In this Story...Karolin's background is revealed following her capture by her brother RT after her latest escape attempt and rash of crime throughout the quadrant. We learn what brought her to this point as she sits thinking about how she herself got there, while awaiting a trial. This takes place shortly before the Hutts initiate a takeover of the planet Makeb. Please enjoy this introduction. I hope it explains where Karolin is coming from if any of you decide to take her on in an RP scenario. This was done originally as a Serial about 6 years ago, so the breaks may seem a little weird. Enjoy.
Nar Shaddaa – 10 Years before the Zakuul invade the galaxy….
Sounds of heavy armor plopping down in front of him made the big Ratataki look up, his hand did drift to one of his side arms before he looked up and recognized whom it was. The heavily armored Republic Officer was drawing attention, the armor an uncommon sight in the dive bar frequented by so many on the Hutt Moon. The trooper slapped his hands up on the surface of the table opening his palms to the Ratataki, more as a show for those watching that he had no ill-intent, though the Ratataki needed no such display; he would never have attacked in any event. The trooper reached up and unsealed his helmet, it let out a ‘snap-hiss’ of decompression as it unsealed from the rest of the environmentally controlled armor he wore. Horns pronated from the scalp which led down to a scowl meant just for the rather large ‘ratty’ that sat across from him.
The Ratataki sat back and returned the scowl with one of his own, not prepared to be talked down to or lectured in anyway. Though he already knew it was coming.
“You helped her Marstel?!?! Why??? You know how very ‘sick’ she is…” RT let that drift off as he reached for his brother’s glass taking a sip of it before setting it back down in front of him. “If you tell me you didn’t have anything to do with it, I will believe you…”
Marstel folded his rather large arms across his chest and gave a slight huff, “Ya still werkin’ fer ‘tha man’ an as much as I love ya, I ain’t sayin’ nuthin…”
RT began to shake his head angrily, he kept on shaking it letting the anger build. Zabrak anger was legendary, RT’s anger often surpassed it as Epic, “You are an accessory after the fact then! She has gone too far this time…” He started to point at the fingers of his other hand counting off the digits as he spoke, “…Murder…larceny…prostitution…trafficking…” He slapped the hand down, “Not to mention the display the two of you put on leaving Coruscant! I told you not to leave with her!”
Huffing again, Marstel calmly picked up the glass that his brother drank from and took his own sip, swishing the liquid in his mouth before swallowing and giving RT a deadly gaze, “I helped ‘er. Buh she’s ‘er own woman…” He sat up toward his much smaller brother, “An ya kno as well as I do tha half’a dem charges es trumped up…”
Standing, RT snatched up the helmet. He glared down at Marstel as he placed it under his arm and coming to his full height. Not a small man by any means, he was not Marstel, so the need to make himself seem larger was paramount, “I got no choices here, little brother…. I have to go get her and bring her in. The Council demands it and since she was under Republic care the duty falls on us.” He sealed the helmet back on, “All I’m askin’ is you stay outta our way. This isn’t about you an me, this ain’t even about our family. Karolin has got to answer for what she’s done…”
Marstel sat back and waved his hands up in a surrender motion, “I gotcha…” Laying them down on the table he pointed one finger at RT, “…buh you understan’…them Jedi try ta hurt ‘er and they gotta answer ta meh…So you go…go do yer ‘Duty’ ta tha Republic, but ya jus remember where ya true loyalties lie. And it’s ta tha little girl partyin’ at my apartment righ now….”
It was always the same, one of two dreams that plagued her. More often than not she failed to piece it together and remember them in their entirety, but after years of having them she had enough pieces to know which one she woke from. Intimacy, with some huge red beast that seemed to ‘kriff’ her endlessly until she simply died from the pleasure. The beast would destroy her, devour her, it was incessant in its punishment of her, seeming to take great satisfaction in making her feel both pleasure and pain. In the end she simply disappeared, the beast devouring her completely.
Groggy, she opened her eyes. Face down on the synth-leather couch, a bit of spit dribbled from her mouth and her face came up with a bit of a ‘slurping’ sound; the face being stuck to the leather. Where was she? There was something or someone on her legs, as she brushed a bit of black and red striped hair out of an eye looking up. The only light peeking though the tinted windows was from a boot thrown unceremoniously through it, the majority of the boot sticking through her side, the toe protruding through the other. The sunlight seemed to be focused right at her as she squinted at the crack of light peeking through the missing piece of window next to the boot. Pushing her legs she shoved the man off her, he lay passed out, his head turned to the side snoring loudly. The large man sat in his underwear shifting his weight as he was shoved off her legs, but failing to wake giving a loud ‘snort’ as he resettled.
Karolin touched her nose on the way to rubbing the sleep from her face, still not knowing where she was. Residue of spice, stim whatever else she had been snorting the night before was still crusted slightly under a nostril as she rubbed at her face trying to place the location. Reaching down she scratched her leg, where were her pants? Karolin’s eyes got wide, she quickly ran a hand up her leg touching her crotch, the ‘holiest of holy’s’. The look on her face was priceless, the red-irises getting wider. Where were her panties for that matter? She quickly scanned the room seeing her pants draped over the chair in the corner, looking the other direction she caught a glimpse of her rather dainty lacy panties, laying atop the face of another man who was resting comfortably in a chair at the opposite end of the room. Then she noticed it, the floor was littered with everything from other sleeping bodies, clothes, broken glass, glitter, some unknown stains and alcohol bottles….just everything. She frowned, it must have been some party and she couldn’t remember half of it. Her backside make a sticky sound as she peeled it off the couch, creeping carefully over the sleeping bodies to first retrieve her panties off the man’s face and then turning to move to the opposite end and get her leather pants.
Shards of the door exploded inward showering the occupants of the room with pieces of plas-steel, the tactical officers already inside and moving to the four corners of the room before Karolin even had a chance to look up; the explosion knocking her on her ass as she tip-toed to get her pants. There was a brief struggle from the one or two near naked men who jumped up at the explosion, trying to fight off the officers in full combat gear. The other men in the room still too drunk or high, stayed unconscious even in the face of such a loud ‘boom’ that shook not only the apartment, but the entire floor as well. The naked combatants were quickly subdued by the officers, who wore full helmets. Laying the combatants down on their faces, hand behind their backs in binders, Karolin didn’t move glancing behind her quickly from the ground. All she saw was feet, she turned her head back forward laying it to side gently an closing her eyes. No way was she going back to confinement. Karolin tried to feign unconsciousness, hoping the officers would just count her among the unconscious in the room either incapacitated by the blast or the extreme partying from the night before.
From the hall, Karolin’s brother known by his men as RT-946, watched the operation commence from start to finish. He spotted Karolin as the door blew in and looked at his Chrono as his soldiers wrapped up. RT shook his head disgustingly as he stepped over the threshold, among the new rubble added by the door being blown apart lay spice and stim vials for an auto injector as well as various devices. Knowing his sister they had to have some sexual connotation attached to them. Karolin cracked an eye open as she felt the carpeted surface give way a bit next to her face. She saw the white of an armored boot in her face before being unceremoniously grabbed by her neck and hauled to her feet. RT held Karolin by the jacket she wore, looking at her.
<“You disgust me! Seriously, this is how you use your gifts??!! What are we up to Karolin?!?! Huh?!?! Three, four times now???”>
Angrily, Karolin thrust out a hand to try and push her brother away with the Force, he reached behind his back grabbing the Force binders. Being so ‘hopped’ on whatever Karolin had been partaking in the Force push seemed like a tiny shove; her power was severely diminished. RT slapped the one of the binders on the outstretched hand, spinning her around to forcefully slap the binder on the other. RT spun her back around in time for her to spit on his visor with a wicked smile on her face.
“Get me a lawyer, piggy….”
RT didn’t bother wiping the spittle off the visor of his helmet as he lifted her tiny frame up and over the other cuffed and subdued occupants in the apartment.
<“Not this time, Sis…this time, you’re not going to Standard. We got a trip to take. You really kriffed up this time…the wrong people have noticed…”>
Karolin kicked and fought even though the binders had her hands and her Force abilities behind her back. She spit as she yelled fighting and screaming, RT still hauling her toward the smoking doorframe.
“I’m kriffin’ naked RT!!! At least get me my pants!!!”
The other officers tried hard not to watch, several of them cutting off their external frequencies to laugh silently inside their helmets. RT knew, he knew his men were laughing at him and his sister. What an embarrassment. He said nothing stopping to pick the pants up, still moving the struggling Karolin toward the door. He draped them over her shoulder.
“My panties too!!! I need them…” RT didn’t stop a second time. Getting her past the threshold and out in the hall. One of the soldiers, chimed in on their squad frequency as he started her down the hall.
<”And what about the others, Sir….”>
Stopping, RT tugged on Karolin stopping her in her tracks, he held the binders in one hand looking slightly back over his shoulder.
<”Let them go, we got what we came for. Tell command I will be on Tython if they need me..”>
He shoved his sister forward, slightly getting her to walk again. She still cursed and screamed. His external speaker answered her protests and her question about undergarments.
<”Panties? You don’t need them where you’re going…Force help you Karolin, because this time I can’t…”>
The sounds of the screaming Mirialan caused some of the apartment doors to slide open, seeing the Trooper in full combat armor leading out what they suspected must be a very dangerous criminal. She was in fact dangerous and had in fact committed some serious crimes. As RT lead her away, it wasn’t a Republic Soldier bringing in a known terrorist. As he led her away, it was brother taking a very trouble little girl home. Home to face judgment for what she had done. The echoes followed them to the lift.
“Let me go, RT!!! I swear!!! Let me g-go!!!
He jerked on the binders, turning his visor to look at her. Slowly he lowered his head, looking at her feet and sliding the pants off her shoulders he tapped her leg so she would raise her foot. She calmed down slightly as he started pulling the pants leg over his sister’s green-skin. RT sighed sadly, he wanted to say something. Anything. All that came out of his mouth after shaking his head was a very sad, very troubled word.
Footfalls echoed heavily on the shuttle ramp as Karolin was already being shuffled down the still lowering ramp by her brother, RT. She strained briefly against the Force binders looking out over the Masters gathered in Tython's hangar bay standing by to greet them. RT nudged his sister forward a bit as the ramp finally extended itself.
"Stop shoving, idiot.", Karolin jerked her arms out of his hand, the binders having been moved to her front for the long shuttle ride. Karolin looked briefly over her shoulder at her brother. RT smiled to himself, lucky his sister could not see his face under his helmet. Karolin reached the end of the ramp expressionless as she viewed the assembly before her. One of the Masters on the Council stepped forward as RT stepped around Karolin to hand the Master some paperwork.
"It's all here. Operation successful with minimal damage.", RT spoke through his external helmet speaker. The Master took the paperwork looking at both it and Karolin over the top of the forms.
"Thank you, Major we will take it from here…." The Master reached over to grasp Karolin's arm as RT quickly grabbed his hand to stop him.
"Whoa! I was told I would be included in this decision, this is a family matter after all." The Master removed his hand from Karolin's arm raising a finger slowly to point at RT.
"Not when it comes to Jedi business Major and not when it involves her...", the Master hazarded a glance at the still silent Karolin, his last words seeming to drip with venom upon looking at her. RT stepped in front of his sister.
"I don't give a Damn about Jedi business, I'm not going to let MY sister be carted off to slaughter without so much as a by your leave and furthermore...this time the Republic demands to know her disposition..." RT looks around the hangar flamboyantly, "...and since there are no other Republic Officers around, I AM the Republic..."
The Master began to reply, but was interrupted by a new arrival who spoke first.
"That will be fine, Major. The Jedi Council welcomes the advice and counsel of the Republic during this difficult decision..." Grandmaster Shan spoke as she walked through the crowd stopping at the foot of the ramp. The other Masters bowed to her and stepped back as Master Shan placed a hand on Karolin's arm smiling weakly, "It's good to have you home, Karolin."
Karolin sneered breaking her silence for the first time. Karolin glared at the Grandmaster jerking away from RT again, "Up your shaft, Bitch! And the rest of you windbags can bite me!"
Master Shan removed her hand, smiling faintly. "Still quite the vocabulary I see...", she looked to RT, who motioned for two Sentinels standing watch to escort his sister to the holding area. Karolin was not finished fighting as the two Jedi Sentinels literally began dragging her from the hangar after taking charge of her from RT.
"All of you can go to Hell! Especially you RT! I won't forget this! I'm going to get you all, I will get out again! Nothing can change that, NOTHING!!! You can't hold me here! You can't!!!!" Karolin ranted as she was led away, her voice growing fainter as she was lead further away into the halls of the Jedi Temple. Master Shan and RT watched her being led away, the other Masters already dispersing.
"You took great personal and professional risk to bring her here, thank you. I consider it my duty to ensure something is done this time." Master Shan spoke regarding RT as they started down the hangar bay. RT popped the seal on his helmet, removing it and putting it under his arm. He looked exhausted. The events of the last 48 hours with his sister obviously having taken a toll. It wasn’t lost on Shan as she looked at him sympathetically.
"Just don't let her escape this time. Last time your Sages didn't even put her in holding, just let her roam the grounds."
Master Shan stopped walking to face RT, placing her hands on her hips, "Last time she wasn't as far gone and the Circle of Sages are not in the habit of treating those in their care as prisoners...", Master Shan began to walk again explaining herself. "Besides, last time was not an escape as much as a rescue by another very disturbed and diluted Jedi."
It was RT's turn to stop walking. "Master, we are in the Jedi Temple. You mean to tell me anyone can walk in and do whatever they want?" Shan didn’t feel the need to explain herself, she ignored the comment directly, looking up toward the vaulted ceiling and closing her eyes a second. Karolin escaped with the aid of a very enamored Jedi who allowed her to touch something she shouldn’t have. It reconnected her with a Dark Force, allowing her to escape with very little problem. That was the reason the Jedi, Master Shan personally, sent RT as a personal request to bring Karolin back. She there was something more to her madness; she was making such good progress before.
Master Shan smiled at RT's comment. "Major, this is a place of peace and meditation; we are not used to dealing with this kind of corruption. It has been at least 300 years since the Council has held a tribunal to decide someone's fate." RT merely shook his head in response, finally clearing his throat to speak, the sound coming out more as a grunt.
"We have other issues to deal with, Grandmaster. The Republic and the Council must deal with my sister's corruption, if not just for her sake but also the sake if the Project." Master Shan nodded her acknowledgement as they entered the corridor. Though Shan hated her portion of her and the Jedi’s participation in the Project, it had lasted more than a Century. It was part of the Jedi as much as the Republic. Together they walked out of the hanger and into the spacious halls of the Temple, headed for the holding area.
Karolin sat in her empty cell rubbing her wrists, the Force binders having been removed. She looked at her surroundings noticing the two Sentinels were standing watch outside. She frowned and leaned back resting her head against the wall. Just another holding cell, just another day in the life of what was Karolin Alpha. It angered her, sure she had committed some crimes. Most she had forgotten about. How was any of it her fault? How could she be expected to control passions after a lifetime of suppressing them? It made no sense as she laid her head back, closing her eyes, "Here we go again..."
Korriban Space Station More than 15 Years Prior….
A much younger Karolin stood in the foyer of the ICW on the Korriban Space Station looking through the glass at her Brother's lifeless body. She brushed her Padawan's braid back behind her ear, listening to her Master and the attending physicians talk.
"This is highly unorthodox, Doctor. Family connection is severed when a Jedi enters training; we are only here at the Grandmaster's behest...." Master Valaad stroked his forehead while speaking to the Doctor. Karolin looked up at her Master's frustration, looking between the Master and her Brother's body. Something stirred within her as she listened to the men talk, their voices becoming distant inside her head. She shuffled silently into the room the padded soles of her shoes and her flowing brown robe making little sound. Coming up to RT's bedside, Karolin looked down at him with sad, swollen red eyes...it had been a long time since she had cried with or for her Brother, the last time being the day they took her from the Jedi Orphanage on Corellia to the Jedi Temple to begin her training. She looked back quickly at the two men still arguing.
