Warning: The following chapter contains mature subject matter, which may be triggering to some readers. Reading discretion is advised.
Fane knelt in meditation, focusing on the malady in the Force to which Lian had guided him. He felt Talyc’s hand on his thigh. He had asked him to keep constant contact, that way, should he begin to lose control, he would have something tangible to bring him back to the current place and moment, just like the last time.
Fane concentrated on Relsor and simply on being present and listening. In the Force, Relsor was creating something, and Lian was touching it, Fane was within it and experiencing it. Fane could not pick up Relsor’s thoughts as he was hoping he would, but he could pick up the sounds around. He could also see.
Relsor was walking through the halls, as far as Fane could tell, towards rooms that looked like holding cells.
‘Is everything set in place?’ he heard Relsor’s voice ask.
‘As set in place as it can be at this stage,’ replied Perce.
‘Good. And how is my apprentice?’
‘Sitting in his cell, comfortably,’ said Perce. ‘Are you sure it’s wise to let him run around loose after he’s supposedly proven himself?’
‘It won’t be all the time, he knows the conditions of our relationship, but yes, I am confident. And you know what will make this day even better, Perce?’ Relsor looked at Perce who creased his brow. ‘Setting other parts of my plan in motion.’
Fane suddenly felt ill from something he could not explain. His stomach lurched inside him. He felt Talyc’s hand caress his thigh, as though to soothe him; he figured he must be making a face of some sort for Talyc to recognise his need for soothing.
Fane momentarily distanced himself, then dove back into the folds of the Force surrounding Relsor. He was back inside of him. He could feel his eagerness. He pushed further, determined to enter the Chiss Sith’s mind once more. He did not wish to push too far, but he wanted to test his capacity to hold his presence inside Relsor’s head.
* * *
Relsor entered Brenum’s holding cell. The Jedi looked at him defiantly. He smiled back at him and sent him lightning.
He growled in pain, balling his hands into fists. ‘What do you want from me?’ he asked.
‘From you? Right now, nothing. But perhaps later I may kill you.’
‘Don’t you dare touch her! Don’t you dare even lay one finger on her!’
‘Watch me! Wait, yes, maybe I will let you watch.’
Relsor felt pleasure fill his insides, a pleasure of torturous dark side emotions and excitement at the prospect of stealing away the Togruta Jedi from this blue haired human. Relsor motioned the Sith guards. They held Brenum in place as they deactivated the dark energy holding him in stasis. He had taught many of his Sith followers the secrets regarding how to hold another being in place with the Force, though none were as powerful as him. As when his uncle had used them to hold the Jedi on Coruscant in place when Gourd attacked the Temple, Relsor’s Sith needed to be numerous to achieve what he could do alone. But it would allow him to move freely without focusing on Brenum whilst visiting Trylia in her cell.
* * *
Fane opened his eyes and found himself lying on his back.
‘How did I get here?’ Both Talyc and Lian furrowed their brows. ‘I mean, in this position?’
‘You started gagging as though you were going to be sick and then you rolled over,’ said Talyc.
Fane nodded. ‘He has a sick mind. I was able to push further and enter his mind without taking command. I was within him, listening.’
‘So what’s he up to?’
Fane felt disdain and he was certain his face showed it. ‘Well, the good news is Knarf seems to be Relsor’s apprentice and things seem to be in place.’ Lian nodded, taking his datapad and taking note. ‘As for what I felt, Relsor wants to try to seduce Trylia and he was sending lightning towards Brenum. I started losing my hold after that. Relsor told Brenum he might kill him and I felt his sincerity. He is considering killing Brenum. I let go right after that, but I could still feel Relsor in the Force, impressions. I think he wanted Brenum to see something. I wish I could gather his thoughts in my mind and know more.’
‘Will that help you to feel better?’ asked Lian. Fane shook his head. ‘One step at a time, Fane. If we’re to utilise this ability, we must take our time, never push too far, otherwise he may detect us and hurt us gravely.’
Talyc rubbed Fane’s back. ‘You look pale, my man.’ Fane closed his eyes. ‘I’m sure Brenum will be fine. He’s got the power of the Crypt; if he has to, he’ll use it.’
‘I hope you’re right.’
* * *
Relsor entered the room in a hurry; there were Sith behind him carrying Brenum in a simile Force stasis. Trylia was shocked to see Brenum so vulnerable. Relsor looked at him.
‘You do not tell me what to do, Jedi,’ he said to him. Relsor sent lightning towards Brenum, who shouted out in pain. Relsor kept sending the lightning as he turned his head to look at Trylia.
She could feel Relsor’s anger and it was overwhelming. She could feel his twisted desire for her. She could also feel how he wanted to torture and kill Brenum. She would not let that happen. She didn’t know how, but she would ensure that Brenum was unhurt and that Relsor left him alone. What Relsor had previously told her still echoed in her mind and she didn’t like what she was considering, but she knew it was her only option.
