Everyone was quiet as they all sat in the Krayt Dragon‘s cockpit, staring at the blue lines of hyperspace.
‘Much rests in your hands now, Fane,’ said Shadie. She took his hand. ‘Should anything happen to me, to us, you are the only one who can be in charge of this mission. Now and later. You are the Mandalorian liaison; you are also now the one who is to be in contact with Supreme Chancellor Emain. He knows to expect you to contact him. Hopefully, Knarf can slice something somewhere on Relsor’s ship that can help Emain trace his armada.’
‘I guess I should give him the coordinates to where we are “meeting” Relsor,’ said Fane.
‘It will prove a good point of reference to begin attempting jumps and tracings,’ said Knarf.
Fane looked over at the man and nodded. He quickly sent the coordinates via his datapad, knowing Emain would receive them instantly. Shadie took both Fane’s hands and he turned his attention back to her.
‘If anything should happen while we are in captivity, regardless of our new powers, you will be the only one with those powers. If I should die…’
‘Don’t think that way!’ said Fane.
‘Okay, if anything should go wrong, then you are the only one with the power of the Crypt, you are the only one who will not be in captivity with the power to be Master of the Crypt, or as good as.’
‘I can’t do that, I can’t take it away from you, Master,’ said Fane.
‘First of all, you will not be taking it away from me, and secondly, I am no longer your master.’
‘What?’ Fane was shocked. He didn’t understand. ‘Have I done…’ Shadie shook her head, causing him to pause.
‘You don’t need me anymore. Not as a master. You are a Jedi. I’ve already asked Master Herl’unik to recognise you as such. He already granted you the title of Jedi Knight, but now you are a full Knight who no longer needs his master. You are not a boy, nor the young man I met who was trying to kill me when he was still lost and searching himself. You are a man, a grown man, Talyc’s man, and he is so lucky to have you. I am so proud of you. I love you, Fane, in a sisterly sort of way, you know.’
‘Yeah, I know.’ Fane smiled. ‘Thank you, for everything. I’ll miss you. I’ll miss all of you.’
‘We love you too,’ said Brenum.
‘I just… I’ve never shared with anyone anything like I’ve shared with all of you,’ said Fane. ‘Promise me you’ll do everything in your power to stay alive.’
‘Oh, of course,’ said Shadie. I’m Master of the Crypt. I’m not going to delegate that privilege to you that easily.’ Fane heard the humour in her voice and laughed.
‘We’re approaching vector,’ said Brenum, as they dropped out of hyperspace. ‘I’m going to miss this ship.’
‘She’ll be waiting for you, eager for your return,’ said Lian.
‘You can try to sound less sarcastic,’ said Brenum.
‘Who’s being sarcastic? I mean it.’ Lian smiled. ‘I’ll have her mostly on autopilot as I work on keeping Relsor’s powers in check.’ He turned to face Fane. ‘Good luck in there. I’ll see you shortly. The rest of you, I wish you the best of luck, I truly mean that. Stay alive and may the Force serve you.’
They nodded. Fane felt excitement, he was eager to get the mission over with, anticipating the moment he would reunite with Talyc, yet dreading the moment he would leave his friends behind.
* * *
‘They approach,’ said Relsor, his face grim. He looked at the looming image of the Krayt Dragon as it approached the docking port. ‘And they are not alone.’
‘Oh, good,’ said Perce, ‘they brought the whole group of friends. The more the merrier, I say.’
‘No, not them,’ said Relsor. ‘Yes, they are present, but he is here. Jedi Master Lian, the one who can thwart and avert my abilities.’ Relsor shook his head.
‘Our little failed Sith lied to us,’ said Perce. ‘Is it any surprise? We knew it was a possibility.’
‘Indeed it seems he has. They mean to make this a rescue mission,’ said Relsor.
‘Then we must do everything in our power to ensure that they fail,’ said Perce.
