Ride the Lightning
He felt none of the reminiscence he thought would overcome him. This cave was something of a second home to him but Wraith didn’t miss the damp, cool hole where he learnt the majority of his skills. Maybe it was his imprisonment, maybe the detachment he felt from his connection to the Force. He felt no hatred or anger; simply a sense of duty. His former master had to be removed, and that was the end of it.
As soon as Wraith stepped inside, he felt the familiar presence of Darth Mortris, albeit his eyes did not pin point him.
“Come on out Darth Mortris,” he called, hefting his lightsaber. There was no point in deceit and dual wielding; his former master had ample experience in defeating both. Mortris emerged from the shadows, slowly appearing in Wraith’s field of vision. He removed his hood, letting his black mantle flare like a sinister cloud. He was clad in bulky armor, which cut out an already impressive figure. He held his weapon at his side too: the triple emitted guard gave it a menacing appearance, one reminiscent of a butcher’s tool.
“I was concealing my presence. It is indeed impressive that you have found me,” he murmured. His voice held a rumble in it like that of a feral animal.
“I’m stronger than the last time we met,” said Wraith. “Master,” he added mockingly.
“Don’t be so sure, boy,” snapped back the Muun.
“My name is not ‘boy’,” replied the former apprentice. He channeled his power, increasing the pressure in the room and causing small tremors in the ground.
“I am Darth Wraith.”
“You? A Darth? How dare you presume to be a Dark Lord of the Sith? You’re nothing but a failed apprentice. Disappear!” roared Mortris. Filling up with rage, he unleashed a barrage of blue and purple lightning. Wraith held his ground and extended his left hand. Catching the lightning, he absorbed the electricity and unleashed his own crimson version. Mortris was not expecting a counter attack and could only reduce the damage done by the lightning. His eyes widened as he saw the red bolts arching towards him. When did his apprentice get so powerful? Wasn’t he supposed to be locked away to be tortured or killed in one of Grievous’s schemes? What the hell had happened during the past eight months?
Mortris retaliated with a force blast. Fighting with pure telekinetic energy would prove too consuming to Wraith, who, despite having very powerful techniques, he was not yet accustomed to their continuous use. Motris on the other hand had less complicated Force powers but could sling them around repeatedly. He had to somehow gain a tactical advantage over the Sith Lord.
Wraith altered the angle of the blast, sending the concussive Force power up into the stone ceiling of the cavern. Cracks snaked through the rocks and debris rained down. With a little nudge from Wraith, large chunks of rock fell down. He caught them telekinetically and directed them at his opponent, flanking the Muun and crashing into him.
At the last second Darth Mortris unleashed a Force Wave, expelling power from his entire person. The large rocks exploded into tiny fragments and created a thick smokescreen. The Sith Lord shot lightning at the rocks, charging them with electricity and hurled the missiles at Wraith as he sensed his presence with the Force now that his sight was impaired. The rocks exploded on the spot where Wraith stood, but the former apprentice was no longer there.
Mortris sensed him just in time: he ignited his lightsaber and blocked the plasma blade arcing towards his head. Pushing his assailant away Mortris put some distance between them, using the Force to speed up his pace. Wraith was breathing heavily holding aloft one side of his saberstaff. Mortris looked at the spot where his lightning grenades struck and calculated the distance between there and the spot where Wraith attacked him, from behind him. Even with the maximum power of Force Speed, no one could cross such a distance at such velocity.
“Teleportation,” he said, figuring it out. “You’ve discovered how to bend the folds of space.” He couldn’t help it; awe seemed into his voice. Wraith remained silent, still reeling from the blowback of his powers.
“You have indeed grown,” continued Mortris. “Do you have any more surprises for me?”
The former apprentice nodded at the Muun’s lightsaber. “You seem to have a few surprises yourself,” he said darkly. Mortris waved his lightsaber and examined the blade.
