Darth Dja'Kall ([PredatorX]) meets Vyra Cerlyxx ([Sunny Silverunicorn])
There was not much for Dja’Kall to do that day, so he simply sat on his chair in the captain’s cabin of his very own Imperial Battlecruiser, browsing through what he categorized as “endless stacks of bureaucratic worthlessness”, which any other starship commander would have called “orders”.
He read only the titles written on the datapad disks and then quickly discarded them without a second thought.
“Destroy this, capture that” he muttered “Really, I have more important things to do… like Pazaak!” And with a sigh he continued to toss the orders on the stack on his desk.
“Master Dja’Kall…” a voice bleeped from the console
“Just a second, I’m about to make a high score…” and he tossed a pad right through the virtual mouth of his starship’s avatar. Not many ships had such technology, usually, the calculations for navigation, communication and so forth were done by endless rows of brain damaged humans behind their overheated desk consoles (another of Dja’Kall’s analogies), but he had a hyper-intelligent AI to handle all that.
“But this is urgent.”
“It’s Darth Feral.”
“Oh… patch her through then.”
Deep inside him, his guts told him he was not going to like this, he had never received an order from Darth Feral before… as a matter of fact, the only time he ever engaged her in conversation was when he provided her with means to contact the renown bounty hunter, Fett.
No one ever called him that. His Sith name was Dja’Kall, Predator is a nickname by which he is commonly referred to among the other Sith… the nickname speaks for itself.
“As you probably know… all Sith Knights have been recently ordered to prove themselves worthy of their position.”
“Yes, I… got the memo.” He replied with his usual lack of formality and glanced on the pile of orders. He “missed” that one.
“Well, this is your target.” An image flashed on the screen, replacing Feral’s robe-covered body.
The Predator was intrigued by his future victim, this apparently female humanoid triggered his curiosity, she belonged to a species he had never seen or heard of before. The image depicted her in a combat stance, her sword-arm gripping the handle of her lightsabre pointing it forward, the other outstretched in front of her, no doubt in order to channel the Force against her opponent. He already pictured himself on the other side of the image, brandishing his double sabre.
So far, this looked like any other Jedi he had seen… what caught his attention was her visage. Strange protuberances around the front part of the face made it look like the cranium was ready to burst right through the skin. But they also rather artistically outlined some of the common facial features of a humanoid and made her look… evil, too evil by Jedi standards. He also found her hair to be quite odd… it was very long, longer than any he’d ever seen on a humanoid, it flowed all the way down to her hips, yet it all seemed to come from one spot on the back of her head. In his words: “she’s a bald lady with long hair… curious.”
“So, what would you call this sentient? Assuming she is one...”
“Hnh… funny. She is Falleen, and yes, she is Sentient.”
“Good… so she can feel pain.”
“I like your style, Dja’Kall. I have sent you the mission details, read them carefully and carry them out as soon as possible. Feral out.”
The image of his Sith Master vanished and was replaced by the earlier image of his target, accompanied this time by details concerning the mission.
“This should be fun.”
The disturbingly sarcastic tone of his voice was a constant nuisance to his fellow Knights and especially to his subordinates. And so, cynic as ever, Darth “Predator” Dja’Kall proceeded to read the file entitled “Vyra Cerlyxx”.
“Val!” That was what he called the ship’s AI, short for Valkyrie “Set a course to these coordinates.”
He input the numbers on his console and shortly after he pressed “execute” the digital face of Val appeared with what seemed to be a concerned look about her.
“But, sir… this is a Jedi controlled quadrant.”
“Exactly.” came the terse reply.
Val, though an artificial life form, understood all too well the implications of such a tone, so she proceeded with re-directing the ship and didn’t say another word.
Dja’Kall took his double-bladed lightsabre and stuffed it underneath the heavy black robes. Like a dark ghost he haunted the corridors of the ship until he reached the bridge. He then folded his arms and stood in front of the large screen which showed the endless void outside the ship, he didn’t move a muscle for the entire duration of the trip.
Vyra Cerlyxx was sitting alone in her quarters on board a Republic cruiser. Too tired to sleep but exhausted enough to close her eyes, she lay on her bead, meditating, thinking about the Force, the Universe, anything to take her mind of her responsibilities when she was about to experience a textbook “rude awakening”.
