Trylia clipped her lightsaber to her belt and studied her new outfit as she walked out of the room to join Relsor and Perce again. She stopped short when she heard harsh but low voices; there was a third person with them. She slowed her pace.
‘You said that you wouldn’t!’
‘And I haven’t,’ replied Relsor.
‘I need to be able to question him myself.’
‘Do I need to remind you that your personal goals are secondary to those of the True Sith’s?’ There was menace in Relsor’s voice.
The other man let out a long breath. ‘No, my Lord, I know it very well.’
‘You have this position for a reason,’ came Perce’s voice. ‘Don’t jeopardise it for…’ They paused. Trylia realised she could be seen. The man standing with Relsor and Perce was one of the True Sith who had borne witness to the Jedi’s grand escape; the hooded True Sith with a mask that covered his entire face.
‘Ah, Trylia,’ said Relsor.
‘I’m not interrupting anything, am I?’
‘We were just leaving.’ Perce clapped the other on the shoulder. The masked man kept his gaze on Trylia for a moment before he and Perce left.
‘An apprentice of yours?’ Trylia asked Relsor.
‘A pompous, overzealous, ambitious True Sith, but for those very reasons he has been recently elevated in rank. Perce and I can’t be on all ships at once; we need those who can lead while following our commands to keep the True Sith faction strong. Sometimes they overstep and need to be kept in check. Nothing to worry yourself with, Trylia.’ Relsor looked her up and down, examining her new outfit. ‘Lovely!’ he exclaimed.
Trylia shrugged. She had to admit, although she wasn’t too fond of the style, these Sith robes were very comfortable.
‘Well, you did pick something that had some purple in it to match my lightsaber,’ she said. ‘I suppose that’s something.’
Relsor inclined his head and smiled fondly. ‘Awgro!’ The Sith approached. ‘I have a list here of items I need from the market on Dromund Kaas and I only trust you to get these for me.’ He turned to his counterpart. ‘Perce, once again, you have the ship.’ The two nodded sinisterly. Then Relsor clicked his heels, turned and led the way, Trylia following close behind him. He motioned with his hand. ‘I want you walking next to me.’
They took a shuttle to the surface. Once it had touched down, Awgro went in one direction and they headed in another. The place was dank, dark, damp, cloudy. She looked up.
‘It’s always raining here,’ said Relsor. Trylia noticed many Sith staring at them.
‘The Sith Empire is not used to seeing aliens among them,’ said Relsor.
‘Tell me about it,’ said Trylia.
‘They confer with humans and Pureblood Sith, very few of them are aliens. You will probably find more on Korriban, but few aliens earn their right to a title above master. Many have joined the True Sith, for we accept all dark side users, no matter their species.’ He eyed a group of Sith who were whispering while staring at him. ‘Here on Dromund Kaas, you will find some Mandalorians or bounty hunters, and a few Force users from the Academy on Korriban who are alien, but to see two such prominent aliens, Togruta and Chiss, walking as equals, both carrying lightsabers, is very strange to these little-minded folks. Not to mention they know who I am and should fear me. They know Perce, they knew Jassahmi and know that she is now dead, and thus they are wondering who you are.’
Relsor led them down some stairs and through a wide street that seemed to be part of a complex. Trylia heard some music coming from a Cantina nearby. They walked up another set of steps where a taxi droid stood.
‘Please select your departure,’ said the droid. They entered the taxi and off it went, unescorted.
‘Now, Trylia, when we meet with the Dark Council, it’s important that you refer to me as “my Lord.” You don’t have to say “Master”, you can be vague; keep them wondering, keep them fearing. Speak very little, but when you do, be sure to lower the pitch of your voice a bit.’
‘What’s wrong with the pitch of my voice?’ demanded Trylia, in a higher-pitched tone.
‘My point exactly. Sound more like a Sith than like the Jedi you are.’
‘Oh right. I’ll do what I can.’ She paused. ‘My Lord,’ she added, lowering her voice as much as she could.
‘Oh, I like that!’
‘Don’t get used to it!’
Relsor cocked a brow and looked her way. He didn’t say anything but she could sense amusement. The taxi arrived, after travelling across a high dip below them, and landed on a platform that connected to a long corridor that seemed to lead to other platforms. Relsor led them into the central complex and through a series of chambers. They went up a lift, and after turning a few corners, they came to a room guarded by two burly Sith. The door opened and they were admitted into the Dark Council chamber.
Trylia gasped at sensing the dark side within the room. She could sense Relsor relish in the fear and anticipation the Sith Lords were emitting.
‘Here is where I bested them,’ he whispered to her. She did not want to know what that meant.
Trylia looked at the long line of Sith Lords who sat in their council seats, all in one straight row, and there, next to the older man in the middle, sat Lord Void. He looked at her and narrowed his eyes, shifting ever so slightly.
