Talyc’s armour had a few scratch marks, but it looked otherwise still fairly polished. The biggest burn mark that had come from a lightsaber was on one of the brown sections of his arm and it gave it a glowing look. He looked at his left shoulder. At least the rest of his armour was almost as clean as when the fight had started. He’d have to remember that his shoulder was his vulnerable spot; although it had not reached his skin, there was a hole in the beskar armour.
Talyc confirmed through his helmet’s channel that the Sith were down. Knarf replied something quick. It sounded like the fight was getting heavy. Talyc took his comlink out.
‘Fane, can you read me?’
‘I can. Is everything all right?’ There was concern in his voice.
‘Affirmative, but it sounds like things are getting intense where Knarf and Shadie are. I think they’re going to need Jedi reinforcements.’
There was a pause; Talyc knew Fane was thinking. ‘I’ll go help them out, and I’ll inform the Jedi. I’m sending the pirates back your way to regroup. Keep fending off Sith reinforcements. Hopefully, we Jedi can overwhelm those two Sith, even if they have enhanced powers.’
‘Got it!’ Talyc paused. ‘Fane, be careful.’
‘You be careful!’ came Fane’s voice. Talyc could hear the smile behind his tone. ‘Will do.’ He closed the channel.
‘I know you’re blushing under that helmet of yours,’ said Nriwe. She nudged him with her elbow. ‘Come on, I see some more Sith down that way.’
Talyc was blushing; he could feel it. He led the team down a hill. He looked to the other direction. He saw the group of pirates approaching. Zaereg kept roaring as he ran towards the Mandalorian group.
‘I thought you were clan leader!’ Zaereg said pointing at Talyc.
‘I am!’ replied Talyc, a little taken aback.
‘Then lead us to some Sith so I can spill their blood, like a true Cathar warrior should.’
Zaereg roared again. Talyc laughed. Where had Brenum and Trylia found this bunch? They were a motley crew, but well trained and surprisingly well disciplined warriors on the most part.
Talyc pointed at an incoming group of Sith. ‘They enough to sink your teeth into?’
The pirates charged ahead of the Mandalorians, who provided laser fire as cover. Talyc switched to his vibroblade again when the Sith were close enough.
* * *
Fane hurried towards the location where his friends fought. When he arrived, he could see Lian and Relsor duelling further down, while Perce was busy sending lightning towards and fighting the others. Fane ran towards his friends.
‘How is it that four Jedi cannot defeat one Sith?’ taunted Perce as Fane approached.
‘Because they needed a fifth,’ he replied, slashing at the Sith.
Perce laughed, blocking. ‘Kromus’s failed apprentice,’ he said. ‘You’re still a Jedi? Pfft! You failed both your masters.’
‘Two of my masters,’ Fane corrected. ‘I will not fail the third.’
Perce lifted a hand up and something came flying Fane’s way from behind him. He rolled away; the slab of broken duracrete landed on the grass where Fane had stood. Perce fended off Trylia with the Force as she attempted to overwhelm him with a series of quick attacks.
‘Relsor and I share the power of the Crypt,’ said Perce. ‘You lot are pathetic. What did Kromus ever see in you, Shadie, or in Fane? No wonder Lahnius failed him, it runs in the family.’
‘The only person who ever failed Kromus was himself,’ said Shadie.
‘Shadie this, Shadie that… I was glad to be away for a time, but the fact still remains, Shadie, you killed our master.’
‘He was no longer my master, Perce. He may have still been yours, but Kromus stopped being my master a long time ago.’
‘Too bad,’ said Perce, dryly. ‘You would have done well to heed his warnings. Now you will pay the price for your failures.’
* * *
Relsor momentarily focused his attention on the fight that was occurring in the courtyard alcove of the ancient ruins. Perce had things under control, but Shadie was not letting herself become vulnerable. This was angering as much as it was regrettable. If Shadie would not tire, then they would have to find some other way to capture her.
He turned his red eyes back to the blue Twi’lek who stood before him. He was good; he was well disciplined in every aspect of combat, Force technique and lightsaber forms.
‘It is a shame you master the light,’ he told him. ‘You are a formidable opponent.’
‘Save your flattery,’ replied the Jedi. ‘You cannot goad me, you cannot coerce me, you cannot turn me, and you cannot flatter my ego. You can try, but I bathe in the light side of the healing energy that lives in the Force and has long since run through the veins of my forefathers. They would be proud of me today, if they could see what I could do to avert your mind attacks and heal the Force from your twisted and sickening darkness.’
