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Far, Far Away

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Slayers of a Far Away Galaxy". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: Lost and separated from each other, Buffy and Faith begin their training with the Force. One seeks to become a Sith Lord, the other a Jedi Knight. Heaven help those trapped in the middle. (Post-Chosen, Crossover with The Old Republic MMO)

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Star Wars > Buffy-Centered
Star Wars > Faith-Centered
LegacyWeaponFR1837148,4112122045,60421 Oct 1219 Jul 13Yes

Buffy VII - There Is Only Passion

Lord Shar Dalen of the Sith Empire did not consider himself to be an overly complicated man. He studied the ways of the Force, sought the extermination of the Jedi, and took practical ideas into consideration regardless of their source. He had little patience for fools, but was intrigued by new ideas that showed promise in real-life scenarios. He considered himself both harsh and fair, and he hoped he did not come across as humorless.

Most of all, Shar Dalen liked to think of himself as a level-headed man who could analyze a situation quickly and grasp how best to handle it and seize the advantage.

Why, then, did his apprentice have to test his well-constructed, well-maintained persona of patience and practicality with her nonsensical ways?

“Summers, it is 1500 hours, and you have been ‘preparing’ for this dinner since 1345,” he called from the hall outside her door in the Imperial embassy. “What could possibly be so vital that you must spend so much time in the refresher?”

“Keep your shirt on, Dalen,” she called back. “These things take time.”

Why his apprentice thought he might remove his shirt, Dalen had no idea, and he was too upset to indulge his curiosity at the moment. “This is a simple evening with a native Force-user, Summers. You are acting as though this is a diplomatic summit to secure a vital alliance. Even if it was, would you really need to take so long in there?”

“You don’t have much experience with women, do you Dalen?”

“W-what?!” Even for Buffy Summers, that remark was so brazen and impudent that he could not let it stand. “How dare you imply that I am… Just what are you implying, Summers?” he shouted.

“I guarantee you, Dalen: No matter what planet she comes from, a woman is going to obsess about her appearance. Especially if she wants to impress someone who could be important to her,” Summers explained with an infuriating patience that reminded Dalen of his own Overseer from when he was an acolyte on Korriban.

“And what makes you think Excavator Mitth’ris’sintar is going to be so important?” Dalen asked, now genuinely curious as to his apprentice’s opinion. She might be a stubborn and often flighty girl, but underneath that youthful exterior she possessed a sharp mind and a passionate heart to rival any Sith that Dalen had ever met.

“How many Chiss do you know of who can use the Force?” Summers asked.

Dalen sighed, but he decided it would be easier to indulge her curiosity to see where she was going. “When the Empire first approached the Chiss Ascendency, they sensed only a few individuals with the potential to use the Force to any real degree, and only three of them decided to undergo training with the Sith. While conscription of Force-sensitive individuals is mandatory in the Empire, a legitimate alliance with the Ascendency was too valuable to attempt to force our ways on them with so little to gain in the way of new Sith Lords.”

“Exactly,” Summers said, as if she’d made a perfectly clear point.

Whatever that point was, Dalen was not seeing it. “I don’t know what you’re scheming, Summers, but I don’t appreciate being kept in the dark. And now it is 1510. Are you ever going to come out…”

The door to Summers’s room opened.

“…of there?” Dalen tried to maintain his straight face, but it was very difficult in given what was straight in front of him.

Summers was wearing a shimmering dark blue dress with silver embroidery that left her shoulders and arms bare. A slit ran up her left leg to reveal an almost scandalous amount of skin, and she wore a pair of shoes with heels that were so slender and tall that he didn’t see how she could walk around in them without tripping.

Her hair was done up in elaborate curls that cascaded down her face, and her cheeks were accented with soft red hues. Her lashes were darkened and extended, and her eyelids were painted with a sparkly dark material of some sort that gave her green eyes a glimmer as if they were on fire and giving off both steam and smoke all at once. Finally, her lips were painted a deep crimson, making them seem inviting in a way that Dalen had never noticed before.

