Looks can be so very deceiving. Take me for example. I look like a human. I act like one. I speak like one. But I am very much not a human, at least not a normal one. I have powers you can only imagine and some you can’t even imagine in your wildest dream. My powers are my greatest blessing, but also my greatest cures. They have made me who I am but at the same time they seek to destroy me.
Byse, the only home that I can remember, is a plant of danger and darkness, even when compares to the other deep core planets, which are notorious for being dangerous. And castellum autem infinitus tenebris, which I’m just going to call the fortress, was the root and source, of the darkness, and the singularity for this darkness was standing before me.
Bane. The person who raised me, and the person I despised for trying to manipulate everything, me including. And I don’t like being manipulated. He looks normal enough, average to the extreme at about 5 foot 8 with average body build. If it wasn’t for the calm confidence and extreme arrogance he wears like a clock, you wouldn’t think to look twice. He’s not at all what you would expect from someone who could kill you with a single thought and not look back(He’s a supreme Epic like me if you hadn't figured that out).
The stage had been set. The players where in place. A collision between me and Bane was eminent. Bane had started a fire, a fire that will forge one of our destinies and destroy the other. History will be rewrote in a single moment and the effects will reverberate throughout the millennials.
I open my eye, immediately wishing I was either capable of teleportation at this moment, or that this was a dream. Neither was possible. Bane’s still there, trying to use the nuranium, a very hard and dense rock, that encases me from chin to toe to crush me(In case you’re wondering, this is normal, at least for me after I have disobeyed him, yet again). All he’s doing is making the nuranium, already extremely dense, more dense as it’s compacted by his power from the outside and than getting all the energy that Bane was directing at my skin reflected, like light from a mirror, right back at it.
“You will yield, Skywalker!” Bane yells from his throne, across the room from me, his voice somewheres between a low explosion-like boom, and the growl of a predatory animal.
“I will never break, I will never bow, I will never give in, Bane.” I say, my voice full of defence as I make every effort to keep the strain of resisting him out of my voice. “Why would I, Bane? If you had territories of any worth, I’d challenge you, but, on the other hand, what's the point if the battles going to be one sided? I mean, a lesser Epic with linguistic powers could kill you,” I added, trying to goad him into a rage. It worked all to well. Apparently saying a person whose only powers are weak and useless ones like making you speak in rhymes, or being able to speak any made up language is an major insult to a supreme Epic capable of almost anything. Who would have thought?
Next thing I know, a large hunk on electrified, burning, nuranium is flying at me, at roughly 100 feet a second, covering the distance from Bane to me in about a second. As Bane launches that attack, the nuranium encasing me shift to a slab of rock with bands strapping me down. I don’t flinch, just flick the rock slab behind me with a mental hand, shattering it completely and effortlessly. The lightning strikes, the fire engulfs me and the rock crashes down on me, but I don’t flinch. For that matter, I don’t even feel it. Bane does though. He jerks violently as thought struck by lightning and blisters as he is burned by fire, followed quickly by a crash as he is almost crushed into his throne by an invisible force.
I rise from the ruble, totaly unsathed, lightning flickering under my skin and fire flickering around and engulfing, but not burning, me. Bane on the other hand, looks shocked, literally and emotionally, his skin is blistered, and he looks like he just had a building fall on him.
“Want to reconsider your stance, Bane? That was to easy,” I said calmly, like I hadn't just brushed of a few thousand volt, a few million degree fire, and a few tons on solid rock like they were nothing.
“I accept your challenge,” Bane said, his voice calm, and, at the same time, menacing, like I’m playing right into his hands, which I very well may be.
“I claim my rights as the superior Epic to be able to decide the battle rules and have champions fight instead of me,” he continued, citing what I would later discover as false rights as a challenged Epic, and finished with a proclamation of a dual, or rather three, stacked against me.
“The fight will be done over three days and against my three champions. You must win all three or be under my and my posterities control for the rest of your life.”
The last part was the part that most scared me. Bane had used some expensive and complicated cloning technology on me and the other Supreme Epics, and it made my life span about one hundred times longer than that of a normal Epic, so I’ll live about ten, mabey eleven, thousand years. I don’t know why I accepted his terms. I think it had something to do with a hunch that I needed to fight or my situation would get a whole lot worse.
“I accept on one condition,” I responded.
