Warning: The following chapter contains mature subject matter, which may be triggering to some readers. Reading discretion is advised.
Relsor relished in the scene he had just witnessed, and was entertained. As the Jedi had said, it was far from over, and Relsor had no intention of allowing it to be over either. He looked to one of the acolytes who stood nearby. The human looked barely fit to be back on duty.
‘You there, what’s your name?’
‘Do me a favour, it will be easy for one such as yourself, and go fetch Jedi Brenum’s lightsabers from his cell. They are in stasis. You are adept with Force energy or lightning, are you not?’
Relsor could feel the Sith’s rage permeate as he rolled his eyes. Good, an aggravated Sith could prove useful against the Jedi. The Sith began to walk past him.
‘You see, Shadie, even you cannot kill all the Sith in this galaxy. Evidently this weak and undertrained acolyte from the Empire survived injuries that were caused by you. I thought you would be more powerful than that.’
‘That’s right, Shadie,’ said Awgro, ‘you failed to kill me, and the Dark Council will relish in knowing how that transpired, how I managed to survive.’
‘Yes, yes,’ said Perce, ‘but the Dark Council won’t train you the way we will. Now step to it, Sith.’
‘It will be my greatest honour to learn from you both.’ The acolyte bowed politely and then hurriedly left the room.
‘Why do you speak to him with such disrespect?’ said Shadie. ‘He is Sith, no?’
‘He’s from the Empire, your former Empire. He deserves as little respect as the Empire itself. You Jedi on the other hand, though I hate to admit it, deserve much more.’
‘I’m glad this humours you,’ said Brenum, ‘but I fail to see what you or that Sith have anything to do with what has just happened.’
‘Everything, you see,’ said Relsor, standing. Awgro returned with the lightsabers and handed them to Brenum. ‘Knarf, please explain to us what you did.’
Knarf looked at Shadie, then at Brenum and Trylia. ‘I sliced into the Republic’s security mainframe for the holocams. I also programmed the superlasers to detonate as though they were one superlaser, as opposed to several.’ Perce cleared his throat. ‘Sorry, I instructed Perce on how to do it. I ensured that what we saw happen today would be possible. And it was, and it has happened.’ There was coldness in his voice.
Awgro returned and handed Brenum his lightsabers.
‘This is why you brought me my lightsabers,’ said Brenum, looking at his weapons, then back at Relsor. ‘You want me to fight him.’ Relsor nodded to Brenum, who brought up his arm, holding his unpowered weapon and pointing it at Knarf. ‘You want a fight, Relsor? You need not ask. I have every reason to fight Knarf right now and make him pay for his treacherous crime and betrayal.’
Igniting one lightsaber, Brenum swung at Knarf, who ducked and reignited his weapon. Blue and orange clashed, as the yellow blade came to life and sliced through the air, arcing upwards and around towards Knarf, who blocked that one as well.
‘I should have worn my beskar armour! Next time I duel him, Master, I should very much like to wear it and show him how his feeble attempts to hurt me will fail to penetrate the armour. I should very much like to show you my tricks. I have a thing I do with the armour that allows me to attack in ways no Jedi or Sith can, and seeing as I have the Force and a lightsaber, it allows me to manoeuvre in ways no Mandalorian can.’
‘That sounds very impressive, Knarf,’ said Relsor. ‘Perhaps next time, then.’
‘How can you so casually plan your next fight while you’re fighting now?’ cried Trylia.
‘Because he’s betrayed us, my sweet,’ said Brenum.
‘Stop it, both of you, this is ridiculous!’ Trylia shouted in shrill panic.
‘No, continue, keep fighting!’ Relsor snapped back at the Jedi.
Trylia lifted her arms, as wind began to whirl within the room, then as suddenly it stopped and Shadie was pulling Trylia away and into a corridor. Relsor scowled and looked at Perce; he motioned with his head and Perce stood, hurrying towards where the ladies had gone. Relsor stayed to watch the fight that ensued between the two men, but was ready to follow Perce if necessary. Jassahmi sat silent, ponderous, and Relsor wished she would just leave.
* * *
Shadie shoved Trylia into the nearest room and used the Force to hold the door shut as Perce came about trying to open it behind them.
‘Trylia, you have to pull yourself together,’ Shadie whispered. ‘It’s an act.’
