Brenum was pacing to and fro, frantically awaiting a reply.
‘Trylia, come in! Trylia, please respond!’ His heart sank and the realisation came to him. It had only been a couple of hours. ‘How did he get to Nar Shaddaa so quickly?’
‘His shuttle must have some high capacity hyperspace capabilities,’ said Talyc, ‘like going to hyperspace while still in orbit.’
‘How is that even possible?’ said Knarf.
‘You’d be surprised what Imperial Intelligence is capable of,’ said Usharr. ‘And it’s all probably well disguised so no one would ever suspect his ship’s capabilities.’
Shadie’s comlink chimed. She opened the call. Through her comlink came Lian’s voice.
‘I can’t feel Trylia in the Force!’ he exclaimed. ‘She’s disappeared.’
‘Disappeared, how?’ said Shadie.
‘I always sense the five of you, but her presence feels…shrouded.’
‘There’s only one thing I know that can shroud the Force presence of another being,’ said Knarf. ‘Ysalamiri.’
‘This is all my fault,’ said Talyc, bowing his head.
‘No, it’s not,’ said Fane.
At the same time as Fane spoke, Wapita said: ‘Yes, it is.’
‘Hey, you’re the one who recruited him,’ said Fane, pointing a finger at Wapita.
‘He’s the one who invited him into his bed,’ said Wapita, pointing at Talyc.
‘That was more than ten years ago!’ said Talyc. ‘Let it go.’
‘And here was thinking I wouldn’t be stuck with your left overs again,’ muttered Wapita. He pointed a finger in Talyc’s face. ‘Every time.’
‘It’s not my fault we have the same taste in men!’ exclaimed Talyc.
‘Oh, believe me, we do not have the same taste in men.’ Wapita looked at Fane. ‘Thankfully.’
‘Hey, what’s that supposed to mean?’ Fane said defensively.
‘Stop it!’ shouted Brenum. ‘Look, this is no one’s fault. Not Talyc’s, not Wapita’s,’ Wapita mouthed a “thank you,” rolling his eyes, ‘not anyone’s fault.’
‘Lian,’ said Shadie, ‘there was a recruit on Mandalore, Vax, a Rattataki, and it turns out he’s from Imperial Intelligence. He left the planet some few hours ago and we believe he’s the reason Trylia is shrouded by ysalamiri.’
‘Why would the Empire want Trylia, though?’ said Fane. ‘This makes no sense.’
‘Shadie,’ said Lian, ‘can you take this to a private room?’
‘Give us a moment.’
Shadie took the lead, Brenum right behind her. Talyc and Fane followed with Knarf behind them. Nriwe stayed behind, keeping Wapita at bay. When they arrived at a secure and private room, Shadie gave Lian the go.
‘I have connected the calls,’ said Lian, ‘go ahead Lord Void.’
‘Lord Void,’ said Brenum, ‘what have you done with Trylia?’
‘It is not what I have done, and that is the reason for my call.’ Lord Void seemed very calm. ‘I have just been told by the Head of the Dark Council that the Sith Empire is going forward with its coup against Relsor. I was not privy to any plans. There is rumour of an informant that had gotten back to Imperial Intelligence. I have already made plans to secure my name should I be questioned.’
‘What else can you tell us?’ said Shadie. ‘Do you know why an Imperial agent has taken Trylia?’
‘Yes,’ came in Void’s voice. ‘She is to be used as bait to lure Relsor to Ziost.’
‘Ziost!’ exclaimed Fane and Brenum together.
‘No Jedi I know has been there before, as far I know, but I will be the first,’ said Brenum. ‘We must go.’
‘Lord Void,’ continued Shadie, ‘do you know anything else?’
‘That is the extent of my knowledge.’
‘Could a ship fly into Sith space without being shot down?’ asked Lian.
‘No.’ Void’s words rang true.
Brenum cursed under his breath. ‘Sithspawn!’
‘What about a Sith Meditation Sphere?’ asked Shadie.
‘Yes, that I can do. No Sith will want to take down one of those and I can ensure from my ship that your sphere is ignored.’ There was a pause. ‘I must go.’