“If I win, I can leave here whenever I want and if I stay, you must train me.”
“Fine, Skywalker,” he said, only using my last name to try to get under my skin. Seams like all my enemies do it, too.
“Meet your opponents and fear them,” he finishes, as the door slams open, with a dramatic pause and smoke cloud so common when a powerful Epic enters.
As the smoke clears, it reveals three men, if you can call them that. The first Epic (I think they are Epic, they are too confident to be humans, and they radiate power) was roughly eight and a half feet tall and built like the hulk on steroids, meaning he looks like he could bench press and star cruzer effortlessly. The second was smaller, only about eight feet tall and built like the normal hulk. The third looked normal, from what I could see. My vision would blur when I would try to look at him, and my vision would slide to his left and right, to the doorway above, or the floor below, never be able to focus on him or her. What I could see made him out to be of a more normal anatomy than the others, though.
“These are my high supreme Epic champion. Yun-Yammka is the beast on the left, Obliteration is the one in the middle, and Yun-Harla is the Epic on the right,” Bane said.
“Great, I thought, he had to get high supremes, the only thing more powerful than him, or me, for that matter.” I thought. Those guys have the same power profolio as me, except they are naturally invincible, except under certain circumstances.
That's the point, puny human. He needs to break you and the easiest way to do that is with greater power, One of the Epics said, or rather thought, to me. Than I feel his mind grab me as he then pulls me back to the other Epics.
“Take him. You know what to do with him. Kill him if you have too, but try not to. Under no circumstances do you leave him unscratched, though,” Bane bellowed, trying to convey more power than he has.
Yun-Yammka grabs me, his grip like titanium bands around my arms, as the throne room wavers in and out of focus as they prepare to teleport. They didn’t teleport directly, through. They teleported dozens of time, reality flickering like a slideshow running too fast. I normal can track mine and other’s teleportation, but they did too many teleportations in to fast succession for me to track. On top of that, I couldn’t read whoever was doing the teleportations mind, it was locked up tighter than Stars End prison on high alert. The planetary slideshow finally ends, revealing a barren, rocky landscape of sun-baked, moistureless soil and towering, sand scoured rocks.
The two smaller Epics, Obliteration and Yun-Harla, teleported away, leaving me with Yun-Yammka, who is now menacingly twirling a midnight black nuranium mace, the size of a monster truck tire, not including the spikes that are as long as my arm. I don’t know where he got a mace, period, let alone one that big, but somehow he did.
“Let's talk about this, man. It won’t end well for you if you push me,” I said trying to stall and simultaneously bluff my way out of the situation. It didn’t work.
“No, Skywalker. I have my orders,” he said. Than, next thing I know, the mace is flying at my face, blotting everything else out. I say face, but it’s big enough that it will reduce most of the bones in my body to powder if it hits. I fall back at the last moment, feeling the air rush over me as the mace passes and nearly getting my nose taken off by the spike.
I bounce back up, right behind the mace, freaking him out. “How did you not get crushed?” he asked, a scared look in his eye. I think he didn’t see me drop, making him think I had just gone right through it.
“I feel, that’s all,” I responded, trying to get a sense of what his next move would be. I could just read his mind, but that can lead to a result I really don’t want. My powers, as I mentioned earlier, are my worst enemy, If I use then, I create a demon- myself twisted by darkness and power. This is why I said they are an Epics greatest blessing, and our curse.That's why I didn’t use my powers earlier, if you were wondering.
He goes to strike, or rather crush, me, this time with an overhead strike. I simply roll out to the left, again narrowly avoiding the mace as it descends to crush me.
“That’s the best you can do?” I taunt, trying to enrage him, like what I have done to Bane all too easily. I think of myself as having good foresight, but his next move was completely unexpected, mainly because it had a strategy, beside his normal one of smashing his enemies into a very fine subatomic powder.
“No, that’s not the best I can do. This is, thought,” he says as the rocks around me suddenly start moving towards me. Great, he has made golems. I think. The only thing with a thicker skull, more muscle, and less tactical skills then he has. These things literally have either no brain, or, if they do, their brains are made of rocks.
The golems, which look like a hunchbacked human statue with overly long arms and unnaturally large muscles, which are technichly rocks, start closing in, as Yun-Yammka, still twirling that annoying mace, stand back, continues to summon more golems to come and crush me. That pushed me over the edge. It’s one thing for a slightly rock-headed High Supreme Epic who can’t hit me with a eight foot in diameter mace to try and kill me because I know he can’t. It’s another thing for him to summon an army of golems to kill me as the rock-headed bruts actually could.
