Shadie stood looking out at the vast field that lay near the city’s central area taking it all in. She would not be returning to Mandalore for quite some time. Fane stood next to her. Knarf had gone to speak with Mandalore before their departure.
Fane had a travelling bag; he had packed some essentials he might need after the rescue mission. Shadie also had a bag, but she would leave it aboard the Krayt Dragon. She wouldn’t need those things until after, once she would return from her capture.
Shadie took a deep breath.
‘I’m sorry,’ said Fane. Shadie turned her head to look at him. He had his head bowed.
‘Fane, this isn’t your fault. Relsor is a persistent Sith. He will go to any lengths to capture me. At least this way, it can be on my terms.’
‘I know. I just feel sorry for everything.’
‘I can understand that.’
Shadie took Fane’s hand and held it as a parent would their child’s. After a moment, Fane pointed with his other hand to a spot somewhere in the meadow.
‘There,’ he said. ‘That’s where we shared our first kiss.’ Shadie smiled. Fane blushed.
‘More than just a kiss, I gather,’ said Shadie. She pointed at a spot herself. ‘Over there,’ she said. ‘It’s quite comfortable.’
Fane laughed. ‘What is this galaxy coming to when a Jedi and his master are discussing locations where they each…’ He laughed again.
‘I’ll be worried the day we stop joking about the natural flow of life that makes us feel the desires we feel for the men whom we love,’ said Shadie.
‘Speaking of which,’ said Fane, cocking his head; Knarf was approaching. He smiled at them and came to stand next to Shadie, taking her hand and interlacing his fingers with hers. ‘And so?’
‘Everything is sorted,’ said Knarf. ‘Mandalore cannot lend any ships right away, due to the possible threat which could very well be real. The thought of more superlasers is devastating. He will be in contact with Supreme Chancellor Emain, though, and in the event ships are needed, he will provide what he can.’ Knarf paused. ‘Mandalore recognises that, even if the Jedi Order is not, the Republic is getting itself involved in the rescue mission of one of his top clan leaders. Supreme Chancellor Emain acknowledges a temporary alliance for the time of this war, and the Republic’s semi-debt to Mandalore. Relsor and Perce pose a great threat to the entire galaxy, aiding each other can only help us defeat them.’
‘Master Herl’unik is aware that we are going to the Crypt,’ said Shadie, ‘and he sanctioned that part, but he wants no part in the rescue mission. I believe he is afraid. He does not know that Lian will be coming with us.’
‘He hasn’t told him?’ said Knarf, sounding a little surprised.
‘No,’ said Shadie. ‘Lian prefers it that way.’ She paused, feeling the warmth of Knarf’s hand in hers as he stood to her right, while she hoped she brought warmth to Fane through their still held hands. ‘He will deal with the rest of the Council once he, Fane, and Talyc are safely back on Tython.’
The Krayt Dragon could be seen streak through the sky as it came towards them and it settled in the meadow nearby. When the landing ramp had descended, the three Mando-Jedi walked up the ramp to join their friends inside.
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