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 Deceiving the Slayer (Shimrra, ? ) [VIG] 
Blue_but_beautiful


Joined: 01 Aug 2007
Posts: 86
Location: UK
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Title: Deceiving the Slayer
Rating: PG
Genre: Action, mystery.
Timeframe: Many years before the NJO
Summary: Long before Shimrra Jamaane became supreme overlord of the Yuuzhan Vong, there was another destiny he had to face…
(Written in response to some fan banter I heard concerning a certain theory circulating among NJO fans.)


Deceiving the Slayer.

He had always been of significance, this the child knew, both he and his twin brother. A rarity among the masses. An omen, that was what one of the priests had said, was it not?
He could not recall, he had heard so much in his few years, so much that it had all blended into a mixture of terms he took for granted. Something he could not afford to do now.
The child concentrated, tried to concentrate on the ceremony to come. That thought, he duly noted, sent a small flutter of anticipation through his nerves, amplified by the feel of the coufee against his palms.
Turning his dark eyed gaze upward at the priest who had handed him the serrated weapon, the child was going to find no solace there.

The Priest, elderly by Yuuzhan Vong standards and barely recognizable beneath the heavy devotional scarring, continued on with his chant accompanied by several tall lithe females of which the child knew to be seers. The chant, A message to Yun-Yammka as it were, that the slayer would soon be receiving one that was owed to him. A very rare kind of blood sacrifice.

The child, barely seven standard years of age, willed his mind calm, taking great care to breathe in long, deep, calming breaths. It was several long moments before the nervous hammering of his heard, or the impulse for his hands to shake beneath the dagger-like coufee, calmed also. He had known, from the moment he was able to understand spoken word, that this day would come. Though his childlike mind had never been able to grasp the complexities or accept that this was imminent, he accepted it none the less, as should one who was to devote their life…or death, to the true way. And now that day had arrived, he faced it with both excitement and hesitation, the latter of which he could not afford to show. He highly doubted that his opponent would.
The ritual scar upon his skull, signifying his domain, burned with a fiery pain he had long since forgotten until this moment. Should he live through the onslaught to come, another would be added along side it, and he would know without a doubt that the gods favoured him for now at least.

A heavy hand enveloped the ball of his shoulder, tearing him abruptly from his silent pondering.
“It is time,” This from one of the Seers, young for her position he mused, but none the less has earned her place.

He rose without help, following the small procession of seers and priests that had begun to form near the exit membrane of the small cavernous antechamber that surrounded them. The procession lead out into a vast cave of a hall constructed from flawless, shimmering Yorik coral.
At the centre of the hall lay a shallow pit, similar in layout to that of a normal sacrificial spatter pit, but with only a few small differences. The pit was much larger in terms of size and the markings that aligned its basin. Towering above the pit in natural recesses in the shimmering wall, loomed a large effigy the many tentacled slayer-god, Yun Yammka.
Bioluminescent fungi that grew all around the statue, making it look all the more dreadfully menacing, also allowed light to fall on all who entered the hall.

Around the edge of the pit stood members of many castes, all of assorted rank, but each had a reason for being here. They were all of the same domain, and this was an important moment for them too. What made domain Jamaane different from many others, was that its bloodline lay routed among many castes, a characteristic uncommon with many surviving domains to date.
Among the crowd with an escort of several elaborately scarred warriors, stood the large imposing figure of Warmaster Czulkang Lah. He would bear witness to this ceremony, to assure that the will of Yun Yammka was done, as would the priests.
Combat was, after all, the warmasters forte. Czulkang Lah noted, that his own son could not have been much younger than the two that would fight here today, he only hoped that one day his own son would do his domain proud.

The procession halted just short of the great pit, and directly opposite at the other end of the pit, another precession did likewise.
This was the point of no return, the child thought, the moment he would get to test the strength his mentors and crèche mates alike had told him he possessed.
He wondered to himself, as he fixed his steely gaze on the figure emerging from the precession of priests across the way, if his twin brother would be thinking with the same bitter-raw determination he did?
They had spent the entirety of their short lives in the crèche of their domain’s worldship, preparing for this moment. He could not recall a day he had not spent with his twin, they had leaned lifes early lessons together, embraced pain together and now one of them would embrace death alone. The other would have no choice but to be accepting of it. And he, Shimrra, did not intend to meet the gods just yet.