“I warned you that if you try to push me it ain’t going to be nice. But you keep pushing me,” I muter. “Well, playtime's over. I am not holding back anymore.” I reach out, grabbing any power source I can find, which is a lot as Epic energy is surprisingly common on planets. Energy streams into me, liking like white fire one time, white lightning another, and a blinding white steams another. It streams into me until I glowed with a blinding white light and was levitating several feet off the ground, building up until it infused every cell in my body with power. And then I release energy in a reality ripening, unstoppable wave of energy. As I distorted and rip reality, a paper thin ring of white light and energy flashes out, followed by a massive shockwave wave, blasting everything and everyone, except Yun-Yammka, who was crouched down, anchored to the ground by a layer of rock, off their feet. Unlike a normal shockwave ring, this one stayed anchored to me. The ring of distortion, and everything inside it, starts swirling towards me like matter falling into a black hole, except that one annoying Epic. The distorting swirls faster and faster towards me, pulling everything with it into the dimensional rift that surrounds me. As the last particle caught in the shock-wave is pulled into the rift, there is silence and the world visabally darkens, but only for a second. Than all the energy that had been pulled into me is released in a explosive blast that shifts everything into another dimension, only noticeable by the shift from sun-backed ground a to red-orange rock. I had to chemically change the rock around Yun-Yammka to the red-orange rock, with its particularly helpful set of properties, and had to disconnect the energy from me so his primal invulnerability won’t kick in and disintegrate me. Lucky, because the rock around him was placed by him and not threatening him in any way, this primal invulnerability didn’t kick in and disintegrate the rock. Actually, with this rock, kis power might not work on it at all.
“I am untamed power, relentless vengeance, and wrath unleashed, Yun-Yammka,” I proclame, somewhat under the influence of Calamity, the alter ego created by using my powers, as I, still levitating, flot towards Yun-Yammka, who is now trapped in rock and is struggling valiantly, but vainly, to get out. I was surrounded by shifting dimensional rifts, giving me a patched together look as the various dimensional rifts surrounding me shift around me, “Surender, Epic, or be destroyed!”
“Never, weakling,” He responds, then somehow manages to throw a very large rock at me, without being able to use his hands. The rock, inches before impact, collapses in on itself until it’s about the size of a sand grain, then disappears into one of the dimensional rifts surrounding me.
“Really, that's all you can do? You throw around very large object to try to crush your opponent,” I shoot back, my voice filled with disgust, as if he’s miles beneath me. “I’d recommend you rethink your stance. I could kill you without a second thought.”
He continues to struggle to free himself, pouring more and more energy into the rock surrounding him, only succeeding in weakening himself. That’s the special properties I was referring too. The rock can absorb a an almost limitless amount of Epic energy and not change in the least. He yells in shock as the rock, actually a living rock-based organism, inches closer to completely engulfing him.
“I yield to you, Skywalker,” He forces out through clenched teeth, “Let me go and you will have my eternal life debt.”
That's exactly what I wanted from him. If he swear a life debt to me, he will be required to do anything to protect me, even, as the name implies, giving his life to protect me. “Your offer of a life debt is accepted, Yun-Yammka,” I say with as much comand in my voice as possible. I than continue on to allowing him to release himself from the rock, turning it back to normal rock, a type that he can effect.
“When Bane comes, stall him until I return to consciousness. I have a demon to return to his prison.” I said, than dove into my consciousness to confront Calamity.
Reality fades away, to be replaced by the mansion that my mind always appears as. Calamity had made it worryingly close to the front of my mind, at which point the fight would be nearly impossible to win, and he would take over my mind, and me physical body, too. Calamity looks exactly like me, except he has a wild, power mad, look in his eye and has a desire only to destroy and kill everything around him.
“Leave my mind, Calamity,” I order, pointing my hand, now with a razor-edged, double-edged broadsword in it, “Or I’ll return to your place by force.”
“We both know you can’t ever beat me completely, Skywalker.” He replies, “You kill me, you die. So get that pathetic excuse for a sword out of my face, weakling.”
“Fight me, than, if I’m so weak, Calamity,” I said, bringing the sword to guard position, ready for his attack.
