Warning: The following chapter contains mature subject matter, which may be triggering to some readers. Reading discretion is advised.
Relsor watched the holomonitor, as Perce entered the room where Knarf was being held in stasis. He looked up at Knarf. Knarf scrunched his nose at him.
‘Are you scoffing at me?’ said Perce. ‘What’s that for?’ Knarf shrugged. ‘Now, tell me, you locked me into that room back there when you and your friends were on your rescue mission to free Clan Leader Talyc.’ Perce pointed his thumb in a diagonal direction. ‘How did you do it?’ Knarf gave no reply. ‘Answer me!’
‘I’m not talking to you, Perce,’ said Knarf. ‘I’ll only speak to Relsor.’
‘Relsor.’ Perce narrowed his eyes, looking up at the holocam Relsor was seeing through. ‘Fine.’
Perce stormed out of the room, and shortly after entered the monitor room, his anger and impatience oozing from every cell in his body. Relsor could barely contain his laughter. Perce gave him a pointed stare.
‘Well, you heard,’ he said quickly. ‘You talk to him.’ He stormed off.
Relsor left the monitor room and made for Knarf’s holding cell.
‘You know,’ he said upon entering, ‘if you all behave well, you might earn yourselves the right to be unbound from stasis and just be imprisoned in these rooms.’
‘That would be more comfortable, yes.’
‘So why do you only want to talk to me?’ asked Relsor, genuinely curious.
‘Well because I respect you,’ replied Knarf matter-of-factly.
‘Well, yeah!’ He made it sound as though it should be obvious. ‘I have no respect for Perce. The man can’t even slice through something I threw up in a few seconds, which should have taken him so much less time to slice through. It was just a small thing to slow you down, really. And then there’s me who can slice through anything he programs. He’s a pretender; I have no respect for people like him. A pretend-slicer and a pretend-Sith! Whereas you, well, you trained me for a time. Sure, I deceived you, but then you deceived me too, so we’re even on that front.’ Relsor nodded slowly, actually agreeing somewhat.
‘Despite the fact that we’re enemies,’ Knarf went on, ‘you were still my master for a time. Our level of deceit is equal: you thought I had turned to the dark side, my illusion for you; I thought I had killed you, your illusion for me. Regardless what else I might think of you, we share a bond that Shadie, Brenum and Trylia don’t have with you, because it’s the bond an apprentice shares with his master, that I as your once apprentice share with you, my once master. You taught me things, important things I will always remember. You can be the worst criminal in the entire galaxy, if you speak truth, who am I to ignore that truth?’
Knarf paused and Relsor pondered his words. Then he concluded.
‘So, it doesn’t matter that we’re not on the same side of the war or that we’re trying to kill each other; I respect you, and that’s that.’
Relsor thought a moment more. This was interesting indeed. He did feel a certain bond with Knarf, one he did not have with the others. He had acknowledged this bond to himself; that Knarf felt the same way pleased him greatly.
‘Do you miss my training?’ he asked.
Knarf contemplated. ‘Sometimes, I must admit,’ he said. ‘Shadie can be, I don’t know, rigid, at times, demanding. And Talyc doesn’t have the Force, despite the Mandalorian training having prepared me for yours. I do appreciate the time I learnt from you, it was very valuable to me.’
‘You know, Knarf, I want to believe you, but you lied to me in the past.’
‘I know, Relsor. But I was lying mostly to Gourd. He was the target of my deception, truly.’
Relsor pondered that. He could still teach Knarf, use him, somehow, if he was willing.
‘What are you saying exactly, Knarf?’
‘I’d like us to set our differences aside and be civil with each other, let bygones be bygones. I’m not saying I’ll be on your side or anything like that, but while I’m here, we might as well enjoy the relationship we have with each other, one of master and apprentice. I’m not asking you to train me, since we’re not on the same side, but I wouldn’t mind if you desired it. Help me better myself through your teachings.’
Relsor let out a one breath laugh and shook his head. ‘Oh, Knarf, I want to believe you, I truly do.’
Relsor stared at Knarf intently. He could have him again as his apprentice. Knarf wouldn’t turn on Shadie, but maybe they could both turn to the dark side. Knarf was craving Relsor’s teachings, which was already a step in the right direction as far as he was concerned, but there was that doubt that Knarf was lying and he could not, nor would not, take any chances.
‘What can I do to prove to you I’m being genuine right now,’ asked Knarf, clearly sensing Relsor’s inner conflict. ‘As long as it doesn’t involve me hurting my friends, I’m willing to do what it takes.’
‘Oh, there is something,’ said Relsor, rubbing his chin. ‘You can tell me, and instruct Perce, how you sliced my uncle’s superlasers to implode on themselves, to shoot inwards and destroy my uncle’s ship.’
‘Planning a test of some sort?’ asked Knarf.
Relsor thought quickly, he could tell Knarf the truth and sense if he was onboard with proving himself or not. He decided to test his former apprentice and sense him through the Force.
‘If you must know, I plan on sending Supreme Chancellor Emain a message, hopefully one that will see his end.’
Perhaps you’ll also enjoy Stardust Destinies I: Variate Facing; fantasy action-adventure taking place in a realm strong with magic where prophecies are dictated by dragons. https://binkyproductions.com/stardustdestinies