Some things never change

By Kirk Taskila

Date: Monday, June 10, 2002 11:01 PM

The laboratory was darkened, illuminated from the lit outer walls.  Inside 
on a flat plas-steel table lay the cloaked figure of General Darana 
Cairnfell, formerly known as the leader of her own household.  She lay there 
still, her only motion the shallow rising and fall of her chest.  Another 
figure hooded in black draws closer to her and he begins to inspect his 

"Hmmmmm…." drawing forth a black gloved hand, he begins to pass it up and 
down her body.  He reaches out with the Force.  Probing, sensing each area 
to find each of her hidden weapons, traps and tools.
"You have grown powerful.  Too powerful.  And even though the greatest of 
trees are strong and offer protection to those around it.  It is never too 
strong to be toppled."  The dark stranger pauses as his hand comes over 
Darana's pouch at her belt.  He opens it.  He discovers a small blue stone 
and examines it closely.

A deep chuckle emanates under the dark hood.  "Oh for shame my dread lady.  
Your power, your life all wrapped up in one of these.  A focus stone.  These 
pretty gems are for the weak, not the mighty.  No, not for you.  It is no 
wonder you build yourself a household of loyal allies to protect you and 
your evil little plans.  "Now who do you have all tied up in this stone?  
Your student's perhaps?  Or maybe a lover?"  Holding it tighter, squeezing 
it, probing deeper… "hhmmm… Deveron.  Your ex-husband?! How endearing!" he 
says mocking the unconscious form before him.

Darana flinches and her body visibly tightens up, her legs drawing up toward 
her chest as he squeezes harder tormenting his subject.
Looking back up to Darana's face, the dark hooded figure gently brushes a 
few wisps of hair from Darana's face.  Then draws back his hood to see her 
more clearly.  "I hold no malice to you my friend.  You played a good gambit 
but I believe you may have made a tragic error.  You did not plan for the 
day when the Emperor found your household rivaled the power of the Emperor 
himself.  So he sends you off to die and I must play my own role in your 
destruction.  And so dutifully you march off, ready to waste your life on a 
damn fool crusade.  It would be admirable Darana, if it weren't so 

Squeezing the stone tighter, Darana is obviously pained.  "I SHOULD DESTROY 
THIS STONE AND YOU WITH IT."  As he leans closer, one can see the smooth 
skin of the tormentor.  Once thought long dead, or lost it the Dark Lord 
Wynn Barezz.   Wynn turns, and smiles.  "No Darana.  I see the wisdom in 
Palpatine's mission.  If I were to kill you, your allies would rise up and 
seek revenge either against me or the Emperor.  You've trained them well.  
They may actually succeed in striking down Palpatine.  But your loyalty is 
also your weakness.  Let you go and die in the field and no one will have a 
reason for revenge.  I am going to obey my Emperor as well.   Let us see his 
plan in action.  Perhaps one day I will be able to aid you.  You were 
competent and I hate to see good resources wasted.  If you happen to survive 
your suicide mission then perhaps we will be allies again, one day.  If not, 
then I'll say my farewells now."

Softly Wynn places the stone Darana's hand and her body relaxes once more.  
With a button, automated restraints hold down her wrists, ankles and 

"This will only hurt for a moment," he whispers in her ear.  Slowly he 
lowers his hands to either side of her head and he begins to concentrate.  
Visibly the room darkens.  Energy begins to concentrate at his fingertips 
and they begin to glow with the power of the darkside.  Suddenly cold white 
energy erupts from his fingertips to her temples drawing forth her stored 
power, knowledge and memory.
Wynn is lost in her memories and thoughts.

He sees each person who has sworn loyalty to Darana and can feel each link.  
Rook, Eric, Silver, Avon, and Sidra Roamstar are but a few of those he can 
see clearly.  Over and over he reaches out and travels through Darana's 
mind.  Though it would be easy to destroy her in this state, that is not his 
present task.  Isolate her, humble her, cripple her but do not destroy her.  
This will take longer to preserve what is valued.

One by one he can sense each of  the invisible cords that links Darana to 
her minions.  In her mind he reaches out and slices each bond and tearing it 
out from the synapses of her mind.  Never again will she link to these 
individuals.  Over and over it happens until it comes to those she cares 
about most.  Those are the deepest bonds.  The strongest bonds.  Those are 
the hardest to destroy.  Twice Wynn stops as he feels Darana physically 
weaken.  Once he felt her heart fail for a moment.

In the midst of the psychic surgery, Wynn feels a tremor in the force.  
Someone reaching out trying to contact their master.  "Darana….can you hear 
me.  Are you alive?  Where are you?  It's me Lilith"  Wynn feels the 
concern, the worry and even a twinge of fear.  He summons the force and the 
call is met only with a cold hard barrier of darkness.  Changing his mind he 
suddenly lets the call contact Darana as he severs the link fully and 
permanently.  That will deliver the message to her darling apprentice 
Lilith.  Neither a sensation of living nor death, her household will no 
longer feel Darana's existence at all.

As Wynn removes his hands away from Darana he smiles.  "My mission is nearly 
accomplished.  Your mission is only beginning.  I will, however, help you 
even as I send you on to your death."  He turns and takes a medical 
instrument from the table on the edge of the room.  Placing it next to his 
neck he pulls the trigger of the pistol shaped device.  A quiet "ppfffttt" 
is heard as the blood from Wynn Barezz is taken by this genetic sampler.  He 
brings it over to a small holding cage filled with a single lifeform, the 
size of his hand.

It is an insect. A large purple-grey chiton covered bug called a Droch. A 
rare beast currently found only one the planet of Nam Chorios.  The Droch 
are usually much smaller insects that live on a planet where the force is 
very strong, and as a result the Droch feed both on the life force and 
intelligence on those they prey.

"Are you ready master?"  comes the thoughts of the creature.
"Yes my pet." He reaches in lifts his pet, his treasure he found so many 
years ago when he was still an officer in the Navy.  Cautiously he brings 
both the gun and the Droch next to Darana.  Feeding the Droch, it quickly 
feeds on the mitichlorian infused blood from Wynn. "More" begs the Droch in 
Wynn's mind.
"Not yet," Wynn answers.  "Do as you are told and you will feast later."
Wynn positions the many legs of the Droch on Daranas neck and they hold on 
tightly.  It moves it tail ever so slightly before driving deep into her 
neck, injecting it's barbed tail into her artery.  Instead of drinking forth 
her life essence as the Droch normally do, it begins to pump it's recently 
eaten Sithlord blood as well as it's own venom into Darana.  In moments it's 
job is completed and Wynn returns his pet to it's cage and with a wave of 
his hand he seals her wounded neck.

"From this day forth Darana, I am a part of you. You will never know I have 
changed you and should you find out, there is little you can do.  In time 
you will master my abilities as you once mastered the force on your own.  
Hopefully you will master my powers before they kill you.  Farewell, dear 
Darana and may the Force be with you."  Wynn then leans down kisses her on 
her forehead.  Glancing down to her hand he sees that she is still holding 
her Force-stone, the focus of her power.  He can see it has changed.  Darana 
has changed.  No longer does this stone glow a brilliant blue, but is now 
the color of a fiery ruby.  He pries the stone from her hand and places it 
back into her pouch before summoning a medical droid to tend to her.

He pauses to pick up the Droch's cage, walks to the door and begins to 
laugh.  "Sidra Roamstar, an assasin.  Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha…."

The door closes behind him as he walks away.

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