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Beyond - Legends Why Sith are no longer allowed to go drinking- updated every weekend

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by darthhelinith, Apr 11, 2018.

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  1. darthhelinith

    darthhelinith Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Title: Why Sith are no longer allowed to go drinking (or 'Tales of Darth Helinith and the Seven Deadly Sins: Gluttony')
    Author: darthhelinith
    Timeframe: Beyond the Saga, set in the Dark Empire fannon
    Characters: OCs of various friends used with permission
    Genre: AU, adventure, comedy
    Summary: Darth Helinith puts herself in a mess and has to get herself out of it.
    Notes: This story has been fully written, approx. six chapters, subject to editing. Will update approx. once a day. Enjoy!

    Chapter 1

    Darth Insipid knocked a third time and waited. His former apprentice was known for sleeping in, but seemed especially difficult to rouse today. After the events of last night, he wasn’t surprised, but the Emperor would wait for no man (or woman). Analytically, he eyed up the crack at the bottom of the door. Could he shoot force lightning through it?

    ---

    From an outsider’s opinion, Darth Helinith’s small apartment in the Sith temple would have been considered topsy turvey. Not actually messy as such, but rather hectic.

    In the large lounge, the small sofa table was strewn with bits and pieces- an empty mug, the holo-projector remote, plugs, screws, nuts, bolts, knotted strands of various insulated wiring, a small hydro-spanner, and various minute circuit boards as well as three data pads- one untouched, the other two in various states of disassembly. Shelves which surrounded the walls were piled high with books- histories of the galaxy from between 19BBY and 137BBY, comics and food magazines. One bookcase however, was stacked with all sorts of oddments that belonged in a tool box- screwdrivers and hydrospanners of different sizes, holo-projectors stacked neatly, scissors, knives, wire cutters, and whole tubs of screws, nuts and bolts. Lidless boxes were also placed one after the other- of coiled wires in various diameters, more screws, one box which contained a whole jumble of things labelled- ‘Lightsaber Parts’ in Helinith’s own loopy scrawl, elastic bands, a ball of string…

    The furniture in the lounge was the same as everyone else’s, the standard issue black couch with armchair. They were rather worn, due to years of having been sat on with feet up, and the sofa had a mysterious burn on one of the arms. The only wall completely free of bookcases was of plexiglass doors, looking onto a medium sized balcony with nothing on it.

    There were also several shelves and bookcases present in the bedroom, on which stood various trophies and trinkets. A lightsaber of Darth Vader stood on its own bracket, next to a clone of her own- a backup which she thankfully had not needed to use as yet. Several sets of keys sat on a tableside cabinet, the largest bunch of which were the very keys to Bast Castle itself, one of smaller ones was for her Tie. A red insulated wire was placed in one of the prominent positions- the secret of which none knew apart from the owner.

    The bed was huge, and scattered with an odd arrangement of pillows of various sizes, as well as blankets and furs- one of which might have been wookiee. From underneath this pile of bedclothes, Darth Helinith yawned and shook her head. Hmm. Seemed usually warm today. Rolling over, her hand flung out and hit something warm and large…

    What the hell? She leapt out of bed, grabbing her bed lamp and pointing it aggressively at the form that had been lying next to her. There was a loud snore. Well that didn’t seem to be planning to kill her any time soon. With trepidation, her eyes drifted around the room. Brown robes, tan tabards, leather boots…

    “Oh Kryat! Kark, kark, kark, kark, KARK!” She pulled on her clothes, ran from the room and towards her front door. The echoing knock from it made her freeze in her tracks.

    “Hello? Former Apprentice? Are you in there?”

    “…uhh yes. Yes, I’m here.”

    “And do you plan on opening up any time soon, or am I to tell his Imperial Majesty that you plan to keep him waiting?” She couldn’t see Insipid but she could practically hear him grinning at his own threat. Hell. Did he know? And how would she prevent the Jedi from escaping? She swallowed and opened the door, making sure her face was set to her usual grin.

    Lord Insipid stood there, freezing blue eyes watching Darth Helinith from behind a thick fringe of sandy blond. His wiry frame seemed to imply a certain frailness that had misled may an opponent. His thin shoulders hunched forward against the confines of a high collared shirt and his tunic and trousers were simple but practical cotton. If they had been any colour other than black, if he had a comb tugged through his sandy locks, he would have passed quite easily for a senator. As it was, he looked more like an ill-tempered undertaker.

    “Ahh former master. Good morning.”

    Quickly, Helinith stepped out of her doorway (almost knocking Insipid backwards as the door closed behind her) and rammed her fist into the door controls next to her. He raised an eyebrow as sparks flew from her fist into the interface and the smell of burning plastic began to rise from the smoking circuitry. “Not a pleasant smell to accompany breakfast.”

    “Oh uh I picked up a nexu a couple of days ago. Still taming it. Don’t want it to escape and run around the complex.”

    He shrugged, turned and walked away. Helinith trotted after him. He didn’t need to say anything, they knew each other too well for further clarification to be necessary.

    --

    The throne room was a grand affair. Set within the chimney of a long extinct volcano, numerous tall pillars carved out of black obsidian stood throughout, the exact number of which perhaps only the Emperor himself knew. From these, arches reached out on all sides like skeletal fingers, meeting each other at the finger tips- aching, yawning ribs of steely stone. These supported intricate stained glass which not only celebrated various achievements and Sith histories but also sheltered the hall from the weather elements that hummed over the top of the peak. Numerous natural alcoves made for convenient places to sit and observe the going-ons of the court. The throne itself was set on top of a steep flight of steps which were carved with ancient symbols of the Sith: sharp, cruel glyphs inset with precious stones and metals. Designed by Emperor Dreadwar eons before, the throne room had been dual purpose: to inspire fear into those who entered it, and to last. It had served both purposes well, not only hosting Dreadwar himself but also a variety of usurpers, peons and renegades over the thousands of years. However, with the return of its true master, none could deny the unnatural magnificence that seemed to swell from it.

    In the centre of this giant ornate ribcage sat the ancient one himself. Physical form long lost, Emperor Dreadwar was still around through mostly sheer will, a whole lot of force powers and a whole load of sith alchemy. Helinith wasn't sure if he still wore robes because he enjoyed it or because it helped his followers track where he was in physical space. Perhaps a bit of both. Next to him, the Empress Lady Viscretus perched on an arm of her Lord’s chair, her usually clouded and difficult to read features set in a frown. The robed figure of Darth Zox was some way at the back of the chamber, fiddling and feigning interest with his data pad as always but Helinith could sense he was far more interested in what was about to transpire. She gulped.

    His Imperial Majesty watched as Darth Helinith and Darth Insipid knelt down before him. Darth Insipid: a blond, blue eyed waif whose complexion reminded most people of a sick child. Darth Helinith: Insipid‘s small, messy and noisy pet.

    “Darth Helinith. You are no doubt wondering the reason you have been summoned here.” Dreadwar had no physical body, but the sleeves of his cloak moved together and Helinith could feel the blank, non-existent face looking at her over its hands.

    “Is this because of last week when everyone's left socks went missing? Or because incident with the speaker system getting stuck playing Roo-ryn on repeat? Because I can-“

    Her mouth clamped shut and a rather grating chuckle came from the throne.

    “Amusing. I can see why you keep this one around Lord Insipid, although I’m not sure I could tolerate such senseless nattering for so long.”

    Insipid remained silent. It wasn’t a question.

    Helinith felt herself being lifted off the floor and slowly rising. Still unable to speak and a constriction now building in her throat, she tried her best to remain looking nonchalant while being choked. She'd already decided that if anybody mentioned anything about any Jedi, she would deny any knowledge of them.

    From somewhere to the left of the throne, Lord Vassago appeared from the shadows, looking harassed. He spoke. “Darth Helinith, you are here today at an informal tribunal of sorts, to justify last night’s actions in front of the Dark Council. You were sent as an envoy along with Darth Neoplix and Darth Insipid to Coruscant, where you were to act as part of a delegation attending a series of 'peace' talks with the Jedi.”

    “Little more than a waste of resources but we must give the impression that we're willing to negotiate.” The Emperor interrupted, seemingly answering a question that had not been verbalised, but which had crossed the mind of more than one Sith present. His cloak now gestured as if to indicate to Lord Vassago to continue.