Trylia was heaving and sobbing. ‘Oh, Shadie, Brenum thinks Knarf betrayed us. I trust you and your words, but…’ She sobbed heavily. ‘And now I’m going to betray him too.’
‘What are you on about?’
‘Relsor,’ whispered Trylia. ‘The only way to save Brenum and prevent Relsor from killing him is to let him think I will consider taking him as my new lover. I hate to do it, Shadie, and I hate to hurt Brenum.’
Shadie kept part of her focus on the door, which Perce was trying to push open. With her other hand, she took Trylia in an embrace.
‘Trylia, does Brenum know this?’ Her Togruta friend nodded. ‘Then you do whatever you need to do to keep him alive. And let me worry about the rest.’ Trylia nodded again.
Shadie let go of her grip on the door. It swung open. Relsor, and Jassahmi stood with Perce. A number of True Sith and Sith acolytes had also followed, except for Awgro. Shadie could hear the fighting in the viewing room was still raging on.
‘What is the meaning of this?’ asked Relsor.
‘Hello, Relsor,’ said Shadie. ‘Lady things, none of your business.’
‘She was trying to convince me to forget about you,’ said Trylia, ‘but a deal is a deal, and uphold it, I will. You will prove yourself or Brenum will prove himself, but I will not deny you that right to potentially become my new lover.’
Shadie tried to put on her best acting face and scowled. ‘What? But it’s like hitting reset and allowing the Force to choose whether you go light side or dark side!’
Perce smiled triumphantly, while Relsor nodded at Trylia all too fondly while she countered Shadie’s argument. Jassahmi rolled her eyes. And added her own two credits’ worth. Shadie wanted to stall them all, so she kept on arguing her point with Trylia, making it appear as though she agreed with Jassahmi, as the Sith stood witness, smirking all the while.
* * *
Knarf blocked the two parallel blades and Brenum stuck his neck out to look ahead. He took a step back, remaining in a defensive pose. Knarf could sense his inner conflict, sense his confusion.
‘So let me get this straight,’ Brenum whispered harshly, ‘you did this to prove yourself to Relsor, but know that what we saw was part of the ruse and Emain is alive?’
‘Yes!’ Knarf whispered emphatically.
‘How? How do you know?’
‘I used the Force on my helmet, the personal comchannel I have with Talyc, and I heard the click it does when Talyc picks up at his end. I know for a fact that Talyc heard. And where Talyc is, Fane is, and where they are, Lian is. They will have warned the Supreme Chancellor and helped plan out his pretend assassination.’
Brenum shook his head. ‘How do you know that that was not him? It could have failed and he could be dead right now.’
‘Brenum, think carefully. Who is always with the Supreme Chancellor these days, ever since the assault on Coruscant? Who is his personal guardian? Who has never once left Emain’s side and who was not there today in the holoimages we saw, nowhere to be seen?’
Brenum looked pensive and suddenly his face reflected the realisation.
‘Josur,’ he said. ‘Josur was not there today.’
‘Precisely. No Josur, no Emain. Whoever that was, it was not our Supreme Chancellor, and something tells me no sentient beings died.’
Brenum looked down. He nodded. ‘Knarf, I hate this place.’
‘So do I.’ Knarf smiled sympathetically. ‘We have to do what we must until Shadie finds out what she needs and I manage to successfully…’
‘Relsor!’ Brenum said in warning.
Knarf used the Force to lift Brenum in a choke. ‘Sorry,’ he mouthed, as the Sith Lords arrived, followed their contingent of True Sith and Imperial Sith acolytes, and followed by Shadie and Trylia.
* * *
‘That will be enough, Knarf,’ said Relsor. Knarf released Brenum. ‘Very good, my apprentice.’ Relsor turned to the others. ‘Take the Jedi back to their cells. No need for stasis. I believe we’ve moved beyond that now. Just ensure their weapons are secure in stasis. Shadie’s, well, she’s got lightning, so make sure she can’t leave her cell with her weapon.’
‘Are you really going to trust your prisoners like that?’ said Jassahmi.
‘Just do it, Jassahmi.’ Relsor felt his anger rise. ‘Obey me, or suffer the punishment of your refusal to cooperate with your Lord.’
Jassahmi clenched her teeth and left with Perce and the others, as they held the Jedi to keep them in check.