‘Then we know what we must do!’ said Brenum.
* * *
Perce sent lighting towards the trio of Sith who attempted to attack him. True Sith poured in from all sides and continued the work for him. He made his way to the command chamber, where Relsor sat in his command chair.
Shaking his head, Perce secured the door and sliced it so no one could enter.
‘Perce, what’s going on out there? I’ve got reports of damage coming from inside the ship.’
‘I don’t know!’ Perce replied, exasperated. ‘The Sith just started attacking the True Sith. Just, out of nowhere.’
Relsor looked up at him and frowned. ‘Why would they attack us? They have nowhere to go, they are here with us, working for us!’
‘Your guess is as good as mine!’ Perce sat down next to Relsor. ‘I don’t know what got into them, but I trust our True Sith will make short work of them.’
‘What of the other ships?’ asked Relsor. ‘Any news?’
‘I am told all is under control, as not many Sith were aboard,’ replied Perce. There was a series of alarms that went off. Relsor punched in a few commands and the viewport screen showed an armada of ships coming out of hyperspace, all of Imperial make.
‘What is the meaning of this?’ said Perce.
There was a call coming in. Relsor took it. The image that came on was of a Rattataki male who was dressed like a Mandalorian.
‘Greetings, Haar’elso’rothmor,’ he said. ‘Cypher Five, Imperial Intelligence. I contact you on behalf of the Empire. We are reneging our alliance with you.’
‘You think you can attack my ships and my True Sith and survive?’
‘The goal is not survival,’ replied the Rattataki.
Perce snorted. ‘Tell me, Rattataki,’ he exaggerated each “t” expressly to insult the alien, ‘why are you dressed like a Mandalorian? The Empire does not hire scum like you to have in its ranks.’
‘I assure you, I’ve been a Cypher for a long time now, this has been my greatest disguise of all.’ He cleared his throat. ‘As I was saying, you will not find me on the ships attacking you or among the Sith fighting your so-called True Sith. No, I am on Ziost.’ Perce and Relsor exchanged a dubious look. ‘And you will come to Ziost, Relsor.’
‘Bold of you to command us,’ Perce scoffed, affronted.
‘Why would I come to meet you on Ziost?’ asked Relsor. ‘You know I will kill you.’
‘You don’t know that, first of all, but I am not the reason you will come. You will come to save her!‘
The holocam changed angles and Perce could see Trylia tied up with another Togruta, and they were surrounded by at least a few hundred ysalamiri, from what Perce could tell.
‘Where in the kriffing kark did he find all those ysalamiri!’ he said.
Relsor said nothing. After a long pause: ‘How do you know I will come?’
‘Because if you don’t, she will die. She cannot use the Force now, and she cannot save herself. You will come save her and face the might of the Sith Empire, or she…will die.’
The call was ended. Relsor shouted in anger. Perce let him settle himself a moment before speaking.
‘You’re not actually considering going, are you?’
‘You don’t have to come with me, Perce.’ Relsor stood and began walking to the other end of the room.
Perce drew in a breath to shout at his compatriot. ‘Relsor! This is madness! If you go, who knows what will happen.’
‘They cannot defeat me, Perce. There is only one who can, one who is destined to.’ Relsor turned back to look at Perce. ‘If your Empire–
‘Not my Empire!’ Perce cut him off, shaking his head.
‘If the Empire thinks it can lure me into a trap, then so be it. They are the more foolish to think it will work.’ Relsor spoke into his comlink. His voice rang out throughout the ship. ‘I’m leaving the ship. True Sith, kill all the Empire’s Sith. Leave none alive. This ship will return to base. I will rejoin you later.’ He turned back to Perce. ‘If they think their ships out there can defeat our ship, our True Sith, then they have another thing coming. They do not know of all the ships that hide at our base of operations. Let them trap me, they will find themselves to be the trapped ones. Besides, the superlasers will obliterate the Empire’s fleet.’
Perce rolled his eyes. He sighed. ‘Fine.’ He bent over the armrest and entered some commands. ‘There. I sliced the hyperspace routes. The ship will leave and return to base and it cannot be altered or stopped.’
