Shadie focused her energy in looking as Sith-like as she could. She had fooled Kromus once before, Knarf had fooled Relsor and Darth Gourd. She could convince Relsor she was Darth Shadie for more than mere minutes. After all, she had once been Sith.
Relsor and Perce entered the room and motioned the hallway.
‘Come with us, Shadie,’ said Relsor.
This was it, Shadie would find out why Relsor wanted her to summon Kromus, she’d learn another cryptic secret, and she would leave this place. The Force was in motion, and she could feel it.
Shadie clipped her lightsaber to her belt. She took a quick look around the room, making sure she had everything she needed: comlinks, datapad, anything she had come here with. It was all secure on her person. She stood tall and followed the two True Sith lords out. Shadie was escorted to the command chamber that also served as a viewscreen room. A number of True Sith and Sith stood nearby. She recognised a few of them by now: one who wore a hood and mask, another with many face tattoos, another who looked more Jedi than Sith-like. Shadie noticed that Jassahmi was not present.
Trylia stood close to the centre of the room, waiting. She clocked her eyes towards Shadie and nodded.
‘What is this?’ asked Shadie.
‘It is time for the grand debate and for me to prove myself to Trylia,’ said Relsor. ‘She will obviously choose me over that pathetic Jedi friend of yours, but I decided to humour her and to allow him to speak his case.’
‘This is not what you need me for,’ said Shadie. ‘I demand that you show me so I can make good use of my powers.’
‘Patience, Darth Shadie,’ said Perce. ‘We simply need the others to arrive first.’
The Sith Awgro, whom Shadie had let live, arrived with Brenum, who had both his lightsabers clipped to his belt. He looked wary.
‘We only await one more.’ Relsor motioned the doorway, from where Knarf arrived. Knarf walked cautiously into the room. He wore his beskar armour; his helmet was clipped to his belt, as was his lightsaber. ‘I am glad you are here, Knarf.’
‘I admit, I was unsure why I was all of a sudden out of your trap and allowed to leave my cell.’
‘I was hoping you would sense my request,’ said Relsor.
‘I am here now. I took the liberty to don my armour on.’ Knarf looked at Brenum. ‘Should things get out of hand again, I will be prepared to fight properly this time.’
‘So will I,’ replied Brenum. His voice was threatening, though Shadie knew to whom his threat was actually directed, even though Brenum was looking directly at Knarf as he spoke.
Perce chuckled. ‘Settle down now and remain calm.’
‘Oh, I am very calm, Perce.’ There was menace in Knarf’s voice.
Perce took a seat at his usual spot, next to the command chair and motioned Relsor forward.
‘Brenum and I must prove to Trylia why each of us is the better suitor for her,’ said Relsor. ‘Knarf, I trust you to advocate that I am the better source of passion?’ Knarf nodded. ‘Shadie, I assume, even if you have found your dark side again, that you still feel Brenum should remain in Trylia’s life?’ Shadie nodded. ‘Then, before we begin, there is just one thing we must do.’ Relsor walked to a pillar and lifted a sheet that covered it, revealing the remains of Kromus’s holocron.
‘I destroyed that thing!’ Knarf exclaimed, pointing at the holocron fragments.
‘Indeed you did. And I retrieved its remains. Pieced together with the Force, it will not bring Kromus back, but it might summon his spirit.’
‘What do you need his spirit for?’ asked Trylia.
‘Kromus knows a secret that has been kept from me,’ replied Relsor, ‘something that is hidden inside the Crypt. And Shadie, you will summon him.’
‘Because the way to summon a Sith Lord’s spirit from a holocron that has already returned him in the past, is through the one who killed him, especially if that person had a strong bond with him in the first place.’
‘Is that textbook Sith alchemy? Or just speculation?’ said Shadie, crossing her arms and twirling a finger. ‘Because I don’t remember learning any of this at the academy.’
‘It is part of Kromus’s teachings,’ said Perce, ‘and how he made it be. We discovered that through his journal entries.’
Shadie nodded. ‘All right, then give it here.’