"Master...I don't care if you were Darth Malak himself...the Republic says she goes in....she goes in!" The Doctor spoke putting a finger in Master Valaad's chest for emphasis. Karolin lowered her head slightly speaking softly. Lowering her hands to his chest she began to illuminate a golden glow, illuminating the machines around her. "RT....I love you...", she grunted through clenched teeth, pressing down on his stasis container in a swift motion "Live!"
The room shook and the life saving machines exploded in a shower of sparks, electrical currents surging into the walls around her. The Doctor and Master Valaad jumped at the sudden noise, the former looking down realizing Karolin was no longer next to him. A swirling current of the Living Force whisked through the room enveloping her as she looked to the ceiling closing her eyes gently. The emergency room where her brother lay was in chaos, machinery spun around the room, lights shattered and sparks flew. Electrical currents from the machinery began to feed into her power as she continued to concentrate, all the chaos around her and in her mind she was at peace. IN her mind she was holding her brother's life in her hands.
Glass shattered as the door to the container exploded outward from overload and still she did not move, her face stretching into a loving smile as she grabbed him. Softly she spoke to no one, no one anyone could see as she whispered, "Got you....it's time to come home. Come back to me...." As the machinery dropped and exploded on the floor she slumped from the surge of raw energy and looked into the container expectantly, but still RT did not move. She knew, he was alive. She had seen him in her Mind's Eye and together, hand in hand they walked back toward home.
It was over the current died down and smoke ebbed from all corners of the small room, the occasional spark causing Karolin to jump as she looked around.
"Padawan! What have you done!?! I gave you strict instru--" , Master Valaad didn't finish his sentence before noticing Karolin was looking toward him, smoke rising from around her vestments. Master Valaad reached to touch her and quickly pulled his hand back, she was hot to the touch. The Doctor and Master Valaad exchanged glances, the Doctor whispering to him.
"Is she supposed to smoke like that?"
Master Valaad looked at the man wide eyed, "She's not even supposed to be able to do that right now...she has had no training in the Healing Arts." Valaad looked into the child's face, "Karolin, how did you do that?"
Karolin looked at her Master smiling, " I just knew...it felt like the right thing to do." RT moved his eyelids turning his head to face his Sister, he smiled faintly.
RT walked into the entryway nodding thoughtfully at both Jedi Knights before approaching Karolin's doorway, she had her head back against the wall, her eyes closed.
"I can smell you from over here, RT. Even through that security grid....", she didn’t open her eyes simply talked to the air around her. RT put his hands on his hips looking at his Sister.
"Have I interrupted your meditations, I can leave..." RT pulled up a chair and sat it next to the security grid in the doorway still peering at her. "You're making this more difficult than it has to be." Karolin's eyes opened with a start. Glaring at him, she jumped up headed for the doorway. "Karolin don’t! Its shield--", he didn’t get the last words out before she received a jolt from the door that sent her reeling in pain, clasping her hand she looked up at him.
"Why not just kill me? That’s what they all want anyway, why not just do it and be done with it!"
RT removed his helmet setting it between his legs. He looked lovingly at his Sister. "That's not what I want. It's not what any of us want....your being unreasonable." Karolin cackled uncontrollably at his comment. She knew full well the Jedi had never executed someone for crimes of any type. Jedi were just expected to never commit a crime. Though it did happen, exile was the usual punishment. In in extreme cases, Jedi were sent to the ‘Prism’.
"You really think, they are ever going to let me out of here alive? After allowing me to run last time...now who's the one without reason.." RT got up from his chair looking at her through the grid. He paced around the room slowly finally looking up at her sadly.
"How did we get to this point? I really thought you would change after the treatment last time...you were doing so good here, happy even to be back at the Temple...they were pleased with your progress...I just don’t get it." Karolin scoffed at his remark about the Temple lowering her hand and turning to face him fully.
"These idiots, the Temple...all of it is a joke! And you’re falling for all of it!" She approached the doorway, her voice almost pleading. "Just get them to let me out...I will run away, far away. You will never see me again, I swear it...I won’t cause any more trouble."
RT smiled at his Sister so wanting to take her hand and talk sense to her. He lowered his gaze slightly, "Grandmaster Shan says --" Karolin enraged instantly, her words vicious.
"Grandmaster Shan is a liar! And you are so gullible!", her face twisted into an evil sneer. "You will see...at the very least I will be expelled from the Order, at the most Death!." She sat back down in a huff the robes she was forced to wear sliding off to her sides. RT reached down to pick up his helmet.
"I will be back when you have cooled off some more.", he turned to leave. She charged the doorway again this time getting close enough to yell through it, but not actually touching it.
"You'll see! And you will be sorry, RT! All of you will!", Karolin turned a circle in her little room, finally stopping and falling into an exhausted heap on the floor. "The Temple...what a joke..."
Jedi Temple, Coruscant…12 Standard Years Prior....
Karolin stood before the Council beaming with pride at having accomplished her mission. The Order's latest Barsen'thor she was now about to receive its highest honor. The Grandmaster rose to speak.
"Jedi Knight Karolin Barsen'thor Alpha, today marks the day when you will cast off the mantle of Student to the Force, you are no longer a mere subject to its infinite teachings, today you are its Master." The assembled group all rose at the Master's words, some people clearly not belonging in the Council chamber, seated in extra chairs around the room. She smiled at each and every one of them in turn, RT, her former Master; Master Valaad, various dignitaries from around the galaxy and most of all the newest love in her life, her partner Jedi Knight Markus Chase. The Grandmaster continued. "Karolin...if you will please approach the Council..." In unison all of the Council members ignited their lightsabers. She lowered her head and kneeled before the Grandmaster. "For your exemplary service...above and beyond the call of duty to the Jedi Order and the Galactic Republic....I hereby grant you the title of Jedi Master, with all of the privileges that go with said rank." The Grandmaster nearly touched each of her shoulders with his saber flicking the tip at the last moment in a flourish before she rose from her feet to a standing ovation, bowing before them she let a tear fall mouthing the words.
She looked around the room her eyes landing on Markus who snuck in a wink at her. All she wanted to do was run to Markus and give him a big hug, but protocol prevailed. As the clapping died down and the assembled started to depart she felt she could slip away to see Markus, but a hand across her shoulder stopped her.
"Youngest Master in the History of the Jedi Order...never thought I'd see the day...almost brought a tear to my eye.", RT laughed jokingly. She elbowed him in the ribs, trying to tear herself away from his grip. Looking around, he winked at his sister and hugged her close from the side as they began to walk, "I trust Porchia is giving you very little trouble?" His demeanor turned semi-serious as Karolin dipped her head turning a shade darker. They were getting along well enough, the Jedi Temple was the best learning environment a child could have, even a non-force sensitive child. The blush from Karolin was from the other things Porchia was learning under her Aunt Karolin's rather 'loose' tutelage.
"She's fine RT, we will be able to see her later. She's in class at the moment...I have arranged for you two to spend some time together today while I take care of....", Karolin flashed a glance at Marcus who had disappeared behind a column in the huge vaulted chamber, "....'other' business." Karolin turned her attention back to her brother and pushed on his shoulder. Porchia had been living with Karolin since her brother RT started attending the Republic Officer's Academy off-world. His follow on assignments kept him on the move and Karolin gladly agreed to keep the little girl, "You almost didn’t see it, Captain. If I hadn't specifically requested they bring you back to Coruscant from the Outer Rim, what are you doing out there anyway?", Karolin looked at her Brother inquisitively. RT cleared his throat, ready to make another joke.
"Its all very hush-hush, even Jedi Masters cant know...", RT snickered. She poked him in the ribs again. "Ow! Stop that, I'm brittle..." Someone cleared their throat behind them and they turned to face the Grandmaster standing patiently a few steps away.
"Captain. Master Alpha...might I have a word, if your Brother is done teasing you." RT bowed before the Grandmaster.
"As you wish, Sir. I'm sure I have other places to be...besides Jedi business bores me and I have a little girl to go surprise.", RT poked his sister. "I...will see YOU later, Coruscant is a big place and we have some catching up to do." RT bowed again before taking his leave from the two. The Grandmaster walked up beside Karolin, getting a little too close.
"Master Alpha, I have new orders for you. You will report to the archives to begin your research and training. You are to become the Keeper of the Record and the Relic Vault." Karolin stopped cold at his words.
"Master...I...had hoped, with the renewed hostilities…the reemergence of the Sith...well…that I would be given a Command."
The Grandmaster smiled warmly, "There are no Sith here on Coruscant. And your skills and talents are needed here at the Temple. Besides, our diplomats already negotiate for a peace with the Sith Empire...there will be no hostilities soon." Karolin frowned. The man noticed the change in her demeanor and sharpened his words. "To long for battle and conflict...is not the Jedi way. You must temper your eagerness for that sort of thing. You have already done so much for the Order, the Republic...your skills at Diplomacy have brought in five new worlds and countless new possibilities. This is a glorious time for the Order...I can think of no better person to take the archives and that knowledge, to help pass it on to the next generation of Jedi Masters." Karolin noticed Markus lurking around in the corner of the chamber, anxious to end her conversation, she bowed taking her leave.
"As you wish, Master. I hear and will do as you ask."
The Grandmaster bowed in return, giving her a warm smile with a squeeze of her shoulder before taking his own leave. Karolin looked around cautiously before stalking up to Markus, he grabbed her robe pulling her behind one of the pillars, kissing her deeply. Markus smiled, pushing her away slightly. He bowed to her mockingly.
"Why, Master. Should you be so liberal with your kisses...some of the other Jedi Knights may get jealous..." Karolin smiled back at him, kissing him again before speaking. After breaking their lip lock she frowned.
"You mock me. And on my Special day...shame on you." She brushed the hair from her eyes looking up at him longingly, turning serious. "Markus, we have to spend some serious time together...I have just been informed...I'm not leaving the Temple. I am to be made Archivi--" She was interrupted by his laughing smile. "What's so funny? All the plans we made their--" Markus grabbed her around the waist kissing her deeply again.
"That’s Great! I am assigned here too...I was told I am to teach Martial Combat, we will be together anyway." Suddenly Karolin didn’t feel quite as bad, she smiled at him. The two hugged for a few precious second before removing themselves from behind the pillar...their fingers the last things to touch as they let each other go. She glanced back his direction, her face longing still for that last touch. He looked back at her too, smiling.
It had been going on for some time. The relationship between them was strictly forbidden, but she couldn’t help it. Even from a young age Karolin showed a passion for anything involving members of the opposite sex. Even before her sister Mrysti left the Temple with their other Brother, Hamner, Karolin had been seeing Markus for nearly two years. Often she would use RT’s daughter Porchia or even her sister to as an excuse to meet up with him. Their relationship grew and it grew fast in those two years. More than just the intimate moments they shared, Karolin was truly in love. It was dangerous, it clouded her thoughts as she spent all of idle time either dreaming about Markus or actually being with him.
They would don disguises, sneak out of the Temple to walk the streets together. When they were not sneaking around they spent the remainder of their time in either his room or hers. Those moments she truly treasured. It was during those moments, when they were alone, his touch, his kiss….she truly knew he loved her. And she would return that love, sometimes with such ferocity that it frightened Markus. Though he never spoke to her directly, he knew her passions could easily allow her to slip into the Dark Side. Markus was just as guilty in that regard, when she did slip, when she let the passion flow and would show just how much she loved him; the two of them naked in the throes of passion, he savored every delicious moment. Karolin was his world.
She kept the look for a few more seconds until Marcus disappeared and she frowned. That day would not be one they would share, there was too much going on, too much celebration in light of her elevation to Master. She had a brother to entertain, a little girl to keep watch over and a new job to think about. It was all so much and all she really wanted to do was spend all of her waking moments with Marcus. Thus was the price of being successful, even her lust to join the War had now been satiated. Marcus would be at the Temple with her. She smiled as she walked toward the classrooms, where she knew RT and Porchia would be waiting. Several passing Jedi bowed and called her by her new honorific as she passed them. 'Master' they said. It had not really sunk in yet. The word itself held significant meaning. It meant that she had to power to alter her destiny finally. There was time, time enough to decide what she wanted to do. There was time, time for Marcus, time for life again. At last Karolin finally had what she wanted, Time.
-- The next day, Karolin reported to the Archives, her assistants already having laid out her desk area. They all bowed in unison as she approached. One of the lead Knights, stepped forward bowing slightly. "Master. I am your lead research assistant, Jedi Knight Camen A'largos, it is my duty and privilege to serve you." Karolin bowed back, smiling brightly. She looked at them all.
"Thank you, for such a warm reception. You may all resume your duties, I am sure we will all become very close in the coming weeks." She bent down looking at her various code keys and implements, picking up a very delicate looking, odd shaped crystal, peering at it questiongly, she gestured to A'largos.
"Ah, Master. I see you have discovered the "Master's Key", that is the key to all of the artifact vaults as well as the implement to transfer and accept data into the Archive. You will have two actually, one that all Masters carry as well as this one..." Camen held up a second key, similar in design to the first but much larger with a dangling emblem at its end. She continued to peer at the first, glancing at the second.
"So...don’t keep me in suspense Camen, what does this particular key do that the regular Master's key doesn’t."
A'largos gestured to a large databank in the far corner of the vast hall, "Master, if you will allow me..." He took the key from Karolin, inserting it into a slot located in a hidden part of the databank, the bank went from glowing blue like the others to a very bright yellow. "As you can see...when the Archivist key is inserted, you will have access to all of the collective knowledge of the Jedi, the difference in the Archivist key and the standard Master's key is that you will be allowed to move data from various locations." Karolin looked at him even more questioningly. Realizing he wasn’t getting his point across, A'largos tried again. "Master, you effectively become the Archive. You can change, add, and....move data across billions of light-years." Karolin pretended to understand.
"Ah...I see. But why would I ever want to move data? This is the main Temple…all of our collective Knowledge is here."
A'largos smiled at his new Master. "Because Master, if the Archive gets compromised...we will need to save it." A'largos removed the key handing it to her and pointing at it. The Databank returned to its blue color. "That key...is the key to saving our collective knowledge." Karolin slumped a little, the burden finally hitting her. A'largos smiled at her bowing and taking his leave. She sighed looking at the rows and rows of databanks, it hit her; she had huge shoes to fill. She held the key in her hand and smiled. Karolin was the archive he had said. A nifty thing to be the archive. She continued to look at the key finally putting it away in the folds of her robe as a voice behind her made her turn slightly. She would know that voice anywhere, it was the one she dreamed about constantly. And even before she turned, Karolin was already turning a shade darker in embarrassment from having Marcus catch her in reflection.
Karolin raised her head in her little room looking up at the security grid on the door, it was still in place and she was still locked in a room within the Temple on Tython. She shifted her weight a little bringing her legs to herself in a cross leg pattern, believing maybe a little meditation might soothe her rage. She lowered her head again, whispering to herself..."There is no conflict...there is only the Force..."
Jedi Temple, Coruscant…12 Standard Years Prior...
It had only been a few weeks since she took over as Archivist, but she was getting the hang of it. Things were coming along quite nicely. It helped that Markus was here at the Temple on Coruscant with her, she spent almost all of her off time with him, making any excuse she could to get away. The previous night, as she lay naked beside him, he traced on her back, kissing it ever so often. Karolin giggled slightly turning her head to look over her shoulder.