‘Good. Now come! If you’re coming.’
Perce followed Relsor to the nearest hangar. There were few Sith remaining, whom they did not heed and who did not heed them. They entered Relsor’s personal shuttle. Perce took one last glance at the hangar behind him. He had a strange feeling, one he’d never had before. Whatever it meant, he was going to embrace it. He entered the shuttle and in a few moments, they were out of the hangar and in hyperspace, leaving the flagship behind to dodge the attacks coming from fighters as it prepared itself to go to hyperspace.
* * *
Brenum hurried towards the Sphere, his heart pounding. The others were right behind him. He ran into the Sphere as it sensed his command. Shadie and Knarf followed, then came Fane, Talyc, Nriwe and Usharr.
Shadie was still speaking with Lian via comlink. ‘We’re in the Sphere, we should reach Ziost… I have no idea when.’
‘Let’s hope they don’t have any of those weird beasts the Sith keep boasting about,’ said Nriwe. ‘Like at the crypt, tarentatek.’
Lian’s voice rang alarm through the comlink. ‘Nriwe! What are you doing going to Ziost?’
‘Uh, following my clan leader,’ she replied.
‘It’s too dangerous for non-Force-users,’ cried Lian.
‘Talyc’s going and he’s been in worse situations. Besides, Alegna’s my friend, I have to go.’ The Sphere closed itself up as the group settled into seats. Brenum felt it lift into the air.
‘Just be careful,’ said Lian softly.
‘My battle skills haven’t failed me yet,’ said Nriwe.
‘We’ll take good care of her,’ said Fane. ‘Don’t you worry. Though, it would be nice if you worried about us as much too,’ he added, teasing. ‘One might think you didn’t care as much.’
‘Fair point,’ said Lian. Brenum could hear his friend was smiling. ‘Ziost is a dangerous place,’ Lian continued, sobering. ‘Many have returned changed from that place. It’s dangerous for Force-users, and worse for non-Force-users. I just…never cared for another beyond friendship to feel such worry.’
‘I understand,’ said Nriwe. ‘I’ll be careful.’ She smiled. ‘And I’ll keep everyone else safe too.’
‘That is all I ask,’ replied Lian.
‘If we see anyone who was once a loyal student of mine,’ said Usharr, as Lian and Shadie continued to speak, ‘I hope I’ll be able to sway them away from battling you lot.’
‘That’s very kind of you, Usharr,’ said Knarf.
‘Oh, no, this is all for my own self-interest,’ the old Sith replied, ‘I just don’t want my former students to get themselves killed.’
‘Oh, well at least you’re honest about it,’ said Knarf.
‘At least we know who he thinks will win,’ said Talyc.
The Sphere went into hyperspace. It was moving quickly, urgently, it was off to save one of its masters. Brenum closed his eyes. He felt Lian reach out to him through the Force, attempting to ease his conflicting emotions. Brenum wasn’t sure when Shadie had ended the call with Lian, but he sensed his friend in meditation so that he could help them from the core of the Crypt.
It seemed like ages before the Sphere was out of hyperspace again, though he knew it hadn’t taken that long. The Sphere showed them the planet below. The Sphere dodged some laserfire before clearing itself a path.
‘Ziost has cities that are built higher up from the ground,’ started Shadie, ‘but it seems Trylia and Alegna are being held somewhere near a mountain ridge on-ground.’
‘Seems?’ said Talyc.
‘Oh, Lian informed me through the Force. Void told him.’
‘Right.’ Talyc looked at Brenum. ‘Then we can assume Vax will be nearby.’
‘And Relsor too,’ said Fane. ‘I can sense him. He’s already on the planet’s surface.’
‘More Sith to fight,’ said Brenum. ‘I’ll fight them all if I have to.’
He stood and walked to the area where the Sphere usually opened up to let them out. He felt it touch down and as soon as he saw the opening, he was out and running towards Trylia’s location. The Sphere apologised for landing so far from the zone where Trylia was being held, but there were too many Sith in the area.
