A few days later.
Fane sat in the Jedi bunker by the communications console, writing his report. He kept looking over his shoulder at Talyc who had been unconscious for a few days now. Lian sat beside Talyc, his hands placed on his forehead.
‘He is only in a healing trance, which I induced,’ said Lian in a comforting tone. ‘He will awake when his body is ready; it is a light trance.’
Fane nodded and turned back to the console. After a few more moments, he couldn’t help but turn his attention back to Talyc.
Lian took a deep centering breath and placed his hands in his lap, then stood. ‘I require rest myself. Such extensive healing work is draining.’
‘You’ve done a lot, Lian. Thank you.’
‘My father taught me everything he knew before he met his end,’ said Lian. ‘It’s putting it all into practice that seems more difficult, even if I have additional abilities.’
‘Your father would be proud of you,’ said Fane. ‘I mean, look at us, friends.’
‘Indeed, we are,’ said Lian. ‘You should get some rest too.’
‘Now you sound like your father.’
‘I’m a Kloh, and we’re healers.’ Lian smiled and left the bunker.
Fane observed Talyc for a few moments. His chest rose up as he breathed, his face was calm, not contorted with pain as when Fane had found him. Fane turned back to the console. It chimed, startling him. He took the holocall. The image of Supreme Chancellor Emain appeared; he looked quite eager.
‘Hello, Jedi Fane,’ he said. ‘I hope I’m not disturbing you?’
‘Not at all,’ replied Fane.
‘Excellent. I have great news! I’ve just watched the recordings from the battle following your rescue mission, which took forever to render, and it’s confirmed: Relsor does indeed possess the same superlasers as Darth Gourd did.’
‘And that’s good news?’ asked Fane.
‘Well, yes! It confirms that his threats were real. What is it, there is knowledge?’ He smiled. ‘It also justifies a temporary alliance with Mandalore without any diplomats and senators objecting too much, which makes my job a whole lot easier.’ He chuckled. ‘The holocams aboard the ships also captured images of where the turbolasers are located on the ship. The starfighters caught that quite well for us. I have my team looking over each clip, scrutinising every detail. We will find the flaw and we will exploit it.’
‘It’s a shame about all those ships, though,’ said Fane, feeing guilty. ‘When you told me you’d follow my latest coordinates before Relsor could leave the area, I had no idea you’d have such a massive fleet.’
‘Nonsense! Relsor did me a favour. Those ships were derelict. Most of them were incomplete, obsolete, old, or on their way to the scrap yard. Relsor just saved me a bundle of credits by destroying them. The only damage was to the holocams and the droids.’ His smiled grew wider. ‘Thankfully, we had the technology to capture the holorecordings on our end before the cams were destroyed, despite the processing time, and well, I was prepared to lose those few droids I had placed on the flagship and in the starfighters. But no one died, because no one was there. Good thing for autopilot.’ Fane smiled, nodding. Emain went on. ‘The ships fired so quickly that Relsor had no time to react. I wanted to test him, see what he’d do. If he didn’t have the superlasers, then the droids knew to back off so that your friends would remain unharmed. Relsor reacted exactly as I had deduced he would, turning to his superlasers to obliterate the fleet.’
‘I suppose this is better than other options,’ said Fane. ‘No being has lost their life and Relsor didn’t detect that the ships were not from a real fleet. He didn’t sense the lack of lifeforms.’
‘Precisely!’ The Supreme Chancellor paused. ‘How is Clan Leader Talyc?’
‘Still in deep sleep,’ said Fane. ‘Lian assures me he’s healing, resting, but I worry.’
‘As is normal,’ said Emain, reassuringly. ‘Well, I have work to get to. Do let me know when he awakes. I hope he will be better soon.’
‘Thank you, Supreme Chancellor. I appreciate that.’
‘My pleasure.’ The Supreme Chancellor chimed off. Fane sighed.
He heard Talyc moan. Fane turned around, his heart racing. Talyc began to sway his head this way and that. His moaning grew louder. Fane stood and quickly walked over to him, taking his hand. He sat at the edge of the bed, calming his own nerves so that he could help Talyc as best he could.
‘No, no, this isn’t real, it can’t be!’
‘Talyc?’ said Fane. He put a hand on Talyc’s forehead.
Talyc screamed a horrendous scream and sat up in one abrupt move. He looked at Fane intensely. He shook his head.
‘No, you won’t mess with my head!’
‘Talyc, no one’s messing with your head. It’s okay, I’m here.’
‘You’re not real!’
