Enter Sandman

Part 26 of the Star Wars story. Enjoy.

Enter Sandman
Turge was a fan of the pre-emptive strike. When he heard the Warden’s order, the massive mutant barrelled into a Magna droid, flattening it. His massive arm flung the second droid into the air. It hit the wall and smashed into spare parts.
Meanwhile Wraith snuck behind the Warden and the two droids guarding him. His lightsabers arced and, with their Authorized User gone, the droids fell back to their last command. They rushed at Turge. The hulking giant punched and flailed his massive hands. The droids never got a single hit in. Wraith unleashed Force lightning, disintegrating the droids before they could get up again. Turge turned and growled at Wraith.
“It’s all right,” he said as he raised his hands. The plasma blades had disappeared into the lightsaber hilts. “I’m here to free you. The Force showed me to path to-”
Without warning the massive mutant shot towards him. Wraith jumped high and out of the way.
“I’m not here to hurt you.” Turge looked at Wraith, who was hovering in mid-air beyond his reach. The mutant’s muscles coiled as he crouched and leapt upwards. His jump height exceeded Wraith’s and he loomed over the human. With unnatural precision, Turge tilted forwards and on top of Wraith. His massive frame hit Wraith and together they fell.
Turge’s body hit the ground in a body slam and left a crater. Wraith teleported away at the last second and hovered away. Turge roared, shaking the room with his voice and grabbed a piece of debris. He hurled rock at Wraith who had to use the Force to deflect them as he flew nimbly in between. He positioned himself on top of Turge and unleashed lightning. His intention was to incapacitate, not kill. But the beast was so powerful that even his most lethal power would only slow him down. Red lightning shot from Wraith’s body and into Turge. The mutant flailed and roared, obviously in agony.
Wraith went into a nose dive and latched onto Turge’s head. Lightning still arced from him through the heart. He grasped the mutant’s head and mentally dove into it. The beast’s mind was too strong for the Sith’s commands – hence why it was always caged. Instead the Sith chose to lock away every ounce of reasoning Turge possessed as punishment and incentive. The mental barriers were an ancient Sith magic but the Force had illuminated Wraith as to how best dissolve them. Now it was just a matter of diverting Force form lightning to the Art of the Small, in combination with telepathic powers. It was risky since at that moment, if Wraith brushed against the wrong spot in Turge’s head, the beast would tear off the helpless Wraith and rip him apart.
The first block was his reasoning. Turge was human once. Wraith allowed him to understand and learn once more. The roaring stopped, replaced by sheer confession. Wraith then unleashed his memory. He saw Turge’s abduction and experimentation. To prevent an outburst Wraith unblocked his emotions, letting him remember pain, joy, rage and content. Finally, Wraith allowed the beast to speak once more.
“Who are you?” Turge’s voice was a deep baritone rumble. Wraith gave him memory of himself and his mission.
“I am not the enemy,” he said. Turge’s onyx eyes locked with Wraith’s.
“I sense Evil in you. You are Sith, like him.”
“No, Turge. Not like him. I want to make you my partner not my slave. I am neither Sith, nor Jedi. I am completely free. And now so are you.”
“He won’t let us leave,” rumbled Turge.
“Who is he?”
“The Sith who is master. He controls all.”
Wraith gently placed his hand on the beast’s forearm. Turge recoiled but allowed the gesture.
“But he could not control you now could he?” said Wraith. “Perhaps this Sith is not as powerful as you think.”
From behind them, darkness and evil emanated like a tidal wave. A single figure clad in shadows, emerged.

“I beg to differ.”