“Fine, but you’re going to end up in my old prison, your subconscious.” He says, creating two swords of his own. His swords are shorter than mine, but more muneverbale because of it.
I swing the pommel of my sword at him, or, rather what used to be the pommel. Now in was another broadsword blade like the initial single blade. Blocked by his crossed blades, than he twist to one side, trying a sidekick to my ribes and than a slash to the chest, and a stab to the gut, which I avoid by backing up out of his sword, and therefore his foot, range.
I feel into the rhythm of the fight, letting myself drift as my instinct takes over, mostly. I can’t let it take over too much, though. Calamity, being made of almost pure darkness, spreads it in my mind as he moves and it seems to have a mind of its own, so I constantly have to dispel that, lest I give him a foothold, even after he is vanquenced back to where he came from, my subconscious.
Slowly, steadily, he is forced back, through dark hallways that I haven’t traveled in a long time, filled with memories I would like to never bring to the surface. These cordores are strangely familiar, though, like their from a dream. Karrablast. I think. They are from my dreams, or rather my nightmares. This hall houses, or had housed, my fears, mainly those immense, paralyzing fears. I said they were my fear, but, at times like this, Calamity’s fears join mine.
“You recognize these rooms, don’t you, Skywalker?” He growels. “They’re the rooms of your nightmares, right?”
“Not anymore, Calamity,” I say. “There are fears here, but not mine.”
“Really?” he says in disbelief. “Not even this one?” he asks, kicking what appear to be a random one of the doors in.
“Nope,” I say. “You might recognize him thought.” Fears aren't necessarily physical. This one certainly isn’t physical, but just as deadly as any physical fear, judging by his reaction. All it takes is a glimpse of the blinding light coming from the room, and Calamity is practically tripping over himself to re-create a door in the opening. I don’t know what was in that room, just that it wasn’t a fear of mine. I don’t have fear with any power over me, no anymore, at least. The exchange of blows had continued, unabated, this entire time.
As he retreats, step by hard fought step, he weakens, putting up less and less resistance. His strength is in his control of the Epic’s mind. The less control he has, the weaker he is. Finally, I reach the back of my mind, my subconscious. A flick of my wrist, and he’s down on sword, a slash to his sword hilt, and his other sword is gone.
“You reeling think you’re going to beat me this time? You’ve failed before, you’ll fail again. He says, doing anything to rattle me.
“Let me ask you a question” I say, holding his at the tip of my sword to keep him from pulling a fast one, like he’s done before. “Which person has more power? The one who can only remind you of your past mistakes or the one who can remind you of your future? Because I can tell you your future. That your future,” gesturing at the pit of my subconscious.
“You fight, knowing I’ll be back in a week, or a month, or mady a year, but always knowing that I’ll be back. Why?” He ask, continuing to try to stall me.
“One reason, coward. I’m not like you. I can’t take the easy way out,” I respond. “It’s time for you to go back where you can from, now. I will admit you are part of me, Calamity, but you are apart that has no power over me.” I growl, grabbing his throat and lifting him off his feet, leaving him dangelling over the yawning abyss of my subconscious. One flick of my wrist, and he’s thrown off the ledge, into the abyss. I walk away, hearing his scream of rage fade into silence. He’ll be back, for sure, but I’ll be ready for him- I hope. My mind, or how I see it from my head, however strange that sounds, fades away, to be replaced by the harsh glare reality.
Bane is back, trying to get at me through Yun-Yammka to me. “Good, he’s awake,” Bane says.
I lunge at him. “You little lying, cheating, manipulation coward!” I yell, lacking stronger language. I was rather mad at him, as you can imagine you would be if someone had lied to you and possibly mad you a servant for you're exceptionally long life. “You think you could trick me, Did you? Well, I-”
My head is split by immense pain before I can finish, dropping me to my knees. It felt like a vibroblade piercing my head, them shattering into a thousand pieces, spreading throughout my head, each piece feeling like another vibroblade. Through the haze of pain, I see Yun-Yammka trying to stop Obliteration, who is coming towards me. He’s failing, of course, Obliteration primal invisibility is a 6th sense that makes him teleport anytime anything or anyone gets close to hitting him, so Yun-Yammka is getting nowheres.