    “Lady Helinith, you stand accused of spiking the water of the Jedi delegations with alcohol. Is this correct?”

    Gasping for air, Helinith nodded. The force holding her released and she fell to the floor with a flump of cloth and armour.

    “Well? What say you in your defence?” The empty hood of the Emperor seemed to be scanning into her soul.

    Helinith stood up carefully, massaging her neck. “It was just to make things more interesting. After two days of posing, I felt it was time to liven things up a bit. These political affairs are always so dull.”

    “What I find so interesting about this”- this voice came from almost directly behind Helinith, making her jump-“What I find so interesting about this is why Darth Helinith felt it necessary to spike the water of her own delegation as well.”

    She grinned sheepishly. “Again, just to make things interesting.”

    Darth Neoplix (for it was he) growled from behind her “Fortunately I do not drink.”

    “You ought to be careful about that, it’s really bad for your kidne-” with one swift motion, Neoplix lifted her off the ground by the back of her cloak and twisted her around, helmet glaring into her face.

    “And what of Darth Insipid?” Lord Dreadwar interrupted.

    Insipid bowed his head. “Imperial Majesty, I do not drink or eat anything my former apprentice has prepared for me without a slave who is fed it and then under constant observation for seventy-two hours afterwards.”

    Helinith tried to turn her head to look at Insipid but Neoplix’s grip was like a vice. She resigned herself to dangling from his fist, much like a kitten from its mother’s mouth.

    Lord Vassago continued. “In a rather unfortunate turn of events Lady Helinith, it seems both you and the Jedi got progressively more and more intoxicated until you took them out for a night on the town around Coruscant. When Insipid and Neoplix attempted to follow, they came across a very interesting CCTV recording.”

    Lord Vassago gestured upwards and onto the ceiling of the chamber, a bright blue light flickered. Squinting at the brightness, Helinith watched as a very intoxicated image of herself flickered into life, sitting in a booth at what could have been any of Coruscant’s less reputable clubs. She was sitting opposite two Jedi, and had her arm around the third (this one which she recognised as currently sleeping in her quarters). The way she was swinging her glass… Insipid got there first. “That’s at least 4 drinks in.” She cocked an eyebrow at him, he returned the look. “Give me some credit as your former master.”

    Lord Vassago jabbed rather viciously at a data pad in front of him, and the sound slowly became audible. All the Sith in the room inclined their heads upwards to watch the events unfolding in grainy blue above them.

    “-so you see, it’s all just kriffin’ posing really. We really, really hate you. A truce with Jedi?” All four of the figures in the booth burst into roaring laughter. “But let me tell you something cool. I have something SUPER SECRET. I’m not supposed to say it!”

    “Psftt we already know that the delegation is carrying a Sith Holocron. You showed it to us as part of the negotiations.”

    “Yeah yeah, but it gets better than that.”

    Helinith watched as her drunk alter-ego pulled out from beneath her robes the unmistakable sharp-edged, orthogonal shape decorated with intricate Sith runes. “I got it RIGHT HERE!”

    Darth Insipid winced as he watched the recording of Helinith slam it down onto the wooden table in front of her.

    “Look look, it’s so cool! See all these runes? THEY’RE REALLY MAGIC!” She flung her hand out, knocking her drink over. “Shavit. HEY BARKEEPER! HOW MANY DRINKS WILL THIS MAGIC CUBE GET ME?”

    The feed cut out and there was a very pregnant pause. Be it shock, horror or just disbelief, nobody could talk, although Helinith felt around half a dozen pairs of eyes boring into her. It was so quiet, she swore she could hear the dust settling. Sadly, the floor didn’t seem ready to swallow her any time soon.

    Lord Neoplix spoke first. “We should kill her. I'll prepare an Ackley, she can be fed to it.”

    Helinith scowled, suddenly emboldened by the mention of death. “Neoplix I protest. I demand no less than four Ackay or I refuse to comply.”

    “You refuse to comply?”

    “Yes. With one Acklay, you’ll have to carry me into that arena kicking and screaming. But you give me four and my lightsaber, I’ll walk into that arena myself and put on a show you’ll never forget.”

    “Enough.” The Emperor uttered a word and it seemed to echo throughout their minds as well as the whole chamber. Neoplix dropped Helinith, and everyone turned to the throne, waiting for the Emperor's judgement. Crackling words resonated. “Darth Helinith. I hope you don’t deny any of this.”

    “Oh no, Lord Emperor, I fully accept that this was me. I just didn’t know I was quite so… irresponsible.”

    “Indeed. Well as you have lost a rather valuable Sith holocron, I think you can be responsible for finding it. Alone. You are hereby banished from the temple until that Sith holocron is back in your possession. Leave.”

    The doors slammed open at the end of the chamber rather forcefully. Helinith bowed to each of the Sith present and then started reversing towards the exit. “Of course Majesty. I’m going. I am gone. That holocron will be back so soon you won’t even remember it was ever gone. I mean you will, because of your all seeing powerfulness but-“ Lord Neoplix took a step towards her and she squeaked and fled.

    Dreadwar’s hood turned to Vassago. “Make sure she doesn’t get ‘lost’ on the way to the hangar.” Darth Vassago bowed low towards the throne before igniting his lightsabre and striding out of the throne room.

    Darth Insipid stood, feeling rather alone, in the centre of the towering hall. Lord Zox had left, probably retreated back to the peace of his laboratories, Neoplix had lost interest and retreated to one of the numerous alcoves, and the form of Lady Viscretus blinked out of existence- Insipid only now realised that she had been attending this ‘tribunal’ as a hologram.

    The Emperor sat, motionless. Insipid waited. He knew Dreadwar much better than to think he was asleep or absent. The finite amount of time Insipid had spent trapped with him in a mind meld gave him certain insights into the void in front of him that others could not appreciate.

    “Your former apprentice’s actions leave a lot to be desired. I hope she does not reflect on your teaching.”

    Insipid bowed stiffly. “Personality issues, I can assure you. I can correct them if you wish. But it would be rather permanent and irreversible. And none of the apprentices are ready for graduation.”

    “Hmm. No, no I don’t think we need to resort to that. But Lord Vassago will be disappointed at having to restrain himself to maiming. Just further issues I have to deal with.”
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
  2. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    [face_laugh] Keep it coming.

    And you're a Vader fangirl too? Awesomesauce! So am I! Did you know there's a Vader fan club in Star Wars Community?
     
  3. darthhelinith

    darthhelinith Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Thanks so much :D
    Yes I am a massive Vader fan girl. It's currently taking all the self-control I have not to preorder the new hot toys ESB Vader action figure.
    Darth Helinith herself was trained by Vader, although he (naturally) lost interest when Luke came up on the radar. Getting trapped in stasis not long after may have been a blessing in disguise for her.
    Will update this evening with chapter 2 :)
     
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  4. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Hi, @darthhelinith, and welcome! :) This looks like it's off to a great start and I look forward to jumping in and saying more—but may I just ask one thing to start: might you please consider updating on a slower schedule than once every day? Perhaps even once every three or four days? For readers like myself who are very strongly subject to DRL, it can be difficult to follow and comment regularly on stories that are updated on such a quick schedule—and I'd like to be able to, because this one looks fun. Thanks so much! @};-
     
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  5. darthhelinith

    darthhelinith Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Of course I can!
    The only reason I originally put it on such a frequent schedule is to make sure I get it all published before going back to work on Monday. But as long as I make sure it's all edited and ready to go before Monday, should be fine. I'll still publish chapter 2 this evening but I'll slow it down from here on out. Glad you're enjoying it!
     
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  6. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    I'm a fan of the cursed borderline Skywalker men in some twisted sort of a way myself and that includes Vader. I'm also vaguely familiar with some of the characters in your story (the ruling duo) and I'm glad to see them resurface somewhere where I can follow the story, since I never tried RPG and I know that their authors wrute them in an exquisite manner. :)

    If I get this right, you're writing post-Legacy? :) Did any of Legacy occur in your AU? Because I'm a Maladi fangirl, too...