“This? This is a modification made especially for you, boy,” relied Mortris. Instead of the usual straight red blade, the Sith Lord’s weapon had a undulating weapon, giving it a flame pattern. The unstable synth crystal inside was the cause: it sent pulses of energy running through the blade, giving it the unique wave pattern. It was more prone to short out, or in some cases just explode, but Wraith thought his master was more knowledgeable to make some rookie mistake such as that. It was a weapon designed to short out lightsabers and wreck permanent damage through the victim’s nervous system. A brutal weapon, befitting Darth Mortris’s nature.
“I was expecting you,” said Mortris. “Ever since that incompetent cyborg reported you missing, I had a hunch that you would seek me out.”
Wraith had recovered his strength. His expression hardened and he ignited the second end of his weapon. He twirled it once and took a step forward in challenge.
“I know every style you use, even that despicable Juyo,” said Mortris through clenched teeth. “I taught you everything you know; don’t presume that you can beat me!” The challenge had clearly affected the Muun, who was more used to his victims bowing and cowering before him, rather than challenge him.
“You’re not my only teacher, Mortris,” replied Wraith. “The Force has enlightened me to all forms of combat.”
The Sith Lord squeezed his lightsaber, raised it and yelled “Show me!” before launching himself at his opponent.
“Gladly,” replied Wraith. Their blades clashed. Mortris launched an offensive, hitting his opponent’s lightsaber wildly. Wraith’s channeled the force through his weapon, giving it some degree of protection. His form slipped into the third form, taking advantage of its defensive techniques. Mortris, anticipating such a move, sidestepped past Wraith’s guard. He channeled the Force into the strike and sent the double-bladed weapon flying. Seizing his chance Mortris raised his weapon, ready to cleave his former apprentice in half. He saw Wraith take a deep breath and the undulating red blade pass through Wraith’s body. He did it – he had killed his former apprentice.
Mortris was not expecting a fist to his jaw. From his peripheral vision, before his world snapped black for an instance, he saw Wraith, healthy and in one piece.
The former apprentice had used his power to turn intangible, allowing his opponent’s blade the pass through him harmlessly. Once he let his guard down, Wraith punched Mortris, sending him reeling backwards. Wraith lunged and grabbed the Darth’s chest plate. Using the full might of the Force, he tore it open and unleashed a Force Blast point blank at the exposed flesh. Mortris’s eyes rolled into the back of his head and he was sent flying into a wall with such an impact, it shattered other portions of his armor. Wraith summoned back his weapon and unleashed a barrage of brutal strikes against his former master. Darth Mortris managed to hold him off enough to recover his wits.
Both Dark Jedi spun acrobatically, each mirroring the other’s moves, and slammed into a blade-lock. Both of them yelled, unleashing the Force through their weapons. Both lightsabers buzzed erratically as large amounts of Force energy went through them. Neither willing to concede, they doubled their efforts. As power reached critical levels, the weapons shorted out and the explosion of Force energy sent both combatants across the cave.
Both lightsaber hilts smoked, their inner components fried and bent beyond repair. Mortris was up first, bleeding from different cuts as bits of his own armor dug painfully into his skin. He tried switching on his weapon but a flurry of angry sparks bit into his hand and he threw away the weapon in anger. Resolute to kill his former apprentice, with his hands if needed, he made his way towards the downed man. Wraith had managed to scramble on his feet and held up his own weapon. Only one of the ends was damaged, leaving the other end functional. Mortris ignored the weapon pointed at him and reached out with the Force, grabbing Wraith by the neck in a Force Choke. At the same instant Wraith used the Force to wrap around Mortris’s heart and crush it. Normally the Sith would not allow anyone to affect their body, breaking their grip with his superior power. But in this instance he was too weak and too deep in his anger to care about his own wellbeing, focusing all his power on choking Wraith. Simultaneously, Wraith sensed another heart beating inside the Muun, fully aware that the alien had more than one heart, and hurled his lightsaber. The red blade pierced the sending heart.
Mortris let go of his Force Choke and a gurgling sound escaped him. He swung sideways, his eyes no longer focused. Before he fell, Wraith lunged forward, gripped the hilt of his weapon and allowed the fallen Dark Lord to slide off the plasma blade. Darth Mortris fell lifeless on the ground.