‘The Sith are looking at me,’ Trylia tried to sound nonchalant. ‘Shall I acknowledge them?’
‘After my lead,’ replied Relsor.
He halted in the centre of the chamber and nodded to the man in the centre and then looked at all the others. Trylia gave a curt bow from the waist and her gaze met Void’s once more.
‘You wished to meet with your True Sith Lord,’ said Relsor, ‘and now I am here. What is it you wished of me.’
‘Who is your companion?’ asked the man in the centre.
‘I am a student of the Force,’ said Trylia, bowing again, lowering the pitch of her voice as she had practiced moments earlier. She knew they would be probing to detect a lie; this was the best way to conceal her identity while telling the truth. She doubted the Sith would welcome a Jedi in their Dark Council chamber, even if that Jedi accompanied Relsor.
The old Sith nodded. ‘We wished to speak with you on the matter of our alliance.’ He took a grave tone. ‘It is my understanding that many of our Sith were killed in recent events, and that their lives have been squandered.’
‘Nonsense!’ objected Relsor. ‘Your Sith joined my True Sith in a fight for power over the entire galaxy. You knew the terms when you joined the True Sith.’
‘You mean when the True Sith joined the Sith Empire!’
‘No!’ Relsor’s tone was dangerously menacing yet level. ‘I did not join any Empire. There is a difference, and I am the true leader of this whole faction. You gave your allegiance to me.’
‘Did we have any choice?’ the old Sith rebuttled.
Lightning flickered briefly on the tips of Relsor’s fingers. ‘Your Sith knew what was being asked of them. They gave their lives up willingly.’
‘What my Lord, Haar’elso’rothmor, means to say,’ Trylia jumped in, sensing Relsor teeming with pride as she spoke, ‘is that their deaths will be honoured and,’ she looked at Lord Void, ‘they willingly sacrificed themselves to our cause.’
* * *
Lord Void shifted in his seat, as Jedi Trylia looked right at him when she spoke. She was trying to tell him something. She had sacrificed herself. He knew she would not willingly defect to the True Sith, he had understood that when he had met her with her lover Jedi Brenum and Jedi Master Lian. However, he could not sense she was here in the Dark Council chamber against her will; she was with Relsor as part of a greater cause.
‘The way you send the Sith out to fight your battles,’ continued the Head of the Dark Council, ‘makes it seem as though you would allow the Empire’s Sith to perish first. How do we know you will not then use your True Sith to turn on us and take over the Empire?’
‘But I already have taken over the Empire when you relinquished it to me,’ said Relsor.
Trylia snapped her gaze at the Chiss. He was bold and Lord Void knew this was not the time to renege on their alliance, not when she was there. Whatever her mission was, he had to buy her some time.
Void leaned in towards the Head of his Council and whispered. ‘My Lord, perhaps this is not the time to renege on the alliance. I know I have been very vocal about cutting ties with the True Sith, but clearly, Relsor has a new apprentice. We don’t know how dangerous she is. We can proceed with part of our plan, but hold out on the more abrupt part of it. Remember what Relsor did to us last time, and he was alone. I doubt he will take us telling him to leave and that we’re no longer with him lying down.’
‘Take the floor then, I cannot speak to that alien scum,’ the Head whispered back.
Void stood and took a few steps. ‘We have concerns, naturally, and you must understand that we prefer to keep our forces to defend ourselves against the Republic and to attack the Republic. You have asked us to deploy Sith and ships to you. But our spies have gathered information about the Republic taking advantage of their focus being on you, while we may think it is all on you, to strike at us. We must call in many of those ships to fight the coming attacks that will come to many of our planets. We will coordinate a coup, and once we are done and victorious, then we may redeploy them to where you need them most. You do understand, as our ally and as a True Sith, the importance of maintaining our position and defending our territory and resources for you and your war as well?’
‘How do you know you will be victorious?’ asked Relsor.
‘Through Strength, I gain Victory,’ replied Void. ‘With the strength of our forces, we will gain that victory.’
Trylia leaned towards Relsor and whispered something. Then Relsor nodded.
‘Very well, but the Sith on my ships remain where they are.’
Lord Void looked at Trylia just long enough for her to understand he had told a lie. He could sense her wondering and he sensed Relsor probing for the lie. Lord Void almost chuckled, he had long ago mastered the ability to conceal a lie in the Force. He looked at Relsor again.
‘Then we are done,’ said Void. ‘I hope you have been…reassured. The same way the proof you sent us has reassured us.’ Void wanted Relsor to sense this reassurance, even if the hidden truth was that they knew someone had sliced the recording to make it look like Agent Knarf had fabricated it. Imperial Intelligence had seen right through it, but he wanted Relsor to believe that the Empire believed him above the Republic. Another concealed lie.
