Melkor Damask braced himself as another large wave crashed down upon the crumbling ruins of the second Death Star, spraying him with a dense cloud of salty mist. The oceans of Kef Bir were much more tumultuous than the story seas on his adopted homeworld of Bal'demnic. The waves were towering, making it deadly for anyone to venture out to the ruins of the fallen superweapon. But Melkor and the Devaronian that stood some ways in front of him were not just anyone. Only those who could command the Force could ever hope to survive out here; and the two of them could command the Force in its purest form. The dark side.
You have come far, my apprentice, the Muun thought as he sized up his pupil, who had indeed come far from the alien plagued by visions that Damask had found in the ruins of the Jedi temple on Devaron. Now, let us see how far.
On the journey to the ocean moon of Endor, Melkor had already explained the terms of this test. Neither were to kill or maim the other. Merely attempt to best the other—to back his opponent into a corner and force them to yield. After all, Melkor had not simply chosen the Death Star's ruins for the scenery. He was, at his heart, a collector, and these old ruins had secrets that had yet to be plundered. Other than those restrictions, however, there were no others. The entire ruins of the Death Star were fair game as their battlefield. What Melkor had kept from his student was that the dark side of the Force was strong here. After all, it was where the last two Sith Lords had died over a century ago.
Those who visited these ruins and survived the climb tended to experience... phantasms. And that was the true test. To see if his pupil really had overcome that which had once unmade him. Only time would tell. The Muun allowed the cylinder of his lightsaber to slide from his drenched right sleeve and into his hand, where he ignited it, a crimson blade spearing through yet another spray of ocean water. And then he steeled himself, wrapping his body in the dark side of the Force—this was going to be as much a test for him as it was going to be for his apprentice. @Arclight
Myr Khandros grinned as yet another massive wave crashed against the ruined death star, the salty spray briefly shrouding his sight of his master from his site. The violent waves breaking against the massive ruin of the fabled Deathstar was beautiful in a way to Myr's eyes. A machine so powerful as to crack whole planets, now slowly being eroded by the constant battering of waves.
As the mist began to clear, he could feel his master's eyes on him, reminding him of their purpose there. A test. They were to fight eachother until one had surpassed the other, with the Deathstar as their playground. Grinning once more, his pointed teeth on display as Melkor's saber fell into his grasp, Myr couldn't help but anticipate the fight. To test himself against his teacher would be a challenge that he would enjoy.
Drawing his own saber from its place at his waist, he held it unlit for a moment. Opening himself to the force, he could feel it's dark ichor begin to pool within him, a trickling stream at first that broadened into a raging river.
Moving forwards with the next wave, Myr would use the mists momentary concealment to close the distance with his master, light footfalls rapidly covering ground. Emerging from the mist like a grinning devil, only then would Myr ignite his saber as he closed into striking distance. The crimson blade leaping forward with a steaming snap-hiss, Myr would swing a gauging blow towards the muun's upper section, a short chop with his saber that would have the tip of his saber snapping into Melkor's left shoulder a few inches in should he not defend.
Melkor could feel the anticipation in his apprentice when their blades met. The right-handed Muun had angled his weapon at a diagonal angle to intercept the cut at his left shoulder. Their two blades sizzled as ocean water rained down on them and Melkor drank in the intense emotions condensing around them to fuel his connection to the dark side. Then, he swatted Myr's blade aside and to his right before stabbing at his Devaronian apprentice's midsection.
Already, he could see a crushing wave swelling behind them and he focused the Force into his feet to keep himself grounded to the Death Star's wreckage. Melkor had trained Myr on the stony shores of his home on Bal'demnic, so the Devaronian had been trained to account for such environmental factors. Now, the Muun was curious if his apprentice would be able to demonstrate the fruits of his training—if he could duel and ward off the harsh reality of Kef Bir at the same time. @Arclight
Their blades met with a clash of sparks, the blades screeching against eachother briefly before Melkor shoved Myr's to the side. Powering throught with the momentum that Melkor's parry had granted him, Myr swung his blade down to bat his master's stab away to his right while stepping to the left and pivoting slightly to further move his body away from harm.