The pain stops, seconds before I see Obliteration teleport up to me, touch me, and teleport us away. That didn’t go at all as planned I thought. I was going to try to overpower Bane, but he saw that coming, aparetnaly. There’s next time, though.
The planetary slideshow ends, depositing me on a plain similar to the last, but there was a forest behind Obliteration. That isn’t going to last long, thought.
“Well, Skywalker. What are you going to do now, weakling?” He ask, mocking me.
“Same thing I did last time. Win,” I shoot back.
“Okay. You can try,” He says. “But I think my power might just blow you away.”
I notice, a little too late, that his hand arte glowing with power. Oh, karrablast. Is the only thing I think, before he, or rather his hand, explode, releasing all the energy he had built up. That's why he’s called Obliteration. Crosses my mind, millisecond before the shock wave sweeps over me. I go flying, literally, landing several dozen feet away.Can’t do that again. I think, my body, from head to toes, screaming in protest of the impact.
“What? How are you not disintegrated?” He yells.” That was energy equal to being hit by a thousand atomic bombs per square inch!”
“I don’t know. I do a lot of things I can’t explain” I say. “Many of them I don’t want to explain, either.” Thanks for the idea, though. I think.
His hands are glowing, not quite as bright as last time, but close to it. I can’t take a blast like that again, but I have an idea that should allow me not only to survive the explosion, but also eliminate it’s overall effectiveness, and maybe, just maybe, circumnavigate his primal invulnerability too.
His hands have reached the same blinding white glow, and, there he goes again. The energy is released and the shockwave sweeps over me like a tidal wave, almost before I realize what is happening. I don’t fight it this time, at all, I simply go with it, letting it do what explosions do best, disintegrate stuff. That’s right, I let myself disintegrate. It was mostly caused by my own will,the explosion was more to trick him into thinking I was dead.
I’m just going to say this before i go any further. If you are, by some chance, an Epic capable of disintegrating yourself, don’t. It is exhausting. You have to process a few thousands times more sensory information than normal because you’re getting input from every single piece of dust that you’re now made up of. I gives you an almost omnipresent sense, though.
Anyways, back to the battle. I am blasted away by the shockwave, which worked out well, actually. I’m now spread out over a large area, looking like any other pile of dust that covers the ground.
Is that the best you have, Obliteration? I bellow, or the mental equivalence of it, at him. He jumps like he had just seen a ghost.
“How did you?” Were are. . ?” he asked, panicking a bit. “What kind of trick is this?”
What answer do you want first? I can’t answer them all at once, I think, making sure he can hear the thought as I move to encircle him, them start closing in. To answer the second question, I’m all around you. And to answer the third question, it’s no trick, just simple mind and matter manipulation.
He finally notices the dust that is moving strangely coordinated towards him. Too late. I’ve reached him, making contact second before he teleports away. Weird thing about teleporting, anything touching your skin comes also. So, trying to get away, all he does is take me along for the ride. Ready to stop yet? I’m still here. I think to him, stating the obvious, as I continue to move up and coating his legs.
“Get off me now, or I’ll force you off,” He yells, and I feel him charging up an attack. Or trying to, that is. “Why isn’t it working?” he continues, still yelling, sounding quite exasperated and annoyed.
Thanks for the energy. I needed a recharge after that last battle. I think, as he continues to attempt a explosion. I can do this all day. You, on the other hand, can’t do it much longer than, say, a half hour. I’ve coated his entire body from shoulder to toes, and now clinch down, immobilizing him completely.
“Let me go, Skywalker!” he yells and then adds some choice swear words that would have tanned the hide of a hutt and left a Corellian space pirate shocked.
I don’t think so, Obliteration. I respond, trying to sound unconcerned that I’m ticking off a High Supreme Epic. I think I might ramp up the pressure, though. It’s amazing what a few billion specks of dust can do when controlled by an Epic. I titen just a bit, and feel the breast rush out of him.
Willing to surrender yet? I ask him. Because I can keep this up a lot longer than you can survive.
“Find, Skywalker,” He spits out, as much as he could, consctering if feels like he has something like a thousand pound weight sitting on his chest. “I submit completely to you and your wishes.
I release him, the dust flowing off him like water, them starts swirling into a humanoid shape, eventually shaping and solidifying into me. “First order is keep Bane and the others away from me while I’m healing” I say, than fall into a beep healing trance, trying to fix the damage I had sustained during the battle.
