As it turned out, Shadie, Brenum, and Trylia didn’t wait too long. A few standard days following the Council meeting about Kromus’s resurgence, the Masters had announced to the three Jedi that their contact on Nar Shaddaa had met with a witness, who apparently had a holorecording of Kromus purchasing ship parts.
‘He’s amassing an army,’ said Shadie, as she, Brenum, and Trylia sat in the Krayt Dragon’s cockpit.
‘You think?’ said Brenum.
‘I know so. I know him, he used to be my Master, remember? I know how he thinks. He needs his followers, and he knows he cannot return to the Crypt, so he needs a ship, and not just an old or battered frigate. He needs a destroyer or dreadnaught, something big enough to hold and transport all his Sith.’
‘Do you believe he’s as strong as he was before he died? The first time.’ Trylia frowned. ‘Sorry.’
‘It’s all right,’ Shadie assured her. The subject of Kromus’s death was still a raw and touchy matter, but Shadie had to face her darker side. Then again, she’d been granted a second chance, as Brenum had told her several times already, the opportunity to kill Kromus the right way, with the full power of the light side. ‘No, I think he needs to regain his strength. Otherwise why sneak about or not come kill me as soon as he’d returned. He’s hiding in the Force, but he must be weak in his new body. The Force needs to refill in him.’
‘Speaking of sneaking,’ said Trylia, ‘I noticed Master Juun’s young apprentice, Fane, lurking about yesterday. I asked him if I could help him and he ran off on me. I’m telling you, we have faced Kromus and Lahnius, and because he returned, it’s haunting everyone here. Since we are the ones to go after him again, I don’t know, the younglings especially are afraid for us and of us. I just didn’t think the young Jedi padawans and knights would be as well. We’re not Kromus himself. We’re just going after him.’
‘Gareth was Fane’s friend. Remember? We are a constant reminder of the return of threat and danger of the dark side,’ said Shadie.
‘Well he doesn’t have to run off on me,’ said Trylia offended. ‘I like the young man.’
‘Well, talk about sneaking about,’ said Brenum, in a tone that meant he was slightly changing the subject, ‘what’s with the witness our contact met? Why couldn’t he just send us the recording via Holonet?’
‘He wants something in return,’ said Trylia. ‘Remember? And it’s more secure.’
‘Yeah, but he didn’t say what,’ insisted Brenum.
‘Well, if it were credits he was after, he’d have given a price,’ said Trylia. ‘No, something’s awfully odd with this witness and I can’t put my lekku on it. He specifically asked to meet with Jedi and that he would tell them his price.’
‘I know his kind. Very shady,’ said Brenum. Shadie looked up. ‘Uh, no pun intended.’ Shadie laughed. ‘All I’m saying,’ Brenum continued, after a short pause, ‘is he better not start asking for that holocron in return, ’cause it’s going to get destroyed when Kromus does… for the second time.’
There was a pause.
‘Are you nervous?’ Trylia asked Shadie.
‘Well, no. Well, yes. I mean we’re meeting him at the place we met Vorum and got captured by Lahnius. I mean, why do all the shady folk on Nar Shaddaa choose that canteen to meet with people.’
‘No, I meant about having to kill Kromus a second time.’
‘Oh, well, at least I can do it the right way this time, for the right reason. But no, I’m not scared. I did it once. I’ve had good practice.’
‘Coming out of hyperspace,’ announced Brenum.