Fire danced in the devaronian's eyes as their blades clashed, the dark power that swirled within him eager to be called upon. Patience. He willed himself to bide his energy however as he counterattacked. With a roll of his wrist and a flick, his saber righted itself and lashed at the muun's saber hand, a quick dis-arm-ing strike.
Not unaware of the tide, Myr could tell that this next wave would be a whopper. Following his master's example, he would call upon the force to grip himself tight to the slick durasteel as the wave came crashing down upon the pair. The torrent of water would be next to impossible to actually fight in for a moment as it sought to tear them bodily from the wreckage, its icy grasp chilling them to the bone.
Melkor was undeniably nimble for alien of his stature. His lightsaber batted away, the Muun slid back a few paces to avoid what he knew would be a counterstrike, which indeed came quickly with the flick of his apprentice's wrist. The red blade sizzled through the air he had occupied only seconds before and then their duel was briefly interrupted as the wave crashed into them. The power of the wave tested the strength of his foothold and, for an instant, he felt fear. But he drank that fear in and, when the wave turned to a simple spray, used the Force in his feet to leap high into the air.
At the crest of his jump, Melkor twisted backwards and fell into a graceful backflip that landed him atop a turbolaser tower that was jutting out of the water. The tower was much taller than the sunken beam they had been dueling on—just tall enough that the flat roof of it was out of danger from the massive waves that threatened to sweep them away. Only the spray of the ocean water reached this far. The Muun gave his lightsaber an artistic twirl, enjoying the hum it made as it twisted in the air, before tightening his grip on its hilt to wait for his apprentice to join him. @Arclight
Steam sizzled off Myr's blade as it sliced through where his master's wrist had occupied moments before, the large droplets of water a prelude to the deluge that crashed down upon them. Myr gritted his fangs as fear coursed through his veins, turning them to ice under the breathless cold of the wave. His grip weakened as panic took hold. Through the wave, Myr felt his master conquer and use his fear, doing what he had not.
Snarling under the weight of the water, Myr grasped his fear and forced it into submission.
His grip strengthened as fear turned to anger, and anger turned to power. Anchoring himself to the structure before he could be ripped away, Myr weathered the wave.
Wiping the water from squinting eyes, Myr glared up with his teeth bared at his master's ascending form. Not a moment to pause, he leapt after his master. Landing on the large flat turbolaser as his master gave a twirl of his blade, Myr pressed the attack aggressively and the moment his feet touched the ground. Stepping forwards, Myr thrust forwards with his off hand, channeling his rage into an offensive push, intending to break his master's guard and possibly send him stumbling as Myr rushed in.
Myr's offhand joined his saber hand in its grasp on his lightsaber as he brought it crashing down in an imposing two-handed power slash, the move coming as he stepped forwards with his dominant foot. He grinned with gleeful anger, sharp fangs bared with a hunter's bloodlust as he brought his own crushing wave down upon his master. He was nevertheless ready to pull the cut short if he needed too, Myr's mind remaining in control of the devil despite his drawing on the darkside. He had been taught well, after all.
Melkor was ready when his apprentice appeared again. Anger wafted off the Devaronian like the stench of a rotting Hutt, building until Myr was forced to unleash it as a blast of power. The Muun was ready for him. Reaching out with his off-hand, Melkor caught the blast, drawing it inward, redirecting it, and unleashing it again from his own fingertips—not as a push, but as a burst of red lightning.
The Force lightning would cross the relatively short distance between them just as the Devaronian raised his weapon and brought his other hand to the hilt for what Melkor had no doubt was going to be a two-handed slash. If his apprentice was fast enough, he could change stance and block the lightning with his lightsaber. If he was not, the blast would be powerful enough to send him sliding back towards the edge of the turbolaser battery.
Either way, afterwards, Melkor would hold his blade out horizontally in front of him and lift his index and middle fingers off the hilt to send a telekinetic shove of his own towards his apprentice. With only two fingers lifted, the blast would lack the power of a full Force push, but with the earlier blast of redirected power combined with the slick surface of the turbolaser battery, Melkor's hope was to force Myr backwards towards the edge of the battery, if not straight off of it. @Arclight
Myr realized quickly that his attempt to stagger his master had failed, backfiring in a skillful display of power within the Darkside. Reflexes firing, Myr snapped his blade down into a two-handed guard, his charge coming to a stop as crackling crimson lightning surged the length of his blade. He could feel his feet sliding slightly against the slick durasteel of the turbolaser as the lightning began to push him back.
