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 Star Wars: Legacy

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Mand'alor

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PostSubject: Star Wars: Legacy   24/09/14, 07:05 am

Chapter 1: Life


Coruscant, 35 B.B.Y.: middle level

The dark lord sat in a reddish-purple wing chair with gilt Kuai-dragons for armrests. He was awaiting the birth of a child-his child he thought, tattooed lips curving into a smile. This child was of such significance to him that it broke through the dark and cold recesses of his heart and warmed it with an emotion that he was unfamiliar with: love. Scorching eyes fixed upon the door in front of him, willing it to open by the sheer thrust of his irritation and impatience alone. Gloved fingers tapped out an edgy rhythm on the armrests as a low, animalistic growl filled the brooding silence. It was not wise to keep a man like him waiting. Not if you valued your life. Patience was more of a practiced art form than a virtue for this dark lord. The silence stretched out for what felt like an eternity. The control the lord held over his leashed temper was waning, and rapidly. Rage was about to erupt like the hot vapor found in the caverns of Geonosis if news was not brought to him soon.

His control snapped after several more minutes passed, and he was about to shove to his feet, intending to storm into the next room and demand an update when the door opened and an elderly slave woman came walking into the room. She stopped short when she saw the imposing figure seated in front of the huge windows that overlooked the busy Coruscant skyline. The hooded figure reminded her of a caged animal, and was twice as deadly as any predator. Perhaps it had not been wise to make him wait this long she reasoned silently. But she had wanted to make him pay for the thirty-six agonizing hours of torture that he had put her darling Kaheia through. She may have kept her voice silent, but the hatred she harbored for this monster was stamped plainly upon her wrinkled face.

The dark lord would have laughed aloud at her hatred, if laughing was something that he permitted himself to do. He could understand that her position was a tenuous one. He was her lord and master, of that there was no doubt, but her loyalty he knew was to his beautiful Kaheia. He did not blame the woman for being loyal to Kaheia. There were many in his employ who had grown close to Kaheia, who had come to view her as his mate rather than as his concubine and granted her that respect as her due. Even he'd forgotten that Kaheia was nothing more than a slave. He'd granted her the freedom to run his household, allowed her liberties that he would never allow anyone else, treated her like a treasured mate rather than his servant. He would never admit that he loved her. Would never acknowledge how much he loved hearing her laughter, or found her warm and carefree spirit to be a balm to the rage that simmered within his soul. He'd never admit how much he needed her, or that he desired her company, missed her whenever he was away on a mission for his Master.

"Do you have news for me, Leimiona?" he asked in a silky purr.

Leimiona's blood went cold and burned beneath her skin. "You have a daughter, m'lord."

Elation soared within him at the news that he had a daughter. His heart pounded in his chest, beating with passion and nearly bursting with pride. But deep within his soul there simmered a dragon. A dragon that whispered dark and sly things in the dark lord's ear. Things intended to ignite his rage, and his hatred. Things that warned him that danger was ahead for his newborn daughter.

"And Kaheia?" he asked.

"My mistress will not survive the night. She has lost too much blood. And there is nothing the medic droids can do that will save her."

The dark lord said nothing, could think of nothing in which to say. If he was stunned to learn that Kaheia would not survive the night, it did not show. In fact nothing showed upon that mosaic face. But inwardly, the dark lord was a tightly wound chain that was about to snap. He lifted his hooded head higher, his scarlet rimmed eyes burning from within those dark folds.

"Bring my daughter to me."

Jerking her head once in affirmation of having heard and understood her masters command, Leimiona turned and stalked from the room. Silence again reigned supreme in the apartment. He was appreciative of the silence for it allowed him to deal with his anger and grief, with his pain and his hatred. He rose to his feet in one fluid movement. It was not something he noticed anymore, this liquid grace. Every move or twist of his body, every tilt of his head or flick of his wrist, it was all just an extension of him. Of the extensive training he had received from his Master.

He walked to the large double windows and stared out at the beauty that lay before him without really seeing it. Here, Imperial City was a bustle of early evening activity. Lights twinkled brightly against the midnight of the sky. Speeders darted in and out amongst each other as species of all sorts and kind sought the entertainment that the lower levels of Coruscant offered. Yet he saw none of it. His mind was focused on one thing: his child.