“What’s the matter, Master?” Summers asked in a voice so soft and innocent that it could not possibly be genuine. “Did I do something wrong?”

And now his apprentice was wearing a pout on her painted lips that she must have known would bring his breath up short. Curse him for a fool, but Summers was right. For all his experience as a scholar and a warrior, and for the minor games he had played with the prettier acolytes during his time on Korriban, Shar Dalen was certain that he truly did not know much about the ways of women.

“No, you did nothing wrong, Summers,” he managed to say. “You look…” What to say now?


Summers frowned, and despite being her Master and superior in all ways, Dalen felt utterly helpless against those smoky green eyes that stared at him, drawing him in.

And then the strangest thing happened. Summers smiled. Her red lips parted to reveal a shining white smile, and Dalen knew he was staring at a predator who was about to go for the kill.

“Thank you, Lord Dalen,” she said huskily. “You look quite dashing yourself.”

Damn those eyelashes of hers! Why must they keep batting themselves and drawing his attention back to her glimmering green eyes?

“Shall we go to meet our host now, Master?” Summers cooed, extending her arm to him.

Dalen snapped himself out of his daze long enough to reorient himself and focus. “Yes, Summers, I think we shall,” he said as he took her arm in his. He could be a gentleman tonight. That was in keeping with his mental image of himself. Shar Dalen was a proper man with a healthy respect for the social graces.

Wasn’t he?

Buffy stood under a black awning outside the Imperial embassy, celebrating mentally at the clear reaction she’d gotten out of Dalen. He was a handsome man, and he was certainly a gentleman, but he did have an almost Giles-like air to him sometimes that made Buffy think that he would be more at home in a library than on a battlefield.

Regardless of the matter, Buffy could feel Dalen’s lust rising, and she stretched her arms above her head to further fuel his passions.

When she felt a rise in Dalen’s emotional heat, Buffy smirked. She’d been the lackey long enough, and it felt really good to be in control of the situation, even if it was temporary. If she was honest with herself, Buffy was surprised at how much of a reaction she’d gotten out of her ‘Master.’ She’d been under the impression that he was more experienced with women than his current reaction implied.

Whatever the case was, Buffy would have to tread carefully. If he did something in the heat of the moment that made him look bad, Buffy had no doubt that Dalen would cast the blame at her. She’d yet to see Dalen in a fury, but if the passion she felt roiling inside of him were to be turned towards violence, she had no doubt that the lust she was fueling would only make his wrath stronger.

Such was the way of the Dark Side of the Force.

Dalen himself was wearing a formal black tunic and pants with a black-and-red cape flowing down his back. There was a hood that he could bring up over his head, but right now, Dalen looked every bit the Sith Lord. He even had his lightsaber hooked on his belt. Buffy wondered if he meant it as a sign of his station or if he was trying to broadcast a different sort of message.

Buffy had her blade hidden in her dark blue handbag along with some niceties that she hadn’t enjoyed since first arriving on the Denovan battlefield. So much had happened since then. It seemed like a lifetime ago.

A flicker in the Force alerted Buffy to a tall, proud figure striding down the street to meet them, and Buffy felt her breath catch in her throat at the sight of Thriss.

The Chiss excavator hadn’t done anything terribly special with her hair, save that her ponytail was now smoother and sleeker, and her bangs had been fully brushed away from her face. Light red makeup on her cheeks and ruby-red lipstick highlighted her glowing red eyes. She wore an off-the-shoulder red dress that covered her body down to her feet, but left her navy blue arms bare.

Buffy’s eyes wandered over the woman and was surprised at just how well-muscled she was. Part of that was what she could see with the naked eye, but more could be sensed in the Force. Here was a woman who yearned for action, who was ready for it, but who felt repressed and subdued in a culture that didn’t know what to do with her talents.

