Nyiss' Compound, 13th Hour.
Nimm Deenia & Denso Halsa
The sky of Feena was cloudy this day, with a hint of rain coming. As always, the humidity was high, but Nimm paid it no mind. She had been on jungle worlds before. She strode across the walkways from the structure with her quarters in them to the prison complex with ease. Though there were no railings, she did not mind. If anything, she preferred it that way. Only the weak would let themselves fall off, let alone take damage from it.
When she got closer to the prison, she could sense that other Sith had entered before her. It was unfortunate that she would not get first pick, but there was nothing she could do about that. She pulled up the data on the prisoners, quickly noting their names, species and other pertinent details. A few stood out. She would definitely have to take one of those.
She intentionally moved around the left and entered through a door there, hoping to catch some of the Jedi off guard, presuming that the other Sith had chosen entrances near the front. The prison was fairly nicely appointed, with plain gray walls, gray doors and just a few decorations. At the center the floor had a large imperial sigil embedded into it. Her master’s choice of having the Sith Code carven into the walls was a nice touch, she thought.
The prison for the moment was relatively quiet. Denso sat silently on the ground, collecting his thoughts as he attempted to meditate on the light side of the Force. Around him were his fellow Jedi, now prisoners. They all had been taken from the temple during the Sith Empire’s brutal assault on their ancient home. He let out a deep breath, and closed his eyes. His entire form slowly began to feel an aura of calmness and peace surrounding it. The gentle feel of light cooling his nerves. He was only able to simply start his silent meditation when he heard a door come open. A moment later his eyes shot open and he was removed from his concentration.
He stayed on the ground for another minute, allowing himself to hear the footsteps of the one that had entered on the opposite side of the prison. Surely it must have been a Sith, one of those dark side inclined beings he had encountered so many times on the battlefield before. Surely as the footsteps grew louder he finally sensed the Sith through the Force. Then Denso rose to his feet, standing silently in his cell.
Irritatingly, someone else had claimed some of those Nimm had intended to pick, but at least the Kiffar was still not claimed. She chose to make her way towards that cell. With a simple push of the force, she triggered the door controls, unsealing his cell. “You will be coming with me.” She said curtly. There would be no questions, no arguments. Jedi do not get choices.
“Not even a please? They do not teach Sith manners do they?” Denso asked as he stared at the Sith that had approached him, then demanded he came with them. He couldn’t get a proper read on anything about them other than they appeared human and were quite demanding.
“I guess I don’t have much say in the manner.” He added, his look turning into a glare as he stepped out of the cell.
She regarded him haughtily. “Prisoners do not get choices.” While the word she used was ‘prisoners’ the intonation implied more something along the lines of ‘vermin’. Nimm strode out of the prison, leading him away. Some part of her was curious as to whether he would try anything immediately. She was prepared for such, but did not let it show.
“The tough guy routine?” Or should he say, gal. This bland one was in fact a woman. It didn’t matter to him. “I guess I can give you some credit for being completely blunt and not trying use some fake show that you wanna be my friend or something. So many of you Sith try to present yourselves as cool, dignified people clad in black. At least from what I’ve been told.”
“But, on the battlefront you all act the same, barbaric and uncivilized. Just tossing away your troops and twirling around your crimson lightsabers like you’re leading the entire Empire singlehandedly.” He added as he did as the Sith requested, following behind them albeit not quietly.
Nimm pointedly ignored his chattering. The very idea of befriending a Jedi disgusted her. She led him on a fairly direct route, up the first walkway to the central structure and up the turbolift to the upper core. Rather than walk around to the turbolift that would lead down to the landing platform level, she decided to test him by jumping straight down. If he did not come down on his own, she would force him down, one way or another.
Denso waited for some reply from the Sith, but was given none. Only total silence. Perhaps he was annoying her, or she was focused on whatever certainly evil scheme he had planned for her. This Sith struck him as one of those types, one of those really twisted quiet ones. He rolled his eyes and continued to follow. Then he watched as she leapt directly downwards, causing the Jedi to blink. With a sigh he followed, feeling the Force flow through him as he followed with a jump of his own, landing gracefully directly behind the Sith.