Lord Void smiled. Jedi Trylia had surely had an influence on the True Sith, for he smiled back, albeit condescendingly. Trylia bowed as the Chiss turned and led them out of the room. When the door behind them had closed, Void turned to the other Council members, concealing from them his true thoughts and emotions regarding Relsor. The Head of the Council took a datapad and punched in a few keys.
‘Are you calling back the Sith?’ asked Void.
‘No, this is a warning. The next time I send a signal, they will turn on Relsor and kill as many True Sith as they can.’ He looked at Void. ‘As he said, the Sith on his ship know the sacrifice they will have to make.’
Void narrowed his eyes. The old codger knew full well his apprentice remained on Relsor’s ship. Lord Void was not willing to let him die just yet.
‘My apprentice will know valuable information that can help us in the war against Relsor,’ said Void.
‘Then it is up to him to relinquish that information before his end.’
Void clenched his teeth and swallowed. ‘Very well.’ He waited to be dismissed.
‘I would keep a close eye on your apprentice, if I were you,’ came the voice of Lady Gofaylia, as Void was exiting the grand chamber. She was a regal woman with an impeccable Imperial accent, her umber skin as smooth today as it had been thirty years ago, and she was as beautiful as she was dangerous. She was in fact his biggest threat at a stake in being the next Head of the Dark Council, but perhaps the only other Council member he truly respected. And she was relentlessly right about many predictions, which aggravated him given her warning today was about his apprentice, Awgro. ‘Being so long on the ship of our enemy mustn’t be good, if he has survived this long. I wonder if his loyalties have not shifted.’
‘As long as he divulges the information we require of him, then it is a sign that his loyalties remain to the Sith Empire,’ said Void. ‘I wonder at the reason of your sudden concern in my apprentice, Lady Gofaylia.’
‘I also wonder at the reasons you were so eager to send him onto the Chiss “True” Sith’s ship,’ said Lady Gofaylia.
‘What are you implying?’
‘I am merely suggesting that if you have not been entirely forthcoming with the Dark Council about your reasons, then don’t expect your apprentice to be entirely forthcoming with his information. Pretending false loyalties is a dangerous game, Lord Void. Pray you have no hidden loyalties I may someday discover.’
Lady Gofaylia smiled regally and lifted her head high before turning to leave. Void mulled over her words. He would have to be more careful in hiding some of his secrets, but he trusted his apprentice. He would keep her warning in the back of his mind, though. He wasn’t entirely sure her concerns were about Awgro truly, or if they’d been more about him the entire time. She had probably sensed his recognition of Jedi Trylia and some of the emotions he had felt during their meeting with Relsor. Void was a master at concealing himself and his emotions, but Lady Gofaylia was a master at uncovering the truth and at sensing that which was concealed.
* * *
Void quickly cleared his mind as he went into his private chamber and contacted Awgro immediately. ‘Awgro, what is your location?’
‘Dromund Kaas, my Lord.’
Void scowled in puzzlement. ‘Dromund Kaas? You’re on-planet?’
‘Yes, my Lord. Relsor wished for me to grab some bits and bobs from the market.’ Void walked to the transparisteel viewport and looked out. He saw a shuttle lift towards the large looming dreadnaught that was Relsor’s immense flagship.
‘Are you certain?’ he asked. There was a pause.
Then, as the flagship left the atmosphere, he heard Awgro’s voice again. ‘What in the kark!’
‘Awgro, my office, now!’
Void didn’t wait too long before his apprentice emerged into the room, hurrying, holding several bags from his errands.
‘What happened?’ demanded Void. ‘Explain to me why Relsor just left without you?’ To be perfectly honest, Void was relieved his apprentice was safe, but he would not show it.
‘My Lord, I believe I’ve failed you.’ Void waited for the rest. ‘The Republic flew by as warned and left before I could shoot them down. But the Jedi Trylia told Relsor about it and told him there was a tracking device on the hull of his ship. So, as you can imagine, he went and found it, got rid of it. I did admit to seeing the flyby of ships and how we failed to shoot them down. I might have embellished the story the first time I told it, he obviously saw through the deception.’
Void sighed. ‘This means he has abandoned you for your failure. You’re lucky he has not done anything more to you.’ Void thought a moment. ‘Perhaps he thinks he has you on his side, apprenticing you, and that he can call you back whenever he decides he needs you again.’
‘Perhaps.’ Awgro seemed to ponder. ‘I shared a few things about myself that he might want to “exploit,” perchance it helped my cause. It seems it did; it seems he has chosen not to kill me thanks to it.’
‘Well, you best tell me everything you know about Relsor: his patterns, his ships, his armada, where he hides the other True Sith, about Perce, and the Crypt.’
Awgro bowed and began spilling what he knew to his master.
* * *
Lian leaned his chin on his hand, a heavy weight suddenly coming over him.