The hours slip by in what feels like seconds, and I wake up to Bane standing in front of me, Yun-Harla, at his side. “I see you managed to trick a win out of him, and a life debt, too.” Bane says. “Don’t try anything, Yun-Harla here can immobilize and neutralize them with barely a thought.”
I can see he’s not kidding, either. Yun-Harla is poised to strike them with barley a twitch of his mind. “Don’t try to fight them, Obliteration and Yun-Yammka. I need to face him now. by myself,” I say over my shoulder to them. I turn back to Bane and Yun-Harla. “Well, what are you waiting for? I’m ready. Bring it on, Yun-Harla. Do your worst.”
I real a foreign presence in my mind, which I’m assuming is Yun-Harla, than reality fades away, to be replaced by a bizarre world. Red sky, blue color grass, and weird creature that look like they can from a child’s mind. Standing in front of me in what I assume is Yun-Harla. Doesn't look like his normal appearance. I’m assuming we’re in the fabled and feared mind realm, an extension of Yun-Harla’s mind, and his personal battlefield.
Yun-Harla now looks like a dragonoid demond, eleven, maybe twelve, feet tall, coated in gleaming black scales that almost seem to suck the light out of the air. Claws a foot or more in length, teeth like razors, and arms and legs with muscles almost rivaling Yun-Yammka’s. Leathery, bat-like wings several dozen feet in length, are on his back. He looks like something out of a nightmare, or the demon from old legends.
“Still eager to fight me?” he growels.
“Yes. You’ve just made my win just that much more impressive.” I shoot back, trying to convey a lot more confidence than I’m feeling.
“Them come at me, Skywalker,” he says, gesturing a bring it on motion.
“You’ve asked for it, Kurodar,” I say, using the name I’ve picked out of his his mind. One of the downsides of getting in someone mind like this, is they can just as easily get in yours. I charge, a sword materializing in my hand as I go on the offensive, or try to.
He doesn't move as I descend on him, just let me go all out on him. I find out fast why that is. My sword snapes and it comes into contact with his scales, not leaving even a scratch on him. Next thing I know, his arm is flashing up, slamming into my chest, and, not kidding, knocking me off my feet, sending me flying.
I come crashing down, hundreds of yards away, and I continue to skidd, until I slam, rather hard, into a tree. Anywhere else, I would have a total amnesia inducing concussion, or my head would be split wide open. That guy has insane strength and speed. My body is screaming in pain again. I had just recovered from Obliterations explosion, too.
I get up, rather sluggish, and turn around, seeing Yun-Harla flying, or rather gliding, towards me, arms and wings outstretched and fire streaming from his mouth, the sun behind him, leaving him as a silhouette. Why am I not surprised he breathes fire, too, I think. I grab the nearest projectile weapon-the tree. I grab it and uproot it, the bark rippling under my touch as it turns to steel, And throw it at Yun-Harla, the bark rippling like water as my hand trails through it as I release it, giving it a liquid appearance. It wasn’t. It slams into Yun-Harla almost before he realizes what is happening. It shatters, but did what I had intended it to do and knocked him off course. I needed to buy some time, not knock him out.
Certain he would be taking a few minutes to get to me now, I turn my focus to myself. Reality in the mindrealm is fluid. If you have the willpower to change something, you can. I focus on my body and the alterations I want to make. My body starts to grow, almost doubling in size, until I match Yun-Harla’s size. My skin changes from my normal color to a pitch, light absorbing, black- and it’s not just my skin that changes. My whole body has shifted from frail skin, muscle, and bone to hard, near imperitrable nuranium. Out of my back two wings, like that of a hawk, sprout, of similar size as Yun-Harla’s and my hands now have claws sprouting from my knuckles, and razor edged spikes coat my lower arm, giving me almost the appearance of a Yuuzhan Vong Warrior in Vonduun Skerr Kyrric, or what is more commonly called Vonduun crab armor, alibite a twelve foot tall one.
“Bring it on, Kurodar!” I yell at the top of my voice. “Unless you’re too scared.”
“I fear nothing, least of all you, weakling Skywalker.” he responds, as he erupts out of the earth at my feet, fire eruption from his mouth and streaming off his hands and claws, which are now on fire too.
“Then why do you hide and sneak up on me like a scared coward?” I ask, and, not waiting for a response, attack. I manage to catch him by surprise, my fist and the attached claws slam into his chin, lifted him off his feet and sending him flying several dozen feet, until he slams headfirst into a tree.
