A New Beginning: The Sith Imperium
Patience was not her virtue. She thought to herself as she waited. She stood in the river ankle deep in water, just a hundred yards from an altar. There she could see her father surrounded by a half dozen force users, three black-cloaked Sith Masters and three white robed Voss Mystics. Her father at the center in an ornate black and purple Voss styled robe. The group sat cross legged before a stone with Voss markings. Energy visibly radiated from them and the Force was electric, a power was building between them slowly.
She looked around at their perimeter. A platoon of Praetorian Knights in red and gold armor stood solemnly in a circle around the group of meditating Force users. She was among their line wearing pristine white armor. Her cape flowed as a gentle breeze came off the ravine and flew across the lake. The water rose to the ankle of her boots. A flock of birds broke out from a nearby tree as the breeze spooked them. Below a pack of mawvorr, an animal native to the planet, perked up their heads for a moment and then returned to drinking from the water.
One could be forgiven for losing themselves into the moment. The beautiful yellow horizon, the blue gas giant in the sky, the calmness of their surroundings was outwardly peaceful but she was Sith and one thing was certain: Peace is a lie.
She could feel it in the Force, but one would not need to be a Force-user to know that this was the calm before an inevitable storm. She rested her hand on her saber hilt. At any moment the Eternal Empire could come raining fire upon the planet a fact that weighed heavily on their minds. This world has cast off their sky fortress and the alliance won a major victory but their intelligence indicated that since the fall of Arcann, Vaylin had proven more ruthless and vindictive and her eyes would soon turn to Voss. They had precious moments to finish their ritual or all would be lost.
She looked back toward her father, his hand was placed on a stone at the center of the altar. The Force was electrified, power still building towards an uncertain moment.
A shuttle approaches from the distance and slows, hovers over the shore. The shuttle doesn't even touch down, choosing instead to hover a foot above the ground, just enough for five figures to jump off before taking flight again. A shock wave of wind disturbed the peaceful lake and scattered the flora as the shuttle quickly lifted off and went back towards open space.
Two knights guarded the new arrivals. The Voice of the Emperor, Darth Kaieera; the Hand of the Emperor Prince Andrekios and the Wrath of the Emperor, Darth Vaguest approached. Andrekios approached first kissing his wife on the cheek and taking her side while Darth Kaieera and Darth Vaguest bow politely.
“Everything is in position, Princesss Vindictiva” Darth Kaieera said tersely.
“We will be vulnerable for a few moments while the Wall dissipates, your highness” Darth Vaguest said while surveying the nearby ridge, a potential defensive position should things get out of hand.
Vindictiva catches his glance and nods at three knights to her right, each non-force users equipped with scoped rifles, one a chiss female with short black here. “Take position, there, Jubei.” She says pointing.
“At once, your highness.” She says, the three depart for the ridge.
“Any indication on how long we have?” Darth Andrekios says as he glances back at the group. Vindictiva shrugs silently.
There wasn't much time and he could feel it. The place they had called home for much of his teenage life suddenly wasn't home anymore. He looked at the timer counting down on a red translucent screen.
“Issue the final evacuation order.” He said looking at the staff around him. “It's time to go.”
There was a brief hesitation as the reality of what they were doing set in. They were abandoning New Amgarrak, their shelter, their homeworld of the last decade. There was only uncertainty ahead. They quickly grabbed hold of their resolve, they were professionals. They uttered an affirmative reply and suddenly the command center burst into activity. Various officers issuing final orders then powering down their consoles and rushing to the transports.
Only one stood motionless beside Zendrasa, his trusted partner and knight, Azezial. Who stood left and abreast of him. They contrasted greatly, Zendrasa wore all black, with long black hair, bangs hanging over his left brow. Azezial was silver headed in the crimson and gold armor of a knight.
“It's time to go, my prince.” Azezial nearly whispered in his ear. Zendrasa waited and slowly walked towards the door.
They walked together towards an angular door and through steps towards the main hall. A hall normally guarded by a contingent of troops now empty and silent. As they ascended they turned a corner into the Great Hall of the Basilica of the Dark Divines, large containers remained, likely items deemed non-essential but what was once a hub of activity was again silent. A wind could be heard whistling through the near empty room. Only the ghosts of the past remained. They walked through the Hall and Zendrasa looked around, reminiscing.
“Didn't realize you were so sentimental.” Azezial said from behind.
“I'm not-” Zendrasa responded defensively.
“Liar.” Azezial said placing his hand on his shoulder briefly. A short demonstration of affection. Zendrasa smiles for a moment but then shrugs and they walk off.
The large door way opens into trees and grass and a vast gray horizon. It was then they felt it. A tremor in the Force, as the wall collapsed. The mystical creation of Darth Arestenax that shielded the Imperium in Indrexu had fallen. The enemy was at the gates. A few flashes could be seen in the sky as hundreds of ships exited hyperspace in intersecting and parallel linear formations. The Eternal Empire had come. They were only moments out. Flashes could be seen in the sky as the fleet began to engage the most of the Imperium's naval forces. They were doomed no doubt, but they faced their fate heroically.
A transport lowers before them and hovers a foot or two off the ground with it's door open. A female Knight, Ezrian waves them aboard. They hop on. As they elevate slowly, Zendrasa produces a small black silo with a red button. A detonator. He looks down at his home and then at Azezial who nods with understanding. Zendrasa nods as they pull away to a safe distance and he pushes the button. Just like that a huge generator explodes on the mesa which holds most of the Imperium's capitol. A flash lights up as multiple thermonuclear explosions ignite. The doors slide close and the transport wisps away, the clouds pull away to black, as stars become visible and then turn into streaks of white light as they enter hyperspace. New Amgarrak had fallen.
