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On building a lightsaber

Written by: Aardvark and posted on: Nov 3, 2022

From the mouth of a small cave on a mountainside, Mir Aar-D’Vark peered across the grassy plains of his homeworld, Togoria. The Togorian warrior had frequently roamed this area in his youth and now, the seven-foot tall feline’s black and white fur rippled in the hot breeze coming off the plains. The Sith apprentice was naked save for a dark-side amulet hanging around his neck by a heavy chain. The small shuttle that bore him to the planet over five days ago was concealed in the forested foothills beneath the cave. Togoria was still low-tech compared to the rest of the galaxy so it was not hard to evade the planet’s primitive defense network and land undetected. Not that he needed permission, Mir Aar-D’vark was free to move about most of Togoria as he pleased. However, this small portion of the main continent was under the rule of his older brother and was the one area of the planet where Mir was unwelcome. However, that was the main reason that Aar-D’vark chose this spot and he did not need any unwanted interruptions.

Fueled by spice and the ache of unsatiated hunger, the last few days were a blur of waking dreams and feverish nightmares spent meditating in commune with the Dark Side. Not only hunger for power but hunger for food as Mir had not had a meal since arriving. The emptiness of his stomach added to his pain and rage but he had made a vow to not eat until his task was completed. It was here on Torgoria, the site of his birth, his rearing and later, his greatest humiliation, that was the perfect place to bleed the stolen kyber crystal.  

Cursing under his breath, Mir turned away from the cave’s entrance and his gaze fell upon the small, multi-faceted blue crystal. Resting on a small rock at the back of the cave, it occasionally pulsed with an inner light when Mir Aard-D’vark channeled dark side energy. Over the days though, the pulses were growing dimmer and less frequent. Was this progress or did it indicate a set-back?

Acquired several months ago from the wreckage of a derelict space vessel, the crystal was ancient. It harkened from the days when the Jedi were at their height, thousands of years before the rise and fall of the Galactic Empire. As such, the crystal itself was strong in the light side of the force. The jedi who bore the lightsaber it once powered must have also been powerful, but he was now long dead. The power still contained in the crystal was evident though as for five days, it resisted Aar-D’vark’s efforts to make it bleed. The more and more he tried, the more it fought back.

As he had done many times in the past few days, Mir knelt on the ground and took the crystal in his massive paws. Clearing his mind of the present and all that surrounded him, the dark apprentice turned his thoughts to his youth in the wilds of Togoria. He recalled in vivid detail the plains, forests and foothills of this very area. He recollected on  how, as a young Togorian of a small nomadic clan, he learned to learn to track and hunt. He thought of the many struggles as he discovered how to tame and ride the flying reptiles called Mosgoths. He thought of conflicts, sometimes bloody, between his tribe and other groups. Throughout this process, he focused on the disappointments and failures of the past, quickly banishing from his thoughts any stray thoughts of success or joy. He let the negative emotions of frustration, anger and disappointment sweep over him. In the darkness, the crystal began to dimly glow. 

Aar-D’vark thought of the death of his father in a hunting accident and let the pain and anguish of that loss sweep over him. His thoughts then turned to his older brother who, as eldest-born, had stepped up as head of the tribe. Mir winced as he recalled how the other warriors lauded his older sibling as a great warrior and a worthy heir. Aar-D’vark seethed with feelings of jealously and envy. In his hands, the crystal’s pulsing quickened.

The dark-side novice recalled how he was prideful and ambitious enough to challenge his brother to ritual combat for the throne. Mir’s hatred grew as he relived every detail of the brawl, fought with only tooth and claw. Aar-D’vark remembered how every attack he made was skillfully countered and how his older brother toyed with him, batting him about the village square but never drawing blood. Frustration, inadequacy, pain, and rage burned within him. Mir Aar-D’vark seethed with anger as the jeers and taunts of the crowd echoed in his memory. The crystal’s pulsating glow grew into a steady light that illuminated the cave walls.

 

Aar-D’vark relived the key moment in the fight when, battered and bruised, it was apparent that he would lose the fight and the crown. It was then that anger and rage triggered Mir’s latent force abilities. Consumed by fear and hate, Mir Aar-D’vark subconsciously called upon the dark side of the Force for the first time in his life. Not knowing how he did it, while groveling in the dirt, Mir reached out with his paw and used the Force to shove his sibling to the ground. As his brother lay stunned, Mir leapt to his feet and moved in with his claws extended, intent on murder. However, the older Togorian was a veteran of many battles and he quickly recovered to counter attack. This time it was Mir who was knocked to the ground. Under the onslaught of blows, Mir was dazed and soon rendered near unconsciousness. Though Mir’s brother beat him soundly, he did not kill him. In the darkness of the cave, the crystal in the dark apprentice’s clawed hands glowed even brighter.