    And your OC seems pretty quirky, in a good way. That's one different Sith, right there.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
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  7. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Thanks so much, @darthhelinith, I appreciate that very much. :)

    And I really am enjoying this so far! :D Darth Helinith is a fun character; it's not every day that we get to meet a Sith character who's a fun-loving, mischievous, jokester type, who's not afraid to talk back a little to her Very Serious Sith colleagues and superiors (the "four Acklays" thing was priceless, and I have no doubt she could put on quite a show). I will be curious to see how things will go for her on this little mission to recover the holocron; she seems to be taking in in stride so far, and she's certainly got pluck, so I'm not too worried. I like your detailed descriptions of the decor, the clothing, the expressions, and the body language too (even when the character doesn't actually have a body, like Dreadwar). That kind of thing always adds a lot to a story.

    Again, thanks for sharing, and looking forward to more! =D=
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
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  8. darthhelinith

    darthhelinith Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 10, 2009
    That is a really good question about Legacy which I don't really know the answer to. This story is based (loosely) in the ABYverse. But as for exact time-frame I couldn't say, its certainly wouldn't be necessarily considered cannon in that universe, more of a spin-off universe of my own. What I do know is it's based probably approximately around 120-150ABY, in a universe where Jedi (Republic) and Sith are stuck in a power struggle- each controlling parts of the galaxy and trying to muscle for more (obviously with different motives!).

    Thank you for your kind comments about Darth Helinith- she came from wondering why I'd never seen a 'happy' Sith, and what that would look like. She's super fun to write.

    You're very welcome and thanks for your kind words.
    I now teach in a school and part of that includes story-writing. Eight years ago when I was publishing to the boards, I was writing for the sheer joy of it but it was mostly raw talent rather than any skill. I am now intentional with the devices I use- power of three, sentence lengths, openers and structures, description etc. It has improved my written work greatly.
     
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  9. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    I created a forum specifically for very passionate Vader fangirls to.....be very passionate, if you know what I mean.

    I'll PM you the link if you're interested.
     
  10. darthhelinith

    darthhelinith Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Onwards we go! Including a couple of links to soundtrack because I still have way too much time on my hands. Paragraph formatting might be a little strange because I can never quite decide how to best format dialogue heavy sections. Chapter 3 will be posted on Sunday.

    Helinith jogged along the dark corridors towards the living quarters. Surely, if she could just get back to her rooms, she could grab that Jedi, torture him, find out exactly where the stupid holocron was and then this horrible, horrible nightmare would be- CRASH!!

    Only a few metres in front of her, Darth Vassago plunged through the ceiling and towered over her, lightsabre blazing. Masonry clattered around him, pinging off his black armour and falling to the floor like an absurd rain.
    “Hey not fair! The punishment was banishment, not execution!”
    “Although I am looking forward to the day when I get to sever your head from your body, regrettably, right now I am merely acting in my capacity as security to escort you from the premises.”
    “Oh fab. I’m just heading to my room to get some stuff. You can help me carry it.” She tried to take a step but found herself locked in place.

    “I am escorting you to your fighter now. You have to leave this planet alive, but the Emperor said nothing about you having all your limbs.”
    “Woah woah.” Helinith’s eyes widened. “Okay, I get the idea. Jeez. Now can I please walk to the hangar?”

    With Vassago’s ‘help’, Helinith found herself being forcefully bundled into her tie-fighter. The Emperess’ hand watched like a hawk from the deck-plating as Helinith quickly mashed a sequence of buttons and flipped switches. “You know, she’s not meant to be flown without 20 minutes warm-up. She’s an antique. She needs tender loving care.” Helinith complained at him. “Then you can warm her up once you’ve left the atmosphere” grated Vassago’s helmet. Helinith rolled her eyes and tried to ignore the over five and a half feet of armoured mountain, with folded arms, glaring into her cockpit.

    “Comon..” she murmured, and carefully, with much coaxing, the centuries old engines hummed into life one after the other. With coordinates set, she finally pulled her headset on and strapped herself in. “This is Darth Helinith, tie x1-advanced awaiting clearance.”

    “Granted Lord Helinith. Lanes are clear. Don’t come back any time soon.”

    As she ignited the thrusters and accelerated from the hanger, she felt a chill run down her spine and Emperor Dreadwar’s voice grated into her mind like fingernails running down a blackboard.

    “Return without that holocron, and you will be terminated.”

    She swallowed, her hands shaking slightly on the controls. It was over no sooner had it begun but Helinith couldn’t relax until she was half way through hyperspace.

    ---

    With a few rattles, the x1-advanced dropped out of hyperspace and pulled into Coruscant’s atmosphere. Helinith sighed. The ship was a fossil by current standards, despite having been gutted and refitted at least twice in its history. It was easier to list the parts that were still original than the parts that had been replaced. Despite this, she just couldn’t part with it. One of the only things she had that came from her own time and she’d rather put up with all its little quirks than upgrade. Besides, looking after it kept her busy.

    She ran through inventory. The x1 had very limited storage but she had always been careful to make sure it carried necessities, and her foresight had paid off. Behind her seat, she found a spare jumpsuit, rope, two climbing harnesses, and goggles with low light and infra-red vision. From a compartment above her head, a belt and two old fruit drops- still in wrappers. They were a bit sticky but perfectly edible and she sucked on one as she explored the belt. Three smoke grenades, 2 pulse grenades, 2 thermal detonators, a set of crocodile clips, a stash of credits, not to mention her datapad. Helinith even found a spare lightsaber under her seat. She left it where it was, she already had her own and disliked using a foreign blade. One of those personality issues that Darth Insipid hadn’t managed to get rid of.

    “AOD DOD DE AOD DOD DE AOD DOD DE…”

    She jabbed at the controls and the senseless babble was suddenly interrupted by an emotionless woman’s voice. “-code to access member’s docking. Failure to comply within two minutes will result in you being shot from the sky. Welcome Dark Empire Sith. You have accessed the Coruscant automated hangars and storage channel. Please transmit authorization code to access member’s docking. Failure to comply within two minutes will result in you being shot from the sky. Welcome Dark-“ The lifeless transmission was replaced with a static hum from the x1-advanced’s communications panel as it began automatic process of sending the relevant codes. There was a pause and then two low buzzer sounds.

    “Access denied.”

    “That’s odd. That’s my code.”

    Helinith began the transmission again, and again the two low tones sounded. “Access denied.”

    “Right, if you’re going to behave like that… tie, open manual code input.”

    “Please enter authorization code.”

    Helinith pulled the keyboard towards her, took a long breath and then began to slowly type the number she had copied into her datapad several days ago…

    “Access granted. Welcome Lord Neoplix.”

    “Yes!” Helinith triumphantly smashed her fist into the ceiling of her craft and regretted it instantly. Wincing and massaging her hand, she guided her flying artefact down into the landing bay. She would never have gotten away with it if she’d been in that delegation with Darth Zox, he changed his codes more often than his socks. And she held far too much respect for Insipid than to use HIS codes. Besides, she’d used them too many times already- he might start getting suspicious.

    With post flight checks complete, she opened the hatch and flipped out of her ship, into the hangar.

    The hangars were hidden deep in the bowels of the much contested planet of Coruscant, far away from anything nice. Long, dim and empty, like sword scabbards stuck together, side by side. They had once been used to store several squadron’s worth of craft, back when the Dark Empire had owned the planet outright. Now, they were merely used for storage and as landing docks, whenever a Sith had business on the planet. The military quarters attached to it were virtually abandoned: groups of apprentices were sent into it every so often to ‘cleanse’ the complex of the low-lifes who inevitably snuck in and tried to set up homes for themselves. The Dark Empire had no time for bums.

    Darth Helinith strode over to the bulkhead behind which she knew she would find the automated entrance and ground controls. Carefully, she used the force to untighten the screws, removing the access panel with a flurry and a wave of a gloved hand. The keyboard and maintenance screen unfolded into her palms and she began to type.

    Enqu/status/privaliges/DHelinith

    <Error: User not found>

    Search/DHelinith

    <Error: User not found>​

    Her eyes narrowed. She doubted that Lord Zox would have gone ahead and removed her from the computer network under his own volition, but Vassago… He knew that she was banished- he had essentially thrown her out- and he would be the sort of person to take it upon himself to visit Zox and make sure she had no leg to stand on. Seemed she was ‘locked out’ from using any Sith resources and truly on her own. Beating back down the lump that had unexpectedly risen in her throat, she sealed up the panel with a little more force than was necessary. She sunk to her knees, lent her head against the durasteel and punched the metal plating several times.