City of Evil

Part 25 of the Star Wars story. Enjoy

City of Evil
The Citadel of Drumund Kaas was a giant metropolis of dark grey metal and sinister lights. The sky was always dark, as if on the precipice of rain. The people were quiet and silent as they went about their daily routines. They wore hoods and thick tunics, seemingly to hide individual features and obscure them from the world then to shield against the weather.
Wraith and Elara had no problem blending in. Their only problem was their target’s location. They knew what they were looking for – a cloning facility deep beneath the Citadel and nearly half as large. They had to go by the roundabout way – it would have been too suspicious if two figures made a beeline for a restricted area.
So they waited for the cover of nightfall and like two spirits, flitted by. The guards, they knew, were not Sith. They didn’t even know what they were guarding. They were just grunts; paid to wander around the Citadel in vigilance and to keep out any intruders from restricted areas. So the two Force-users refrained from lethal force, opting to swoop behind their targets and apply small bursts of electricity. Stunning, not killing. The entrance to the facility was like the entrance to a primitive dungeon. There were no laser-locks or force-field grids; just a foreboding gate of darkness. As he stepped inside, Wraith felt the darkness within.
It came in waves, like an ocean. The Dark Side powers that erected this facility acted as a fulcrum, pulsating at the core. But what affected Wraith were the despair, anger and hate emanating from the place. He was genuinely surprised that the walls had not decayed from it. This was not the despair of one person. Hundreds, thousands; no, tens of thousands were tortured and experimented upon here, creating mutants and monsters. And it went on for ages, decades. Year after year, cycle after cycle, experiment after experiment; the negative emotions fed the Dark Side and it festered. Even in his horrified state, Wraith understood the ingenuity of such a structure. The place created negativity which fed the Sith’s power. He, in turn, would power his facility, creating more despair. It was a perfect cycle.
They both felt it and their anger intensified.
“We can’t be rash about this,” said Wraith through clenched teeth. He was trying to convince himself rather than his partner.
“What exactly are we doing here?” she asked. Her weapon was already at hand.
“There is someone we need in there. I’ll know when I see them,” he replied. “In the meantime, let us damage this place as much as we can.”
They snuck into an air vent and crawled into the control room. From their perch they saw more guards lounging on their console chairs, playing Sarlacc and other card games. Wraith extracted one of his lightsabers and steadied himself with the other. These guards were not innocent: one prod inside their minds and Wraith knew that they were fully aware of who they supported. He gave Elara a quick nod.
The vent shot downwards, interrupting a three-way game of Sarlacc. The metal vent crashed into the holographic screen. Elara fell down and her weapon bludgeoned one in the head. A kinetic blast blew another guard’s head off. Her leg lashed forwards throwing another guard at Wraith.
The former Sith had teleported inside the room and felt the impact of the guard being thrown at him. His lightsaber activated, impaling the enemy before the remaining four could wrap their heads around what happened in the past half a second.
Two small lances of fire, thin and powerful, shot from Elara’s hands. They hit the guards in the chest and left marks like laser blasts. Wraith lopped the head off of one of them. The last guard had managed to extract his weapon and fire off a wild shot. He missed completely. Instead, the console opposite him burst in a shower of smoke and sparks. Both Force-users shot lightning at him. The energy charred the guard and arced into the consoles in the control room. Warnings and alarms blared, suddenly sending the whole compound into chaos.
“I’ll deal with the droids,” said Elara as she stepped forwards. “I’ll be your distraction. Go rescue whoever it is you have to.” Her purple lightsaber activated. She took a step forwards, towards the mechanical whirring, indicating the arrival of droids. Suddenly she spun and kissed Wraith’s lips.
“For luck,” she said.
“Don’t die,” she yelled as she took off towards the droids.
“You too.” He wasn’t sure whether she heard his voice.
He made his way towards the location he saw in the mutant’s mind. Only a handful of guards, late responders to the blaring alarms, obstructed his path. Not that they had been difficult to deal with. His Force powers had been enough against them. He found himself in a large chamber and horror filled him.
Noise, like the rattling of savage monkey, echoed from the cages.
There were cages everywhere.
They held mutants: some complete like the ones he had affronted at the Jedi Temple. Most were misshapen blobs with welts and overgrown scabs on their chalk white hides. They were all pitted against eachother in a horrific pile of flesh. They all seemed to move towards one place. A tray of slop, probably food, was slumped on one corner. Only the strongest and fittest could fight off the others and reach their meal. It was a bloodbath, with most mutants feasting on eachother’s flesh in a desperate attempt to live.
This scene had repeated itself in various corners, perhaps in six different locations. After the numbers had dwindled down, a human guard wielding a heavy duty stun baton arrived. A dozen Magna-class droids had appeared, poking at the mutants to push them towards eachother.
A particular mutant caught Wraith’s eyes. It was large, a bulky humanoid perhaps eight feet tall. It was perfectly formed with eggshell white skin and no hair. Impossibly thick muscle gave the giant a truly formidable look. He was grunting and savagely eating on the disgusting slop when two Magna droids approached him. He grunted once and swiped his arm, sending droids and mutants flying.
“Come on, Turge,” cawed the human. “You know the drill.” The giant roared and remained where he was. His eyes wore a look of defiance. The warden slapped his wrist-comm and gave his orders.
“I don’t have time for your crap today, Turge. Get back in your cage.”
The giant ignored him.

