Several weeks later.
Brenum sat on the lounge in the Mandalorian bunker, staring at his datapad. Shadie couldn’t help but feel sympathy for her friend. He had sent messages to Trylia’s datapad, hoping she would reply. They had all sent messages, at a few days interval, and had been consistent about it. There had not been any replies.
Brenum sighed and put his head in his hands. Knarf, who sat next to him, put his hand on his shoulder and rubbed gently.
‘Why is it I cannot shake the feeling that something is terribly wrong?’ said Brenum. ‘I’ve meditated, done everything a Jedi should. This is why we’re not supposed to have any attachments. I can’t function like this.’
‘It’s all right, Brenum,’ said Shadie soothingly. ‘Trylia will be fine.’
‘Shadie,’ her blue-haired friend said slowly, ‘it’s been weeks.’ He shook his head. ‘No, it is not all right.’
Shadie looked at the others who shrugged. Mandalore arrived at the bunker. He had been briefed about a potential coup from the Sith, he had previously explained, and that their coup was aimed towards Relsor, but who knew what the full details entailed. Lian had gotten no news from Lord Void since his warnings a few weeks prior, and no one knew when this coup would take place. Mandalore did not want to be caught off-guard perchance the Sith were planning something greater. Shadie had to agree.
Emerick arrived with his clan; Nriwe went and sat next to Lashika. Nriwe had been communicating with Lian when Shadie couldn’t herself, keeping him appraised of the goings-on here on Mandalore. The Republic was also ready in case of any attacks from the Sith.
Talyc shifted, looking about.
‘What is it?’ Shadie asked him.
‘Clan Dargoza hasn’t arrived yet,’ he said. ‘Ever since we returned from the Crypt, they’ve been conveniently off-planet.’ He turned to face her. ‘I have words to exchange with Wapita. I mean, what was he thinking, having his newest recruit spy on us?’
‘You’re still going on about that?’ said Knarf. ‘Forget about Wapita. He can’t hurt us. Just let it go.’
Talyc opened his mouth to say something when in walked Clan Dargoza.
‘Well, well, finally!’ Talyc walked up to Wapita. ‘Can I have a word, Wapita? From one clan leader to another?’ The two walked off to one side.
Vax saluted Shadie and the others. ‘Wapita tells me your clan is well informed. Got yourselves a Sith insider or something?’ He cocked his head in Usharr’s direction. The old Sith Maser walked up to the Rattataki and sized him up and down.
‘The Jedi, like the Sith, never reveal their sources,’ said Usharr.
‘I heard that you were in exile,’ said Vax, ‘so unless you have been reassigned within the Sith Empire, I suspect you have an informant.’
‘And what would a Rattataki bounty hunter know about that?’
Vax narrowed his eyes. ‘You one of those xenophobes, aren’t you?’
Usharr looked around. ‘I aid the Mandalorians, do I not? They are comprised of all sorts of species. Not to mention Captain Zaereg and his companions over there, and I quite enjoy their company.’
Vax looked at Shadie. ‘You shouldn’t trust an exiled Sith master.’
He walked over to join the rest of Clan Dargoza as Mandalore began his debriefing, bringing up battle plans, star charts, and the Mandalorian blockade. Talyc returned and sat next to Usharr. Shadie took a seat between Brenum and Usharr.
‘I do not trust your old friend,’ Usharr whispered to Talyc. The old Sith took out a datapad and began looking things over.
Talyc leaned in closer and whispered: ‘Right now, I don’t know if it’s him I can’t trust or if I can’t trust Wapita. He denies all knowledge of Vax following Fane, Nriwe and me several weeks ago.’
‘One of them is lying,’ said Usharr. ‘And several of us sense deception. Not just…our informant.’
Talyc looked back towards Vax. Fane, who was next to Knarf, leaned over and looked at Shadie, shrugging. Shadie shook her head, pointing at Usharr’s datapad. Fane nodded understanding.
Shadie turned her attention to Mandalore, as Supreme Chancellor Emain came in view via holoscreen.