Buffy had been determined beforehand to bring Thriss over to the Sith, but now that determination had increased a hundredfold.

Thriss seemed to glide along the sidewalk, and Buffy idly wondered what sort of shoes she was wearing.

“My Lord Summers, my Lord Dalen,” she greeted them. “You both look quite handsome for aliens.”

Buffy felt Dalen recoil at being called an ‘alien,’ which she knew his culture had taught was a word meant for those beneath him. Here on Csilla, however, Buffy knew that they were the aliens, not Thriss.

Buffy merely smiled at the compliment. “You look quite handsome as well, Thriss,” Buffy said, not wanting to use a different compliment, unsure of the societal rules.

A moment later, she smacked herself internally. “Is it all right if I call you by your name without your title? I don’t want to be rude or anything.”

Thriss merely chuckled. “It’s quite all right. I’d rather be seen for who I am rather than what I do. Most Chiss find my way of thinking to be strange. May I show you the city, and we can discuss this further?”

“Yes,” Dalen said, finally regaining his sense of speech. “That would be wonderful, Thriss.”

The lovely Chiss woman arched an eyebrow at Dalen and turned her gaze to Buffy.

Buffy wondered what Thriss was waiting for, but a feeling of anger in Dalen told her that Thriss was looking to Buffy as the socially superior of the two of them.

This could only end in tears.

“Yeah, Csilla is nothing like anything I’ve seen before. It’s gorgeous,” Buffy said honestly. “Please, lead the way.”

“As you wish, Lord Summers,” Thriss said throatily, and Buffy was caught off guard by the feelings of lust that she sensed in the Chiss.

While she was certainly surprised, Buffy was not about to complain.

Thriss led Buffy and Dalen through the streets of Csaplar for about thirty minutes, showing off the highlights of the government district, where the embassy was located, before moving on to the commercial sector of the city, giving tidbits of cultural history where applicable. Dalen politely inquired about certain aspects of Chiss history, while Buffy commented more on the aesthetics of the city and compared them to Earth cities.

After another ten minutes or so of browsing, the three of them sat down to eat at a restaurant called ‘The Rising Star,’ which appealed to the group for two reasons. Thriss recommended the place highly, and there was a sign in a script of aurek-besh that Buffy hadn’t seen before, but which Dalen assured her read ‘Imperial Credits Accepted Here.’

They sat outside in the night of Csaplar. They could see the stars through a giant hole in the ‘roof’ of the underground city, with the warmth kept in by a force field. With the lights of the night sky reflecting against the ice surrounding the city and reflecting off the blue-black metal that made up the buildings, Buffy was awestruck by Csilla’s beauty.

“Your home is so beautiful,” Buffy said earnestly. “The most ice I’ve seen before now was in a rink back in LA.”

“A ‘rink?’ What is that?” Thriss asked.

Buffy found it hard to meet the Chiss woman’s gaze. Those glowing red eyes were so different from a human’s, and Buffy was afraid that she would be like a deer in the headlights if she looked for too long.

“Well, back on Earth, we sometimes had indoor arenas that were kept cold so that the ice would stay frozen, and it would be set up in, I guess you might call it a small arena or a stage? People would skate on the ice. Some people would do it just for fun, and others did it while playing sports. I liked figure skating, which is kind of like dancing in a way.”

“What is this word, ‘skate?’” Thriss asked. She was leaning forward, clearly attentive.

Buffy felt a bit awkward at the attention, and a quick look at Dalen made her even more self-aware, since she could feel his attention on her as well.

“An ice skate is what we call a blade put on the bottom of a special kind of boot, and you balance on the blades and glide across the ice on them. It’s really easy to fall over if you don’t know what you’re doing.”

“Why would you put blades on the bottom of boots?” Thriss asked. “What practical purpose does it serve aside from entertainment?”