That the Jedi followed without needing any prodding moderately satisfied Nimm, but again she did not say anything. She led the way to the closest laboratory, where she would begin her work upon him. It was reasonably sized at around seven by fifteen meters. On her way over to the prison, she had arranged to have it filled with various sharp tools to test upon the Jedi, both metaphorically and literally. Aside from the tools on the various racks, the room only held one thing: an inclined platform with restraints upon it. “You will position yourself upon that.” she ordered the Jedi. This was going to be fun.
“Are you serious?” Denso asked with another glare. His eyes danced around the room quickly.
He briefly thought about trying to turn the tide on the Sith. Catch her off guard and strike her with one of the sharpest objects here. That idea was dashed as he remembered he did not have a lightsaber but this twisted Sith did. It did appear that he was correct about assuming she was one of the sadistic silent types.
“I'll play along. You don't frighten me one bit.” Then he stepped onto the platform, staring down the Sith.
“Always.” Nimm answered as she pressed a button on her wrist unit. Immediately after she did, the restraints snapped into place. “Of course. You have no reason to fear me. Yet.
She walked over to one of the numerous racks, looking through the available tools. So many good ones to choose from. The master had really outdone herself in acquiring all these. “The question is what you will do to avoid the pain I can cause you after you have truly experienced it.”
She smiled to herself. “Most Jedi rarely last more than a day or two once I get started. The ones that survive, that is.” She paused for a few moments. “Some rare ones last a whole week before they break. If they are lucky, I give them to my master when they do. Some wonderful Sithspawn have been made from them.”
At that thought, Nimm picked up a rather simple serrated vibroblade. It would leave some rather fascinating scars that not even the finest Kolto would remove. “Would you like to become a Sithspawn after you break?”
“Do your worst. The power of the light flows through me, Sith.” Denso replied with another glare as the Sith tried to gloat about how great she was at breaking Jedi. That didn’t frighten him, he had his ways to resist pain. He’d endured plenty of that in the past even if it wasn’t from torture.
“Mind what your dark lord said, Sith. A dead Jedi does you no good in turning them to fulfill your evil schemes. I can imagine how disappointed your Darth Nyiss will be in you if you butcher a strong Jedi like I.” Denso pointedly stated, as his eyes shifted from the serrated blade towards Nimm’s sadistic expression. A smile crept onto his face as he awaited the pain. “I have no fear of death, Sith. The Force will welcome me once I leave this body.”
“Your Jedi ways are almost amusing. You think you understand so much, yet your naïvete is blinding you. Besides, ‘Jedi’ and ‘strong’ is a contradiction. Only the Dark Side grants true power. My master is more powerful than any Jedi ever could become.” Nimm moved up to the Jedi, looking for a nice place to cut. Though she longed to, she did not start by cutting off any parts. That could be saved for later. Instead she started by scraping the blade alongside the skin of his right arm, leaving a series of shallow but jagged cuts.
“Do not worry about death little Jedi. You will not find such a path of escape. If you do not fall, you will break, and when you break, my master will make you into a wonderful Sithspawn. Perhaps she will even let me assist in the making. And then you will be freed from the chains of death forever.” She intentionally downplayed her own power and importance, so as to make the Jedi underestimate her.
“The dark side only leads to pain and hatred. Your master is but a fool that has convinced themselves they’re powerful. When they lose that power and are left with nothing then they’ll realize what the dark side truly brought them.” Denso stated, his latter words coming out at a slightly slower rate as the pain surged through his arm. It hurt but was nothing that he couldn’t bear.
“You don’t frighten me, not one bit. Neither does your master. The dark side will be your bitter demise.” He added, clenching his fists as he took the pain. His eyes were still locked in a glare at the sadistic Sith.
“Ah yes. Power. Have you ever heard of the third battle of Joiol? It was a few years back, but you look old enough to remember. That was my master’s handiwork. A true masterpiece.” As she said this, she cut a deep gash in his other arm, being careful to avoid both major nerves and blood vessels. It would bleed, even make his hand somewhat weaker for a while, but it would not maim.
“I have, it was a brutal barbaric battle. I recall hearing that chemical weapons were used against the Republic, an inhuman move the Sith would naturally take.” Denso replied as the knife went deep into his arm, drawing a bit of blood. Droplets fell to the floor as he continued to clench his fists, trying to resist the pain. He still had one trick in the bag though.
