Buffy I - Peace Is A Lie
“Peace is a lie. There is only passion.”
Buffy knew before she heard the rest of the Sith Code that it was completely false, but she humored Overseer Dalen regardless. The dark-haired, not-quite-middle-aged human man did hold her life in his hands.
“Through passion, we gain strength. Through strength, we gain power. Through power, we gain victory. Through victory, our chains are broken. The Force shall set us free.”
Buffy pondered the words and decided that there was some truth to them, particularly the last line. She hadn’t been in this universe or dimension or whatever for very long, but it was evident that she was sensitive to this ‘Force,’ whatever it was. Supposedly, if she could control it, she could be like a Slayer and a witch combined.
“Now then, Acolyte Summers,” Overseer Dalen said, “tell me what you believe the Code of the Sith is meant to teach us.”
Buffy was the only student assigned to Dalen at the moment, which seemed odd, given that he seemed to be held in low esteem at the Sith Academy on Korriban. Earning powerful students seemed to be a privilege, so either Buffy wasn’t nearly as good as she thought she was, or else Dalen was playing a game of some sort. The Sith were all about power plays.
“Well,” Buffy mused, “conflict is the norm, I’ll give you that. You focus on the conflict for long enough, it becomes second nature to you. You let your passion feed your momentum into strength, then into power, and then into victory. And when you beat the other guy, you win.”
“On a small scale, you may be right, Summers,” Dalen said. “But the Code is more than just advice for how to win a petty brawl. You are right that conflict is the status quo, and conflict is fueled by passion. As Sith, we do not hide or run from this truth: we embrace it. We realize that through conflict – through passion – is the path to freedom over all things, be they people or institutions or even death itself. The Emperor is a testament to that.”
“And this is all meant to be done alone?” Buffy asked. “From what I can tell, the Sith are solitary creatures. Power and freedom for one comes at the expense of everyone else, right? If that’s true, then why are you even passing on your knowledge to others?”
“An astute observation,” Dalen said approvingly. “You show remarkable insight for one of such low station, Summers. The Sith value the individual over the group, this is true. The Jedi would have you believe that empowering the weak strengthens the whole, but in truth it only serves to drag down the truly strong for the sake of the unworthy. As for why we teach others the ways of the Dark Side: we understand that the Emperor is truly a unique individual. He embodies the Sith, and we are all instruments of His will. To ensure that only the strongest, most capable of individuals endure to serve the Empire, we run you all through the gauntlet here on Korriban.”
Buffy wasn’t buying it. “So, the Sith never have any allies, then?”
“In a sense, Summers. The Sith seek power wherever they find it. Allies can prove valuable sources of power, but they can also turn on you. This holds true for mentors and students. One of the deepest traditions of the Sith is that of the student killing the Master and taking his place. It ensures that only the strong survive to pass on that very strength.”
“So, let me get this straight,” Buffy said. “An ally is only as useful as I can keep them under control or until they aren’t useful anymore, and then they should be discarded, right?” The idea was both stupid and repugnant to the Slayer-turned-acolyte.
“Exactly. Take the Chiss Ascendancy for example. When the Empire came into their space, they recognized our superiority and offered an alliance in exchange for autonomy. Now, to be frank, the idea of alien allies is antithetical to Sith ideals, but so is turning away a source of power. The Chiss are a cunning people with a culture that has primed them for military service, and they recognize the merits of the individual. Subjugating them without need would cost the Empire time and resources, while an alliance gains us both soldiers and legitimacy among other non-human civilizations.”
Now that sounded interesting. “You’re saying that aliens should be treated equally?” Buffy tried to make herself sound surprised and repulsed at the notion of equality.
Dalen smirked. “It is one of several radical positions that has earned me such low esteem among my fellows. I share that in common with you, Summers. You were found on Denova with no knowledge of the Empire, the Republic, the Jedi, or anything resembling knowledge of galactic civilization. Most Sith saw you as weak, but I see your potential to be molded into something truly strong and deadly.”
Buffy snorted. “In other words, I’m a tool for you to gain power, at least until I’ve outlived my usefulness.”
Dalen smiled, and Buffy felt her spine crawl at that look. “Exactly. And to prove your usefulness, we come to your first trial here on Korriban. You’ve spent time in the archives, and you’ve listened to my lectures, but now you must prove yourself in combat. The Tomb of Ajunta Pall has been overrun by k’lor slugs, and their main nest is in the Tomb’s armory. Make your way to the armory, destroy the infestation, and return with a blade befitting a warrior of your power. Your time with a training blade has run its course. Do you have any questions before I send you out there, Acolyte Summers?”
Buffy stood up from her cross-legged position and stretched her arms and legs. “Time limit?”
“None,” Dalen replied crisply. “But if you return without that war blade, then your time is over. Understood?”
“Perfectly,” Buffy said through gritted teeth. “Just point me in the direction of the sluggy goodness.”