Buffy was torn out of her memories of home and thrust back onto Csilla, where nothing was without purpose. “Well, back before we had motorized vehicles,” Buffy said, choosing her words carefully, “people in icy places who needed to move cargo from place to place would put skates on the bottom of sleds. They’d then train a team of dogs to pull the sled across the ice, with a person standing in the back guiding the dogs. I don’t know for sure, but I think the foot skates came later on after being inspired by the sleds.”

“I see. I assume a dog is a form of animal?” Thriss inquired.

“Yeah. A lot of people keep them as pets.”

“Quite interesting,” Thriss said. She looked ready to ask more questions just as a waiter arrived to take their orders. Buffy was relying on Thriss to tell them what was good, since she doubted Dalen knew any better than she did what Chiss cuisine was like.

At Thriss’s recommendation, both Buffy and Dalen ordered a roasted springhawk. Thriss ordered a fillet of an animal whose name Buffy couldn’t pronounce. Thriss told them that it was a warm-blooded predator native to Csilla.

The waiter left, and Buffy felt Thriss’s attention shift fully back to her.

“While it is a pleasure to share Chiss culture with aliens,” Thriss said, and Buffy detected the hint of a smirk on her lips that coincided with a spike in Dalen’s anger, “I would be very grateful to learn more about the Sith. I have a gift that the Chiss don’t recognize or understand. This is what you are. Tell me how I can focus this power!”

Buffy tried to keep calm in the face of Thriss’s passion, and thankfully she had a reply ready. “You’re already on the path to becoming a Sith, Thriss,” Buffy said honestly. “From what I’m gathering, the Chiss are all about helping the group and propping up the Chiss as a whole, right?”

“Yes, that is the Chiss way,” Thriss said carefully, but Buffy sensed her own feelings were not quite in line with the ‘Chiss way.’

“The Sith are all about the individual,” Buffy explained as she felt Dalen’s quiet anger begin to boil. “We embrace passion of all kinds and we use that to focus and channel the Force. Perhaps you can tell Thriss about the Sith Code, Dalen?”

Buffy caught Dalen’s gaze, and she knew that he had wanted to be addressed as ‘Lord Dalen,’ and she could feel his resentment that his pupil was taking the lead. Buffy hoped that giving him the teacher’s lectern, so to speak, would mollify him somewhat.

“Well, Thriss,” he began, “the first tenet of the Sith is that peace is a lie. There is only passion. What do you think of that?”

Thriss’s lips parted to reveal a white grin, and Buffy felt an ache in her loins as she mentally traced a finger across the Chiss’s beautiful smile. “Any peace is temporary at best. Science teaches that the strong survive at the expense of the weak. That is a basic fact that any Chiss will accept as truth. Conflict drives us forward.”

“Precisely,” Dalen said with satisfaction, and Buffy caught his gaze. In that moment, Buffy understood that Dalen now fully agreed with her that Thriss was definitely Sith material. “For a Sith, it is more than that. Any notion of peace or tranquility is something that is not to be tolerated. It holds us back as individuals. Since passion drives conflict, we recognize that passion is the key to not only survival, but to greatness.”

“Passion is the first step,” Buffy said, taking over for Dalen. She sensed his anger, but as Thriss’s lovely face turned to look at her again, she didn’t care. “As we let passion drive us, we become stronger. ‘Through passion, I gain strength’ is the next part of the Sith Code. It’s an acceptance and understanding that our emotions, especially in extremes, are what make us strong. Do you understand, Thriss?” Buffy asked, making an effort to sound husky and sexy.

“Yes, Lord Summers,” Thriss said breathlessly. “I think I do.”

“Good,” Dalen said, taking control of the conversation again. “While our passions make us strong, that strength takes us to new heights, and at those heights, we become powerful. ‘Through strength, I gain power,’ Thriss.”

“So I see,” the Chiss said, but her eyes were focused on Buffy’s own predatory grin.

“When we have our power, and when we make the best use of it,” Buffy said as she batted her lashes, “we unlock the keys to success, and we emerge victorious. ‘Through power, I gain victory.’”