‘I am!’ Fane took Talyc’s face in his hands. ‘Talyc, look at me.’ He did as Knarf had suggested, as Knarf said he would do back when Shadie still had dark side episodes of intense fear. ‘Talyc, it’s me, your man. I’m here, and you’re safe.’
Talyc looked around. ‘Where am I?’
‘You’re on Tython,’ Fane said reassuringly.
‘You’re real? The rescue, that was real?’
‘Yes! And me telling you I loved you was real too.’
Talyc’s eyes softened and Fane saw the tears swell in his eyes. Talyc took hold of Fane and let himself fall into his arms. Fane held him, cradled him, caressing his head, as Talyc wept. After a long moment passed, the Mandalorian lifted his head, wiping his eyes, and looked at Fane. He kissed him and then wrapped his arms around him again.
‘You’re all right,’ said Fane. ‘You’re safe.’
‘I…I…was so scared it had all been an illusion.’
Fane looked Talyc in the eyes. ‘I don’t know what Relsor did to you, but Lian has not left your side since we got here, nor have I, and together we’re going to heal you.’
‘But the others, they’re captured. I remember Shadie saying something about a plan, but I don’t understand.’
Fane smiled. ‘We went to the Crypt. It’s a secret, Relsor has no idea, but Shadie is the Lady of the Crypt, and the rest of us, Brenum, Trylia, Knarf and I, have the power of the Crypt.’
‘So, Shadie can leave whenever she wants?’ asked Talyc.
‘Pretty much. She wants to learn as many of Relsor’s secrets and exploit him as much as possible beforehand.’
‘You lot are so barvy,’ said Talyc. Fane laughed. ‘You’re such barvy barves. And Bes’laar, Knarf, he’s going to be okay, right?’
‘Don’t worry,’ said Fane. ‘Our clan brother’s going to be just fine, and so will the others.’ Talyc sighed. ‘Are you able to walk?’ Talyc nodded. ‘Are you hungry?’ Talyc shrugged. ‘The Jedi have established a nice little despot for food and drink, not quite a canteen, but they have some pretty delicious snacks and meals, and I could use some food right now.’
‘I don’t care where we go or what we do, right now,’ said Talyc, ‘just don’t leave my side.’
‘I’m not going anywhere.’ Fane took Talyc’s hand. ‘I promise.’
* * *
When Lian returned to the bunker, he walked to the room Fane and Talyc shared and saw Fane holding the Mandalorian in his arms.
‘Talyc is awake!’ said Lian. He was glad to see his friend had awoken. ‘Should I come back at a better time?’ Fane and Talyc looked like they were having a private moment, Lian didn’t want to intrude if that was the case.
‘You can stay,’ said Fane.
Talyc looked like he had been crying. Lian walked up to him and put his hand on the Mandalorian’s forehead.
‘You feel well,’ he said.
‘Is that a question?’ asked Talyc.
‘I mean to say your body temperature is normal and you look well too.’
‘Fane tells me you’ve been healing me through the Force with your abilities. Thank you.’
Lian smiled tenderly. ‘I’m happy to see you awake. Now this one can stop fretting over you so much.’ Fane blushed. Talyc laughed. ‘I’ve been speaking with my grandfather who’s on Ryloth. He reckons some fresh air will do you some good.’
‘Does he now?’ said Talyc, a bit of his usual humour in his voice.
‘Take it easy, though. Have you stood, since you’ve awoken? Have you eaten?’
Talyc shook his head. Fane and Lian helped him up. He seemed a bit shaky but was able to steady himself.
‘You need to rebuild your strength,’ said Lian. ‘That dark side stasis Relsor had you in put a strain on your physical body, as well as on your mind.’
Fane winced and put a hand to his head. ‘Speaking of minds.’
‘Are you all right?’ asked Talyc.
Fane nodded. ‘It’s just these blasted head aches I’ve been getting,’ he said. ‘They’re really intense. They come and go, but stang!’ He rubbed his head.
‘I can sympathise,’ said Talyc. ‘That stasis gave me headaches too. It felt like my head was going to explode. Of course it didn’t. Then again, Relsor could have made me believe it had.’
Fane winced again. ‘Blast it! It’s more intense today than any other day.’
Talyc furrowed his brow. ‘Fane, when did these head aches start?’ Lian observed the Mandalorian’s pensive expression.
‘I’m not sure exactly, I’ve been getting them on and off for quite some time, but they’ve been more frequent since we rescued you.’
‘You know that connection you had to Darth Gourd?’ said Talyc. ‘When you were in his mind and dreaming of his potential future, can you remember the circumstances surrounding those moments?’