“Left the world mutated and ravaged, totally uninhabitable where the massacre occurred.” He added. The disgust at what the Sith had resorted to doing evident in his words.
“Uninhabitable? I think not. Even now, the world flourishes, the strong dominating the weak. Exactly how it should be.” She pulled the knife out, seemingly nicking a vein by accident. She quickly strode over and placing it back on the rack. The droids would clean it later. It would not do to make him bleed too out. Playing with his mind was far too much fun to let him faint from blood loss.
Therefore, she picked out a small rod-like object, somewhat reminiscent of a tiny lightsaber. She knew that it would be excellent for creating localized burns. It would only be fair to cauterize the wounds. “I heard that seventeen of you Jedi were there, including a number of your so-called padawans
. The effects of the chemicals upon them are said to have been… interesting
“I expected no less of an answer from a Sith. Always on about how the strong must dominate the weak. It gets boring after the hundredth time.” Denso replied, rolling his eyes once more as the Sith walked away from him, retrieving another weapon for her perverse torture. As the Sith lifted another tool, the Kiffar blinked.
“I’m sure you would think such a thing. You enjoy watching my kind suffer, it’s sickening. You’ve been corrupted by such thoughts.” He added, still feeling the blood leak from his wound. It wasn’t too serious, this Sith wouldn’t let him die. He had that advantage. She’d fail her disturbing mission then. Couldn’t turn a dead Jedi.
She activated the device and a small, highly focused plasma beam came into being. With meticulous care, she cauterized the wound, burning the severed vein shut. She knew it would hurt. “Suffering will either make you stronger or break you. It is for your own good that I am doing this, you know.”
As she pondered what to do next she got an excellent idea. Why not give him something to think about? A scar that meant more than merely survival? She moved around to his other side. “It is unfortunate that those Jedi became little more than animals, but of course they lacked the guidance of a proper master, of someone powerful enough to control their mutations.”
The plasma blade touched down on his arm and she began to write, using the galactic basic language and the aurebesh alphabet, she burned in the letters for the first line of the Sith code: ‘Peace is a lie, there is only passion.’ From now on, he would have that text before him whenever he looked at his arm. She smiled at him.
“You’re insane.” Denso replied as she slowly cauterized and shut his wound. He felt pain singe through where the cut had been, causing him to tense up in parts of his body. The Jedi persevered through it, not showing any outwards signs of real discomfort.
He didn’t give her anymore words as she maneuvered to his other side, still wielding the plasma beamed weapon. As she got in place on his other side and began to bring the blade down, he felt the Force flow through him. He channeled his training in crucitorn to endure the intense pain. The fierce Jedi knight shut his eyes, feeling the gentle caress of light replacing the intense pain of the pain. He could still feel the weapon dancing slowly on his skin, but much of the pain was gone.
He opened his eyes as she finished, then glanced down at the ‘tattoo’. Denso nearly gagged at the words, but put himself at ease. There was always a way to remove such markings, the light healed even the worst of the injuries, mentally and physically.
“Your pursuit of passion is the lie. It will only leave you broken and destroyed.” He muttered, looking away from the text.
“I am neither broken nor destroyed.” she quipped back. “Your Jedi temple, however… That is both broken and destroyed. You should’ve seen the explosion! Magnificent.”
It seemed to Nimm that the Jedi had a fairly high pain threshold. She could not yet be sure whether he was channeling the Force to deaden the pain, but she knew that once he was turned, he would make a powerful Sith. “The real trick to marking a prisoner lies in making the burns go to just the right depth. Too deep and the function of the limb is gone. Too shallow, and the scars fade with time and healing. Burn to the right depth, and the scarring is permanent. It takes great skill to do that right.”
She turned around, deactivating the device and putting it back. “I find your resistance bothersome. I am curious…. How familiar would you say you are with pain? With loss?”
“Not yet. But the dark side is doing its work on you, corrupting and twisting you. The light side beckons to you, with it flowing through you, you will find the ultimate serenity.” He stated, even one as twisted as this could be reformed through the Force.
“The temple can be rebuilt, once your rabid Empire is stopped the temple will be returned to its former glory.” He added with a smirk.