The word was given, and both brothers stepped into the pit accordingly.
Either end of the hall, a pair of warriors presented the twins with amphistaffs, the serpent-like living weapon of a warrior, which could have dual usage as a staff and serrated whip both. The creature coiled it’s self around the wielders arm and felt oddly cumbersome in the youth’s grasp. It’s venom-spitting, fanged head, rested against the back of Shimrra’s forearm in readiness. The coufee, now sheathed at his hip, however, he knew well how to use that.
When the high priest was certain that the ceremony should begin, he motioned to Czulkang Lah.
The aging warmaster stepped out of the crowd and addressed all who had congregated at the edge of the pit.
The priests, in turn, spoke to the twins.

“ Children of Yun-Yuuzhan, what you are about to witness here, is an honour indeed. For what Domain Jamaane has been presented with is a test…” He paused, allowing a slight murmur of words to echo off the walls around them. “…A test of honour, strength and faith.” The warmaster was joined now by the same high priest who had motioned to him moments before.
“ Long has it been, since any two were born into a domain so prominent. It is a sign of great things to come!” The priest reiterated. “ And such signs should well be heeded. The test of strength, of honour and of faith is placed upon the shoulders of the two in question. We offer our thanks for such a sign as we offer this blood sacrifice in payment.”
The priest now took a step back, giving a nod of confirmation to the warmaster, who in turn spoke to the twins in the pit below.

“ An honourable death to you”

Both offered him a salute of respect, thumping their fists to opposite shoulders, before then facing each other. The crowd drew silent.

The two circled each other, checking their opponent over for weakness. It was Shimrra who reacted first though, calling his amphistaff to uncoil and form a potentially deadly whip in one hand. He had watched older, more experienced people handle the standard weapon, so he knew well the creatures’ capability. What he had done little of however, was handle such a weapon himself. It swayed awkwardly in his grip for the brief seconds prior to his lashing out as if to prove this fact. His attack was motioned forward, lashing out at his brothers’ unarmoured torso.
His twin reacted fast, bringing the stiffened form of his own amphistaff to defend from the attack as he jumped back, landing unsteadily. But this was just a feint, and Shimrra fell for it easily. Advancing and realizing a moment too late what had occurred, his twin darted to the left, bringing the flattened ‘blade’ of this weapon round in a wide arc to impact with a resounding wet ‘crack’ on his brothers shoulder.

A spray of pure black blood flew from the wound and spattered the coral beneath Shimrra’s feet, but his cry of pain was lost in among the crowds’ own cry of eagerness to see their gods satisfied. For that much, at least, he was grateful.
The deep gash to his shoulder was agonizing, deliciously so, but it did not render that arm completely useless. The fiery pain he felt served to fuel his anger, his hunger to do what must be done. All in that single instance -if he had taken the time to ponder its symbolism- he would have realized that the life he had before now, truly was gone forever.
He had not the time to mourn it, nor would he have done so openly.

Shimrra struck out once again with the whip-like amphistaff, this time lashing out to the right but drawing the creature back suddenly so as the poisoned, fanged head might gain purchase on his twins’ careless form. The attack was blocked and Shimrra growled out his frustrations as the amphistaff formed it’s self into the ridged, flattened blade-like baton his brother had used only moments prior.
Rushing his twin in a flurry of seething anger, Shimrra brought the amphistaff up, around and then swept low to slice at his opponents legs. If the blow connected, his brother would find his legs cleanly severed from the rest of himself at the knee.
Again, his twin was able to parry, blocking with his own amphistaff at the last moment in a rather unorthodox and desperate stab. However, he stumbled back, off balance, with the force of the blow landing upon his own weapon.
Taking full advantage of the moment, Shimrra leapt forward, bringing the blade of his weapon in a downward arc towards the now fallen and prone figure of his brother.
Eyes wide, his twin struggled to bring his own amphistaff up in time to block the attack.
‘Blades’ locked, the uppermost of the pair pressed all of his weight down onto the attack in an attempt to force submission and in turn bringing his brothers blade down to bear on his throat. The pace in which the blade appeared to descend was agonizingly slow, but none the less threatening and neither twin would break the others gaze of bitter, but evenly matched, determination.

