Shadie returned from her extensive “meeting” with the Sphere. Knarf looked up from his datapad.
‘The Dark Council apparently has appointed a new liaison between the Empire and the True Sith,’ he said.
‘Honestly, Shadie,’ said Talyc, ‘he’s like some grandma hooked to a holodrama. He hasn’t taken his nose off his datapad for hours.’
Knarf could sense something was off. ‘My love, what is it?’
Shadie looked at everyone. ‘I had some discussions with the Sphere, regarding my…lightness. The Sphere claims to understand that I have mastered the dark side and have combined light and dark to coexist within me. I allow passion to reign within me, despite being able to achieve serenity. It believes my light is a result from such darkness and that my darkness cannot exist if there is no light bright enough in which for it to be visible. This is why I remain its master and the Lady of the Crypt. However, I have not claimed the Crypt.’
‘What does that mean?’ asked Fane. ‘What must you do to claim it?’
‘That’s the thing, it can’t tell me. I have to discover that for myself,’ said Shadie. ‘The Sphere mentioned it serves a High Master, I’m assuming that’s the energy within the Crypt itself. The Sphere knows many secrets that those who claim mastery of the Crypt don’t know, unless they are worthy or ready to discover or in need of that knowledge. So now, I’m ready to claim the Crypt. Claiming it would make me Master of the Crypt and of the Sphere. The problem is, if someone else claims it, they could command the Sphere.’
‘That’s not good,’ said Brenum.
‘There is a silver lining in this, however,’ continued Shadie.
‘Which is?’ asked Knarf.
‘In the event someone else claims the Crypt, the Sphere still considers me the Lady and its master. It favours me. Although I will still need to go and claim the Crypt for myself, but it will retain its connection to me. Through deep meditation I may be able to communicate with it, but not command it, and not gain information from our enemy. The Sphere in turn will not divulge my information to our enemy due to its undying loyalty to me, but it will have to obey every command given to it, on the sole exception of destroying me. It will not attack me or try to kill me. We agreed to that.’
‘Splendid,’ said Brenum, sarcasm in his voice.
‘I have managed to convince it to extend that courtesy to the rest of you, including you, Talyc.’
‘Thanks. I think.’ Talyc cocked a brow.
‘Why did it never share this information with you before?’ asked Trylia.
‘Because I never asked. And I never asked because no one else ever returned to the Crypt. Kromus had been the last, and he had never mentioned a High Master of the Crypt or anything like it. The Sphere will not divulge certain secrets if the one it wants to serve does not ask. It will keep the Crypt’s most ancient secrets hidden in this way. And I mean, I get it.’ Shadie inclined her head to the side in a half shrug. ‘Now that our enemy is going there, and I think the Crypt commanded the Sphere to do so, it shared some secrets with me, which I honestly should have explored a lot sooner.’
‘I say,’ said Brenum. ‘But there’s no point in dwelling on the past; there was no way we could have known.’
‘So what happens now?’ asked Trylia.
‘The Crypt permeates the most powerful dark side energy I have ever felt,’ said Shadie. ‘We still need to go there and stop Relsor. But we’ll need the Krayt Dragon just in case we arrive too late. In that event, we will need to escape and return when the coast is clear so that I can claim the Crypt as mine once and for all.’
‘We need to contact the Council and let them know we’ll be arriving late on Tython,’ said Trylia.
‘Really?’ said Brenum, a bit incredulous. ‘You’re worried about what the Jedi Council thinks when we might lose a powerful ally in the Sphere, and Shadie must face whatever horrors await her in a place where the dark side is at its strongest?’
‘Well, claiming the Crypt can’t be that difficult,’ said Knarf. ‘We fly there, Shadie does whatever she needs to do, the Sphere returns to us.’ He looked at Shadie. ‘Right?’
‘Ultimately,’ replied Shadie.
‘Then let’s make sure we get there before Relsor does,’ said Knarf.
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