“What next?” Thriss asked eagerly, her passion growing and feeding on Buffy’s and Dalen’s without even realizing it.

Buffy was fully aware of what she was doing, and she was keen to keep Thriss attentive on her for as long as it took. “When we take the next step forward with victory, we sever the bonds that held us back, leaving them behind completely. ‘Through victory, my chains are broken.’ To sum it up nicely, ‘The Force shall set me free.’ Isn’t that right, Dalen?” she said with a cocky nod of her head, tossing her ‘Master’ a bone.

“Indeed,” he said coolly, but Buffy could feel his own passions roiling under the surface. Anger, frustration, and lust were all simmering just beneath that calm exterior, and it was so sexy.

The tension was broken as the waiter arrived with their food. The trio ate in silence, and Buffy could tell that she wasn’t alone in letting her passions come to a boil inside her. It felt so good to focus inward like this, to create such power inside of her that was just waiting to be set free.

She could feel the elevated heartbeats of her two companions, and Buffy could sense that they were calling upon the Force, however unwillingly, to add extra flavor and sensation to every bite of their meal. The table was a font of power just waiting to erupt.

By the time Thriss bade them good night, Buffy was so eagerly anticipating seeing her again at the dig site that she barely noticed Dalen’s simmering anger right beside her.

When they got to the embassy, Dalen stormed inside ahead of his apprentice, and Buffy looked up at the stars, her chest heaving, and she knew she might not fall asleep tonight without help. Was there someplace she could go to let off steam? It wasn’t like she was going to see if Csaplar had any hotels that paid by the hour. She wanted to check, but she didn’t think that any Chiss could compare to Thriss right now.

Heading inside, Buffy decided to check with the clerk at the front if there were any athletic arenas open at this time of night. “You wanna do me a favor?” she asked the blonde human man at the front desk.

He looked up at Buffy, his brown gaze blank. “I want to do you a favor,” he said.

On another day, Buffy might have been taken aback by the power she could feel wrapping around this weak-minded lackey, but tonight, she knew what she needed. “You’re going to follow me and do exactly as I say.”

“I’m going to follow you and do exactly as you say,” he repeated, following after Buffy.

“Good boy,” she cooed. “You want to make your Sith Masters happy any way you can.”

“I want to make my Sith Masters happy any way I can.”

Buffy couldn’t take it anymore. She grabbed the man and tossed him into her room, where he landed on the bed in a heap. Buffy slammed the door and left the day behind her.

Buffy called upon last night’s passion-filled dinner to warm herself in the cold of Csilla’s surface. She wore a mask over her face to protect her from the elements, and her hide and fur garments were proving to be a wise investment.

The ruin was easy to spot. The brownish stone jutted out and formed a blister of sorts on the otherwise white surface of the world.

“We don’t know how long it has been here like this,” Chief Archaeologist Naprol said from the front passenger seat of the speeder, his words going into a communicator in his suit and then into Buffy and Dalen’s earpieces, “but snow will not adhere to it for whatever reason. It is difficult to get a firm reading on the mineral components of the stone, and we only have Excavator Thriss’s experience as a vague clue to its origins.”

“Take us to it, please,” Dalen said calmly, but Buffy could sense his passions from last night had not been sated, not channeled into any appropriate outlet, and Buffy fed off his repressed power to fuel her own passions. She knew they would be key to getting inside the ruin.

Naprol directed the driver to take them to the doors of the ruin. The trip took another ten minutes, and Buffy stepped out of the open-air speeder and walked towards the ruin. Why the speeder didn’t have a canopy or some other sort of cover was a mystery to her. Maybe the Chiss just liked the cold?

There was a lone figure standing at the slightly open left door, and Buffy knew without seeing her face that it was Thriss. She could feel the other woman’s anticipation in the Force.

“Excavator Thriss,” Naprol said, “have you made any further progress?”

“Not yet, Chief Archaeologist,” she said loudly over the wind. “But I am close! I can feel it.”