* * *
Relsor heard a loud clang of durasteel and looked up to see the door swing out of the wall. He looked past the door and saw Perce running in so fast, his hand up and moving anything out of his way. He stopped, looking excited. Relsor looked at Trylia as she stood, sensing her excitement, while he himself felt trepidation.
‘I’ve finally completed!’ announced Perce. ‘The contents of this datapad are ready to be viewed.’
Relsor swallowed hard. Trylia looked at him.
‘This is excellent news! No?’
‘I fear what I may find.’
‘Come on, it can’t be that bad,’ said Perce. ‘I didn’t spend all these weeks slicing for nothing.’
‘I suppose not, Perce.’ Relsor looked at Trylia. She took his hand; hers felt warm, tender. She smiled. ‘Let us see what Kromus had on me and why it was hidden for so long.’
They walked to the command chamber and Perce inserted the datapad into the armrest’s slot. There was a list of logs. They selected for them to play as one.
Kromus’s face appeared on the screen. Trylia gasped. Relsor observed that Kromus looked different, younger, much more sinister than his ghostly apparition.
‘Gourd has told me of his nephew, Haar’elso’rothmor,’ Kromus said, his voice grave. ‘There is something inexplicable about this young Chiss. Gourd assures me that when we have become masters, we will be able to train him properly. I am sceptical. Even the Sith of the Empire have never attempted such Sith alchemy before. To use the dark side in such a way corrupts the fabrics of existence.’
Relsor scowled, not understanding what Kromus meant. He looked at Trylia who was shaking her head, looking as confused as he felt, while Perce had his hand on his chin.
‘Gourd tells me that the boy was conceived on Ziost, where the dark side is strongest in certain areas. Great experiments have been conducted on that world. Gourd does come from a lineage of Force-sensitive Chiss, who up until now have been able to hide their Force powers. Gourd himself is strong, but now that he no longer has a master, his training is unrefined. I must relay my training to him, so that we may grow as comrades and take over the Sith together, begin our own faction of Sith.’
The log ended as a new one began. Kromus’s face appeared again, looking much older.
‘Gourd still has not told his nephew that he was created from Sith alchemy, from a Force-sensitive father and mother. Gourd’s own father was secretly Sith and trained him. A Jedi killed him. But Relsor’s parents, their death was not caused by anything a Jedi could even imagine doing to a Sith, not by any power any Jedi or Sith could even conceive of possessing. The boy came to life and it’s as though as he drew his first breath, the life was snuffed out of the two who had conceived him. Or so Gourd tells me. There are some details that when we discuss anew, remain vague or varied, so I know Gourd is hiding something regarding Relsor’s parents, but sickess of mind and death caused by Relsor remain a constant.’
Relsor swallowed hard. Trylia held his hand more tightly.
‘The young Chiss is dangerous, a liability. Gourd assures me he can be used. Gourd has him devoted to him. He will sacrifice him when the time is ripe. Gourd has begun training his own Sith, calling them the True Sith. I don’t mind the name, but the Followers of Kromus are the truer Sith and we will take down the Sith Empire, the Jedi, and the Republic.’
‘For all his talk about you, Relsor,’ said Perce, pausing the recording, ‘Kromus sure does talk about being the stronger, the truer Sith and of defeating the Republic.’ Perce scoffed. ‘Much good that did. We’re still trying to complete what he and Gourd started.’
‘How does it feel to see your former master?’ Trylia asked him.
‘It’s strange,’ said Perce. ‘But it’s all right.’
‘And how about you?’ she turned to Relsor. ‘I know he wasn’t your mentor, but…’
‘Let’s just play the next entry,’ Relsor replied dryly.
Kromus appeared again.
‘I’ve sent one of my most trusted Sith to train with Gourd and help him with our plans, Perce. I believe that that training will help him advance in ways that will allow infiltration more easily. We must begin infiltrating the Republic and the Jedi and have Sith established as trusted people for at least a few years. This takeover will take time, but I am confident we will succeed. Gourd has Relsor completely devoted to him, and I have Shadie completely devoted to me.’
