Chapter Eleven

Three of the rancors were down, the green Togruta was riding another, and the other two were fending off the Sith as much as they were the Jedi.  They had been for the most part resistant to Relsor’s powers. He was using much of his energy to steer them into the incoming Sith.  Many Sith had been strong enough to resist the sensations of malady. Many who weren’t were down already.
            Brenum was swarmed with Sith.  Relsor sent lightning towards the onslaught but they had backed him up against one of the rancors, who was flailing its paws, attempting to grab something or someone to eat. Trylia was on the other side of the other rancors with Knarf and Talyc.  Fane kept jumping into the air while fighting his own group of Sith, aided by the old Sith master who had been accompanying them of late.
            Relsor had a flash for a moment, where he thought about letting Brenum be killed. Then he thought better of it, this was neither the place, nor the time, nor would it change anything. He had given his word, and he could leverage that in the future to allow the Jedi to leave him alone. He could take over the Empire and leave Mandalore alone. Or perhaps he could exist without bother and that would be the end of it.
            Relsor looked back at Brenum and realised he could not see him.  There was a red blur of lightsabers, and amidst them the odd flash of yellow or blue could be seen.
            ‘Shadie!  Perce!’ cried Relsor.  ‘Barrage of lightning! Now!’
            Right away, the two were by his side and the three created an immense lightning storm and great barrage. As though understanding his intent, Shadie switched her footing and changed the direction of her lightning a bit, Perce readjusted as well.  Relsor and Perce still had the power of the Crypt, even though Shadie was the Master of it now, and although her power was not shared with him, somehow he felt her connect to him momentarily. Their minds reached a place in the Force, and he understood; two masters of the Crypt still living could connect through the Force. Their connection was brief and weak, but enough to coordinate their lightning in great waves.  The Sith were swept away with every new wave they sent, like an enraged ocean crashing along the coast, its waves hitting and carrying a sea-ship offshore.  Finally, no Sith remained around the Jedi.  Brenum looked towards them.  He nodded.
            Suddenly, a Sith jumped down from one of the rancors, on top of Brenum, ready to strike him.  Relsor was by his side in no time, blocking the Sith’s staff.  He used the Force to choke his enemy dead.
            Brenum stared at him bewildered. ‘Thanks,’ he said at last.
            Relsor nodded, unable to answer. He did not deserve his thanks; he wanted him as dead as that Sith. Yet, somehow, something in Relsor prevented him from betraying his agreement. He had promised until Trylia was safe. As far as he was concerned, with all these Sith from the Empire, she was not yet safe. And even then, he could not ignore the fact that he was on the very planet where he was…what? Created? Conceived? Was he even fully Chiss? He clenched his teeth. He hated what Kromus had revealed, yet he could not ignore it.
            ‘Uh, look, sorry.’ Brenum sounded unsure.
            Relsor took a breath.  ‘No. The hate you sense in me is towards the Sith.’
            ‘Are you all right, Relsor?’ said Brenum.  ‘Only you just saved me from that Sith. That’s not like you.’
            ‘I don’t know what is like me anymore,’ Relsor admitted.  ‘I question my place in this galaxy.’  He looked at the Jedi.  ‘Ignore me.’
            He turned to regroup with the others in the battle.  Brenum took his arm, stopping him.
            ‘What was on that datapad?’ asked Brenum.
            Relsor turned his head to the side to look at Brenum.  ‘It is best if Trylia explains it to you.’ He took a beat. ‘I made a promise and she is not yet safe.’
            Brenum nodded.  The two made their way towards the cluster.  Shadie looked up into the sky; Relsor saw the Sphere approach from a vector.
            ‘There we go,’ said Shadie.  ‘As summoned, it arrives.’
            The Sphere joined the fray, shooting the Sith and creating gaps in the cluster of remaining Sith.
            Relsor lifted up his arms.  ‘Be warned!’ he called out. He used the Force to create a wave of malady.  The Jedi wavered a bit, Usharr breathed in, seemingly embracing the sensation.  Fane, who was close by, grabbed a hold of Relsor’s arm.
            ‘A bit more of a warning next time, eh!’ he said.
            Many Sith swayed where they stood, allowing the Jedi to strike them down. Alegna kept shooting from atop the rancor, while Talyc and Nriwe used the rancors as cover, shooting the Sith and creating enough chaos for the Jedi to do their work.
            Relsor looked over at Fane.  ‘One day, you and I will have to face our destiny and fight. When that day comes, remember today.’
            Relsor took off at a brisk walk.  The fight was almost over, and he could not bear to remain here any longer.  He bent low, gathering all his energy for one final blow, and put his hand to the ground and it flickered with lightning.  All who stood nearby felt it and many fell.  He looked up, the Jedi were finishing off the remaining Sith.  Relsor kept the lightning going.  It seemed the Jedi knew how to dance around it, while Shadie added her own lightning to it. The rancors roared a final time and then fell; the remaining tarentateks yelped and fell.  Alegna jumped off her rancor, landing by the Mandalorians’ side.
            Once the dust had settled, Relsor could see that all the Sith were destroyed.