Markus slid toward her, laying his naked form next to her and spooned her close. She could already feel his passion ‘rising’ again as she smiled wickedly finally turning to face him. She traced her green tipped nail over his shoulder as he kissed and nibbled at her scooting ever closer with each kiss. She wanted to ask him, but didn’t have the heart to. Though it had been two years, so much had happened in her life in a short time. Now she was a Master and the Archivist of the largest repository of ancient information in the universe. But at that moment, all she was, was Karolin Alpha; a woman in love. He pushed her softly to her back as she slid over the top of her parting her legs with his hips. She gasped as he slid inside her, digging her nails into his shoulder. His rhythm was slow and methodical; he really wanted to take his time as he kissed down her neck to her breasts. She let out a slight whimper, slapping one shoulder with the palm of her hand, just about to tell him to push himself harder. Markus kept it slow, really drawing it out of her as he looked deep in her eyes opening him mouth to speak before she could.
For a moment, she lost her passionate concentration as she lovingly looked at him, replying between deep breaths.
“Yes, what Markus?”
Bending his neck down he kissed her deeply, before breaking off to plant a ‘tonguey’ kiss on her neck.
“Yes…I would give all this up just to be with you.”
Her eyes opened wider as she smiled brightly, “Since when did you become a mind reader?”
Markus slowed his pace even further, removing himself almost completely before he shocked her by slamming every inch of himself back inside her. She gasped squealing loudly, her nails digging back into his shoulders.
“Since I know…that you would do the same for me. I love you…and none of this matters except that.”
Markus did increase his efforts without her urgency. She hugged on him tightly, wrapping her legs around him this time. As Markus gave her everything, all that he had, Karolin knew that he meant what he said. It wasn’t just something he said because he was bedding her. Markus truly meant it, he would give up his life for her.
Breaking from her thought of the previous night, she was in the middle of reviewing several ancient Sith texts, when a knock came to her private door, it was A'largos, he bowed reverently. She was already in the habit of waving that sort of formality off.
"Camen, I told you. If it's just us...you can dispense with the formality."
Camen turned three shades of red. "S-sorry, Master...I have finished my analysis of the last of the Sith Holocrons, it is also a forgery. It appears we only have 50 or so that are actually the real thing.", he lowered his head in defeat. Karolin came out from behind her desk, placing a caring hand on his shoulder.
"Camen, we can’t always be right...even Jedi make mistakes, the fault is not yours that the Order takes all Holocrons as the real thing...it’s our job to weed o--" A large rumble could he heard and felt throughout the Temple, the floor shook and the Databanks blue hue flickered for a moment. She looked alarmingly at Camen. "That’s not natural...that was an explosion of some kind." She pushed Camen out of her doorway. "Camen secure the Vaults, get the Grandmaster on the Comm, tell him we transfer the Archive on his order--" The Klaxon alarms began to sound as Camen scurried off, she reached for her personal comm her only thought of the one person who mattered most in her life, "Markus...Markus, are you there? What’s happening?" Markus rezzed into existence on her Holocom clearly in some kind of distress.
<"Came...nowhere...dozens...acking, Sith...carrier crashed into...all Jedi responding!"> Karolin shook her Comm in agitation.
"Markus, you’re breaking up. Did you say Sith in the Temple?" Her thought went to Porchia as she shook the Comm, she looked around and back top the fizzling image on the screen. She knew there was so much to do before she could leve, get Markus, get Porchia.....and run, "Markus....I have to get Porchia! Marcus!!!..."
Markus ignited his lightsaber on her screen seeming to not hear all of what she said, <"Yes. Dozens..they are attacking in the foyer and moving to other parts of the Temple....Grandmaster… dead. I am on my way to you, stay there!">
Karolin deactivated her Comm her mind racing as she shook violently. The Sith, attacking their temple. Karolin had no intention of fighting if she could help it, there was simply too much at stake. Moving quickly and deliberately to the ONE databank. She inserted her Archivist Key to begin transferring all of the Temple's data to various Temples scattered around the Galaxy. Her assistants were running around grabbing various datacubes, trying desperately to salvage anything. Karolin grabbed A'largos as he ran past. "Camen, tell them to drop those cubes! I have already started the transfer...go secure the vaults, move the items to the transports! Hurry!" Camen nodded a nervous acknowledgement as he turned to question his Master.
"You’re transferring the Data without the Grandmaster's approval?"
Karolin grew angry, she grabbed Camen shoving him backwards, "He's dead Camen! And so are we if we don’t hurry...GO!" Camen turned to begin barking orders to the others in time to see a few red bladed individuals round the corner of the vast hall. A'largos turned to warn his Master...too late, one of the Sith flung a saber in his direction cutting him in two as he turned. Karolin turned in time to see her learner fall in two pieces in front of her. She twisted her face in anger, igniting her own green blade. One of the Sith, began pointing at various positions within the Archive as two of the others, began to side-step in an attempt to flank her. She leapt on one of the tables back flipping to the closest kicking the man in the face, the other seeing her move attempted to hit her with Force lightning, missing horribly and striking yet another Sith skulking close by in the chest. The man reeled from her kick swinging his blade wildly. Karolin brought her saber down through, the ‘face-kicked’ Sith's skull, stopping his movement. She now faced her other flanker. Her other assistants, now igniting their own lightsabers, to join in the battle. Karolin glanced back at the databank, it still glowed yellow...the download had not yet finished. She knew she had to buy more time. Karolin pointed her saber at her remaining attacker. The Sith smiled at her.
"Out of my way, Librarian...this Archive is now the property of the Sith Empire!"
Karolin smiled back at the Sith bringing her saber up in a mock salute. "I wasn’t always a Librarian..." She parried the Sith's first blow side stepping and slamming her saber through the Sith backside, she glanced over her shoulder, looking at her blade through the man's chest, "...and I would very much like you to remember that." Karolin looked past her kill to see more Sith beginning to pour in, her assistants now awed by her last killing blow coming up beside her, looking at her. She pointed her saber at the incoming Sith, "Follow Me!"
One by one her assistants began to fall, most being rusty from having not practiced their martial skills in sometime. Karolin however, was not. It helped that the love of her life taught that exact skill and many hours of her life were spent trying to best the man she so desperately cared for. A Sith saber swooped a huge arc toward her head which she ducked and leaned back from, thrusting her own saber toward the attacker, impaling him. She looked around, most of her learners had already fallen, the databank still gleaming yellow, but she knew she had run out of time. The remaining Sith surrounded her in an circle, slowly closing in...they deactivated their lightsabers, intent on taking her alive, which she had no intention of doing.
She turned her lightsaber on herself and kneeled on her haunches, preparing to meet the Force when a scream interrupted her ritual. "My Love..."
"YOU...will not take her!", Markus came boiling in from the archway, decapitating the first Sith and slicing two others as he ran past toward her. The Sith Commander, who until this point had mostly stayed in the background, stepped forward hitting Markus with a bolt of Force Lightning, lifting him from his run and slamming him into the wall behind him. Karolin screamed, she didn’t hear herself scream, but knew she did as she watched Markus flail helplessly through the air, his charred body landing on the ground next to the wall. The other attackers took the opportunity of the interruption to rush Karolin, grabbing her by her arms. Her lightsaber clattering to the floor, deactivating. The Commander activated his own blade, stepping close to Karolin's face.
"Valiant effort, Jedi. But foolish. We came here knowing if any place would be more well defended than the entrance, it would be the Archive.", he gestured around the huge room at his own dead Soldiers. "Our losses were calculated. But your loss..it will be grave indeed....for the Jedi." The Commander raised his blade, Karolin slightly raised her head, blood trickled from the corner of her mouth, prepared once again to meet the Force. "Goodbye Librarian...it has been...entertaining."
Markus rolled on to his side, watching the final moments of his beloved, knowing he only had one chance to save her. Activating his lightsaber, Markus flung it toward the Commander's blade deflecting the killing blow. Karolin raised her head sharply, pulling the stunned Sith holding her arms toward her, she head butted the first who released her arm, kicking the other in the chest toward another stunned group, she reached down and retrieved her blade, slicing her captors, "I told you...I wasn’t always a Librarian."
The Commander quickly recovered from having his death blow deflected, stalking deliberately toward Markus. The Commander unleashed a deadly barrage of Lightning at him. "Now...YOU will just die!" Markus crumbled under the onslaught, finally falling over completely. Karolin saw Markus fall from the corner of her eye, anger boiling within her, rage taking over her being. She thought briefly of her former Master; Varaad....
"To walk the Dark Path in time of need is...is a skill not many have mastered. To walk the Dark Path...and use it in tandem with the Light, is the Essence of the Force....."
She unleashed a primal scream, rocking the vast chamber. The remaining Sith turning to face her. The Commander stopped his Lightning onslaught to the already crippled Markus. "So...our Librarian wants to play Sith, so be it." He charged her.
Karolin extended her arms out to her side, calling on all of her passion. All of her love, all of her hate; all of it growing into a maelstrom of absolute power...Light and Dark. Her mind echoed with a word, she heard a voice, soft and sinister, it was joined by other voices; those for which screamed at her 'NO'. She was crossing over, moving past a threshold that she could never return from. One of the voices was Markus and as she looked at his lifeless form she swore hearing him join the chorus inside of her head, 'NO' he cried. The softer of the group echoed and chimed over the others.
'Yes...this is what you want. Finish them, revenge him. Think about Porchia...think about the Archive. You need this...they deserve this....'
As she grew in strength, she glanced at Markus’ near lifeless body, it was the catalyst that pushed her over the edge. Lightning caressed her legs and charged from her fingers, her eyes grew dark as she looked down on the remaining attackers. The Sith Commander continued to close on her, as he reached her, Karolin shot her arms out forward hitting the Commander with a powerful blast of Lightning of her own, the man dropped dead in his tracks. The remaining Sith attempted to attack, but were caught up in a Force Storm of Karolin's design, she smiled evilly watching them wiggle like fish out of water, each Sith in turn dropping dead.
Karolin brought her arms down, lowering herself back to the floor, she fell to a knee exhausted and suddenly looked up. She ran to Markus cradling his head in her arms, she spoke to him through a teary haze as she brushed his hair out of his face, rocking him back and forth slowly, "Markus...I'm getting you out of here, you’re going to be all right." But she knew it wasn’t true. He looked up at her, charred flesh falling away from his face. As the Temple around them rocked and shook, the world falling apart, he smiled at her faintly, reaching up to touch her face and whispered a single word.
Her whole world died in that moment. A numbness, a buzzing in her ear as everything went deaf and dark. Perhaps it was disbelief or complete sadness. As she held the last of Markus in her arms she knew that everything was over. The cold chill of rage and hate overtook her and she pulled him close to her screaming so loud that the windows in the upper atrium shattered. It was a world shattering scream a scream that could be heard through the Force as she shifted. Karolin's very essence changing in that moment as she kissed the top of his head and set him back down with tear filled eyes. Everything blurred as she watched and her thoughts raced. Perhaps she should join him, she glanced around for his lightsaber and thought to pick it up as a tiny hand tugged on her robe.
"Auntie Karolin....Hurry!!! We have to go!!!"
Karolin swallowed hard, she gained a moment of clarity as the final word Markus spoke echoed in her mind. She looked down at Marcus taking Porchia's hand and swore in that moment that she would not rest until every Sith in the galaxy paid for what they done.
"There will never be enough....As long as I draw breath, I swear to you--" She looked out into the former shattered library and the databank that had since turned blue denoting the change, the data had been transferred; the bodies of the Sith littering the floor of her former charge, "--there will never be enough of you that I can kill to satisfy my desire for vengeance...." She looked at Porchia and together they left the library for the final time; Marcus' new resting place and a tomb that she would never come back to. His voice echoed again in her head, this time accompanied by the laughing sinister little voice that spoke in tandem with her one time love.
She opened her eyes from her meditation. Angrier still at her choice of thoughts during that particular session. She stood approaching the security field barring her door, glaring at the two Knights keeping a close eye on her. She smiled sarcastically at them both, finally taking a seat back on her wall. Resting her head on it, she wished she could think about anything other than the past. Footfalls interrupted her; she darted up to her door to see who was coming. The leader of the Circle of Sages entered the room to bows from both of Karolin's guards. As he approached the door, she snapped at him viciously, "What do you want?".
"Just to talk. I need...I mean, I would like to assess how you are doing, mentally...spiritually." he smiled at her.
Karolin brought her knees up to her chest, placing her elbows upon them and her head in her hands, she returned his remark through her hands, "Can't you tell? I am at my best when I have time to review my life..."
Republic Seventh Fleet, Republic Dreadnaught: ‘The North Star’ Four Months after the Fall of the Temple....
The Seventh Fleet cruised at impulse speed into the Hoth system, all thirteen ships slowing as they entered. Karolin gazed out one of the port windows watching the tiny planets orbiting Hoth prime come into view, she adjusted her belt slightly, sighing to herself. In her hand she held the holo-projector. It's faint blue glow reflecting off the large port window as she looked out over the planet and glanced at the holo being projected from the device. An image of 'her' Marcus hovering in the ions above the holo-field. She didn't smile, a stern consternation etched across her features as she looked out and over the white hot glow of the planet below. For a moment she forgot why they were there, then realizing it was yet another 'bug hunt' the constant pursuit of all things related to the Sith's renewed hostilities imprinting themselves on her mind. Her lips twisted in anger as she glanced at the holo of Marcus one last time before putting it away. More Sith to kill and one step closer to death herself. Someday, she would rejoin him.
This being her fourth month on board the ‘North Star’, she was already starting to go stir crazy with the constant rapidity set by her Republic forces. She called them her forces because in essence they were hers. There was a Republic chain of command on board the ship, all of HER Troopers reported to their superiors, but when the boots hit the durasteel, it was Karolin that led the charge, Karolin that her Commanders all turned to. In the four months since the War began anew, she never once let her men deploy without her. She had grown very fond of them and them of her. They even had a nickname for her, “The Iron Lady”, she never failed, never faltered and never ran from any conflict, always upfront, always with her men. She was still gazing out of the port as she heard the boots approach turning to see the Military Commander of the North Star, coming to greet her. They may all have called her 'The Iron Lady' due to her tenacity in battle, but none knew her true agenda. Karolin was chasing Death in hopes that someday, she would catch it.
“Ma’am, we have entered the Hoth system. No signs of any enemy activity, this should be a simple search and destroy. We land our troops, get in and get out, simple.” She smiled at Commander Rathbone.
“Commander, need I remind you that I am merely the Jedi assigned to YOUR ship. This is a Republic vessel…you don’t have to report to me if do not wish to. I go where I am told.” The Commander smiled back being used to Master Karolin’s sense of duty.
“And I told you once Master. This is your ship; you have gotten us out of more scraps than I could count. We all serve you, until you are replaced or killed.”, he laughed despite himself, knowing full well it would take quite a bit to kill her. She simply looked back out the view port, frowning a little. She sensed something…elusive, but couldn’t make it out. She returned her attention to the Commander.
“Very well, Commander, bring us into line with the rest of the Battle Group, standard orbit…have the drop troops prepare for departure.”, she adjusted her belt again, never quite used to wearing armor, but finding it necessary if for more than anything else, just to blend in. She smiled to herself remembering the first time she led the men on an attack, they all gawked at her for running straight into battle with only her robes on, and after that she donned the Armor of the Troopers. Moving next to the Commander, she patted him on the shoulder, “Rathbone, one of these days...I have to teach you boys how to adjust this armor for women.” He laughed, bowing slightly. She walked down the corridor headed to the dropship stopping by her quarters to pick up her cloak, although she wore armor, she still wanted to be identified as a Jedi, even to her men. As she donned it thinking back to just after the Battle of Coruscant she smiled again, sighing…she had finally gotten what she wanted, Command. Master Shan had been named Grandmaster of the Jedi Order after the demise of their previous Grandmaster and specifically requested Karolin to join the Seventh Fleet stating....