Relsor approached her and passed her the pieces of the holocron.
‘I want everyone to bear witness to you using the dark side, to bear witness to Trylia choosing me, to Kromus’s secret being exposed,’ said Relsor. ‘That is why we are being broadcast to the entire galaxy as we speak.’
Shadie smiled. ‘The entire galaxy?’
‘Yes!’ Relsor’s expression was almost as smug as Perce’s.
‘Wonderful!’ Shadie looked at the pieces and felt the energy emanating from them. She knew she would be able to use the light side to summon Kromus, given the circumstances of his death. She looked up at Relsor, ready to reveal her true self to him.
The command chair chimed, as a holocall came through. Relsor scowled. The semi-circular viewscreen turned into a holoscreen, showing the image of several Jedi standing together: Grand Master Herl’unik stood in the centre of the group, Fane and Talyc stood together to one side, and Lian and Josur stood on the other side of the Grand Master. It looked like they were on Tython. The view was close enough that Shadie could see all their expressions well, and it seemed they were watching and could see them as well.
‘Hello, Relsor!’ The Grand Master bowed politely. ‘I was going to broadcast this message myself, but it seems you beat me to it.’
‘Hello, Relsor,’ said Fane. ‘Experienced any blackouts recently?’ Lian laughed mildly.
Relsor inclined his head. ‘What do you know of that, Jedi Fane?’ Fane smiled.
‘The entire galaxy is seeing this exchange,’ said Lian, ‘our faces, your faces, so I suggest you look very carefully for your answers, Haar’elso’rothmor.’
Relsor narrowed his eyes again and Perce stood from his seat.
‘Relsor,’ said Talyc, ‘I’m afraid your apprentice has surpassed you.’ Talyc was holding Fane’s hand and he leaned forward as he spoke. ‘And we have a surprise for you.’
Relsor glanced at Knarf, who gave no reaction in response.
‘I would like to present the galaxy the Republic’s Supreme Chancellor,’ said Master Herl’unik.
A being stepped forward, clad in a great white cloak. He cast off his hood to reveal his face. Perce’s expression went from curious to angry in an instant, whereas Relsor looked astonished.
‘Why hello there, Perce. Relsor. Rest assured, I am very much alive,’ said Emain.
‘No. How?’ demanded Relsor.
Knarf walked towards Relsor and motioned his helmet. ‘Never underestimate a man who has been trained by a Mandalorian. I have had many masters, and I took everything they taught me and put it to good use.’
Shadie could feel Relsor’s humiliation. He clenched his jaw and began to shake. He reached with the Force to grab the remains of Kromus’s holocron, but Brenum cast a shield up in time and pushed Relsor back at the same time.
‘Shadie has turned to the dark side again!’ Relsor looked at Shadie. ‘Summon Kromus now!’
‘I will summon him, but there is one detail you missed,’ said Shadie. ‘When I killed Kromus, he was no longer a being of darkness; he had become a being of light. That is why I can summon him with the pureness of the light side that resides within me. I never turned to the dark side, Relsor. I merely had you believe that which would allow me to find out what you needed me for. You want this broadcast? Then let us let the entire galaxy see what the light can reveal.’
Shadie closed her eyes and focused on the holocron pieces. Feeling Kromus’s energy, Shadie felt him return in spirit form as she pulled through the Force.
The ghostly image of Kromus appeared. He looked around.
‘Kromus,’ said Relsor. ‘What do you know that is hidden in the Crypt? What secret has my uncle hidden from me?’
Kromus looked at Shadie. She nodded back to him, replying his unvoiced question. ‘You can answer him, Kromus, it’s all right.’
‘I have bound that secret to the Crypt,’ said Kromus. ‘The room in which the files containing this secret reside will only be revealed to the Master of the Crypt.’ Shadie smiled.
‘Then tell me!’ said Relsor. Kromus’s spirit began to laugh. He looked at Shadie.
