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Age of Darkness 06: City of Secrets
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(Vito groaned as he sat up. His head throbbed as he rubbed it and surveyed the chamber. He was no longer in his cot in the starship, the chamber was icily cold and black as night. A deathly moan echoed across the seemingly infinite stone floor)

Vito- Something strange is going on here...



(Vito leaped back as he turned around and instinctively activated his lightsaber. Grinning before him above a flaming pyre was the Mask of Death)

Vito- Impossible! You... We escaped from you on the Baron's planet!

Death's Mask- None escape Death.



(Time seemed to move in an almost dreamlike state as the demon laughed and clashed blades with Vito)



(He easily parried the dark spirit's attacks and drove it back towards the altar)



(The spirit rose its blade to attack and Vito took the opening, slashing the demon across its chest)



(Vito stood triumphantly above the motionless body as a slow clapping came from the stairway above him)

Old Man- Good! Truly you are a master of the Force young Vitus!



Vito- Who are you?

Old Man- Me? I am the Eternal Eclipse of the Stars, a Glorious Darkness for my Imperial Reign. But look upon the face of the defeated one, the lifeless husk that lies ate your feet.



(Vito reeled back in horror at the sight, in place of the Mask of Death, was his own face. The old man's cackling laughter boomed through the chamber)

Old Man- Observe young Vitus! Even the brightest star has darkness in its heart! Take this message to your Kingdom, Soon the Light will be Eclipsed and the Shadow will fall over all!



(Vito shot up in terror, his body covered in a cold sweat)

Zhuan- I sense... fear in you apprentice. Is something wrong?

Vito- Wha- oh. It was just a dream. No master, just a bad dream...



(Zhuan fixed Vito with a questioning look as he slid out of his cot, refusing to make eye contact with his master and tell him of the strange vision)

Zhuan- You are certain?

Vito- Yes master. It was nothing.

Zhuan- I see. While you rested I was able to contact the Council and plot a course for Coruscant. We will be arriving momentarily. Rest now if you can. We will have work to do once we arrive.

(Vito nodded but knew that he would not be resting any time soon)



(Vito looked out in awe at the bustling city below him. From the vantage point in the spaceport lobby, the city seemed to stretch out endlessly into the horizon)



Zhuan- It is quite a sight is it not?

Vito- I've never seen so many people before in my life, and those buildings... they seem to scrape the sky itself!

Zhuan- Some do apprentice. Compared to its former apex, Coruscant is but a shell of its former self with a paltry ten billion sentients, and wreckage still covers much of the surface. Nevertheless, it is still a marvel to behold. Come, the Council awaits.



(As they walked down the crowded marketplace around the spaceport, the planet's true colors came out. Homeless aliens slept in back alleyways while merchants haggled with taxation officers for every credit)

Zhuan- Apprentice you will do well to guard yourself here. Not everyone is what they seem to be.



(As they came to a shady alleyway a man stood in front of Zhuan, thin trails of smoke curling from his mouth)

Thug- Move along good Lord Jedi. Nothing you want to see here.

Pilot- Please! Someone help!

Zhuan- Really? Well if you are intent on hiding it, I may very well be interested indeed. Step aside.



Pilot- Please, I'll have what you want next week! I just need a little more time!

Vihn- Pal, our agreement was if you break a deal, I break you. No money, deal broken. But don't worry, I'll leave you just alive enough to get me my credits.

(Zhuan activated his lightsaber, holding the blade right in front of the gangster's throat)

Zhuan- Step away from that man or else I will sever your head from your shoulders, and I will be more than happy in doing it.



(Vihn slowly turned around, smiling widely at Zhuan)

Vihn- Well imagine that! The one day the only bigger mob than me, that’s you Jedi, comes around is the day I go collecting my debts.

Zhuan- Apprentice, fetch the constable for this scum.



Merchant- Hold on, yesterday you said I only had to pay ten percent in taxes, why is it twenty-five today?

Constable- Why? Prices go up and I have to make a living somehow, so you have to pay up!

Guard- Unless you want us to confiscate this contraband of yours... come to think of it, I don't remember your name on the register.



(Vito pushed his way in font of the merchant and took the register from the constable, updating the information to his)

Vito- There! Problem solved. Now if you would stop harassing merchants, we have a real criminal here.

Constable- Who? I-

(As the constable looked over as the gangster motioned with his knife across his throat before putting it in front of his mouth)

Constable- Um, I have never seen that man in my life before. Besides, you need... four witnesses to arrest someone. So, please release the man and be on your way.



Vihn- Well fancy that. It looks like I've gotten off the hook, but I like you. Repay me double next week and nothing unfortunate will happen to you. See you later Jedi!

(As Vihn and his thug walked away, the pilot's face turned ghostly white)

Pilot- Double! I'll never be able to repay that! Jedi, I appreciate it but I have to find someplace to hide and hope they don't find me.

Zhuan- Go to the Temple, the Jedi can protect you.

Pilot- Yeah right! No offense, but you've gotten me into more trouble than it was worth.



(Zhuan shook his head as he deactivated his lightsaber and walked away)

Vito- Master that was not right, what just happened there.

Zhuan- Such is often the unfortunate outcome in life, but come. There is work to be done.



Zhuan- Behold, apprentice, the Grand Jedi Temple and Palace of the Grandmaster. From here the Grandmaster of the Order rules the entire Jedi Realm. Remain here, only Jedi Masters and a select few are permitted entrance. I will return shortly.



(Vito nodded as Zhuan ascended the great stone steps. Across the square a large cheer rose up from a crowd)

Agitator- How much longer will we allow the Force-weilders to oppress the masses? Must we live under this tyranny?

