Two Chapters in a short amount of time! This chapter came so much easier than the last one did. Haha! Please note, there is a character that moves a lot like Reaper does in Overwatch. Keep in mind, I don't play Overwatch, but am well aware of it. I discovered this after I had written the chapter. Anyway, I hope you enjoy! Feedback and reviews are always welcome! :)
Under the cover of the sickly, orange light of the underworld, a shadow moved quickly through the dilapidated streets of the small city beyond Coruscant's Power Grid compound. Raucous laughter filled the streets as the grid workers and drunken dredges alike stumbled haphazardly out of the pubs in the surrounding area. Some seemed unfazed by the strong drinks consumed while others, were not near as fortunate. Slimy puddles of retch covered the streets as if a toxic rain had blasted through the area.
Grimacing beneath their black cowl, the Shadow ignored the stench and splashed through the muck towards a run down pub. It was one of the few businesses down here that actually had an illuminated sign. Upon entering, they were met by a thick and pungent cloud of cigarette smoke only made worse by the dank and humid air. Undeterred, they purposefully strode across the room and slammed down a couple of gold coins on the counter. The scruffy, orange-skinned bartender stood unfazed as he cleaned a couple of scratched glasses.
"What can I get ya?" He grumbled in a grated voice.
The Shadow removed their hood, revealing long black hair and predatory, yellow eyes. "Information."
The bartender set the glasses back on the shelf and wiped their hands on a somewhat soiled rag. "Gonna cost more than that, Stranger." Narrowing their eyes, the Shadow slid three more gold coins on the bar. The bartender gathered the coins in his disfigured, three-fingered hand and bit one of them with his teeth, testing it. Satisfied, he pocketed them. "What sort a information are ya lookin' for, Bright-Eyes?"
"The best route to Level 0." The Shadow replied frankly.
Scoffing, the bartender began to clean a couple more glasses. "No one goes there. Uninhabitable and precarious. Why would you want to set foot in such a death trap?"
"Answer the question, Barkeep." The Shadow placed four more gold coins on the bar.
The bartender hesitated slightly, but gestured with his scruffy chin. "That way. Can't miss the lift. Watch for security. They keep a sharp eye on it."
"That won't be a problem." The Shadow barred his teeth. "I assume the lift will take me all the way?"
"Can't say for sure. All I know is that it goes further than most lifts." A few chairs scraped the hardwood floor, making the bartender anxious. Quickly, he pocketed the other gold pieces and stepped back from the counter. "Might be wise to high-tail it out of here, Stranger."
The Shadow's pointed ears twitched at the sound of blasters cocking. He smiled and slowly reached for his scabbard at his side as a large crowd of greedy men approached him. "Can I help you gentlemen?"
"Give us the gold, Bright Eyes." A tall, raggedy human male demanded.
Glancing over his shoulder, the Shadow acknowledged the man, but also took the time to look for weaknesses. Clearly, the man had been in quite a few fights. Missing teeth and a broken nose were the first indicators. A prolonged limp on the left leg was another. If a fight broke out, he could dispatch the man quickly.
The man raised his blaster. "Did you not hear me?" He stomped forward and shoved the butt of his blaster into the Shadow's back. "Give us the gold and ya won't get hurt."
Rolling his eyes, the shadow whipped out his short sword and shoved it through the man's jaw and skull. Gagging and choking, the man staggered back, sputtering streams of blood. Eventually, he collapsed, gurgling. The entire pub stood in stunned silence.
Nonchalantly, the Shadow pulled a cloth from his belt and began to clean the blade. Whispers began to culminate throughout the room and slowly, more weapons were raised. He sighed ruefully and twirled his blade, ready for the impending assault.
A large, male Besalisk lumbered towards the front, sharp teeth bared. He brandished two hand blasters and a vibroblade in his hands, muscles pulsing. "Looks like we'll be using force, Barkeep!" He shouted as he raised his blasters.
The bartender quickly ducked behind the counter as a volley of blaster bolts were fired. Swiftly, the Shadow leapt to avoid the bolts and dashed across the room, bolts following close behind him. He skidded on the ball of his foot and using one hand, spun to change directions. The Besalisk charged at him, tossing tables and chairs out of his way using his free limbs. Unfortunately, the mob decided to follow.
Still in motion, the Shadow leapt aside as a sturdy table was chucked his way. Grunting, he slung a pair of sharp, metal stars towards the stampede. He pegged a couple of assailants in the neck and face. Their fall did the rest of the work, causing others to tumble over them like bowling pins.