 

Most Togorians have a strong sense of honor and attempting to use "magic" to influence ritual combat brought shame and dishonor upon Mir Aar-D'vark. Following the fight, several of the younger warriors carried Mir’s unconscious body to a tent on the outskirts of the encampment and stripped him of his clan armor and trappings. When he awoke, Aar-D’vark emerged from the tent only to be mocked and scorned. His brother, now decisively installed as chieftain, banished him from the tribe. A pariah exiled from his clan, Mir was henceforth forbidden from trespassing upon territory claimed by his brother's tribe. He was also barred from pitching his tent in the planetary monarch's camp and is not allowed to take a mate. Aar-D’vark reeled with the memories of the shame that he felt as he boarded a freighter and left Togoria in disgrace.  These thoughts filled Mir with hate and rage and the kyber crystal shone with an uncanny light.

 

Clenched tightly in his paw, the kypber crystal illuminated the cavern. Aar-D’vark’s eyes glowed with a sickly yellow light as the power of the dark side engulfed him. Dark tendrils of smoke swirled about the would-be Sith and the air crackled and hummed with purplish dark side energy. Speaking in tongues and chanting dark incantations in the ancient Sith language, of which he knew only a handful of phrases, Mir called upon the dark side one more time and poured all his anger and rage into the crystal. The crystal’s blue glow became blinding and it grew hot, so hot that it burned the dark apprentice’s furred hands until the smell of burning hair filled the cavern. The crystal’s blue glow turned to violet and the gemstone itself began to emit an audible piercing wail. Immediately that sound was echoed and joined by Mir’s own voice as he screamed. There was a blinding flash of light and the Togorian was knocked backwards by an unknown force, the crystal still clenched tightly in his scorched hand.

Suddenly, all was quiet. The cave was cleared and there was no evidence of the smoky haze that was there only moments before. Though dazed, the Togorian’s keen sense of smell reeled from the acrid scent of burnt hair and blistered ozone that still hung in the air. Mir Aar-D’vark cautiously opened his hand. His palm was now a mass of raw burned flesh. There, stuck in the gore, was the kyber crystal but its appearance was changed. The gemstone, which was formerly a peaceful, easy blue hue, was now blood red and pulsing with a rhythm that matched Mir’s own heartbeat. Howling in triumph, Mir Aar-D’vark cried out, “You are mine and your power will add to my own!” 

Exhausted by the ordeal of bleeding the Kyber crystal, Mir nonetheless wasted no time getting to work. Guided by the teachings of his mentors and aided by the Force, Mir Aar’Dvark began the process of assembling a lightsaber. First came the casing, which was nothing more than a rudimentary quadanium alloy metal tube crafted to Mir’s specifications by a technician on the ISDII Warrior. That peon had no idea of the item’s ultimate use, he simply did what he was told but the craftsmanship was perfect. To the base of the tube, Mir affixed handgrips salvaged from the windscreen wipes of an AT-ST. This particular armored transport was rumored to have been deployed over thirty years ago to the ice-planet of Hoth, where it contributed to the rebel alliance’s devastating defeat. Mr Aar’Dvark hoped that the inclusion of this particular Imperial artifact would also give him victory over his foes.

Into the casing, Mir installed a power cell from an interrogator droid. Not only was it a highly efficient and powerful power source, but the nefarious origins of this battery also seemed to be a fitting component of the Sith’s lightsaber. Next came the crystal mount, blade energy channel modulators and cycling field energizers. Wires were routed and switches were added and then a magnetic stabilizing ring and blade emitter shroud were affixed to the business end of the hilt.

Finally it was the moment of truth. Kneeling on the cavern floor with his arms spread wide, Mir Aar’Dvark called upon the power of the Dark Side and levitated the saber hilt in the air before him. Simultaneously, he caused the blood-red crystal to also move through the air and drop into the hilt’s crystal chamber. He reached out with his uninjured paw and grasped the slim metal tube. 

Rising to his feet with the hilt in hand. Mir Aar’Dvark strode to the entrance of the cave. Looking out over the valley, he saw the sun was just beginning to rise on a new day. Mir depressed the golden activation switch and the quiet of the new dawn was shattered by a crackling hum as the crimson energy blade leapt forth from the metallic hilt. Mir stared in marvel at the shining laser sword for a few moments then thought to himself, “Time to kill something for breakfast.” He began to walk down the broken path into the jungle.

 

 

 

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