Several weeks later.
Brenum sat on the lounge in the Mandalorian bunker, staring at his datapad. Shadie couldn’t help but feel sympathy for her friend. He had sent messages to Trylia’s datapad, hoping she would reply. They had all sent messages, at a few days interval, and had been consistent about it. There had not been any replies.
Brenum sighed and put his head in his hands. Knarf, who sat next to him, put his hand on his shoulder and rubbed gently.
‘Why is it I cannot shake the feeling that something is terribly wrong?’ said Brenum. ‘I’ve meditated, done everything a Jedi should. This is why we’re not supposed to have any attachments. I can’t function like this.’
‘It’s all right, Brenum,’ said Shadie soothingly. ‘Trylia will be fine.’
‘Shadie,’ her blue-haired friend said slowly, ‘it’s been weeks.’ He shook his head. ‘No, it is not all right.’
Shadie looked at the others who shrugged. Mandalore arrived at the bunker. He had been briefed about a potential coup from the Sith, he had previously explained, and that their coup was aimed towards Relsor, but who knew what the full details entailed. Lian had gotten no news from Lord Void since his warnings a few weeks prior, and no one knew when this coup would take place. Mandalore did not want to be caught off-guard perchance the Sith were planning something greater. Shadie had to agree.
Emerick arrived with his clan; Nriwe went and sat next to Lashika. Nriwe had been communicating with Lian when Shadie couldn’t herself, keeping him appraised of the goings-on here on Mandalore. The Republic was also ready in case of any attacks from the Sith.
Talyc shifted, looking about.
‘What is it?’ Shadie asked him.
‘Clan Dargoza hasn’t arrived yet,’ he said. ‘Ever since we returned from the Crypt, they’ve been conveniently off-planet.’ He turned to face her. ‘I have words to exchange with Wapita. I mean, what was he thinking, having his newest recruit spy on us?’
‘You’re still going on about that?’ said Knarf. ‘Forget about Wapita. He can’t hurt us. Just let it go.’
Talyc opened his mouth to say something when in walked Clan Dargoza.
‘Well, well, finally!’ Talyc walked up to Wapita. ‘Can I have a word, Wapita? From one clan leader to another?’ The two walked off to one side.
Vax saluted Shadie and the others. ‘Wapita tells me your clan is well informed. Got yourselves a Sith insider or something?’ He cocked his head in Usharr’s direction. The old Sith Maser walked up to the Rattataki and sized him up and down.
‘The Jedi, like the Sith, never reveal their sources,’ said Usharr.
‘I heard that you were in exile,’ said Vax, ‘so unless you have been reassigned within the Sith Empire, I suspect you have an informant.’
‘And what would a Rattataki bounty hunter know about that?’
Vax narrowed his eyes. ‘You one of those xenophobes, aren’t you?’
Usharr looked around. ‘I aid the Mandalorians, do I not? They are comprised of all sorts of species. Not to mention Captain Zaereg and his companions over there, and I quite enjoy their company.’
Vax looked at Shadie. ‘You shouldn’t trust an exiled Sith master.’
He walked over to join the rest of Clan Dargoza as Mandalore began his debriefing, bringing up battle plans, star charts, and the Mandalorian blockade. Talyc returned and sat next to Usharr. Shadie took a seat between Brenum and Usharr.
‘I do not trust your old friend,’ Usharr whispered to Talyc. The old Sith took out a datapad and began looking things over.
Talyc leaned in closer and whispered: ‘Right now, I don’t know if it’s him I can’t trust or if I can’t trust Wapita. He denies all knowledge of Vax following Fane, Nriwe and me several weeks ago.’
‘One of them is lying,’ said Usharr. ‘And several of us sense deception. Not just…our informant.’
Talyc looked back towards Vax. Fane, who was next to Knarf, leaned over and looked at Shadie, shrugging. Shadie shook her head, pointing at Usharr’s datapad. Fane nodded understanding.
Shadie turned her attention to Mandalore, as Supreme Chancellor Emain came in view via holoscreen.
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