A few weeks later.
Shadie stood in the centre of the Jedi Council chamber, alone, among all the Masters who sat around her in the circular room. It had been some time longer than she thought before they summoned her. They had let her mourn the loss of Kromus; thinking about how he would not turn to the light pained her. The light side would have kept him alive. She felt a pang in her heart for this loss. She could not deny she had never stopped caring or hoping he’d turn from his evil ways. Those around her had understood that, Knarf especially, and had respected her ever changing mood since their return.
There had been a ceremony for Master Juun Kloh in the Great Hall of the Jedi Temple. There weren’t many who bore ill feelings towards Fane for his death. Most of the older Jedi saw it as the act that opened Fane’s eyes of the cruelty of the dark side, thus returning him towards the path of the light. They said that perhaps Master Juun Kloh knew this would happen and sacrificed himself for Fane’s sake. Others were more wary, but knew how Shadie had embraced the light after so many years in darkness, and they had faith that Fane had simply slipped. But there were those who argued that Shadie had been Sith, had known nothing else but darkness until she discovered the light, and that Fane had known the light before and had turned away from it; Shadie had never turned away from the light once she had found it. They would watch him carefully until he had redeemed himself completely. Not paid for his crime, she hoped, but proven his heart.
Shadie had somewhat already begun to apprentice him in healing from his brief yet intense glimpse into the dark side. Strangely enough, in return, he seemed to be helping her heal as well. Master Juun Kloh had always said that the student teaches the master as much as the master teaches the student, and many times in ways the master could not imagine.
She remembered walking in the Jedi Temple gardens with Fane, noticing how his unruly hair had a certain style to it, and how when the light shone on it, it was much lighter than Lahnius’s had been. His smile and his eyes showed a kindsness and softness that proved the true nature of his heart, led by the light side.
He had said to her: ‘All my life, even though Lahnius was a Sith, while he lived, I felt comforted. I had hoped that he would some day turn from the dark side. Perhaps I would be the one to help him turn to the light. When you killed him, that hope was gone, but sometimes, I now realise, a Sith cannot turn, will not turn, no matter how much of the beautiful light you show them, and if you want to put an end to the destruction they cause and save all that you hold dear, all those whom you love and care for, sometimes, to save them as well, save them from themselves, there is no other way than through death. Sometimes it is the death of a Jedi Master that will let one see how their soul was corrupted, let him see how it does not bring him comfort to have killed him and make him regret so much that at the moment of truth, he decides to save one who’s been a friend in the past.
‘And sometimes one must kill the Sith himself because she has done everything with love for him to save him and he will not save himself. Kromus may not have been your brother by blood, as Lahnius was mine, but your brother he was, a brother by love, and in the end, you killed him to save the galaxy and to save him from falling furthermore into the darkness to which he had dictated his life. Even if one has mastered the dark side, he keeps falling forever if he chooses to. You did not kill Lahnius to hurt me, you didn’t even know of my hopes and dreams for him. I understand that now. But you had those same hopes for Kromus and you gave him that chance, many chances, for those hopes to become reality. He chose the dark side. Death was imminent. But then again, there is no death, there is the Force.’
They had both grieved and cried that day, together mourning a loss of a Sith brother, now able to understand each other in ways no one else, even Knarf, could ever understand them, in a way only master and apprentice could. Master and apprentice often formed a whole in the Force. Fane understood why it had been necessary and primordial for Lahnius to die. And Shadie understood why Fane had been so hurt about his brother’s death. She hurt for Kromus’s death in that same way, but differently, for she had been the one to kill him in the end.
Shadie turned her attention back to the masters in the circular room. They had been quiet and pensive for quite some time now. She had already given a full account of the events that had taken place aboard Kromus’s dreadnought, including the destruction of the holocron, the revelations about Darth Gourd and the warning Kromus seemed to have given her before his death. There was something to do with immense power connected to Gourd and it was quite possible that Kromus thought only the dark side could achieve the great power necessary to defeat it, whatever it was. Shadie had also told the masters of Gourd’s escape and disappearance, and all the arguments of why she believes she is ready to be a master.
‘You may choose to be Eidahs or Shadie, that is your choice,’ Master Herl’unik said at last, ‘but your actions prove the Jedi you are, prove the mastery of the Force that you possess. The combination of light side and dark side powers to create more light side powers is a feat very few have accomplished since the beginning of the Jedi Order.’ He paused. His Zabrak cheaks flushed as he smiled. ‘You have shown wisdom and the capability to guide Fane towards the path of the light in ways none of us imagined were possible.’ There was reverence and pride in his voice. ‘Master Juun Kloh always had great faith in you, from the moment you sought to turn away from the dark side. ”Teach me then the ways of the light side and help me understand this grief and anger I bear.” Those were your precise words to me in this very chamber, many years ago. Master Juun Kloh had been present among us. As you tell me, Fane pretty much said the same thing you did back then, albeit in his words.’ He paused, his tone became grave.
‘Killing a Jedi Master is a crime that cannot go unpunished. Killing your own master is very severe. And very sad for one such as Fane, a young Jedi Knight with great potential to do good for the galaxy. But you have faith in him, as your master had in you.’ Master Herl’unik looked at some of the other masters who nodded in unison. ‘I will ask this of you, Shadie, to continue Master Juun Kloh’s legacy in training.’
‘I will do my best, Master Herl’unik, to use my skills and abilities, and to show any apprentice of mine my light, and guide them in the same manner Master Juun Kloh guided all his pupils. Using my own techniques, of course.’
Master Herl’unik laughed. ‘Of course. You are your own person. It is with great pride that I grant you the title of Jedi Master.’
‘Thank you.’ Shadie bowed curtly, bending her upper body forward.
‘As for Fane, he must prove to us he has returned fully to the light, but first he must pay for his crime.’ Shadie braced herself; she hoped it would not be too severe.
If you’ve been enjoying this fanfic, perhaps you’ll also enjoy my fantasy fiction novel, Stardust Destinies I: Variate Facing which is now available in bookstores.
Prompted by a cryptic message, five polcs secretly leave Teloria to embark on a journey to discover many truths. It is dangerous, in this time of war, and soon, our five heroes find themselves travelling to farther lands than they had anticipated, where they discover their Stardust Destinies.