Drip. Drip. Tiny droplets of sulfurized water slowly trickled off the tip of a stalactite in a giant cave. It splashed down into a tiny puddle atop a stalagmite. The smell was slight, but became stronger deeper inside the cave. The red sun had just gone down, rendering the world in pitch blackness except for the dim light of Dathomir’s moons. The heat, now gone from the planet’s surface, caused steam to rise off the surface of all damp objects. Inside the cave was darker than outside, so dark no one with normal eyes could see their hand in front of their face.
Two yellow eyes flickered from the darkness of the corner of the cave. A green light shone from them as they watched the entrance, waiting for something or someone to enter. The eerie green glow revealed very little, only a black face and white horns, which both looked greener because of the light. The eyes searched the cave for any life, but their owner remained still. That is until the soft crunching of feet could be heard on the dust covered rocks outside. The glow of the eyes suddenly disappeared as the figure they belonged to leapt upwards, vanishing from sight.
A shadow. That was all that the figure saw as someone approached the cave. A tall shadow, and very much a Dathomirian. The figure snarled as the shadow stepped inside.
“Who are you and what are you here for?” The voice echoed and seemed to come from all around the cave.
The shadow was silent for a moment. “I have returned from a long absence. This was my home.” The voice almost purred. The shadow spoke gently, but reached for its saber on its belt.
“Do not even try…” Out of nowhere there three green, misty beings arose from the floor of the cave. They seemingly stood in front of the shadow, their faces ghostly impersonations of a face the shadow’s owner knew too well.
“Sirejj.” The shadow drew his weapon, a double-bladed red lightsaber.
A fleshly form appeared from behind the misty ones and effortlessly waved them aside, watching them fade into nothing. He locked eyes with the person attached to the shadow.
“You have come back, my old master.” A furious, enraged snarl came from Sirejj.
“I want nothing to do with you, Apprentice. Not to harm you, not to better you. I have more important things to worry about.” His master retorted, still holding his saber.
“You, Darth Maul, have made a serious mistake leaving your isolation on Malachor. You should never have come back to Dathomir.”
“Why not? You no longer have your friends to back you up. They were slaughtered alongside mine. We are more the same than you think, Apprentice.”
Sirejj ignited his own red saberstaff. “I am no longer your apprentice.” His teeth showed as his lips curled back into another sneer. He placed his blade in front of him in attack position.
Maul raised his own saber, his eyes narrowing. “You know too little of the Force to overcome me.”
“You forget,” a huge green figure appeared in front of Maul, its body seeping up from the ground. “I have the Nightsisters’ Magick as well as the Force.” The figure completed its form and roared, green smoke pouring from its mouth and eyes. It vaguely resembled a rancor, the mount of the Dathomirian Nightsisters and terror of all who could not control it. It shrieked, smoke shooting from its nostrils.
Maul watched as the figure grew taller than he, and as it drew a sword of pure Magick out of thin air. He growled. “Magic is but an illusion.”
“Is not the Force?” Sirejj waved a gloved hand at the Magick creature, causing it to roar and slash downwards at Maul with its curved blade. Maul leapt clear and sliced at the monster with his saber, only able to cause the beast to waver slightly. The saber had little effect against magick, despite the powerful kyber heart.
“You will leave Dathomir or die. Personally, I favor the last. I did not forget how you exiled me and chose your brother instead. You broke a promise, my old master.” The creature attacked again, green fire streaming from its eyes. It roared, propelling a huge ball of magick fire from its mouth.
Maul was cornered, dodging the attacks of the huge ghostly beast. He panted and hurled a large slab of rock at the beast with the force, which simply passed right through it. Sirejj laughed as the monster screamed and flew at Maul again. There was no possibility a simple Sith could defeat a seemingly invincible spirit. Sirejj watched as Maul ducked behind a rock, hiding.
“Do you give up, Old Master?!” Sirejj shouted as he stood atop a stalagmite, his eyes shining with the green mist and his hands surrounded with the same substance.
“A Sith never gives up.” Maul stepped out from behind the rock, his saber on his belt. He stood there, weaponless. His eyes were closed, then opened. They glowed yellow as he stepped forward.
“As Magick is merely an extension of the mind, so is the Force.” Maul’s eyes grew brighter and he reached out towards the ghastly beast.
“Kill him!” Sirejj ordered his monster, stretching his hand out towards Maul. Maul tightened his fist and the beast roared in pain, slashing at him with its giant claws as it charged. The Sith put his hands together and then pulled them apart as if ripping something in half. The monster roared again and grabbed at its chest as Maul then tore it apart. The green mist seeped back into the floor of the cave after the beast fell, screaming with fury.