I got overconfident, approaching him with my guard down, like the overconfident fool I was. I tap him in the side with my foot, as if he can’t stop himself from reaction to that. He doesn't react, so I think he’s out cold, at the very least. He’s not hurt in the least, as I find out very fast.
His leg, now behind my legs because I had moved in to gloat, snaps back, buckling my knee, leaving me on my back gasping for breath. Before I can even think about breathing, his hand and the attached claws are inches from my throat, and the nurnium is shifting back to highly vulnerable skin, despite my best effort to keep it nuranium.
“Surender, Skywalker,” he growels, his face inches from mine, so close I can see the glow of fire in the back of his throat. “Or I’ll kill you and leave you to slowly rot-alive.”
In that moment I remember why the mindrealm is so feared and is only used by the most insane, twisted, and/or evil Epics. Because It’s all in your head, you can’t really die. So ‘death’ really painful because it last until your physical body dies or until whoever controls that particular mindrealm kicks you out.
“Never, Yun-Harla.” I say, in full defiance, acting completely unafraid of the prospect of dying in the mindrealm. “You can’t kill me if you wanted to.”
As his claw starts towards slitting my throat, I open up the ground beneath me, and I fall, feeling Yun-Harla’s claw slice through the air, centimeters from my throat. The ground closes up over me, and I managed to slam a large rock into Yun-Harla’s head as the hole closes up.
That brought me some time, but not much. I can feel Yun-Harla trying already to reopen the cavern I had dropped myself into, and I can’t keep it closed long against his willpower.
I concentrate on the wings, and more specifically, the feather edges, sharpening them to a razor edged and I creating a twelve foot long broadsword in my right hand, a equally massive mace in my other hand, both made of strength enhanced nuranium. I then release my mental grip on the rock covering me, and prepare to attack. I didn’t have wait long before Yun-Harla compiled and opened the cavern to the light of day again.
I jump up, shooting upward like I was shoot from a gun, slamming my left fist, and the trailing mace, into his jaw, knocking him out of my way. I come down behind him, crashing into the ground hard and leaving a massive crater in the ground. I charge out of the crater, straight at Yun-Harla, who is still dazed from the mace/fist combo impact.
I attack relentlessly, giving him no chance to recover from the first blow, putting him in a situation where his options are either frantically retreat, or be killed. I smash his defences down with the mace, than hammer the defense gaps with crushing sword cuts, knees, and kicks, or lightning fast razorwing and forearm slashes. It’s takes all he has to keep his feet and avoid the ‘killing’ blows, to the point where he has no chance to mount a offense.
Finally, he can retreat no further. He’s teetering on the edge of what appears to be a bottomless pit, or at least deep enough it won’t matter if it has a bottom or not. I don’t stop my advance and keep moving forward until we’re face to face, with our respective weapons locked together, neither of us giving or gaining ground.
“Surender, Kurodar, or be destroyed,” I say, acting calm, as if it’s completely normal for me to be standing on the edge of an abyss, looking like a twelve foot tall yuuzhan vong warrior in Vonduun crab armor with the wings of an hawk grafted on the back of the Vonduun crab armor. The pit, or maybe the darkness in it, which seems alive, seems to be pulling me towards it, calling me into its depths. I glance to the left, and out of the ground sprout two columns of rock, which shoot towards Kurodar and proceed to bind his wing so he can’t use them. Despite his mighty physical and mental attempt to remove them, they stay locked on his wing. “You know full well that I can do it,”
“What do you want, Isaiah?” he asks, the first person to use my first name, which he probably had pulled from my mind somewhere during my stay in the mindrealm. “I’m not stupid like my twin brother, though. You’re not getting a life debt out of me, although if he’s there, I’m likely to be nearby. According to planetary beliefs on my hom plant, Zonama Sekot, as twins, our destiny is tied together. One of us will die at the others hand and will elevate the survivor. I’m not going to be far from him, ever.”
“I should let you take the fall, literally speaking, but I get the sense I’m going to need your help in the future.” I say. “You help me in the future, just not to the life debt extent, right? If not, well, there’s alway the pit.” I add, seeming indifferent to the prospect of throwing him into a bottomless pit and then gustering to the abyss behind him.