It was at this point Shimrra became aware of a change in the struggling figure he bore down upon. Where once he had seen fear, or ambition, now alarmingly he was certain he saw a deathly calm. And not just that, he knew that expression well, he’d seen it a million times before now and he remembered it’s meaning well. He saw a quiet, calm, triumph.
Even before he had come to this stark realization, Shimrra had felt a dark, heavy weight press mercilessly down upon his mind. It demanded that he surrender to it, that he lay down and give up his own life before the darkness enveloped him completely. It sickened him to the core, rendering the pain in his left shoulder insignificant. He could almost see the icy black tendrils reach out toward him, beckoning him, calling to him, but he would not submit. He could not let this take him, best him.
All rational thought escaped him, and the youth was vaguely aware of his back coming into hard, forceful contact with the ground.
When had he fallen? Where was he now? These questions and many more made him fight the darkness, willing it with all his might to let go of its hold on his mind. And then it spoke to him…
A dark ominous voice that spoke from the heart of the seething darkness.
“ Goodbye, brother…”

The roar of the crowd filled his ears along with his cry of defiance. Shimrra called upon all his will to force his limbs to work in his favour, bringing his weapon up suddenly. His nerves screamed with pain. The amphistaff hissed to life, lurching- fangs upward- at the tendrils of darkness, impacting with considerable force and emptying its lethal venom into its target.
The darkness began to recede at once, recoiling to reveal the form of one he knew well, a mirror image of himself.

His brother lay, eyes wide open in fear of the unknown, mouth trying to form last words as the poison coursed through his veins and took effect. Shimrra had not remembered rising to his feet, and he still held in his hand the amphistaff that had struck his brothers death blow. The creature was still latched into his twin’s neck when he let the weapon fall from his hands – with a dull thud- to the floor.
The crowd roared its approval in a flurry of exaltations, but it all paled into numbness to Shimrra’s young ears.
“Goodbye, brother.” He uttered as he turned his back now, on the lifeless figure at his feet, now he faced the future.

************
A plume of acrid smoke arose from the bed of the cremation pits. Two workers snarled their distaste at their latest chore. Such was the life of ones as lowly as they.
Strewn out behind them, was what they had come to know as sacrificial waste. Or, rather the bodies of all those who had been – in various gruesome ways- delivered to the gods. All of them nameless now, consigned to a fiery fate in the midst of the smouldering pits.

One of the workers, a tall but gangly male, hauled the heavy body of a warrior over the edge of the pit, while his counterpart moved to drag the next nameless sacrifice over. Reaching out to take the corpse by the ankles, he paused.
At first he had thought it was a shamed one, but as he looked closer, he could see that was not the case. The pallid grey figure before him could not have been older than 10 standard years of age. A mere crecheling with no deformities he could see that would indicate the warranted death of one so young.

“ Shaah!”

The sudden sound of his name caused the slight worker to turn around suddenly, it was his counterpart at the pit’s edge.
“ Hurry up, we have to clear this area before the sleep cycle!”

Shaah nodded and turned back to reach for the youth he had pondered over seconds before, but he found no one. Confused, he went to scramble over the pile of corpses in search, but again was called to his duty.
“Shaah!”
A thought entered his head then, making him wonder as he went back to his laborious work, had he even seen the lad there at all? No, perhaps he had not.

*****

Deep in the shadows, far from the choking smoke of the cremation pits, he sat watching a thin membranous entranceway. Waiting.
The savage wound to his neck stung with a white hot pain he was unable to control. Every so often he would twitch or whimper in slight admission of it. It had taken all his energy to fight the poisons that had coursed through his veins, forced him into unconsciousness and very nearly death.
He had seen much for one that was so young, but he was not too young to know that some secrets were best kept to himself. As unexpected a turn as his plan had taken – he had greatly underestimated Shimrra- he was far from defeated.

The sound of footfalls in the tubular hallway met his ears, bringing him out of his silent ponderings. And the sounds were soon followed by the visual confirmation that he had indeed come to the right place.
A tall, lean figure of a shaper, who wore a living headdress amassed of writhing tentacles, placed their eight fingered hand against a small ‘tickle’ pad at the side of the entrance membrane. The membrane quivered and then irised open with an almost liquid fluidity.
About to enter they paused, as thought drawn away by some curious sound in the main hallway.
A smile played across the youth’s lips as he quickly, but silently, slipped from the safety of the shadows unseen.
Onimi had always known he was different, blessed. Perhaps it was time to see just how blessed?

END.

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JayCee
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Joined: 17 Jul 2007
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Location: England, Midlands
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now that would have made things just a tad more interesting... Thinking

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Blue_but_beautiful


Joined: 01 Aug 2007
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Thanks, and wouldn't it just? That was one of the theories thrown around before TUF explained much at all, so we were partly there in that theory, just not completely on the right track Wink

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