The soft amber blade of a lightsaber fought desperately against the ever-present darkness of Ludo Kressh's tomb. Footfalls echoed through halls of flagstone and carved walls, accompanied by the ever-present hum and of a little girl's terrified breathing.

Louise de la Vallière—though, now, simply Louise of the Sith ever since her induction into the Sith Order—cautiously walked down another hallway, hands clutching tight to her only weapon ever since she had lost her sword to the illusions long ago. So very long ago. How many days had it been exactly? She didn't know. There was no sun and her datapad had died after the second night of near-constant usage.

She was hungry—starving!—but there was no food here, and the closest thing to water she had were the small little puddles leaking in from cracks in the walls and draining from cracks in the floors.

Despite that, she pushed on, unwilling to just lie there and wait for death.

"The air is stale in this tomb tonight,"

Her voice was hoarse as it half-sang half muttered. Almost delirious, the old tune of some holodrama she had watched came to mind as she tried searching for some distraction from the tomb.

"Not a creature to be seen.

"A graveyard of hallucinations,

"And it looks like, I'm its lord."

She sighed, growing silent as she continued walking down the hallway, pensive, thinking about everything that had happened to her up until this moment.

"The Force is howling like this swirling storm inside,

"Couldn't keep it in, not ever since Ren died…"

She shook her head with a snap, memories of her torture at the hands of this cursed place coming back suddenly and unwantedly: Her family, her friends, and all those who knew her in her old life.

"Don't let them in, don't let them see,

"Be the noble you always had to be.

"Conceal don't feel, don't let them know—"

She bit her lip, those painful memories still raw in her mind.

"Well, now they know!

"Let it go, let it go,

"Can't hold it back anymore!"

She spun as she walked, losing herself into the ad libbed parody she sang, swinging her pillaged lightsaber in a wide ark as if dancing. She could almost hear the instrumentals playing around her as she sang, a hop quickly finding itself in her step.

Around her, dust, long since settled like snow on the flagstone flurried into the air, twisting and swirling as if moved by wind.

"Let it flow, let it flow.

"Turn away and slam the door!"

"I don't care what they're going to say,"

The brief image of Harkun and Ffon appeared in her mind, and she sneered, spitting the words. With a slash of her hand, she dismissed their visages, unknowingly summoning the force to claw five great marks into the smooth cut hallway walls.

"Let the Force rage on…

"My magic never worked for me anyway."

Now practically bouncing down the hall, the music so real in her ear, she passed through the hall and into a large chamber bisected by a deep and cavernous ravine. There were signs of an old bridge that once stood but now there was just its ruined remains. Still, Louise wasn't bothered, too wrapped up in her song.

"It's funny how some distance makes everything seem small,"

She smirked, remembering the first time she really began realizing how vast the galaxy was.

"And the fears that once controlled me, can't get to me at all!

"It's time to see what I can do, to test the limits and break through."

She had approached the ravine, eying the distance between them and the lack of bridge, and she couldn't help but smirk. Briefly, she thought about how Louise de la Vallière would've done things, how she would've found herself stuck, unable to levitate or rebuild the bridge with her broken magic. She would've died then but now, after months of training, she knew the ravine was little more than a benign obstacle. But before she decided anything, faint hisses stole her attention.

Creatures, emaciated lizard-like things but as big as a warhorse, appeared at the other side of the expansive gap, pacing up and down and eying her with obvious ravenous hunger. If anything, her smirk widened and she bounded back as far as she could, before getting into a running position.

"No right, no wrong, no rules for me,

"I'm free!"

And with that final declaration, she launched forward as fast as she could, calling upon the Force as she launched herself like a cannonball up, up, and over the ravine. Her hand briefly trailed across the chamber ceiling, and she landed with a deafening crack of pure energy that staggered the Hssiss.

"Let them burn, let them bleed!

"I am one with the Dark Side."

Lightning lanced from her fingers as she danced about, rending forelimbs and heads and striking the Sith Spawn with enough energy to fling them off into the abyss. Power churned around her, within her, through her.

She was like a maelstrom of passion, calm at the centre but tumultuous beyond, not drawing on the Force as she summoned it but feeling as if she were the Force, as if she had become one with the ebbs and flows of the universe, with the Living Force, the Unifying Force, the Cosmic Force and the Physical Force.

"Let them fall, let them die!

"They'll never see me cry!

