Relsor walked along the halls of his ship towards the room where he knew his passion was feeding their son. Even though it had been but mere hours since they were last intimate, he longed to feel the passion she provided him.
He had met her a number of months after the events on Ziost. Maranna had been among the Followers of Kromus. She had more recently joined the True Sith, having been hunted by the Sith Empire for she was not only Force-sensitive, but she also had a Force defect. It appeared that she was able to absorb powers and abilities directed near her or towards her, but she was unable to reconduct them outwardly; it was all inwards and thus she had been a problem to the Empire, but not to Relsor.
Their love and passion had been almost immediate, and Maranna was completely unaffected by Relsor’s malady or abilities. When testing his powers, others standing next to her had been ill or had perished, while she had stood unaffected, untouched.
Relsor had feared, when she announced that she was with child, that their child would die, but it seemed the infant was also unaffected by Relsor’s malady, though he was able to redirect the Force outwardly, and he had shown much potential already in his first year.
Relsor had been by his passion’s side while she had given birth, and their love and child seemed to give him such strength, he was able to shroud himself in the Force and use it to reach his enemies and attempt to overpower them. His powers allowed him to detect every time Fane and Lian tried to enter his mind, and he cut them off before they were able to find him. He was also able to reach out to Shadie with his malady. If she died, he would be Master of the Crypt again, Lian’s powers would be neutralised, and Fane’s abilities to destroy him would be negated.
Maranna was human, but their son was Chiss, only a few mild tones lighter than Relsor’s darker blue, and his eyes bright red-magenta, like Relsor’s, but shaped like his mother’s beautiful human eyes.
Relsor entered the room. ‘My passion,’ he said.
Maranna stood from her seat, replying in kind. The baby boy was in his cot. Relsor breathed in as she approached. He took her in his arms.
‘It seems as though I need you constantly by my side to feel this passion, this power. It is a wonderful sensation,’ he said. She smiled. ‘Do you remember when we met, you were frightened you would disappoint me because of your defect?’
‘And instead, I was exactly what you needed me to be,’ she replied.
‘Where were you all the years I searched for the passion that fuelled my powers,’ said Relsor, brushing her hair out of her face.
‘Too short a time these few years have been, I know, and the time of your destiny approaches, but we must hold hope that you will be victorious and defeat Jedi Fane, that you will survive. And then the galaxy can be ours.’
‘And I can be yours forever.’
Relsor kissed her fiercely, feeling the passion he had longed to feel for so many years before, the passion he remembered feeling when he was younger, the passion he had feared would kill anyone for whom he felt it. Now he knew that instead of harming her, she would absorb it and it would return into the Force for him to gather up again and utilise, thus fuelling his strength in the Force and making him more powerful than moments earlier. She was not his remedy, but she was his necessity, as he was hers.
She pulled away, breathless, as Relsor gently nubbed her lip.
‘What worries you that you are reminiscing the time we met?’ she asked.
‘There is much that I fear,’ he replied, ‘and much still to be done to ensure my victory. I know that being more active in my attempts from afar will make the enemy more vigilant and want to hurry their efforts to find us. But they do not know about you, nor do they know about our son. He has changed my entire life.’ He looked over at the sleeping boy; he looked peaceful. Relsor leaned his forehead on Maranna’s. ‘You changed everything for me. I feel the Force is in motion, and that the time of my duel with Jedi Fane approaches. If the worst is to happen, you will need to escape. I will not have the Jedi, the Empire, or the Mandalorians hunting you because of your affiliation with me. You are no danger to them.’
‘The True Sith know of my existence, the Followers of Kromus know of our affiliation.’
‘Perhaps, but they are loyal, and only a trusted few know of our relationship. I trust in the True Sith. If any remain after the battle if I fail, they will not be the ones to put your lives in danger. The True Sith will be in capable hands.’ Relsor glanced at the cot before turning back to Maranna. ‘I do not want our son raised by the Sith or by the Jedi.’
Maranna nodded. ‘I heard you saying so in your recording.’ Relsor opened his mouth to reply but only nodded. ‘I know you’ve been recording for us.’ She put a hand on his face. ‘I am confident you will succeed. I have hope.’ She moved her hand to his heart. ‘I will fuel you with all the power you need. I will not let any Jedi, Sith, Mandalorian, or anyone else in this galaxy take you from me, my passion.’
‘You are the only one I want to ever take me, have me, and do what you will with me.’
Relsor kissed her again as she removed his clothes, and he made love to her, feeling a passion that gave him more strength. Their love, their passion, had been so unexpected, but after everything he had learnt, it had come at a perfect time in his life, though he wished she had been in his life sooner.
He held his passion in his arms after their elation, still hearing her moaning with pleasure as she breathed into his neck. He held her until she fell asleep. He stood from the bed, tossing aside the clothes that lay at the foot of the bed. He did not need them. When he was with Maranna, he could be naked and still feel more armoured than he had felt wearing Mandalorian armour at the start of his rise to power.
He walked to the cot and stroked his son’s forehead. He took the boy in his arms and cradled him.