The responsibility for this tiny being had fallen solely unto him. She was his. His to raise, his to mold, and his to guide. But there was regret and grief in his heart for the loss of her mother. He had cared for Kaheia in his own way. Cared enough that he had willingly disobeyed his Master and kept her on Coruscant with him. Cared enough that he made her his queen and draped her in the finest jewels that he could buy. Cared enough that he would see to it that their daughter was raised outside the corruptive influence of his Master, that she was safe and protected from those who would hurt her in an attempt to hurt him, that she was loved. He let out a low, mournful moan that was hauntingly, achingly sad. The sound of the woman's returning footsteps brought him out of his deep revere and he turned, watching the door, his face carefully blank.

"Your daughter m'lord."

Leimiona said as she walked into the room with the squirming bundle held securely in her arms. Soft whimpers and muted cries arose from within the soft blanket and drew frayed nerves to an even higher pitch. But there was an overwhelming desire to see this tiny creature that he and Kaheia had made. Moving forward, cautious and slow, he stretched out one black gloved hand to touch the top part of the material that concealed his daughter's face from his view. My daughter, he thought. My flesh and blood.

Leimiona watched this first meeting between father and daughter with great interest. She saw in his simple and impatient movements more than she had ever seen from him during the whole of her enslavement. He was very gentle in the way that he traced the baby's face with his fingers. His growls became soft purrs, lilting with different tones and vocalizations and softening whenever the baby cooed in response. His body lost the leashed animal quality she had come to recognize. He was nervous, she could see that, but he was also clearly enraptured by the child that she held in her arms. A child, she felt, that should be held in the arms of her only parent in these, her first few minutes of life.

Slowly, because she realized that he was not going to take the infant on his own because of his fear, Leimiona placed the baby in his arms. The dark lord had no choice but to cradle his daughter against his chest so as to avoid dropping her. Something he feared doing. He held her uncertainly, jostling her and causing her to wail her fear as well as her disgruntlement at this rough treatment. But he wasn't sure how to treat something as small as his daughter. She was as fragile as the fine crystal goblets set on his masters dinner table. How was a man of his great size to care for an infant this delicate? He didn't have a clue.

Leimiona felt the anger and hatred she had harbored for this evil man dissipate when she saw his hesitation, his uncertainty. His head tilted as he studied the infant, his face impassive. Yet it was those eyes, normally filled with dark and terrifying emotions that held Leimiona's attention. Fear was there in that gaze. Fear and an underlying emotion that she recognized instantly. It was love she saw. He loved his daughter she realized, shocked to the very core of her being. This cold, dark and hate filled man was absolutely in love with the infant he was holding in his arms. And that was what was terrifying him. He had never been taught or shown how to love. Hate was the only emotion he had been taught, that he had ever been shown. Yet there this dark lord stood, with his own flesh and blood in his arms, confronted by an emotion he knew nothing about. And it was scaring him senseless.

"You're holding her wrong," she said when the baby protested being held so tightly. That hooded head snapped up, the eyes filled with desperation and a warning that she understood easily. "You need to make a cradle of your arms so that she feels safe and secure within your embrace."

A soft growl was her response and Leimiona smiled, realizing that it was a reactionary response more then it was an angry one. She moved the baby into a more secure and comfortable position within her fathers arms, noticing how he watched her warily, his body tense and taut with expectation. If she hurt the baby he would hurt her. That he was so defensive and protective of his daughter boded well in her mind. It meant that a bond was forming between them. A bond that nothing, and nobody could break. The baby quieted the instant she stopped being jostled and Leimiona took that moment to remove the blanket from the infants face.

Stepping away, she observed how the new father reacted to seeing his daughters face for the first time. Eyes that were his own in size and shape but not color stared back at him from a heart-shaped face that was pink from crying. Tears still shimmered in that amber gaze that was fixed upon him, touching his cold heart and filling it with that emotion he dared not name. A smile curved his black lips as he saw she looked more like her Larellia mother than she did him. He had to remind himself that she was half-Zabrak. The two tiny horns-barely the size of a pinhead really- that rest at each of her tiny temples proved she'd inherited at least one of his physical traits. When she reached maturity those horns would grow, depending upon how much of his Dathomirian-Zabrak traits she inherited.