Grinning, he shifted his stance and drew his blade once more, arms crossed at the wrist. His yellow eyes peered over his wrists, allowing him to watch for an attack. To the left, he spotted movement and flung his sword, which impaled itself deep into an assailant's chest. They let out a curdling scream as they fell to the floor. He rushed for his blade and yanked it free from the dead man's chest. Twisting, he slid under a standing table and with his legs, expertly kicked it into a group of charging men. They fell to the ground sharply, their skulls cracking against the hardwood floor.
Before he could get to his feet, the Besalisk grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and pulled him into his chest. The air rushed from his lungs as the crushing weight from the Besalisk's four, muscular arms squeezed him. Adrenaline pumping, he closed his eyes and allowed his body to go limp. Eventually, the Besalisk realized that he no longer moved and presumed him dead. Chuckling with glee, he threw the Shadow to the floor.
Using his senses, he heard the Besalisk laugh and clap his hands together. "Given out, Bright Eyes?" He chuckled from his throat. The rest of the room joined him in laughter. "Reapers taken 'im. The money's ours, Boys!"
He felt a large hand tug at his belt and before the Besalisk could remove his wallet, he rolled over and used the momentum to power his kick. Before the Besalisk could figure out what had happened, he kicked again. The force of his kick activated a knife at the tip of his boot, which effectively rammed into the Besalisk's temple. A few screams and convulsions later, the Besalisk lay dead at his feet.
Slowly, he stood and brushed himself off as if nothing had happened. He eyed the dead Besalisk, his pupils narrowing. "I am the Reaper, Fool."
With that, he retrieved his blade and throwing stars, confident that the mob wouldn't attack him further. He nodded to the bartender, who nervously peeked his head above the counter, and left the pub in a swirl of black robes.
Quickly, he pulled his cowl over his head and struck off into the dim light in the direction the bartender had indicated the lift would be. Rows of abandoned homes lined the street, their weary and decayed facades drooping in agony. A couple of roofs caved as he walked by, the pressure and gravity bearing down upon them like wolves in the night. The only remaining street lights flickered dimly, their last moments upon them.
Eventually, he came to a dead end marked by graffiti and warning signs. Exposed cables and wires sparked haphazardly. It took him a moment to spot the lift as it was well camouflaged by the mass amount of debris and garbage around it. Breathing in musty air, he cleared the debris away from the lift's doors and pressed the call button on the console. It fizzed for a moment, until he hit it with his fist, forcing it to boot up.
Gears whined and screeched from years of neglect as the lift rolled into place. The doors attempted to open, but only managed an inch or two. Exasperated, he rubbed his gloved hands together and ripped the doors open with brute strength.
Before he could even set foot into the lift, a pair of security officers dashed towards him, blasters raised. "Hey! Get out of there!" One of them yelled. They came to a stop a few feet away from the Shadow. "It's off limits."
Defiant, the Shadow stepped into the lift and sliced the controls with their short sword. In an instant, the lift dropped, weighed down by gravity. As he fell, he could hear the officer's angry shouts echo down the shaft. For some reason, it amused him.
Air whistled, alarms blared, and equipment screeched as he careened down the shaft at an alarming rate. It was expected, considering he'd severed the controls, and it ensured that no one could follow him.
A spray of sparks showered down on him as the lights burst from the pressure, plunging him into darkness. Only the light from the level counter told him how far down he had plunged. There were a few more levels to go. He pressed his booted feet against the corners of the lift and stretched his arms out to brace himself.
When the numbers reached double digits, another shrill alarm blared, nearly deafening him. He shook his head and slowly inched his feet up the wall, ready to launch himself out of the lift before it slammed into the pavement. At the last, possible moment, he kicked out of the lift, soaring into the darkness as the lift exploded into a ball of orange and red flames. Debri from the blast shot in all directions, crackling and burning as they fell, smashing into unseen structures.
He rolled to avoid the debri and ducked behind a structure, sheltering his head with his arms. When the explosions stopped, he looked over the lip of his shelter to assess the situation. The smouldering remains had quieted, settling to just calmly consume peacefully. Inhaling, he stood and dusted himself off. His eyes glowed in the darkness, clearly adjusted to the endless, nocturnal state of the lowest level. Honestly, he hadn't expected the lift to take him all the way down to Level 0 considering that it was uninhabitable, but it had.
