The Apprentice's Duel

Deep in the outer rim of the galaxy. In an isolated system, lies a planet whose true name was lost long ago. The planet was abandoned and devastated. Only desert and half sunken stone ruins remain. On this night there was life on the dead world. In the crumbling ruins of a coliseum two warriors prepare to do battle, and prove themselves worthy to their dark master.

The arena was little more than a shell of its former glory, jaded and half sunk into the sands of the planets vast desert. The clear night sky allowed the light of the planets three moons to bathe the ruins in a pale glow. The glow was bright enough to almost be mistaken for daylight, revealing broken stairs and seats circling a large pit.

The pit, where contestants once fought, had a sand covered floor. The walls of the pit were curved so no contestant could climb out, and many cracks were visible along them. Some cracks slowly drained more sand into it. The pit itself was little more than a hole in the ground, with the occasional broken stone pillar protruding from the sand.

Far above in the remains of a royal viewing box, in a broken stone throne sat the dark lord of the Sith himself, Darth Sidious. Two worthy candidates for apprenticeship were brought here to test their skills against one another. Both were strong with the force, but only one could become the next lord of the Sith. If the candidate should be deemed worthy.

On the far right side of the arena stood Urdnot Wram, a former krogan mercenary, originally hired by Sidious to kill the kaminoins Dooku had negotiated with. The discovery of the behemoths force sensitivity was quite the surprise, but the krogan had taken well to the dark side. The bloodlust and fury of his race only making him a more ferocious Sith apprentice.

On the opposite side stood a member of the mysterious yautja race, better known to the citizens of the galaxy as predators. This particular predator, who called himself "Shadow spear", showed more love for death than discretion. Unlike his hunter brethren, he preferred to kill for the sake of killing, as shown during its killing sprees in the Coruscant underworld. Its force sensitivity was discovered shortly after being captured by the Jedi, and so Sidious arranged for the creature to escape, and began its training with the dark side.

Sidious eagerly awaited the battle, contemplating whether blind krogan fury would be a match for the cunning and agility of the yautja. He would have enjoyed having both warriors under his command, but the rule of two had to remain intact. So for the first time in millennia, 2 Sith warriors faced each other in open combat, the winner earning the right of the name Sith.

Sidious stood from his broken throne and spoke to the combatants below. "This battle is the first of its kind in Centuries. Two worthy Sith apprentices face each other for the right to stand by their master's side and complete their training. Prove yourself worthy of my teaching, and kill he who would take your destiny from you!" As his voice echoed across the empty arena the two warriors howled in rage. Sidious couldn't help but think whatever the outcome of this battle, it would be a spectacle to behold. "Warriors, Draw your weapons!". Wram drew his 2 lightsabers and roared as loud as he could. Shadow Spear only drew one blade, and growled back at the krogan, ready to begin the battle. "Begin!"

No sooner had Sidious finished Wram rushed headlong towards the predator, roaring all the way. The yautja only moved forward a few steps, before taking a defensive stance next to one of the broken pillars. Within moments the krogan had reached his adversary and sliced both blades to the predators exposed side. The predator leaped into the air with a force aided jump, and the krogans blades sliced into the pillar instead. Shadow Spear took advantage of Wrams momentum, slicing into the krogans back as he landed. Wram was merely grazed, but let loose a howl of pain and rage as he turned to face his foe. Their blades meet with explosive force, and several blows were traded until Wram blocked a blow from above with one hand, and used the other to push the predator back with the force.

The yautja was thrown back to the wall of the arena with such force he dropped his lightsaber. He roared in anger as the krogan keep him pinned there with the force. Moving toward the pinned adversary, the krogan noticed the dropped blade of the yautja behind him. Laughing, the krogan made a single hand motion and the lightsaber flew towards its master, the blade activating in the air. Shadow Spear focused all his will and redirected the blade mere inches to the left of his head into a crack in the wall. The lightsabers forceful entry caused sand to erupt from the new opening into the krogans face.

Distracted, the krogan dropped its hold on the predator and his lightsaber. Shadow Spear fell to the ground with a thud, followed shortly by his now deactivated lightsaber. Taking a moment to regain his breath, the yautja made a swiping motion with his hand. Reacting to his will, the sand behind the krogan flew forward, and buried the creature under the sand. The force of the sand separating Wram from his blades. Knowing the sand wouldn't hold his opponent long, the predator quickly got up and grabbed his lightsaber from the ground.

Before the predator could activate his blade, however, Wram made his move. Erupting from the sand with a roar, the krogan focused his will and pushed all the sand of the arena to the walls, attempting to smother his opponent. The yautja jumped forwards, barely avoiding the tidal wave of sand, and landed on a smooth stone surface in the middle of the arena.

Wram smiled, impressed with the hunter's agility. He reached his hands outwards, and from the sands flew his two blades. With a quick flourish Wram grabbed and activated his lightsabers, taking an aggressive stance. Shadow Spear activated his lightsaber with his left hand, then lifted his right hand into the air and clenched his hand into a fist. From his wrist, replacing the traditional wrist blades of the yautja, two small lightsaber blades erupted forward. With his new weapons activated, the predator roared and charged forwards.

As the battle continued another entered the stands of the arena. The cloaked figure paused for a few moments, watching the grand battle before him, then turned to the decrepit steps towards the royal box. He entered the platform and walked behind the stone throne Sidious sat in. The figure bowed and spoke. "You summoned me master?" Sidious did not look away from the fight as he responded. "Yes Tyranus. Tell me, what do you think of the warriors below?"

Dooku stood up and stepped next to his master, Viewing the battle below once again. "The krogan is as fearless as he is reckless. Typical of his kind. Likewise, the hunter's moves are instinctual and calculated yet savage. If I may be so bold master, who are they, and why do they fight?"

"They are potential apprentices Tyranus. They fight for the right to continue their training." Dooku looks at his master, clearly confused. "I don't understand master. Why Break the rule of two?" Sidious continues to watch the battle as Dooku asked this.

"I have no intention on breaking the rule of two. I will have only one apprentice."

"Surely you don't mean…"

"Yes Tyranus. This trial is for you as well."

Dooku was appalled at what his master has concocted. Although it was not in his character to question his master, he could not resist.

"I don't understand the need for such a trial master. Have I not proven my loyalties to you?"

Sidious finally tore his gaze from the battle and looked at Dooku. "This test has nothing to do with loyalty, Tyranus. It's about strength. My last apprentice was loyal but ultimately died at the hands of a Jedi apprentice on Naboo. My plans are too finely tuned to afford the death of another. My apprentice must be strong enough to survive the oncoming war." Sidious returns his gaze to the duel below, "Therefore you will prove your strength or you will die before you can ruin my plans. Now go!". Dooku merely sighed, and bowed his head to his master.

"As you command, my master". Dooku then lifted himself with the force out of the viewing box and above the 2 combatants. The two warriors were still focused on their own battle, so intently neither of them noticed Dooku flying towards them. Dooku took advantage of the situation and fired Sith lightning on the two warriors. Both fell to the ground screaming and writhing in pain. Dooku stopped his blasts and landed in the pit. He took a few steps towards the smoking bodies of the would be Sith and activated his lightsaber. "Now that I have your attention, allow me to introduce myself. I am Count Dooku. You are dueling for MY position, and I will kill you for your insolence!"