"Lady Kaheia did not have a name picked out for the child m'lord. Her name is solely for you to decide," Leimiona said quietly so as to not spoil this beautiful scene happening in front of her.

The dark lord looked up, finally realizing that Leimiona was in the room still and awaiting an answer to her unspoken question. It was not an answer he had to think long over, he realized. There was only one name that he could think of, only one name that he knew to be right.

"Kali," he growled softly. His daughter smiled at him. A baby's smile that was filled with such radiant light that it rivaled the twin suns of Tattoine he thought, smiling down at her. "She will be named Kali. Kali Kaheia Sarin."

He did not look up again nor care whether the woman approved of his choice of name. The tears that sparkled in her old gray eyes were for her young mistress.

Kaheia had been wrong, she realized sadly. Very, very wrong. This man did love her. He'd loved her in the best way that he knew, the only way that he knew. And he thought enough of her to memorialize her by making her first name their daughter's middle name.

"Very good, m'lord." She wiped away the tears trickling down her cheeks with the back of her hand. Took a deep, cleansing breath in order to balance her quivering heart. "Shall I send for the wet nurse, sir?"

The dark lord stared at the woman, clearly torn about how to answer. A part of him wanted nobody but himself to care for his daughter. But another part, that dragon that was still lurking within him, whispered to him about how it was absolutely impossible, absolutely not feasible for him to take care of every need his daughter had. Leimiona saw his indecision, his hesitation, and understood what the problem was.

"I can prepare a bottle so that you can feed the baby yourself," the suggestion was said in a respectfully soft voice so as to not arouse his ire. "Is that what you would prefer?"

His look of interest, of immediate relief was all the answer she needed. Leimiona turned and quickly left the room. He brushed a soft kiss upon her delicate brow, nuzzled her tiny cheek, and breathed in her fresh, clean baby scent.

"You are so very important to me, my little one," he whispered to her, listening to her coo and feeling it shine a light within the dark depths of his soul. "I promise that I will do everything that I can to protect you, to keep you safe from any and all harm. And I swear," he said the words ferociously, feeding the dragon that finally slumbered. "Nobody will take you away from me. Nobody."

His words fell ominously in the silent room. But it was enough that Kali had heard them he decided. But when the dark lord looked down into his daughter's eyes and saw the innocence staring back at him he felt a flash of fear. She would have to be kept away from his Master. His Master could never know of her existence or her life would be forfeit. She was his daughter, there was no way that she was not Force-sensitive. That ability was the only thing that he regretted passing to her. He knew it would cause her nothing but a lifetime of pain, a lifetime of torment. And a lifetime of servitude should the Master discover her. He knew that he should place his infant child into the safekeeping of someone who could better keep her a secret, who could better keep her safe.

But when another soft coo issued from Kali he realized that there was no way that he could be parted from her. She had become a part of him, a crucial part that he knew he could not live without. He would give up his life to protect her. He'd fight his Master to keep her safe. But then a sense of foreboding washed over him. Anger poured into him, like water into a glass. Rage and hatred the likes of which he'd never felt before fed his dark soul, made his blood run cold. He raised his head and stared out the window to where Imperial City was a colorful array of lights and movement. And realized in that single, solitary moment that the one thing he'd dreaded happening the most, had indeed happened.

His Master knew.

And he was coming to see the child for himself.


Chapter 2: Growth

32, B.B.Y,: Hyperspace.

"I wanna go Papa."

Darth Maul smiled at his three-year-old daughter. Touched her face gently with the tips of his fingers. "I know that you wish to accompany me," he said softly. "But you cannot this time."

"But why?"

Darth Maul sighed. She asked the same question, made the same request every time he went away on a mission. It was his own fault, however. He knew that he should have started leaving her on Coruscant with the N-13 class nurse droid when she began requesting to accompany him on his missions. He knew he'd indulged and spoiled her-and himself-by taking her with him. But he had not been able to be apart from her for very long. He disliked being separated from her as much as she disliked being separated from him. The love that he harbored for his child had gotten him in serious trouble on more than one occasion with his Master.

His first rebellion was on the night of her birth. He had ordered Leimiona to take the child from the apartment before his Master arrived and hide her until he called to say that it was safe. His Masters wrath had been terrible. But Maul had endured his punishment in silence, telling himself over and over that no matter what his Master did to him, that he would not allow him to so much as glance upon his child. His black existence would never so much as touch one hair upon his daughters head.

