…and the prize one of them held.
The Force shall free me…
Jedi Knight Kel Sorran peered out of the viewport as the mottled stars became points of light floating before him. Letting out a deep breath, he keyed his communicator and entered his encryption code. If he sent a transmission so close to his objective unencrypted, his master would be quite displeased.
No matter, even if he didn’t send the signal naked, at this point he was so close. The threats of an ineffectual master would soon be lost in the echoes of their collective greatness. His hand flexed its grip on his lightsaber, newly constructed since its predecessor’s loss at Bespin. He couldn’t help but think about the tales of the old Jedi Order, when Master Skywalker lost his hand and his lightsaber in the same place.
He couldn’t help but think that while he was walking the empty corridors of a deserted Cloud City, that the floating Tibanna gas mine harbored some echoes of the battle fought here almost a thousand years ago, almost as if he expected to see Lord Vader and Master Skywalker still prowling the halls. Hallowed figures in a hallowed site.
Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
A figure appeared on the holoprojector in front of him, wearing the tunic of a Jedi Master. Sorran bowed his head.
“My Lord, I’ve reached Hutt Space, and I’m ready to begin my search.”
The blue figure remained impassive. “You will notify me the second you leave the system. Do not fail me.”
Sorran bowed his head again. “Yes, my Master. It will be ours.”
The figure vanished, leaving Sorran alone with his thoughts.
His mind raced back to a burned villiage on the outskirts of Renna, a pastoral village on Dantooine not far from the Jedi enclave. His father had been executed by the locals, he had never known why, his mother had a worse fate befall her. She was taken by the mercenary camp and sold. His brothers were killed outright when the villagers came for his father. His sister had been kidnapped, and after his induction into the Jedi Order, he rarely thought of her.
He allowed his hate to swell until his breathing had changed and his face was red and flushed with angry blood.
Through passion, I gain strength.
After he had made Knight status, his Master came to him and took him to a cliff face very far from the enclave in the dead of night. When they reached the precipice, his master regarded him with a look he had never seen before. His master’s face was a mask of wrath.
“It is time.”
They stared at each other, one staring with malicious intent, the other dumbfounded.
“What do you mean, Master?”
His master made his move, igniting his lightsaber and aiming to kill. Sorran’s training took over and he fought bravely, almost besting his master. Lightsabers clashed and his master looked at him.
“Give in to your hate, boy! Think of your family!” he yelled.
Sorran pushed back and spun, bringing his lightsaber within an inch of his Master’s head, the hate gnawing at him. Backing up, he pointed his blade at his Master.
“That is NOT the Jedi way!” Sorran cried.
The two of them circled each other.
“If you think I saved you for the Jedi, you are mistaken. You have a greater destiny in store for you.” His master’s face had lost all of its joviality and was now just a mask of hate and deception.
“Do you think I’ve toiled for years upon years trying to make you a puppet for the Jedi? No, no such simple thing for you. You are to be my apprentice. My right hand to do my will in the galaxy until the Sith will rule again.”
Sorran’s anger spoke next, “The Jedi are all that keeps the Republic tog—”
His Master cut him off and struck for his head, a blow that was blocked by Sorran’s blue blade. The red lightsaber blade against the blue bathed his Master’s face in a violet hue which gave him an almost demonic look. “The Jedi are WEAK! Blubbering fools, wringing their hands while people die for no reason! They stood by and watched your family die, and worse!”
Sorran felt the hate well up in him.
“Do you think the Jedi care about a backwoods family of farmers? What did they do for you? They took care of a sniveling boy. THAT’S all they did!”
His hate took him.
Through strength, I gain power.
His lightsaber was raised above his head and he struck, jumping at his master. They fought for over two hours, until when dawn broke over the Sandai Plateau, his master finally got the upper hand. Slicing downward he raised his hand and Force-pushed Sorran over the edge of the cliff and held him there. Sorran had dropped his lightsaber on the ground and now was defenseless. His master stood before him, one hand suspending him above a thousand foot drop, an ignited red bladed lightsaber in the other.
“You fought well.”
Sorran gave into his hate. It bubbled into his soul making his eyes red, contaminating his very being. He let out a great bellow.
“I will KILL you, Master!” he roared.
His master let him down on the cliff, and strode over to him, picking up Sorran’s lightsaber before standing before him.
“Eventually, yes. You will kill me, or you will fail and I will kill you and take another apprentice. That is the Way of the Sith.”
Sorran’s eyes smoldered.
His master continued. “But, for now. You will take this weapon, and you will serve me. You will know revenge for the injustices done to you. By the villagers. By the mercenaries who took your mother. By the Jedi Order who never bothered to tell you the truth of what they were. They could have stopped it all.”
Sorran’s hate welled within him. He felt his psyche snap and his mind flooded his entire body with a quiet anger.
Quietly he whispered. “Yes, they COULD have stopped it all.”
His master came half a foot away from him. “Only through me, can you take your revenge and right the wrongs done to you. You will serve me. You will pledge to serve me, or you will die now, within sight of your village.” Sorran looked over his shoulder and saw the burned remains of his village, the embers long since cold, but still lingering as a ghostly phantom emerging from the verdant plain.
Sorran’s anger welled and he started breathing heavy. He was angry at everyone. Angry at the villagers, angry at the mercenaries, angry at the Jedi, angry at the universe.
“I will serve you.”
He handed the lightsaber to Sorran, “Good.”
He turned his back on Sorran and started walking away. “I give you the name Darth Draegus. Take your blade, take this new name, serve me well, and you shall have your revenge.”
Sorran lowered his head. “I will serve you well, my Master.”
Through power, I gain victory.
Sorran’s master backed away, regally. “We must get back to the enclave or they’ll suspect something. Tomorrow you are going to Bespin. There is a man there by the name of Hana Krun. He will have information about a holocron we must acquire. Get this information by any means you see fit and bring it to me.”
Sorran’s face looked quizzical. “A holocron? What good will a holocron do us, Master?”
His master’s eyes flickered with malice. “The holocron we’re seeking contains the path to ultimate power. Imagine the unbridled power of the Dark Side at your very fingertips. Imagine being able to bend reality to your will with no restrictions.”
Sorran nodded. “I will do as you command, my master.”
His master started back towards the enclave. “Tell no one of this and don’t act any differently, if they find out they will destroy us.”
The next day he got into his YT-8300 and set his course for Bespin
Four days later, Sorran returned with the information, and his training began anew. For seven long years he trained Sorran in the ways of the Dark Side. His capacity for learning had always surprised him, but with the power of the Dark Side at his disposal, his abilities multiplied. Not knowing his own strength, he almost crippled a fellow Jedi Knight during a training exercise in the main athletic chamber. He learned the art of manipulation and of concealing the Dark Side within him. He learned that no one, not even Grandmaster Truta-Khan suspected what he really was.
Along the way in his training, he was shown texts in his master’s room about Sith History and holocrons they coveted. And all the while, they traced the information he had gotten from Bespin, until finally a source revealed itself. A Hutt had come into possession of the holocron, though he had no clue what it was. His master sent him to Hutt Space immediately under the guise of a diplomacy mission.
It was this sequence of events that set Kel Sorran on the path to his destiny. A destiny he would soon realize. A destiny that would be achieved by the unknown trinket sitting on a shelf on one of the planets floating before him. He would achieve his destiny. He would avenge his family. He would take his revenge against the Jedi. And finally, when he was finished taking his vengeance, he would kill his master.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
Darth Draegus took a deep breath and savored the rage, putting it forth into the universe. Lightning flickered around his hands in response. His head lifted.
The Force shall free me.
The new Sith Lord smiled.