    Finally, she took a deep breath, wiped her eyes and blew her nose on her sleeve.

    “Okay Helinith, one step at a time. First of all, you gotta find that bar that you were at last night." How could she do that? There were well over a thousand hovels of ill repute within a kilometre of her current location, and she could have taken the Jedi anywhere on Coruscant. She frowned to herself. “Just gotta look at this objectively. If I was tracking down a hit, I would be asking around for people who had seen them, and try to trace their last known location using security footage. So clearly, the person I am hunting for is me. How can I track me? By hacking into my datapad!”
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
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  11. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Re: paragraph formatting for dialogue on the web...

    Each line of dialogue = new paragraph. :)

    Gonna come back with a comment later.
     
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  12. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    And off we go! Fun to see Helinith’s good humor continuing, even under pressure from her Sithly superiors, being carried like a sack of potatoes by Vassago, and up against this “user not found” mystery; I strongly suspect foul play on this last count. [face_thinking] Glad she managed to snag Neoplix’s access code, though; I just hope he has no way of finding out! [face_worried]

    Again, I’m enjoying all the little details, from the spelling out of the garbled comm noises to all the random, wacky stuff Helinith finds in the various nooks and crannies of her ship. Stuff that I’m guessing has stories behind it: Chekhov’s fruit drops, anyone? :p Now that she’s left with no other option but to resort to slicing her own datapad in order to trace her own whereabouts, as if she were the suspect (and hey, she kind of is), Helinith is certainly going to have some interesting and meta detective work ahead of her. I have a feeling it will lead in some wild and woolly directions! :D
     
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  13. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Finally found this! The first chapter is my favourite thus far.

    Drunkenly losing a Sith Holocron. Hilarity. That being said, one hopes you do not require a personality adjustment by Insipid by the end of it...(!)
     
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  14. darthhelinith

    darthhelinith Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 10, 2009
    @Sinrebirth I felt you would appreciate this. With her antics so far here and elsewhere, I'm starting to get the feeling that Helinith has a bit of a problem with alcohol. As for that personality adjustment...
    @Findswoman The detective work will get even more interesting in future chapters [face_mischief]
    @Ewok Poet The schedual is slowing down now so plenty of time to comment between updates in the future!
    Next Chapter ho!
    I am resuming work tomorrow so it is difficult for me to say exactly when chapter four will be published, although I'm thinking I'll move to a weekly update every weekend. If people are happy with it, I will start tagging those who have commented in updates so you are aware when they drop (just comment or pm to opt out if you'd rather I didn't). The story is written, but I do like time to revisit and edit each chapter several times before I publish.
    The fiction has now become seven chapters (and over 1100 words- longer than my undergrad dissertation! [face_laugh]), after I gained inspiration yesterday evening on how to wrap up everything in a far more satisfactory way than I had initially planned. However, this means I'm now racing against the clock to try and finish it as best as I can before I have to go to bed. A nail biting finish?[face_nail_biting] We will see. I have to start writing class reports this week so worst case scenario, the last chapter won't drop till the end of May, but I am determined to see this through to the end. Whatever happens, Chapters 4-6 should be on schedule (as long as I don't reread one of them in the next couple of weeks and think "This is absolutely terrible!").

    Author's note: I use Lord and Lady for female sith pretty much interchangeably, as long as it won't confuse the reader. I feel 'Lord' denotes a power that is sometimes lacking from the title 'Lady'. Down with the patriarchy and all that :p

    Chapter 3

    As it turned out, Helinith didn’t need to do any real hacking. It was more a case of finding where the gps system was writing data to, which led her straight to a set of easy to read files that turned out to be the tracking logs.

    The Dark Empire’s worst kept secret. Every Sith knew that their datapads recorded their location, although it wasn’t really clear as to the purpose- the system was very basic and could be very easily circumvented just by 'accidentally' leaving your datapad in a safe place or by altering a line of code. Helinith had never really bothered about it before, she didn’t have anything to hide. But now, she was incredibly grateful for this invasion of her privacy. The system was limited: a unique code referencing each planet plus gps coordinates recorded every few minutes, but it was enough. Within a couple of hours, and via changing transports to the south of the financial district, the data led her to the semi-lit neons of “The Tatooine Plough”. The shabby outside seemed vaguely familiar but when she pushed open the door, the heady scent of alcohol, blurry eyed customers and wheezing jukebox in the corner brought memories crowding back: muscling their way into her head like unwelcome family. She sat in a decaying booth and rubbed her eyes, trying to make sense of the chaos.

    “You want a drink luv?”

    “Lord no. Just water. Tap water.”

    The twi’lek waitress sauntered off in a huff and Helinith took a breath and began to look around. Not with her eyes, but with the force, she stretched out, searching. She could feel the patrons, their fragile life forces sickened with the venoms they drank. She probed into each booth, under tables, through the restrooms, searching. Across the bar, beneath the counters and among the liquors… She was pulled out of her trance by the simultaneous shattering of several bottles on the shelves behind the Sullustan barkeeper, who stared at them, and then glared around his bar, seeming to expect someone own up to it.

    Helinith shook her head to herself and scowled. Clumsy. Rookie mistake. She needed to be more careful when using the force. Unlike some sith, who required years of study, she was naturally gifted but what was it Darth Insipid had called it? Akin to using a sledgehammer to fasten a button?

    Anyway, the holocron wasn’t here. She should have known as soon as she entered: she should have been able to feel its presence immediately. However objects of such power often left an imprint of themselves in the force on the places they had been for a while afterwards. Everyone in the bar looked faded, like someone had tried to rub them out with an eraser. The holocron had been here last night. Nevertheless, it was no longer present and she couldn’t just torch the place- she didn’t want the Coruscant authorities meddling in a Sith affair. She’d have to do the second worst thing in the world. Question people.

    The waitress came back and thudded the glass of water down in front of Helinith, who rose and downed it before flicking a credit at her. With new purpose, the Sith Lord strode to the bar. The barkeeper blinked in mild surprise at the sight of her. “Wasn’ expectin’ to see you so soon after last night. You had such a good time, I thought you’d drunk enough to preserve your organs.”

    “I need something. Something I gave you last night to pay for my drinks. Small black square object, covered in runes.” Helinith gestured with her hands.

    The barkeeper flung a drink over her head to the Kubaz standing behind her and walked over to the till, avoiding her gaze. Helinith followed him.

    “The glowy cube thing? You used it to pay for your tab.”

    “I know, but I have credits on me. I can pay the entire tab and some interest on top for your trouble. How much did it come to?”

    “Six hundred credits.”

    “Please, it was less than four fifty.”

    “Five seventy.”

    “Five hundred.”

    They glared at each other. Helinith growled. “Listen, I didn’t want to do this, but you have two options here. Take the money and tell me where it is, or I kill all your patrons and torture you until you confess its location. Upon which I will then rip your internal organs from your body and give them to your waitress as her notice of termination. Get the idea?” She very deliberately placed her lightsaber down on the counter in front of her with a heavy thud. Eyeing it nervously, the barman spoke slowly.

    “I didn’t know you were one of them jedi types. You’re awfully violent.”

    Helinith grinned. “I’m the type of Jedi from your worst nightmares. But I digress. You’re running out of time. Should I and the friends I was drinking with last night come back to torch this place to the floor?”

    He shook his head. “N-no. Five hundred credits is more than reasonable.”

    “And my item?”

    “I don’t have it any more. After I locked up yesterday evening, I needed the cash for the till float. I sold it to Qloath Blehassi, he’s an antiques dealer. Y-you can find him easily, he runs his store out of fifth and main, in sector 3.223, just a few blocks over. He should be open until 5.”

    “Thank you. Very helpful.” Helinith picked up her lightsaber and strapped it to the small of her back. With a flurry of black cloak, she bounced on her heel and left the cantina.