There would be many punishments over the next few years. Most caused because he became distracted, forgot about his training or ignored a given command in order to take care of something necessary to Kali's welfare. But he did not begrudge her the punishments that he received. Far from it in fact. Just feeling her love surrounding him, washing over and into him and breaking through the darkness that engulfed him was more than worth any punishment that his Master decreed. But she was getting older and smarter. She has reached the age where she has begun exploring the boundaries and testing her limits, he thought as he looked down into those orange yellow eyes that were so like her dead mother's. And it was up to him to teach her where those boundaries were, when too far was too far, when no meant no.

"It is to dangerous for you to accompany me this time," he said in a stern voice. "There will be..." he hesitated, knowing the mere mention of Jedi would bring on a slew of other questions he had no desire to answer, as well as even more requests to accompany him.

She was curious about the Jedi-far to curious in fact. But she was too young to understand the difference between Sith and Jedi, too young to be told that the Jedi were his mortal enemies and far to young to understand why he'd spent much of his adult life hunting the Jedi and making them pay for the crimes they'd committed against the Sith.

"People," he said finally. "Diplomats who would try to separate us, who would not understand the bond that we share and believe you to be better off with them instead of me."

Kali was afraid of these diplomats and so curled her small arms around her father's neck and held tightly to him. "I wanna stay with you."

She said it defiantly. But there was a small chord of fear in her voice that Maul detected and instantly responded to by bowing his head and nuzzling at his daughters downy soft cheek.

"You are mine," he said in a low growl that made her giggle. "I will allow no one to take you from me."

He did not add that he would kill whomever tried to take his daughter away. Be they Jedi...or Sith.

"Promise?" she whispered in a soft voice.

He nuzzled her cheek again. "I promise."

"I wanna go with you." She lifted swimming eyes to his. "Please?"

Maul felt his resolve weakening. But he knew that he could not indulge her-not this time. Kali had already shown him that she was Force sensitive. A fact that both pleased and worried the dark lord greatly. He had decided on the day of her birth that she would not follow the path of the dark side as he did. She was not going to be a tool of destruction, a puppet to be controlled by a cold and cruel master, an operator for death and chaos.

He would not see that gaze-like the sap cultivated from the Troika trees of Laivantha VII-become the yellow-red that his were. He would teach her the ways of the Force-as well as about her Dathomirian-Zabrak heritage-himself. He would be the one to show her how to control and manipulate the ethereal abilities that danced from her fingertips. He would be the one to school her in how to wield a lightsaber, in how to fight all types of opponents, in how to prepare for any and all possible situations. Kali was his daughter-his legacy.

Through her, his genetic and Force lineage would continue in the generations to come. He was immortalized through her-never to be forgotten, a mark that could never be erased. The best of him was contained in this tiny figure and he was going to do everything in his power to ensure that she remained just as she was: innocent and sweet, warm and giving. Which was why he had to make her understand just why it was that she could not accompany him to his meeting with the Viceroy of the Trade Federation, Nute Gunray.

"You may not come with me, Kali." He spoke harshly, firmly. And felt the recoil of his words as a deep pang in his heart, as a fist to his solar plexus. "Now, do not ask to accompany me again. Do you understand?"

Kali's lower lip quivered and she buried her face into her father's broad chest, knowing that tears were a sign of weakness. Maul sighed and stroked a hand tenderly over the cap of her hair. "Yes, Papa."

"Do not think I speak so harshly because I do not want you to go with me, little one," he lifted her face, gently wiped away the tears. "I want you with me more than anything. But it is not safe for you to go with me. Not this time. When you are older you will understand why."

The corner's of her mouth curved upwards into a smile that not even the twin suns of Tatooine could outshine and he felt the warmth of her love and adoration flow into him, like tendrils of silvery threads that soothed the dragon that had begun stirring deep in his soul. The bond between them was unique, ran deeper even than the one that he shared with his Master. He thrived on it, drew from it even as he drew from his anger and hatred. He saw her eyes were beginning to droop and nestled her small body more securely in his arms.

"Sleep now, my daughter," he whispered to her, dropping a kiss to the top of her head. "We will arrive on Naboo soon and may not have this time together."