“Your expertise will be invaluable to these troops, you are already combat proven…this will be an easy task for you.”
She smiled weakly, Grandmaster Shan, so young to be a Grandmaster, but then who was she to talk being the youngest Jedi in history to be named…Master. Looking in her locker briefly, she glanced at the Holo of Markus Chase and herself, walking near the Tree of Enlightenment inside the Coruscant Temple…that Tree long gone as well as Markus. She frowned, tightening her cloak angrily…no Jedi should get pleasure from killing, but she did so enjoy punishing the Sith for the death of her Markus. In the months following, Karolin had changed. Growing colder, she began to shut off her emotions and keep everything close to her chest. She killed without remorse. She killed with what she believed was a pure heart, when in essence she was killing with a heart of stony vengeance. Memories flooded in briefly, she saw him in her arms, dying…the flight from Coruscant of the Jedi to Tython, their present home…the Ceremony where she was awarded the Republic Cross of Gallantry for saving the Jedi Archives, to her none of that mattered…Markus never received a proper burial and for that…the Sith had to pay. She glanced at her locker one last time, her present awards and accolades all heaped at the bottom in a pile, again no amount of recognition could bring her satisfaction. Leaving her quarters she made her way to the launch bay.
The Klaxons began to sound and Karolin already had her lightsaber in hand when the first boarding craft penetrated the North Star’s hull emptying Imperial Troops into the interior.
< “Attention: We have been boarded, repeat We have been boarded…all available troops prepare to repel all boarders, repeat repel boarders…”>
Karolin took off at a Force sprint moving around two already attached Imperial boarding craft to get to the Launch Bay, she knew that’s where she would be needed the most. What she saw upon entering was a slaughterhouse…The Imperials had caught half of her men already loaded into their ships and destroyed them in the bay, bodies littered the ground so thick and she could not step for sound of crunching armor under foot. The other half of her men had corralled themselves into a corner fighting an ever increasing flow of Imperial Troops closing in from the Starboard side of the bay. Karolin moved to her men, dodging incoming blaster fire with her lightsaber, reflecting some of it back to the Imperials, she crouched low to the nearest Trooper, who was busy fighting for his life.
“What’s the situation, Sergeant?”, the scared Trooper looked at Karolin briefly before relaxing a little and looking her full in the face.
“Master…thank the Force. We are pinned here…Imperial Troops have attached ten boarding craft to the Starboard side, intent on taking the launch bay. We…”, the man was silenced by a blaster round through his back armor plate, he fell into Karolin’s arms, she lowered him slowly to the ground saying a silent prayer. Standing up to survey the Imperial entryway, she knew of only one way to staunch the flow of Imperial Troops, but even the Force wouldn’t be enough to do the job, she had to get closer. Using the Force to amplify her voice she called out to her men.
“Listen to me! We have to close that access…I cannot do it alone!”
The men all glanced quickly at her giving a quick military nod. She stood fully upright taking an increasing amount of blaster fire, her cloak smoked as it was ripped to shreds by the incoming storm.
She dove out front dodging the fire and deflecting as much as she could, feeling several sharp pangs in her midsection and her arm, she continued undaunted through the firestorm, her troopers valiantly following close behind giving the Imperials everything they had. She watched them fall like weeds continuing onward, gritting her teeth; she reached the first Imperial Troops, slicing her way through them, parts of Soldier flying all around her, “Al-almost there.” She tossed her saber into the support beam above slicing it in two. As it came crashing down, the few Imperials who remained were too late to run away and were simply crushed by the metal. She kneeled down, catching her saber in her hand as it returned to her. The few remaining Troopers surrounded her.
“Ma’am…you did it!”
One of the troopers broke out a med-kit. “Master…you’ve been injured.” Karolin looked down to see her torso and shoulder armor, burned off by blaster fire, inside the burned out craters, were gaping holes…big enough to fit her fist in. She fell down on her butt, allowing for the first time to feel the wounds. Even with the Force and the adrenaline coursing through her veins, she knew they were mortal. The medic worked fast on her. “Master…hold on, we are getting you out of here.” Karolin swallowed hard, thinking…
‘So this is how it ends…on the floor of a Launch Bay. I love you …Markus, I will see you…soon.’
The klaxons blared again carrying with it the Commander’s voice
< “Attention: Sabotage troops have seized the main reactor core…all hands to reactor core level, repeat all hands to reactor core level.”>
Even with mortal wounds, she propped herself up to the voice on the Comm. The medic tried to push her back down as she slapped the hand away. Her hatred for all things Sith were too much to even allow her to die in peace. Karolin got onto one knee, the medic’s drugs beginning to take effect, she stood slowly.
“You heard the man! Reactor Core level…move!”
The Troopers were not used to seeing their “Iron Lady” in such a condition, but they were even more used to never disobeying an order. They began to move out of the Bay, stepping over their comrades as they went. Karolin grabbed her stomach, pushing her insides back into place, “Just hold together…for a few more minutes.” The Troopers reached the reactor core in time to see the Imperial sabotage troops and droids start to make a break for it. They opened fire cutting them down where they stood. Karolin stepped over one of the Imperials lifting him slightly to look in his face, the half dead Imperial looked back at her, but not with a smirk or laughter…she saw fear, “What have you done? Why were you running?”, she clenched his armor tightly, breaking the front of it as it crunched in her fist.
“They…they set it too soon…it’s set for detonation, 10 minutes….” Karolin dropped the man back to the deck looking at her own men; they all stared at her, impassively.
She moved to the front of the group looking down the corridor, “They are coming….take cov-", Karolin didn’t finish her sentence, having been hit with another barrage of fire as the Imperial destruction droids rounded the corner firing as they came. She fell to her knees and elbows and everything started moving in slow motion. Her Troopers assaulted the desperate Imperials coming within striking distance of the butts of their rifles. The battle became a hand to hand fight for survival, and her men were losing…
"Yes.....yes....it's time again. Time for fun....clasp your hands, pray to the Force to save you or....give in and call for aid. Use the POWER, it is the only way to save them...."
Desperately she wanted to help them and in the end found only one recourse, the little voice speaking in her mind, Karolin already having made the decision…she propped herself up to just her knees, clasping her hands together, she called on the Dark Side for aid. The klaxons blared again, this time an Imperial voice could be heard, the Empire no doubt having captured the bridge, killing everyone alive.
< “Attention: All Imperial and Republic personnel, this is a general call for evacuation, repeat all hands abandon ship.”>
Karolin was deep in her trance when the Klaxon blared again, unaware of how dramatically the battle had shifted. Her wounds began to heal at an accelerated rate, her Dark Power being fueled by her rage. She stood, glowing red eyes surveying the scene and re-ignited her lightsaber cutting down the first Imperial she saw. She became a storm, angry, deaf and hungry for vengeance. But all she saw were Soldiers running, Imperial and Republic alike…all of them, to include her own men. She whispered under her breath....
She unleashed the storm....
The Seventh Fleet was crippled. 10 of 13 ships so badly damaged they could not move under their own power. The Imperial ambush force had long since limped away, satisfied that the Republic would not be landing any troops on Hoth. A salvage crew approached the North Star, the sixth ship in their rotation to be moved back to a repair facility. The salvage Captain moved his ship to an airlock, turning on the intercom for his crew.
“Listen up! If this one is like the rest…no atmosphere, lots of bodies...mostly frozen. Pressure suits for everyone, watch what you run up against, tear your suit…you die.”
The crew entered the North Star’s Starboard Launch Bay, one of the salvage crew elbowing his Captain.
“Sir…these bodies, they are not frozen…they are just…dead.” The Captain checked a readout on an instrument then made a circle motion with his finger so everyone could see.
“It’s breathable. Helmets off, keep them close, other parts of the ship might not be.”
The crew made its way to the Bridge, all occupants were dead. Most killed by an Imperial assault force from the look of things. One of the salvage crew, called his Captain over, “Sir…look at this.” The Imperial assault force Commander sat in the North Star’s Captain’s chair, a single hole burned through the center of his chest. The salvage Captain scratched his head.
“That’s not blaster damage.”
One of the other salvage crew members was shining a light on one of the bulkheads, “Captain…check this out.” The Salvage Captain moved next to his crew mate taking the light from his hand.
“What the hell is that?”
Written on the bulkhead in blood were the words, “THIS IS MY SHIP!” The Captain scratched his head again.
“We need to get out of here! I don’t like this at all.” The Salvage Captain’s comm. Beeped, it was his crew down by the Reactor Core. “Go ahead reactor team, what ya got?” the voice that came back was frightened and a little nervous.
“Uh…everyone here is dead. But…one…. Captain, you’re going to need to see this…” The captain moved his team out quickly making his way to the Reactor level. What he found when he got there was unreal and answered his question about the hole in the man’s chest on the bridge. Body parts littered the floor in odd angles, the bodies that were whole had neat single holes in their torsos. The Captain bent down to touch one of the burn holes, he murmured to himself, “Lightsaber.” His crew called to him from across the cavernous room.
The Captain rounded the corner to see a single woman, crouched down holding her head in her hands and rocking back and forth. None of his crew approached the woman, none of his crew even moved. The Captain bent down slightly, noticing the burned off armor, the tattered cloak, but he couldn’t see her face. He lowered himself further, venturing to speak.
“Ma’am…we are a Republic salvage team. We can get you to safety.” He received no response and tried again.
“Ma’am...are you injured? We have medical facilities aboard my ship.”, he extended his hand.
“Ma’am…what’s your name, we can help you.” He watched the woman stop rocking and slowly turn to face him. He gasped at her face, veins having run the course of her once beautiful features, scars and tears marked the other parts. He swallowed hard. “What’s your name miss?” The woman smiled evilly.
Raising her head up, Karolin looked at the Sage Master with swollen eyes. She quickly looked around her cell out of the corner of her eyes keeping her focus on the man, “It’s a conspiracy! That’s what it is!” Jumping to the nearest wall she placed her hands and the side of her face flat against the surface, hissing to the wall, “Must be something they put in the air…to make you think about your past, your life choices!” The Sage Master sat up slightly in his chair looking at her through the security screen.
“Nothing so dastardly, Master Alpha, I assure you.”, he smiled. Karolin moved quickly to the screen on her doorway peering at the man.
“Then you poisoned me! To spare the Council embarrassment!”, Karolin hissed at the Sage Master, “You and your Circle of Sages…that was the plan all along!”
The Sage Master looked at Karolin thoughtfully, getting up from his chair, “I just thought you may want to share your thoughts with me…before…”, he trailed off. Karolin put her hands on her hips glaring at him.
“Before what? Before they sentence me?...You’re wasting your time! I don’t need you! I don’t need anybody!”, Karolin dropped her hands looking through her doorway to the little window on the far side of the room. Sunlight peeked through it shining a glare onto the ground below, between her two Sentinel guards. The two guards both followed her eyes to the window looking out of it with her. Karolin backed up slowly, back against her far wall. A frightened look came over her face as the shuttle approached outside in the distance. But, it wasn't the presence on board the shuttle that made Karolin anxious, it was the two forces that opposed one another about to meet face to face once again over her. She was scared for both her brothers. Rage and hatred began to get thick in the air as she waved her hand in front of her face to try and whisk them away. “Someone’s coming.”
The Imperial shuttle sat down on the exterior shuttle pad outside of the Jedi Temple, engines closing down with a dull whine, smoke ejecting from the exhaust ports. The greeting party consisting of Grandmaster Shan, RT and several of the other high-ranking Council members stood at a relaxed position not too far from the exit to the pad. One of the Council members was the first to break the silence; he positioned himself next to Master Shan.
“I don’t like this. Imperials here…a Dark Lord no less. Grandmaster, this has gone too far! We cannot allow them access to the Temple!” Master Shan turned to face her beleaguered colleague. She raised a finger to the man.
“Not to worry Master. They still will have no way of getting back to Tython or the Temple once our business is concluded…the coordinates were encrypted, they don't even know what planet they are on. I had the hyperspace coordinates broken into sixteen different jumps, even if they could piece it back together into one jump, they would never have the complete route.”, she smiled. “Besides…”, she glanced at the Armored Figure standing silently at attention and at the ready, beside her, “…RT has assured me his Brother merely wants to participate in the proceedings in an advisory capacity, The Imperials will not be trouble.” The Master huffed at his Grandmaster, bowing slightly.
“As you say…”
The ramp to the Imperial shuttle lowered slowly, exhaust fumes clouding the view of the greeting party, although they could make out the movement of figures already disembarking from the craft. Four Imperial Soldiers made their way to the bottom of the ramp first, looking around cautiously before taking up guarding positions at the bottom of the ramp, two on each side facing the greeting party; rifles slung across their chests at the ready. RT tensed up visibly at the sight of his Brother’s smiling visage debarking from the ramp and making his way toward the greeting party.
Hamner got to the bottom of the ramp, looking out over Tython. The Temple set an imposing stake in the landscape, so unlike the Citadel on Dromand Kaas, he sneered. “Much too rounded and soft”, he thought to himself. His entourage stayed close behind him, except for his most trusted ally, his Agent, Amalgom. The Chiss Agent looked at his master though his red eyes, his voice already deep; he deepened it further speaking softly.
“Tython. How I have wanted to find this place. Quite an interesting view, wouldn’t you say, Master.” Hamner looked at him impassively.
“Soft and delicate.”
Hamner continued to walk forward smiling the entire way toward his greeting party, finally catching a glimpse of the armored figure next to who he could only guess was the Grandmaster of the Jedi Order. He whispered harshly under his breath, “RT” One of Hamner’s group stepped forward around him to speak to him in a hushed tone.
“Darth Hamner, we should use this opportunity to seize whatever data we can on Tython and its inhabitants. This is a golden opportunity.”, Hamner tried to keep his smile from fading speaking to the man through a broad smile and clenched teeth.
“We will do…no such thing. Do not give the Jedi an excuse to act on us.”, he turned to face the man fully just before reaching the greeting party, “And you…will learn your place. Get back in line; I will deal with you later.” Hamner reached the group waiting for him bowing in a flourish. “Ah. Grandmaster Shan I presume, I must say you look better in person, unlike the holo-images we have of you….”, Hamner glanced sidelong at the Armored figure next to her, “….And my dear Brother, so good of you to make the effort.”
RT gave Hamner a cursory crisp Military nod, “Hamner…it was no effort at all. In fact, it was I who requested you be present for this Tribunal. The Grandmaster graciously agreed to allow you here.”, RT pointed a finger at Hamner, “Don’t give me reason to regret my decision…you are on Republic soil now.” Hamner threw up his hands innocently as RT's comment got several strange glances from the other Masters present.
“I wouldn’t dream of doing anything of the sort.”, Hamner smiled broader, bowing to the assembled group again. “I am at your disposal.” RT moved away from the Grandmaster and toward Hamner.
“And I will dispose of you, if you do anything to disrupt these proceedings.”
Amalgom visibly placed a hand on the hilt of his Vibroblade at RT’s threat toward his Master. RT looked at Amalgom, unshaken. Hamner stepped between the two, “Gentlemen, please…”, Hamner gave Amalgom a ‘Stand-down’ look. “My Brother is merely speaking in generalities, he wouldn’t dare attempt to strike down a Dark Lord of the Sith under a flag of truce, would you RT?”
RT looked at Amalgom again with a sinister smile, “No, absolutely not.”, he replied. RT turned away from the Imperials to face the Grandmaster. She stood looking at them impassively, before speaking.
“Darth Hamner. I have agreed to allow you to be here because this involves your Sister. YOU and only you will be allowed entrance to our Temple, the rest of your group will stay here, under guard.” Amalgom again visibly moved his hand to his Vibroblade, this time it was RT who spoke, walking directly up to Amalgom.