‘Where’s Awgro?’ asked Relsor. ‘No matter. Knarf, please stay a while.’ Perce let go of Knarf and allowed him to walk back to Relsor, as the others continued on. ‘That was very commendable of you to fight with such dark side skill. However, I do need Brenum alive for now. Once Trylia sees that I am the better option for her needs and desires,’ he glanced at a True Sith whose face was hidden by his hood, then back at Knarf, ‘we can kill him.’
‘Oh, I had no intention of killing him,’ said Knarf.
Relsor could sense this was very much true. ‘You cannot save him from himself, Knarf. I fear Brenum has begun to spiral down a path from which not even the dark side can save him. I know he is your friend, but you and Shadie will have to let go of him eventually.’
‘Will I be able to be with her, in our own cell together?’
‘Perhaps, eventually. Let me think about it; I may reward you for your efforts.’ Relsor stood at his tallest. ‘Knarf, you have proven your worth to me today and that I can trust you. You ensured that the Supreme Chancellor was killed.’ Knarf looked down. ‘Yes, I know this wasn’t easy for you, but you did it for a greater cause.’
Relsor could sense Knarf’s pride, despite his grief, and a sense of accomplishment. Knarf looked up at Relsor with conviction.
‘You’re right, Relsor,’ he said. ‘It was for a greater cause.’
* * *
‘Ah, there you are, Awgro,’ said Perce, ‘make yourself useful and secure the prisoner.’ Perce left.
Awgro secured the lightsabers in their holding stasis. Brenum felt himself seething, yet he was somewhat relieved. He hoped everything Knarf had said was true. He feared, but somehow he knew Knarf had the best intentions, so it must be true. The dark side was strong here and it was clouding his judgement. He had been willing to hurt his friend, believing an illusion his friends had created for their enemy.
The Sith kept staring at him.
‘Is something on your mind?’ asked Brenum.
‘The Dark Council does not forget the strange acts of Jedi,’ said Awgro. ‘You are not the only one eager to leave this place. The Empire will always remain the Republic’s enemy, but the Sith will remember.’
‘You’re the Sith Shadie kept alive.’ Awgro nodded. ‘Then perhaps we can work together to leave this place.’
Awgro shook his head. ‘But don’t worry, the Dark Council already knows of your deeds. It is peculiar, but we have been warned about Relsor and the True Sith. We must let the Empire decide for itself in due course.’
The Sith acolyte left. Brenum closed his eyes and sat down. At least he could move freely now. He hoped the others were all right. He hoped that Josur and Emain were safe.
* * *
Shadie paced to and fro in her cell, waiting, longing to be with Knarf after everything that had happened, worried for her friends. This had not gone down as she would have hoped. She should have found a way to warn Brenum and Trylia in advance. She trusted Knarf, that his plan had worked, but she feared also. That creeping fear inside of her, it angered her so much every time she felt it.
Relsor walked into her cell. She could tell he could sense her fear. He smiled at her, such a sinister smile. She could not help herself; she slapped him across the face. He held his head to the side for a moment then slowly turned to look at her.
‘What is all this for, Relsor? What do you want from me? You wanted me, yet all you do is toy with me, play games. What was that all about back there? What is it with your fixation with Trylia?’
Shadie knew Knarf had played Relsor, and she knew Trylia would play him as well; that they had to stoop so low to keep their allies and friends alive and to fool the Chiss Sith discouraged and angered Shadie. Shadie still didn’t know why Relsor needed her, what he wanted to use her for, and the unknown angered her; she was scared, and her handsome mister was not there to comfort her when she needed him because she had had the brilliant idea of volunteering to be taken captive as opposed to trying to escape with Fane and Talyc.
Relsor opened himself up,spreading his arms wide. ‘Come at me, Shadie. I know you want to.’
Shadie screamed and shoved him, sending lighting. Next thing she knew, Relsor had grabbed her hair, pulling back, all the while sending dark side energy through her and her head spun, it felt like a pain beyond any she had felt. She shouted out in agony.
‘Satisfied?’ shouted the Chiss. Relsor stopped the dark energy. ‘Now, try not to be such a rude guest to your host next time I pay you a visit! Or you will discover what pain truly is.’
‘Haven’t I heard that somewhere before?’ said Shadie, smiling through gritted teeth.
‘Your friend will lose his mind, the Togruta will betray him and choose me, your lover is my apprentice anew, and now you will bow before your new Lord.’
‘You will never be my lord, Relsor. I never even bowed before Kromus, why should I bow to you?’
