Warning: The following chapter contains scenes depicting torture and graphic violence, which may be triggering to some readers. Reading discretion is advised.
Talyc was in excruciating pain when he came to. He couldn’t even remember what had caused him to be in this much pain. The residual effects of the torture should have dissipated by now. His body felt numb. His face itched and he wished he could scratch it. Although he didn’t have facial hair that grew quickly or thickly, he had by now grown a semblance of…scruff. He knew it must be more than stubble, and it itched his face.
Relsor walked into the room. As he did so, Talyc could swear his chest tightened, yet Relsor gave no sign he was using the Force on him.
‘How are you feeling today, Talyc?’ asked Relsor. His smile gave it away.
‘What are you doing to me?’ said Talyc.
‘I figured you must be hungry, so I am feeding you the dark side. Best I ensure your energy is kept up, so the level of malady I am about to unleash upon you is going to increase.’
Talyc’s stomach lurched, he belched and he felt as though his insides were on fire. He felt dizzy, nauseated. He began to sweat on his face, yet his body felt cold. He let his head loll to one side. Suddenly, his hands balled into fists as he felt an intense pain shoot up his spine. It felt like needles were all over his body. Then that pain turned into the sensation of knives slowly cutting into him. He looked at his hands, where he felt the knife sensation the most, but they were not bleeding.
Talyc began to shake as his body began to cramp up. He belched again as the feeling of nausea increased. He panted, gasping for air, and his heart began to palpitate. His mouth was dry; he tried to swallow. Finally, he vomited, his sick projecting onto the floor in front of Relsor.
Relsor creased his nose and looked down at the puddle of vomit.
‘I think we’re done here for today,’ he said.
‘You’re sick,’ said Talyc.
Relsor cocked an eyebrow. ‘I’m not the one who just vomited.’
‘That an insult of some sort?’ asked Relsor non-challantly.
Talyc’s disdain for Relsor increased. ‘It’s Mando’a for monster.’ He swallowed. ‘You use the dark side to cause sickness and pain. Why? What is the purpose of making me, your weak prisoner, sick?’
Relsor smiled one of those condescending smiles. ‘I was hoping for you to be broken when lover-boy, Fane, arrived. I want you to be so broken that it breaks him.’
Talyc felt so ill he couldn’t feel the disdain anymore, couldn’t even feel the defiance he usually felt towards Relsor. He was too weak physically, and weakening with each passing moment.
Relsor sneered. ‘I will break you, I will break him, I will break all of them. And then when they are all broken, Shadie will turn, and I will succeed where Kromus failed.’
Talyc did not know how he should feel about this. ‘Is he on his way then? Fane is on his way?’
‘He will arrive soon, yes,’ said Relsor. ‘I best ready the welcoming party. I wouldn’t want the Jedi to get the wrong impression and think I’m only going to take Shadie captive.’ He smiled and left the room.
Talyc closed his eyes. This is all my fault, he thought. Or was it? Maybe he just felt it was while in this state. He couldn’t even think straight anymore. And once more, he couldn’T help but feel he had failed his friends, had failed Fane, had failed his clan, and had failed Mandalore.
* * *
Talyc again could not guess how much time had passed. It had seemed like days this time. Sometime during this time, someone had cleaned up the sick that had been on the floor. Talyc also noticed marks on his bare wrists that indicated he had been injected with stims or nutrients to be kept alive. He didn’t even remember when they had taken his gloves off, but he knew he had had them at one time. Then he remembered the sensation of knives, and his hands had been bare. He was so confused, he no longer knew what happened when.
Talyc busied himself with daydreams. He tried to forget the images of the illusions Relsor had previously created. He daydreamed that Fane came to save him, that his friends were safe. He imagined Shadie at her best, fighting alongside Knarf; he imagined Brenum and Trylia defeating many True Sith together. He imagined being in Fane’s arms, telling him he loved him, Fane telling Talyc he loved him. He imagined it again and again in many different ways. He held onto that, the hope that he would be able to tell Fane how he felt. Regardless what he thought Fane had chosen, he knew he must.
He thought he heard sounds afar. Again, he thought to himself, Relsor must be up to something again. He braced himself as the door sprung open. Indeed, Relsor walked in, but it was who was with him that alarmed Talyc.
As though to shove him through the door, Relsor sent lighting, and Fane, shouting in pain, bounded into the room. He looked up at Talyc.
‘Talyc,’ he said. Relsor sent him more lightning. ‘We failed, I’m so sorry.’
Talyc closed his eyes. This wasn’t real, Fane was not really here, and this was another illusion. He kept repeating it to himself.