Makes my job much easier. He thought, rolling his shoulders to release tension.
His ears twitched, hearing the sound of waves. It was quite a surprise considering that the exponential growth of the city had dried up most of the planet's seas. Maybe there was an old and forgotten cistern of sorts. Carefully, he navigated his way through the pocketed and lifeless ground towards the sound. Considering the state of the soil, the planet should have been dead years ago. Yet, it continued to somehow support life far above the surface.
Ancient buildings reduced to ruin and dust lay like scattered corpses on a battlefield. Forgotten and forlorn. Some of the structures looked oddly familiar. A small part of him wanted to stay and examine the ruins, but he quickly extinguished it. He had a job to do.
The sound of waves grew louder as he walked down the ancient street. To his left, his eye caught a glimpse of a faint, glimmering green light. approached a glimmering, green light. A moment or two passed before he determined that it wasn't an illusion. Brows furrowed, he quickened his pace to a light jog. Just like the waves, the light grew as he got closer until he was nearly blinded by the pure light that emanated from the grass and endless ocean before him.
Without the light of the sun, it was strange that such a find could exist far below in the forgotten depths of the planet. Yet, it existed. He crouched to dip his hand into the crystal clear, turquoise water. It shivered at his touch, sensitive to the darkness he emanated. He chuckled. This Force Well was why the planet still lived. How fortunate the sentients above were, spoiled by the mercy the light gave them.
He stepped into the water, churning the clean sand and blue crystals beneath. Each step he took poisoned the water causing it to lash out in pain, desperately trying to protect itself from the darkness. The earth vibrated, groaning and buckling from his touch. Like antibodies, swarms of iridescent creatures rushed at him, trying to rid the water of the putrid sludge that had invaded its purity.
Ignoring the creatures, he reached out with a gloved hand and clawed the deep into the sandy earth. He closed his eyes and felt searched for the skin of the Force Conduit. Finally, he managed to locate it. Taking a deep breath, he dove into the water and tore at the sand until he touched the clear surface of the conduit. Searing pain shot through his body as it recognized him as a parasite. Through the pain, he drew his sword and stabbed it into the vein. Once more, the earth shook, screaming silently in the Force. Golden light bled out of the conduit, gushing into the turquoise water. Smiling, he transformed his body into black smoke and clawed his way into the conduit.
As the shadowed parasite slithered through it's veins, the planet rumbled, forcing the tall skyscrapers to sway violently. Their supports screeched under the weight of metal and glass as they fought desperately to keep them standing. Blaring sirens and screams of terror filled the air as the sentients scattered like cockroaches to find safety. Traffic also escalated to utter mayhem as many pilots feared that the skyscrapers would collapse at any moment, threatening to crush them.
Another shockwave rocked the planet, snapping pipelines and unleashing a powerful, flash flood of sewage and water. The sheer force and power of the river ripped apart walkways and bridges with sharp teeth and quenched it's insatiable appetite by swallowing all that stood in it's path. Roaring waterfalls formed, spilling the brown, frothy water into the flooded city depths below.
Explosions rocketed through the city as if the planet were being bombarded by enemy missiles in a war zone. Power grids were shorted out and ruptured by the water, belching thick, black smoke. Colorful flames burned hot as a deadly mix of various gases and chemicals were released into the air. Electricity danced across the surface of the rushing water and climbed the sides of buildings, seeking for a place to ground themselves.
In a matter of seconds, Coruscant's Emergency Response personnel were overwhelmed by the sheer mass of chaos and destruction.
Herion braced himself in a doorway as the temple shook violently. Lights exploded in an array of sparks, plunging the temple into darkness. Red emergency lights managed to flicker on as the backup generator roared to life. Screams from frightened Younglings echoed throughout the halls, instilling a sense of chaos and fear.
Stumbling from the doorway, he managed to grip the railing that overlooked the archives. Shelves tumbled like dominoes, retching their knowledge in every direction. Glass shattered and sirens blared as fires began to consume everything around them. The sprinkling system promptly activated, but cut short due to snapped water lines.
Quickly, Herion leapt from the railing and hit the floor running. Channeling the Force, he gracefully pulled a large, swirling bubble of water from the scattered flood waters and flung it into the air. AS soon as it made contact with the ceiling, it quickly spread across every square inch of the ceiling, glowing with the light of the Force. With a flick of his hand, rain began to fall from the ceiling in a heavy downpour, successfully extinguishing the fires throughout the archives. A few Jedi glanced up, confused by the downpour.