Buffy felt Naprol’s doubt, and she knew that Thriss had felt it too since the pretty young Chiss had just gotten angrier.

An idea struck Buffy. “Thriss, Dalen, come here. Now!”

“Yes, Lord Summers!” Thriss said, obviously eager to rejoin Buffy’s side.

“What is your plan, apprentice?” Dalen said carefully.

Buffy met the two others right at the entrance to the ruin. Buffy reached out and touched the doors with her gloved fingers, and she felt the power in the stone.

“I can feel your lust. Both of you,” Buffy told them. “You both want me so bad that it hurts. Tell me what you’d do to have me,” she ordered them.

“Stop your games, apprentice,” Dalen said, trying to command her.

“Whatever you want,” Thriss said eagerly, wrapping her arms around Buffy’s shoulders. “I’ll do whatever you want, Lord Summers.”

Buffy projected the Force equivalent of a smirk at Dalen. “She wants me pretty bad, it seems. I could feel you wanting me last night. I can feel it still. You ache for me, Dalen. Don’t bother denying it. Embrace it.”

Dalen strode forward and grabbed Buffy’s head with both hands. “You are impossible, Summers,” he growled, but Buffy knew she’d brought his passion and his power to the surface.

“Make your passion give you strength,” Buffy said, gyrating her body against the two others. “Make that strength give you power.”

The three of them were undulating together as one now.

“Make that power give you victory!” Buffy cried. “Let that victory break. Our. Chains!”

Seizing upon both of the two others through the Force, Buffy drew out their combined passion and let out a horrible scream that echoed across the wintry surface of Csilla with monstrous power and fury.

The power of the Dark Side was not ignored, and the doors to the ruin opened obediently at the display of raw power.

Buffy could feel the eyes of the rest of the Chiss archaeological team on the three of them, and she could feel their awe and their fear. It fed her own passions, and it made her powerful.

“Let’s go inside,” Buffy said, feeling more confident than she could remember. This was the power of the Dark Side. This was what it was to be Sith! “This ruin is for us. Let’s get in while we still can.”

“Yes, Lord Summers,” Thriss said breathlessly, following her into the darkness.

“You,” Dalen said through harsh breaths, following after them, “you are something entirely unexpected, Buffy.”

The Slayer-turned-Sith froze in her tracks. Never, not once, had Dalen ever called her by her first name.

It would have to wait. The interior of the ruin called to her. “Later, Dalen. We’re being called, can’t you feel it?”

“Yes,” both Dalen and Thriss answered as one.

The inside was dark at first, but at a certain invisible threshold, purple flames ignited in torches along the walls. A smaller, normal-sized stone door was in front of them.

Buffy merely waved her hand and slid the door open with a thought.

Striding inside, Dalen and Thriss right behind her, Buffy entered the heart of the ruin.

Purple and orange crystals held an unnatural light inside of them. A strange machine hovered in the center of the room. It had a spherical body and many arms and legs with a variety of apparatuses on the ends. It looked to be a droid of some kind.

The droid spoke in a language that Buffy didn’t recognize.

“Did either of you understand that?” Buffy asked.

“I did not,” Dalen said.

“Neither did I,” Thriss put in.

The droid spoke again, this time in a very different language. It was more guttural and less smooth than it had been the first time.

“I still don’t understand it,” Thriss said.

Buffy nodded, sensing Dalen’s consensus in the Force.

The droid spoke again and again, in so many languages that Buffy knew she had no hope of understanding. And then…

“Who enters the domain of the Builders?” the mechanical voice said.

“Minnisiat,” Thriss said. “A local trade language.”

Dalen spoke to the droid. “We who command the Force enter this place.”

“You are not of the Builders,” the droid said. “You have their power, but you are not of their number.”

“Who are the Builders?” Thriss asked.

“The Builders are the rulers of the cosmos,” the droid said. “The Infinite Empire of the Builders is eternal and indisputable.”

