Chapter ???: Dance With The Devil

"Those who play with the devil's toys will be brought by degrees to wield his sword."

- Richard Buckminster Fuller


I always aspired to be more than what I was. However, at every turn there was an obstacle. A blockade which impeded my advancement. Whether it was my education? My livelihood? The place I lived? The people around me?

The people I called family...

“You're--” The woman didn't have time to speak before grabbed her by the throat. I did not use the force. I wanted to feel her larynx slowly squeeze as I choked her.

Octavia Clarke. A vested member of the Church of Unitology. She was obsessed with a pack of charlatans. I had hoped that it was the Brethren Moons that twisted her into this pathetic creature.

As I tear through her thoughts I realize it was not.

It was simple zealotry.

“Did you know that it was a Red Marker that killed your husband?” I had to know the truth. “When you became privileged enough to become vested? Did they allow you to know, and did you even care?” I could feel rage. I embraced it. This woman was sick. A disease. “Answer me!”

I could rip the truth from her mind but I wanted to hear it from her lips instead.

“They t-told me but I will join him soon. All of us will become whole.” I had loosened my grip on her neck. Just enough so she could talk. “It's how things are supposed to be, Isaac. We can be a family again--” I squeeze her neck tightly at that.

“That's not my name anymore.” There was venom in my voice. I held nothing but contempt for this sow. “An insult to his memory is what you've become, and I will not suffer it.” Poul Clarke deserved better than this. “I have no mother.”

After what had transpired? After what she had unleashed?

I could not show her mercy.

“There will be no convergence. I will bring death to your idols.” I lean in, and whisper. “As for you, mother? A punishment is in order.”

I began to cackle like a hyena, and with a quick gesture of my hand the betrayer bursts into flames. Her pleas for mercy going on deaf ears. Before they become screams of anguish.

There in the Church of Unitology I lifted Octavia Clarke into the air, and hurled her against the stained glass windows. There is a sickening crunch, and the glass breaks. Before she proceeds to fall a hundred stories to the ground. The pictures of Michael Altman now awash with her sizzling blood.

“Darth Malum. That is my name now.” Surrounded by the corpses of every true believer? I cremate them all the same. I would not allow them to become servants. It's what they would want. “This galaxy will belong to the Sith Lords! The tyranny of hungry gods will end...”

I would not spare them. These traitors to humanity.

Whether it was EarthGov or the Church of Unitology?

I will not be denied my revenge.

On the corpses of the Brethren Moons I will build my empire. They will be the foundation.

Peace! Prosperity! Stability, and security! These things, and so much more!

Immortality not in convergence but in the force!

“The dark side has found a home.”

<<X>>​

I suppose every story needs a beginning. I had mine in the slums on Earth.

It wasn't always the case. There was an estate at one point. A lavish one furnished with everything I could ever need. Of course, my mother sold it. The last gift my father gave us, and she treated it as if the mansion was but a trifle. The gall of that harlot! One more reason why I enjoyed her screams as she fell to her death.

Ah, but I digress. That's not why we are here now my apprentice.

No, we are here for him. Oh, how I loved him as I did my own father.

He was a treacherous, unrelenting, manipulative, and ruthless monster. The very picture of a Sith Lord. The thing that was closest to his heart was his desire for revenge.

Just as I desired the destruction of everyone who ruined my life? My master desired the death of one person in particular above all others.

Obiwan Kenobi, or so my master called him. I would have liked to have met him.

When I was a boy? My master was already an old man. He had seen war. He had butchered thousands, and enjoyed it. It brought him comfort. He drew power from the carnage that he unleashed on the galaxy. However, it wasn't our galaxy. It was another.

A galaxy far, far away from this one. That did not know the scourge of the Brethren Moons. That was teeming with extraterrestrial life. I would dream of it every night.

