded without a weapon. Using the Force was an obvious option but he needed to engage multiple opponents armed with blasters. He would have to bide his time for now.

    The Mandalorian leader approached with two guards on either side of him. He looked over Nephros tied against a tree and glaring back the way only Nephros could. Karuk had his men look into Jedi deployments on their ship’s computer and had not found any deployments on Scarif or on any system anywhere nearby. This man seemed different from a Jedi. He did not carry a lightsabre or have the traditional Jedi robes. Karuk thought perhaps he was undercover and following his clan.

    “Tell me Jedi, are you spying on me?” Karuk asked followed by a hard slap across Nephros’ face with his gauntlet.

    “I only want to know what you’re doing on this insignificant system Mandalorian. These beings from the villages have paid their fees to these mongrels that you’ve surrounded yourself with. What is the point of the violence? What…”

    With another slap, the sentence faded in Nephros’ mouth. Now he had had enough. Nephros reached out with the Force and focused on the Mandalorian’s throat.

    Karuk was expecting another smart remark from the Jedi until he could not breathe any longer. He reached for his neck as if there was something there strangling him. He threw off his helmet as if the open air could help him draw breathe. Karuk looked at Nephros who had a curious look on his face and he realized what was happening. He motioned to one of his men and the Mandalorian was about to hit Nephros until he was thrown backwards by an invisible thrust.

    Fear had started to spread among the Mandalorians as a helpless and tied up being was seemingly fighting them with his hands tied literally behind his back. As the other Mandalorians approached, Nephros raised a few storage containers and used them as projectiles to strike his attackers from behind. The hits came quickly and as his captors were occupied with the crates. With the few precious seconds he had earned, Nephros then focused the Force into augmenting his strength to rip apart his restraints. When he finally freed himself the projectiles and choke hold on Karuk stopped.

    Nephros scanned the area and noticed a beskar blade sheathed on the back of one of the Mandalorians on the ground. Nephros quickly reached out and took it with the Force. He readied himself as all the Mandalorians stood in front of him with their blasters ready to strike. Nephros felt the fear in two of them and the uncertainty of the other two. The only one among them that was not afraid was Karuk. The Mandalorian leader drove forward first with blades protruding from his wrist gauntlets hoping to impale Nephros. The move was aggressive but Nephros was ready and simply moved aside and drove his elbow into the man’s back. The force of the blow dropped Karuk to the ground.

    The other Mandalorians unleashed a barrage of blaster bolts that Nephros blocked and dodged with his beskar blade and Force enhanced speed. In his next movement, Nephros rolled in between the four Mandalorians who broke their formation. One of them though was still close enough that Nephros drove his blade into his side between the beskar plates of his armour. As the Mandalorian fell, Nephros had left himself open and he was grazed by a shot on the side of his shoulder. He dove for cover behind another pile of containers and waited for the shots to end.

    When they did, Nephros sensed Karuk approaching again and this time he had a large weapon in his arms. He fired it at the containers and Nephros was thrown back into the hull of the Mandalorians ship. Nephros tried to clear his head with a shake. He was growing frustrated as he was trying not to kill the Mandalorians as they were trying to kill him. The frustration was quickly morphing into anger and that would eventually lead to rage. The darkness would take him and then the Mandalorians would be finished. Nephros did not want to go this way though. He wanted to take a different path, one that would lead him somewhere better than where he had already been.

    Nephros tried to calm his breathing and refocus himself within the Force. At this point both sides of the Force were beginning to pull at him. The warmth of the Light Side was difficult to deny, but the Dark Side was his mistress for such a long time and he could end the conflict quickly with her.

    Nephros’ concentration was quickly broken when he heard the cries of Cora. He peaked over the containers and saw that the Black Hand mercenaries working for the Mandalorians had captured her. The Nikto and Twi’lek brought Cora to Karuk.

    “Come out Jedi.” Karuk called out. “We have your woman.”

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha @earlybird-obi-wan @AzureAngel2 @mayo_durron_666

    Thanks for the comments and for reading all. I really appreciate the kind words as it was a rough holiday season for me, actually my family. But we carry on. Please enjoy. :)
     
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  17. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    OH NO! [face_nail_biting] Nephros was on the cusp of a decision ... of doing what had always come easier and quickly versus staying with his hard-won new path. Cora will either move him one way or the other. [face_thinking]
     
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  18. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Cliffie
    Exciting battle in Nephros and against the Mandalorians
     
  19. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Loved this exchange! :D

    The action was ace in this update! Really felt Nephros's frustration in this, him being torn between using the light or dark side of the Force to end the conflict.