‘What does that have to do with my head aches?’ asked Fane. ‘Gourd’s long dead.’
‘I think I get where Talyc’s going with this,’ said Lian. ‘Smart man.’
‘They didn’t make me a clan leader for nothing,’ said Talyc. He turned to Fane again. ‘So?’
‘Uh, well,’ started the Jedi, ‘Gourd was looking for Relsor and then planning for his rescue, and planning to attack Mandalore.’
‘And the last time?’ said Talyc. ‘Was it when we knew Relsor was still alive, before he killed his uncle?’
Fane thought for a moment. ‘Relsor was planning on killing his uncle and discovering that he couldn’t create illusions all of a sudden, because of Lian.’
‘What do those moments have in common?’ asked Talyc.
‘Talyc, what are you implying?’ asked Fane, looking confused.
‘I don’t think you had a connection to Gourd,’ said Talyc. ‘I think your connection might be to Relsor.’
‘What? How?’ Fane looked shocked and confused.
‘Every time you were in Gourd’s mind, Relsor was creating an illusion or a malady or trying to. And just now, Lian mentioned Relsor, and I mentioned the stasis torture, and then your headache erupts. I may have been out of it a few days, but I still have my wits about me.’ Talyc tapped his head with his finger.
‘Talyc has a point,’ said Lian, ‘though I believe your connection is more to the Force surrounding Relsor than to the Chiss himself.’ Fane scowled at both of them. ‘Similarly to how I am able to detect and divert Relsor’s illusions and Force attacks, perhaps you can connect to a portion of the malady that surrounds him or that he creates. In the past days, you’ve experienced intense pain in your head. Since Darth Gourd is no longer there as an outlet for you to easily connect to and see the Force around Relsor’s malady, your mind has nowhere to go, thus creating the head aches. If you can connect to Relsor somehow, then the head aches may stop.’
‘They were rarer before,’ admitted Fane. ‘They got more intense ever since we’ve been to the Crypt.’
‘Talyc,’ said Lian, ‘as much as he will be healed soon enough, right now carries part of Relsor’s malady with him. When he connects to a memory in his mind, the Force around him changes to a fluctuation similar to one of Relsor’s direct attacks. You detect that. The power of the Crypt gives you the ability to feel it more strongly, let alone feel it to begin with.’ Lian paused. ‘Your connection to Gourd gave you head aches, correct?’
‘Minimally.’ Fane shrugged. ‘Okay, so how does that solve my problem and why do I have this connection? Why did I have a connection to Darth Gourd in the first place, I never understood? And why would I have a connection to Relsor?’ Fane began to pace to and fro. His expression grew grim. ‘I have no relation to that Chiss whatsoever, there is no reason why the Force would…’ His face became sombre and his lips pressed into a line.
‘What is it? Fane?’ Talyc looked worried.
‘Lian told me that he understood that his destiny was not to defeat Relsor because he was only meant to heal the Force. Someone else is destined to defeat him, to kill him.’
Talyc looked like his heart had just sunk under the ground. He shook his head. ‘You can’t take him on. He’ll destroy you!’
‘Will he though? He’s no longer Master of the Crypt. Talyc,’ Fane took both of Talyc’s hands in his, ‘if I’m meant to defeat Relsor, I’m not ready to do it yet. I will ensure that I am fully ready so that I don’t fail. I’m not going to leave your side just to try it out. I need answers in the Force first. Maybe this is my destiny, maybe it isn’t, the Force will guide me and lead me to the answer.’
Lian began to back away, wanting to leave them to their privacy. While he shared the bunker with them, he did have his own room, which allowed for some privacy. If they needed to talk things through, as couples usually did, Lian was not going to intrude.
‘Lian!’ Talyc called out. ‘You can help.’ Lian walked back to them. ‘You can do something, no? Help Fane figure this out. Help the head aches stop?’ Talyc looked down. ‘I know better than to hope Fane is not meant to defeat Relsor. All the evidence points there.’
Lian thought for a moment. ‘I can perhaps find Relsor in the Force through the malady he creates. That would allow Fane to connect with him.’ He turned to Fane. ‘Your powers are stronger now, now that Shadie is Master of the Crypt and you share her power. That might allow you to control such a connection. I can guide you to connect to him; perhaps you may be able to enter a bubble of the Force of the malady he creates. With any luck, you may even be able to connect directly to him.’
Fane nodded, then right away shook his head. ‘Well, if I’m meant for this, I need to find out.’