“Evidently,” Dalen said dryly. “What is this place?”

“You have proven your worth, stranger,” the droid said. “You will serve the Builders and use the knowledge of this place to find and activate the Purge Engine.”

It was only a machine, but Buffy could have sworn something reached inside her and filled her insides with ice water. “Purge Engine?” Buffy repeated. “What is that?”

“You will serve the Builders,” the droid repeated. “You will use the knowledge of this place to find and activate the Purge Engine.”

The droid’s arms shifted to reveal a cavity in its body. A sphere floated out of it and began to spin in midair.

“I have a bad feeling about this,” Thriss said nervously.

“It’s okay,” Buffy said. “I don’t think this is gonna hurt.”

The spinning sphere disappeared in a flash of light, and in its place was a bright map of the galaxy. A shining purple light in the corner of the map pulsed with power, and lines began to creep away from it towards other stars in the galaxy.

Buffy walked around the room, which was full of the light of stars. Dalen and Thriss joined her.

“This is Csilla,” Thriss said, pointing to the pulsing purple light. “What are all these other stars?” she asked. “What do they matter?”

“Look here,” Dalen said, gesturing to the endpoints of all the lines. “None of these systems mean anything. But,” he said, pointing to an unmarked star, “they all seem approximately equidistant from right here.”

As he said it, the star lit up with an orange light, and Buffy knew that Dalen had the right idea.

“This is great and all,” Buffy said, “but are we sure that we want to find this ‘Purge Engine?’ We don’t even know who or what these ‘Builders’ are.”

“We’ll find out,” Dalen said, pulling a miniature computer out of his jacket. After a brief whirring from the droid, the lights from the map formed a funnel that fed into Dalen’s computer, which began to glow with a strange white light.

“Remarkable. The technology that created this… I can’t even conceive of it,” Dalen said. “Unfortunately for all of us, we will have to inform Darth Arctis of this development.”

“Who is Darth Arctis?” Thriss asked.

“One of twelve Dark Councilors that oversee the Empire’s day to day affairs,” Dalen said. “They are the practical rulers of the Sith unless the Emperor himself overrules them, but that is rare.”

“You’ll be coming with us, won’t you, Thriss?” Buffy asked.

“I would like nothing better,” Thriss answered. “What will happen to my career as an excavator?” she asked. “I’m good at it, but I want this more.”

“Your past is a chain, Thriss,” Dalen explained. “Make victory yours, and your chains will be broken.”

“Come on,” Buffy said. “I think we’re done here.” She was certainly eager to be out of this ruin.

“Very well,” Thriss said. “You can ride in my vehicle back to Csaplar. We don’t need to wait for the others in the team, do we?”

“They can comb over that ruin all they want,” Buffy said. “Let them dig til their heart’s content if they want.”

“We have what we came for,” Dalen said.

“And we also have you,” Buffy said proudly.

“Thank you, Lord Summers,” Thriss said. “I’m glad you found me.”

“So am I,” Buffy said. Despite the heavy clothing they wore, Buffy could see in her mind’s eye a slender blue body with glowing red eyes, and she saw that lovely woman look back at her and see her for what she truly was underneath.

And this, Buffy realized with satisfaction, was only the beginning.

I own very little here. Specifically...

Sith Code: not mine
Csilla: not mine
Csaplar: not mine
Builders: not mine
Darth Arctis: not mine
Shar Dalen: original
Thriss: original
Naprol: original
Minnisiat: not mine
Purge Engine: original

Special Thanks to Sithspit for beta-reading this chapter.

Thank you all for your patience and your good wishes during the big storm. I was incredibly lucky to not lose power, but I know a lot of others were not so fortunate. If you happen to be reading this on your phone or tablet because you don't have power at home, then you have my sincerest wishes for a warm and safe return to normalcy as soon as possible.

I hope you all enjoy this chapter. Thank you for reading, and may the Force be with you. ^_^
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