“Why do you bore me with this talk of inflicting pain, Sith? It does not frighten nor impress me. All scars can be healed.” Denso calmly said as he glanced back towards the Sith. Watching her deactivate her torture tool.
“I have fought on battlefields across the galaxy combating your wicked Empire. I’ve watched friends die in bouts of glory and heroism. I’ve seen countless innocents slaughtered by your foul crusade. How accustomed to pain and loss do you believe me to be?” He asked.
“Through passion, I gain power.” she answered. “Your so-called republic is corrupt, infested with criminals. Do you truly think the people will want that to continue, when they can choose the orderly society of the Empire, where criminals are actually punished, where corruption has consequences?”
“I find your confidence amusing. But I think it is time to let you experience loss in a completely new and more personal way.” Nimm fingered her lightsaber to see his reaction, then slowly put her other hand on her belt, detaching a small device affixed there.
“I could maim you, but what would be the point? When you embrace the dark side—as you will do—you would be less useful to the empire. Instead, I think I will let you experience loss differently. I have here a device I found a while back. I believe it was designed by Lord Rin Shuuir, many, many years ago.” Nimm stepped closer to the Kiffar, then squeezed the device, which started wriggling. She placed on the back of the Jedi’s neck and its small legs immediately dug in, attaching it to the spine.
She knew exactly what it would do. It would disrupt nerve signals to his body, causing temporary paralysis and seemingly random convulsions in his limbs. Far better than removing the limbs. She knew that none of the other Sith had seen this device before, simply on account of the age of the tomb she had dug it out of. She already looked forward to seeing their reaction to it.
“Your Empire is filled with lies and deception, backstabbing Sith constantly stabbing each other in the back to gain even the tiniest of advantage. Don’t claim your empire is any better. Why would the people of the Republic wish to live in fear of such a tyrannical system? I’ve seen your soldiers, the only reason they fight is because of fear and mass propaganda” Denso retorted.
“I do not fear anything you do to me, Sith. I will never embrace the dark side, the light surrounds me and empowers me.” He stated with another glare, then watched as she approached him and stuck the ancient device on him. He blinked as it dug into him, clenching his fists and shutting his eyes as he once more channeled crucitorn in an attempt to counter at least some of the feeling.
Denso cringed and contorted as the Sith device did its evil inside of him. Still he could feel the light side attempting to battle it, battling away some of the feeling. His body felt strange in a bizarre manner, one he couldn’t compare to anything else. He kept his mouth shut, not allowing himself to scream before the paralyzation hit. He kept his eyes shut, attempting to channel the light side through crucitorn. Internally in his mind he thought positive thoughts, even as his body convulsed without his control. It was an inhuman feeling, utterly alien. Its intensity lowered by his training in pain transformation. It was the only thing stopping him from submitting entirely and becoming a totally convulsing mess.
“How little you know…” she whispered, taking in the sight of the convulsions. She really hoped they wouldn’t be like that all the time, for that would be a real waste. It was too bad that its creator had not left behind a clear user manual for it.
Denso heard the Sith’s taunt enter into his ears, but it was lost in his convulsions as his body continued to betray him. The Jedi’s limbs were flinching while the rest of his form was stuck frozen, his eyes closed shut as he couldn’t even open them. It was a truly terrifying scene for him to be going through, yet he held strong with crucitorn. Transforming enough amounts of pain to keep himself sane throughout the torture. Then he felt air rush through his lungs once more, and his eyes shot open. He was doused in sweat, and the demented device exited his body. He breathed heavy, then glanced at the Sith, calming himself slowly but surely.
“You’re a monster, but I shall never turn. Never become like you. The light side still flows throughs me.” Then he smiled, as he regained control of his body and the manic convulsions halted. It seemed the device had done the extent of its work on him, a long, terrifying procedure he’d remember for some time.
“No. You shall never become like me. But a Sith you will become. Or a Sithspawn, if you prove too weak to become a real Sith.” She saw the relief on his face when the convulsions stopped. No doubt he thought it was all over. She would have laughed, except that would spoil the surprise.
“Never. I’d rather die than become twisted like you or any other Sith.” He stated bluntly. This Sith’s sadism did not push him in anyway towards the dark side.
“What you would like is irrelevant. You and all the other Jedi will fall.” Nimm decided that it would soon be time to release the Jedi, to take him back to his cell. Just as she was about to release his restraints a thought struck her. “I wonder… Will the padawans prove as obstinate as you?”