Digging in, Myr thrust his off hand back as he felt a second force attack incoming. As his master flicked another force push at him, Myr used the force to anchor himself once more, halting himself from going sliding backwards off the tower.
Gritting his teeth as rage swirled within him, he channeled his anger once more. Thrusting both hands forwards, his saber held diagonally and gripped between his thumb and forefinger, Myr launched a powerful force push at his master with a yell.
Unlike the previous push that had merely been intended to stagger, this was a full powered push that bore the full power of Myr's anger, a powerful push that would send Melkor flying backwards, possibly even pushing him off the tower completely.
Melkor didn't try to fight the next push. Extinguishing the blade of his lightsaber, he allowed the push to take him clear over the edge of the turbolaser battery and, as he fell, plunged into the Force. He dug deep within him for the fear of death — the fear of plunging into the churning abyss below and drowning — and drew it to the surface like a beverage through a straw. The dark side flowed through him like a current and he used it to steer himself towards a small metal island (more wreckage from the Death Star) that was bobbing and swaying in the waves.
The Muun landed flat on his feet and whirled around to face the tower he had fallen from. Only, this time, he made no motion to draw his lightsaber again. Instead, he summoned a storm of anger within himself, and let its power build within the dark side of the Force, spread into his arms, until it was crackling around his fingertips. And then he waited.
Come to me, apprentice, he thought. Come to me and let us finish this.@Arclight
Myr grinned triumphantly as his master flew over the edge of the tower, disappearing from sight. Running to the edge, he came to a stop. His master stared up from below, lightning crackling at his fingertips as he silently dared his apprentice to follow.
Myr knew that his victory had been too easy, indeed not a victory at all. Glaring down at his master, he knew that he would have to give it his all if he were to win this duel, if he even held the power inside himself to beat the muun Guardian. Closing his eyes, Myr focused on his rage, stoking it, willing it to grow. His anger, his discontentment bubbled within him, rising to the surface and overflowing as he bore his attention down on a loose extrusion hanging below him from the tower.
Metal creaked and groaned, the extrusion finally breaking free to rise above Myr, hands raised in concentration. With a final grunt of exertion, Myr sent the durasteel extrusion hurtling down towards his master. Eyes snapping open, Myr extinguished his saber, stepped forwards.
Wind whistled around the devaronian as he rapidly descended the exterior of the turbolaser tower. Scanning the exterior of the tower as he fell, Myr slowed his descent, landing gently on a more stable extrusion. Sprinting across the outcropping, Myr launched himself into a giant leap towards his master, his descent coming behind the metal extrusion that still fell towards Melkor. Landing on the hurtling extrusion, he rode it down for a moment as he focused his rage, putting both hands on it.
As he rode down, flying closer to his master's small island of safety amidst the sea of waves, Myr focused once more. Leaping off of the extrusion with a force enhanced jump, he pushed the hurtling weapon to even greater velocity, so that it would smash down onto the small island that his master currently found safety on.
Igniting his saber as he back-flipped gracefully through the air, Myr landed on another small bobbing piece of wreckage, his eyes turned to where the piece of wreckage he had used as a weapon would be smashing into where his master stood. Breathing hard from the exertion, his muscles ached and a wave of tiredness swept through him, but he was nevertheless ready to continue the fight.
Melkor was patient. An inexperienced warrior might have been trigger happy and fired the moment Myr appeared; but Melkor had learned that it was often the tortoise that beat the hare, so he simply watched and waited for the moment to present itself. The moment came the second Myr leaped from his makeshift sled and sent it careening towards the Muun.
Melkor spread his fingers out in front of him and lightning like red fire spiderwebbed out of their tips. But this torrent of lightning was unlike the mere redirected power Melkor had displayed earlier. The blast caught the hurdling shard of durasteel and pushed it back, electrifying it in the process. Lightning arced out from the metal as Melkor drove it towards his airborne apprentice, aiming to swat him out of the air and end kill the Devaronian's counterattack in its crib.