It was time he knew he would long for, that he'd fight extra harder for, be twice as relentless in resuming. Her head tucked under his chin and he heard her soft sigh, felt the way her breath evened out in slumber. He smiled as he checked the ship's autopilot, made sure that the coordinates had been inputed correctly before settling back in his chair to meditate and reflect on the mission that lay ahead.

They landed on Naboo a few hours later and the Viceroy Nute Gunray was there waiting for them in the docking bay. Kali stood next to her father as the Viceroy wandered over on his small moving dais, some battle droids at his side for protection. Gunray reminded Kali of these reptilian creatures she'd seen when her father had traveled to Niathine II. He had the same jutting lower jaw, and his thick lower lip resembled Kali's whenever she pouted-which was never often, nor for very long. A deep fissure separated his gregarious forehead into two lobes. His skin was a blue-gray color that she found repulsive and his eyes like big reddish orange orbs. She found him singularly ugly, a caricature of nobility in his auspicious red orange robes.

"Ahh, my Lord," the Viceroy simpered in a nasally tone. "It is so good to see you..."

The black-cloaked figure of Darth Maul held up one gloved hand and said in a cold voice; "Dispense with the pleasantries, Viceroy."

There was no hint of expression on his shadowed face, which was mostly hidden within the thick folds of the cloak's hood. But his rigid posture spoke volumes, had Gunray swallowing around the lump of apprehension that formed in his throat.

"I want a full report on what has been done to locate the Queen as well as the Jedi," Maul said.

"I assure you, my lord, that everything that can be done to locate Queen Amidala as well as the Jedi is being done."

"If everything that could be done was being done then the Queen would have signed the treaty and the Jedi would be dead," Maul growled.

"My lord, I assure you that all-" the subject of his anger tried futilely to explain.

"You have greatly disappointed MY Master, Viceroy."

The Neimoidian's face underwent a terrifying transformation. "No, my lord! It was not my intent to displease Lord Sidious! These Jedi, they are...resourceful, not as simplistic as we anticipated. I promise that we will fi-"

"And Queen Amidala, Viceroy?"

Nute Gunray looked as if he was about to collapse beneath the weight of lord Mauls penetrating stare. "We will double our efforts to find the Queen, my lord," he managed weakly. "She will be found before the sun sets, I assure you."

"See that she is," Maul growled.

He looked down at Kali, saw that she was watching the Viceroy intently, intelligence and curiosity bright in the depths of her eyes. She had remained at his side the entire time he spoke with the Viceroy, silently observing and absorbing all that occurred as a good apprentice would. She deserved praise for her composure, but it would have to wait until they were alone. The Viceroy finally noticed the strange child standing so quiet beside the Sith Lord.

The child was serene and aloof, seemingly detached from what was going on around her, as if the conversation taking place was of little importance to her, effected her life in no way what-so-ever. She wore black, like the dark lord, her pale skin and oddly colored eyes in stark contrast to her black hair and black brows. She was to be considered cute, or so Gunray had been told, but having no sense of human beauty, he relied on his Neimodian standards that said she was simply colorless and unremarkable. What did interest the Viceroy was why she was with the Sith Lord. But Nute Gunray was wise enough to not ask the Sith Lord about the child's presence. He turned away.

"I shall have you shown to the chambers set aside for your use..." He beckoned. "Commander?" Battle droid ATC-3 stepped forward, narrow metal snout lowering slightly in response. "Escort Lord Maul and his...guest to his chambers.

"ATC-3 signaled for one of his sergeants to escort them, metallic voice directing that they be taken to the palace's west wing. The battle droids led them from the room. Nute Gunray watched them go, slit orange reddish eyes following them out. He had a deep unsettling feeling in the pit of his stomach. Nothing was going as it should and now he had this Sith Lord to contend with as well. Between this man and Lord Sidious, Gunray wished it was Lord Sidious instead of this strangely tattooed zabrak that he was dealing with. If Lord Sidious was all that was mysterious and enigmatic in the Sith, then Lord Maul was the representation of all that was to be feared.