Of Darth Sidious. A person he despised almost as much as Obiwan Keenobi. Oh, you ask why he would despise a fellow Sith Lord? Betrayal is the way of the Sith Lords, and you should learn that now. The time will come where you must test whether I am still worthy of the title! In that fight either I will die, or you will. It is my hope that you do not disappoint me so I will grant you a warning:

I will not teach you everything. Only what you need to know.

“My child...” I still remember it. That act of his. A duplicitous snake even before everything happened. Take note, my apprentice. Always appear weaker than you actually are. Appeal to the sentimentalities of others. Use their naivety against them. Poison them with whispers of doubt. “I need help.”

I was young, and most of all I had a father who taught me that altruism was paramount. He was the only person I would not call a fool for such behavior. Only out of respect of course, and what I owed him. Besides, if he had not? I would not have done what I did.

“Hey, you don't look so good. Do you want me to call an ambulance, sir?” I was only ten years of age but I was already well-mannered. The trappings of a privileged background. Well, formerly privileged background. I looked at this stranger, and only saw the pain he must have suffered. There in that alley surrounded by trash bins. A place where the refuse of society would gather to find warmth.

“No, no. Not at all.” He was cloaked in the blackest robes I had seen, and his hood obscured his face. “I just need some water.” He sounded exhausted more than anything else.

I didn't suspect a thing. That he had seen within my mind a secret. A talent which others did not have. An affinity for the force. That sometimes I would have an inclination of what would be. Prescience if you would. A common trait in all those sensitive to the force.

I was quick to help him. I brought him a bottle of water. One of the few things the destitute could afford. When I brought it to his face? That's when I saw them. The burning embers that were his eyes, and in the darkness hiding his face I began to see. That this old man wasn't what you would call a human being. No, he was a zabrak. However, the amber that was his eyes was a symptom of embracing the dark side of the force completely.

Just like my own.

The horns on his head however?

“W-What are you?”

“Not of this world.”

He tried to make his chuckle sound warm and inviting. As if someone's grandparent just caught them sneaking into the kitchen for another piece of cake. It was an act of course. He wanted to draw me in. He wanted to see if he was correct in his assumption. Whether I had potential, and more importantly... motivation.

A drive. A thirst for retribution.

The zabrak absolutely was, and that's when I learned his name.

“Where I came from they called me... Darth Maul.”

There was no person I respected above all else, and no one I feared as much as him. I am thankful for it everyday. The training he made me endure? It was practically torture, and you will know the hardship of it soon. I promise you that. There is power to be garnered in trial and tribulation.

Never forget the code:

Peace is a lie. There is only Passion.

Through Passion I gain Strength.

Through Strength I gain Power.

Through Power I gain Victory.

Through Victory my chains are Broken.

The Force shall free me.

The dark side of the force will break your chains. It will free you. Just as it freed this galaxy from those maligned abominations. Now life has come to flourish. Life rich in the dark side of the force. The flora and fauna of every world breathing it in!

There is nothing quite as beautiful.

“That's a weird name.”

The zabrak took a sip, and leaned back. He didn't seem bothered by the position he was in. “In time I believe you will come to understand why.”

I looked at him in curiosity. I wasn't exactly sure what he meant then.

He gestured towards one dumpster, and suddenly it began to float. Before torpedoing into the stratosphere.

“Where did you get a Kinesis Module?” I tried to rationalize it. It had to be something I had seen before. I just ignored how much more powerful it was. However, my gut instinct told me otherwise. That this was something different.

It was something this galaxy hadn't seen for hundreds of millions of years. The balance disrupted long ago by the Brethren Moons, and their ravenous appetite.

However, just like all things in nature? It begins to correct itself over time.

This was the beginning of change.

“Oh, my child. You have so much to learn.” He seemed bemused by my confusion. That is when he began to stand, and reached out. I grabbed his hand, and helped him get his footing. “That was the force. It's an energy field generated by all living things. It surrounds us, and it penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together but not just this one. There are so many...” He looks down at me. "Do you wish to know of them?"

I was caught in his web. Hopelessly lost. Enthralled by this mystery.

Darth Maul had found his apprentice.