The walls around her shook violently and the bed jumped half a foot off the floor, catapulting her in mid air only to fall abruptly on the bed and then roll down to the floor in a less than comfortable fashion.
Anyone’s instinct would have been to ask “what in the Galaxy is going on” but she knew better. They couldn’t have hit anything since there were little obstacles in outer space that can shake the hull of a battleship, and those that could achieve this feat lacked the ability to stay hidden from radars… all except one manner of obstacle, the worst kind… an enemy battleship.
Yet she could not resist the temptation, so when the sergeant on patrol barged in her room to check on her she met him with a semi-intelligent variation of that ever so predictable question:
“What in the Universe just hit us?”
“A Sith Lord.”
That answer was about as predictable as it was unwanted. All she could do was sigh and brace herself for the challenge she was about to face.
“There is not much time Master Jedi, you must rush to the bridge.”
She nodded, and with unimaginable speed she left the sergeant open-mouthed and entered the command room of the vessel before the captain could reach the intercom to call her.
“Lady Cerlyxx” a short bow “It is good to see you are unharmed. As you’ve probably guessed, we are under attack. We’ve managed to identify the aggressor as the Sith flagship ‘Retribution’. Its commander is the Sith Knight Darth Dja’Kall… also known as ‘The Predator’ perhaps you’ve… heard of him.”
“The Predator… somehow, I do not find that information comforting, captain.”
“Neither did we, Master Jedi.”
“Very well.” Cerlyxx had no time to waste and she was well aware of that. “Man the battle stations but be sure to have your men armed and ready, double check all security systems, this ‘predator’ is Sith… Sith do not fight from behind a console, he will try to board our ship sooner or later.”
“Indeed.” A strange voice boomed from behind her. That was not the voice of any crewman, she was sure… as a matter of fact, she was convinced it didn’t even belong to a human.
She slowly turned towards where the voice came from. The officers and soldiers on deck quickly recovered from their initial shock and pointed their blasters at the black robed figure in front of them. But it did not flinch.
“You must be Dja’Kall.”
For a long while there was no reply, then the ghastly figure moved its head to the sides, as if inspecting the room.
“Tell them to lower their weapons… this is between you and me.”
It sounded like the distant echo of a thousand voices raked her ears, it was almost unbearable. She chased away that feeling of anxiety and slowly signalled to the soldiers to lower their weapons. She was well aware of her action’s implication, but she also knew what a Sith Knight was capable of.
And so, obeying the Jedi, the soldiers dropped their guns on the floor, but before the first one could hit the ground the troopers joined them. It all happened too fast for Cerlyxx to understand what was going on, all she could see was her men flat on the floor and Dja’Kall holding his right arm high above his head with sparks still shooting from the tips of his fingers.
“You animal!” And she pounced at him, sabre drawn and flaring. The Sith, however, did not move at all… and Vyra soon discovered that neither did she. Hovering two feet off the ground she found her force jump was stopped when the blade of her sabre was but a few inches away from the hood-covered head of her foe. One chop and it was over… so simple, yet so hard to achieve when one is immobilised.
“They’re fine.” Dja’Kall hissed.
The answer she got was a violent clash with a force wave that sent her flying to the other side of the room.
“I said they’re fine. I shocked them so that they would not interfere… apart from a headache they’ll be just like new when they wake up.”
Vyra slowly lifted herself up from the rubble that was once the captain’s desk.
“I may be an animal… but I have my honour.”
He took off his heavy cloak, leaving him in his black combat robes. These robes were by no means different from any other: a black shirt tied around the waist with a black belt, black pants, black shoes and gloves. Simplicity was one of Dja’Kall’s better qualities.
Then, the cowl came off and Vyra’s first impression was that he wore another one under the first, but she soon realised that it was his hair which was darker even than the robes he wore, it fell down to his shoulders almost blending with the dark cloth around it. He gently removed the few strings of hair that were in his eyesight and now Vyra could see her opponent’s face… almost.
