Qi’ra piloted her stealthy craft, Night Shade, toward Dathomir with only one mission in mind; killing Maul. He, like Dryden Vos, thought he controlled her. That she would bend to his every will if he so much as blinked. Well, Dryden had been wrong and look what happened to him. Maul was next in line to meet her wrath.
Dipping beneath the hemisphere of the planet it almost seemed like yesterday when she came here the first time aboard First Light. At the time, she had been seized with fear and unsureness. Now, her bones quaked with anger and ferocity.
She touched the ship down on the planet’s surface before the brambled forest like last time. Grabbing her sword she hurried out of the ship. She half-expected to find a small army waiting for her at the edge of the forest. Instead, there was nothing. Only the sounds of the native nocturnal creatures that inhabited the planet.
With a determined expression, she ran forward, following the pathway that she had taken a couple of years before. It wasn’t long before she found Maul’s abode sitting dormant in the middle of the forest. Only this time, she didn’t even have to enter the fortress’s premises as Maul was standing before the building’s entrance waiting for her.
She brought herself to a halt a couple of yards away from him, her grip tightening on the sword in her hand.
“I was expecting you,” Maul said.
She noticed the lightsaber, not yet ignited, in his right hand. Her jaw clenched.
“I’m not surprised,” she responded.
“I’m guessing you haven’t arrived to talk business?” he asked with a mocking smile.
“You know I haven’t.”
He nodded. “You’re a tough one, I’ll give you that. My plan to have you killed clearly did not transpire as I had designed.”
Her grip on her sword tightened so much her knuckles began to whiten.
“Did you really think Nienye would be a greater leader of Crimson Dawn than me?”
Maul snorted. “Of course not. I was going to have him killed as soon as he reported that you were dead.”
Her stomach dropped. Now she was relieved that she had decided to exile Nienye rather than killing him. Maul’s laughter cut through her thoughts.
“Do you really think you can kill me with that sword?” Maul mocked.
A smile came to her face as she pressed the red stone, igniting the lasers that bordered the weapon’s blade. She relished the look of shock on Maul’s face as he beheld the weapon in her hands.
“Yes, I can,” she said.
He snarled, igniting his double-bladed lightsaber. “Enough talk.”
She charged, angling her sword to strike him down when he simply thrust his hand forward, knocking her back by an invisible force. Instead of falling to the ground she simply rolled, using the sword to halt her momentum as she thrust the blade into the red dirt. She looked up just in time as Maul leaped at her from above, his lightsaber poised for a lethal downward strike at her head. She raised the sword to block his attack just in time as their weapons clashed.
He pressed against her and she almost buckled under his strength. Almost. She remembered being in this position when she fought Dryden Vos so she knew what to do in these circumstances. She used his weight against him, throwing his arm to the right before rolling out of harm’s way. He twirled, swinging at where her head had been just a split-second before. She flipped backward, distancing herself from him again. He bared his teeth again. Apparently, he was not expecting her to be this skilled in combat.
She waited for his attack which arrived in a brutal flurry of complex maneuvers as she did everything she could to not be struck down by his saber. His fighting style was brisk as he assaulted her relentlessly with the two blades of his weapon but she was a practiced warrior who excelled in close-combat.
He pressed her further and further back until they were within the brambled forest off the beaten path. However, in the forest, Qi’ra had an advantage as she used the obstacles around her to distance herself from Maul and evade his attacks. As his anger grew his attacks became wilder and less controlled. It was at this time that she decided to press the advantage.
As he swung recklessly at her head she ducked before bringing her sword in an arc toward his neck. He threw his head back but now, suddenly he was on the defensive. She pummeled with a series of strikes.
Left, right, downward, left again, duck, uppercut, block, a feint to the right only to instead swipe at his legs, block, jab, blocked again.
This time their weapons were locked in a fierce clash. As they fought for control they felt the ground beneath them start to shift. Qi’ra, with a grunt, pushed Maul back. A moment later, the ground beneath her caved in and she fell.