‘Because I have the capacity and firepower to tear your Republic asunder, and Mandalore, Tython, Coruscant, and all the worlds in Republic and Mandalorian space will burn, unless you obey me. Do as I command and I will spare them.’
‘How do I know you won’t attack anyway?’
‘That is not for you to decide, all you must do is comply.’
‘Never!’ Shadie screamed as she felt more pain rushing into her body through her head; she felt dizzy. She felt a rush within her, it was her new powers, but it was too soon to use them, she had not yet found out why she was here, Knarf had not yet sliced the navicomputer. She needed to hold on, just a little longer. They needed more time. She wanted so much to lash out, but she resisted the urge and instead allowed her body to feel the pain before she felt herself lose consciousness.
* * *
Shadie found herself standing in a strange place. Everything looked hazy and blurred, and there was a a white fog everywhere. She looked around. There was a being observing her and he approached her. He did not look like any species she had seen before. He stood confidently, clad in shiny armour with the fur of an animal draped over one shoulder. He inclined his head.
‘Is this a Force vision?’ she asked. The being cocked his eyebrows. Shorter than her, he looked up at her. He seemed amused. ‘Where am I?’
‘Where do you think?’ His voice was soft, tender, with a hint of humour. She could feel his power and knew there was the Force within this place.
‘Is this some sort of Force realm?’ she asked.
‘If that’s what this is to you, then it’s what this may be.’ The being had an accent akin to an Imperial accent, yet different.
‘I’ve heard of places like this,’ said Shadie. ‘The ancient Rakata had devices similar to holocrons that would allow a being to enter such a realm. Is this what this is?’ The man shrugged. Though of a different species, he was still very humanoid. ‘Who are you?’
‘Does that matter? You have been brought here for a reason, you must discover what that is.’
‘You’re very cryptic.’
‘No more than you are to me. I could ask you who you are.’
‘Fair enough.’ Shadie looked about again. ‘You don’t look Rakata.’
‘I am not Rakata,’ the man replied.
Shadie laughed. ‘Well, at least, I get one straight answer, though it was obvious.’ She was beginning to wonder if the Crypt and her mind and her connection to it had somehow created this place. She would have expected to see the Pure-Blood Sith, but instead, she was visited by this stranger.
‘Tell me,’ he said soothingly, ‘what led you here?’
‘The pain that was being inflicted upon me, my emotions, my fear.’ Shadie closed her eyes. ‘Why must we do so much that we don’t want to. There must be an easier way to defeat Relsor.’
‘Sometimes the only path available to us is the one least desired.’
‘No, there must be another way. I’ll find another way. I cannot let the dark side consume me. I can’t let it control me. I will not take that path, even if it is the only path. I will wait, and bide my time, until a better path, one formed from the light side, appears to me.’
‘You have much resolve.’ The man looked sad. ‘I wish we all had that luxury of waiting.’
‘Are you a Jedi? I sense you are strong in the Force.’
He nodded. ‘By my understanding of what you mean, then yes, I am one.’
Shadie could feel much regret within him. He was handsome, whoever he was, yet there was a lot of darkness that surrounded him at the same time that made her want to recoil. Perhaps he was some sort of Force vision of what she could become, like an entity from the Living Force, as past, present and future always influenced and fluctuated within the Force.
‘Whoever you are, the Force obviously brought me here to realise something and I think I just did. I can’t let the dark side consume me, no matter the cost, because I know that the cost and the loss from allowing the dark side to become me will be much greater.’ The man looked at her and smiled. ‘Look, friend, whoever you are, I hope you find a path where the light side will guide you.’
‘The only one who needed guiding was the guardian who knew how to lead her people.’
Shadie smiled. ‘Thank you. I guess I tend to lose my way whenever great fear grips me. I shall no longer allow it to usher me to anger. I will lead my friends to safety; I will guide the Jedi to victory. I will be a leader within my own person and have full power over my inner emotions.’
‘Then it seems you have accomplished what you set out to do.’
‘All that remains is to wait.’
* * *
Shadie awoke on the floor in her cell. She nodded to herself. The Force vision had guided her. If she had been shown, it would have been too easy to dismiss or to misunderstand. She had needed to come to the realisation herself; the Force had needed her to understand on her own. The being represented all the regrets she would some day embody if she allowed the dark side to consume her while she was in Relsor’s captivity. She would endure, as she always had. And when the time came, she would use the light side to fuel the powers she now possessed.
“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.