Relsor sent lightning towards the Jedi; his white lightsaber caught it. He pushed harder. The Jedi backed away a bit, struggling.
‘No Jedi or Sith is a match to my powers,’ said Relsor.
‘Proclaim all you want, Chiss, you’re just another malady that has been unleashed onto this galaxy, and when I find the antidote, you will diminish into oblivion.’
Relsor laughed. ‘I think someone thinks highly of himself and is flattering his own ego.’
‘I speak only that which I know to be the truth. Look around you; feel me. You know I’m right. It is your powers that are diminished. You cannot create illusions around me, and the love bond that exists in the Force between my friends allows them to see right through your illusions.’
Relsor reached into himself and used the Force to lift the Jedi up high into the air and slammed him back down. The Twi’lek merely laughed at him.
‘I am a healer,’ he said in a pained voice. ‘Unless you kill me, you will not win this fight, you will not weaken me. You cannot beat me unless it is with a killing blow. So come at me, give me everything you’ve got.’
* * *
‘We need to go help Lian,’ said Shadie. ‘He won’t be able to withstand Relsor for much longer.’
She started in his direction. Next thing she knew, she was being propelled through air and landed near some trees. The branches scratched her arms; it stung, but it wasn’t so bad.
‘Why are you holding back on me, Perce?’ she called out. ‘I killed Kromus.’
Perce looked her way. ‘And I will kill Knarf!’ He looked at Knarf. ‘No more slicing, you fodder.’
Knarf blocked the attack that came his way. Shadie lifted her arm high and diverted the lightning that started to streak from Perce’s hands, absorbing it. She sent it back his way. She rushed forward, and attempted to drain his life energy. Perce laughed. She drained him, she knew she was draining him, but it did nothing, it changed nothing.
‘How are you not draining?’ she called out, frustrated.
‘That’s it, Shadie, reach into your roots,’ said Perce. ‘Relsor is master of the Crypt today, but you could be it tomorrow. Let us not let a Chiss muddy the reputation of true Sith, of the True Sith. We all learnt from Kromus, we are the Followers of Kromus, not the followers of Darth Gourd. We are the true Followers of Kromus. Let us join forces. You, Fane, with me, we can defeat…’
‘Shut up!’ she shouted, annoyed. ‘You know nothing of Kromus and his teachings. I was like a sister to him and I knew more about him than anyone else. You think you know him, you think you understand the dark side? Oh, but it’s not that simple, Perce. Kromus didn’t want to kill me in the end, though he knew he had to. Even if he knew I would kill him. His dying words, his final words…’
‘Were that the dark side is absolute!’ said Perce. ‘He told me himself via holocall. He told me when he returned, before you killed him again.’
‘No!’ said Shadie. ‘His true final dying words were: “I’m sorry, forgive me, you truly are of the light.”‘ Shadie was paraphrasing, but that was basically the gist of it. ‘In his final moments, his true feelings, his true intentions, were light, were pure. So if you are a Follower of Kromus, you will do as he did and turn to the light.’
‘You lie! My master was the truest Sith I know.’
‘Yeah?’ Shadie stopped trying to drain him and took a beat. ‘That Chiss over there is the only true Sith I see here today, and you are just a mockery of an idea, a fraction of what a true Sith is. Just like you are a mockery of a slicer.’
She narrowed her gaze, knowing she was hitting a nerve. Trying to probe him with the Force, she brought her lightsaber up to block his incoming attack as he tried to strike at Knarf.
* * *
Talyc and the others arrived at the area where the fight was happening. He gave instructions to his troops to go and defend Jedi Lian and provide enough of a distraction to try to overwhelm Relsor. As for him, he ran straight into the fray of lightning. There were streaks flying back and forth, he could not tell if the lightning was coming from Shadie or from Perce.
He took out his repeater rifle. He saw Brenum lunge at Perce, whose lightsaber was coming in too close for Talyc’s liking. He fired a shot and hit the hilt of the red blade. The Sith’s arm was diverted and Brenum’s was saved. The Jedi looked his way and nodded in thanks.
Fane looked at him and smiled quickly, then turned his attention back to the fight. Talyc switched back to his vibroblade. He could at least provide a bit of back-up help for his friends.
