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Written by: Chord Pahton and posted on: Jul 8, 2007

Farrin Xies, the former Minister of Education for the Emperor’s Hammer Directorate and Quaestor of House Gladius in the Dark Brotherhood’s Clan Tarentum cradled his head in his palms, his elbows resting on his knees as he sat in the front row of the Theedian Cathedral. The beautiful spires of the church rose around the exterior of the building, and a warm golden glow emanated from various hidden light sources in the interior. The architecture was lost on the sobbing Dark Jedi, however, as he grieved for his sister, her ashes now sitting not ten feet from him on the altar of the church. Friends and distant family members came by to offer their mumbled consolations, but Farrin seemed to pay them no heed. As the sun set, the more fair-weather friends began to shuffle out of the cathedral, leaving Farrin and his uncle Malcolm alone, staring at the porcelain urn containing his sister’s remains. “Farr,” his uncle said as he laid his burly hand on the Dark Jedi’s shoulder, “Grab her. Let’s finish this.”

Farrin cradled the beautiful green urn in his hands as his father’s older brother, himself now an old man at the age of sixty and with just a few gray hairs left on his head, recited a prayer for the dead in a language unknown to Farrin’s ear. As he finished, he brought his fingers to his forehead, then to his chest before touching each shoulder, creating a cross-like pattern in the air. “Alright, Farr, it’s time. Do you have anything left to say?” Farrin’s eyes began to well up again as he shook his head in the negative. Closing his eyes, he silently heaved the urn into the sea, not wanting to watch it sink to the bottom of the murky depths. He moved to the front of the hoverskiff, where he sat as his uncle began piloting the boat back to the shoreline a few miles away. Sitting cross-legged, he began to meditate, trying his best to put the death of his sister and only surviving close relative behind him and find strength in the Dark Side of the Force.

The twenty-nine year-old Dark Jedi silently crossed the empty street in front of the Xies Manor, the early morning moons providing the barest of illumination. A hunched-over figure stood at the gates of the property, blocking access to the gate console. “Pardon me,” murmured Farrin to the figure, trying to be polite even lost in his thoughts. Suddenly, the figure threw off the patched cloak surrounding him and the glint of a vibroshiv glittered in the air. “Nah, pardon me, sir, while I relieve you of your credits!” Farrin tried to dodge to the side, but had been so distracted that the shiv managed to find a soft target as it sliced through the arm of his black robes and cut into his flesh. Wincing in pain, Farrin channeled his rage through the Dark Side of the Force, his voice suddenly booming off the nearby trees and walls. “YOU DARE TROUBLE A MEMBER OF THE DARK BROTHERHOOD? TONIGHT, YOU SHALL FIND YOUR LIFE FORFEIT!” A bit overdramatic, he admitted, but this street tough was probably having sudden bowel troubles after that show. Farrin grabbed the attacker by the throat, lifting him up and pushing him hard against the wall of the Xies compound. The shiv dropped from the stunned man’s hand as he began to gurgle, attempting unsuccessfully to gasp for breath. The hatred in Farrin’s eyes was evident as the man slowly began to lose his struggle before finally going limp, pinned up against the wall by the Dark Jedi’s Force-enhanced strength. Farrin released him and the body crumpled into a pile of unmoving rags.

Stepping over the remains of the body, Farrin entered his access codes and stepped in as the gate parted just enough to allow him entrance. He had spent a year mourning the sickness of his sister and her eventual passing. It was long enough. In the morning he would board a transport and make his way back to the ranks of his brethren. A slight grin spread across his lips as he stepped inside – the first change in his facial expression in a year. It was indeed time.

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