“All right, then,” said the warden as his voice shook in anger. Clearly he wasn’t used to being ignored. “Kill him,” he barked at the droids.

SFFS

Last week we introduced Mephisto and it was creepy as heck. Today we go in a different direction – Erik, in the shower, thinking and reminiscing. I.e. having a mental breakdown and trying to piece himself back together. Here’s the conclusion to his stream of consciousness.
Enjoy.

Because all signs read one message: the balance between good and evil, order and chaos in this universe and possibly in all our neighboring planes of existence, rested on my shoulders. I was that only one that could save it. Apparently, some deity or universal force chose me out of all suckers, to be the fulcrum of its fabric. The universe is an idiot. 

But that didn’t change the fact that some part of me already knew about this. That all my training, all my choices and conflicts led up to that moment – when I encountered a being far greater than anything I had faced, would die under it and come back supercharged. The moment when I would destroy an Alpha, a progenitor of today’s demonic population. 

And I needed to be at my best. I had friends and a family to defend and a universe to preserve.


The universe is so screwed.


( PS: I’m thinking of sharing a new WIP with you guys next week. What do you think? More Erik/Legacy/Book 2 or something Sci-fi and completely new for me?)

(PSS: I’m still debating titles for this project. The tentative title is Mind Walk. Any advice or suggestions are welcome.) 

(OK, seriously Ryanenough with the brackets. Stop breaking the fourth wall and let the poor readers go. They’ve had enough of you.)

SFFS

Still on Legacy book 2 (unedited). This part is the creepy intro of the character everybody loves to hate. That’s right: in this scene eleven year old Erik and Gil find out that their creepy butler Mr. Faust, is in fact a demon by the name of . . .

Enjoy.

“Good evening masters,” he said with is cold, silky voice. He bowed deeply. “I was called Mr. Faust by the staff household as a disguise from who I really am. I am a demon, Elemental of Air and Wind, former Adviser to his fallen majesty, the Demon Emperor, and current council to the Ashendale warlock bloodline. I shall be your instructor in the ways of magic and ancient lore.”

He stood up, his yellow eyes gleaming, fangs exposed. His expression spoke of macabre and horror, the stuff that children dream up and think is in their closet. The monsters we think are watching our every more, the horrors lurking behind the next corner.


“My name is Mephistopheles.” 

SFFS

So, let me try and explain this scene. Giant underground bunker. Young succubus has to tame a monster. a very famous Chinese monster. Who has way too much energy.
Enjoy.

(BDW we’re still on unedited Legacy book 2)


“Someone needs to chill off the Ritalin,” I said. Sun Wo Kung looked at me sharply and blew a wet raspberry, covering me in phlegm. 
He pointed a finger at me and screeched “Ugly!” and returned to huffing in Abi’s face.

“Son of a bitch,” said Amaymon as the cat burst out laughing. “I like this guy already.”

The Monkey King jumped off of Abi, doing a wide backflip. He pointed at the cat.

“Kitty. Kittymakesgooddinner. Wanttoeatkitty, wanttoeatkitty.” 