‘Father is going to reshape the galaxy, my son, and I’m going to get rid of everyone who’s trying to kill me. Unlike it was for me, you will have your family by your side. It’ll be just you, your mother, and me. We’re going to rule the new galaxy. We’re going to reshape the Force. No one will stand in our way. All those who try to destroy us will perish. It’ll be our new order, and we’re going to be together forever.’ He kissed the boy’s brow and placed him back in his cot.
Relsor knelt on the rug by the foot of the bed, sitting on his heels, and entered a deep meditation, reaching out towards Shadie, feeling his power newly empowered by his recent moment of passion; it was the best time to strike. He found her, feeling her sense his malady, yet knowing she could not find him, and he focused all his energy on Shadie, to ensure she was weak, tired, draining the life force that kept her alive, draining the Force that sustained her and healed her, and striking at the very heart of her being.
* * *
Shadie swayed where she stood; Knarf ran to her side in time to catch her from falling. She looked very pale. Fane was already greatly worried, seeing Shadie weaken did not help.
‘My love,’ said Knarf. ‘You’re shaking.’
Shadie looked like she was trembling uncontrollably.
‘I don’t feel very well,’ she said. ‘I can feel him; I can feel Relsor reaching out to me and finding me. Damn that strange connection between two masters of the Crypt! But I also sense he is shrouded in the Force. I can’t exactly sense him, but I do feel that something fuelled his power and he is capitalising on that in order to gain an advantage against me.’
‘You need to do your thing,’ said Knarf. ‘Don’t let him win.’
‘Don’t worry,’ said Shadie, ‘I don’t intend on dying yet. I just need to rest a bit and gather my energy to focus on those new abilities to refuel myself. It’s a struggle just to do that sometimes.’
Fane closed his eyes. ‘I need you, Shadie,’ he said. ‘Relsor is trying to kill you, Awgro is trying to kill Talyc – if he’s even still alive.’ He walked to Shadie’s side. ‘All these Sith trying to kill those whom I love. I need you; you’re like a sister. I lost my only brother to the dark side and death, but I gained a master and a friend.’ Fane took her hand.
‘Don’t worry, Fane,’ said Shadie. ‘I’m not going anywhere. I also believe that Talyc is still alive. His Force presence in the Force can still be felt.’
‘I know, I just… I fear he could be dead at any moment. Just not before we find him,’ said Fane. ‘It seems I keep saving his life, time and time again, and he keeps suffering for it.’
‘That’s not true,’ said Knarf.
‘Had he died on Coruscant… Maybe I am the one bringing all this ill to his life, as he thought when Relsor had confused his mind.’
‘Now listen to me, Fane,’ Shadie said sternly. ‘You are not to blame.’
‘Only thing is, I failed to save his life now and he could be dead.’
‘Listen to my wife,’ said Knarf, ‘we can all still feel Talyc in the Force. He’s alive. Stop these thoughts and fears, you’ll only torment yourself even more.’
At that moment Brenum and Trylia entered, accompanied by Emerick and Lashika. Fane and Knarf greeted them, Shadie remained seated, her eyes closed, focusing; a pink glow surrounded her body.
‘We’ve sent out word,’ said Emerick, ‘and put out bounties on Awgro. We’ve also put out bounties on Talyc with the strict instruction that he is to be brought back safely and unharmed, that this bounty on him is a rescue and comes explicitly from Mandalore himself.’
‘If anyone in the galaxy who knows us sees either of them, we’ll know straight away,’ said Lashika.
‘Mildred has rounded up as many clan leaders as he could to search and find Talyc and Awgro, sending word to any contacts and anyone who owes any of us favours. He also put out word with his old contacts from the Republic from his smuggling days. And heck, even Wapita is pulling his weight in the search.’
‘I feel him alive,’ said Fane, ‘but who knows what he’s suffered, if he’s changed, or if he’ll be the same once we find him.’
‘He’s hardly going to transform into a rakghoul or turn to the dark side,’ said Brenum. ‘He’s going to be the same Talyc, Fane.’
‘A rakghoul,’ muttered Fane. ‘Provided he wasn’t dumped on Taris.’ Brenum smiled sheepishly. Fane appreciated his friend’s attempt to comfort him with a bit of humour, and rakghoul was far-fetched enough that it worked.
‘Mandalore wanted you to know that he has positioned the Mandalorian blockade strategically,’ said Trylia. ‘If that ship returns to Mandalorian space, it will be caught immediately in a tractor beam. Awgro is not going to get away with Talyc a second time.’
‘Here, let us show you,’ said Emerick. He switched the monitor display on to show the blockade. ‘If anything changes, if the ship is seen again here or anywhere else, we’ll be informed.’
Fane looked up at the display, his heart in his stomach, dreading what might happen to Talyc.
* * *
Knarf observed Fane as he stared at the monitor display. It was as though he had not moved in days, not since Emerick had shown them the holo display of the blockade, and the Mandalorian blockade had not changed either.
Knarf couldn’t help but feel chagrin. It had been days and nothing had been found: no trackers, no datapads, no clues as to where the ship had gone. It hadn’t even left a signature when it had gone into hyperspace. Knarf had sliced and resliced over a dozen devices over a dozen times already, from the Holonet to the blockade ships hyperspace signature detectors.