‘They really wanted to lure Relsor into Sith space, into the one place where they could potentially defeat him,’ said Nriwe, looking around.
‘The Sith are crazy if they think they can defeat him,’ said Fane.
‘Yes, yes, we know you’re the only one capable of doing it, my man,’ said Talyc. He swallowed. ‘Let’s just hope today’s not that day, eh.’ There was dread in Talyc’s voice. Brenum knew he feared the moment Fane would have to face off against Relsor.
Fane took Talyc’s hand. Brenum saw Shadie and Knarf already holding hands.
‘I can hold your hand if you like,’ said Usharr with a grin. Brenum looked at him. ‘If it comforts you.’
‘And you call yourself Sith,’ said Brenum, amused. He couldn’t help but chuckle.
‘I know, you Jedi are a bad influence on me.’
They walked through a path in some underbrush beneath trees before coming to a clearing by a ridge. The cloudy sky was dark and gloomy. The area looked desolate.
‘Looks like we’re the only ones here,’ said Knarf.
‘Then you should learn to look more closely!’
A large group of Sith emerged, as though coming out of stealth. Brenum realised they weren’t garbed in anything that would allow a stealth field generator.
‘How did you stealth if…’ he began.
‘Jedi know so little about the Sith,’ said one of the Sith. ‘We can conceal ourselves so well, your minds could not see us standing right in front of you.’
Many of them were human, some were Pureblood. Nriwe clutched her blaster, ready. Everyone had their lightsabers out, but not yet ignited. Usharr stepped forward.
‘I recognise some of you from Korriban,’ he said. ‘This is not your fight to fight. Let the Chiss battle it out with his enemies here.’
‘Usharr, you are but a crazy old man who left in exile and now is allied with the Jedi.’
‘Have you learnt nothing from your training?’ Usharr snapped back, sounding fierce. ‘We take advantage of those who would aid us. What I am doing will aid the Empire, unlike what you are doing here today. The war with the Republic will have to wait. Let the Jedi go. Your victory does not lie here today.’
‘We’ll see about that, old man.’
The group of Sith began fighting them. Brenum was on his toes, his two lightsabers ignited and slashing about as quickly as he could. It seemed as though more Sith appeared once the fight had begun. Shadie sent lighting, while Knarf stomped the ground, and Fane sent a wave with the Force. Many Sith fell, which allowed Brenum to send his blades flying, slicing through several of the Sith. But more kept coming.
Talyc and Nriwe kept sending volleys of blasterfire towards the Sith as much as they could before switching to vibroblades.
Lightning danced across, coming from all sides. Brenum found himself flying through the air and back towards the Sith again. He used the Force to push himself away from the many blades trying to hack at him and landed in a roll a few feet away. He heard Shadie cry out in pain and Knarf in alarm. He looked at his friends and saw that Shadie had been wounded on the arm. It didn’t look serious, but she was cursing all sorts at the Sith who had caused it. Knarf and Talyc were in full armour, so they positioned themselves to risk being struck by a lightsaber every now and then, which Brenum calculated gave them an advantage he did not have.
Usharr used the dark side to send waves of energy towards the Sith, but the master was old and could not sustain the fight in the same way the others could. Brenum came to his side and blocked a Sith’s blade, hacking it away. Usharr nodded his appreciation and together they managed to defeat a few more Sith.
Still more kept coming.
‘This is an endless wave of Sith,’ said Usharr. ‘If we want to defeat them, we’re going to have to move away from the clearing. We won’t be able to keep fighting much longer.’
Shadie sent lightning towards many of the Sith, but her lightning was met with some from the Sith, and a great ball of lightning spun to the ground, creating a wave of energy and pain for everyone close by.
Brenum began to tire, he felt ill all of a sudden. He noticed several Sith swaying this way and that and clutching at their sides or heads. Suddenly, there was an onslaught of lightning, like a giant storm. Brenum had only seen such a storm from one Sith, one Chiss Sith.