Drenched, but satisfied, Herion carefully made his way over to a young Padawan whose leg was trapped under a heavy shelf. He placed a hand on the boy's head to comfort him while with the other hand, lifted the shelf with the Force. The boy shouted in pain as the pressure was relieved from his leg. With precision, he examined the boy's leg gently. It was fractured in three locations, snapped like a hardened sweet. He tore off the hem of his robe and expertly tied it around a couple of broken pieces of wood to keep the leg straight. It would have to do until the boy could get to a healer.
The earth rumbled once more, disrupting the brief silence. Along the walls, thin cracks grew like weeds. Carnivorous weeds that preceded to consume and then defecate the filtered material upon those around them. In an instant, the ceiling cracked, releasing an enormous barrage of debris. Desperately, Herion lifted the young boy into his arms and clutched him close to his chest as he ran for cover. He barely managed to skid behind an overturned desk as another powerful blast rocked the temple. A wall of thick, acrid smoke roared towards them like a tornado, whipping up dust and debris. The heat from the smoke burned his exposed skin and eyes as it rushed by.
With irritable tears streaming down his cheeks, Herion slowly looked up as the ground beneath them settled. The young boy at his side moaned in pain. Shifting carefully, he leaned the boy against the back of the desk and wiped the dust from his face. He smiled reassuringly before coughing into his sleeve violently.
He felt a gentle hand on his shoulder. "Is it over?"
Herion cleared his throat and closed his eyes, sensing the state of the planet's surface. It was calm, but for how long. "I'm not sure, Young One." He weakly smiled. "Let's just focus on getting you to a Healer."
Standing slowly, Herion braced himself against the desk, eyes taking in the damage. The Archives lay in complete ruin. He exhaled slowly. At least they were alive.
An odd column of smoke shifted slightly, catching his attention. A chilling sense of dread burrowed its way into his heart. Something was out there. Something dark. Instinctively, he reached for his lightsaber as the feeling grew. His heart pounded in his ears as the silence and tension continued.
He glanced back at the boy and gestured for him to remain quiet. Rocks shifted to his left, skittering across the floor like blocks of ice. White blade activated, his opposite hand held close to his chest, he stepped towards the disturbance. In the darkness, he managed to make out a smoke-like humanoid figure, rising from rubble.
"Who's there?" He called out, lightsaber raised.
A pair of predatory, yellow eyes pierced through the smoke, illuminating the figure's pale skin and long, black hair. Herion's heart stopped when he saw a fused, red gemstone in the center of the figure's forehead.
Guardedly, he stepped backwards, shielding the Padawan from the Shade's eye line. He held his lightsaber in front of him, both hands gripping the hilt. "I know what you are!" He called to the Shade.
The Shade smiled, revealing his pointed canine teeth. His eyes narrowed as he leaned his head back, laughing maniacally. Herion shifted into an archer's stance, rooting his feet to the floor. He waited for an attack, but it never came.
"I know who you are!" The Shade replied, teeth bared, eyes flashing vehemently.
"Why are you here?" He called out, ignoring the remark. It was only natural that the Shade would know who he was.
Licking their blade, the Shade simply smiled. He had a target! Herion shot forward, blade raised. In an instant, the Shade's physical form vanished into a column of smoke. He stumbled forward as his blade cut through thin air. Restoring his balance, he whirled around, searching desperately for the Shade. He barely caught a glimpse of a pair of yellow eyes vanishing into a darkened corridor.
Heart beating rapidly, he deactivated his blade and turned to the boy behind him. The boy's eyes were wide with fear. "I feel cold."
Herion removed his half coat and draped it over the boy's shoulders just as another figure dashed through the darkness towards them. "Master Herion!"
He glanced at the boy, deciding that an explanation wasn't important yet. "Wait here." The boy looked over his shoulder at the Knight rushing towards them and nodded. With that, Herion ignited his lightsaber and dashed off into the darkness.
Obi-Wan groaned, clutching his side gingerly. His once healed ribs burned with pain once more. He hissed as he managed to get to his feet and brace himself against the wall. Wiping his face, he leaned his head back, hoping that the coolness of the wall would help ease the pain. Lights strobed wildly around him, making his head reel. The sirens didn't help much either as their piercing screams pounded against his skull with a sledge hammer. Streams of water spilled from broken pipelines, slapping against the cold, hard marble floors below.