‘Don’t hurt him, Relsor,’ she said. ‘I don’t want to see him suffer. I don’t like knowing that he’s suffering. Please, I don’t want him to suffer at all.’
‘Oh, I’ve not come to hurt him in front of you, my dear,’ said Relsor, ‘I’ve only brought him so he could see me when I speak with you.’
Relsor came close and seemed to smell her. He breathed in and exhaled loudly. He put two fingers on her face.
‘Such beauty, such a colour, such perfection.’
‘Don’t touch her!’ cried Brenum.
Trylia looked at Brenum as Relsor began caressing her lekku. She tried to reassure him just by looking at the man who had once saved her life. She had somehow known then that she loved him, despite her Jedi teachings. Brenum had quickly become a prominent Jedi himself and she had not had the chance to repay him for saving her life.
‘Stop!’ shouted Brenum. ‘Relsor! Do what you want to me, but don’t lay another hand on her.’
Relsor whirled his head on Brenum. ‘Careful, Jedi, or I might kill you next time you protest.’ Relsor turned to Trylia. ‘I won’t make him suffer, as you request; it will be a swift death.’ Brenum growled an inaudable response.
Trylia thought quickly; she would save Brenum’s life now.
‘Don’t touch her!’ Brenum shouted again.
Relsor, in response, put a hand on Trylia’s waistline, caressing her belly, as though trying to seduce her. That’s when she knew for sure what she needed to do, for every time Brenum called out, Relsor did more.
‘Stop!’ she shouted. ‘Both of you!’ Brenum looked at her in wonderment. She made her eyes go big for one moment, hoping he would understand. Relsor paused and backed away from her. ‘It seems you are being challenged, Brenum. As is tradition among Togruta, seeing as we are not bound by ceremony, I must accept that a man challenge my current partner. But whatever you are trying to achieve, Relsor, torturing Brenum, hurting him, or killing him, is not the way. If you are to do this, you will do it properly. You will do this my way, or there will be no chance whatsoever for you to best your competitor, and if you eliminate him, then you eliminate any chances of being the victor. Do you understand?’
Relsor’s face was one of astonishment and awe. Trylia could feel pride permeate from him, admiration, and a bit of embarrassment at the same time. Perhaps she could control him, perhaps Relsor would pretend she was in control, but as long as that was the illusion that existed here, then she would maintain it, if it meant saving Brenum’s life.
‘Very well,’ Relsor said at last, the dryness in his tone letting Trylia know he was still angry but willing to consider her proposition.
‘Then leave and cool off. Come back and speak to me when you have calmed down. Seeing as Brenum is my current partner, I need to have a word with him in private. Let him go from your hold, and give us a few minutes.’
Relsor thought about it, she could tell, trying to figure out what secrets they might share, what plans they might concoct, no doubt. However, Relsor was a calculated man and Trylia knew her words weighed heavily on determining his next move. Finally, he nodded.
‘Let him go,’ he told his Sith. ‘You have one minute.’
Brenum fell to the ground, landing in a crouch, catching himself and placing his hands flat on the floor. Relsor and his Sith left. Brenum walked to Trylia, who remained in stasis, and placed a warm hand on her face.
‘I don’t want him touching you, I don’t want to think you could ever consider him…’
‘I don’t!’ she whispered firmly. ‘But I need you alive. If this will save your life, then I will do what I must, but I promise I will not betray you. I will not kiss him, I will not let him do anything that I don’t want or don’t think is necessary. I promise to stay true to our love and to the commitment we made to each other.’
Brenum closed his eyes. ‘If I had it my way, you wouldn’t even be doing this. I know that this is a ruse and what you told him was mostly false…’
‘Then trust in our love,’ said Trylia. ‘Promise me that.’ Brenum’s eyes were pleading. ‘You saved my life once, let me save yours.’
Brenum clenched his jaw tightly. ‘Don’t let him touch you, I…can’t…’ He shook his head. ‘Shadie and Knarf would never deceive each other like that.’
‘I’m not deceiving you, I’m not hiding it from you,’ said Trylia quickly. ‘I’m saving your life. He wants to kill you; can’t you feel it from him? I love you, Brenum. I will not let him touch me, not like that, if that’s what you want. And Shadie and Knarf have done crazy things to save each other in the past, without even letting the other know about it.’
‘I know. I’m not accusing you, I just… This is crazy! Trylia, I love you. I hate this.’
‘I know. I’m sorry. If I can find a way to keep you alive without…’
She was interrupted when the door opened and Relsor came back in, lifting Brenum with the Force and immobilising him. He looked at Trylia.
‘I will return.’