“You know, one of these days…you and I are going to have a serious disagreement…” Amalgom smiled at RT, making a show of taking his hand off the blade. Hamner gave Amalgom another glare, bowing before the Grandmaster.
“Master Shan, your terms are acceptable.”, Hamner lost his smile, looking at RT through his visor. “Where is she?”
Karolin paced nervously in her cell, washing her hands in invisible waters. She looked out the security field in her doorway to the Sage Master who still sat there, “What are you still doing here?, she hissed, “Can’t you see I’m busy?” The Sage Master smiled at her.
“Why so nervous, Master Alpha? Is there anything I can do to help you?”, the Sage Master asked sincerely. Karolin glared at him.
“You can leave! That would be a very good start!”, Karolin hissed at him, before returning to her pacing watching the outer doorway to her room intently. The Sage Master ran his hands down his robe sighing. He stood flattening his robes further, looking at Karolin thoughtfully.
“Well…if you change your mind…or need anything, the guards will make me aware.”, the Sage Master nodded to the guards, removing himself from the outer room, robes flowing behind him. Karolin bit her nails, still pacing nervously.
“He’s coming. They are together....they are both coming!!!" Karolin's pacing got faster, "Not good...not good at all...."
Hamner smiled at the two Sentinels, who stopped him outside the outer doorway, they gestured for him to raise his arms, which Hamner did reluctantly. “All this security for such a trivial matter…really RT?”, Hamner glared at his Brother who stood off to the side watching one of the Sentinels run a scanner along his Brother’s body, “Is she really so dangerous?”, the Sentinels removed Hamner’s lightsaber, placing it in a compartment located near the doorway. Hamner lowered his arms looking at his Brother still, when he was sure the Sentinels weren’t listening he spoke to RT harshly his pleasant demeanor leaving completely, “Fool! Do you really expect her to find Justice here…in the Jedi Temple?!!? They despise her and what she’s becoming! You should have given her to me! At least with me she would have had a chance to fully understand…”, RT raised an armored hand at Hamner cutting him off, replying in the same harsh tone.
“Hamner, you’re the fool! You have no idea WHAT she’s become…she would just as soon turn on you as she did all of us! No, she stays…and if that’s the reason you agreed to come here, then you should get on your shuttle and go home! You and I are NOT doing this again. Last time it got her locked up until she escaped due to some unfortunate circumstances. BUT, I blame you completely...” Hamner smiled again, this time wickedly at RT. His hands turned up in a surrender type motion as he smiled, glancing back at the guards before leaning closer to his brother.
“That’s Darth Hamner to you…’lap dog’ of the Republic and oh, by the way, which one of us has more knowledge of the Dark Side and how to deal with it?”, Hamner pointed at himself sarcastically, “OH!...you mean this guy here? Yea…I thought so.”, the Sentinels gestured for Hamner to enter, he stepped through the outer doorway, slightly nervous, but failing to show it. He could sense the Dark presence inside and wondered if RT may have been right after all. Hamner approached the Security Field to the inner room, which contained his Sister. Karolin was balled up in the center of the room, arms crossed over her legs, sitting on her bottom; rocking slowly back and forth. Hamner crouched low, to her level outside the field looking at the balled up woman. He frowned slightly, looking over his shoulder briefly to ensure the Sentinels hadn’t seen his change in demeanor. He opened his mouth to call to her, but stopped short of full volume speech to merely whisper.
RT slipped into the room behind Hamner, leaning on the wall. He motioned for the two Sentinels to leave indicating that he would take their duty. The Sentinels nodded reverently positioning themselves right outside the exterior entrance room, just shy of earshot. RT crossed his arms to watch his Brother.
“Karolin…it’s Hamner, I’m here. I came as soon as I heard…are you alright?”
Karolin slowly stopped rocking raising her head slightly, she noticed RT lurking in the back, but said nothing. She gave Hamner a tired smile, “Hamner….”, she rubbed her face slowly, “You shouldn’t have…”, she dropped her head back down, finishing her thought with her voice muffled, “…come here.” Hamner grimaced, wanting so desperately to get through the Security Screen, pick her up and take her out of there. He stood quickly, looking around the room and seeing RT propped against the back wall became too much for him. Hamner moved toward RT angrily.
“This is completely your fault! You should never have brought her back here! Look at her…she can barely comprehend her surroundings!,”, Hamner clenched his fist at RT. “I am going to make you pay for this RT!” At that threat RT came off the wall, tearing at his helmet to get it off. He removed it throwing it against a far wall. RT got face to face with Hamner.
“You keep talking like that…I’m going to forget we’re Brothers…”, RT balled his fists up. Hamner stepped back a bit, slipping into a semi-fighting stance, preparing for the worst.
“Is that so? You have only bested me once…and you cheated.” RT smiled at Hamner.
“You consider superior skill cheating? I consider using the Force cheating…let’s see how tough you are without all that witchcraft to protect you…” Hamner pushed RT against the wall.
Karolin stood slowly listening to her Brothers argue, she didn’t look at them keeping her head low; walking toward the Security Screen. Bringing her hands to the sides of her head, she clutched tightly, grabbing up handfuls of hair in each hand and began moving her head from side to side. She screamed at the top of her lungs.
Hamner had a smiling RT pinned against the wall, ready to throw the first punch to his face. He released his arm from across his neck slowly, looking back at his Sister’s cell. She stood there, breathing heavily, still looking down. RT shoved Hamner away, stepping around him moving toward the cell, Hamner moved in unison. They both looked at her sadly.
“Just…stop it.” Karolin spoke finally looking at them both and releasing her hair, “This never got us anywhere…”
Galactic City, Coruscant, Ministry of Defense Building, 12 hours after Rescue....
Karolin sat in the de-briefing room, accompanied by her Brother RT and her Former Master, Varaad. She was covered in a blanket, shaking at the antiseptic coolness of the room. RT brushed her hair out of her eyes, looking at her. He frowned sadly at her appearance, “Where did all those veins come from? Why is she so pale? These scars, bruises…these other marks…what happened to you?”, he thought. RT became stoic looking away from her toward the far white wall, he tightened his fists, determined, “I’m going to find out who did this to you…I swear it.”, he thought. Master Varaad, not a man used to emotional displays, appreciated the bond between the two siblings and he too expressed RT’s thoughts, looking determined himself. Though partly blamed himself, always a practitioner of both sides of the Force he recognized the taint in his former student. Varaad placed a hand on Karolin’s knee, she winced as if in pain, drawing back slightly as he whispered to her.
“It’s going to be alright.”
Two very official personnel opened the door to the room entering hurriedly; one wore a crisp Military uniform, the other a very pale brown robe. Both took a seat at a table in the center of the room, gesturing for RT and his group to join them. RT motioned for Karolin to move, Master Varaad and RT helped Karolin off the couch, to one of the chairs at the Table, facing the newcomers. She still shook slightly from the cold, but looked at the two intently.
“Master Alpha, I am General Stone…”, the uniformed man introduced himself, gesturing to his partner. “…And this is Jedi Master Anna Craft…”, the General produced a Datapad setting it on the table. “We need to ask you some things…about the ‘Incident’ on the North Star…do you think you can help us with that?” RT cleared his throat looking at the General.
“Sir, don’t you think it’s a little soon for this, we just got her back for Force sake…not even 12 hours...”, the General shot him a condescending look.
“Major…I am well aware of the situation and the timetable at work here. The Republic would like information while it’s still fresh, before it has a chance to degrade.”, the General folded his hands looking back at Karolin. “Master…can you tell us, what exactly happened out there?”
Karolin stared through the two in front of her as if they were viewports, her now bright Blood-red eyes flashing slightly. She giggled to herself a little, casting the blanket off her shoulders and bringing her arms down on the table, interlacing her fingers in her hands mimicking the General as she took on a fake look of concentration…mocking the seriousness in his voice.
“Ok, General…should I start? At the part where we were boarded…or the part where I killed everyone on board that ship?”, she laughed. The General and the Jedi he sat with exchanged glances. Karolin went back to staring off into space for a moment. Finally, she stopped, getting out a cigarra and lighting it with a brief flash of lightning from the tip of her finger. Drawing deeply on the cigarra, Karolin draped an arm over the back rest of the chair and seemed to take on a more relaxed pose, her eyes flashing brightly in the low light as she regarded the two in front of her again. Anna Craft spoke first.
“Master…did you say you killed everyone on board the ship?”
Karolin was busy trying to pull the blanket out from under herself, tugging and tugging on it, she didn’t look up when she answered, “Uh-huh.”, she finally got the blanket out from under her bottom nearly knocking herself out of the chair in the process, she giggled, “Sorry…didn’t realize I was sitting on it.”, she looked at Master Craft, “Yes. That’s exactly what I said.” The General and the Jedi exchanged glances again. RT stood stunned, not able to move or even breath since his Sister stated it the first time. RT looked at her in disbelief. Karolin wiggled in the chair. "Cold in here...."
The General looked at his Jedi companion motioning to the doorway, then turning back to the group in the room,he smiled weakly at RT, “Excuse us for a moment, Major.”, he then got up with the Jedi Master opening the door and shuffling her outside. His face was grim once the door shut. “We have got a serious situation here. One of your Jedi just admitted to the Murder of over 235 Republic Military Personnel…how do you respond to something like that?”, the last part not so much a question to Master Craft as it was to himself. Master Craft put her hand to her jaw, considering.
“General…I noticed you were calling up the images from the flight recorder, did it reveal anything?”
“No.”, the General stated simply. He turned his Datapad so both of them could view at the same time, pointing at the screen, “Here…you can see Master Alpha is shot, by assailants…she falls down, Lords, she looks half-dead by that point anyway…regardless, she falls down and here….”, he points again, “Here she props herself up, into sort of a meditation pose briefly…”, the General moves the images forward. “Time elapsed by 30 seconds then, here…”, he points again, “…This is when she stands again, what’s that strange purple hue around her?...OK, then she moves forward and this purple hue, bursts into a purple light around her…”, the screen derezzes into static. The General looks at the Jedi Master, “Then just static.” Master Craft tries to hide her surprise and dismay, she looks at the General.
“So then there is no definitive proof that Master Alpha is responsible for the deaths on board the North Star?”
The General looked at the Jedi Master stunned. “She was the only survivor! She admitted to two Republic Officials, including her own brother and her former Master that she killed everyone! The bodies show signs of Lightsaber trauma!”, the General folds his arms, “That’s all the proof I need.” Master Craft placed her hand back to her chin again.
“Consider this. The data recorder shows the Imperials boarding the North Star, does it not?”, the General nodded and she continued, “No doubt there were Sith that accompanied that boarding party?”, the General nodded again, “The wounds themselves then require no explanation…she could have fought off the Sith and killed those Imperials herself, the Sith may very well be responsible for our Republic casualties.”, the General scoffed, beginning to get the picture.
“You mean to tell me…that YOU and the Jedi Order are prepared to brush her confession and the proof of her action…IN HER own admittance of course, under the RUG?!!?"
Master Craft looked at the General, emotionless, “I am not prepared to brush anything under any rugs, I am merely stating fact. The images do not lend themselves to any proof…”, the General started to speak and she held a finger up to stop him, “Furthermore, it doesn’t take a mental evaluator to see, she is suffering from some kind of emotional duress, am I correct?”, the General slumped, he knew where this was going. “As far as I am concerned and the Jedi Order is concerned, Master Alpha is a hero, by the simple fact that she survived what in reality was a vicious attack by the Empire.”
“So you ARE brushing this under the rug?”
Master Craft continued. “General, you and I both know there are other issues in play here. I would not have been sent by the Grandmaster herself, if there wasn’t.”, the General put a finger in his partner’s face.
“She gets locked away…at the very least. Project or no Project, she is out of action…permanently. And you Jedi better be right about this, those men on board the North Star deserve justice.”, Master Craft nodded in agreement. The General opened the door re-entering the room. RT was kneeled in from of his sister, his hand on her knee speaking to her softly. Both the General and his Jedi partner resumed their seats. He cleared his throat, signaling he was ready to begin again. “After consulting with my Jedi colleague, we have determined that there is no reason to hold onto you Master Alpha….for now.”, he emphasized his last words. RT looked at the General stunned again. "Though in the interest of health and for Medical reasons..." The General glanced at Craft, this was not something they had discussed, but the General was not going to be contradicted, "...we have decided that you should remain here for a period of recuperation. At least until the Jedi decided where best to place you...."
“Sir? No more questions? Nothing?”
The General regarded RT, “Major…we are done here for now. We will prepare this room for Master Alpha and call on some specialists to see to her care. Until that time you are free to go, but she will eventually be relegated to remain here.”, he got up from his seat, motioning to his Jedi accomplice, “The Jedi….will take over once they have consulted one another.”, the General grimaced, indicating his part in this was finished he moved to a relaxed position of attention looking at RT and RT took his cue to snap to attention saluting the General. General Stone snapped to attention, returning his salute, “Force save you Major.” The General took his leave, opening the door and departing leaving only the Jedi Master in his wake. It was not over as far as the General was concerned, once reaching the outer hallway he immediately open his Holo-comm and began making a call to his other 'partners' in the project. Talk was already circulating of Karolin's use in helping advance a particular section of Project Alpha concerning Dark Side Corruption and a certain Doctor who would use her as a test subject for said experiments. After he departed, Master Craft smiled at all of them.
“We have a lot of business to discuss, but now is not the time. I will arrange for you to stay near-by. It shouldn't be long before the Ministry has this area prepared for you and the Council is done with their deliberations in this matter.”, she said looking at Karolin, “Until then, use our liaison suites here on Coruscant to get refreshed.”, Master Craft turned to leave, RT grabbed her arm, stopping her.
Master Craft smiled, “For the time being Major….”, she looked at his hand holding her arm, “If you will excuse me.”, Master Craft opened the door, preparing to depart and Master Varaad, jumped in behind her raising a hand to RT, indicating he needed a moment. Master Varaad shut the door behind them looking at Master Craft, he folded his arms.
“Master Craft, there are some explanations in order…this is highly unorthodox…”, Master Craft folded her own arms mocking Varaad.
“And what exactly do you expect me to say, Master?”
“Varaad pursed his lips, “I expect you to explain what just happened here! You bring in…Karolin on the premise of questioning her, to do Lords knows what to her and then let her go?!!?”, Master Craft smiled.
“Master Varaad, I assure you…there is no subterfuge here. The General and I simply had a disagreement as to what the meaning of this questioning was. In the end, he bent to the will of the Jedi Order and we to him…the best for all of us concerned.” Master Varaad looked at Craft incredulously.
“I find that hard to believe. Before you two walked outside, I could sense the execution pyres burning in that General’s mind, he had already convicted her of something. Tell me what changed?”, Master Craft smiled again placing a soft hand on Varaad’s shoulder.
“Master, it would be better for the Order and for all those concerned if you leave this alone…”, she turned to leave and Varaad moved in front of her to stop her.
“Leave what alone?”
Master Craft lowered her gaze speaking to the ground, “Master…my authority in this matter is without question…even by someone as senior as yourself.”, she quickly looked up at him, “The Grandmaster herself has given me oversight of this situation and I will not stand here and be questioned by you, if you wish to lodge a complaint…I suggest you take it up with the Council.”, she stepped around Varaad moving quickly down the corridor, Varaad called after her.
“Oh! You can count on it Master…count on it!”, Varaad opened the door to the room starting to step back inside as Master Craft rounded the corner, activating her Holocom, she spoke into it as she walked.
“Master…we may have a problem…”
RT was already putting the discarded blanket on his sister, standing her up when Varaad re-entered the room, he smiled at them both as RT looked up at him, “What was that all about?”