    --

    Qloath Blehassi was about 3ft, with a dull lavender skin and large, magma marble eyes mounted on either side of his head. Between them, a small, shallow set mouth sat in a semi-permanent gape. Since he had been a child he had enjoyed collecting most anything pretty he could lay his hands on, but he had since become picky. His shop’s shelves were overflowing with colourful curios, most of it attractive junk. However, the more discerning buyer might find a bargain or two, depending on the quality of their poker face.
    Qloath sat in a tall stool, just inside the front door, from where he could watch his patrons carefully. His shop was well known locally and was a popular place to browse- rarely was it empty. This being the case, it was also rare to see anyone actually buy anything and his neighbours couldn't help but wonder how he had stayed in business for so long. At quarter to five, he clambered down from his perch (using a heavy metal case as a stepping stool) and began the process of locking up, which mostly involved securing items he deemed more valuable in a safe behind the till. He was on his way back from locking the front door when he heard “Boo”.

    He jumped and turned slowly. A short-haired brunette human towered over him, arrayed with a black cloak and brown eyes glaring into his own. He blinked. “The shop is closed.”

    “Oh I’m not here to purchase. Where’s my holocron?”

    “Holocron?”

    “Don’t play dumb with me, I know you gave the bartender from the Tatooine Plough good money for it. Where is it?” Helinith was not in the mood for games. She had been hoping to find the holocron and return to the Sith temple before dinner. Just the thought of the food that would be served in the cantina back home on Korriban, the delicious smells that waft through the corridors of the temple at meal times made her mouth water and her stomach turn over. Furthermore she would have set an impressive new record for the shortest banishment ever recorded. Be that as it may, it was increasingly looking like this was not going to happen.

    “That ppparticular object is no longer for sale.”

    “I know that idiot, or I would have killed you and taken it three hours ago, which would have been far easier and far less of a waste of my time. Yet here we are.” Helinith snarled. “Location. NOW.”

    “W-well its not in a particularly nice place.” At the sight of Helinith’s flaring nostrils, he quickly continued “I gave it to Deek Mannard, just a little arrangement between him and myself.”
    Helinith drew a short dagger from beneath her robes and tossed it to her other hand before holding it at his neck. Qloath began to tremble and squeak, words tumbling over his tongue. “Okay! I was paying off debts! I owe him a ton of money! He lets me give him stuff I think will be worth his while to help pay it off!”

    “And where do I find this Mannard? “

    “He lives on his estate just five blocks north of here. Big, with fancy pillars. You can't miss it.”

    Lord Helinith had her information but at the cost of her patience. It was time to go.

    “Thank you. Maybe I can help you with those debts.” Her fingers lit up with electric blue sparks and the shop echoed with Qloath’s screams.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  15. darthhelinith

    darthhelinith Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 10, 2009
    @Sinrebirth @Findswoman @Ewok Poet @Cowgirl Jedi 1701
    Nothing much to note this week. This chapter received a heavy edit as I felt the original was both too short and a bit out of character. It's still a shorter chapter, but better than it was. Thankfully reports aren't due till the end of June so I could spend more time refining than I initially feared [face_dancing]
    Chapter 4

    The blazing sun was setting over the metropolis of Coruscant as Helinith approached the buildings of Deek Mannard that her informant had mentioned. A bright yellow oblong with large windows and a scattering of pearly pillars for good measure made a glaring contrast to the relatively squat, drab apartment blocks surrounding it. Various annexes stuck out from all sides, giving the building a spider-like appearance from above. This tangle of buildings was surrounded by faux lawns, a landing pad and a high chainmesh fence.

    Finishing the bar of chocolate she was eating, Helinith shoved the wrapper in her boot and took in the surroundings with an expert eye from a rooftop across the street. Piece of cake. She camped up there for another couple of hours, entering a sort of semi-medative state, her body motionless as the darkness wrapped around her. She watched the guards (who were few and far between), watched for visitors (there were none) and visually scanned the complex, looking for possible entrances and exits. The traffic went from infrequent to non-existent: Helinith unfastened her cloak and slid into stealth mode.

    Some Sith are excellent dualists or force users, some dabble with a bit of everything as jacks of all trades. Darth Helinith was a born assassin and her skills were close to unmatched by anyone else. Her favourite part was the sneaking around and she was already relishing this chance to once again creep in somewhere she wasn't supposed to be. The thrill was exhilarating.

    There were two pairs of guards standing at the end of each annex, as well as a pair patrolling the perimeter. If Helinith had been a strategist, she might have wondered at this merger presence, but she wasn’t paid to think. Waiting patiently until they had moved to the other side of the building, Helinith drew on the force, building power before releasing it as springs under her feet. With a huge leap she moved from the rooftop of the apartment building onto the roof of the nearest annex inside the complex. She landed silently, the force muffling her step. Carefully, she approached the edge of the roof and poked her head over the side. The pair of guards directly below were oblivious, they hadn’t heard a thing. But Helinith was a perfectionist and this was too easy to let go. Raising her hand, two old imperial knives rose from her belt as if lifted by a mysterious force. They drifted down, down. Helinith suddenly clenched her fist and watched, pleased, as they shot themselves straight into the backs of the two men standing below. Silent and deadly. Quietly, Helinith let her breath go, with a satisfied sigh and released her clenched fist. That had felt good.

    She was interrupted by the pair of patrolling soldiers approaching, their noisy, clumsy footfalls disturbing her peace. With a quick twist of her hand, the knives lifted themselves out of the bodies of her victims and shot towards the threat with incredible speed. As a result of the suddenness with which Helinith had been interrupted, she miscalculated the speed- one of the knives buried itself up to the end of the hilt within a chest and the other launched itself so hard into his partner’s stomach that it shot straight out of his back. Helinith scowled but only for a moment. She called her instruments back to her and they responded immediately, returning to her belt. It was difficult to wipe the handles- she had forgotten to pack any tissues.

    Continuing in this manner, Helinith dispatched the rest of the guards within the gardens of the complex with ease. They were not well equipped nor well experienced and it seemed almost cruel to leave them alive. She sat on the roof for a while pondering upon this, before shaking herself out of her ruminations and continuing her mission. Behind her, conditioning units and air fans pumped and rattled to themselves, and she crept towards them, looking for something specific. Got it. With a quick look about her, she set to work, once again using the force to remove screws and unfasten the grate in front of her.

    The screws clattered to the floor and Helinith pulled open the vent grating and climbed inside, being sure to close it behind her. She listened carefully. Nothing. Crawling further in, she felt her way forwards in the thick darkness, her fingers expertly checking each nook and cranny. They suddenly closed around small plastic cords, snaking up one side and down the other of the metal tube. She grinned. Activating a small flashlight, she held it in her mouth and expertly stripped the wires with her fingernails. Although the plastic bit into her skin, she continued, exposing the copper. Using some crocodile clips from a pouch on her belt, she plugged in her datapad, launching the decryption process.

    Encryption codec /severe/

    Estimated time until encryption break: 2 hours​

    She sighed. Might as well get comfortable. And pray that the security that this guy was employing didn’t include scanning the vents for life-signs. Leaving the decryption process running in the background, she flicked over to her audio logs. Maybe…

    “Lord Insipid. If you’re listening to this, I’m dead. But I wanted to explain why I did what I did. I know I let you down. I disappointed you. You deserve to know why.

    I know it was you who put me forward for that delegation to the Emperor. No one else would… Force knows why you did it. Maybe you saw something in me that I couldn’t see in myself. And when I found out, I was so excited and so scared. I was excited, because I was going with you and we hadn’t teamed up in forever. Best team together again, you know? Relive those old days, when it was just us against the galaxy.” She burped suddenly and continued.

    “But I was scared. I was scared because I was afraid of making a mistake and letting you down and being thought an imposter, a fraud, not really a Sith, cause when was the last time I sweet-talked anyone to do anything?

    I don’t really care about letting anyone else down, but you… you’ve always believed in me. You would have left me to rot in stasis if you didn’t. I mean maybe you didn’t believe in me at first, you were probably more interested in my value as a living historical artefact. Why collect relics of a dead Empire you admire when you can train one of its weapons?” She chuckled softly to herself and shook her head. “But you wouldn’t have kept me alive, wouldn’t have let me finish my apprenticeship if you didn’t see some use in me.