‘Are you certain there were no hyperspace signatures or Force signatures remaining for you to follow?’
‘Negative,’ said Brenum through the holomonitor speaker. ‘We’re going to have to plug this device into some holodecrypter on Mandalore; Knarf’s going to try to slice into it to find out whatever data it gathered through its backend systems.’
‘It grieves me to know this, but I am hopeful, if Knarf is slicing it,’ said Lian. A comlink chimed. He looked over; it was the comlink Lord Void had provided them, which the others had decided to entrust to Lian, knowing it would be kept safe with him here at the Crypt. ‘Stay on the line,’ said Lian. He took the comlink and answered. ‘Yes?’
‘Jedi Master Lian,’ came in Lord Void’s voice. ‘Allow me to begin by saying that I am glad you are doing well. When I heard you had been struck down, I was disappointed, but I hear you are the keeper of the Crypt now. Congratulations, not many escape death and live to become immortal.’
‘Thank you,’ replied Lian.
‘It’s all they talk about on the Empire’s Holonews these days,’ said Void.
‘Just a moment. Can the rest of you hear this?’
‘It’s a bit choppy,’ said Shadie, ‘but we can hear him.’
‘Oh, hello then, Shadie,’ said Void. ‘Listen, I won’t take much of your time, and I don’t have much to give. I understand one of you has sacrificed herself to Relsor?’
‘If you mean she let him take her captive, then yes,’ said Shadie. ‘She did it to save Brenum’s life, and ours.’
‘Then you will be glad to know that I saw her.’
‘What? When?’ Brenum exclaimed.
‘Dromund Kaas,’ said Lord Void. There was a pause filled with several gasps, several of the others repeating “Dromund Kaas?” ‘Relsor met with the Dark Council and he was accompanied by Jedi Trylia. I recognised her, as she recognised me. She spoke seldom and what she said was cryptic, but I believe she was trying to tell me she had made a sacrifice for “our cause.” I understand “our cause” to be the war against Relsor.’
‘Was she…did she seem…all right?’ asked Brenum.
‘She was safe, and I sensed no ill from her,’ said Void. Lian listened intently as Void continued. ‘The Empire is recalling its ships, by the pretence of an imminent secret attack by the Republic. It might be wise to stage a coup.’
‘Emain surely has more ships he can…’ began Shadie. ‘Uhm, I mean, yeah, we’ll figure it out. Just tell us where.’
‘I’ll send you the coordinates,’ replied Void. ‘You should also know that my apprentice is no longer on Relsor’s ship, but other Sith still are and when the Dark Council decides, they will attack the True Sith from within.’
‘Best save that attack for later,’ said Lian, ‘when we’re sure to strike him once and for all.’
‘Agreed.’ There was another pause. ‘I must go,’ said Void. ‘Here are the coordinates. I hope I won’t see you too soon. We have a common enemy, and to be honest, I consider you more Mandalorians than Jedi. The Republic is my enemy, not you individually, but even once I take over the Dark Council, my attacks will be to remote worlds, to take back some of the worlds the Republic took from the Empire. I’m sure we will be able to come to a mutual understanding. And I share this with you in the event we do not speak again before Relsor is defeated. Be well.’
Lord Void chimed out. Lian sighed, he heard Talyc whistle.
‘That’s interesting,’ said Knarf. ‘He told us his apprentice isn’t with Relsor anymore, but nothing about the secrets Awgro might have gathered for him. He’s keeping the information for himself, if he has anything that can help us defeat Relsor. He wants us to owe him if he helps us.’
‘I can understand that,’ said Lian. ‘I mean, we’re allies, but only by convenience. However, he respects us, and he gave us a heads-up. I’ll send you the coordinates he sent me and let you get in touch with Supreme Chancellor Emain.’
* * *
Being back on the ship and in hyperspace, Trylia left for the refresher. Relsor looked at Perce.
I found her datapad among her things, I know she had her lightsaber with her, but I found nothing else,’ said Perce. ‘If she has anything from the Crypt that belonged to Kromus, it’s either well concealed or in her mind.’
‘You’re not probing her mind,’ said Relsor, ‘I’ll get her to give up the information. I’ll give it some time.’ Perce nodded. They sat silent for a while.
Trylia returned; Relsor studied her. If she had anything concealed on her person, it was very well concealed. He would let her rest from their excursion before questioning her further. He was proud of her; to have had her by his side, to sow doubt to the Sith Empire of his supposed new apprentice.
‘You are dismissed. Reconvene with me when you have rested and we will discuss your stay.’
Trylia nodded and left.
‘In the meantime,’ he said turning to Perce, ‘you and I will slice into her datapad and find out if there is anything of value to use in there.’
“Secrets from the Past” is written by Celinka Serre (2022).
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.