Something Wicked this Way Comes

Part 24 of the Star Wars story.
Enjoy

Something Wicked this Way Comes
It attacked with the frenzy of a caged animal, leaving no quarter for Wraith to counter strike. Its physique reminded him of Rakghoul plagues, common during the Cold War, which made the victims look like a zombie. A feral, omnivorous zombie with a lightsaber and no physical inhibitions. Had Wraith not been completely in tune with the Force and privy to enhanced senses, the mutant would have struck him down. Instead he blocked and parried, until he managed to Force crush the beast’s heart.
Nothing happened.
It kept attacking, until Wraith channelled lightning, disabling its lightsaber and scorching its hands black; a stark contrast against its bleach white skin. Still the lightning did not seem to halt it and, despite missing its limbs, the creature attacked still. Only when Wraith lopped its head off did it fall down dead.
He had no time to relax. That mutant was just a scout, he realized, as he sensed more and heard the ignition of lightsabers. Like a veritable swarm of buzzing locusts, more mutants, emerged by the dozen from the darkness.
“Someone is teleporting them in,” said Elara. She had rushed to his side and they fought back to back. Wraith saw that traditional Force powers had little effect on them and followed Elara’s example of shooting lances of fire, needles of water and reinforcing their bodies to dish out punishment amongst the mutant ranks.
Their lightsabers were cheaply made and clearly rushed in some factory. What clothes they wore resembled hospital garments. They were devoid of hair – some even of teeth and fingernails. A few had tendrils and lekku, although they were little more than stumps and bumps. Their eyes were obsidian, like deep space. And whilst their template was obviously humanoid, there was nothing human about their behaviour.
They fought with mindless ferocity, uncaring for their wounds. They couldn’t feel pain, or indeed anything. Every time they were damaged, Wraith felt the Force heal them, sealing their wounds. It softened blows. They had no internal organs, realized Wraith. Their brain, mostly dead, was remotely controlled by someone using the Dark Side of the Force.
Marionettes. Mutant marionettes.
When the last one was left, Wraith halted Elara from killing it. Instead he dismembered its arms and legs. The mutant still attempted to bite him and snapped its gnarled teeth at him. He levitated it with the Force and smashed it head first into a wall, leaving a dent. The mutant shook uncontrollably and struggled to function. Almost immediately, Wraith had his hands around its head, sending out lightning. Not offensive arcs, but subtle, nearly microscopic, transmissions of electricity, interfering with its remote signal. He jammed the Force signal and shut down its brain.
“Why did you keep it alive?” asked Elara.
“They are being operated through the Force,” he replied. “Which means I can trace the signal.”
Master Yoda was not happy with his plan. “Way of the Jedi, this is not. Torture, we do not.”
“It will be painless,” explained Wraith. “I simply wish to extract information directly from his brain.”
“Sith, that technique is,” replied Yoda.
“Well in case you haven’t noticed,” snapped Wraith “I am neither Jedi nor Sith.”
 Yoda gave him a reproaching look. “Do not let fear and confusion cloud your mind.” He sighed. “Too much blood, today was shed. Answers you must find. But present I will be. My duty to you, neglect I shall not.”
They had chained the mutant inside a holding cell. Yoda and Elara were to hold it steady with the Force whilst Wraith activated its mind again.
The creature struggled violently, ceasing only thanks to the efforts of the witch and the Jedi Grandmaster. Once confident that it wouldn’t bite his hand off, Wraith grabbed its head and concentrated.
Though the Force he dove into its brain. The creature’s mind was a mass off twisting darkness and rot. He saw a vat, in a lab, as a distant memory. He saw an operating droid driving long needles and spikes into its body and mind. Then he showed up.
He was the Dark Side incarnate, serving only as a phantom. It infiltrated its mind, removed any notion of intellect and individuality only to replace it with itself. The Sith had given the order to ravage the Temple, setting the mutants loose on Coruscant without restraint.
His presence was too much for Wraith to comprehend. He could never grasp onto the Sith and counter his influence. Instead he settled for the next best thing.
He made himself smaller almost into a synapse and lodged into a tiny corner of the mutant’s brain, like a nano-virus.
“Where do you come from?”
He’d nearly gotten the answer. The galaxy became a system, then a planet, then a location, then a room, then a vat. Using a complicated mix of Drain knowledge, the Art of the Small and psychometry, Wraith began uncovering the origins of the mutant.
Suddenly, darkness loomed, cutting off his connection. He felt the Sith strike back and pushed him out of the mutant’s mind.
Wraith was back in the holding cell and thrown backwards.
“Stop him!” he yelled. But it was too late. He felt the Sith destroy the mutant’s brain, rotting it from the inside.
Elara and Yoda felt its death too.
“Did you get it?” she asked.
“Yeah,” he replied.
“A new location have you?” asked Yoda.
Wraith steadied himself and tried to get rid of the Sith’s looming image.
“Yes, I do,” he said as he hid a hand which shook uncontrollably.