Sirejj snarled and drew out his lightsaber, leaping off of his perch on the stalagmite. Maul ignited his own saber and caught the blade of the other Zabrak. The two red sabers clashed, sending sparks in every direction. Maul caught the tip of Sirejj’s saber with his and out of sheer strength forced the tip of the blade to the ground. Sirejj sliced downwards with the other side of his blade in response and narrowly missed as Maul slipped to the side. Maul in turn drove his saber at Sirejj and ended up impaling one end of his blade into a rock. He was then knocked back into another boulder by a force wave. This rather infuriated Maul, who retaliated by throwing his saber, spinning it towards the other Sith.
Sirejj ducked and stayed down as the saber came back to Maul. He then charged him again, resulting in both of the Sith being pinned against each other. Sweat glistened on each of their furrowed brows as their sabers locked. Their muscles tensed and they waited, waited for the other to falter. Maul looked into Sirejj’s eyes and then took a step back, then attacked again, breaking the lock. Sirejj blocked but Maul slammed the hilt of his saber into the chin of his enemy, then kicked his feet from under him and held him at saberpoint. Sirejj looked up at him and snarled.
“Quite the fight for one as old as you. And I am glad you do not understand Magick like I do.” With that Sirejj literally disappeared into thin air, his cackling laugh echoing off the walls.
Maul’s eyes flashed as he drew in his saber, his body trembled with the purest form or rage as he roared and brought down two or three huge stalactites from the ceiling with the force and crashed them to the ground. Rocks, dust and pebbles flew in every direction as the Zabrak raged, flinging debris every which way.
Once he had gained a slight composure over himself he snarled, sounding more like a beast than a sentient being. “Sirejj, my former apprentice. You are powerful. However, I know enough of the Nightsisters to know that your power fades when you leave this cave. Even so, how would you like to take a chance at an old enemy one last time?”
“Do you mean you, old one?” Sirejj laughed cockily, still keeping out of sight. He knew this infuriated Maul even more.
“No, someone younger than I. Someone -if I remember correctly- defeated you during the Clone War. The apprentice of,” Maul tensed at the name, growling angrily. “Kenobi. His padawan who caused me to shun you in the first place.” This was hardly true, but Maul must have known that in order for Sirejj to be willing to track down this old foe, he would have to make him infuriated enough to do so.
“Kenobi’s apprentice?” Sirejj answered after a long pause. He was silent again then asked: “…Rynn?”
“The padawan how somehow managed to defeat the a great Sith like you.” Maul’s tone was more than taunting, it was mocking. “Poor, poor Sirejj. You hurt Kenobi badly. Nearly killed him, but couldn’t take that pathetic padawan of his.” Maul chuckled to himself. “The pathetic padawan who took your right arm.”
There was silence as Sirejj pondered what Maul had said. “Rynn is…alive? Curses on her.” Sirejj snarled to himself and his eyes began to shine green again, smoke seeping out of them. He was growing angry again.
Maul could sense Sirejj’s anger. “How about, I let you live if you bring me the head of the padawan Rynn?” Maul no longer had interest in harming the padawan, but he wouldn’t refuse proof of a Jedi’s slaughter. The less of them, the better.
“How about, I bring you nothing and kill her however I want?” Sirejj chuckled, his mind wandering to thoughts of torture and other delightful things. His eyes glowed brighter, and he almost laughed under his breath.
“I personally do not care how you kill her. Just think though. You could finally destroy her.”
Sirejj was quiet again then stepped out from behind a rock, alarmingly closer than Maul had perceived. “Rynn is mortally terrified of you.” Sirejj tried to think of a way to enlist Maul’s help without asking him per say. “It is so sad that you won’t be there to…participate.”
“Yes, yes, I don’t care anymore. She’s no longer my enemy, just a worthless youngling.” Maul casually fiddled with his saber, but always kept an eye on Sirejj, watching his every move.
Sirejj eyed Maul. “Well then…I hope I can imitate what you did to her well enough.” Sirejj drew his finger through the air, making a green line of smoke. He growled and slashed another green line across it. “I know of her scars on her back.”
Maul chuckled at that. “Yes, actually something I’m quite proud of.” He fondled the tip of his saber.
“You’ll be sorry you weren’t there.” Sirejj disappeared again and reappeared at the mouth of the cave. “I will be back, don’t get comfortable.”
When Sirejj disappeared again into the darkness Maul whispered under his breath.
[This is part 2 of a story I'm working on, but it doubles as an entry for SUYS month]