This one was different, she admitted to herself. While most Sith choose to tattoo their faces in bizarre ways and others wore terror-striking masks, this particular Dark Jedi combined the two. His entire face was painted black and filled with ancient tribal tattoos, the kind you’d see on a Mandalorian warrior readying himself for combat. One could only assume this war paint was splattered all over his face, but only half his visage was visible, the mouth, eyes and everything between the two was concealed by what Vyra recognised as a Stormtrooper helmet, but not like the ones you see today, the older version, back when these dreaded clones were soldiers of the Old Republic. He only had a part of it on, particularly the visor that covered the eyes in a mysterious and menacing fashion and continued the same way down to the mouth. His forehead was tattooed in the same manner as the rest of his face.
The Jedi could hear a click and saw a beam of violet light emerge from his arm, she turned her sabre on as well… the fight would soon begin.
Slowly, she took a few steps towards him and he immediately responded by taking a defensive stance: one foot bent back, the other stretched in front of him, his right hand holding the sabre above his head, its tip pointed at her. The other hand was outstretched, palm open as a blatant invitation.
She took another cautious step and he grabbed the sabre with both hands… another laser blade shrieked its way out of the hilt.
Dja’Kall charged violently, twirling his weapon above him as he spun to give it more momentum. The attack ended inches away from Vyra’s face, the blade of her own sabre standing between her and death. She pushed him back and launched her own series of attacks, all unsuccessful.
The Dark one took a step back and clicked off one of his sabre blades to try a different approach. This was that brief pause in all gladiatorial fight where the combatants examined their opponent after having caught a glimpse of their moves. This was what one would call “the calm before the storm”.
And so it began… a furious storm of lightning-fast sabre strikes accompanied by the thunder of laser clashes. The two Jedi took turns in attacking and parrying the other’s strikes but neither seemed to be gaining or losing ground. The storm turned to a hurricane with more complex moves, intricate footwork and impossible body positioning… but to no avail.
After this they both jumped away from each other to get ready for another round of vicious strikes. Dja’Kall turned his sabre back to double-bladed mode and Vyra braced herself as best she could.
The Sith played with the blade in his hands elegantly spinning it from one arm to the other, how “fortunate” for Cerlyxx that he was ambidextrous.
Dancing around like a Twi’lek ballerina he spun his way towards her. Vyra tried to block this onslaught of sabre slashes as best she could, but there were too many strikes coming from too many places for her to handle. Finally, one managed to slash her hand, causing her to twist on her heels and fall down. As she crashed to the floor another strike cut through the back of her robes revealing two rather nasty-looking scars.
Dja’Kall saw his opportunity to finish this fight and plunged on her, thrusting the sabre at her back, but shocked as she was, Vyra still had enough strength and concentration in her to retaliate. The Sith’s charge pierced the floor just missing the Jedi as she rolled out of harm’s way. He readied his sabre for another strike but instead was catapulted to the other side of the room by a bolt of force lightning.
Now he was furious. Crying in anger he jumped to his feet and prepared for another ruthless charge. Vyra caught a glimpse of his mask’s visor… it flared red, anger boiling his eyes.
Then the awaited attack came, but the Sith had an ace up his sleeve, instead of slashing his sabre at her, he dived to the ground and began to rapidly kick at his opponent so as to knock her down. Though she initially lost her balance, Vyra quickly managed to regain control, dodging his strikes and successfully managed to tumble forward to avoid Dja’Kall sweep-kick.
But he anticipated this, and was even counting on it so, as she hovered above him, a powerful lightning bolt shot out from his palm and threw the wretched Jedi against the wall behind her. However, what he did not anticipate were her reflexes, for even as she was being pushed towards the wall she managed to conjure a wave of force energy and sent him flying to the opposite corner of the room.
This gave her enough space to spin around in mid air and thrust her feet firmly into the ground, stopping the clash with the hard durasteel.
Dja’Kall did not stop his short flight, but used its momentum to rebound off the wall and launch a threatening “butterfly” attack. This was one of his favourites, while spinning around in mid air her twirled the blade over his head… or under, since he was upside down, it depends on how one looks at it.
This attack did not come as surprise to Vyra and she managed to successfully parry. What did amaze her was to see her opponent remaining upside down after the attack had ended. She tested her might in sabre clashes with many an opponent before and she had seen eye to eye with all manner of repulsive, menacing faces… but she had never seen one upside down before.
Dja’Kall held his sabre in one hand, pressed against his body for support, he glared over his right shoulder at Vyra, the visor still shone red. Cerlyxx pushed with both hands, but the Sith was stronger so he didn’t flinch, but she didn’t give in either.