The sergeant and three other droids led them along the polished stone halls of the Theed palace and outside to where a series of terraced steps led down through statuary and buttress work to a large courtyard. The courtyard was currently filled with Federation tanks and patrolling battle droids and droikas. Beyond, Kali saw a vast sprawl of high stone walls, golden domes, peaked towers, and sculpted archways. Sunlight bathed the stone in a warm glow, the architecture in counterpoint to the lush sea of flowers that painted the blue-green planet in a sea of bright colors. The rush of waterfalls and the bubble of fountains formed a soothing backdrop to the pervasive silence that encompassed the palace. Naboo was a veritable paradise to young Kali, vibrant and warm and brimming with a life force that called to her, spoke to her, enveloped her.

It was quite the opposite of the steel high rises and gray coldness that dominated most of Coruscant. They were taken across another courtyard and up a series of stone steps into a spacious chamber that was unlike any Kali had ever been. She ran out onto the balcony and was delighted to see that they had a private courtyard filled to the brim with a series of brightly colored flowers. A bubbling fountain sparkled in the sunlight, cool and inviting. It was so much more beautiful here then it was in their home where the evil man was she thought with a frown puckering her brow.

Maul felt a ripple of dislike flow into the Force and knew for whom the emotion was for. Kali had made it clear that she did not like the man that "kept her Papa as a slave." That was when he had realized that his daughter possessed a sophisticated level of empathic powers for one so young. For three, her mind and gift were more suited for a much older child. He smiled, proud of her, proud of her accomplishments and maturity. When she was grown she would be formidable, as both a warrior and as a Force user.

Maul dismissed the droids with a wave of his hand and followed his daughter out onto the balcony. "You did well today, my daughter."

Kali turned from her perusal of a particularly large flower and went running to him, beaming beneath his praise. She flashed one of her brilliant smiles at him and held her arms out.

"Up?"

Maul obliged her request by picking her up and cuddling her close. Her obvious joy at being here with him reaffirmed that his decision to bring her with him to the palace was the right one.


Chapter 3: Death
This chapter is based on the end of The Phantom Menace

Maul had savored the pained surprise that had burst upon the old Jedi's face when the tip of his crimson blade pierced his abdomen. Same as he'd relished in the agonized scream that was ripped from the younger Jedi as he'd been forced to watch his Master fall at his feet. Fear and grief and rage had radiated off the boy, feeding the fire breathing dragon that'd been freed to wreak havoc and devastation upon anything that crossed its path. He'd gloried in his impending victory, savored knowing that he'd brought honor back to the Sith with his actions. He'd continued to pace in front of those energy barriers, patiently waiting for the moment when those walls would fall and he'd engage the boy in combat.

Less than five minutes later, however, he prowled the rim of the slough core, dragging the blade of his fractured lightsaber along the lip of the impervious steel in a taunt that sent delicious tendrils of satisfaction coursing through him. Sparks dripped down upon Obi-Wan Kenobi, who was dangling two meters below the man stalking back and forth, barely clinging to a nozzle that protruded from the core's inner wall. That nozzle was all that was between him and certain death.

Sweat dripped from Maul's face, and his muscles were satisfyingly fatigued from this much too brief, but highly entertaining spar session. But hatred still shimmered within the depths of his yellow eyes, burned in every cavern of his heart, and belched a fire breathing roar inside his soul. He would find no satisfaction, would have neither happiness nor peace until his blade tasted the Padawan's flesh. He snarled at the boy, but Obi-Wan did not give him the satisfaction of even looking at him, of acknowledging that he knew that his death was imminent.

In the second it took for the dragon to whisper to him about not wallowing in self-congratulatory behavior just yet, the boy leapt out of the core, somersaulting in midair while calling for the discarded lightsaber of his Master. He was facing Maul when he landed, the lightsaber in his hand, its green blade taunting him for his foolishness, and unmitigated arrogance. The blade ripped through Maul, divaricate him at the hips, and shooting hot pain through every inch of his body. Maul had a fleeting moment to look back upon his life—his time at the Orsis Academy, his formative years as Sidious' apprentice, the birth of his child. It was the final that had a fireball burst of hatred and rage surge inside him. Because the power of the dark side had played one final, cruel trick upon the young Sith lord. And it was the coldest, most deceptive trick of them all.

Sidious will find Kali. And he will raise her as he raised me, mold her as he molded me, turn her into the monster that he turned me into.