    Ending it with Cora's capture was cruel.. [face_nail_biting]I hope it all turns out okay! [face_praying]

    Great writing! :)
     
  20. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Blessed be, whatever it is that harms you and your family.

    Nephros reflected on Phillip’s words about letting the Dark Side go. He had not used the Force this much in almost two decades and then today he tasted the power again. As addictive as it was, this time around it was different for him. He pondered if it was because he had used it for a good purpose, a so called just cause.

    I could not help it, but somehow I heard the voice of Rumpel(stilzchen) from the TV series "Once Upon A Time" saying: "Magic always comes with a price!"

    Thrilling update, despite all the sorrow and personal worries.

    I hope Befana brings you a parcel full of luck.
     
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  21. Darth_Furio

    Darth_Furio SWC Jedi Draft Commissioner star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2008
  22. Darth_Furio

    Darth_Furio SWC Jedi Draft Commissioner star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Chapter 5, Part 8 420 ABY

    Nephros bit his lower lip in frustration. These mercenaries were forcing his hand. Nephros came out from behind the containers. “If any harm comes to her I will kill you. I’ve been holding back until now mercenary. Don’t give me a reason not to.”

    Nephros began to tighten the grips of his fists until Phillip emerged from the foliage. ““Stop this! Please. There is no need for violence. We paid your fees recently what do you want now?”

    “That’s none of your business.” Karuk replied.

    Nephros decided to make an attempt to find out more information on the mercenaries. “They want to set up a base here for their Outer Rim operations. They want to expand with the intention of coming into Core Worlds.”

    There was a pause. “How did you know?” Karuk said with shock in his voice. “Who told you?” He demanded.

    “I didn’t know until you just told me.” Nephros replied. “The Force is my ally, and you obviously have no way of stopping me.”

    “I can think of something.”

    Nephros pointed one hand and blew back Karuk with a blast of Force energy. With the other he pulled Cora towards him. The other Mandalorians fired and Nephros and Cora dropped to the ground for cover. Cora rolled behind more containers and Nephros had done the same in the other direction. He got to his feet and pulled the blaster from the fallen Mandalorian that he had struck with his sword earlier. He swung it to Cora and winked at her. The smile on her face made Nephros grin ever so slightly. She was beautiful and he liked the interaction. It was the sort of interaction that he wanted to have with Vikka. That did not pass, but Cora was here, now. Nephros asked himself, what was the endgame with their relationship? It was maddening as he did not want to fail Cora and hurt her more than he already had.

    Cora had started to lay down cover fire for him and Phillip had already gone to ground. Nephros could now get to work. With Force enhanced speed he flew at Karuk as he wanted to cut the head off of the serpent quickly. This time however Karuk was ready. They slammed their beskar blades together but Nephros pushed harder with the aid of the Force. The Mandalorian was strong, but not strong enough. He gave up too much ground and Nephros grabbed him as Karuk stumbled backwards. With a well-placed slash across the Mandalorian’s chest, Nephros carved a massive slash in Karuk’s armour. Blood could be seen on Nephros’ blade but the cut was not deep enough to kill.

    Karuk screamed and Nephros threw him out of the way. In a fluid sequence, he threw his blade at another approaching Mandalorian’s leg and then just as quickly, Nephros called the blade back with the Force. He quickened his pace and threw the other Mandalorians in every which way with his full focus in the Force. No deaths, just protecting what he cared about. The Twi’lek and Nikto Black Hand mercenaries looked at each other and then at Nephros. They both ran. The last standing Mandalorian was about to draw his blaster, but not before Nephros pulled the blaster to himself and fired his enemy into a tree with an unseen hand from the Force.

    Phillip and Cora could not hear anymore fighting and emerged from the containers. They observed the scene around them with Nephros breathing heavily in the middle of it all. “They’ll be back Marcus. With even more troops if your theory is correct.” Phillip said.

    “And I’ll be waiting for them.”

    “You can’t take on an army Marcus.” Cora paused for a moment, “Wait, can you?”

    “No, I’m afraid not. Killing their leader over there will send a message though.”

    Nephros looked over but could not see Karuk. He quickly scanned for the Mandalorian’s presence and when he did, it was just in time to hear the blaster bolt leave the chamber. He had not seen where the shot impacted until he looked back into Cora’s eyes. Nephros grabbed her by the waist as she fell into them. Cora’s eyes watered up and the last thing she said was his given name, Marcus.