Buffy wiped the sweat from her forehead with a bloody hand after clearing the hall of the k’lor slugs. “All right, then. Take care of a few slugs, sure, no problem.” Buffy had been expecting bugs that she could just step on if she had to. Monsters taller than her were not what she had in mind. Hell, their mouths were big enough to swallow her whole.
Her training blade was bloody and well-used, but showed no signs of breaking. It was made out of something called cortosis, which supposedly could withstand laser blasts. A few of the mature slugs spit slime, and Buffy had managed to move the blade to catch the slime before it hit her.
That was something else she’d not been expecting: the Force wasn’t just something she had read about now. She could feel it coursing through and around her and everything she saw. It was like the universe was made of invisible stuff that needed just the right nudge to move in the way she wanted. She had already picked up how to detect incoming attacks a second before they hit, and now she was learning how to enhance her own strength and reflexes.
Something told her that the armory was just around the next torch-lit corner. Was it the Force? Whatever it was, a long set of stairs led up to it, and Buffy could tell without knowing how that there were five fully mature k’lor slugs in the room protecting dozens of eggs.
Without thinking, Buffy jumped. She felt the Force carry her through the air over the stairwell to bring her training sword straight down through the skull of one of the slugs. She felt hot blood stain her body, and it pissed her off.
A tiny little voice in the back of her mind said, ‘Peace is a lie. There is only passion.’
In the heat of combat, Buffy felt the truth of the Sith Code. “Through passion,” she said, slicing through another slug’s neck, “I gain strength.”
She leaped onto the back of a third slug. “Through strength…” Her blade sank into the creature’s spine, paralyzing it, “I gain power.”
Buffy felt it now. The power in this place wasn’t just around her, it was inside her. “Through power,” she growled as she thrust out an arm at another slug, crushing it against the wall, “I gain victory.”
The last adult slug moved forward to devour her. “Through victory,” Buffy yelled as she thrust her blade into the k’lor slug’s mouth, penetrating its brain, “my chains are broken.”
Buffy let go of her training blade and felt for the strongest source of power in the room. Without thinking, she reached out a hand and summoned a wicked-looking serrated war-blade to her, grasping it by the hilt.
Lifting up her sword into the air, she brought it down into the ground and sent a shockwave through the room, breaking all the eggs and killing the k’lor slugs inside.
“The Force shall set me free.”
Buffy felt as if she was floating on air. The power she felt, that she had just used, was unlike anything she’d ever felt before. Was this what being Willow felt like?
The elation of victory powered Buffy’s battered body through the tomb and back out onto the sands to the Academy. The sky told her that she’d been out for a full day, at least. She didn’t feel tired at all. “Through victory, my chains are broken,” she said again.
As she passed through the dark corridors of the Sith Academy, Buffy felt eyes on her. Other students, and even some instructors, could not help but recognize the walking body covered from head to toe in purple blood. Buffy could sense that she was being assessed as a potential future adversary. Remembering that she stood in a hall filled with rivals, Buffy made sure to stride purposefully and carry herself with her head held high. She might be new to the Force, but she was no stranger to looking strong in the face of adversity.
Winding her way through the passages, Buffy found herself at Overseer Dalen’s study. The elation from her victory over the slugs was fading, and now she was fully aware of the stench of blood and innards on her body. And then the memory of the bloodlust as she killed the slugs returned, and Buffy felt even dirtier. She reassured herself that she felt good killing vamps and demons all the time, and these were just other monsters.
But a part of her didn’t want to admit that the Sith were right. The idea of being friendless and alone in a mad rush for power was just so alien. Enjoying that, however indirectly, seemed wrong to her.
Still, Buffy was stuck here, so she knocked on Dalen’s door. It swung open seemingly on its own, but Buffy knew that the Overseer had used the Force to open it.
She walked in and plopped the bloody war-blade on Dalen’s desk, dirtying many a datapad and paper document in the process.
Dalen did not look up. “Well done, Summers. Go and rid the stink from yourself and then return to me. Then we will see to the proper care of your new blade. Go now.”
Buffy didn’t like the cool dismissal in his tone, but Dalen was a strange Sith. He wasn’t particularly cruel or malicious, but he did have exacting standards and a low tolerance for disobedience. She’d once had her voice robbed from her while restrained in a chair while Dalen lectured her. He was powerful for someone who was only an Overseer. From what Buffy understood, he could be a weak Sith Lord if he was a more proper Sith.
Not wanting to incur Dalen’s wrath, Buffy simply nodded and took her blade with her. She didn’t want it out of her sight. As she turned around, she thought she recognized the battleground she’d been ‘found’ on. The Sith had taken her as a prisoner on Denova during a battle with the Republic, and for all the time she’d been here on Korriban, Buffy hadn’t forgotten the most important question that had to be answered.
What had happened to Faith?
I don't own anything. Buffy and Faith and their universe belongs to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Star Wars belongs to George Lucas, and The Old Republic belongs to EA and BioWare.
Thanks for reading! I hope you all enjoy the story!