* * *
Brenum took Trylia’s hand. He looked over at Shadie and Knarf who were leaning forehead to forehead. Trylia put a hand on Brenum’s face. He closed his eyes. He could hear Shadie and Knarf’s exchange. He opened his eyes to look at them. He’d do anything for his friends, and today, he was doing just that.
‘I love you so much,’ Knarf said to Shadie.
‘I love you more.’
Knarf closed his eyes. ‘Don’t say that. The love I have for you is too great to be measured. You know I love you as much as you love me.’
Shadie caressed his face. ‘How’s this then? I love you so much more than I love you so much can express.’
‘I like that.’
Brenum turned his attention back to Trylia, as Shadie and Knarf held each other in an embrace.
‘What she says,’ he said.
‘I’d like to hear you say it,’ said Trylia.
‘I love you,’ said Brenum.
‘I love you too.’
Brenum smiled, yet he felt a pang of fear. He couldn’t help but feel protective of Trylia, even if she was a capable Jedi, and perhaps he felt a little jealous as well, of the attention she got from a particular True Sith, whom he preferred would stay away, but was exactly the person they were going to face momentarily.
‘If he touches you, if he tries anything, I’m going to…’
‘Brenum! I know you’d be willing to kill him, but right now, we have a mission to focus on. What he tries with me does not change anything and it certainly doesn’t take away what we have together. He creates illusions because he lives in a fantasy. He knows how I feel about you, and how I feel or don’t feel about him. We know he’s going to use that. We also know that we can use that against him as well.’
Trylia was right, and Brenum was letting negative emotions cloud his judgement. He nodded and took her in his arms. They were about to embark on a dangerous mission and this was the last moment they would have to be remotely intimate with each other. He felt he should embrace this moment and cast all other thoughts aside.
‘The ship is berthed with the docking port,’ said Lian. ‘You need to make this quick so I can fly the ship to safety.’ He turned to Fane. ‘I won’t be far. Let me know as soon as you need me and where.’ Fane nodded.
Brenum’s stomach lurched. He could tell from the look on Knarf’s face that he was feeling something very similar. Knarf looked at him. They nodded to each other. They would protect their ladies, but Brenum knew, their ladies would also protect them. Knarf put his helmet on and checked his belt.
‘Let’s do this,’ said Shadie. ‘Fane, let’s go get your man.’
* * *
The team of Jedi lunged from the Krayt Dragon into a fray of red lightsabers.
‘Relsor sent us a welcoming party, how lovely of him,’ said Knarf.
The Krayt Dragon bucked as it took off again, shooting laser fire at the Sith. It hit a canister of some sort in a corner and there was an explosion. Many Sith were sent flying in all directions, scorched. Knarf felt the heat through his helmet and adjusted the inner air settings to cooler. He looked at Shadie. Her face was red, but she and the others seemed too focused to have noticed the heat from the explosion. It had been too far to harm them anyway. Relsor’s ships lurched as something hit its outer hull pretty hard.
‘I hope Lian keeps her holding together,’ said Brenum. ‘She’s my baby.’
‘Excuse me?’ said Trylia. ‘May I remind you who holds you in her arms at night.’
Brenum drove his blue blade into a Sith. ‘Yes, Trylia, but my relationship with you is completely different to the one I have with my ship.’
‘Clearly,’ said Knarf.
‘Now you have a relationship with her?’ said Shadie.
‘This is what I put up with,’ said Trylia. She cut down another Sith with her staff. ‘And I won’t let Relsor change that.’
Shadie sent a stream of lightning towards the incoming Sith. They flew back, many of them stunned. This was their opportunity; they darted forward and slashed many of the Sith down. When all the Sith who had come to greet them were dead, the Jedi powered off their weapons. Smoke rose from many of the bodies.
Shadie walked over one of the Sith, lifting her leg high. ‘Relsor hasn’t come to greet us himself,’ she said. ‘The coward.’
