Warning: The following chapter contains scenes depicting torture and violence, which may be triggering to some readers. Reading discretion is advised.
Talyc was startled awake by the feeling that his insides were burning, yet freezing; lightning. He shouted out in pain as his body felt the sensations running through every limb. He balled his hands into fists, as though trying to hold onto something. He opened his eyes when the lightning had stopped.
He saw Perce standing before him, looking up with condescension, hands clasped behind his back.
‘Should have know it was you,’ said Talyc. ‘Your lightning is different from Relsor’s.’
‘Is that so?’
‘It seems, I don’t know, less refined.’
‘That makes it sound like a bad thing,’ said Perce.
‘Not at all,’ said Talyc. ‘Refined goods taste better, but aren’t as good or pure as the unrefined stuff you can get, like spice. It’s truer to the natural essence of what it’s supposed to be when it’s unrefined.’
‘Ah, I understand,’ said Perce. ‘But your meagre attempt at complimenting my skills do not detract from the fact that I cannot slice into your encrypted files and I require the codes. I am giving you the chance to give them to me verbally.’
‘How else would I give them?’ Talyc was confused.
‘I don’t know if you would survive the procedure, but as I did to the Republic’s Supreme Chancellor, I can use the Force to extract them from your mind.’
Talyc felt dread at that. He had come to a dead end. If he did not give him the codes, Perce would use his technique, he would suffer and maybe die, and then Perce would know that the encrypted files are not of interest to him. If Talyc gave him the codes, he would only delay the inevitable wrath of the True Sith who stood before him, as he would soon find out the files contained nothing.
Perce took a few steps towards Talyc and placed a hand on his head.
‘I’ll take the silence as your permission to probe your mind,’ said Perce.
‘As if you need my permission,’ Talyc retorted. It was too late to decide anything now, the Sith had already decided Talyc’s fate.
‘Perce! Stop that now!’ Relsor marched into the room. His tone had been authoritarian and his face was stern. ‘We need him alive, and you do not know if he would survive your mind probing.’
Perce narrowed his eyes. His fingers gripped Talyc’s head more tightly. He let go and took a few steps back. He was not happy at all. Talyc clocked the exchange of looks Perce and Relsor shared. So there was discord in the True Sith partnership, the duo had come to a disagreement.
‘We shall try a different method first,’ said Relsor. He walked up to Talyc and placed a hand on his left shoulder. Talyc braced himself but the surge of pain never came. ‘Give Perce the access codes to the encrypted files.’
Talyc said nothing. He felt a surge of dark side energy run through his body from his shoulder as purple light glowed around the Chiss’s blue hand. Talyc screamed in pain, but did not give them any codes. Relsor stopped. He ignited his lightsaber and held it next to Talyc’s face. Talyc knew Relsor needed him alive; he would not kill him.
‘The access codes,’ said Relsor.
‘If you kill me, Fane and Shadie and the others won’t come for me, they’ll sense my death. You won’t have Shadie.’
‘I am very well aware of that, Clan Leader Talyc,’ Relsor said in a very backhanded tone. ‘I have no intention of killing you, but perhaps I can maim you.’ He angled his lightsaber. Talyc felt the heat of it not only on his face, but on his shoulder as well. ‘Normally beskar would protect a Mandalorian from a lightsaber such as mine, but that hole in your armour is very inviting and perfectly reachable. Perhaps Knarf can share camaraderie with you over lost limbs.’
Relsor touched the tip of his blade to Talyc’s shoulder, just enough of it to the part of skin that was exposed from the damaged beskar armour. It was hot, it pained Talyc, and he grunted, and reflexively closed his mouth, clenching his teeth.
Relsor lifted the lightsaber straight up, ready to strike Talyc’s arm.
‘Five-four-five-six-three-Kay-Ae-En-Dee-Ee-Ar-Ae-seven-five-nine-five-Tee-eight-four-two-nine-five!’ He paused, breathing heavily and slowly. ‘You need to make sure you’ve selected the Encrypt File option, the decrypt option will not work.’
‘Splendid!’ said Perce.
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