Four hands emerged from the trees nearby, sending lightning the Sith’s way. The Sith were numerous and they fought back. Relsor jumped into the air and landed between the Jedi and part of the group of Sith. Perce was sending lightning at the Sith in a continuous stream. Relsor raised his hands and the Sith became immobile, as did the Jedi.
Relsor smirked at Brenum. He moved his arms. Brenum fell to the ground as the Sith were propelled into the air. The other half of the group of Sith ran towards them and Relsor again did the same. The Sith found themselves tumbling over the ridge. In a few moments, the clearing was clear of the Empire’s Sith.
Relsor and Perce looked at the Jedi.
‘You’re welcome,’ said Relsor.
Brenum ignored the Chiss and began running towards the area where he knew Trylia was being held. He felt himself be yanked into the air and landed backwards near the others.
‘Don’t be so foolish!’ Relsor sounded harsh. ‘You can’t go and save Trylia like that. None of us can.’ He took out a datapad. ‘Look, the area is surrounded by hundreds of ysalamiri. You might be able to sustain the shock of entering an ysalamiri bubble if there were dozens, but not hundreds. The shock itself would knock you unconscious.’ Relsor walked towards the others. Brenum just stared agape. ‘The place is surrounded by as many Sith.’ He pointed an ignited lightsaber towards the bottom of the ridge. ‘Those Sith have had special training. They cannot use the Force in the ysalamiri bubble, but they know how to dominate a battle despite the lack of the Force.’ He looked at Brenum. ‘You would be lucky to survive their onslaught. You will not know how to reorient yourself in such a situation.’
‘Why are you telling them all this!’ complained Perce.
‘Because the two of us alone cannot save Trylia,’ said Relsor. ‘I thought I could, but not with that many Sith who can fight around that many ysalamiri. I may be able to use the Force in the bubble of one or a dozen ysalamiri, but not hundreds.’ He looked at Shadie. ‘We need a plan.’
‘You expect me to let you walk freely without ordering my clan to kill you?’ said Talyc, walking right up to Relsor. He took his helmet off and stared at the Chiss for a long time. He crinkled his nose in disdain. ‘I want you dead.’
‘Talyc,’ said Fane gently, ‘I don’t think today is the day I must fight him. Like you said yourself.’
‘I’m willing to consider your offer, Relsor,’ said Shadie. She crossed her arms.
‘There is a path in that patch of strange plants that leads to an area where we can see Trylia and her friend well. They are in the centre of the ring of ysalamiri and Sith surround the area and guard it. They have organised their trap well. We can scan the area and find a way down and a plan of attack.’ Relsor looked at Shadie. ‘They are being overseen by a Cypher Agent dressed in Mandalorian armour, Cypher Five. Know anything about that?’
‘Vax,’ said Talyc. ‘That’s his name as I know it. Knew him ten years ago. He was on Mandalore recently as Clan Dargoza’s newest recruit.’
‘Yes, the same clan Jassahmi had infiltrated,’ said Relsor. ‘They really need to be more vigilant.’
‘You’re telling me,’ said Talyc.
‘Wait, are we really working together to save Trylia and Alegna?’ said Nriwe, ‘Or are we just pretending and exchanging information? Mandalore’s honour if we’re doing this. We shake on it.’
Relsor nodded and held his hand out.
‘You expect me to cooperate with him?’ Perce pointed at Knarf; disdain echoed in his voice.
‘Perce, please, just until Trylia is safe again,’ said Relsor. He looked at Brenum. ‘I think that is what we both want.’
Brenum nodded. ‘All right. I agree.’ He looked at the others.
Knarf nodded. ‘All right, I can do that… If you can.’ He looked at Perce, who crinkled his nose at him.
‘Fine!’ Perce looked at Relsor. ‘But as soon as she’s safe, we’re done.’
The others nodded, Talyc somewhat reluctantly, Shadie more eagerly, and the others more somberly.
‘We don’t fight each other and we work together to save Trylia and Alegna. Then we part our separate ways.’ Brenum walked up to Relsor and took his still outstretched hand. ‘And then we never see you again.’
‘Agreed!’ said Relsor. And they shook on it.
“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.