* * *

            Shadie looked at Relsor, who nodded to her.  She smiled at him.  She looked at Trylia who was staring at him as well.  Shadie walked up to the Chiss and held out her hand.
            ‘I owe you my thanks,’ she said, ‘for this brief cooperation.  We couldn’t have done it without your help.’
            Relsor shook her hand.  He seemed different since she had last seen him; she had noticed it earlier but she had not realised how much.
            ‘I’m not sure it’s quite over,’ said Usharr.  He pointed towards a large group of Sith approaching.  Then he put his hand up as the others readied their weapons. ‘I will take care of this.’  He looked at Shadie.  ‘Shadie, it has been an honour.’ Shadie put a hand on Usharr’s shoulder before pulling him into a hug. He laughed. ‘I’ve been around you Jedi for far too long.’
            Usharr turned and walked past the arena still full of ysalamiri and stopped before the large group of Sith, raising his hand above his head.  He spoke loudly.
            ‘Sith of the Empire! I know you wish to reclaim your honour, but that,’ he pointed towards the group of Jedi, Mandos and True Sith, ‘is not your fight. Only one is destined to fight he who leads the True Sith. As for the Jedi, they came for their friend and have no desire to fight the Empire here today. We must regroup, strengthen our forces. The True Sith took much from us, as did the Followers of Kromus. But Kromus is dead and I am out of my exile, and I am here to take back my position as Master of the Academy. We are true Sith.’
            He looked back at Shadie and nodded. ‘We will reclaim our honour, I promise. But not today, not here.’
            Shadie smiled again, as Usharr smiled and nodded.  He turned back towards the Sith.
            ‘Come, let us regroup. Let us replenish our power so that we may have victory when it matters most.’
            The Sith bowed before the master and then they all turned as one and walked back from where they had come.
            ‘You okay?’ asked Knarf, taking his helmet off.
            Shadie nodded.  ‘I guess I always knew he’d return to the Empire eventually, I just thought…  It was nice to have him as our ally for a time.’
            ‘Yes it was,’ said Knarf.

* * *

            Knarf embraced his Lady, feeling her joy combined with sadness. She smiled at him and kissed his cheek. They turned towards the others who had approached.
            ‘Should we bring some of these home?’ said Nriwe, pointing at the rings of ysalamiri.  ‘I’d hate to think what the Empire’s going to do with them.’
            ‘Says the one who was willing to shoot a bunch of them earlier,’ said Talyc.
            Nriwe shrugged.  Talyc looked at Alegna.  ‘Welcome to Clan Kandera.’
            ‘Why, thank you.’
            Lagging behind, Relsor and Perce approached.  They stood behind them, as though waiting.  Knarf locked eyes with Relsor. He nodded his thanks. It was awkward, but Knarf appreciated it.  He turned back to Shadie and to the arena behind him.  The ysalamiri looked as though they were oblivious to everything that had gone on, innocent creatures.  Empty cages lay scattered in and around the arena, and the place was beginning to fall quiet again as the Empire’s forces left the surrounding areas.
            Knarf brought his attention back to Relsor who had locked eyes with Trylia.
            ‘Thank you,’ she said.  She walked up to him and hugged him.  Relsor held her a moment longer than Brenum would have probably liked, for the Jedi shifted uneasily. Knarf mouthed to his friend that it was okay. Perce rolled his eyes.
            Knarf walked up to the Sith slicer and held out his hand. ‘It was nice fighting with you, as opposed to fighting you.  We should do it again sometime.’
            ‘Hmmm, I wouldn’t hold my breath,’ replied Perce. 
            ‘Listen,’ said Relsor, ‘I upheld my agreement, but we are done here now.’  He pointed towards the opposite way.  ‘Come, Perce.’  Relsor looked back at Trylia.  ‘Goodbye.’ He turned to go.
            ‘You know,’ said Perce, ‘I did say until Trylia was safe.’
            ‘Perce!’ said Relsor, stopping.  ‘Don’t be stupid.’
            Perce stood staring at Relsor and everyone else.  ‘You’re right.’  He shook his head.  ‘I can’t fight all of you.’
            Suddenly, Knarf found himself flung into the air and bouncing to the side.  He saw all the others be lifted up with a wave of lightning so strong, and they were immediately pushed into the arena.  Shadie sent lightning and it fizzled out as soon as she had passed into the great ysalamiri bubble. Knarf saw Relsor’s face contort with anger.
            ‘PERCE!’ shouted Relsor.
            The group landed in one of the cages, forced by the momentum, despire the ysalamiri bubble. The cage door closed from the sheer impact. Perce threw a rock at the lock, guiding it enough that when it passed the bubble it continued its vector and landed right on the lockpad, activating it.
            Knarf struggled to get up.  He walked a few steps towards Perce, who turned back to him.
            ‘Now,’ said the Sith slicer, ‘no one can stop this fight. It’s just you and me, Knarf, until one of us is vanquished.’
            Knarf secured his helmet on his head, then he took hold of his lightsaber and held it tightly, taking a few steps back and taking a moment to ready himself for the upcoming duel.

