A thunderstorm was brewing over the skies of Korriban and the atmospheric tension was starting to give her a headache. She was trying to focus on the manuscript in front of her, only her occasional twisting one of her Lekku through her fingers gave away her lack of focus.
It had been a tough few months at the Sith Academy. Since being unceremoniously dumped on this rock, the teenager had learned the only way to succeed was to survive. She sighed. Sith Lore studies were her most challenging simply due a profound disinterest in the subject matter. Life-binding was much more interesting, but her Masters had told her to study everything they gave her.
Obedience is easy to learn, willingness is much harder, she pondered.
She glanced up at the Masked figure in the corner of the study, aware her thoughts were not her own, and closed her mind off as best as she could.
You have learned obedience, Acolyte. Willingness will follow, his voice penetrated her musings. Talitha’koum knew that was not a prediction of the future, but a direct order for her to comply.
She shook her head to try to free her mind and took down some more notes from the ancient text. She had not been trusted with a technological method of recording her studies, so with pen, ink and parchment was forced to hand write everything she learned. The lessons seemed to drag on for years and her knuckles felt every effort of writing. She put her pen down and massaged her hands, the Force enabling her to relax the tendons in her fingers, so she could continue writing.
Rumours had been flying around the Academy of a Sith Invasion of the Republic stronghold of Coruscant. Some students reacted with disbelieve, others with a haughty disdain for the enemies of the Sith Empire. Talitha’koum had taken it all in, in almost complete silence, figuring it was better to remain quiet than to take sides. So far, her distance from other students had been to her advantage, keeping her away from gangs which had easily been formed around some of the stronger Acolytes.
“Power attracts the weak”, was the message one upstart had declared.
Some she knew hoped that power would protect the weak. Not that this idea helped them. The weak died quickly during the Sith Trials.
The Twi’lek glanced down at her notes considering how much of it she agreed with.
I don’t have to agree, I just have to know. Knowledge is Power. she thought.
“Put down your pens Acolytes”, the Masked Tutor yelled, his voice echoing through the hall.
His face was hidden, but Talitha’koum could feel his eyes boring into her very soul.
“The Jedi would teach you that ‘there is no ignorance there is knowledge’. Yet they are ignorant of our kind, blind to our history, and fearing of our power. What you have learned today will keep you focussed on the supremacy of the Dark Side. Dismissed!”.
The class stood to leave, a rustling of papers and texts the only sound to break the fear-induced silence of the hall. Keeping her head down, she carefully folded up her work and turned to leave.
“Talitha’koum, stay!”, the voice boomed.
The voice shook her rigid and her knees gave way, forcing her to sit. The tutor remained stood at the front until the room emptied, before striding purposefully over to her. Once he towered over her, he folded his hands behind his back.
“There is too much disgusting light in you. I don’t want to hear any more of your dissident thoughts, do you understand?”
“Yes, Master”, she whispered
“Tomorrow you will kill Acolytes, or you will die. You will learn.”
He waved her away and she hurried to leave the chamber. Something didn’t sit right with her. She was supposed to be in healing class tomorrow, so she knew Darth Tykrus was purposefully denying her the only relief she got in a week. Once a block away she allowed herself to speak.
“Survive. I just have to Survive.”, she chanted.
She made way to her quarters and retrieved her training blade from under her bed. Turning to the training dummy, mocked up in Jedi garb, she lifted her right hand to begin to practice the Force Lightening skills she was learning in Sorcery class, with her training blade in her left hand.
“You are the only thing standing between me and living tomorrow. Light in the darkness or not, I must survive”.
If the only way she could break free of Korriban was through victory, maybe at least part of the Sith Code made sense.
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