The entry ended there. Trylia gasped at the mention of her friend.
Next, Gourd’s face appeared. Relsor formed a fist with his other hand, narrowing his gaze.
‘Gourd!’ said Relsor.
‘My nephew is growing so much more powerful and so much more quickly than I had anticipated,’ he said. ‘I am glad however that he has formed a friendship with Perce, Kromus’s apprentice. They work well together and Kromus believes we can use them well, as he assures me Shadie can be used. I have assigned Perce and Relsor on several missions. If they succeed, I will have some special tasks for them.’
The next entry began right away, again from Gourd.
‘Relsor has found himself a lover, a source of passion. He is playing a dangerous game. I cannot trust that he will not be distracted from his training or that his devotion to me will not falter. She cannot be allowed to stay with him.’
‘That’s why he killed her!’ said Relsor at the screen.
‘Kromus has accepted to help me deal with her. I will send her to Korriban. Relsor will not detract from the course I have set out for him.’
Perce scoffed again. ‘Your uncle truly was an arrogant man. He was right about us working well together. He didn’t anticipate my devotion to you though, did he? He and Kromus both would have wound up dead from our blades. Had Shadie not killed Kromus, I would have.’
‘And then Relsor killed Gourd,’ said Trylia. ‘And here we are.’ She sounded far too pleasant, probably trying to lighten the mood that had taken an ominous and eerie tone.
The next entry began. Kromus’s face appeared; he looked very grave.
‘Something inexplicable has happened,’ he said slowly. ‘Gourd has given me the evidence to destroy, but I feel it is best to keep it.’ Kromus’s words were slow, thoughtful. ‘Relsor has become far too powerful, far too dangerous. Gourd says he can control him, but I believe that he cannot be controlled, cannot be stopped.’ Kromus brought his hands together. ‘Relsor’s power is too immense. If he found out, he could do far too much harm to the galaxy. His powers are beyond what the dark side entails, beyond any teaching. He is a monster, bred from Sith alchemy.’
‘Who is he calling a monster!’ Relsor shouted at the screen.
Kromus went on. ‘He cannot be allowed to become a full Sith. But Gourd refuses to have him killed. I don’t think a mere battle will kill him; he will have to be sent to his death, killed by the enemy. Gourd says he will allow him to be killed. It is a dangerous game, keeping such a Sith as an ally. One day he may turn on his uncle and then there will be no stopping him. He is a malady unto this galaxy; he will kill all those around him by his mere existence. His Force aura, when fully connected to the Force, when truly in alignment with the dark side, causes death.’ Kromus leaned closer to the holocam and his face loomed ominously on the viewscreen
‘Relsor’s lover has died as a result. Gourd did not want him to know. I must proceed with caution; my moves must be calculated. Gourd told Relsor he killed her himself. But I know the truth, a truth I will keep hidden until it will be necessary for the galaxy to know. A truth that, if known now, could sow much damage and cause rebellion in Relsor. A truth I will entrust an old rival with, for he will know where to hide it, so that Relsor, if he comes to full power, will never be able to extract the information from me or destroy it. A truth that will be able to be found when Relsor will need to be destroyed. The truth that he killed his lover.’
Trylia gasped. Relsor stared at the screen, angry at the lies he was hearing. He heard Trylia wince. He looked over and realised he was squeezing her hand so hard, her lilac fingers had begun to turn a deep purple. He let go abruptly.
‘Lies! I want proof! How could I have killed her? I have no recollection of even fighting her!’
‘There’s more here,’ said Perce.
‘Play it!’ Relsor said quickly, commandingly.