As he did, elated by the dark side energy coursing through his veins, Melkor threw his head back and laughed high and cold. As if waiting for this very moment, the Force within the ruins of the second Death Star shifted, and, as his lightning attack sent shadows dancing across the Muun's face, the dark master momentarily took the form of another. A vision — an illusion — a ghost of the past. Whatever it was, for an instant, Melkor was no longer a Muun. He was an elderly human man whose face was shrouded in a black hood, laughing maniacally as his power electrically charged the air around them. @Arclight
Myr had no time to savor success. Pain arced through his body, his attack turned back on him as the durasteel object clipped the devaronian, cutting his graceful backflip to a violent and sudden end. As he tumbled to the sea, Myr fought off the pain, and his eyes scanned for some sort of buoyant object. Spotting a small flat durasteel board near where he would land, Myr's tumble transferred into a dive.
Myr plunged into the ice cold water, eyes closed, his senses within the force granting him sight. Coming to surface to grab hold of the board shaped metal fin, he shuddered as a maniacal laugh echoed through his head. His master's form seemed to waver and shift for a moment, lighting crackling around the visage of a twisted and elderly human, garbed in dark and looming robes. Fear shuddered through Myr's body, a palpable terror that drove the devaronian to fury. Shoving aside the fear that had been forced into him, he climbed to his feet, pulling himself up onto the metal fin as the sea around them began to swell, his master once again appeared as his tall headed self. A trick, or an illusion of the force then. His eyes glanced up to observe the giant wreckage of the ancient superweapon. The Darkside was strong in this place.
The horned cultist's eyes scanned the waves that lay behind his master as another massive wave began to swell around them. On the far side of the swelling sea stood a yawning chasm, an entrance in to the superstructure of the wreckage. Eyeing the wave, his fear conquered, his mind turned and calculated. Gathering his strength as he turned his eyes once more on his master,, Myr ignited his lightsaber with an aggressive snap of his wrist. Turning on his fin-board as the wave pulled it up into his swell, he steered towards his master, lightsaber held diagonally between them, his body loose he came close. Riding above his master, taking the high ground, Myr crouched low as he stood fin-board, nearly perpendicular to the rising wall of water.
Slashing down at his master as he surfed overhead to him, Myr would hold his blade defensively in an underhand grip behind his back after he passed on his way to the chasm, ready to defend against any lightning blasts at his back.
Melkor was pleased with how the duel was progressing. Myr had indeed bore the fruits of his training. As the wave his apprentice rode swelled in front of him to impossible heights, the Muun was temporarily stunned to see his own former Master, Bendak Ko, standing some distance away on another island of wreckage. The Bith stood with his arms folded, as he so often had when judging Melkor's performance during their training sessions so many years ago.
Are you daunted by the size of the wave, Melkor? Bendak said in the Bith tongue. Are you not a physical expression of the Force? To what does a wave mean to a being like you?
Melkor watched as red light speared out of Myr's hand. The wave was closer now and his apprentice had activated his lightsaber. The Muun's first instinct was to summon his own. To focus the Force into his feet, so that he could weather the wave and block his apprentice's strike. But the thought had no more than formed than Bendak began to laugh in breathy, wheezing way that Bith laughed.
Are you so cornered that you need to resort to that toy to save you? taunted the Bith. What have I always told you? A wave. A beast. A turbolaser. A lightsaber. They are all insignificant next to the power of the Force. If you are so afraid of that wave, then use it! Size is irrelevant. The dark side of the Force has no limitations save those you place upon it. And the dark side—
Melkor drank in his Master's lessons. The Bith's words were like water to a parched throat, and Melkor summoned all of his fear when he reached towards the impending wave with both hands, curling his fingers as though it were a throat he meant to strangle. The Force mimicked the wave, swelling within the dark warrior and...
—thrives on fear!
...Melkor ripped his hands apart as though he were tearing apart curtains covering a window. The wave Myr rode would answer by separating into two halves. This had a double purpose: to throw Myr off of his surfing-metal and into empty air moments before the Devaronian was ready to strike, and to send the remaining surge of water away harmlessly to either side of the Muun. Of course, controlling such a large volume of water left Melkor's arms and chest aching with fatigue, but he doubted his apprentice would try such a overt maneuver like that again. @Arclight