    And now here I am. I take that chance you gave me and I deliberately mucked it up- I was just so scared of disappointing you. You’re so knowledgeable in our ways, our histories. And I’ve never been particularly good at keeping track of it all. I mean the stasis was bad enough but all this other history to learn too… I could always listen to you recount anything, you know that? And I tried my best to remember those dates and names, although I’d still probably flunk any test in Sith history… I guess what I’m trying to say is you’re a born diplomat, born historian. But I digress.

    I failed you. I let my fear control me rather than harnessing it, like you’ve shown me so many times before. And maybe admitting this is weakness too, but honestly… you’re the closest thing to family, to a brother, I’ve ever had. I’m not asking for forgiveness, but you should know I died trying to put it right. And if I do survive, I’m gonna make it up to you. Somehow. Maybe I’m not made for diplomacy but if you’re willing, I’d apprentice myself to you again to learn how to be a talker. I mean a political talker, not just running my mouth, like I usually do. Or maybe I should just focus on my assassination skills and being an even better killer than before. Something that you can truly be proud of. Whatever happens, I’m never going to let my fear control me again.”

    She frowned and shifted slightly- trying to find a more comfortable sitting position. Air vents were not known for their luxury.

    “Just so you know, the encryption of this recording is set to the last known coordinates of my tie fighter x1-advanced. I know you like museum pieces: you can have it as long as you retrieve it from wherever. Please look after her or give her to someone who’ll look after it. Darth Zox can hack its central locking. My apartment can go to whichever sith apprentice can retrieve a kyber crystal from the stomach of a Lylek queen. Oh and tell Lord Vassago from me that he’s got less brain cells than a space worm.”

    A buzzing interrupted her. The encryption crack had finished.

    “I gotta go. Don’t let Vassago gloat about my death, that stupid-“<Storage full>

    Well that’d have to do. She relayed the recording to her tie fighter, setting it to forward if she didn’t return within 4 days. Plenty of time.

    --

    Far far away, within the Sith Temple on Korriban, the delicious smells wafting from the dining halls called the Sith, their pupils and their peons to dinner. And within Helinith’s living quarters, a figure wrapped in a brown robe carefully unlocked the plexi-glass doors that led out to the balcony, closing them silently behind them. It looked all around slowly, taking in the surroundings, particularly the sheer cliff-face and the surrounding balconies. After a pause, during which it considered its options, the figure threw off its outer robe. If anyone had been watching they would have seen a bearded male, dressed in traditional jedi garb, thin brown hair and beryl eyes. Carefully, he folded up his outer cloak and tucked it into his belt. He then took a running jump, parallel to the edge of the balcony. Landing on the vertical wall, he knelt and began sliding down the side of the temple fairly gracefully (Helinith would have been impressed if she’d been there to see it).

    Most of this side of the Sith seat of power was occupied by living quarters, and the owners were either down in the canteen or elsewhere. Nobody accosted the Jedi as he landed at the foot of the walls and began walking away down the valley, his form soon hidden from view by the rocky outcrops and steep slopes which fell down and away from the mountain the temple sat in. Within the space of a few minutes, it was like he had never been there.
     
  16. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Well that was touching.

    Surprisingly so. And a good use of the time an encryption system would have required. I really quite enjoyed that, Helinith.

    You genuinely honour me.

    The Jedi seems to be up to something else. How... intriguing.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  17. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Caught up at last... much plot thickage here, in so many ways! The trail Helinith is tracing—from the cantina to the pawn shop to Mannard’s place to her own datapad—is certainly showing her some new and unexpected things, and not just about the location of the holocron. This “just in case” audio message she apparently recorded for Insipid is particularly intriguing, and we learn some very important and interesting things from it—about Helinith’s time in stasis, for example (suggesting that maybe she originally comes from what we might call the Saga era? I’d better not speculate too much, because I’m likely to be wrong). And what in the name of San Hill is that Jedi doing in Helinith’s Sith temple quarters? I almost wonder if he...

    ...just returned the holocron? [face_thinking]

    So much to think about, so many intriguing possibilities—can’t wait for more! :D
     
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  18. Darth_Furio

    Darth_Furio SWC Jedi Draft Commissioner star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2008
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  19. darthhelinith

    darthhelinith Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 10, 2009
    @Sinrebirth @Findswoman @Ewok Poet @Cowgirl Jedi 1701 @Darth_Furio

    You're welcome :D She's more sensitive than she'd ever willingly let on, hidden behind all that silly.

    [face_whistling]
    Interesting idea. More will be revealed!

    Thank you! Nice to see you around too! Glad you're enjoying things!



    I have had a playlist for this story/Darth Helinith, which I have been listening to almost since beginning writing this, and it's now available on youtube for readers who enjoy that sort of thing.
    So onward to Chapter 5! Again not completely satisfied with this, I think some of the action needs work. But that aside, it is one of my favourites.

    Chapter 5

    Darth Helinith scrolled through the information she was receiving through her datapad with increasing excitement. The hack had taken a long time- it was clear Mannard had used a difficult encryption for good reason- but there didn’t seem to be any further firewalls. It was all here. Maps of the complex- detailed maps- personnel files, guard shifts and patterns, even a builders schematic of the vents she was camping out in. She had the loan shark’s entire house at her finger tips. There was just one more thing to do.

    She closed her eyes and reached out- the holocron answered her call almost instantly. Cool, burning, purging chills enveloped her mind, cried out to her, begged her to find it. Referring to the compass on her datapad, and cross referencing with the maps that she once again flashed up on her screen, she could get a rough idea of where the holocron was. Crouching in that vent, she poured over those maps for maybe hours, it didn’t matter. Nothing else mattered, she was back in the game.

    When she was satisfied, she carefully removed the datapad from the little nest of copper wires, strapped it back on her wrist and set off through the vents. She used the smooth, peaceful whispers of the holocron to guide her in the ebony darkness. Left here, right there and every so often she would pause to reference the datapad. It was this that led her to what the maps referred to as the ‘gilded room’. From a small grating high up in the far corner of the room, she could see almost everything inside.

    The floor was at least twelve feet below, covered in a thick, rich purple carpet with what appeared to be little specks of gold thread dotted throughout. The walls fell down either side of her in pale ivory-yellow, like off milk. Two large green plants squatted either side of the room, trying to create some sort of symmetry in their tacky silver and gold plated plant pots and on each wall were hung multiple portraits, all of the same Aqualish. A broad marble table took up most of the space- it was really too big for the room- and dwarfed the wooden chairs which had been pushed up to it. All in all, the décor appeared to have been realized by someone who considered their taste far superior to any interior designer.

    Around the over-sized table, aliens of various races and creeds sat, 3 down one side, 2 down the other and one at the head- the Aqualish individual who seemed to be the model for the portraits surrounding him. But the majority of the places at the table were empty.

    He looked around at the assembled and sighed, shaking his head.

    “Let us take a moment to remember those who are no longer with us.”

    The aliens looked around silently at the empty places for about a minute before the head of the table continued.

    “But we must press on. Despite the loss of our first bargaining chip, we still have the other.”

    The Aqualish (that Helinith correctly guessed was probably Mannard) heaved out a large canister and plonked it down on the table in front of him. A wave of crackling nausea overcame Helinith as the call of the holocron invaded every sense and pore of her body. Found it. She shook her head to clear it and focused back on the conversation in the room.

    “So here’s the plan. We’re launching an aggressive recruiting campaign at sunrise. When we’ve recovered our numbers, I’ll be sending out a messaging inviting both Jedi and Sith to a meeting where I use this as a bargaining chip to gain control over our desired section of Coruscant. It can’t fail to go wrong.” The other aliens nodded or murmured their agreement. Helinith noticed that one of them appeared to have recently lost an arm. She couldn’t shake a feeling of déjà vu. Where had she seen him before?

    The meeting below moved onto other business matters but Helinith had heard enough. She’d found what she was looking for, there seemed no reason to delay any further. Silently, she prepared herself both mentally and physically.

    There was an ear-splitting crash and then a puffffshshhhhhhhh. The room filled up with grey clouds from the smoke grenades that Helinith had dropped into the room after kick-slamming the grate into the opposite wall. She dropped down into the chaos, letting the smoke cover her, letting the panic of the occupants get the best of them. Shots were fired into the smoke and she leapt under the table. From her hidden position, she ignited her lightsaber and commanded it from her hand. It rose away from her, up around the edge of the table and then flying along up one side of the table and down the other before returning to her hand. Six heads fell with heavy, sickening thumps onto the surface of the table and rolled onto the floor.