“Dromund Kaas.”

Assault

Part 23 of the Star Wars story. At the end you have to go ‘dun dun dunnnn’. I’m an idiot.

Enjoy.

Assault
The heavy duty droids were bashing away at the barricade. The clones had built trenches from furniture and scrap metal and took shelter behind their nests. The commando unit had lined up in rows of battle ready soldiers – they were the driving force behind the counterattack. The other clones had longer range weapons and would support them through heavy fire. A squad of them also joined the Commandoes. Wraith and Elara were at the very front acting as vanguards. Behind them, the commandoes were divided in two groups and were to follow their charge. The Captain stood next to Wraith and Elara.
After Wraith had given the order, the clones scattered inside a nearby armoury and recharged their weaponry. They replaced damaged gear and replenished their ammo packs. Wraith and Elara had armoured themselves: Wraith selected only leather materials – he was accustomed to speed and manoeuvrability and feared that bulky armour would interfere with his Force power or his nimble movements. Elara, however, adapted some heavy clone armour. It felt light to her; after all, she was used to her Clan’s steel armour.
As they waited, Wraith noticed the clones fidgeted. He could feel their uneasiness.
“Say Elara,” he called. “How about a wager?”
She raised her eyebrows. “What kind?”
“Given that you saved my hide on Dathomir, how about you take it easy and let the man do the heavy lifting?”
She snorted. “Like you can keep up with me.”
“Twenty credits says I rack up more droids than you.”
“A hundred say you’ll eat my dust,” she shot back. Wraith heard some of the clones snicker.
“How about you Captain? Commander?” he called.
Talon spoke out. “We’re not allowed to gamble, General,” he said sternly. Then a grin stretched on his lips. “But if I were to bet, Sir, I’d say General Elara would win.”
Wraith gave him a quizzical look.
“She’s got the bigger stick,” replied Talon as nearly clones snickered.
“We tend to side with whoever holds the biggest weapons,” added Maze.
Wraith grinned. He activated his twin lightsabers, flooding the corridor in flame colored light. He heard gaps. His lightsabers twirled as he exhibited intricate flourishes. He conjured them into a lightsaber staff, twirled it around and stopped in an impassive pose.
“So who’s got the bigger stick now?” he asked cheekily.
Elara snickered. She extended her pike to full length and activated her lightsaber. Purple light invaded the flame’s territory. She spun the pike around, executing some very impressive moves. She too finished in an impressive pose.
“She still does, Sir,” replied Maze simply. This time Wraith heard laughs. He pretended to sulk and separated his weapons.
“You guys suck,” he said mockingly.
There was a tremendous shudder and cracks appeared in the stone barricades. The droids were breeching in.
“Hey, boys,” yelled Wraith as he looked towards the barricades. “I know we don’t know each other that well, so how about we scrap some droids and go out for a drink later?”
Their voice was in union. “Aye Sir!”
“I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” he roared back.
“AYE SIR!” Their voice shook the building. They were no longer afraid. Rather, they felt their souls on fire. The droids breeched completely and battle droids ran towards the clones.
Wraith readied himself for battle and yelled a final order.
“CHARGE!!!”
With a burst of Force speed, the two Force users met the droids first. Wraith’s lightsaber twirled, creating a barrier against the blaster fire. His Shien training proved efficient in redirecting laser, giving him enough time to close the distance that a swordsman needs. He felled one droid after another. A super battle droid closed in, its arm extended. Wraith spun, slicing off one arm then the droid itself.