“You Sith are so full of unwarranted confidence. Your empire was beaten once, thousands of years ago. That is what will happen again if you continue this brutal war. Your attack on the Temple was an act of desperation,” Denso stated boldly. Then his eyes narrowed in determination as she mentioned potentially torturing the innocent padawans. “Only a coward would target padawans.”
“Ah yes. The previous war. It ended 1,347 years ago. You must be proud of that victory.”
“I’m sure the Empire remembers it, or at least despises the fact they’ll never be able to erase that defeat from history.”
“Yes. We remember it. Do you remember what happened at the end of it?”
“You retreated. Now you’ve come back hellbent to do better than you did last time.”
“Ah. So that’s the story they teach in the republic. Interesting.” Nimm nodded thoughtfully. “I will tell you about the other part. The one they do not teach.”
She paused for another moment. “Genocide. That is what happened. Millions of men, women and children slaughtered at the command of your supreme chancellor. Planet after planet, bombed into oblivion, nary a survivor left. That is the legacy of the Republic and the Jedi Order. Do you feel proud of it?”
“As I recall, your great Lord Sadow fled when it was evident the war was going to be lost. The one that took over after him, Dakhan, ordered suicide bombings of Republic forces instead of surrendering. The Chancellor ordered an invasion into Sith space only when it was evident the Empire would not surrender. Even as the Republic tore down your empire’s strongholds, the Imperials refused to surrender. There were survivors amongst the Sith species, they fled to other worlds.” Denso replied.
“You Sith are not innocent, earlier in that war you ravaged through Republic space and did your own genociding. If you had simply given up and put down your arms then an invasion would not have been needed. In this second war you have done more of the same. I’ve seen it with my own eyes as you left entire worlds in ruin. You wanted war, even when peace was always on the table, and you were given war. Now again you seek war.” He added with another glare.
“In war, one does whatever one needs to win. Outside war, the rules are different. By the time your republic and your Jedi Order did your best to wipe out the entire Sith species, the war was already over. You had won. Even knowing that the war was over, you set out to wipe us all out. The only reason any are still alive is that you did not know anyone escaped. So far as the republic knew, they succeeded in wiping out the entire Sith species. Wanting revenge for such is entirely justified.”
“The invasion was ordered because the Sith would not back down. There were still surviving forces hellbent on raging a war even when they were well on the losing side of it. The Empire very well could have rebuilt its forces and launched more attacks. Your Empire committed genocide in mass far greater than the Republic did during the first war. You refused to surrender, your leader threw away his loyal soldiers and fled with his tail tucked between his legs rather than give up and negotiate peace. The resulting invasion was the Empire’s fault for seeking an unjust war for conquest.”
“You could have at any time surrendered. Millions of lives could have been spared. The Republic are not fools, they do not seek war like your Empire does.”
“So wonderful, the lies of the Jedi. But then, the victor always writes the history. It is so much easier to justify your actions after you invent lies to cover up the truth. Making up a threat where there is none does wonders for a guilty conscience.”
“Launching a war solely for conquest and refusing to surrender, that is the real truth in this argument. Your entire Empire is built upon a foundation of death, deceit and crusading solely for power.”
“Yes, it is. The death of millions of innocent men, women and children. Exterminated by a Republic that wasn’t satisfied with victory.”
“That is a sorry excuse. Even if the Republic had not invaded Sith space you still would have come back to launch another war. Your Empire is power hungry, it uses those deaths as an excuse to attempt to justify its want to conquer. Do you truly believe your emperor cares about the death of those people thousands of years ago?”
“Yes, I knew you would see it that way. The Jedi have never been known for forgiveness. Your doctrine is far too inveterate for such to be possible.” When he referred to the Emperor, Nimm nodded thoughtfully. “As for the emperor, knowing his mind is impossible, but unlike your order, he is
capable of change.”
“The Jedi are revered for this forgiveness, even someone such as yourself can be forgiven if you see the light and abandon the tyrannical Sith,” Denso replied, still trying to sway the Sith. Even though it seemed futile he would still try. “Your emperor is solely bent on conquering and destroying the Republic from what I can see. This abominable assault on the Temple only drives home that goal. Your Empire will never stop and never surrender, and that once more will be your downfall. Peace can always be achieved.”
