Knarf was looking over his datapad; Shadie was leaning over his shoulder. Fane felt uneasy. He could sense Relsor in the Force, but the True Sith leader was still concealing his Force presence. The only reason Fane could even remotely sense him was because of his connection to him.
Fane glanced at the others in the bunker’s tapcaf. Talyc fidgeted, he looked stern. He sat across the table and had not moved when Fane, Shadie and Knarf had arrived. The rest of Clan Kandera was sitting around the table, chatting, or looking as uneasy as Fane felt. Master Usharr was a little farther away, telling old tales from his younger days to the gang of pirates.
‘Another clanmate was found dead,’ said Knarf, still looking at his datapad, ‘smoke rising from his body and with lightsaber cauterisations.’
Talyc shook his head. ‘This is clearly Relsor and Perce,’ he said. ‘It feels unsafe. Relsor and Perce and Jassahmi are on Mandalore and my home feels unsafe. It was safer on Tython.’
‘It was safer when he had us as his prisoners,’ said Shadie, ‘but it doesn’t change that the entire galaxy is at risk.’
‘Yeah, but he wouldn’t be on Mandalore if you weren’t here,’ said Talyc. ‘Mandalorians wouldn’t be dying if it weren’t for you. Though I’m still not so sure Relsor is behind all this.’
‘What does that mean?’ snapped Shadie.
‘I think you know what it means,’ said Talyc. ‘I still think one of you did it.’
‘I think it changes nothing,’ said Nriwe. ‘Relsor goes where he feels he can have the most control. He’s not following Shadie.’
‘Maybe not, but the reason I was captured and tortured, the reason we’ve lost so many clanmates and fellow Mandalorians, the reason Relsor and Perce are here, is because of the Jedi. They are to blame for Kelbourn’s death!’
Knarf breathed out a calculated breath that sounded more like an “oh”.
Fane’s heart sank further. Talyc still wasn’t himself, even after finding no evidence to prove his theories, but these were his words, and he knew Talyc was not possessed.
‘You’re being influenced by Relsor’s malady,’ said Fane. ‘Talyc–’
‘Don’t start, Fane. One of the main reasons everything that is ill that has befallen me is our relationship.’ That hurt. It hurt like a fresh wound every time Talyc mentioned it, and Fane was willing to bet Talyc knew it too.
Everyone fidgeted as though they had felt it.
‘He doesn’t mean it,’ said Nriwe in an apologetic tone.
‘Yes, I do,’ Talyc retorted.
An awkward silence fell, and many from the clan looked at Talyc in shock.
‘What are you implying?’ said Fane, clenching his jaw tightly.
‘You, Fane, are the malady in my life.’ There, Talyc had said the worst, it hurt more than any of the other jabs he’d said. ‘I think you should leave. Then Relsor would go with you and leave the rest of us alone.’
‘You want me to leave you alone?’
‘I think that would be best, yes.’ Talyc leaned forward on the table and, through clenched teeth, spoke slowly and menacingly. ‘I want you gone.’
Fane stood abruptly and stalked off.
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