Fane awoke in a bounce, cold sweat on his face and body, breathing heavily, breathing deeply. He took a few calming breaths. He knew this was no coincidence. The Force was speaking to him, either warning him of the future, or he had adopted some strange connection to the Chiss Sith, but it was the third time in a fortnight he’d had the exact same dream and felt Gourd’s emotions and thoughts.
Although Fane had not met the Sith Lord in person, he’d heard enough about him from Shadie. The Dark Lord had disappeared before the destruction of Darth Kromus’s ship, and he and his forces had not been found anywhere. At least not yet.
So why was the Force choosing to give its message to him, Fane wondered? Did this mean Fane had the ability to foresee the future? Lahnius, his Sith brother, had not demonstrated such abilities or powers. From where had he inherited it?
The first time the dream had come to him, he had ignored it and discarded it as an awkward nightmare. The second time, he had begun to wonder. Now, with this third time, and the same emotion, it was obvious that this was no ordinary dream, and he could no longer keep it to himself. Wherever Gourd was, he would soon return to find Shadie and finish what Kromus had begun, and he would find her here on Mandalore, and try to destroy the planet and everyone on it.
Fane had to tell Shadie about this dream. He got up, dressed, and began walking in the direction of the home that had now been Shadie’s for nearly two years.
* * *
Shadie sat on a bench in the room at the back of the house, staring into nothingness, feeling the Force, as she did every now and again, her hair let down and curling here and there, its green a reflection of the grassy meadows outside. Knarf stood at the doorway, watching, feeling what she felt through their bond.
Shadie looked sideways and up at him. ‘I can feel them, in this room.’
Knarf walked to her and sat down next to her, facing her. He put his hands on her face and smiled.
‘I know. I wish I’d known them. This is as close as I’ll get to feeling your parents.’
He brushed his fingers through her hair and stroked her face gently, repeatedly brushing his hand on her hair and replacing it. It was soft to his touch. Shadie and Knarf had chosen to reside in the house Talyc had so kindly found for them, the house in which she had been born. There had been little to no records of her parents, the files looked like they had been wiped. Kromus must have been behind that, but that had mattered little to Shadie. It didn’t matter that she didn’t know her original clan name, for one detail that had been found indicated that the clan that was wiped out had been forged a good while back from marriage between two clans, one of which was Clan Kandera, which made Kelbourn and Talyc very far removed cousins. The Force had brought them together now, Clan Kandera having been the ones to help and befriend them. Shadie had family with them, even if diluted through generations, as well as with the Jedi, and most importantly, she had a future with Knarf. Her past with Kromus mattered little now and it did not bother her to know nothing of her parents. The energy in the house spoke to her what she needed to know. In this particular room, she could feel her parents’ signature in the Force.
‘I can feel myself as a child.’
Knarf nodded. ‘Yes, I know.’
Shadie had many times repeated this to him. He knew it comforted her to say it every time, and he knew, as he patiently listened as though it was the first time, sitting here and stroking her hair and kindly showing her understanding, that that too comforted her.
‘I’m sorry, I’m repeating myself again.’
‘It’s all right. It doesn’t bother me.’
Knarf kissed her gently. Her lips were always warm and sweet. He kissed her again more fiercely. He felt Shadie breathe, felt his own stomach leap, every kiss like the very first, full of passion, full of serenity. He looked at her.
‘I love you.’ She smiled.
‘I love you too,’ he replied. Her smile died down. ‘What’s wrong?’
‘I never told you what else I feel here. I was trying to fully determine what it was.’
‘What is it?’ Knarf asked.
‘Kromus. This… This is where it happened. This is where he killed them; in or around this house.’
Knarf offered a sympathetic smile. ‘Does this anger you?’ he asked.
‘No, but it saddens me.’ Her eyes glistened. ‘He was so lost to the dark side. I wish he could have lived. I wish I could have known his better side.’
‘You did! And he died knowing you were killing him out of love. I saw your light practically penetrate him. There was nothing more you could have done to save him. But in the end before he died, he wanted you to forgive him. He died not as a Sith Lord, but as a brother who cared.’
Shadie nodded. Knarf wiped a tear from her face. ‘You’re so beautiful!’ he told her. Shadie laughed. Knarf laughed too. He had to say it.
‘You’re so handsome,’ she replied.
Knarf smiled and leaned his face close without actually kissing her and said: ‘I’m only reflecting back your own beauty.’
‘No offence, but a Gamorrean could’ve come up with a better line.’
‘Yes, but I doubt a Gamorrean’s as good looking as me, nor as skilled.’
This drew a laugh from her and they kissed a long time before there came a rap on the door. Shadie stood. Knarf pulled her back down into his arms and squeezed her into a gentle hug. He felt her breathe relief and comfort to be held by him.
The knocking came again, more urgently this time.
‘It’s Fane,’ she said.
‘Oh, all right,’ teased Knarf. Shadie went to the door.