A cold shiver ran down his spine as a sudden and large spurt of cold water drenched him from above. Dodging the remainder of the stream he shook his head and wiped the water from his eyes. He found himself shouting out as the cold water ran down his back. As his shout echoed, the ground rumbled once more. Heart pounding, he froze, listening for falling debris. Expectedly, the ceiling cracked and rubble from other floors tumbled down with it. Ignoring his protesting ribs, he dashed out of the way and slid behind a safer wall.
The onslaught of debris mixed with the water from the pipes and carried on as if nothing was odd about a raging, directionally challenged river. Waterfall may have been a better description, but the last time he checked, waterfalls didn't constantly have rocks falling with it. At least it drowned out the sirens.
Abruptly, something grabbed his wrist, making him instinctively throw a punch.
"Hey! Calm your jets! It's me!" Vision adjusted, he saw Garen crouching beside him in the dim light. "You ok?"
He nodded painfully as a wave of pain shot through his chest. The sudden, jerky movements were coming back to haunt him now. Carefully, Garen pulled Obi-Wan to his feet and ignited his lightsaber for better light. Obi-Wan staggered forward, nearly collapsing from the pain, but Garen steadied him with one hand. Once stable, they navigated through the damage, trying to ignore the continuous, blaring alarms that shrieked all around them like a dying animal. A sense of dread washed over them as they took it all in. They'd never thought that the Temple could look like it had been through a war zone.
Garen coughed, covering his nose and mouth with his sleeve as the hallway suddenly filled with thick smoke. A grated and harsh cough was muffled beside him. Obi-Wan's ribs must have been broken again. Groaning to himself, he wondered if Obi-Wan was ever going to catch a break. His whole life had been a series of hardships. While there had been good moments, most of the time it just seemed like everything was out to get him.
Over the noise of the alarms, something screeched in the distance. The hair on the back of Garen's neck stood on edge and his skin crawled. He looked at Obi-Wan and could immediately tell that he felt the same way. Something was out there.
Ominously, the power shut off, plunging them into silent darkness. Readying their blades, the air around them chilled. Crackling frost crystals began to spread like weeds, encasing everything they touched. A gust of wind rushed down the hall, forcing them to shut their eyes against the cold.
That's when it struck. A dark, shadowy figure burst from the darkness and tackled Obi-Wan to the ground, striking him in the face. Quickly, Obi-Wan shielded his face, blocking a few more blows until the attacker twisted his wrist and slammed it against the ground. Shouting out, Obi-Wan quickly kneed the figure in the gut and followed through with a double kick to the neck. An inhuman shriek filled the hallway as the assailant smashed through a stone column.
Garen pounded towards him, blade at his side. He skidded to a stop when the hallway splintered behind him, spitting boulders in every direction. Dodging to the side, he barely managed to avoid a large chunk of column thrown his way. It smashed a few meters ahead of him, crushing a power generator and water line. Dropping to the floor, Garen covered his head as the generator exploded, blasting shrapnel and electrified water in every direction.
The hallway erupted into orange and red light as the flames billowed, melting the frost. Obi-Wan barely to leapt behind a fallen column as the flames rushed him like a flash flood. The air around him boiled, scorching exposed skin and clothing.
In the distance, he heard Garen scream. Worriedly, he peeked over the column and saw a dark-haired figure crouching menacingly over Garen. The figure tightly gripped the hilt of a jagged blade they'd perforated Garen's chest with. Desperately, Garen tried to wrench the blade free, but the figure only twisted the blade further into his chest, pressing hard with his body weight. The sound of muscle tearing and bone cracking almost made Obi-Wan want to retch.
Blocking out Garen's agonized screams, Obi-Wan leapt over the column and rammed his shoulder into the attacker, sending him reeling to the floor. Before the attacker could regain their footing, Obi-Wan punched the figure in the jaw and smashed both fists into their temples several times as the attacker reeled. He geared to side kick, but the attacker managed to dodge and lurch forward to elbow his sternum.
Moaning, Garen ripped the blade from his chest and stumbled to his feet. He shakily called his lightsaber to his hand and deftly threw it at the attacker's thigh, providing a slight distraction to allow Obi-Wan to roll away.