* * *
Fane walked to the lounge that lay in the common area of the bunker. He sat down; he looked up at Talyc. He felt grave, heavy, he didn’t want this to be his destiny, yet somehow he knew it was. When the Force had called out to him and he had felt his purpose in the Force, it was when they were going to fight Relsor on Tython. His purpose in the Force, the light side calling out to him, his reason for being, was to defeat Relsor, he just knew it. He had trouble understanding the notions they had just discussed, that Darth Gourd was just the vehicle of Relsor’s malady to which Fane had attached himself, but the Force had tried to show him then, and the Force kept trying to show him through various means. If he could connect to Relsor through the Force and be in his mind like he’d been in Gourd’s, then he knew Lian would be right, that his connection was to the malady in the Force, and if that were the case, then he’d know he was truly meant to defeat the Chiss Sith.
Talyc took his hand and sat next to him. Lian sat on a chair across from him. The Twi’lek closed his eyes.
‘I’m going to create a healing trance into which I will take you,’ he said. ‘I will not see what you see or feel what you feel; I will find a malady and guide you. You will have to do the rest.’
‘Do you know what you’ll do?’ asked Talyc.
Fane shook his head. ‘The Force will guide me, as it always has.’ Talyc nodded, looking worried. It was a lot to take in for Fane; he could only imagine how it felt for Talyc who’d been awake only a few hours since his rescue.
Fane closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He let Lian guide him into a healing trance in the Force. He felt the Twi’lek’s hands on his head. Talyc kept on holding his hand; Fane was glad. If he needed to come back to his reality quickly, then Talyc would be his guide.
Fane could see the Force as though it were made up of many clouds, and he could feel it pulsing with the light side. He and Lian found a malady. Fane could not see it per se, but he could feel it; he could sense Relsor’s essence. He reached out to it, connected to it, felt it and let it become him.
He gasped. He was standing in a large corridor, it was Relsor’s ship, he recognised it. Perce was talking. Relsor replied, though Fane could not make out the words. He could not connect in the same way he had with Gourd; he would have to practice in order to be fully present in Relsor’s mind. Reflexively he looked down and saw the Chiss’s blue hands. Relsor stopped talking. Fane looked up at Perce. Fane froze there for a brief moment, then he lifted up a hand, Relsor’s hand.
* * *
Fane squeezed Talyc’s hand so hard, he felt his knuckles crack. Talyc tugged gently in surprise and Fane opened his eyes and fell off the lounge.
‘Fane, my man.’ Talyc caught Fane with his free hand to soften his fall. ‘It’s okay. You can let go of my hand though, or loosen your grip?’
Fane looked at Talyc, then his hand. ‘Oh, sorry.’ Fane looked pale. ‘I was there, I was him.’
‘What did you see?’ asked Lian.
‘Relsor was speaking with Perce. I couldn’t make out their words, but I was him.’
‘Like with Gourd?’ said Talyc.
‘No.’ Fane shook his head. ‘I was him. In the present moment. I moved his hand.’
Talyc let that sink into his mind. ‘You can speak with the others, with Shadie and Knarf, you can find out things, you can let them know what’s going on!’ Talyc felt his excitement escalate, as did his dread.
‘Let’s not jump the laser pistol; I still need to practice this…new…power…ability. I don’t know.’ Fane sighed. ‘I know what this means though.’
Talyc nodded, his heart heavy. ‘So do I.’
There was an awkward silence and Talyc didn’t know what to say. Lian broke the silence.
‘So shall we to that walk? I think we could all use some clearing of the mind. And food.’
* * *
Relsor looked at his hand, he didn’t remember bringing it up.
‘Sorry Perce,’ said Relsor, ‘I blanked out.’ Perce scowled. ‘I think our Jedi friend Lian is trying to find me in the Force.’
‘His Force slicing, his healing of the Force.’ There was disdain in Perce’s voice. The human Sith laughed humourlessly. ‘If he thinks he can heal you, he can think again.’
Relsor laughed as well. ‘We have the power of the Crypt, Perce. Whatever that Jedi tries, he’s not going to succeed. I’m going to destroy him, I can feel it. Do let me know if I blank out again, it might be our way to detect him in the Force.’
‘Oh, I get it,’ said Perce nodding. Relsor could sense his friend’s understanding. ‘Don’t let him outsmart you like I let Knarf outsmart me, though. Just a warning.’
Relsor smiled. ‘No, but if he finds me again, I’ll find him and send all the power of the dark side I can muster and infect him with it.’
“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.