“Fine, Isaiah. I’ll help you now. I not going to promise to help you in the future, but from now I will,” spits out between clenched teeth.
“Than let's get out of here before you lose your balance or I change my mind and push you over the edge,” I say, completely serious.
“Don’t push me Isaiah. Removing people from the mindrealm takes a lot of concentration and good amount time,” he say.
Despite what he said about it taking time, it was only seconds later when the mindrealm starts to riple and fade in and out of focus, to be replaced, all too soon, by reality. We’re back on Byse, in Bane’s fortress. More specifically his throne room, where this whole thing started seemingly years ago.
“I see that you survived,” Bane growls menacingly from his nuranium throne. “And you extracted life debts from those two,” gustering to Obliteration and Yun-Yammka, “Fools. They should know better than to give anyone a life debt, let alone one of my enemies.”
“They had good reason to. They’re not the fools, you are.” I say, emphasising the last part. “They know potential and power when they see it. You, it would seem, don’t. I mean, you’ve gone against me time and time again, and lost every time. Against an untrained novice, me, and you’re something like twenty years my superior, experience wise and otherwise. Who’s the fool there- the one who tries to stop the rising tide, or the one who goes with it? Think about that next time you want to push me.”
“Skywalker, you--” he starts before I cut him off.
“Take it away, Kurodar. Same thing you did to me earlier, if you please,” I say over my shoulder to Kurodar.
Bane collapses, and I can feel, through my mental link with him, that his body is racked with pain, probably greater than what Kurodar had done to me earlier.
“Alright, Kurodar,you can stop. I think he has learned his lesson,” I say. “If he hasn’t, well, I’ll administer that punishment personally.”
I wank up to Bane with fire in my eyes, and my veins, one wrong word from coming to the surface and engulfing him. Bane had in his convulsions almost fallen off his throne and was just starting to get to his feet. “Well, Bane,” I start. “Are you ready to cooperate? If not, I have two, probably three, High Supreme Epic’s who are on my beck and call and will do whatever I tell them. Even if the order is to blast you into the Universal Heat death a fet dozen milleniums from now.”
In case you were wondering, that was a play on the phrase ‘knock them into next week’. The universal heat death is, as I said, A few dozen milleniums from now, so that’s my way of saying he will be dead beyond dead.
“Fine, Skywalker.” he forces out through tightly clenched teeth, probably because, fist of all, he doesn't want to say it, and secondly, because he’s prepared for me to sic Kurodar on him again. I somewhat regret sicing Kurodar on him, but not too regretful. Despite what you may think, I don’t enjoy seeing or causing people pain, though.
“Alright, then.” I say, holding out my hand to help him up. He doesn't take my offered help, but I tried. “First thing- stop calling me Skywalker. I have a first name and that’s what what most people, me included, prefer.”
“You may have won your freedom, but as your teacher, I retain the right to call you whatever I want,” he say, a nasal and superior tone to his voice.
“Fine. Obliteration and Yun-Yammka, do your thing,” I say, gustering them forward towards Bane.
“Okay. Okay, Skywalker,” he rushes to say. “You’ve made your point and I do as you say. For now.”
“Alright Bane. Start talking. And teaching,” I say. “And make sure you teach me well. Obliteration and Yun-Yammka are still here and I still won’t hesitate to use them.”
Looking back on that day, or rather three days, I see that the fire Bane had started had only scorched and burned away the shadows of my past, and the mistakes I have made, finally allowing me to be forged into the destiny that I, not Bane, wanted. I was broken, and those battles, instead of breaking me, they forged me and clarified my destiny.
Struggles, while not welcomed at the time, are a necessity. They highlight weaknesses and flaws we would like to ignore, and make it so we either do something about that weakness or flaw, or keep going through that challenge. And no one likes struggles, so we make a change that otherwise we wouldn’t. Personally, this struggle made me take the control of my destiny from Bane, something I had been resisting, but that was all. This forced me to take control or destroy myself from the inside out. As I said at the beginning, this event and the changes it forced, has had its effect made on history, even now, almost five thousand years latter.
The Shadow Trials
Looks can be so very deceiving. Take me for example. I look like a human. I act like one. I speak like one. But I am very much not a human, at least not a normal one. I have powers you can only imagine and some you can’t even imagine in your wildest dream. My powers are my greatest blessing, but also my greatest cures. They have made me who I am but at the same time they seek to destroy me.