Varaad smiled knowing his answer would not be what RT wanted to hear and cringing having to say it, he held his hand up to him stopping him from replying even before he said it, “Jedi business…nothing to be concerned with.” RT grimaced, scoffing under his breath. The trio made it outside the building, the cool night air blowing softly over them. Karolin put her face into it from under the blanket on her shoulders, smiling to herself. RT kept his arm around her. Varaad stopped, facing them both.
“Well….Major, Master Alpha…I must retire to my own suite. I have to make preparations to join you both tomorrow.”, RT looked at him questioningly, Karolin turning to look at him as well.
“You’re not going back to your unit?”, RT asked. Karolin simply smiled brightly at her former Master.
“No…no, I have to see this through.”, Varaad clasped his hand over Karolin’s, “And I will see YOU tomorrow.”, She grabbed his hand tightly as he tried to withdraw it to leave, he lurched back to her looking in her red eyes, “What is it?”, he asked softly. Her face grew grim, losing her broad smile.
“No Master.... you won’t. They are going to kill you.”
Varaad jerked his hand away looking at her, “Who Karolin? Who is going to kill me?”, Master Varaad asked humorously still looking into her red eyes.
“Don’ say I didn’t warn ya!”, she returned to smiling, then her face took on seriousness immediately, “I have always loved you, Master…remember that.” Her twisted features looking even more sinister in the moonlight. RT shrugged and waved to Master Varaad.
“Thanks for coming out, Master. It means a lot that you were here, see you tomorrow.”, RT kept his arm around Karolin as they walked away. Master Varaad shook his head, heading off in his own direction, clueless as to what Karolin meant. Master Varaad rounded the corner and RT turned around to see him leave, he turned back around looking at his sister and swore he heard the activation of a Lightsaber, RT immediately turned back around to see if Master Varaad was still there, not seeing him he continued to walk with Karolin. Karolin smiled to herself, speaking so only she could hear.
In the shadows, he stepped out. RT didn't see him until he spoke her name and only then did he draw his blaster toward the shadow.
Galactic City, Coruscant, 12 hours after Rescue.....
RT continued to press his sister forward, now only being a block away from the liaison suites. He rounded a darkened corner, the moonlight failed to penetrate the copse of trees near them and RT sensed the presence of a figure just emerging from the shadows. The figure stepped out behind them, lowering its hood and taking a step forward, RT drew his blaster turning to face the figure, pushing Karolin slightly away, “That’s far enough! I know you have been following us the last two blocks…trust me, I’m not the mark you want to try and rob tonight, I suggest you find easier prey elsewhere…”, the figure stepped into the only moonlight available revealing himself, it raised its arms slightly in a surrendering motion.
“Robbery is the last thing on my mind…Brother.”
RT stood mouth agape, lowering his blaster simultaneously, “Hamner…how did you…what are you doing here?” RT kept the blaster half up not fully lowering it; Hamner looked down at the Blaster still in RT’s hand.
“RT…put that thing away before you get hurt.”, he stepped forward to look at the huddled Karolin, deep under her blanket, “Hello dearest…”, he touched her cheek, “You have changed a little since I last saw you…”, Karolin nodded slightly. Hamner looked back at RT, “I told you to put that thing away!”, Hamner moved his hand, using the Force to grab the weapon from his grip. RT watched it sail harmlessly into the shadows. RT grimaced looking at his hand and taking a deliberate step forward, grabbing Hamner’s hand off of Karolin’s cheek, holding his wrist tightly, looking at him with rage in his eyes.
“Hamner, get your hand off of her!”, RT clutched Hamner’s wrist even tighter, preparing to turn him around and place him in a choke hold. Hamner swiped his arm down, making RT let go of him.
“Not even here 30 seconds…are we really going to do this again RT? I grow tired of our constant bickering. Besides we have other matters at hand.”, Hamner looked sadly at Karolin. RT stepped in front of Hamner’s gaze.
“Not your concern…Lord Hamner, did I get that right? You’re a Lord now?”
Hamner smiled, even in the dark, some of his blackened teeth showing in the moonlight. He stepped back a little, moving his cape and placing his hand on his lightsaber, “That’s right RT; my Master has seen fit to have me named a Lord among my peers. Your intelligence does you credit…”, Hamner placed a hand on his heart, “I cannot help but be touched. You are looking after your baby Brother, following my progress; do I detect a sense of pride in your voice?”
RT smirked, “Disgust maybe. Not pride.”, Karolin smiled at Hamner. RT looked back at his sister incensed that she would be smiling at him, Hamner pointed this out.
“She seems to approve.”, Hamner smiled at her genuinely.
RT took on a semi-guarded stance, “What do you want Hamner? You have already broken every law in the book just by being here. I could have you carted off for a very long time.”, Hamner made a show of looking around.
“I don’t see anyone else around. You going to take me in by yourself.”, his hand still resting on his lightsaber, Hamner smiled. RT looked down at his brother’s hand resting on his lightsaber.
“If I have to…”, RT decided to maneuver around his previous threat, “But you didn’t come here to fight did you?”
Hamner let his cape fall back around his Lightsaber, removing his hand and raising both of them back into a semi-surrender state, “No RT, I didn’t…I came here to take Karolin home.”
RT stepped toward his brother, pushing her back a little, he gritted his teeth, “Not going to happen, Imperial…”, RT emphasized his last word. Hamner stood ramrod stiff, not backing down. His face twisted into an angry stare, looking RT in his eyes.
“One way or another RT…she comes with me.”
This time RT dropped back into a fighting stance in front of his brother, prepared to defend his sister, “Like I said, Not. Going. To. Happen.” Hamner continued to stand straight and stiff, his anger boiling but refusing to give into it in front of his siblings. Hamner chose reason instead.
“RT…I could crush you like a bug, if I wanted, but I respect our sister and I don’t want to put her through anymore trauma. She’s been through enough, wouldn’t you agree?” RT relaxed a bit, still looking at his brother.
“Still the fact remains, she will not be leaving with you or anyone.”, RT moved his hand in front of him to emphasize his statement. Hamner tilted his head slightly.
“You don’t even know what’s happened to her, do you?”
RT relaxed more, considering. He looked at his brother more intently. Hamner continued his statement.
“RT…she’s fallen…to the Dark Side, look at her!”, RT looked at his sister’s face, the same paleness, veins and scars still present, “You have seen Dark Jedi before, you can’t be this naive.” RT continued to listen. Hamner finally relaxed his stance, moving closer to RT, looking at Karolin. She stared off into space, not really paying attention to anything. “She is lost right now. Torn between what she’s becoming and what she’s been trained to be.” Hamner extended his hands toward RT, genuinely, “RT…I beg of you, let me take her. I can help her…who better than someone in tune with the Dark Side.” Hamner continued to move forward. RT lost all of his color, finally coming to the realization that Hamner knew what he was talking about and that in fact his sister had fallen to the Dark Side, 1000’s of thoughts raced through RT’s mind…the North Star, his sister’s appearance, her absent behavior…the fact that she had INDEED killed everyone on board that ship. He looked quickly at Karolin, her gaze still on the stars; she sensed him looking and smiled at him…wickedly. RT drew a holdout blaster from behind his back shoving it in Hamner’s face, not sure what he was feeling or what he was doing at that moment, his eyes welled up with moisture, as he gritted his teeth.
“NO! NO!...”, RT shoved the blaster against Hamner’s face, pushing his nose to the side, “I will kill you Hamner!”
Hamner angrily pushed RT away, gazing at the blaster, “You treat me as if I’m responsible somehow! I didn’t do this! I am here to help her, our family…you!” RT realized he couldn’t shoot him, he tossed the blaster aside, screaming grabbing Hamner’s throat. All of the things Hamner had done, he couldn’t be blamed for this. Mrysti’s death, the defection to the Dark Side, all of it was his responsibility, but not this. RT lost control.
Hamner tried to Force choke RT away from him, but RT was too quick and the distraction of being grabbed so quickly caused them both to just fall to the ground, he spoke angrily through RT’s grasp, “So…Be…It…” Hamner and RT began tussling in the undergrowth falling into the shadows of the trees. Karolin watched them disappear into the growth, the sounds of fighting echoing through the plaza, she sighed, another sound caught her attention and she moved toward it, leaving the two to their private battle.
Large neon lights cast a purple and pink hue on the adjacent plaza as Karolin rounded the corner, still huddled in her blanket. She smiled wickedly again, looking down at the light’s shadow whispering to herself, “Pretty…”
Continuing to move forward, she began to hear the sound again this time more distinct…the constant rhythmic beat coursing through her, she moved faster toward it, almost at a run. The building revealed itself, in all its glory…the dance club loomed over her. There were no signs of visible damage, unlike the rest of the buildings around it, having been spared the brunt of the terrible attack on Coruscant, or at least it seemed that way to Karolin. She smiled up at the building, blinking her eyes in the light’s glare and spoke to it, “I’m here! I heard you call! I’m Here!”, she cried.
She looked down at the opening to the building, seeing two large men and a crowd gathered in front. She immediately stood up straight, running her hands through her hair, straightening her robe and slinging her shoulders backwards to cast off the blanket, strutting up to the doorway; not so much as a patron, than as a predator. The music’s beats became clearer Karolin moved up toward the men at the doorway, smiling devilishly at them both. They moved in front of her, raising their hands up to stop her from entering.
“I’m sorry Master Jedi, this club is at capacity.”
Karolin looked at them both before moving her hands to each of her sides, sending the men flying into adjacent walls, “I will NOT, be denied…this building called to me and I will answer.”, her eyes flashed at the men writhing in pain on the ground, she smiled at them again stepping over them, “Excuse me…”, the gathered crowd rushed forward to help the injured bouncers as Karolin entered. Karolin tilted her head back, taking in a huge breath of air as the music was now so clear in her head. She smiled at the ceiling; raising her arms in the air, feeling alive for the first time…it seemed to her, the first time ever. She let out her breath of air, taking in the scene, lowering her arms, ”I’m FREE!!!...”
The twisting turning bodies of the assembled masses, continued to dance to the music, which never stopped, it just continued from one song to another, never skipping a beat. Karolin moved through the crowd stealthily, careful not to touch or harm any of the worshippers, this was her holy place…her Temple and those that worship with her, should not be harmed. She found the tallest spot she could find, jumping onto a large sonic amplifier, she stood on top looking down at the masses, they continued to dance unabated. Raising her arms again, she summoned all of her power in the force, “Yes! Yes! I am free….you are all free!”, she allowed the cascade of healing energy to flow over them, the yellow hue from the force illuminating those around her. The crowd near her looked in her direction and cheered, raising their hands and pumping their fists into the air, she smiled down at them. “You are all free!”, and she began to move, seductively to the sounds of the music, all of her evil, all of her being melting away…
RT slammed his head into Hamner’s nose on top of him, trying desperately to put him under the ground. Hamner let out a small yelp of pain as he pushed RT with the Force off of him into a nearby tree. The tree splintered under the force of RT hitting it and the impact of RT in full body armor. He fell to the foot of the tree already putting his arm on his knee to try and get up. Hamner having recovered from the head-butt was already on top of him. He sneered angrily at RT, this time refusing to use the Force and bringing his fist up behind him over his shoulder. RT looked up from his crouched position in time to see Hamner’s fist come down across his jaw, RT buckled falling back down to the ground. Hamner stood over RT, readying his fist for another blow, but RT grabbed Hamner’s legs bringing his brother down to his level. Hamner let out a huge gasp of air as all of it was knocked from his lungs. RT crawled on top of him, raising his own fist behind him prepared to hammer his brother’s jaw, he spoke spitting blood over his brother’s tunic, “She….stays…Hamner.”, was all he was able to get out between heavy breathing. Hamner looked over in Karolin’s former direction, suddenly becoming alarmed; RT looked in the direction as well, lowering his fist, “Where is she?”
Karolin continued to move seductively to the music allowing it to possess her, the crowd also moved with her, still cheering. Her face beaming a huge smile, no one noticed in the dim lighting that Karolin’s face and hands….her very visage began to change. Her skin returned to its normal bright green hue her eyes dimmed a little from the red in them bleeding away, the scars and veins retracted…she was once again, beautiful. She continued to smile and move with the music, once again using the Force to cast down her yellowish healing energies on those assembled before her. Her transformation complete, she felt whole again, in charge of herself…she shook her head slightly, realizing where she was and not really caring, “Why have I never done this before?”, she thought, looking down at the people. Hamner and RT ran into the dance hall out of breath from the run and from their fight, Hamner no longer concerned for being caught was the first to approach his sister, RT close behind. Hamner looked up at her on top of the sonic amplifier, cupping his hand over his mouth to be heard, blood seeped down over his hands.
“What….Are you doing?!!?”, he cried to her barely able to be heard. Karolin looked down at her brother, surprised and also annoyed.
“Hamner?!!? What are you doing here…what does it look like I’m doing…I’m dancing.”
RT was the first to notice her appearance, offering his hand to her to come down, “Karolin!!! Get down from there! It’s not safe for us in here….we have to leave!”
Karolin waved her brother’s off, continuing to dance, “RT! I don’t want to go just yet…let me finish this song!”, she yelled at them over the loud music, Hamner looked at RT and shrugged, they both folded their arms across their chests, not wanting to cause a scene, but already doing so because they were the only ones on the dance floor not dancing. The patrons looked at them annoyingly as they continued to move. The music shifted again and RT had enough, he reached up grasping his still dancing sister bringing her to their level. Karolin bounced down in front of both her brothers smiling at them, she brushed her hair out of her eyes, sweat beading on her brow, her white robes starting to show wet spots of perspiration, “What?”, she asked when she saw them both looking at her, stunned expressions on their faces, “What?...You guys…”, she shoved at them jokingly.
Hamner was the first to speak, reaching up and running his hand down her wet face, “Karolin…your face..”, she batted his hand away, rubbing her own hand across it.
“What’s wrong with my face?”
RT, stepped closer to her, “Honey…where are your scars, the veins…all of it is gone…”, both brothers regarded her as she shrugged.
“Can’t explain it.”, she twirled in a circle, looking up at the ceiling, “I feel so alive in here….you guys really have to try this…”
Hamner stopped her twirling grabbing her wrist, “Karolin…it’s time, we have to go…”, RT grabbed Hamner’s arm.
“I thought we just…discussed this…”, Hamner tightened up, preparing for another brawl. Karolin sensed all of it and stepped between them.
“I’m not going anywhere…with either of you.”, she looked at them both before making her way through the crowd, looking back over her shoulder at the both of them, she was clearly headed for the doorway, “I’m fine now…I can take care of myself.”, she regarded Hamner, “Thank you for coming…I know you care and I appreciate that…”, she looked at RT, “…But this is something I need to work through on my own…” As she left the two standing there, one of the crowd of worshippers stopped her.
“Hey!”, the man cried, “I love how you move!, What’s your name?!!?”, the man yelled over the music, smiling at her, clearly ignoring the fact that he was addressing a Jedi Master, she smiled back at him not caring in the least she parted her crimson lips, still smiling, “I’m…”
They all sat around the room with their heads down, the wall Chrono slowly ticking away. Hamner had refused to leave his sister's side, RT opted for leaving if only to get some air. Karolin sat motionless in her room like cell, just looking at the ceiling. They didn't talk, just waited for the hammer to fall. RT entered the room out of breath looking at his brother and sister, sadly.
"They are coming.", he said. RT lowered his head slightly at his sister, "It's time."
The two Jedi Sentinels who had been with them all throughout, came back into the main room followed by two more Sentinels and the Jedi Order's Master at Arms. The Master at Arms stood in the center of the room, flanked by his four Sentinels, RT and Hamner felt helpless as the Jedi assumed control of the room and shrunk back into the background. In a booming voice, the Master at Arms, placed his hands on his hips speaking.