Electricity turned to fire and around it swirled like a tornado burning everything around her in a frightening display.

And soon, the Hssiss were all dead but she didn't stop there. Absolutely euphoric with unlimited power, an aura of lightning surrounded her, irradiated out from her, lighting up the room as if it were dawn.

"Here I'll stand and here I'll stay!

"Let the Force rage on…!"

Spotting the nearby hallway, she smiled, feeling as if she was growing ever closer to her goal—whatever that was, though, she didn't know. Bounding in place for a second, she sprinted down the hall, lightsaber at the ready.

Just as well too as she could sense more creatures deeper into the tomb. The faint whisper of the Force was the only warning she got before another Hssiss lunged out of the darkness, seemingly materializing out of thin air. Leaping out of the way, just in time to miss its monstrous claws which carved deep gashes into the flagstone, she prepared herself for a fight.

The music swelled, and in time with the music, she danced about the hall—her runes glowing bright—and her lightsaber cutting swaths through the rabid Hssiss ranks.

"My power lances through the air into the ground,

"My soul is spiralling in lightning strikes all around"

The beast fell one but one, overpowered by her skill with the blade and the Force power that shone bright like a star in her soul.

"And once thought burns bright like a firey blast."

She launched herself at the final Hssiss, the lightning shield around her bursting into flame as she tackled the creature into the chamber at the end of the hall where it died on impact.

Pulling herself from the creature, and looking around the new chamber she found herself in, she saw that it seemed to be far ornate than previous chambers and by far more important. She recognized it's build and if the suspiciously sarcophagus-shaped dais that sat in the centre of the room meant anything, she had found Ludo Kressh's tomb.

But the discovery did not hamper her song in the slightest as her lips twisted into a massive grin, realizing that she had done it—that she had all but finished her trial.

"I'm never going back, Tristain is in the past!"

And just as she was about to sing the final verse, a new voice cut in, booming and melodious but with an ethereal aspect that awed and stunned like a masterful opera singer enchanting the minds of his audience.

"Let it go, let it go,

"And you'll rise rebuilt from the flame!

Before her stood a pale blue figure, glowing brightly in the lightning storm surrounding Louise. It was a ghost, a spirit, and his face matched the depictions of Ludo Kressh, the Sith Lord of the Old Empire. His arms were wide, beckoning, welcoming, and he smiled toothily, his teeth little more than rows of pointed fangs in his mouth.

But she didn't spook, she didn't scream, so lost in the music, the power that she was, she joined the baritone Sith as they belted out the final words.

"Let it flow, let it flow,

"That noble girl is gone!

"Here (I'll) you'll stand in this darkest day!

"Let the Force rage on…!"

Ludo Kressh bowed dramatically before Louise, a sweeping gesture that forestalled the final words of the song.

"The Sith would've welcomed you anyway."


Heyo! Merry Christmas, Lo Saturnalia, God Jul, Haunkkah Sameach, and a general happy holidays for these blessed Candlenights and this coming New Year! Just a little gift slash update for y'all to tell y'all that I'm on holiday now and will be able to work on the Sith Zero! Currently, I want to get the first part of Louise's time in Ludo Kressh's tomb fixed up and rewritten but once that's done I'll be working on the Act 2 Chapter 10 full version.

Full Lyrics

The air is stale in this tomb tonight
Not a creature to be seen
A graveyard of isolation
And it looks like, I'm its lord

The Force is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn't keep it in, not ever since Ren died

Don't let them in, don't let them see
Be the noble you always had to be
Conceal don't feel, don't let them know
Well, now they know

Let it go, let it go
Can't hold it back anymore

Let it flow, let it flow
Turn away and slam the door

I don't care what they're going to say
Let the Force rage on

My magic never worked for me anyway

It's funny how some distance makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me, can't get to me at all
It's time to see what I can do, to test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I'm free

Let them burn, let them bleed
I am one with the Dark Side

Let them fall, let them die
They'll never see me cry

Here I'll stand and here I'll stay
Let the Force rage on

My power lances through the air into the ground
My soul is spiralling in lightning strikes all around
And once thought burns bright like a firey blast
I'm never going back, Tristain is in the past

Let it go, let it go
And you'll rise rebuilt from the flame

Let it flow, let it flow
That noble girl is gone

Here (I'll) you'll stand in this darkest day
Let the Force rage on

The Sith would've welcomed you anyway