    With a shout, she heard a door open and felt rather than saw the four guards bundling in, one behind the other, in their desperation to respond to the ruckus they had heard from within. Again her lightsaber flung itself towards them and they didn’t stand a chance. Bodies fell one on top of the other like harvested grain.

    Helinith crawled out from under the table, blinked and coughed in the ashen smoke (which was now slowly starting to clear). With an outstretched hand, her lightsaber returned to its master and she clipped it onto her back. Sighting the very thing she had come for, she grabbed the canister and eagerly ripped it open with the force.

    The holocron sat on a navy and silver taffeta.

    Its triangular shape was covered in delicate, spidery golden runes, whilst a muted aquamarine glow softly regarded her.

    Triangular. Golden. Blue.​

    Helinith roared. The table flung itself away from her into the opposite wall, sparks flew out from her in all directions and bulbs in the light fittings became unbearably bright before bursting in little sun-flashes. Viciously, she shattered the wooden chairs with the force, sending the splinters spinning into each of the paintings. From their positions at either end of the room, the plants rose into the air, to meet a hellcat of a woman swinging a red bladed lightsaber: cleanly splitting them down the middle. The earth from the pots fell to the floor and Helinith began grabbing handfuls of it and throwing it at anything that the splinters had missed. Finally, she jumped up and down on the body of Deek Mannard, over and over and over. FOILED AGAIN!

    The Jedi holocron sat in its little gilded nest, watching silently from the floor, where the container had fallen. It seemed to mock her. She reached out a hand towards it, intending to shatter the stupid thing.

    And then she stopped. And grinned. The little Helinith did know about politics was now screaming at her. This wasn’t the Sith holocron, but it sure wasn’t any use to the Jedi while the Sith had it. It could be an excellent bargaining chip. She picked it up off its twee little stand and shoved it into one of her pockets.

    Although she could potentially try her luck at returning to the Sith temple then and there, there was something bothering Helinith. While it was true she now had the wrong holocron, she had certainly been on the right trail. She could again feel the faint ‘shade’ of the Sith holocron, the stains in the force it had left. So where was it? The alien had mentioned something about losing a bargaining chip. Had he been referring to the holocron she was looking for? And if he had lost it, where was it now?

    She sighed, and climbed back into the vent from where she came. Returning to the little nest of cables that she had picked apart, she plugged her datapad back in and began watching the cctv.

    Her jaw dropped.

    Drunk Helinith had been here not 24 hours ago. She watched herself and her Jedi ‘friend’ brazenly cut down several dozen security guards, hack and slash through a crowd of colourfully dressed aliens and brake into a store room. They then grabbed an identical container to the one she had just found, opened it and drunk Helinith carefully pocketed the Sith holocron. With a slightly shaking hand, her drunk avatar high-fived the Jedi with her (who was equally intoxicated). Finally, as they left, she watched herself cut off the arm of the alien she had killed just minutes prior.

    Helinith had to watch it all again, just to be sure her eyes hadn’t been deceiving her. Satisfied, she leant back against the metal vent and started banging her head viciously against it. Back to square one. She had no idea where the blasted holocron was. If Vasssago hadn’t seen so ‘thoroughly’ to her exile, she would have been able to go back to her room, torture the Jedi in her bed, and find out where the damn thing was from the beginning. Instead, she’d had travel half way across the galaxy, following her own trail only to find out that she needed to do exactly the same thing. Son of a…

    She quickly wiped the CCTV records- she couldn’t risk anyone finding them and Lady Viscretus had been itching to begin a new inquisition. The last thing Helinith needed on top of everything else, was being accused of flirting with the Jedi code. Or sleeping with it, she reminded herself sulkily. She wondered if anyone had gone into her apartment and found the Jedi there. It was not a nice thought. But as her more analytical side began to take over, a new thought process began to form.

    She had thoroughly melted the door controls to her apartment. That would mean the only way in or out would be the balcony, which overlooked a sheer drop (standard for those flats). Anyone who wanted to get in would have to either call maintenance and wait for them to remove the door (which with the security features Helinith had enabled would take close to three days) or hover a spacecraft like a mad-man next to the windows and jump onto the balcony. And there was no reason anyone would be that desperate to get in there- it was just a living quarters.

    She looked at her data-pad again. There was still time.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
  20. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Well, drunk Helinith turning up on a video feed was damn surprising. How curious. Layers and layers to this.

    Make you wonder if Helinith was drugged rather than drunk...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  21. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    [face_tee_hee]Just now I saw Mickey Mouse for my inner eye a moment. There is an old story about Mickey and the Giant where he explains how he killed "five of them" in one hit. ('Them' were in reality flies, not giants.)

    Wonderful. Usually I'm not that much into OC's but Helenith is becoming a favorite when reading this story. She really has her own personality. [face_rofl]
     
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  22. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Well, isn’t this just the “d’oh” of the century! :oops: So close, and yet so far—heck, even the Force signature of the Jedi holocron was close enough to that of the Sith one for her to mix it up! (And that seems like an important detail, for some reason). Even though this Mannard fellow and his cronies have all been dispatched (and wow, that was some Sithy quick assassin work by Helinith! :eek: ), I have a feeling we haven’t heard the last about this him and this plot of his involving “bargaining chips” aimed at both Jedi and Sith. He definitely seems like an up-to-no-good sort in his own way. [face_thinking]

    And of course the CCTV feed provides Helinith with an astonishing and unexpected lead... she and her Jedi crony were the ones who stole the Sith holocron to begin with! Back to square one, looks like, though it’s still a lead in its way. Now, I’m admittedly not one with much experience in the department of intoxication, but the fact that she has pretty much no memory of this at all—beyond that twinge of déjà vu about the fellow with one arm—makes me too wonder if there was more at work here than just alcohol. [face_thinking] And knowing what happened at the end of the previous chapter...
    ...namely, that the Jedi fellow has cleared out of her quarters...
    ...I fear that Helinith is about to experience yet another wild bantha chase. I now have a different idea of what the fellow may have done in those few moments, too:
    ...looks like he too may have gained a bargaining chip of sorts.
    So intriguing—keep the crazy-cool mystery coming! =D=
     
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  23. darthhelinith

    darthhelinith Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 10, 2009
    @Cowgirl Jedi 1701 @Ewok Poet
    An intriguing idea.

    She's rather good at infecting people :D
    All is (mostly) about to be revealed.

    Hooray! Onto chapter 6 of 7.
    This was originally where the fiction ended, and once you read it, you might be able to spot where.
    This is also why the introduction of Taruk feels a bit disjointed. Chapter 1 was posted before I had the idea for the new ending, which resulted in the introduction of Taruk and the writing of Chapter 7. I don't regret doing it as I feel the ending that is to come is far more satisfying but if I rewrote chapter 1, I would have had him as the main antagonist.

    Chapter 6

    Darth Zox was down in the hangar, with flighty smell of engine oil, the ringing hum of fighter engines and the air intakes ruffling his sleek, black hair. The place was bustling on the eve of an important battle and he was grateful he had stepped out of his laboratories to appreciate the sights, the smells.

    The large curved metal scales of the metal plating, seemed to stretch all around him in every direction. Gangways dangled like stalactites from the rafters, cabling and fuel lines snaked this way and that, and the sweet smell of fuel circled the cusp of every breath he took. Faceless technicians and mechanics dashed this way and that, and the drowning whine of engines grew.

    Thoroughly enjoying himself, Zox walked towards the source of the sound, though drawn by what, he could not say. Turning a corner, he came face to face with a huge jet engine. The Emperor, wearing pink suspenders and a large top hat, cackled at him from the walkway above. “Ahhh Zox, you’re just in time to feed my ride.”