Perce took Knarf in a Force Grip, the motion was very sudden, and he lifted him very high up in the air. Startled, Knarf dropped his lightsaber.
‘Knarf!’ cried Shadie, who ran towards Perce, trying to distract him, attack him, but Perce kept batting her away with the Force.
He released Knarf and took Shadie in a grip. Knarf called his lightsaber back and seemed to use the Force to cushion his fall, rolling a bit before he stood up again. Shadie was struggling, trying to use the Force to fend off the Force attack. Perce floated her closer to him and held her in the Force. She could hardly move; it looked like she was petrified by the Force and held in some sort of stasis. Talyc saw the other Jedi turn their gaze, as Relsor approached the scene, holding a hand up towards Shadie.
‘This is you, Relsor,’ said Brenum. ‘I thought I recognised the power.’
Shadie floated higher as Relsor kept her in this sort of Force limbo, high above the ground.
‘Shall we go?’ Relsor said to Perce.
‘NO!’ cried Knarf.
Knarf lunged forward, though he was no match for the two Sith who obviously had done all this to capture Shadie.
‘You needed us to believe you didn’t want us near you!’ Brenum said angrily. ‘Shadie had to willingly attack you without caution.’ Perce and Relsor both laughed in reply.
Talyc ran to his friend’s aid. Knarf blocked one blade, then the next. Brenum came spinning on top of Relsor. Lian bounded from somewhere above, flying towards the Sith and landing next to Brenum. Trylia and Fane were attempting to fight Perce.
Talyc arrived just in time to block Perce’s lightsaber as it came down hard on Knarf. His vibroblade buzzed as the red lightsaber hummed, both inches above Knarf’s head.
‘Thanks,’ said Knarf. He rolled away and bounced back up.
Perce took a step towards Talyc and grabbed his shoulder, his left shoulder. He had clearly noticed the vulnerability in Talyc’s armour.
‘Why does a Mandalorian, who’s not even Force-sensitive, think he’s a Jedi, I wonder?’ said Perce.
He twisted his arm in one swift motion and Talyc felt a pop as it dislocated. He gave out a cry of pain.
‘Talyc!’ cried Fane.
He came at the Sith, who blocked and diverted each lightsaber, Knarf’s, Fane’s, Trylia’s, so quickly, the red blade was only a blur in the air, and he still held onto Talyc’s shoulder. The pain was excruciating, but it’s not like it was anything Talyc had never felt before. He’d dislocated and relocated his arms before.
Knarf went flying, lightning hitting him square in the chest. Smoke rose from his armour, but he seemed all right.
Talyc looked at the Sith’s contorted face and realised the red blade was making its way towards Fane. His man blocked. Perce threw his lightsaber in the air and grabbed Fane’s wrist with his other hand. He twisted Fane’s hand and his lightsaber dropped, powering off.
Talyc suddenly felt himself flying across the air and he landed on the ground a little farther back. He lay on his back a quick moment, trying to get his bearings back. He tried to prop himself up.
Perce caught his lightsaber and drove it into…
‘FANE!’ Talyc cried out.
Fane went flying in another direction and landed by a tree, hitting his head against it. Talyc saw Trylia’s outstretched arm. Perce was in a lunge position, his lightsaber clearly having only struck air. Perce shouted in frustration.
Talyc closed his eyes. ‘Thank goodness,’ he whispered to himself.
He popped his shoulder back in, screaming with pain; he may have had done this before, but it didn’t make it any less painful. He managed to crawl to where Fane sat; he was leaning against the tree, breathing heavily.
‘Fane. Fane!’ Talyc took his helmet off. ‘Fane, my man.’
‘I’m okay, Talyc. I’m alive. Thanks to Trylia. I’m just a little dizzy.’
‘Oh, thank goodness,’ Talyc repeated.
He leaned against the tree next to Fane and leaned his head on his. They were both out of the fight; there was no point risking any other severe injuries at this point. Talyc looked up at the scene: Lian seemed to have Relsor under control. Talyc could see many Jedi running their way from farther away. The Mandalorians and pirates were heading their way as well, though they were still intercepting more of the other Sith to prevent them from reaching the scene. Talyc hoped his friends would be able to free Shadie from the Force trap.