‘We need to get moving before more Sith arrive,’ said Brenum. ‘Relsor knows they’re not going to stop us, but they’re going to delay us.’
‘That’s why he hasn’t come to greet us!’ said Fane, alarmed. ‘He’s going to secure his prisoner; he’s going to Talyc, and who knows what he’ll do. We have to get to him before Relsor does.’
* * *
Shadie focused her mind.
I need to know where Talyc is being held captive.
She waited. In response, she saw an image of a long corridor and a door at the end of it. She got a sense of Talyc’s from location, not just through the Force, but also in terms of where they were and how to get to the level he was on.
‘I know where he is,’ she said. ‘I saw.’ Fane nodded his understanding.
They hurried towards the accessway. When they reached the turbolift, the doors closed in front of them. Knarf reflexively went to the access panel.
‘Perce has sliced the turbolifts,’ he announced. ‘He thinks I can’t slice this?’
‘No, he thinks he can delay us,’ said Fane.
‘Well, can anyone sense where they are while I slice this thing?’
Shadie focused again, connecting with the Sphere briefly, long enough so that she’d know where their True Sith enemies were, but short enough that Relsor would not detect her communicating with the Sphere, nor detect its cooperation. If he found that out, their cover would be blown, regarding pretending they had not reclaimed the Crypt.
Shadie relayed the location of Relsor and Perce to Knarf. She knew what he was planning.
‘There,’ he said. He called the turbolift down. ‘I closed off many of the accessways and locked Perce and Relsor up where they are. Perce will probably be able to slice through it…eventually. I did do this rather quickly, but it should delay them long enough for us to be able to reach Talyc.’
‘Thank you,’ said Fane.
There was an explosion outside. Brenum looked worried. ‘Lian, you still in one piece out there?’
‘If you mean, is the Krayt Dragon still in one piece, then the answer is yes. And so am I. We took some damage, but I’m dodging starfighters out here. Relsor knows I’m here, I can sense him sensing me.’
‘That explains the welcoming party,’ said Knarf.
‘Relsor thinks Fane went back on their deal,’ said Trylia.
‘Like he was going to stay true to it,’ said Fane.
‘I’m not defending him,’ said Trylia.
The turbolift arrived. They entered.
‘I’ve done some pretty decent damage to Relsor’s ship,’ Lian’s voice came in through Brenum’s comlink, ‘but it’s well shielded and the Chiss design gives it some very sleek hidden compartments. More turbolasers. I’ve got this, need to focus.’ He chimed out.
‘Let’s hope he can dodge whatever attacks until we’ve got Talyc safe and secure,’ said Brenum, nodding to Fane.
‘I can feel his pain, his confusion,’ said Fane. He shook his head.
They arrived several levels up.
‘This way,’ said Shadie, pointing the way. The hallway was empty, which gave it an eerie feeling, as blue and red lights flickered on and off as they ran through.
* * *
‘Grrr! Ugh!’ Perce kicked the console. ‘I’m going to kill Knarf!’ He sent lightning at the console.
‘Don’t fry us in!’ said Relsor.
‘Have any better ideas?’
‘Not to get us out, no. I will wait patiently until you slice us out. However, for our friends…’ He took out his comlink. ‘My dear,’ he said in a smooth voice, ‘Perce and I are trapped in the tactical room. Are you able to reach our prisoner?’
‘No,’ came in Jassahmi’s voice. ‘I’m too far, I was going to ensure our lasers destroyed that ship and that Twi’lek Jedi with it.’
‘We’re going to have to kill him another time,’ said Relsor. ‘If you can’t reach the prisoner, then you’re going to have to reach our guests.’
‘But then the Mandalorian will live. I thought we were meant to kill him now with our change of plans.’
‘Then he lives,’ said Relsor. ‘This is another change of plans,’ said Relsor. ‘Delay the Jedi. Kill them if you must. But leave Shadie alive.’