    Zox could only watch as the jet engine crawled towards him, heat sweltering, metal appendages flailing and gleaming. He realised in growing horror that he was being slowly sucked towards the intake. He tried to run but seemed to be wading in quicksand; his feet were sluggish and lethargic. The noise was deafening. Desperately, he tried to reach out and grab onto the side of the walkway but his arms felt like lead. He could feel the hot breath of the intake licking at his shins…

    He woke, his head ringing with the sound of engines. Glancing at his window, where he should have had a pleasant night-time view out onto the valley below, he saw naught but a giant solar array support frame slowly lowering itself past his window frame. His curtains were flailing violently in the wind being generated by the engines hidden behind it. As he watched open mouthed, the tie x-1 advanced continued to lower itself past his window and on top of it, who should he see but Darth Helinith standing in a pose of absolute concentration. She saw him, smiled and waved at him in the moonlight as she slowly sunk below his balcony on her absurd mount. Zox shook his head. Definitely overdid the sleeping aid this time. He flopped back onto his bed, flinging a pillow over his head, with the engines still roaring in his ears.

    Surfing on top of a tie-fighter was a new one for Helinith but she couldn’t help but feel a wave of smug pride as she continued to carefully use the force to slowly lower the ship down the side of the temple, towards her apartment. All the Sith in this temple, they were all so smug and thought themselves so superior to her, yet had any of them ever surfed on the back of a space ship? She very much doubted it. Carefully adjusting the controls again using the force, she sighed and hummed epic theme music to herself. The things she had had to resort to, just to get this stupid holocron back. But it wasn’t a complete waste of time, after all, hadn’t she just invented another way of using the force? All the apprentices would be all over this tomorrow morning- all telling each other about ‘Space-ship surfing’ and trying to steal Sith fighters so they could try it out for themselves.

    With a final tweak, she lowered the ship parallel to her balcony and leapt off it, onto the concrete. Her task wasn’t ended here. She closed her eyes, stretched out her hands and dug deep into the dark side, becoming aware of her tie-fighter from the largest solar panel down to the smallest drop of grease on the smallest bolt. She took a deep breath and the ship began to pull away from the balcony, slowly at first but then coming up to flight speed. Carefully, she guided it around the side of the temple and into the hangars, where she landed it gentler than she ever had while sitting in it. Finally she opened her eyes and released a breath she hadn’t realised she had been holding. Perfection.

    With that sorted, she turned her attention to the plexiglass doors that led into her lounge. She’d have to be quick. If the engines from her tie hadn’t woken every sith on this side of the temple, her ship returning, by itself, to the hangar would surely alert more than one person that she was trespassing. Pausing, she looked through the windows into the building. There was no sign of the Jedi. Helinith wasn’t sure if she was relived or not. Nevertheless, she kicked her foot through the veranda doors, suddenly seeming to be drawn through the motions by some unseen but beckoning force. The dark presence here was unmistakable and she sucked it in gratefully. It drew her deeper in, pulled her, clawed at her soul.


    The lounge was mostly as she had left it, aside from the half-eaten bowl of cereal on the sofa. She ignored it, following the dark-side trail she had picked up. On auto-pilot, she strode straight into her bedroom, towards her bedside table and opened the drawer.

    She picked up the Sith Holocron and just stared at it, dumbfounded.
    It had been in the temple- in her bedroom- the entire time.​

    I will not attempt to record the stream of profanity that echoed down the corridor from Helinith’s rooms. Needless to say, by the time she was done, she was almost shaking with rage. A curse on dark council, especially on Lord Insipid and Emperor Dreadwar, who she now suspected might have known the entire time that the holocron was in her room. Well she was going to march right into that throne room and give the Emperor a piece of her mind.

    There was one issue with that plan, in that she was now trapped in her own apartment. Damnit. She had not really thought this through. Half-heartedly, she wandered over to the door controls she had melted almost a day ago and tried them but there was no response. Moreover, while her door wasn’t impervious to lightsaber blades, it was highly resistant and it would take the rest of the night and most of the day to cut her way into the corridor.

    She walked back out to the balcony, looking around at the surrounding apartments, wondering as to who was currently sleeping in them. This was going to quickly turn into a very dangerous game of Russian roulette. There was maybe one or two in the population of the temple who wouldn’t care who walked through their apartment at three in the morning, but most Sith Lords would assume that any trespassers were trying to kill them. Helinith sighed, unclipping her cloak for the second time that night. She picked her target, a balcony about 10 feet above her own and to her right, and with more grace than she expected of herself, leapt onto it.

    Lord Taruk, dark council member and lore master, was awoken by the presence of a dark force object in his living room. Well, at least he thought it was, he wasn’t sure. He lay in bed for a moment, reaching out with the force, trying to identify what exactly it was that he could feel. But as soon as he felt the heartbeat of a living thing, he leapt out of bed, grabbing and igniting his lightsaber. As he pelted into his lounge, his eyes fell upon an awesome sight.

    Darth Helinith (recently banished) was in the process of trying to prevent one of his sculptures from falling over. At the sight of him, she froze like a prey animal and the clay figure fell before anyone could react, shattering into tiny fragments. Taruk was a collector of fine art when he wasn’t sithing around, and the sight of one of his beloved pieces being utterly destroyed was too much for him. He swung his blade towards Helinith so quickly, she barely had time to react, igniting her own to block his blow. They fell apart again and he began to circle her in his embroidered pyjamas, like a preposterous silk tiger. His orange eyes flashed.

    “So, you thought you could just sneak in here and stab me in the back, hmm? End your banishment? Take my place on the dark council?”

    Helinith rolled her eyes, she couldn’t help it. Some Sith were so damn dramatic. “Oh please. My door controls are jammed. I just needed to get through your apartment so I could call maintenance.”

    “Ohhh of course.” Taruk smirked as he mocked her voice “Pretty please let me sneak through your room and destroy your sculptures, my door controls are jammed.” He charged at her again. Lightsabers flashed, and sparks flew. Helinith tried to defend as best she could but Taruk was both a council member and well rested. She hadn’t slept since yesterday morning and she was rapidly losing energy. If she could get him to talk more…

    “Nice apartment you have here.” She groaned inwardly. What a stupid thing to say. Taruk didn’t respond to her, he was focused on the fight. She tried to focus: she danced around, however her attacks were sloppy and all fell wide. What would Insipid do in this situation?

    Talk himself out of it.

    How the hell could she do that? She threw another statue in the path of Taruk’s lightsaber and it fell into two pieces in front of him. He growled and launched another flurry of blows, mercifully she was able to intercept all of them. Helinith was trying to desperately to gain control of the situation but she was beginning to panic.

    As she defended another set of strikes, she felt something digging into her side. The Sith holocron was still in her pocket and as she felt it there, a set of words floated across the forefront of her mind.

    I won’t let my fear control me again.

    And to her own surprise, a plan began to form. Maybe, just maybe, she had more negotiation skills than she thought.

    “Look, I have an audience with the Emperor, I’m sorry to have disturbed you and I’ll pay for the damage. But I’ve got to get going or I’m going to be late and he’ll be displeased if it was you delaying me.”

    Taruk grinned like a cat that has spotted a snared bird. “Ohhhh off to the Emperor were you? Well how about we head there now together, you and me, hmmmm? He can hear all about this, and you can explain to him in person why you are currently breaking the terms of your exile and made an attempt on a council member’s life.”
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
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  24. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    That had to be a real #thatfeeling moment.:eek: Poor Helinith. But why didn't her jedi "friend" have the wits about him to take the holocron when he left?[face_thinking]
     
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  25. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    OK, I take back what I said in that earlier chapter where I described Helinith's finding of the Jedi holocron instead of the Sith one as "the d'oh of the century," because that title more rightly belongs to this moment. :p I strongly suspect someone has pulled a "Second Stain" here, and Helinith's nameless Jedi bedfellow (!) seems like a likely candidate. Though why didn't he take the thing with him as a bargaining chip, which had been my first guess? Just forgetfulness, or did he have a reason for leaving it there? And now that Helinith has both holocrons together... well, I wonder if she knows what kind of power one can unleash when one opens a Jedi and a Sith holocron together? Much to think about... [face_thinking] Of course, for now, our heroine has some more pressing concerns to deal with now that she's inadvertently awakened Taruk—and that right there is a pretty sizable "d'oh." :oops: On top of that, her "audience with the Emperor" ruse backfires spectacularly—she's out of the frying pan and into the fire now! How will she get out of this one? :eek:
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
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