Breathing heavily, Obi-Wan got to his feet and ignited his blade. He glanced at Garen who nodded back. In tandem, both charged their attacker in a pincer movement, moving in perfect time with the other. They raised their blades and swung, but only cut through a pillar of smoke. It slunk away quickly, retreating into the darkness. Backs pressed together, they spun, searching for their attacker.
A flash of silver flickered from their left and Garen swung to deflect the spinning object. With his uninjured arm, he shoved Obi-Wan down as another whistled through the air. Whirling, both switched positions and deflected three more, the severed pieces of steel clattering to the floor.
Without warning, their attacker switched tactics, bursting from the smoke and rammed a bladed star into Garen's already open wound. Stifiling a scream, Garen suckerpunched the figure in the nose and ripped the star from his enlarged wound. Obi-Wan followed through with a swift heel kick squarely to the face, sending the figure flying.
Twisting their body, the figure righted themselves, clawing up the smooth marble with a single hand. Smiling wickedly, they forced their nose back into place with an audible crack and barreled forward on the balls of their feet.
Before Obi-Wan could react, the figure throttled Obi-Wan and wrenched him to the ground. The figure twirled a throwing knife in his hand and rammed it through Obi-Wan's shoulder. Another flash of steel punctured his thigh, barely missing an artery. They reached to draw more knives, but abruptly vanished when a large boulder struck him at high velocity. The boulder smashed through the opposite wall, taking the figure with it. Garen wheezed as he lowered his arms, body shaking.
All was quiet except for the gentle crackle of the small fires around them. Obi-Wan inhaled as deeply as he could with twice injured ribs and a cracked sternum. His breath caught as he painfully got to his feet and limped towards Garen. "You all right?"
Garen swallowed, looking about ready to retch and pass out. He looked down at his blood soaked tunic. "I'll manage."
The air suddenly filled with smoke once again, signalling the attacker's return. Heart pounding, Obi-Wan reached for his lightsaber, but not fast enough. A sudden, swift kick to the face sent him careening through a wall. He felt jagged rocks rip into his skin and his skull crack as he landed hard. Vision blurred and blood streaming down his face, he saw a pair of black boots approach him slowly. Numbly, he attempted to right himself, but fell back to the ground, writhing in pain.
Garen attempted to counter attack, but his injuries prevented him from effectively performing the maneuver. The figure simply uppercut Garen with the hilt of his blade and grabbed him by the neck, thrusting him to the ground head first. A loud crack later and Garen fell silent.
Fearfully, Obi-Wan reached out to Garen, feeling for his life force. It dimly flickered in the Force, slowly beginning to fade. Grunting, he made another wobbly attempt to get to his feet. He gripped the hilt of his lightsaber for strength as he slowly rose to his feet.
The figure smiled menacingly, twirling his obsidian blade. "You cannot outrun death, little Jedi. A rabbit may be quick footed, but no matter how many times it escapes, it will be inevitably devoured by the wolf."
Obi-Wan wiped his mouth with his damp sleeve. "Who are you?"
"Who are you, is the proper question." The figure replied, enthusiastically licking his blade. He casually stepped over Garen's still body, yellow eyes flashing. "Why does Ganondorf want you dead so badly?"
Backing up, Obi-Wan felt his blood run cold as the figure pulled another blade from his belt. "You tell me!" He shouted at the top of his lungs, inner frustration boiling over.
The figure chuckled, twirling his blade like a baton as he circled him. "Even if I knew, I wouldn't tell you."
Obi-Wan raised his blade, carefully watching the man's chest for hints of movement. "Odd that you wouldn't know."
The man smirked and dissolved into a cloud of swirling smoke. Anxiously, Obi-Wan shifted defensively, eyes darting around the hall. All was quiet except for the low hum of his lightsaber. Tracking a cloud of smoke in complete darkness was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. His eyes would certainly fail him, but the Force would not. The air moved behind him, suggesting movement. An image flashed in his mind and he quickly flung his blade over his head to block the sudden strike. Grunting under the impact, he spun and lashed out at the man's legs, barely managing to clip the man's thigh.
In retaliation, the man swung wide, forcing Obi-Wan to back bend to avoid the blade. He felt the blade rush by his face, missing him by centimeters. Regaining balance, he back peddled, barely managing to parry an onslaught of swipes and jabs.
Desperate to delay the attacks, Obi-Wan gathered the Force and pushed with his right hand. Unable to retaliate quick enough, the man flew backwards, skidding wildly down the hall. Breathing hard, Obi-Wan rushed forward, blade trailing behind him. Before he could reach him, he saw the man look up and vanish. Next thing he knew, searing white pain surged through his body like melted wax.
