Night has fallen. Darkness abounds. And I’m lying awake like a schoolgirl before prom.
It might sound a little morbid, but I can both hear and smell the gentle process of people falling asleep. Like, I can hear their heartbeat slow to a gentle drum and their breathing growing deep and relaxed, but I can also smell the complete switch in biorhythm. I’m not sure how to describe it, but asleep people just smell less than awake ones, and I’m not sure how or why.
This is also how I know the best time to strike.
The clock is something-standard hours. People have been asleep for an hour or two, which I spent mostly just eating in my larger body. The time is nigh.
I slip out of bed. As usual, when I want to, I can be very, very silent. This, combined with my lack of scent and naturally dark colouration, makes me almost invisible. Perfectly unknowable. Ah, but my glowing bioluminescent spots still kinda tattle on me.
I shake Charge awake. He jolts and almost flies out of bed before laying his eyes on me. “Mort? Don’t tell me-,”
“Just a few more questions, I promise! I’ll just be outta your hair the moment you answer them, okay? Just one or two. Very small questions. Teeny tiny. Promise.”
He sighs deeply and presses his palms against his face. Then he sits up. In a flash, I’m back on the floor, just like last night, ready to hear about the mysteries of the galaxy. He watches me tiredly. “So? What’s this about?”
The burning question gets stuck in my throat. “Uh, that’s…” I swallow hard. “Do you know about the Sith?”
His eyes widen. “The Sith?...”
“Y-, yeah! Uh, Force-users. Or something. I-, I don’t know anything about them, so-,”
“Yeah, I know about the Sith.” A look of hatred flashes across his dark face. “I never interacted with them directly or anything, but word spreads quickly among us clones. From what I know, there were a few. Very few. There was… Look, I’m really not confident in their names or anything, but I think there was one called Darth Maw and another going by something like Darth Tyrannosaur.”
Darth Maw and Darth Tyrannosaur… “Were they brothers?”
He squints at me in the darkness. “Brother…? Oh, no, ‘Darth’ is a title, I reckon. All the Sith went by it. Probably.”
Compared to the Clone Wars, Charge seems very uncertain about all this Sith stuff. “So, uh, who were those two?”
“Hm? Well, from what I heard, that Darth Maw guy was killed by the General of the 212’th, General Kenobi. One of the legends of the Clone Wars, really.” He scratches at his chin for a second. “But I think Maw was killed before the Clone Wars, since Kenobi was just a Padawan at the time…”
Another Jedi? Are all Generals Jedi? Hm. Weird. “What about that Tyrannosaur guy?” I suppress the need to ask if he was really a dinosaur. I don’t think there are dinosaurs in space, but this would be a pretty big coincidence otherwise.
Charge shakes his head. “I know even less about that guy. Pretty sure General Kenobi chased after him for a while but I really don’t know what happened after that. The end of the war was really chaotic. I can barely remember a thing. I think both Kenobi and Tyrannosaur might have been killed around that time, but I was stuck on a planet far away from the core, so I didn’t hear about any of that until later. The whole end of the war was really overshadowed by the formation of the Empire, too.”
Ah, is that so… “So… Were there only two Sith?”
“Only two?” His eyebrows shoot up. Then, in a moment of realization, he bursts out laughing. “Bwahaha! No, no, of course not! There have been plenty of Sith throughout the history of the galaxy. The reason these two are so surprising is that we had assumed all the Sith had died out a thousand years ago with the end of the New Sith Wars.”
Oh, yeah, the New Sith Wars. Forgot about that. “What are the New Sith Wars?”
Suddenly, Charge straightens out, showing some form of confidence. “That I actually know a bit about. Most clones wouldn’t know, but us commandos were a bit better trained, especially in the art of war, though not as well as some others. Since the New Sith Wars was the last war the Republic partook in, that’s what we learned about.”
“Not to bog down in trifling individual battles, but the whole event was pretty much the Sith versus the Jedi.”