“Feisty” the horrible voice of the Predator hissed “…I like that in a woman.”
Now Vyra was not sure what shocked her most… the fact that this Sith had a habit of flirting during combat… his cynical tone that she became acquainted with… or the fat that, as she was staring at his face and at the three red stripes on his chin she noticed something bizarre.. or rather didn’t notice anything… because they didn’t move. Where did that voice come from?
But she had no time to think about that, seeing that this clash was going nowhere, Dja’Kall jumped off the ceiling and whirlwinded another series of attacks.
Vyra decided she’d had enough of this acrobatics so, stepping back she hit her opponent’s weapon with all her strength and hurled it in the air. Truly, Dja’Kall was not expecting that, yet he’d long before learned to be prepared for anything, and as Cerlyxx moved in for the kill he took the initiative and kicked her in the chest with both legs, then, rebounding off his victim he spun in the air and managed to catch his sabre. All this ended with a gracious landing in a safe crouched position, like a feline on the prowl.
Vyra’s landing, however, was not so elegant, she slid a few feet after crashing rather violently on the floor and hit her head against the chamber’s door.
Dja’Kall wanted to attempt another finishing mover, but his opportunity was refused… the door which the Jedi hit herself against opened just as he was about to jump.
His hesitation gave Vyra enough time to get back on her feet. Nodding to the soldiers behind her who had their blasters ready she charged at the Sith.
However, Dja’Kall decided he’d had enough of this, so, instead of responding to the charge with another of his sabre attacks, he threw his hand backward and shot two bolts of lightning. The blast windows behind him crumbled under the force of his strike.
Cerlyxx was swept off her feet and found herself flying towards the void of outer space. Dja’Kall dodged out of the Jedi’s way and let her continue her flight. The same trick that had kept him on the ceiling of this very room allowed him to maintain his ground and not be sucked out.
The soldiers that had opened the room's door thrust their feet in the floor to hold their ground as best they could and grouped at the entrance, pointing their rifles at the enemy. Dja’Kall had no difficulty in retaliating their shots. Two of the soldiers fell from their own shots or their comrade’s, another three had their shoulders hit and fell back, one was unfortunate enough to take a blast to the foot and, losing his balance, was sucked out in the void.
Finally, one of them pressed the button to close the metal blast doors of the outer hull, closing the room up. Dja’Kall turned to see the doors closing, he had no time to finish the Jedi off. He casually waved at Cerlyxx who was holding on for her life in the space between the two windows, and plunged forward, slipping out the window just as the steel doors were coming down.
Floating through the endless darkness of the cosmos, Dja’Kall was face to face with his most dreaded adversary… Death. It clutched its cold hands around his neck, trying to drain the life out of him… slowly and painfully. He would have screamed but he knew it would be a waste of the little breath he had left.
A few seconds… that’s all he stood out there, but a few seconds in the land between life and death can seem an eternity. And after those few seconds Death had lost its chance to claim him once more… his private TIE Interceptor picked up the distress signal from his comlink that he launched as he exited the ship. The fighter aircraft used the same method Dja’Kall boarded the Republic ship with: teleportation, it beamed the Sith directly on the pilot seat and he was free to terrorize the Universe once more.
Escaping the enemy fighters would not be a problem, this state of the art space ship was controlled by Val who calculated the optimal course of action before the X-wing fighters even picked up Dka’Kall’s scent.
“I assume the mission is complete?” Darth Feral’s voice bleeped from the console.
“You’re fast…” He seemed more preoccupied with pushing buttons than replying to her, he didn’t even look at the holographic image.
“You haven’t answered my question, Knight!”
“Mission accomplished… 75 per cent.”
“75 per cent? What’s the other 25?”
“I didn’t manage to kill her. But the message was delivered… they know that they now have a war on their hands.”
“A martyr would have been better…”
“We’ll have plenty of time for those once the battle begins.”
“Indeed… so, you think the Council will take the bait?”
“Hook, line and sinker. Assuming…”
His lips finally moved and twisted themselves into an evil grin.
“Assuming you were right… and she is sentient.”
**Back to The Sith Lords**
**Back to The Jedi Council**
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