    More often than not, when rage is described, beings say they see red. Nephros on the other hand, saw the black once again. He pushed Phillip out of the way and walked slowly towards Karuk. The Mandalorian started firing but Nephros deflected each bolt with either his beskar blade or the Force absorption technique. When Nephros was close enough he reached out with the Force and began to choke Karuk. The grip was savage and Karuk was helpless as Nephros was about to finish crushing his trachea. Phillip screamed at Nephros to stop and was saying the same things that Nephros had heard from Arianna and Vikka when he was about to kill. This would not bring Cora back, it would not be what they wanted. However, the consequences of his affection was always the damn same for his partners. Tragedy.

    Nephros wanted to fall into the abyss because he felt was not strong enough to stop it. Every time the dark side began to take him over he could not hear anything but the screaming rage within himself. He could not see anything but the black evil within himself as he ceased being a human and became the monster that he now understood to be just that, a monster. Yet this time his anger somehow drained from himself as quickly as it came as he wanted something different. A different result, not simply death. Stop the Mandalorians and question them for information he said to himself. Learn about these grand plans of theirs and stop them.

    Karuk somehow freed himself when he noticed that Nephros had momentarily lost his killer focus. With Mandalorian precision he made quick cuts into Nephros’ legs which dropped him to the ground. When Karuk was about to deal the killing blow Phillip yelled and fired two blaster bolts at Karuk’s arms which dropped the Mandalorian backwards for cover. Karuk had had enough of Scarif and urged his remaining men to board their ship.

    “Another time.” Karuk paused. “Sith.”

    The ship began to rise as Nephros and Phillip watched it leave.

    Nephros’ arms began trembling with all of the emotions running through him. It had happened again. Someone he cared about had died because of him, because of his carless actions, and selfish needs. He looked around and all Nephros saw was death and Phillip looking at him with a saddened stare. The disappointment was apparent in the old man’s eyes, but it something that Nephros was used to seeing form others. Their disappointment however was nothing compared to the self-loathing and disgust that Nephros felt within himself. It was most likely the reason why Vikka had chosen not to be with him. Nephros felt himself to be an incomplete person who was broken and blind. Yet it was all he had.

    With a little cough, Cora showed signs of life. Nephros flew to her side and laid her head on his knees.

    “Cora. Thank the Force. Can you move?”

    Cora groaned again and Nephros could swear there was a smile on her face. “Now you pay attention.” She whispered before her head fell backwards.

    Phillip took her arm and felt for a pulse. “Her life signs are faint. We’ve got to get her to the medical centre.”

    Nephros wasted no time and used the ground transport that the mercenaries had abandoned at their camp to move Cora and take Phillip with him.

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha @earlybird-obi-wan @mayo_durron_666 @AzureAngel2

    Thank you for reading! :D
     
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  23. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    yes Nephros and yes Cora is alive
     
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  24. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Glad Cora will recover & Nephros treaded a delicate balance there! [face_thinking]
     
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  25. Darth_Furio

    Darth_Furio SWC Jedi Draft Commissioner star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Chapter 5, Part 9 420 ABY

    Nephros and Phillip watched Cora’s chest breath with droid assistance. She had become another example of his failures and an admitting of yet another defeat. Phillip demanded staying with him and Nephros did not argue with him as Phillip knew Cora as well. The two men sat quietly at the foot of the bed as each of them thought about their fallen friend and said their prayers silently to themselves. Nephros approached and decided he could not watch Cora just lie there anymore.

    Nephros began to walk away. Phillip watched the larger man leaving before he asked, “What will you do now?”

    “If you asked me that twenty years ago I would have ripped down the galaxy to find and destroy these Mandalorians. Now, I’m not so sure.”

    “What do you think Cora would want you to do?”

    “She doesn’t want anything right now.” Nephros dismissed him.

    “When I first met Cora she was in a dark place. I found her one day during a scavenging trip in the forest trying to end her own life by throwing herself from a cliff. I stopped her just before she almost fell over.” Phillip said sadly.

    “She never told me about that. I had no idea.” Nephros admitted quietly.

    “Life has been difficult for her Marcus and she hid it well. A few years ago Cora seemed to have a new found purpose. Then you arrived and when the two of you began seeing each other she tried to pass that along to you. I can’t imagine how hard that must have been for her.”