‘Shadie, I lend you my power for the time my spirit is here. I am glad to see you are well.’ Kromus extended a ghostly hand towards her. ‘Never let go of that light that guides you, it will protect you through all your trials. I never had the chance to thank you for guiding me towards that light which you cast upon me at the hour of my death.’ Kromus looked at Relsor and spoke slowly. ‘He does not know.’
‘What do I not know?’
‘There are powers you do not understand,’ said Kromus.
‘My uncle told me that the day I killed him.’ Relsor took a cautious step forward. ‘What powers?’
Kromus shook his head. He looked at Shadie. ‘Relsor must be stopped at all cost. He must be destroyed!’
Relsor screamed, using the Force to send lighting at the holocron remains. They shattered in many more pieces, and Shadie was sent flying, falling onto the floor, and Kromus’s ghostly figure faded away.
‘Be well, Shadie,’ he said to her through the Force.
‘Thank you,’ she was able to say, and sent all the emotions she could through the Force before she felt his presence slip away for good. Shadie looked up, as she steadied herself on hands and knees. Relsor looked angered.
‘Idiot!’ shouted Perce. ‘Now we won’t know. We must return to the Crypt and find that room.’
Shadie looked at the others. ‘Now!’ she called out.
Knarf stomped on the ground and it shook; Trylia created a whirlwind, and they all made their way out of the room. Knarf put his helmet on as they ran across the corridor towards the turbolift.
‘Where’s the Sphere?’ asked Brenum as they entered.
‘I’ll guide us to its location, it’s ensuring we can leave,’ said Shadie.
‘What does that mean?’ said Brenum.
‘I’m not sure, but I think it means several True Sith will die.’
Before the turbolift doors had closed completely, Awgro managed to slip into the lift.
‘Datapad, Shadie, now!’ he said.
‘Excuse me?’ said Knarf, igniting his lightsaber.
Shadie reflexively passed her datapad to Awgro,
‘My private comchannel.’ He entered the data. ‘My Master is intrigued by you, Shadie. The Dark Council is watching you.’
The turbolift reached the lower level; Awgro ran the other way as they made their way through the large room. Shadie could barely process what was happening, but she would question it later. Had she just gained an ally?
‘Knarf,’ said Brenum, ‘I’m relieved your plan worked. I should have trusted you sooner.’
‘Don’t worry about it. Did you see Perce’s face?’ laughed Knarf.
‘Shadie!’ they heard Relsor shout.
Trylia turned around. They could see Relsor and Perce afar, hurrying towards them. They’d obviously come down from another way. Shadie could sense Trylia’s conflicting emotions.
‘Trylia, come on!’ said Brenum, urging her on.
‘Relsor, please!’ Trylia called out. She shook her head. Relsor shook his. Brenum scowled. Trylia looked at the others. ‘He can be saved. I saw it. I saw a different side to him. Shadie, you must help him.’
‘I’m sorry, Trylia, but it doesn’t look like he can be saved today,’ said Shadie, sensing Relsor’s malady approaching them.
They were hit with a sudden sensation of dizziness as they all swayed and reached out to each other. Trylia fell to the floor; Brenum grabbed hold of Shadie to steady himself; Knarf held onto the wall, and Shadie’s eyes closed. It took all her strength to will herself to remain conscious.
Shadie opened her eyes to see Relsor standing not far from them, his lightsabers were both ignited. He was staring at Trylia who was looking back at him intensely.
‘Trylia,’ said Brenum, ‘please don’t tell me you actually considered…’
‘Brenum, please. This is not about that. You know my love for you is undying. But Relsor, there is something…’ Brenum helped Trylia up. ‘Relsor, stop, please.’
‘Then stay with me, and I will stop,’ replied Relsor. Trylia shook her head. ‘Then I must fight you.’
Relsor and Perce began to attack, with lightning, with lightsabers. The Jedi defended themselves, blocking and deflecting.
* * *
Relsor pulled Trylia towards him and slashed at her with his blades. She blocked, as Brenum came at Relsor from the other side. Perce focused on Knarf and Shadie. Where had Awgro gone? He’d seen him enter the lift with them. Relsor looked about the room and saw the Sith on the ground in a corner, slowly getting up.