“Are they opposed?” So far I’ve only learnt of them as two different kinds of Force-users, but if they’re somehow stuck in a rivalry, then… Well, let’s just say that if the Jedi are evil space wizards, then maybe, just maybe, Sith are good space wizards. Possibly. Unless Jedi are good and I’m on the wrong side of history or something. Hopefully, that’s not the case though.
“Completely. In every sense. Jedi are followers of the Light side of the Force, Sith are followers of the Dark side of the Force.”
...The Force has sides? A God-like philosophical concept is angular?
“They are very much opposed. Well, were. Most Jedi are dead now, and so are the Sith. Which is probably for the better. It’s not like I hated General Secura, but-,” his face darkens. Lips drawing tight. Eyes trembling. Slowly, he pulls himself together. “The Jedi were evil, a disruption to the natural order. Same with the Sith. The power that they wielded should not be held by human hands. The New Sith Wars were proof of that. Thousands of Jedi, thousands of Sith. All throwing themselves at each other.”
Oh, lordy. This is… Really complicated, isn’t it?
But I think I know what happened between Charge and Secura. See, with abuse, it often comes as a really big shock, right? Cuz you trust them. You trust your parents, or your siblings, or your lovers or whatever. And then, when they suddenly turn on you, it’s hard to connect that new, abusive person who hurt you with the past person you loved. I think something like that’s going on here.
Charge trusted this Secura girl deeply, so when she turned on him, he could never really connect her evil reality with the General he used to trust and respect. Man. He must still be hurting a lot over it.
Note to self: don’t make Charge talk about Secura. Unless it’s for therapeutic reasons.
“So… How did the Sith Wars end?”
Charge twitches, momentarily brought out of his dazed state. “That’s… It’s unsure. Really, it’s one of the great mysteries of history. What we know is that the remnants of the Army of Light, led by Jedi Master Valenthyne, clashed with the remaining forces of the Brotherhood of Darkness. However it happened, it ended with the Brotherhood completely wiped out and large parts of the Jedi Army destroyed. Nobody knows what happened exactly, but it certainly wasn’t a normal brawl.”
...Excuse me, the Army of what? Brotherhood of what now??
They-, hang on. Hold the phone.
I need to collect myself. The Army of fucking Light? The Brotherhood of motherfucking Darkness??
Okay, okay, let me just-, I need to think here, long and hard about what in the heck this means.
Right. So. Jedi are (probably) evil space wizards. Sith are their opposites. They clashed. The Jedi called themselves the Army of Light. The Sith called themselves the Brotherhood of Darkness. Hmmmmmmm. I’m not all that sure about this, you know, but this looks just a little damning for those Sith guys. Who the heck would willingly call their faction - the faction they believe to be in the right - the Brotherhood of Darkness???
I can understand Army of Light, like, if you think you’re good and wanna make sure the galaxy thinks so too, then calling yourself something cheesy but obvious like that is a given.
But-, but Brotherhood of Darkness?? It’s like they wanted the Jedi to be seen as the good guys or something!
Okay. Think here, Mort. No sensible clan of fighters would call themselves evil outright.
The “Brotherhood of Darkness” was completely wiped out.
The victors write history.
...Then, that would mean… It’s fully possible that the Jedi spread propaganda to make the Sith seem like obvious villains, right? Like, this is a thousand years we’re talking about! A thousand years of Jedi being in charge as “peacekeepers”. Isn’t it obvious they’d do their best to suppress and smear the face of their ideological opposite?
On that note, considering that Jedi are warring totalitarians working to upkeep the corrupt Republic, assuming that the Sith are the opposites of that, that would mean that the Sith are freedom-loving and gentle Force-users, only forced to fight in order to battle the nefarious Jedi, right? Right.
Oh, lordy. That’s pretty scary if you ask me.
I sure hope I never have to meet any Jedi. I’d be spooked solid!