‘Lover boy and company decided to attempt a rescue mission instead of simply delivering Shadie to us,’ said Perce. Talyc opened his eyes to find the Sith standing next to Relsor. Fane was hunched on the floor; steam from the lightning shocks rose from his body. ‘But don’t worry, Shadie is well in our custody now.’
‘Fane lied to me,’ said Relsor. ‘He said he would deliver Shadie to me, and instead was planning a coup! Now, he has to pay the price.’
Talyc gave no reply.
‘What are you going to do?’ said Fane.
‘Clan Leader Talyc, you’re going to decide the method with which your lover is going to die!’ said Relsor.
Talyc’s heart pounded as he felt rage swell up inside of him. This wasn’t right, illusion or not, it just wasn’t right. He shook his head.
‘Will it be by lightning? Lightsaber? My uncle’s Lightwhip? Dark side energy? Choose one and I shall kill him in the manner in which you choose.’ Relsor’s face glowed with pride, his red eyes so fierce.
‘This isn’t real,’ said Talyc. ‘You aren’t here. This is an illusion, this isn’t real.’
‘Talyc? What have they done to you that you believe I am not real? Talyc, it’s me, Fane, your man, and everything we have is real. From the moment you told me it was me you wanted to this very moment, I and my feelings for you are real.’
Of course, Relsor would know all about that if Perce knew about it. Talyc knew Perce had extracted more from his mind than he let on, and he also knew he would have shared such information with Relsor. Talyc needed to test him, test if this was real or not.
‘Then why did you choose the Jedi Order over me?’ said Talyc.
Fane propped himself up and stood on his knees.
‘I didn’t abandon you for the Order, Talyc. I chose to return so that I could protect you. The Force was calling to me, but my home is no longer Coruscant. I serve the Order as long as it allows me to serve Mandalore. It’s different.’
Talyc was unsure. This seemed viable. He doubted, but he could not tell. He thought long and hard, always fearing, always hoping.
‘Gah, I tire of this,’ said Relsor. ‘Take him away, we will continue another time.’ Perce used the Force on Fane to shove him out of the room. ‘As for you, Talyc, I’d think long and hard about that method. You only get to choose one.’
Relsor left. Relsor had already created illusions. Either he was bored and needed to create more, or he had gotten bored with creating them and this was real. Talyc didn’t want it to be, not if it meant Fane would die. He didn’t know anymore, he felt like he was going crazy. He felt like such a barve.
* * *
Talyc thought a whole day had gone by before Relsor returned. He and Perce arrived with the Mirialan woman, whose name Talyc still didn’t know. It wasn’t just Fane they brought into the room with them this time, it was everyone. All lined up, subdued by the Force, and unable to move as though in a semi-stasis, entered Brenum, Trylia, Knarf and Shadie. Once inside the room, they stood in that order, Fane on the other side of Relsor, who stood closest to Brenum. Perce and the Mirialan Sith stood near Shadie.
‘Don’t do anything he says,’ said Shadie. ‘Follow your Mandalorian instincts.’
Talyc looked at them, his heart breaking. He bowed his head in sorrow.
‘Since you fail to cooperate,’ said Relsor, ‘one of your friends shall die.’
‘What? No!’ Talyc cried out in alarm.
‘And you shall choose who,’ said Relsor. ‘Now!’
Talyc thought quickly. Shadie looked defiant, Knarf was looking at Shadie. Brenum and Trylia looked pained. Talyc couldn’t have Shadie be killed, his friend and Fane’s master. He couldn’t let Relsor kill Knarf; he was like a brother to him, even more so since Kelbourn had died. That left Brenum and Trylia. Talyc just didn’t know, he didn’t want to have to choose.
‘Will it be Shadie,’ said Relsor, ‘former Sith, now Jedi, causing so much carnage in her wake just by her mere existence? Will it be Knarf, her lover, a slicer who thinks he’s a Mandalorian and acts like a Jedi?’ Knarf snorted at him. He had that annoying look of condescension Shadie typically hated; but towards Relsor, Talyc figured it would pass. ‘Will it be Trylia, oh lovely Trylia? No, do spare her for me, will you? Or Brenum, bold, dashing, and impertinent.’ Brenum slowly turned his head and glared at Relsor.
If Talyc wanted to test this as an illusion, he had to do it here, and if it was real, he had to hit Relsor where it hurt so that he might be taken off guard.
‘I’m not doing this,’ he said.
‘Choose one,’ said Relsor menacingly, ‘or they all die.’
Talyc knew he didn’t want to have to watch them all die. ‘I don’t want to have to do this, I promise you. I’m so sorry, I choose Trylia.’
‘I accept my fate, Talyc. You have nothing to be sorry about.’
Her face was defiant, but her voice when answering Talyc had been as soothing and gentle as always.
‘No, not Trylia,’ said Relsor. ‘I won’t have her die today.’