‘Does that mean I can kill the Togruta?’
Relsor sighed. ‘If you must,’ he said. ‘I wish you would put your petty jealousies aside, we could use her.’
‘You could use her. Fine, I’ll do my best, but no promises. I’ll kill whomever I must.’
Perce laughed. ‘Having those two on the same ship is going to be interesting,’ he said.
‘Just focus on slicing, Perce. I’ve had enough nonsense for one day from these Jedi.’
‘I’m just saying. But, if you insist.’
Relsor looked about the room. There was no other way out, all doors or hatches had been sliced to remain locked. If Perce didn’t succeed in killing Knarf, he would kill him himself.
* * *
The Jedi arrived at a large room, it was dark. At the far end was another turbolift.
‘There,’ Shadie said, pointing. ‘That lift should lead us to the level where Talyc is being held.’
They hurried towards the lift. Before they could reach it, a large wind pushed them all the way back to the door from which they had entered. From above them, in the centre of the room, dropped down a Mirialan, landing with sleek grace on her two feet. She bent low as she landed. Then, she stood to her tall height and looked at them.
‘You!’ cried Fane. ‘You’re her, aren’t you? You’re the waitress who captured…’
‘Your lover?’ she completed. Her voice was smooth, a bit high-pitched, and very sultry. She laughed, though it sounded more like a cackle.
Fane breathed in deeply, feeling rage inside. His heart yearned for Talyc; broke at the pain he felt emanating from him, urgency dominating his very being, yet all he could do was stare at the Mirialan, her dark green hue glowing a sickly black as she ignited her lightsaber.
‘What kind of crystal is that?’ said Trylia.
‘A very special one, imbued with the essence of the dark side,’ replied the Mirialan. ‘And you, Togruta, are about to meet your end.’
The Mirialan lunged at the Jedi. Trylia brought her lightsaber up, so did Brenum, both blocking the quick attacks that came from their assailant. The Mirialan seemed to focus most of her attention on Trylia.
‘Go,’ their friend cried out, her purple staff blocking the black blade. ‘We’ll hold her off. Go reach Talyc.’
‘Will you be okay?’
‘Fane, we’ll be fine,’ said Brenum. ‘Go save your man. He needs you to be okay.’
Fane nodded, concerned but grateful.
He, Shadie and Knarf ran to the turbolift. Fane felt himself be yanked with the Force and pulled back from the lift. Shadie sent lightning towards the Mirialan, who screamed, more in surprise than in pain by the sounds of it. Fane hurried back towards his friends and the lift. They quickly entered.
As the doors closed, he saw Brenum bring up his two lightsabers to block a sequence of attacks that were too quick to look like anything else than a blur; and Trylia was lunging in a crouch, sliding to one side, bringing her staff up to attack the Mirialan. Fane saw their enemy block the purple staff, before all he could see was the grey durasteel of the turbolift.
* * *
Talyc was startled by the sound of something exploding not far from the room he was in. He wished there was a viewport so he could see what was happening. He was blind to anything and everything happening outside the room. He felt partly numb inside; something was tingling, like when a limb falls asleep. His shoulder was in pain. He didn’t know what was going on and he wondered if it was another of Relsor’s illusions.
There was another deafening explosion and the ship shook. Something had definitely crashed, or at least that’s what it felt like. Should he dare to hope? He couldn’t get his heart broken again. As far as he knew, Fane was dead, everyone was dead. Whoever was attacking the ship, it couldn’t be his friends. Perhaps it was Mandalore, come to save him. Whoever it was, he was eager, yet afraid. The anticipation as he waited was agonising, the trepidation paralysing.
He laughed to himself. Whether he felt paralysed or not, he could not move, and therefore he was at the mercy of whomever was attacking, or of Relsor, and Talyc had no idea which was worse.
“Lady of the Crypt” is written by Celinka Serre (2020).
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.