* * *

            Relsor landed on his back, feeling the rage within him as a weak sensation compared to what he knew he could unleash with his full might, if not for the ysalamiri bubble he was in.  He yelled in anger.
            He looked over at the others.  Talyc and the two other Mandos were helping Shadie sit upright; she looked flustered.  As the Lady of the Crypt, Relsor figured she was able to cope better than others were.  Brenum looked like he was out cold.  Trylia looked worried but all right.  Fane seemed somewhat disoriented but he was the first to stand and began helping the others to their feet.
            ‘I knew this would knock Brenum out,’ said Relsor.
            ‘I’m still conscious,’ said Brenum.
            ‘Oh, that’s good!’ said Nriwe.
            ‘Fane, my man, you all right,’ said Talyc.  Fane was holding onto the bars; he nodded.
            Trylia took Brenum’s hand and whispered something soothing to him; Relsor didn’t pay attention to what she said.  He looked at the duel that had begun, Knarf and Perce’s clashing lightsabers, red and orange glowing in the oncoming dusk.
            ‘I’m sorry, I did not see this coming,’ he said.  ‘I was so taken aback. I could have immobilised him, I could have stopped him!’
            Trylia took Relsor’s hand.  ‘ This was Perce’s decision, his actions.’
            ‘I swear,’ said Relsor, ‘if Knarf doesn’t kill him first, I will.’
            ‘You don’t mean that,’ said Trylia.
            ‘Would you rather I wished Knarf died?’  Relsor’s words were harsh, but he saw the understanding in both Trylia’s and Shadie’s eyes.
            ‘We need to hack our way out of here,’ said Shadie.
            ‘We can’t!’ said Talyc.  ‘Vax said it himself.  This is the finest beskar’gam from Mandalore that was used for these cages. And the locks need slicing, and the two slicers are out there fighting.’
            ‘So now what?’ said Alegna, ‘shooting more ysalamiri?’
            The Sphere seemed to be trying to aid Knarf in the duel but they were close to the arena and Relsor knew from his brief time as Master of the Crypt that the Sphere would avoid a large vector near that area.
            ‘My husband,’ said Shadie, taking hold of the bars.  ‘My love.’
            ‘Don’t worry, Shadie,’ said Talyc.  ‘Knarf has the best Mandalorian training, for he was trained by me.’
            ‘And by you,’ Fane told Shadie.
            ‘And by me,’ said Relsor.
            ‘You see, triple training,’ said Talyc.  ‘If anyone can survive this, it’s Bes’laar.’
            Relsor looked at Shadie and knew her worry, for as he wished Perce lived, he knew she wished Knarf lived. He knew her fear and he knew that she knew his.

“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.

You might also enjoy other SWTOR fanfics, Dragon Age Fan-Fiction short stories,  Mass Effect Fan-Fiction, or Stardust Destinies the High Fantasy Fiction series.

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