It was only then that he realized who was going to pay for his failure. Kali was now left to the mercy of an uncertain and dark future, to become everything that he had wanted to prevent her from being. His thought as he tumbled backwards into that pit: If I had it all to do over again, I'd have taken her and hidden her where Sidious would never be able to find her.

Darth Maul became bound and determined to survive his defeat at the hands of this Padawan. He would not succumb willingly to death. Not when the price of it was the heart and soul of his only daughter. Hate and anger and fear surged as he vowed to rescue his daughter from the man who'd enslave her, use her for his own twisted purposes and then ruthlessly cast her aside when he was done with her. And as death rushed up to claim him, he vowed that he would have his vengeance upon this Jedi as well. For it was because of him that his daughter would now suffer.

The man was standing on the balcony that connected with hers, overlooking the private courtyard with the gurgling water fountain and the crimson sunrise. He was standing by the balustrade, arms folded loosely behind his back, so deep in thought that he did not notice her presence. Kali moved out of the shadows inch by inch, trying not to disturb the man, for she'd realized he was not just deep in thought as she'd initially assumed, he was actually in deep meditation. And recalling how her papa said that meditation was to be considered private time, she knew she needed to remain as quiet as she could.

But then she heard a voice, unfamiliar, but gentle and reassuring, tell her, "Do not be afraid of Obi-Wan, little one. He will not harm you. He will protect you, keep you safe."

Kali didn't know why she needed this man, this Obi-Wan, to protect her. Or keep her safe. She had her papa to protect her. And her papa would keep her safe. But she heeded the voice, moved closer to Obi-Wan. Silently, she studied him. He looked to be around the same age as her papa. But instead of her papa's tattooed head and stunted crown of horns, this man had light brown hair that was cut short and even, save for the tightly braided pigtail that hung down over his right shoulder. He was as tall as her papa, but his body was leaner, less muscular, built more for speed than power. His tunic, undershirt and trousers were the color of the sands on Tatooine, his boots and leather sash, a rich shade of brown. He was turned just enough to the side that she caught sight of the lightsaber hanging from the belt about his waist. Kali's eyes went wide, and she let out what she thought was a barely perceptible gasp, but Obi-Wan spun, hand reaching for the cylindrical handle at his waist. Eyes like liquid azure clashed with those that burned like the magma mined on the volcanic planet Mustafar.

Obi-Wan Kenobi stared at the small child who was staring straight up at him. Where did she come from? he wondered, brow drawing into a frown. Briefly, he thought about the shadow of disappointment that would have flashed across Qui-Gon'd leonine features. And he could almost hear the soft, yet stern reprimand that he'd have been given, "always be mindful of the living Force, my young Padawan." That they'd laid the Jedi Master to rest less than twelve hours before still seemed surreal to him. It was just not possible that the Jedi Master had fallen at the hands of a Sith. Even one as well trained and seasoned as the one they'd faced in that melting pit had been.

I failed Qui-Gon in so many ways while he was alive, he thought with a shade of bitterness. He'd been intrepidly daring, rushing into situations rather than taking the more cautious, conservative approach that his Master suggested he take. He'd also been so dedicated to upholding the rules of the Jedi Order that he had not been able to see how and when the rules applied, and when they needed to be bent for the greater good. He'd been more conventional and rigid in his views than his Master, which had led to many verbal confrontations between them. But as he'd stood beside that funeral pyre and watched the flames release his fallen mentor's spirit into the Force, he'd promised to carry on his Master's work, training Anakin as he wanted and becoming less fanatical about following the laws and mandates of the Order.

Listen to me, he thought, smiling a bit wryly. I'm starting to sound more and more like Qui-Gon with every passing moment.

The girl shuffled a bit closer, drawing Obi-Wan's attention back to her. She was maybe all of three standard years of age he saw, small and delicately built, with a head of dark and unruly curls, skin the color of fresh cream, and an open, inquisitive stare.

Pretty little thing, was his first thought. But then an image flashed into Obi-Wan's mind: a face similar in structure, but tattooed in a strange black-and-red mosaic pattern. No, he thought. There's no way that this child is related to that animal I narrowly defeated in that melting pit.

"Hello there," he said in a soft, rich voice. "Come closer, little one. There is no need to be afraid."

There was something forthright and reassuring in that voice. Kali found herself instantly comforted and soothed by it. And getting closer to this man was much more preferable than searching out that ugly reptile her father had called; "Viceroy." She slowly made her way over to where Obi-Wan stood. He bent to look the little girl in the eyes.