Vision blurred, he looked down and saw the man's obsidian blade protruding from his shoulder, centimeters above his heart. Breath caught, he collapsed to his knees. The man leaned close and forced the blade further into his body. He screamed as his collarbone snapped.
"Looks like I missed." The man sneered, baring his teeth. He was obviously joking.
Obi-Wan attempted to throw a punch, but was kicked in the gut and shoved to the ground by the force of the sword. Screaming in pain, Obi-Wan grabbed the blade, blood streaming from his hands as he tried to force the blade out. Then he felt the sting of cold steel against his throat and froze, heart beating fearfully.
A deranged smile crossed the man's lips as he jabbed the blade deeper into his skin. Obi-Wan felt blood begin to trickle down his neck. "Long live the Demon King!" The man whispered into his ear.
He swallowed and waited for death as the man prepared to slit his throat, but it never came. A brilliant shock of white light shot through the air leaving behind a trail of shockwaves in it's wake. The man screamed as he was jerked down the hallway.
Wincing, Obi-Wan sat up slowly and rubbed the back of his head. His vision spun dizzily from the loss of blood and his entire upper body burned. A figure crouched down in front of him and placed a gentle hand on his shoulder to steady him.
"Don't force yourself, Obi-Wan." The figure said gently. "You've done well."
Obi-Wan blinked. "Master Herion?"
Herion hushed him and stood, drawing his lightsaber. He walked purposefully towards the dark man, unwavering."I'll take it from here."
Growling, the man stood and spat at Herion. "My Master intends to destroy you, Old Man!"
"I know of his intents, Shade." Herion replied calmly, blade held firmly at his side. "He's wished it since the beginning." He paused a few meters from the Shade. "Why the boy?"
The Shade grinned. "Why not?"
Unamused, Herion called on the Force and channeled it into his lightsaber while stepping with his right foot. Reasoning with such a demon wouldn't get them anywhere, considering Ganondorf obviously kept his minions uninformed of his plans. He stepped outward with his left foot and dragged the right into place beside it. Holding the side of his left hand close to his chest, he swung his blade.
As if he had cut the fabric of reality, a brilliant cut of turquoise blue hung in the air. Another swing left another line. The Shade's eyes widened, realizing what Herion was about to do. He quickly leapt for the ancient master, obsidian blade raised high. Before blades could connect, Herion finished the rune and slammed the point of his blade into the Shade's chest. Instantly, the Shade vanished into thousands of black and blue shards, leaving nothing behind except for his echoing, angry screams.
Gracefully, Herion ended the Runic Kata and deactivated his lightsaber. For once, he actually looked his age as he turned and approached Garen's body. With careful and nimble fingers, Herion examined Garen. The look on his face later told Obi-Wan what he needed to know. Garen was alive, but only just.
Obi-Wan attempted to get to his feet, but the pressure it put on his chest sent him reeling to the floor in pain. Was this his life now? To recover only to be injured a day or two later. Would he ever truly recover?
He closed his eyes and listened to the water that dripped down from the ceiling. Herion had called his attacker a Shade. Part of him wanted to know what a Shade was, but the other part screamed ignorance. Yet, ignorance on his part had nearly taken his life three times. Why did Ganondorf want him dead?
Exhaling, he opened his eyes and glanced over at Master Herion. The old master had placed his left hand on Garen's chest and his fourth finger on his forehead. His lips moved, chanting quietly. As he did, a faint and gentle light rose around them like the morning mist. It reminded him of the Golden River he'd seen when he first met Eleniel. Was Herion drawing power from it?
Slowly, Obi-Wan began to ignore the pain and relaxed. His heart rate slowed to a gentle pace, no longer thudding against his ribs and his breathing evened out. He wanted to see the river again and bask in it's healing light. There he could forget the horror and chaos he'd just endured. To forget all the pain and replace it with peace.
He felt a gentle hand on his chest and a finger on his forehead. Was Herion doing the same for him as he had done for Garen? Herion began to hum which slowly evolved into a chant and immediately, a warming sensation began to flow through his body, relieving him of any residual pain. As the chant continued, he felt his consciousness begin to fade. For a moment, he fought against it as questions began to fill his mind once more, but Herion's familiar chant slowly eased him off to sleep.