"Master Karolin Barsen'thor Alpha, please step forward, the Council has requested your presence at a special tribunal."
Although this was all very regimented and clearly part of procedure, RT and Hamner had to exchange glances at the word, "requested", Karolin rolled her eyes looking at the man with a, "as if I could leave", look. The Jedi Master continued, motioning to the Sentinels who formed a cordon outside her cell doorway, on his signal the security field was deactivated and the Master at Arms took his position at the head of the Cordon facing away from the doorway. Karolin stepped forward defiantly, looking at the Sentinels facing toward her, two to each side. She made her way to the center between the Sentinels and as if on cue they faced forward together, the entire tribunal party moving from the small downstairs room toward the ramp that would take than to the Council floor. Karolin gave her brothers a weak smile as the party began to depart the room. RT and a sneering Hamner tried to move in behind the cordon and were stopped by another Sentinel who appeared out of nowhere, he gestured to them.
"I'm sorry Gentlemen the Grandmaster has requested that all those who are not directly involved in the Tribunal be taken to the observation level, please follow me." RT and Hamner exchanged glances again falling into step behind the Sentinel, who gave Hamner a strange glance. Hamner sneered at the Jedi. As they walked, RT was the first to break the silence between them.
"No matter what happens here, you have to promise me you will not cause a scene. You are guest in the Jedi Temple, probably the only Dark Lord to walk Jedi halls since the time of Revan...", RT looked sternly at his brother, "Promise me.", he whispered harshly. Hamner smiled his typical wicked grin.
"I make no such promise, Brother. Nor will I cower in fear in the presence of so many Jedi.", Hamner gave RT a sidelong stare, "The only promise I make is, no matter what happens...after this, you and I are through." RT sighed, he had expected that statement long before Hamner said it, he was surprised he waited this long. They continued to the Observation Level the rest of the way in silence, not even bothering to look at each other as they entered the enclosure and took their seats overlooking the Council floor. The chamber was completely empty, except for a couple of Padawans who were busying themselves setting out data pads, testing the Holo-recording system and generally tidying up the area. Hamner looked over the railing curiously, taking in the marble columns and floor. The brightly lit chamber was a stark contrast to the Dark Council on Korriban. He sat back again, finally looking at RT.
"There are those on the Dark Council who would sell their souls to be in my position right now." RT glanced annoyingly at his brother.
"I thought you had already done that...", Hamner looked at RT curiously, "...sell your soul, I mean. Thought you had already sold your soul when you switched sides"
Hamner scoffed at RT's comment, refusing to honor it with a reply. Several others came into the Observation room. RT turned around to see General Stone, Master Craft and several other Republic dignitaries walk in. General Stone smiled sadly at RT. RT stood giving the General as crisp salute, which the General returned.
"As you were, Major. No need to stand on formality here, this is hardly the occasion for it.", the General glanced at Darth Hamner before quickly taking his seat. Hamner glanced back showing his blackened teeth, before he spoke looking at the General and Master Craft.
"Don't mind me General, I find it terribly amusing to watch my brother lick the boots if his betters.", he glanced at Craft, "Master Anna Craft, I am so very pleased to make your acquaintance, the Jedi Order's very own Master of Assassins, your reputation precedes you." Master Craft frowned, the General looked at her.
"You know him?", the General asked. Craft continued to frown watching Darth Hamner, but speaking to the General.
"Only by reputation, Darth Hamner is a Dark Council enforcer and lapdog to the intelligence arm of the Sith Empire.", she folded her arms looking at him, Hamner gave a sarcastic head nod acknowledging her. He smirked, looking at RT and speaking loudly.
"Pity about Karolin’s former Master, killed in an attempted robbery. Tsk Tsk...a Jedi Master...a Master of Martial Combat, ambushed...killed no less, by common thieves...", Hamner's words dripped with venom at Craft, who showed no response to his jabs.
"Yes, a pity...Master Varaad's loss was a terrible one to the Jedi Order. One of the few of his kind, the ability to use and walk the Dark Side in combat is rare indeed.", Hamner sneered angrily, seeing that his jeer at Craft was not working, he started to say something in retort, but was interrupted by the arrival of the Council members who filed in quietly, taking their seats. Grandmaster Shan was the last to arrive, quietly moving to her own seat in the center of the U shaped table, nodding to the other members as she sat. Hamner sneered again, speaking quietly under his breath.
Karolin and her entourage waited outside the Council chambers, the Master of Arms looking back at her on occasion to make sure she was behaving. He nodded to one of the Sentinels who moved out of the cordon to place Force binders on Karolin's wrists and ankles, he tugged on them to make sure they were locked and took his place back in the cordon. Karolin sighed visibly, she was incredibly nervous, but was determined not to show it. She would not give the fools on the Council the satisfaction. Instead, she stared straight ahead to the Council doors defiantly. The doors to the Chamber chimed and the Master of Arms gave a quick head nod, as the huge doors slid open. The party stepped forward in unison, entering the brightly lit chamber. The Master of Arms, nodded to the Council members stepping to the side and one step behind Karolin, taking his place on the wall, the other Sentinels seemed to bleed away from Karolin disappearing into the vast chamber, leaving Karolin alone in front of the assembled Masters. RT and Hamner leaned out over the railing to get a better view of their sister, RT mumbled under his breath.
"She looks scared.", he stated. Hamner smiled at his brother.
"She looks defiant. As well, she should be.", Hamner sat back a little. An extra seat had been placed in two locations, one in the center of the chamber and one to the left and slightly behind the Grandmaster. It was the extra Grandmaster seat that contained an obviously junior Jedi who nervously stood addressing the chamber shakily. He looked at Karolin.
"Please state your name and title for the record, Master." Karolin remained silent and the junior Jedi looked around nervously clearing his throat, "Master...if you please, state your name and titl-", Karolin interrupted him.
"I will not. I do not wish to address this 'court' nor do I wish to acknowledge its legitimacy.", the junior Jedi looked around quickly at the assembled Masters, flustered. Hamner smiled to himself. One of the Council members stood angrily preparing to speak, but Grandmaster Shan stood slowly raising her hand for the Master to return to his seat, she regarded Karolin thoughtfully before speaking. She began by dropping the titles and the formality, simply saying....
Karolin slowly turned her gaze toward Grandmaster Shan, blinking slowly at her purposefully. Master Shan remained looking at Karolin impassively, stating her name again.
"Karolin...your defiance in the face of this Council will not halt these proceedings.", Master Shan sat down again, nodding to the junior Jedi seated behind her to rise and continue. The young Jedi stood again, looking at Karolin.
"Master, would you please state your name and title for the record, please." Karolin folded her arms over her chest looking down slightly, her Force binders clinking together as she did so. One of the Council members stood angrily again pointing at her.
"You will acknowledge the legitimacy of this Tribunal, you are a member of the Jedi Order and subject to its authority!!!"
Karolin looked at the shouting Master and blinked slowly at him, releasing a deliberate sigh. The Master who shouted looked at his fellow Council members turned a little red in the face for losing control and sat back down.
"Recorder, please read the charges", the Grandmaster stated, "We will skip past the statement of name, rank or title", the younger Jedi nodded at the Grandmaster's words rising to speak again.
"Master Karolin Barsen'thor Alpha, you stand accused of the following: Conduct Unbecoming A Jedi Master, Unlawful Use of the Force to Commit Criminal Actions, Sedition Against the Jedi Order, Treason Against the Galactic Republic, Grand Larceny of Galactic Republic Property, Failure to Obey the Jedi Code of Conduct, Failure to Obey the Orders of the Jedi Council, Failure to Obey the Orders of the Jedi Grandmaster, Unlawful Use and Application of the Dark Side of the Force, Escape from Mandated Custody and..." There was a pause as the Jedi reading the charges swallowed hard and looked away from Karolin before continuing, "....Murder of Members of the Jedi Order and the Galactic Republic...", the Recorder resumed his seat, deferring to the Grandmaster as she looked at Karolin. A low murmur had already begun in the round chamber as the last charge was read.
"How say you on these charges?", Grandmaster Shan spoke in a grave tone. Karolin once again kept her gaze steady and straight forward, choosing not to reply, "The accused chooses once again not to answer, recorder please note the charges in the log...", she motioned for the chair in the center of the chamber, "Master Alpha, you may be seated..." Karolin broke her silence replying in a loud voice which echoed throughout the chamber
"I would rather stand."
RT and Hamner exchanged looks as Karolin replied and the charges were being finished. RT bit into his nail bed.
"This doesn't look fair, does it....brother?", Hamner smiled wickedly. RT waved him off.
"I have assurances that it will be, just calm down Hamner.", Hamner smiled again.
"Oh I am calm. The Jedi better hope this goes our way, they will be sorry if it doesn't."
Karolin clasped her hands together at her waist holding them tightly. The Grandmaster started again, "We will begin by playing the Holo-records of...",
Karolin drifted off listening to her voice, watching her intently wondering "How did I let it get this far..."
Tython, Six Months Prior....
"Karolin...please come in. I have been expecting you.", Grandmaster Shan kneeled in her private study, finishing her meditations. She turned to face Karolin, "Your Councilor says you are making excellent progress, I am very pleased." Karolin smiled weakly, looking around the room, fidgeting slightly. She had of late developed a nervous tick and began scratching her neck again, her pale skin was red in that area, she continued to scratch anyway, handing the Grandmaster a datapad.
"Latest reports from the Operation in the Alderanian Sector, additionally there are reports from our Jedi in the Fourth, Fifth, and....", she paused remembering her old posting, "....Seventh Fleet" Karolin looked down unconsciously. The Grandmaster frowned.
"Karolin, we mustn't dwell on the past...that is the surest way to repeat it.", she placed her boots back on her feet, looking at her. "Regret is the quickest path to the Dark Side...", Master Shan stood placing a hand on her shoulder, "We have walked a long road together, you and I. You have made great strides in your recovery and also as my Adjutant. I value you, don't allow the simple things to bring you down." Karolin nodded wanting to speak, but thought better of it. Since returning to Tython and taking on the new role as Master Shan's Adjutant, she was doing her best to keep her head down and speak less. Master Shan gestured for the door, "So, what besides these reports is on the docket today?"
Karolin finished her briefing to the Grandmaster and looked at her Chrono, she had an hour or two to kill before going to her rehabilitation and decided to spend it in the Archive, a place she had grown accustomed to and felt safe in. As she approached the new Archivist, Master Tello walked up smiling.
"Master Alpha, always a pleasure. Can I get you anything?", he always asked and she always said no. The man revered her and she could sense his frustration every time she told him, no. "As always, I am at your disposal.", he walked away leaving Karolin to her thoughts. She browsed the rows of data looking for something to peak her interest, when Master Tello approached her again. "Master...I hate to ask again, but you were the authority on the Sith artifacts rescued on Coruscant, I have something we just received and I can't really make heads or tails of it." Karolin frowned at him, really not wanting to do this again only wanting to read something before her session, but his insistence was annoying. She gestured for him to lead-on so she could follow. They came to the new vault and Karolin stopped at the threshold, she could sense the evil inside and didn't really want to expose herself to any of it. In his excitement to finally get Karolin's help he forgot his standing order to not allow her in the vault, "Come...you have to see this! This is truly remarkable!" Karolin stood still at the threshold.
"No I'm fine Master, I will stay right here."
Master Tello picked up a triangular shaped Holocron, it's red features glowing and lighting up the Master's face wickedly, "We can't figure how to access it but if you look right he-", Master Tello stumbled in his excitement losing his grip on the device and letting it fall. Karolin jumped across the threshold grabbing the Holocron in the Force and falling into the vault as she caught it. She landed on her back facing up, breathing heavily. Master Tello got up dusting himself off, he reached down helping Karolin up.
"My Force...I am so very sorry, Master.", he looked at Karolin who took his hand getting up.
"It's ok Master Tello I'm fine, I'm just glad we were able to save the-", she stopped suddenly noticing a glowing red crystal on a stand next to her. She became mesmerized by the stone, wanting so bad to hold it. Master Tello noticed her interest and smiled.
"Ah...I see you have noticed our latest crystal acquisition" Master Tello picked it up holding it up to her, her eyes never left it, "We are not really sure what to call this one, it was found in a near abandoned portion of a recently captured Imperial mine." Karolin longed for the stone, feeling a strange pull toward it.
"C-can I hold it?"
Master Tello handed it to her, smiling, "Of course...", he handed her the stone. She caressed it, holding it tightly in her fist, watching it glow between her fingers. Master Tello reached to get the stone back from her and without thinking she immediately snatched away from him, but remembered herself and reluctantly handed it back. Her hesitation didn't go unnoticed as he placed the stone back in its cradle, "It's...uh...interesting...is it not?" He moved off to another part of the vault, beginning to speak again, "Now...this over here..." Karolin didn't hear him, she continued to look at the stone...it finally spoke to her.
"They fear your power. They fear your wrath. Together we can rule, forever."
Karolin shook her head, trying to clear it. She looked at it closely trying to make sense of the voice in her head. Master Tello continued to speak...his voice merely a buzz in her ears. The crystal spoke again.
"You must kill him. You must kill him, to take and use my power. We can not be apart. My power is yours."
Karolin's eyes grew heavy, she reached for the stone taking it from its cradle and placing it within her robes. Her eyes flashed, she turned toward Master Tello angrily. As he finished speaking and bending down he turned to see a wrath of lightning and energy coming toward him, at its center was Karolin. Her voice was hollow and reverberated with dark energy.
"Fool! No one shall keep me from this power!", she struck the helpless Archivist full in the chest with a single bolt of purple tinged lightning, burning his heart to a cinder. He fell immediately, she breathed heavily trying to make sense of what just happened, she looked at the man stunned by her own actions.
"What have I done?", she cried. She shook Master Tallo's lifeless body, "Get up, Master!!! Get...up!!", the gem in her robe spoke again.
"Too late to turn back now, Karolin. Now you must go. They will never understand you, not like I do. Run!"
Karolin got up from the floor, tears streaming down her face. She looked back at Master Tallo's corpse again, wanting to say a silent prayer, but knowing she was out of time.
Karolin closed the vault door behind her, laying against it once it was closed and breathed heavily. She looked around the Archive quickly rubbing her eyes with her robe, to hide the tears.
"Stop your incessant crying! You have but one chance to get us out of here, move...NOW!!!!"
Karolin moved quickly across the Archive, bumping into two Padawans who needed her attention, "Excuse me, Master we are looking for-", she didn't bother to let them finish, turning quickly headed for the archway. The Padawans shrugged and headed for the Vault area.
"They will discover his body soon, Karolin. You must hurry!"
She pursed her lips hearing the stone again, moving faster now down the ramp toward the outside shuttle pad. Glancing behind herself briefly, she swore to hearing the sound of running feet behind her. She dove into a full on Force Sprint, knocking several Jedi down as she past them. Exiting the Temple she finally let out a held breath, seeing the shuttle pad near-by....too late.
"Stop her!!!", one of the Temple Sentinels cried out as he jumped into a Force Leap, trying to close distance with her. Those that weren't shocked by the Sentinels leap activated their Lightsabers in full on pursuit. Karolin continued to barrel herself toward the shuttle and the unsuspecting Troopers guarding it. She pushed her hands out in front of her...sending the guards flying like leaves before her...the Sentinels continued to close distance, one of them tossed his Lightsaber at her. She reached the ramp in time to hear the incoming hum of the blade and turned pushing it back toward the Sentinel with a large wave of the Force, it caught the Sentinel in mid leap, cutting the man in two.
"Good. Now get up the ramp. We must leave this place!"
She nodded to herself, turning to leave and hearing a voice call to her from the Temple arch. Grandmaster Shan stood in the Archway, hands out in front of her calling out...