    “I warned her. I told her over and over not to get attached. I wasn’t capable of giving her what she wanted.” Nephros paused. In a calmer voice he said “I know she only wanted to ease my pain but I was never going to let her. I’ve always held onto my darkness. Dammit.”

    “There is hope in the darkness Marcus. If your first instinct isn’t to go to war then you’re doing something right lad. That’s something to hold on to. It’s definitely something that Cora would want you to do. I know you’ve been wounded in the past, but your story can change.”

    “Enough with what Cora would want, enough with what everyone wants.” Nephros roared. The echo carried through the hallway. He paused for a few seconds before regaining his composure as onlookers watched them. “There are some sins that can’t be redeemed. I think that me being the cause of so much death is one of them.”

    For so long Nephros denied his feelings and buried any goodness within for the darkness that helped him cope with his pain and inner struggles. Today, at that moment he could not help but feel like he made such huge mistakes with his life. The dark side, the Sith, maybe even learning the ways of the Force all together.

    “I wanted quiet Phillip. Peace. Yet I continued my pattern of stumbling onto people that I develop relationships with and I end up hurting them and dealing with the consequences of my failures. No more.”

    “You have tremendous guilt and a survivor’s remorse issue. You’ve committed heinous acts that wouldn’t be forgiven by most. But, you’ve been forgiven before and more importantly you can still forgive yourself, repent, and you can still have a life Nephros.”

    “How did you…? How long have you known?” Nephros was shocked.

    “This planet may be technically challenged but we still have the holo-net.” Phillip put his hand on Nephros’ shoulder. “Your body language, fighting style, and your face. I’ve seen your face for years now while you’ve been here. I knew I had seen it before. A beard on your face isn’t going to hide the sorrow in those eyes. I know you helped the Empire and the Jedi win the war. I don’t know why you didn’t try to join them and continue your path back to the light.”

    “The Jedi? Some of them wanted to arrest me the first chance they got after the battle. She wanted…” Nephros stopped midsentence. “I left. There was nothing for me there.”

    “Seems to me there was someone there that made it worth your while to save the galaxy young man.”

    “Then she left me to rebuild Coruscant and the Jedi Order.”

    “She was a Jedi? How was that ever going to work Marcus? I admire the effort though. Getting a Jedi to change their thinking about dark side users is difficult enough. I would have thought it next to impossible.”

    “She wasn’t like the others. I always told her that she would have made a powerful dark side user with her emotional control. Vikka is the most balanced person I’ve ever known.” Nephros took a few steps. “I still love her. I always will. I missed her so much that I looked for her in Cora and that almost got her killed.”

    “Marcus, the Jedi need to know about these Mandalorians and the Black Fist. They could be a threat.”

    “Then go old man, tell the Jedi on Coruscant. Leave me out of it.” Nephros said defeated.

    “You could see her again. Be happy maybe?”

    “Happy? Never heard of it.”

    ***

    Nephros went to his speeder and left for the village. He reflected on Phillip’s words and there was a twinge of intrigue within him to see Vikka again. He mused that this could be the right time to reveal himself to her. Not totally changed but perhaps a better man, someone she could accept. Nephros thought that the Jedi may not have totally driven her to their way of thinking yet. He allowed himself a small smile as he thought of anyone telling Vikka what to do. Force help them. Nephros envisioned Vikka’s face, her body, recalled her scent and finally, as if he had done it hundreds of times, he allowed himself into their bond after a decades long absence and began looking for Vikka.

    Nephros was bombarded with visions and scenes of Vikka’s past until finally he saw a boy with her on a planet he had never seen before. The Force was showing him that she was raising a child. Nephros was stunned. He focused on the child and he was overwhelmed by the discovery. He began to feel anger and worse, self-pity began to emerge. He questioned why he had left her, the underlying regret of leaving Vikka began to come to the surface. Nephros obviously knew that she could move on with her life but he thought as a Jedi, not as a citizen. As a mother.

    Nephros felt something else in the visions. Vikka was not responding and he could only slightly feel her presence in the Force. She was hurt and surrounded by darkness. Something was obviously wrong. Nephros focused harder on Vikka but she did not answer him. He became concerned, panicked, as he could feel she was not hiding herself, this was something else, she was hurt. Vikka was the love of his life and she needed help. Vikka, would not be left alone in the dark. Nephros felt for Cora, but this was Vikka. This was for the woman he loved and possibly her child.

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha @AzureAngel2 @earlybird-obi-wan @mayo_durron_666

    As always, thank you for reading. :D
     
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