He left with Brenum and the door closed. Trylia sighed. This was not the most Jedi-like strategy to save someone’s life, but she knew that right now, it was the only way to keep Brenum alive. She had felt it from Relsor. She hoped that Shadie would find out what Relsor wanted her for soon so that they could get out of here as soon as possible. Perhaps Trylia could negotiate being out of stasis and in more comfortable cells. That would make communicating with the others through the Force a lot easier. Her stomach lurched; the thought of it made her uneasy, but her love for Brenum fuelled her with the determination to ensure that he lived no matter what. She reminded herself that she had the power of the Crypt, shared with the others. She reached out to Brenum to reassure him, she felt him return the touch through the Force. She would not do this if he was not okay with it. She sensed his emotions, his understanding, his fear, and his okay.
* * *
Once the Jedi called Brenum was secured back in his cell, Awgro was dismissed. He returned to the empty barracks; he was alone, finally alone. He had needed much time to heal and it had puzzled him greatly that Shadie had actually saved his life. She had healed him partly and had let him go. He still couldn’t understand why exactly. Perhaps it was a sign in the Force that he was meant to achieve his goal, especially considering what he had learnt recently. However, that mattered little for the moment. Shadie had given him a message to send to the Dark Council, and as it happened, his master was a member of the Dark Council. In fact, Awgro had been appointed as one of the Sith to defer to Darth Relsor in order to report back to the Dark Council every chance he got. He didn’t get many.
He took out his comlink, set it to audio only.
‘Master, I have news.’
‘Shadie, Knarf, Brenum and Trylia have been captured by Relsor. Her apprentice escaped with the Mandalorian captive. Now Relsor wishes to kill the Republic Supreme Chancellor.’
‘There’s more.’ Usually, their chances to speak were short, but he had to tell him of Shadie’s actions. ‘Relsor sent us to intercept Shadie. All except me died at her hands. He deliberately sent us. None of his Sith, none of Kromus’s Sith, only the Empire’s Sith. Is that the fair actions of a Sith lord who wishes to rule over a sub-faction who is supposed to be our ally, to squander our lives like that?’ Awgro felt his own excitement rise. Right now, Shadie’s goals, his master’s goals, aligned with his goals. Their goals would help push his further.
‘I did not send you on this mission to question our alliance,’ his master replied. ‘I asked for reports. Now, tell me, how did you survive?’
‘Shadie. She saw I was not dead. She asked me who I served. When she found out I was from the Empire, she healed me and told me to tell the Dark Council that she has no qualms against the Empire, her words exactly. Her enemy is Relsor, not us; she had not known the Sith she was killing were the Empire’s.’
‘Interesting. Monitor her behaviour. Report back when you have found out more.’
‘As you command, my Master.’
* * *
Josur entered the shuttle and looked around. Supreme Chancellor Emain waved at him from his seat. The Jedi approached, recognition on his face. Emain had dressed in a disguise that made him look a bit alien. Eight-Oh was in Emain’s office, with his holoskin generator activated, so he looked as though he was truly him.
‘You have everything you need?’ asked Josur.
‘Everything I’ll need until I reveal to the Senate that I’m still alive,’ replied Emain.
Josur nodded, his neutral face giving away no emotions. Emain on the other hand felt rather excited. He had informed the Jedi Grand Master of the message he had received from Jedi Lian and Fane. The Grand Master, on top of Josur and a select few on Tython, were the only other ones who knew Emain would survive and that the droid was in fact posing as him. Master Herl’unik had promised to bring him the droid after their plan was in effect.
Emain did not like having to deceive the Republic like this, but it was necessary. He trusted Jedi Shadie and her friends; after all, they had saved his life, somewhat, and saved his Republic.
‘Don’t worry, Supreme Chancellor,’ said Josur, ‘we’ll be in good company.’
‘Oh, I have no doubt. I can’t wait for Shadie to escape her captivity so I can reveal myself to the galaxy, and wipe that smug smirk off Perce’s face.’
‘Hold your throntos, Relsor’s shuttle hasn’t even arrived yet. Let’s let them think you’re dead first, then we can worry about when and how to see his face when you finally reveal yourself as being alive.’ Josur smiled.
Emain laughed. ‘All right, then. Take us away. To Tython we go.’
“Healers of the Force” is written by Celinka Serre (2021).
Disclaimer: The Characters in this Fan-Fiction are new and have original names. The story is an original written work. The story is derivative and consistent of Fan-Fiction since it borrows the franchise world of Star Wars. Certain jargon and places, or concepts mentioned, along with the SW Old Republic universe belong to Lucasfilm Ltd. and Disney. No characters or story lines from the films are used. No story lines or characters from the games or books are used. A handful of characters from the games may be referenced, but are not the main focus in this fanfic story. This fan-fiction story falls under Fair Use.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.