A voice somewhere in the gallery cried out "Death!", as the final summation concluded.
"....and, in Conclusion...Master Alpha deserves no less than what she's given. No more than what she deserves....Grandmaster, Council...I urge you to take all of this evidence into consideration. Give the Order...the Galaxy, the Justice it deserves.", with those finally words the Jedi Master responsible for presenting the case against Karolin sat down. Hamner shifted in his seat leaning closer to his Brother, RT.
"Still think this is 'fair' Brother?", he spoke sarcastically. RT didn't look at him, his eyes still focused on his sister. He spoke more to himself than Hamner.
"Why doesn't she speak...why doesn't she say something!", he hissed.
Karolin, now again focused on the proceedings, looked straight ahead looking no one in the eye. All of the eyes in the vast chamber came to rest on the Grandmaster. Satele sighed heavily before speaking, she sadly turned her gaze to Karolin.
"Master Alpha, at this time...for the final time, I urge you to reconsider your silence before the Council passes it's judgment."
Karolin blinked slowly taking in a breath and sighing. She opened her mouth to speak a defiant look on her face, but not meeting the Grandmaster's gaze.
"You all have already passed Judgment! This is a farce, a mockery! How dare you all bring me here before this 'Tribunal'! After all I have done for this Order...for the Galaxy as a whole! After all I have sacrificed...and now this...."
She paused as she extended her hands to gesture at them all.
"I ask you...where was the Council when the Sith attacked the Temple on the Core World...where was the Council when my fleet was annihilated over Hoth? Did the Council intervene when I informed them that I was falling to the Dark Side due to its own inaction? No, it did not!"
Again she paused as the anger began to fill her as the room seemed to darken.
"And now...because it suits you, you all decide to drag me in here and pass Judgment upon me without so much as a by your leave! I would have preferred you have dispatched Master Craft and her assassins to just eliminate me...like you did my Master!" Karolin glared at the upper terrace in the direction of where Craft was seated.
"...your decision is already made! Nothing I can say or do will change anyone in this chamber's mind." , she pursed her lips folding her arms across her chest for the first time.
"So...I request that Council consider my request for the Judgment of Death...because I don't want to continue to exist in a Galaxy...or in an Order that considers itself above and beyond the reach of the law it claims to covet." , she looked forward defiantly glancing up at the upper terrace toward her Brothers sadly, but decided to add the final blow.
"...and with my death, the Order dies and all that it seeks to protect and nurture..." , she finally stopped speaking, the last words echoing in the chamber.
The Grandmaster swallowed hard, expecting someone to cry out, but the vast chamber remained eerily silent. She stood slowly to address the Council.
"At this time, the Council will retire to deliberate, we will reconvene shortly to...", the Grandmaster was interrupted by one of the Council members who rose to speak.
"Grandmaster...I believe I speak for the entire Council when I say we require no further deliberation...", Karolin smirked at the Councilmember's words as he continued, "...we feel that the only Judgment suitable for the myriad of crimes this....'Master' is guilty of, is Death. And we do understand...that in the history of the Jedi Order this ruling has never been handed down, but in this case...the Galaxy deserves it.", Satele's jaw slightly dropped, Karolin looked at her continuing to smirk as Hamner darted from his seat standing up and leaning over the railing.
"You call this Justice! Killing my Sister will not bring those already with the Force back from the dead!", Hamner pointed at Shan, "I warned you! She just told you...their minds were already made up! This will not go...", RT pulled at Hamner urging him to sit, Hamner slapped him away as he replied loudly, "No...I have been silent long enough...This will not go unpunished, Jedi...I promise you that!", other voices erupted arguing back and forth as some yelled back to Hamner as others yelled back to the Council and the Grandmaster.
"Have that Sith removed at once!"
"Order! We must have Order here!"
"Sit down! You have no right to address this body!"
"Would Someone please get control of this Chamber!"
"She was right! You all were planning to do this all along!"
At the center of it all Karolin maintained her gaze upon the Grandmaster, still smirking, still remaining silent after having said her piece. Satele remained standing from before putting a little of the Force behind her voice as she spoke, one last cry echoing as she spoke.
"Her very presence has caused chaos, she must die!"
Satele looked in the direction of the last voice, annoyingly answering the unknown speaker with her own voice above the roar of the crowd.
"This Chamber will come to order or I will have it cleared!", she looked to the upper terrace, "Darth Hamner, you will take your seat or be removed! Council you will take your seats...", she lowered her voice as the roar began to die down, "Now, all members of the Council WILL retire to the anteroom for deliberations...", the Master who spoke before for the entire Council angrily rose to speak as Satele's shot him a steely gaze, "This is not up for negotiation...you WILL deliberate! No one...in the history of the Jedi Order has been put to death for high crimes...you Masters on the Council need to consider this!", she sat back down nodding to the Master-at-Arms to open the doors, as the Council members reluctantly began to file out. Up in the upper terrace General Stone got up from his seat, leaning over to his Jedi partner as he began to move toward the door.
"I have to speak to Shan right now!", he placed a hand on RT's shoulder, "Major...you need to come with me." RT shot from his seat giving his Brother a look, not sure if he should leave him alone. Hamner again, waved him off.
"Oh...go, Brother. I will be fine here. I have Master Craft to keep me company."
The General and RT met the Grandmaster in the foyer.
"Grandmaster...we cannot allow the Council to execute Master Alpha, there are other factors at stake here.", Shan looked at the General and RT, she seemed tired and aged from the ordeal in the chamber.
"Don't think I haven't already thought of that, General. I haven't forgotten our arrangement with the Republic. But these Masters on the Council, they haven't been read into the Project...they have no idea of the ramifications of executing Karolin.", she looked at RT, "I'm going to handle this...it won't be pretty, but it will be handled.", she walked away slowly still lost in her own thoughts. Karolin emerged from the chamber flanked by her Jedi guards, RT smiled at her weakly. She gave him no response.
Now the waiting...RT looked over at his Sister as she passed silently, reaching out to her but she was already gone. He whispered harshly, "Damn it..."
Bells rang four times, echoing through the Temple indicating the Council would be meeting again, shortly. Hamner had not left his seat in the upper terrace since the Council left to deliberate, instead remaining seated, occasionally turning around to torment Master Anna Craft, who also choose not to leave. Hamner finally ventured to speak to her after a long awkward silence, which he simply relished in.
"Master Craft...why didn't your assassins take out Karolin on the night, Master Varaad died...or me for that matter, you must have known I was there..."
Craft sat with her eyes closed, giving no indication of speaking or that she even heard the Dark Lord...when she did reply, only her mouth moved, the rest of her eerily still.
"Karolin, wasn't the target...", she opened her eyes, the steel blue behind them piercing Hamner dead had they been spears, "...and neither were you."
Hamner smiled at the sudden revelation, but then why should she lie? Hamner was a part of the 'Project' as was Karolin, RT...present company included, nothing they said to one another WAS a secret, she was doing her job to protect the Republic and Jedi's deadly secret, who would they tell?
Bells chimed again as members of the Council began to file in. Hamner leaned in close to Craft.
"Project or no...someday, I will kill you. Just making sure you understand."
Craft gave Hamner a sinister smile in return, "And...it is my hope, that the Grandmaster comes to her senses in the next 5 minutes...and orders your execution. Nothing at this moment would make me happier."
Hamner continued to smile blackened teeth at Craft, "I sense your Dark thoughts, it's refreshing coming from a Jedi...I don't know if I want to kill you or kiss you right now..."
Craft merely rolled her eyes, speaking outloud before the door to the terrace level even opened, "Welcome back, General...Major...I trust your meeting was successful?"
Neither man spoke as they took their individual seats. Hamner wanted to remark something totally inappropriate, but the moment passed quickly and was lost...
Karolin re-entered the chamber flanked by her Jedi guards, she impassively looked over the Council not really stopping to look at any one member. They however glared at her. Grandmaster Shan was the last to enter as she tiredly took her seat.
The Young Jedi stood as he did so many times before, "The Council is called to Order. All those with business concerning these proceedings please approach the Council..", no one moved as the Jedi Master who spoke on behalf of the Council rose to speak again...
"Grandmaster...we are unable to reach a decision. It is our wish to be allowed to meditate on this further and trust in the Will of the Force.."
Satele looked around the table at the collected Masters each giving a nod of agreement at the words...she smiled at them all in turn....
"Thank You, Masters for heeding my words and taking the time to deliberate in this very important matter. I believe that this issue, that Master Alpha, is at the very heart of what we as an Order must consider and move forward from in order to continue to grow.", Satele cleared her throat before continuing, "That being said, I have decided to pass Judgment in this matter myself."
The murmurs echoed through the hall in a low roar, both agreement and disagreement washing over Satele as she spoke. The Master responsible for presenting the case against Karolin stood before anyone else could. He bowed reverently, diplomatically.
"Grandmaster...this is highly irregular. Why have the Council consider or deliberate for that matter if it was your intention to make the decision yourself, all along?"
Satele waited for the noise to die down to a dull roar before raising her hand for even more quiet, "I do not take this responsibility away from the Council lightly. It is with a heavy heart that I take on this burden, but I sense a great deal of anger, hatred and resentment from all of you. In my estimation the Council is simply not capable of making this decision...", there was more noise from the gallery, Satele raised her voice not content to wait any longer, "Furthermore!!!...furthermore, I do not feel that any amount of meditation or trusting to the Will of the Force, will change your minds. To me, the decision to take this on myself... IS the will of the Force..." The noise level grew as she finished, the Master-at-Arms stepping to the Gallery control to chime the bell, until the noise stopped. He spoke thunderously through the hall.
"The Grandmaster's word is final! As Members of the Jedi Order, we have sworn to that word. Let there be NO dissention!"
Satele finally turned to Karolin, who till this point had been watching the whole thing rather impassively. The Gallery finally grew still...
"Master Karolin the Barsen'thor Alpha, for the crimes you have committed against the Order and the Galactic Republic, you are hereby exiled from our ranks...", Satele nodded to the Master-at-Arms who as if on que rolled in a huge flat highly polished stone, the hilts of several Lightsabers protruded from its face, "...you shall be stricken from our hearts, you shall be stricken from our minds..."
Karolin had heard about this ritual, but she felt no separation from the Force save for the binders that still held her. The Master-at-Arms stepped toward her, releasing the binders from her wrist and handing her, her own lightsaber, he whispered softly.
Karolin stepped toward the stone, igniting her lightsaber and taking one last look at the assembled. RT nudged Hamner, "What's happening?!?!"
He looked at RT curiously still watching his Sister out of the corner of his eye.
"They are attempting to separate her from the Force." Hamner looked down at the Council speaking to himself, "They have to know that's not possible with her, not now."
The gem in Karolin's lightsaber screamed in her mind...
"NO!!! NO!!! You can't let them do this!!!"
Karolin plunged the saber into the stone all the way to the hilt, burying the sword and the gem for the final time. The voice in her mind died. She stepped forward slowly facing the Council, Satele knew exactly what she was doing, but she couldn't allow the Council to know the full details so she sadly continued.
"Master Alpha...from this day forward, you will be separate from the Force. Furthermore...you shall be taken from this place and remanded to the Prism, where you shall be held until such time as the Council deems fit to allow you to walk among us once more..."
Hamner had enough, he stood again yelling down to Shan, "This has gone on far enough! You attempt to sever my Sister from the Force and now imprison her as well...!", he got up to leave the Gallery, "No matter how many resources it takes, I will stop at nothing to make you all pay!", giving RT a wild glance Hamner departed for his ship. Several of the Sentinels began to move and Satele stopped them.
"Let him go. We have an entire Empire to fight, I don't think anyone here will lose sleep over one Dark Lord.", she sighed heavily, "This matter is concluded. Sentence begins immediately."
Karolin had the binders placed back on her hands as Master Shan moved down close to her. She smiled at Karolin. Karolin looked at her curiously.
"How did you know? About the gem in my lightsaber, how did y-", Master Shan placed a gentle hand on Karolin's shoulder.
"The Force...it told me the day you left. You were weak and something about your bloodline makes you more susceptible to the Dark Side. Something we must one day discover....the gem knew that and used you as a conduit for it's Dark Power. Karolin, I have always known."
RT moved in close to Karolin as she was being led away. She smiled at him tiredly
"I swear, Karolin...I won't stop till you're free..."
-- The transport lifted off to the crowd below, Karolin rested her head back against the bulkhead. One of the Sentinels turned on the Holonet in flight.
< "...More violence today on the Planet Makeb...as the Hutt cartel has declared Martial Law and seized control of the Planet...">
-- RT had just returned from to his ship, removing his Armor and moving to the shower. Dremmess, his new love propped herself in the doorway, lingering seductively in his way...
"How did it go, Hon?", she asked
RT sighed, about to take her in his arms and give her the answer as his Holocomm chimed. Putting on a robe, he slid close to the receiver...
< Priority One Message: Chancellor of the Galactic Republic>
RT quickly thumbed the receipt button as the Chancellor's image rezzed into existence....
"Major...Project Alpha is a go. Unleash her on Makeb...that will make the Hutts think twice..."
Dremmess moved silently beside RT, rubbing the back of his neck, "What does she mean 'unleash her'?"
With the reputation as being the 'Party Girl' between the two twins, Karolin always had a hidden agenda. She was always looking for something, the rampant and ceaseless craving for experiences in an attempt to locate what it was driven by her newly found emotions. Be it the arms of a lover, the hit of the latest drug, the wind whipping over a hillside or the sting of battle; Karolin wandered for years after being exiled. She received the experience she craved and learned a lot in her travels eventually returning to where she came from and repairing the relationship she had with The Jedi Order. Something she never thought she would ever do again. Remarkably it was at her sister's request that she returned to the Jedi. And that final experience was the capstone to everything she had endured.
Through all of the trials and tribulations that surround Karolin Alpha, she always managed to stay positive and maintain that things could only get better. And they did, Karolin has come full circle after falling into the darkest hole she could, Karolin rose out to finally discover true balance and connection to The Force she never thought possible. Karolin now believes no matter what that everything revolves around the Will of the Force. Life, love, happiness and even the bad that inevitably comes with the good and it is all part of a greater plan. A plan that The Force has with all of us.
Even at a young age, all Karolin thought about was falling in love, now she has trusted in The Force to find that for her. A force in and unto herself, Karolin has struck out many times in love. From her first love, Marcus to an unkempt smuggler, to a Republic Marine and finally to a Sith Lord; Karolin believes that even having lost so many times in love it has made her a stronger person for having gone through the experience. She no longer fears her emotion or that it will lead her down a dark path; she has already walked that road. Unlike her sister, Karolin accepts her fate and trusts that even her death will be for some greater purpose. No longer fearing it, she thrusts herself headlong in whatever direction The Force leads her.
The strongest of the twins, Karolin's power has finally balanced itself as she has learned to control the demons that threaten to possess her at times. There is no light or dark sides to the Force as far as she is concerned. There is only The Living Force. She is one side of the coin that makes up the twins. Where her sister, Mrysti represents the Dark, Karolin will take to the light and in times of strife or when it's called for or without meaning to, both sisters switch sides as necessary. It was that light that led her to assume command of The Coalition in Mrysti's absence, it was that light that told her to seek justice for what was done to her homeplanet and it was the light that eventually gave in to her nemesis and resulted in her latest downfall.
Karolin is the leader of what is left of The Alpha Legacy, unlike RT she knows when it is better to allow her siblings to guide themselves. She rules the family not as a dictator, but as a partner to all that remain. She is both the very best and the worst of what the family represents. Karolin is a circle that repeats endlessly of both the good and evil of The Alpha Legacy. She is what her experiences have made of her and would not trade any of it.