"And who might you be?" he asked politely.

Those tiny lips curved up into a shy smile that had an echoing smile curving upon his lips. "Kali," she lisped.

"And where is your mother and father, Kali?"

He saw her brow pucker in a frown that was reminiscent of the dark lord's, watched those tiny shoulders roll into a shrug that hinted at his lethal grace. Obi-Wan realized that the possibility that she was, in fact, the child of a Sith was becoming more and more of an actuality. He pushed his suspicion to the back of his mind and asked;

"You do not know where your mother or father is?"

"Papa gone," she said simply.

"Gone where, little one?" He told himself that he could easily probe at her thoughts and garner the information that he was after. But to do so to one who was so young, and who knew nothing of deception was something that he found absolutely distasteful. "Can you tell me where your papa went?"

"To find the Queen."

Obi-Wan felt his stomach lurch. It was clear as the sun turning the palace walls a blushing shade of gold that this sweet and affectionate girl was the dark lord's child. Obi-Wan knew well that the Force kept many secrets hidden. Just as he knew that those secrets were not easily discovered. The Force was a vast and pervasive entity, and all living organisms lived in harmony among its silvery threads. What the Forces purpose was in bringing this child into a world where Sith and Jedi were bitter enemies, he could not explain. The purpose for her birth would only become clear when the Force was ready to divulge its reasoning.

What was clear to him at this moment was that his discovery came with severe repercussions—for the Jedi Order as well as for Kali. She was the child of a Sith. She was clearly force-sensitive. And she is now an orphan thanks to me. But Obi-Wan pushed aside the tidal wave of guilt that rose inside him and focused upon the problem that was at hand.

A sith lord would want to take Kali beneath their control while she was still young. She was easily moldable at this age. Much more easily corrupted. That a man who fought as ferociously as the Sith, who clearly hated Jedi and wanted to see them extinct had not already begun her education was surprising to him. And suggested that the Sith, while embracing the darkside for himself, did not desire for his child to follow along that same path. Again, his role in the Sith Lord's death and the subsequent orphaning of this girl brought on a fresh dose of guilt.

He thought about what Master Qui-Gon would do if he was here. He'd certainly resolve that the child never be found by the dark lord's master. And he'd bring her before the Council, leave the decision about her fate to those more experienced in handling such delicate matters. That is what I shall do, as well. His decision made, he looked back at Kali, smiled.

"Would you like a sweet-sand cookie?"

She nodded, and the corners of her mouth curved upwards into a smile that was so brilliant that it rivaled all the stars in the galaxy.

"Please?"

"Come along then," he said as he rose to his feet. "And we will have sweet-sand cookies and milk."

She held her arms out to him, those amber colored eyes widely trusting, her pixie's face sweetly childlike.

"Up?" she requested in a soft, shy voice.

Obi-Wan obliged her, gently scooping her up into his arms. It again amazed him that this child was related to the animal he'd fought in Naboo's core. Through her, the Sith's genetic and Force lineage would continue. He was immortalized through her-never to be forgotten, a mark that could never be erased. But Obi-Wan began to believe that the very best of the man was contained inside this tiny figure that he held. And it was clear that the man had been aware of that fact and done everything in his power to ensure that his child remained as she was: innocent and sweet, warm and trusting.

It was something that the young Jedi Knight vowed would not change. He would see to it that this child, even if she was rejected by the Order, was kept safe and protected. She would not become another agent of the darkside. Kali's head tucked under his chin and he heard her soft sigh, felt the way that she fingered his Padawan's braid.

He knew that he was going to have to explain to her about her father's death at some point. And had already decided that it would be him who would tell her about what role he'd played in her father's death. But that explanation would have to come when she was older and more capable of understanding the differences between Jedi and Sith. As he turned to head into his quarters, Obi-Wan Kenobi came to a startling realization; He was more like Qui-Gon Jinn than he'd known.



I've got an idea, but the story... the story will go where it wants to go. The characters drive it, not me. A good story, you don't really write. It was always there. You just uncover it.
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PostSubject: Re: Star Wars: Legacy   09/10/14, 12:10 am

Interesting, so this is a new branch of Sith during the Rise of the Empire era? Curious.
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