“Droidekas,” he heard a close yell. The bent droids were shooting at clones, their shield generators stopping any return fire. Wraith levitated one and threw it into a second one. That created a domino effect, toppling over the entire row. Clones rolled grenades at them and most of the droidekas blew up or sustained heavy damage.
More showed up. They were proving too much for the clones. Wraith thrust out both hands. He altered the natural magnetic field around him and extended it. The field covered all the droidekas and the magnetism moved up their shield generators, shorting them out.
The clones returned fire.
Wraith’s magnetic field pushed the droids far and then he switched the polarity, causing attraction instead of repulsion. All those droids shot back into him. But he was prepared.
With his twin lightsabers he used the Niman Jar’Kai technique of Rising Whirlwing. The flame colored blades spun around him with such velocity that all the clones saw as a solid flame covering Wraith. The lightsabers shredded through the droids, reducing them to shreds.
Elara’s mastery of the halberd was reflected by the way she used her lightsaber pike. The lavender blade sliced through a droid, cleaving it in half. She plunged the end of staff into a battle droid and channelled the Force. With a burst of effort she lifted the droid upwards, over her and into a second battle droid. Her blade sliced through another one. She channelled a fire spell through her weapon and the last third of the staff superheated to a glowing orange. She plunged it through a droideka, gently, the weapon parting the shield generator and cutting into the droid as if it were little more than air.
When she felt Wraith using his magnetic spell, she took advantage of it. She channelled the Force and slammed the butt of her polearm on the ground. The Force wave uprooted all droids, to be caught in Wraith’s magnetic field. At the same time she used an earth spell to root herself against his spell. She paused to watch Wraith slice through the droids like a buzzsaw. Movement caught her peripheral vision.
An assassin droid crawled against the wall stealthily. Wraith was too tired to notice it closing in on him.
She held her weapon like a javelin and threw it with all her might. The pike shot into the leaping assassin droid and held fast. The assassin droid was now hung like a grotesque ornament.
More droids closed in on them, this time led by a second battalion of assassin droids. Elara realized that this army was too thick for the clones to handle and Wraith was only just recovering. She sped ahead, unarmed. But that didn’t mean she couldn’t thin out their advancing numbers.
Fire, bright and thin, shot from her hands like a laser beam. She sliced through the droids with ease. The surviving droids retaliated with blaster fire. Undeterred she leapt in an impressive display of acrobatics and twisted. The thin flames sliced through the droids.
She landed and behind her an assassin droid loomed over her, holding a vibro knife. She didn’t have time to react and braced herself for the killing blow. It never came.
Wraith’s lightsaber sliced through the droid as he appeared over the Witch. He conjured his weapons and sliced through another droid. Laser fire shot at them and met his Force barrier. He grabbed Elara and teleported. He dropped her amongst the clones where she retrieved her weapon and disappeared again in a single step.
He appeared in the midst of the battalion and retaliated with a barrage of vicious strikes. He gave himself over to Juyo, allowing its brutal attacks to reflect his intentions. He would not allow anyone to know the only person he ever loved. He will destroy them all.
The clones and Elara watched in silence as Wraith unleashed one feral attack after the other. He felled the legion and straightened his shoulders. His eyes met Elara’s and gave her the thumbs up. She smiled back.
Just as he was about to rejoin the troops, Wraith felt its presence. Something foul, dark and twisted. He spun and saw a shadow move erratically. The figure looked humanoid and grotesque. It was disfigured and cloth in rags.

And in one hand, it carried a red lightsaber.