Relsor felt humiliated. He wanted to hurt Shadie, he wanted to hurt Knarf, and he wanted to kill Brenum. He was angry with Trylia. Perce had been right; she had played him, yet he could not find the will to kill her.
Relsor lunged at Brenum. Trylia screamed and blocked Relsor’s blades, pushing him away. Relsor attacked Brenum again and almost hit Trylia in the process. He recoiled on himself suddenly; he could just not bring himself to hurt her.
He watched Perce attack aggressively and shoot lightning through his lightsaber at Knarf, who rolled and tried to hit Perce from under him. Perce hit Knarf’s helmet and the lightsaber bounced.
Relsor grabbed Brenum in the Force and reached out to the others. He held them in place, and began choking Brenum. He laughed.
‘You cannot escape me! You cannot break through my abilities when I immobilise you. Unless it is true that you used the dark side, Shadie,’ Relsor added as a side note. He sneered. ‘It’s too late for all of you. You will all die.’
Shadie closed her eyes; Relsor sensed her reaching outwards, as though calling out for help.
‘No one can help you here, Shadie. Kromus’s spirit is gone, the four of you cannot move.’
Perce waved his lightsaber about, twirling it in the air; Relsor could sense his eagerness. Relsor felt Shadie reach out again, more strongly this time. He began choking her as well. He began choking them all as he held them in place. He did not lift them, however, he had other plans.
‘Perce, will you do the honours?’
‘Gladly!’ Perce lunged at Knarf first, slashing at his neck. The lightsaber bounced off the armour. ‘Ugh, beskar.’ He removed Knarf’s helmet and threw it onto the ground. It would be as Relsor had imagined it when toying with Talyc’s mind. Perce would hack off Knarf’s head.
Perce slashed his lightsaber towards Knarf’s neck.
* * *
Suddenly, Perce was pushed away with the Force. The four Jedi fell to the ground, panting. Relsor’s hand was held extended towards Perce.
Knarf looked up, his heart pounding like it had never pounded before. Sweat was dripping from his face, he felt sick from fear.
‘Glad you could join the fight,’ said Shadie.
Relsor turned his head. ‘I came as soon as I heard your call through the Force. But I can’t hold it for long; Relsor is fighting me. I think he just figured me out.’
‘Can someone tell me what’s going on?’ asked Brenum with a croaked voice.
Perce began running back towards them. Relsor extended a hand and held him in place.
‘What is the meaning of this?’ cried out the human Sith,
‘Go, hurry!’ said Relsor. ‘Get a head start. I can’t use Relsor’s powers as strongly as he can, but I can try to delay him and Perce. I’ll see you all back on Tython.’ He smiled.
‘Thank you, Fane,’ said Shadie. ‘Just don’t strain yourself too much.’
‘Oh, I’m not straining; this is a lot harder on Lian than it is on me. Of course, he’ll never admit that. Urgh.’ The Chiss winced. ‘He’s fighting back. Go, now!’
The Jedi turned to go, hurrying towards the Sphere’s location.
‘That was Fane?’ said Knarf, feeling astonished.
‘Fane and Lian can connect to Relsor’s malady, allowing Fane to take over his mind,’ replied Shadie as they all ran.
‘How long has he been able to do this?’ asked Brenum.
‘Only twice,’ replied Shadie. ‘I called out to him so he could save us. He is the only one who can break free from Relsor’s grasp.’ They veered a corner. ‘This way.’
‘Wait a minute,’ said Knarf, as he ran behind his Lady. ‘Are you telling me that Fane has a connection to Relsor?’
‘Relsor’s malady in the Force, yes. I used my powers as the Master of the Crypt to reach out to him, but I cannot fight off that attack myself.’
‘Will he be able to fight it off in person too, without taking control of Relsor’s mind?’ asked Brenum.
‘That’s the theory,’ said Shadie, ‘among other theories we don’t like.’
‘Like what?’ asked Knarf.