Crowd- No!



(As the agitator continued to rile the crowd, Vito motioned to a custodian sweeping the square)

Vito- Excuse me, but could you tell me what exactly these people are protesting about over there?

Custodian- What? Oh, you're talking to me. I apologize, Jedi don't do that very often. Them? Well to tell the truth, it’s you. Not you personally of course, but Jedi. They say you're corrupt or something. Alls I know is I have to clean up after them.



(Thanking the custodian, Vito pushed his way into the crowd, the agitator quickly sighted him and leaped down from his perch)

Agitator- What do we have here? Another one of the elites here to close our rally? Here to gloat over the peasants are you, Lord Jedi?

Vito- No. I am merely here to listen to your complaints, and address them if I can.

(As the crowd murmured, a group of dignitaries emerged from the Temple and descended into the square)

Senator Salo- Quite a legislative session indeed... if you consider a brawl to be legislative, but what's going on here?



Agitator- Observe? More likely he is here to wait for me to "say" something treasonous, but mind tricks don't work on me Jedi!

Vito- Mind tricks? How paranoid are you? The Jedi have always been kind to me. What have they done to you?

Senator Salo- Look at the kid go! We ought to get him into politics!

Senator Harrick- Maybe not, look who's coming down now.



Harad- Enough! I will not have a riot! I am Secretary Rufam Harrad of the Committee for Security and Order and I order you to disperse!

(The crowd roared again, silencing Harad's voice in a chorus of sound)

Vito- Without the Jedi this planet would have been conquered by the Sith! We are protectors not rulers!

Agitator- Protectors indeed! How much destruction, how much death have we suffered because of the endless ideological wars of the Jedi!



(As the crowd shouted, on the other side of the square, the custodian glanced down at a small device, beeping on the pavement)

Custodian- Strange... this thing looks like a homing device.



(In a dilapidated building overlooking the square, two men looked down as the custodian lifted up the device. One of them loaded a rocket launcher)

Militant- Look at that. He's making my shot even easier.

Terrorist- You're clear. Whenever you're ready.



Vito- Furthermore, I am not from a wealthy family, the Jedi took me in as an orphan. If the Jedi are oppressors as you have said, then may I remain oppressed!

Agitator- Oh no.

Vito- What? Suddenly at a loss for words? You haven't been this whole time-



(Vito's eyes grew wide as he sighted the flaming rocket and ducked down as the crowd screamed in terror)



(Sighting the device in the custodian's hands, Vito suddenly leaped off, using the Force to propel him faster than the rocket)



(Vito quickly threw the device into the air while shielding the custodian as the blast exploded above the square)



Vito- Are you okay?

Custodian- Well I'm alive... but this will be one nasty mess to clean up.

(As Vito helped the custodian to his feet, a holoprojector activated, a masked man appearing where the missile had impacted)

Vokx- Greetings. I am Vokx, leader of the Society of Harmonious Blades, an organization dedicated to toppling the Jedi autocracy, and bringing Harmony to the galaxy by purging these endless Force-wars. We have delivered the first blow my friends, join us and together we will bring balance and equality to the galaxy!



(As the image flickered off Vito turned as a dark-clad man walked descended the Temple steps, flanked by two armored individuals)

Uthyr Kyros- By the Force, this is quite a mess we have here.

Harad- Councilor Kyros! It was this... traitor! He was spouting his treasonous propaganda just as the missile struck!

Agitator- What? No! I was just speaking- ask anyone!



(Uthyr pointed at the agitator and the armored Jedi leaped on both sides of him)

Uthyr- Ask anyone you say? Hmm, you there... Vitus Salvantro is it? I am Uthyr Kyros, Councilor for Knowledge of the Force and Chairman for the Committee of Security and Order. These men are the Palatine Guards responsible for maintaining security on Coruscant. Please tell us, is this accused man guilty of causing this gross tragedy here?

Vito- Sir, I can only speak the truth and unless speaking one's mind is a crime. This man is innocent of any wrongdoing.



Harad- What! You... you lie! He spoke treason against the State and threatened-

Uthyr- That is quite enough secretary. I will speak to you in private about this event. Thank you apprentice. You have done us a great favor. Please, convery my regards to Master Zhuan.



(As Uthyr pulled a despondent Harad after him, the agitator grasped Vito's hand and shook it profusely)

Agitator- Jedi I... I don't know what to say. If they would have arrested me… let’s just say people go into jail and never come back.

Vito- It was nothing. Standing up for the truth is what Jedi are supposed to do.

Agitator- If only there were more Jedi like you, maybe then I would not have so much to protest about. Listen, I’m not part of that Society, but they’ll be after you now, and that guy, Kyros, is the most powerful man on this planet, and you just got in his way.



(Vito nodded as the agitator shook his hand again and ran off as the gathered dignitaries murmured amongst themselves)

Senator Salo- Harrik, what did I tell you, he just made himself into a hero.

Baron Milosmir- See that Stasa? That kid just might be the answer to all our problems.




Author's Notes

I apologize for the delay in getting Ch. 6 out but as is often the case other matters have occupied my time.

Once again I would like to advertise the official fan group for the series for your consideration: Link to Official Fan Group . I am going to try and provide more updates there and other events (such as making your own character and participating in missions) related to the series if/when episodes are delayed in the future.

As always let me know what you think in the comments.

Thanks for viewing!



Comments

 I like it 
  April 22, 2014
Great chapter! Vito is becoming quite the character. Curious to how he will show the people of Coruscant about the truth of the Jedi :)
 I like it 
  April 21, 2014
Getting interesting!
 
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