“Peace is a lie. Stagnation and decay lies down that path. Conflict breeds progress. If you had you not resisted the imperial advance, the transition would have been largely bloodless. Imperial Justice would have seen progress everywhere, rather than just for the select few. I have seen what a farce republic justice is. Have you? Have you asked those exposed to that whether they revere the Jedi?”
“Justice is not a goal if it impedes on the freedoms of the common people. People in the Empire live in fear, they cannot question their leaders. Corrupt politicians are exposed and given fair trials. The Jedi are keepers of peace and justice throughout the galaxy. The only ones that do not look favorably upon what we wish to accomplish are those that wish to commit evil.”
“It is curious how you seem to know that the citizens of the Empire live in fear. They certainly do not seem to share that view. We have clear hierarchies. If someone does something they should not, all any citizen has to do is report it to the superior of the wrongdoer. Or ask they can ask a Sith to investigate. Corruption is dealt with just as harshly as it should be in the empire. It is, after all, a sign of dysfunction. What is the punishment for severe corruption in the Republic? A fine? A bit of confinement?”
“Arrest, standing public trial, being thrown into prison. Fair things such as that. Does anyone in the Empire oppose the Emperor? Or even speak out against him? Free speech is a given right in the Republic. Plenty speak in terms that go against the Chancellor and they fully have the right to voice these opinions.” Denso stated. Then his eyes went wide in shock and pain.
Before he could speak more he felt the evil device dig into him again, seemingly returning to life as it burrowed into his skin and embedded itself on his spine. As he felt it move inside of him, a terrifying thing itself, he tried to counter once more with Crucitorn. The Jedi suppressed a scream of pain as it slowly paralyzed his body. His limbs once more contorted and moved on their own, their debate hitting a pause as he was not able to speak anymore.
“The strong direct the policies, the weak do not. Currently, the Emperor is strongest, therefore he is in charge. Later, someone else might emerge and prove more powerful than he. Then They will decide policy. It is that simple. As you will come to learn as you become one, being Sith is all about freedom. We do not indoctrinate our young into a single narrow-minded view of how things are.” Nimm noted that the device had once more activated, once again on a strong setting. It would be inconvenient if it only worked on that level, it would not teach him about loss in the same way, but she did not stop speaking, knowing well that he could still hear her.
“Peace is a lie, there is only Passion. The passion to care about and know what we want. Through Passion, we gain Strength. The strength to make choices for ourselves, to stick to them even when others disagree. Through Strength, we gain Power. The power to teach others of our views, to make them listen. Through Power, we gain Victory. When others follow what we teach, when others obey us, we have won. Through Victory, our chains are broken. We are free from the decisions and whims of those who came before us. Free to find new ways. The Force shall free us. The Force is the tool we Sith use to achieve all of this.” At the end, Nimm pressed a few buttons on her wrist unit, summoning a group of troopers to take the prisoner back to his cell.
Denso continued to stare forward as his body was paralyzed, pain struck where his body convulsed. His crucitorn did not work as well as it did before, as he felt more intense feeling through where the foul little device decided to torture him. He could only hear the Sith’s words in his ears, their crooked and misguided code which went against everything he was taught. The Force was not a tool, the Force guided us all. It was not meant to be abused and used without regard. The convulsions dragged on for a bit longer, then his body was his again.
“You do not understand the Force,” He managed to mutter as he regained his breath, speaking between labored inhales and exhales. As his nerves calmed, he stared at Nimm, then spoke slowly. “None of you Sith do and it will be what undoes your schemes.”
“We study all parts of the Force. You Jedi are afraid of it, terrified of using its full potential. I suggest you think about all of this, and explore all that loss means. It will help your transition into becoming a Sith.” The moment she said the last word, the door hissed open and a squad of imperial troopers stepped into the room.
“Take him back to his cell.”
As the guards marched in to take the Jedi back, Denso practically slipped out of his bindings as they were undone. He was exhausted mentally and physically by what he had gone through. But as they put their arms around him and took him away, the Jedi spoke once more. Seemingly speaking to himself.
“There is no emotion, there is peace.”
“Peace is a lie.” Nimm retorted back as he was taken away.