They had stared at the monitor display of the blockade every day, restudied what they had every day, every time hoping something new would show up, but the results were always the same, and there was never any news.
Shadie stirred. She was lying on the lounge, resting.
‘My love,’ he walked up to her. He took her hand. ‘How are you feeling?’
‘As though a bantha’s sitting on me,’ replied Shadie.
‘That’s my Lady.’ Knarf kissed his wife.
The holocom chimed a few times. Everyone looked around.
‘Incoming call from…Dromund Kaas?’ said Fane.
Knarf helped Shadie sit up as Fane took the call. He was surprised to see Lord Void, who was now the Head of the Dark Council, and the Sith was not alone. A tall bald man with a moustache stood next to him; his posture was impeccable, and this told Knarf this man was of high rank in the Empire.
Fane took a few steps back from the holoscreen. ‘Can we help you?’
‘Lord Void,’ Void said carefully, ‘and the Minister of Imperial Intelligence. We contact you because it appears there has been a misunderstanding of sorts.’ Knarf looked at Shadie, puzzled.
‘We would like to speak to the second leader of Clan Kandera,’ said the Minister. ‘One said Agent Knarf.’
Knarf stepped closer, looking at the others. ‘I’m the second? When did that happen?’ Brenum shrugged. ‘I am Agent Knarf.’
‘Good,’ said the Minister. ‘You see, an agent of mine was commissioned by Lord Void’s apprentice for a mission. However, Awgro has gone rogue and is no longer recognised as a Sith of the Empire.’
‘He is acting on his own accord and against the best interest of the Empire,’ said Lord Void. ‘Thus the Dark Council has decreed him exiled.’
‘What does that have to do with us?’ asked Brenum.
‘My agent reports finding Awgro draining Clan Leader Talyc Kandera of his life force. He saved his life.’
‘Then where is he?’ asked Trylia.
‘I must apologise for Cypher Five’s behaviour,’ said the Minister, ‘but he decided to bring Clan Leader Talyc Kandera to Dromund Kaas in order to keep him safe from Awgro.’
‘Wait, Vax?’ said Fane, sounding menacing. ‘Vax took Talyc?’
‘If he saved his life, why didn’t he just bring Talyc to us?’ asked Shadie.
‘Cypher Five described it as you failing to protect your clan leader from Awgro on Mandalore, therefore he wanted to protect him himself,’ the Minster continued.
‘Hang on a minute,’ said Brenum, ‘are you saying Vax returned to Dromund Kaas without Awgro?’
‘That is correct,’ the Minister replied.
‘That means he’s on Mandalore,’ said Shadie.
‘I am prepared to negotiate a truce with Mandalore,’ said Lord Void. ‘We do have a common enemy in Relsor, and now in Awgro. We are prepared to allow you to come for Talyc Kandera. Agent Knarf, you and Shadie are purely Mandalorians now, is that correct?’
‘Yes, we left the Jedi order a good number of years ago now,’ said Knarf.
‘Good.’ Lord Void steepled his fingers. ‘The thing is, the Empire remains enemies of the Republic, and the Dark Council does not want any Jedi to come with you.’
‘That’s okay,’ said Trylia. ‘We need to stay and search for Awgro if he’s still on Mandalore.’
‘Lord Void,’ said Fane, ‘would the Empire make an exception for one Jedi?’
‘It depends on the nature of that Jedi,’ replied the Dark Lord.
‘Talyc is my… I am a Jedi, but also Mandalorian. I would like an exception to be made for me.’ Fane looked down from the monitor, then up again. ‘Would you grant such an exception for he who is to destroy Relsor?’
Lord Void thought a moment, then nodded. ‘There are many who would relish in meeting the Jedi who is meant to destroy Haar’elso’rothmor. I will grant that exception for you, but for you alone.’
Fane sighed in relief. ‘Thank you.’ He closed his eyes.
‘Lord Void, Minister,’ said Knarf, ‘you can expect Shadie, Fane and me to arrive as soon as possible; we will depart shortly.’
‘Excellent,’ replied the Minister. ‘Your ship will be impounded and locked down during your stay while we negotiate the details of our truce, as is standard procedure.’
‘With all due respect,’ said Shadie calmly, ‘my ship is a meditation Sphere, it does not take kindly to strangers.’
‘Ah. Very well,’ said the Minister. ‘We trust that you will respect the laws of our Empire.’
‘Make no mistake,’ said Lord Void, ‘that while we are willing to ally with you, while you are in Imperial Space and on our planets, you will be under scrutiny. Any wrong move and you will be deemed the enemy again. If you try anything sudden, then Clan Leader Talyc Kandera will become our prisoner, as opposed to simply being in our care. Do you understand?’
‘We understand,’ Fane said gravely.
The call ended.
Knarf let it sink in: Talyc was alive but in Imperial Space, taken by the very Cypher Agent who had captured Trylia, and Talyc had named Knarf the clan’s second leader.
Fane, who looked as pale as Shadie did, slowly moved to the lounge and sat next to Shadie. She took his hand.
‘It’ll be all right, Fane, I promise.’
“The Future of the Force” 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.