Shadie stopped and Knarf felt her reaching out towards the Sphere. He could also sense Relsor and Perce approaching and the rage Relsor felt was like none other Knarf had ever sensed from any dark being. Shadie turned to him and glanced at each of them.
‘Fane is meant to defeat Relsor.’
‘But if he can be saved instead,’ said Trylia.
‘We can discuss possible ways to save him when we’ve reached safe grounds,’ said Brenum, following Shadie as she continued to lead the way.
‘I know, I’m sorry. I just wish there was a way to show him the light, like we Jedi showed Shadie once before.’
‘I understand, but you can’t befriend every Sith, Trylia, not everyone is like Shadie.’
‘That’s what I told myself,’ said Trylia smiling.
‘Okay, this way,’ said Shadie. ‘That way has too many Sith, and Relsor and Perce are too close.’
* * *
They came to the hangar where the Sphere rested. Many Sith around them lay dead.
Make it look convincing! Shadie said to it, as she ran towards it.
The Sphere shot this way and that, until the four Jedi stood right in front of it.
Relsor and Perce ran into the room and stood before them. The Jedi turned towards the two True Sith. Relsor was looming, hunched a bit as he held his two blades, looking like the personification of rage itself.
‘There is nowhere else to go,’ he said. ‘You are cornered.’
‘That’s where you’re mistaken,’ said Shadie. ‘You see, you missed an important clue earlier.’
You may open up for us to enter now. Shadie let Relsor hear her through the Force.
Very well, my Lady.
Behind them, an opening and ramp appeared to let them into the Sphere.
‘No,’ said Relsor, shaking his head, his voice shaking as well. ‘Noooo! Argh!’
‘You are no longer Master of the Crypt,’ said Shadie. ‘I am the Lady of the Crypt now, for real.’
‘When did this happen?’ said Perce.
‘While you were busy torturing my apprentice’s lover, the five of us went and claimed the Crypt and its powers. You have already lost, Relsor. I have seen the trials, I have completed them. There is no way you can reclaim the Crypt.’
‘No, but there are secrets which that place holds and I will find them!’
‘I’m sorry,’ said Trylia. ‘I truly am.’ She took Brenum’s hand and they hurried into the Sphere.
‘We will meet again, Relsor,’ said Shadie. She took Knarf’s hand and hurried into the Sphere as well.
‘Indeed we will.’ Relsor seethed and Shadie could feel it.
The Sphere closed up behind them and took flight out the hangar. It bucked a few times as the True Sith shot at it before Shadie felt the gentle hum of hyperspace.
* * *
‘This is ridiculous!’ cried Perce. ‘If it hadn’t been for that apprentice of hers, they would all be dead right now.’
‘So those were the blackouts,’ said Relsor. ‘And I thought it was Jedi Lian. I blacked out, but he was sloppy this time, and I sensed him; I sensed them both. They must work together to attack me thus and control my mind. They cannot do it for long, and if one of them dies, then they cannot do it at all.’
‘But they’ve gone to the Crypt, you heard them,’ Perce said, pointing towards the space outside the hangar.
‘Shadie said the five of them went.’
Perce scowled. ‘Yes, and?’
Relsor smiled. ‘That means that Jedi Lian did not go with them. He does not possess the powers of the Crypt.’
‘Ah, I get it, meaning that if he dies, then Fane can’t enter your mind, and then you can use your powers on all of them, and create illusions at your leisure.’
‘Precisely, Perce.’ Relsor walked slowly towards the hangar’s edge to look out into space. Perce followed him and took a stance, hands clasped behind his back. ‘They see this as a victory, but we have learnt much today. Jedi Lian is now who we must destroy in priority.’
Relsor looked afar into space, feeling the Force. Indeed this was not the defeat he thought it had been. He had a new dark purpose and he was filled once more with the passion of the dark side and relished in the rage he felt, this newfound rage he’d never known before. Whatever these powers were Kromus’s spirit had spoken of, he would find them and utilise them, and he would destroy the Jedi and their Order and crush the Republic.
“Healers of the Force” is written by Celinka Serre (2021).
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.