‘You’re not playing by your own rules?’ said Talyc.
‘I make them up as I go along,’ replied Relsor.
Trylia whirled her head to stare at Relsor.
‘No, I will not have this,’ said the Mirialan. ‘He said she dies, therefore she dies!’
The jealous green skinned Sith ignited a red lightsaber and sliced off Trylia’s head tails in one go. Trylia screamed a high pitched shrill and fell to her hands and knees.
‘No, stop this madness,’ said Relsor. ‘I said that Trylia would not be killed today.’
The Mirialan, ignoring Relsor, drove her blade into Trylia’s back, and the Togruta fell flat on the floor, dead.
Brenum winced, turning his head. Shadie seemed to be shaking, Knarf kept his resolve and composure, though he seemed angered. Fane cowered in the corner, still pained from the lightning tortures. Talyc knew how that felt.
‘No!’ shouted Relsor. ‘This is all your fault, Talyc!’ Talyc snapped his gaze to the Chiss. ‘You cause discord and dissonance among us. You will pay for this! Choose another to die.’
Talyc was tired of this, but what if this was real, what if it was all happening because of him. He answered only what made most sense to him.
‘Brenum. I’m sorry.’
Brenum looked down at Trylia. ‘I will join you in the Force shortly, my sweet Trylia,’ he said.
‘So be it,’ said Relsor.
He drove his blade into Brenum’s torso. The Jedi winced and grunted before falling, joining Trylia in a heap on the floor.
Talyc closed his eyes. Real or not, this was gruesome, torturous, painful, angering. He didn’t want this to be happening, real or not.
‘Brenum is so insignificant, though,’ said Relsor. Talyc’s stomach lurched.
‘No, not another one!’ he said.
‘Yes, another one,’ said Relsor. ‘Now, choose.’
‘Shadie!’ Talyc said right away. He knew Relsor needed Shadie alive. If he killed her here, then Talyc would know this was most certainly an illusion.
Shadie nodded to Talyc, showing him understanding. Knarf balled his hands into fists but could not move and he looked pained at not being able to protect his Lady.
‘No, I need Shadie,’ said Relsor. ‘Perce, will you do the honours?’
‘No!’ screamed Shadie, her voice high pitched.
Perce ignited his lightsaber and stabbed Knarf in the gut. Perce then hacked at Knarf’s head and it severed from his body, rolling onto the floor as his body fell on top of the heap of bodies accumulating in the room.
‘Why would you do that? He said me, he chose me! You keep changing your own rules. Why?’ Shadie’s screams were pained and harsh. ‘No! Knarf! KNARF!’
Her screams turned into cries, and her cries were screams. Talyc felt hope leaving him with each passing moment. He had watched his friends die, and if this was real, he had witnessed Shadie breaking. He closed his eyes, willed all this to disappear, for it to go away.
Shadie was still screaming when Perce and the Mirialan took her out of the room. Only Relsor and Fane remained. Fane was weeping and whimpering, coiled up on the floor.
‘So, how shall Fane die?’ said Relsor. ‘Choose his fate, your man’s fate.’ There was a long pause. ‘Fane’s fate, Talyc. NOW!’
‘Lightwhip,’ Talyc said quickly. At this point, it didn’t really matter what was real or what wasn’t. This was a slaughter. ‘Fane, I’m so sorry.’ Relsor got the weapon out. ‘Fane, I… I love you.’
‘Talyc,’ said Fane. ‘I…’
The lightwhip snapped to life and whipped Fane across the face once. He stared blankly at Talyc, and then his body fell to the ground, and Talyc realised that Relsor’s lightsaber was protruding from Fane’s torso. There had been no point in choosing, Relsor was going to kill him the way he wanted to no matter what, and he had chosen to use both weapons. All Relsor wanted to do was torment Talyc.
Fane’s eyes were still open, staring blankly and eerily up at Talyc. Knarf’s head was somewhere further down, and his body was piled up with Brenum and Trylia’s, and Talyc couldn’t bear to look; yet he could not bring himself to turn his gaze away. He stared at his friends’ bodies, wondering still if this was all real. He felt himself shaking inside.
Relsor clipped his weapons back to his belt. He laughed and walked away. Talyc just stared at the carnage, stared at the horror before him. He willed it to disappear, tried to focus on something else, but his eyes kept darting back to the scene. His eyes blurred as tears filled them. He started to go cross-eyed too, as he stared blankly into the oblivion of his pain and anguish.
He barely noticed the bodies disappear. He could not tell if the illusion had stopped, or if someone had come to collect the bodies. All Talyc knew was that something was hammering somewhere, some ruckus was sounding off somewhere, and the ship shook as though something exploded somewhere.
“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.