Fane stood, an urgent look on his face. ‘Oh, I’m not interrupting anything, am I?’
‘Not yet, you weren’t,’ said Knarf. ‘Five minutes more and you might have been.’
‘Don’t want to know.’
‘Hey, you asked.’ Knarf lifted his palms in defence, grinning.
‘What is it, Fane?’
‘It’s happening: Gourd. It’s the third time I dream it, it’s got to be a vision of some sort. He’s got an army, massive army, so many ships that he’s bringing here to Mandalore. He also has some new technology, not just battery lasers, a much more powerful type. He’s going to use it to destroy Mandalore, make it burn. He’s angry, Shadie, and he’s going to continue what Kromus started. He wants to see you destroyed.’
‘For someone who had a vision, you know a lot,’ said Knarf. ‘That’s some intense vision. I’m sure glad I don’t get those. I’m content with only being able to grab a brandy without getting up.’
‘Well, here’s the thing,’ said Fane, ‘there’s more. I… I can’t explain why or how, but somehow I can feel him, feel his emotions, hear his thoughts. There’s an energy around him that I sense. It’s as though my mind becomes linked to his.’
Shadie frowned. ‘Such a connection through the Force is rare, and can become dangerous. Could you tell if he felt you too?’
‘No. But it was the future that which I saw. He was here already. Mandalore was burning.’
‘We need to contact the Council,’ said Shadie, ‘get as many Jedi as they can send us here on Mandalore.’
‘We need to speak to the Mandalore himself,’ said Knarf. ‘A blockade might be best. War is upon us. It’s imminent. It is vital that he knows it.’
Shadie went to a Holonet console to raise the Council. Within moments, Master Herl’unik came online.
‘Master Herl’unik,’ said Shadie, ‘I have grave news.’
‘What is it, Master Eidhas?’
‘Fane has had a vision of the future, which we cannot ignore. Darth Gourd is planning an assault on Mandalore.’
‘Hundreds of ships,’ interrupted Fane.
‘We will need an army of Jedi here to fight Darth Gourd’s.’
The Grand Master’s Zabrak face became sombre. ‘I wish I could help, but Supreme Chancellor Emain has forbidden us to leave Coruscant.’
‘What?’ This came from all three.
‘Given the circumstances that we do not know who is Sith and who is not, which spies are working for Gourd or where they are, Coruscant is on a complete lockdown. The energy field is up and no transport is to leave or enter Coruscant’s atmosphere.’
‘So, basically he’s going to barricade the Jedi,’ said Shadie.
‘No one can leave or enter, not just the Jedi.’
‘Yes, but that doesn’t mean his intentions are…’
‘I spoke to him myself. His concern is genuine and I sensed no deception from him, Master Eidhas. I can however send word to the Jedi who are out on missions and thus who cannot return to the Temple.’
‘That would be much appreciated.’
‘What about Brenum and Trylia? Any word?’ asked the Grand Master.
‘Well, they were here over a year ago with nothing but theories on where to search next and left again shortly after. I’ve not heard from them in nearly a year, aside from Holonet mail. The Krayt Dragon doesn’t have a long range Holonet dish. They must be in the Outer Rim of the Unknown Regions.’
‘I hope they are well,’ the Grand Master said.
‘I sense no ill has befallen them.’
‘Very well. I must attend to the Masters,’ said Master Herl’unik. ‘We will speak soon, Shadie, I mean, Master Eidhas.’ He clicked his console off and his holoimage flickered out.
‘I don’t like this,’ said Shadie.
‘Me neither,’ said Fane.
‘Something’s not right in the Chancellor’s head,’ said Knarf.
‘I’ve met him, he wouldn’t deliberately debilitate the Jedi like that,’ said Shadie. ‘He’s a reasonable man.’
‘Does locking down the entire planet sound reasonable to you?’ asked Knarf. ‘Something’s amiss. Something is going on in the Senate.’
‘Well, it’s not just the Jedi, it’s everyone,’ said Fane.
‘That’s what they’ll say and do to justify it,’ said Knarf, ‘but the ultimate reason is to prevent the Jedi who are away from going to Coruscant, and for those on Coruscant from going to the aid of others. If Supreme Chancellor Emain didn’t come to this decision on his own, then someone working against the Jedi did.’
‘You think?’ asked Shadie.
‘Hey, I never trusted the government,’ said Knarf, ‘you know that, and now I trust it even less.’
‘All right, so are we going to arrange to meet with the Mandalore?’ said Shadie.
Fane and Knarf looked at Shadie.
‘Looks like we have no choice.’
‘Shall I, or shall you?’
‘No, let me contact Talyc first,’ said Knarf. ‘Best he be there too, lest Kelbourn can’t be there himself.’
“Masters of the Force” is written by Celinka Serre (2019).
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 storylines from the films are used. No storylines 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 FairUse.
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.