The skies lit up as ships exited hyperspace within the atmosphere. A strong wind blew in various directions and suddenly a fleet of ships found itself hovering over Voss Ka in the distance. A battle had begun, and in the Force they could feel the strength of Valenn.
“She's here” Vindictiva said as she looked back. Still a power growing in the Force between the Emperor, Sith and Voss. They were not ready yet.
Gunships lay straffing fire, as the Eternal Empire cleared their landing zone. Five gunships approach a clearing near the shore of the lake. As they approach, Jubei and her two knights open fire on one of the transports. The transport is hit at a critical point and bursts into flames crashing into a nearby cliff. Four transports remain and now release a squad of Zakuulan knights and dozens of sky troopers. Jubie's team lays down fire as they exit the transports killing a knight as he jumped off, he fell motionless to the ground, dead. Vaguest ignites his lightsaber as does Andrekios, they figure they have to fight their way out of this. Buzzing and humming could be heard as their knights ignite their sabers or charge their weapons.
Vindictiva and Kaieera do nothing, standing there motionless, they alone knew what would happen next. Suddenly a flash occurs behind them. The Emperor slumps over as a ball of energy grows around them. A tremor in the Force erupts.
Vaguest looks back and yells. “Secure the Emperor!” Suddenly an immeasurable volley of blaster bolts come from the sky troops. Andrekios moves before Vindictiva and blocks a bolt aimed at her. Kaieera still without her blade holds up her arm and catches a bolt, absorbing the energy from the blast. The Imperium Knights engage the Zakuulan forces.
Puzzled, Andrekios yells at Vindictiva. “We have to fight our way out!!” Vindictiva says nothing. Closing her eyes and looking toward the sky. Suddenly everything faded. The sounds of battle went silent, the yellow skies faded to white and then black as a burst of energy engulfed them.
For a moment there was silence. Not peace, she knows peace is a lie, but a calmness had overtaken her as she came to her senses. She could hear the squawking of gulls and the sound of waves crashing against the shore. The smell of charged air and carbon was gone, now replaced was sea and salt. She opened her eyes slowly. First all was white as she adjusted to her surroundings and then she stared up at a blue sky.
It was cooler than Voss. She sat up, and looked around, she was on the edge of a cliff, she could see green grass and a sprinkling of white snow. She looked around, there were tall snow covered mountains and in the distance and a “...thranta?” She said aloud looking at the wings of a familiar creature flying in the distance. She looked around and could see a place she knew well, the Roderick estate on Alderaan. Gray walls encircled towering buildings, she was home.
For a split moment she thought “Am I dead” she shook her head, no, she knows better. She stood up, and stumbled. She looked down, she wasn't wearing armor rather an elegant dress, red, aristocratic, not exactly her style. She had been fighting for the Imperium for decades. These were things of her youth. She looked at her hand, a scar that she once received fighting against the Republic on Quesh was not there. Her skin was not pale as it had been when she was resurrected. Her mind seemed clear and void of the vestiges of her service as a dread master. She began to walk towards the gate when suddenly she heard her name.
“Vindictiva?” A familiar female voice called. She could feel her presence in the Force, and another, and another. In the distance she could see three figures, one a woman of her height pushing a man in a hover chair, and a teenager with black hair and bangs over his left brow. They came into focus but she was shocked. It was her mother, her father, her son. They approached.
“You made it.” Her mother said with a smile. “We weren't sure it was possible.”
Vindictiva had trouble constructing her sentences.
“I had that problem too.” Zendrasa said. “It will take a moment. Our spirit is acclimatizing to our new reality. At least that's what Lady Pyara says.
“Alderaan...” Vindictiva manages to utter.
Pyara nods. “Your father used his last strength to bring you and many of your people into this universe.”
Vindictiva turns her attention to her father, he slumps over in his chair. He was wearing a simple gray outfit. He seemed like a patient and he didn't say a word.
“The transference was not kind to the Emperor.” She said. “His power in the Force made for a difficult transition. It may take some time for him to recover.”
Pyara pats him on the shoulder. He looks to her, his face expressionless and blank. Vindictiva was horrified, he seemed disconnected, a simple glimmer in the Force. It was a far cry from the radiant Force signature that emanated from the Emperor of the Sith Imperium.
“Why... here?” Vindictiva struggled.
“Your people are scattered throughout the galaxy.” Pyara explained. “For those who's pair in this universe were still alive they have assumed their form. For those who have died I suspect they found themselves on a world prepared for them in the Unknown Regions.”
“How do you...” Vindictiva began.
“Bhula dedicated her time in the nethers of the Force to prepare this final escape for the Imperium.” Pyara said. “She passed on her memories, her work, her instructions to me.”
Vindictiva takes a breath as she attempts to comprehend everything.
“In this universe, Willerick left Imperial service and returned home from the war.” Zendrasa explained. “He never became Darth Arestenax, we never established the Sith Imperium. I think our Emperor chose this reality to give us a fresh start.”
Willerick suddenly stirs, his face changes from blank and seems to recognize Vindictiva. He reaches for her hand with his right and points to the horizon.
They turn towards the sea and see a Terminus Destroyer approaching as the sun sets.
“Our new beginning.” He says.