* * *
Knarf kept running back towards Perce; every time Perce pushed him away, and Knarf kept running right back. He would not let these Sith capture his Lady. She was his love, the love of his life. She had told him that he was the life of her love. In that moment, he knew that no matter what might come their way, he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. He’d known it before, had always felt it, but now he knew for sure, consciously, without any doubt, that he was ready to commit to her, for the rest of his life; he was ready to marry her. He knew that their marriage would only strengthen their Force-bond and their ever-lasting love for each other. What a way to realise the meaning of such a commitment!
Brenum kept bouncing back and forth between Perce and Relsor. Trylia kept her focus on the human Sith who held her friend captive.
If Knarf could break Relsor’s concentration for just one moment, perhaps that would do the trick. He started towards the Chiss, but was grabbed by the Force and brought back towards Perce, who tried to kill him again and again. The red lightsaber hit his leg.
‘Gah!’ Knarf buckled from the emotional flashback. Knarf stood again. ‘Go ahead, slice my leg off. It wouldn’t be the first time one of Kromus’s apprentices did that.’ Though he didn’t want to have to get a new prosthetic just yet. ‘If you can manage going through the beskar’gam, that is.’
Knarf tried something fancy, an elaborate set of moves, giving himself time to think on what to do next. He knew Perce wouldn’t let him go fight Relsor, nor try to free Shadie. So, he just went for it: he plunged his orange lightsaber into Perce’s torso; it went through the upper right side.
‘Argh!’ cried Perce.
The lightsaber protruded from the other side. Perce closed his eyes and seemed to focus. Then, he began to laugh. Slowly, somehow, as Perce continued to fight Trylia with his lightsaber, Knarf’s blade began to be pushed back out of him. Knarf looked closely. As the lightsaber cauterised the hole it created, all around it, Perce’s flesh seemed to heal within moments.
‘What?’ he exclaimed. ‘How?’
Perce’s laugh grew louder. Knarf’s lightsaber was pushed completely out and the gaping hole filled itself back. Perce used the Force to push Knarf and Trylia away.
‘You think you can kill me?’
‘How is that possible?’ Knarf was aghast.
‘While Kromus was busy trying to find the secrets of immortality by binding his life essence to a holocron, he missed a vital piece of information, for I actually found the secrets of immortality by learning the teachings of another holocron: Regeneration. With the power from the Crypt, I can now regenerate properly and more quickly. As long as my heart has a pulse, I regenerate and cannot be killed.’
Knarf could hardly believe it. He shook his head. How was he going to save his Lady? He screamed in anger and ran towards Perce and drove his lightsaber in him again. It was pushed back out again, and once again Knarf saw Perce regenerate before his very eyes.
Trylia leapt into the air, up to where Shadie was and grabbed a hold of her, yanking her. Shadie remained floating, but Trylia was causing her to move. Why hadn’t Knarf thought of that? He reached out with the Force and saw Fane extend his hands towards her as well. Together they focused their powers on the very energy that held Shadie in the air.
Shadie and Trylia came crashing down. Trylia obviously used the Force to soften their fall, since they landed on their feet. Shadie looked a little off balance, but was back in the fight. Without a second glance at Relsor, she came at Perce, as Knarf did too, trying to kill him.
Jedi arrived, as did more Mandalorians and pirates. Zaereg’s roaring cry of valour could be heard as the pirate plunged towards the Chiss. Relsor bounded up into the air, as did Perce and the two landed afar, away from the scene.
‘They’re getting away!’ shouted Shadie. ‘Cowards!’
She ran towards them. Knarf followed her. He saw Brenum and Trylia running side by side with them. Relsor turned to face them and sent lightning their way. The Sphere came down and hovered right above the two True Sith. They jumped straight up into it as an opening appeared, and the Sphere took off.
‘No!’ shouted Shadie. She was panting, out of breath. She bent low, taking huge intakes of hair.
‘Breathe, my love, it’s okay.’
‘I tried to reach out to it. It won’t even reply to me anymore. It won’t speak to me anymore. I feel like I just lost a friend who has betrayed me and…’
She looked at Knarf and wrapped her arms around him. She began to weep.
‘It’s okay,’ said Trylia soothingly. ‘They failed.’
Shadie collected herself; Knarf could tell her thoughts were running at a thousand parsecs per second. She had nearly been captured, he had nearly lost her to captivity. His mind was running at a thousand parsecs per second.
Shadie turned to her friends. ‘Maybe, but so did we.’
“Seekers of Darkness” 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.