Trylia took his hand anew. Perce let the clips play. It showed a few angles from security vids from old holocams. Relsor was in his room with her, they were in bed. He remembered that night, the night Gourd killed her. They had relished in their passion and he could still feel that passion flowing within him. She dressed and kissed him before exiting. Relsor stretched and he remembered how he had felt the Force flowing through him, his connectivity to it. His younger self began to glow as lightning danced across his own body, he was vibrating with the Force. He pulsed and a wave so strong made everything in the room topple over. At the same time, there was a security cam following his lover in the hall. The moment Relsor pulsed, she began to gape and clutch at her chest. The more Relsor relished in the Force, opening his arms wide, looking up, feeling the Force, the more she suffered. Relsor pulsed again and she fell to the ground.
Relsor shook his head. ‘No, that can’t be.’
Another security cam showed Gourd arriving at the scene and touching her limp body.
It ended. Relsor stared at the screen, wanting to see more. He stood, taking a step towards the viewscreen; Trylia followed, always holding his hand. An image appeared; it was a medical record of how she had died. It clearly stated she had simply dropped dead.
‘Forged, forged records!’
Trylia turned her head. ‘I am so sorry, Relsor.’
‘It’s not true! It can’t be!’
Relsor felt the dark side flow through him. He began feeling his powers grow, letting his anger fuel him. He looked at Trylia and realised she was wincing in pain. He let go of her.
‘You must leave!’ he said.
‘What?’ This came from Perce.
‘I will kill you, Trylia, just from relishing in my power. I was selfish to want you here with me. Because of the way I feel for you, I mustn’t kill you, not even with my blade, I do not want to, therefore I cannot let you die from my powers.’
‘What will you do?’ asked Trylia.
‘I’ll try to make sense of all this, figure out what my next move is, but you cannot stay.’ He looked at Perce. ‘Prepare a shuttle for her in the hangar. One of the Chiss ones. She’ll be able to get back to her friends quickly and safely.’
Trylia had tears in her eyes. She reached for Relsor’s hand.
‘No!’ He backed away. ‘Brenum was right. You cannot save me. You cannot change me. As I cannot change you. I am not truly Chiss. I am a creation of Sith alchemy.’ Disdain filled him. ‘I am death.’
Trylia lunged into a hug and took him in her arms.
‘I am glad to have been your friend, Relsor. You are different to me. Even if you are my enemy, you are an enemy for whom I care.’ She backed away. ‘May we meet on the battlefield, or perhaps fight alongside each other against the Sith Empire, if our paths do cross before the end, whatever end that may be for whichever one of us.’ She paused. ‘I had hoped you’d be like Shadie, and find the light. I understand now that you would only destroy it, but it was a nice hope to have.’ She smiled meagrely. Then she looked at Perce, who stood watching her, looking as though he was still processing as well. ‘You too, Perce. You’re not as annoying as Knarf says you are.’
‘Kindness means nothing to me, but I suppose I’ll take the compliment.’
Trylia smiled. Relsor could feel she was happy to be free, to be returning, yet sad for him.
‘I do not want your pity,’ said Relsor. ‘We are enemies.’
Trylia nodded. They walked to the shuttle. Perce took a few moments to prepare it. Relsor handed Trylia her datapad and whatever of her things he had taken when he had captured her.
‘The shuttle was adjusted for short-distance flights, but Perce has recalibrated the communications array so that you can receive and send messages via holo-transmission even in hyperspace.’
‘Thank you,’ said Trylia. She turned and began up the ramp. ‘Goodbye.’
Relsor closed his eyes, anger and a whole slew of emotions whirling through him. He heard the shuttle leave the hangar. He felt Perce standing by his side.
‘It is probably best this way,’ said Perce.
Relsor opened his eyes. ‘Come, we need to figure out what to do now that we know this and how best to achieve our goals. The Empire still needs a reckoning and I will not shy away from using my power to destroy the Sith so we can take over the Empire once and for all.’
‘I admit, I quite enjoy your logic sometimes. And then we can focus on the Jedi.’
‘Yes, but we will leave Mandalore alone.’
‘Fair enough, let’s just hope Trylia considers herself more Mandalorian with that clan of hers then, more so than she considers herself a Jedi.’
‘I trust she will do what is best so we can coexist without getting in each other’s way from now on.’
“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.