Images flashed through her mind: a crimson blade slashing off a leg, life drain, a barrier, then her blade, her dark side, coming down hard.
Shadie woke up in a bounce, gasping for air. It took a while for her to get her bearings back; it always did. Her nightmares, no, her dark memories, were growing more and more intense, and becoming increasingly frequent. She’d only returned from her temporary self-exile on Dantooine recently.
Shadie dressed and walked through the halls of the Jedi Temple.
‘Master Juun,’ replied Shadie, as she turned towards him, surprised yet glad to see him.
‘What brings you roaming the halls in the dead of night?’
‘My dreams,’ she replied. ‘They are disturbed.’
‘Shadie…sorry, Eidahs… All Jedi falter at some point in their lives, but you are not inherently evil. You were Sith once and came to the light, remember? You may have let your emotions overwhelm you when you killed Kromus, but you cannot let that control your fate. You are here, are you not? You went to Dantooine to meditate many weeks, did you not? And you are not a Sith right now, you did not embrace the dark side.’
‘But when I killed him, yes, and therefore he won.’
‘Not entirely, if he did win, though I disagree with you altogether.’
Shadie paused. ‘Master Juun Kloh?’
‘Yes, my pupil.’
‘What brings you back to Coruscant?’
‘I’m not sure. I was told a matter of great import needed to be discussed and the Jedi Council required my immediate presence,’ he replied.
Shadie hesitated. Dare she ask? ‘Is…’ she began, but Master Juun interrupted her; he must have sensed her very thoughts.
‘I cannot and must not tell you. I know what you wish to know.’
‘But you remained on Ryloth all those weeks, meaning…’
‘Meaning nothing. My father was teaching me to master the ability that runs in our family.’
‘But I need to know…’
‘Trust that the Force will tell you what you need to know,’ said Master Juun.
‘But I reach out to him at times and… nothing.’
‘Then right now, nothing is what you need to know.’ Master Juun’s blue face loomed down at her. ‘Good night, Jedi Eidahs. May your dreams bring you council.’
And with that he walked away.
* * *
‘Well maybe he just doesn’t want you to get your hopes up,’ said Brenum when Shadie conferred with her friends. ‘Maybe the nerf-herder’s alive but unconscious and could still die.’
‘I’m sure if Knarf were dead, Master Juun would tell you,’ said Trylia. ‘You would have sensed something, I’m sure.’
‘Then why is it every time I reach out to him I don’t sense anything?’ said Shadie.
Brenum and Trylia looked at each other.
‘You really care about him?’ asked Trylia.
‘I do,’ replied Shadie. ‘I cannot define how I feel, but I feel it and I want him in my life. I need him alive for that.’
‘I don’t know what to tell you, Shadie,’ said Brenum. ‘If Master Juun won’t reveal what he knows about Knarf, then…well, we can’t force it out of him.’
‘I suppose not,’ replied Shadie.
At that moment, her comlink chimed.
‘Jedi Eidahs,’ came Master Juun’s voice. It was still strange to hear her new name being said, she admitted, though with her closest friends she remained Shadie. ‘You better get up here. It’s important.’
‘I’m on my way.’ She looked at the others.
‘That doesn’t sound good,’ said Brenum. ‘We should go with you.’
‘Agreed!’ said Trylia.
* * *
When Shadie, Brenum, and Trylia arrived in the Council chambers, their Master, along with the Council members, looked very grim. Another Master stood with Juun Kloh.
‘You remember Master Salah?’
‘Yes, of course.’
Master Salah was a tall woman, past her prime in years, yet still very beautiful.
‘So what is this about?’ asked Brenum.
The Masters hesitated.
‘The Chiss,’ began Master Salah, ‘from the Unknown Regions, had detected a strange mass of energy readings, which they could not identify. It was causing disturbances with ships in flight, causing them to short-circuit or crash. Seldom do they contact the Core for help and the Jedi felt the need to help, as they required experts to assist them in this matter. While they remain allies with the Sith Empire, they sometimes offer open contract when no one else is available.’
‘These readings must have been something for none of their experts to be able to find and identify,’ said Brenum.
Master Salah nodded. ‘As energy readings are usually nothing more than average crystals or organic life, I thought it a good task for my apprentice to do on his own. He recently graduated from padawan. A bright lad with great potential, and having earned the new title of Jedi Knight, Gareth was perfect for the task and very willing to go.’
‘Okay, so where is he now, still there?’ asked Shadie.
‘When Gareth failed to contact me at the appointed time, I contacted the Chiss. They found his body in one of the caves on Csilla.’
‘What? He’s dead?’ exclaimed Brenum. Trylia put a hand to her mouth.
‘That’s not all,’ said Master Juun.
‘His body bore no blaster marks or wounds of any kind,’ continued Master Salah. ‘And his lightsaber had been taken from him. The Chiss also found a hole in the ice, which indicated it had been carved by a lightsaber.’
‘Okay, but what does this have to do with me?’ asked Shadie, still genuinely confused.
‘A ship was stolen from the Chiss,’ said Master Juun, ‘the crew of the small craft was killed. But a holoimage of the incident was recorded.’
He turned and played the holorecording.
A tall figure in black walked into a landing bay, blue lightsaber raised.
‘That’s Gareth’s lightsaber,’ said Master Salah.
The recording showed the figure slicing the crew and sending dark energy their way, purple energy. Then, for a split second, his head turned in the direction of the security holocam, searching the room.
Master Juun paused the holorecording. Shadie’s heart sank.
‘No. No, it can’t be,’ she said, while shaking her head. ‘I just killed him… a few months ago!’
‘The Holocron,’ said Master Juun. ‘It’s the only explanation.’
‘But I searched everywhere for it,’ said Shadie.
‘And we continued the search while Shadie was in temporary exile,’ said Brenum.
‘As did we,’ said one of the Council Masters.
‘Do you know where he is now?’ asked Trylia.
‘No,’ said Salah. ‘Apparently, a cloaked figure was seen trading the Chiss vessel for another on Corellia, but no recordings were taken, and no one is talking.’
‘We’ve put out word with a few whom we trust throughout the galaxy of Kromus’s return to life,’ said Master Juun. ‘They will contact us if they see or hear anything.’
‘So once again, Kromus wins,’ murmured Shadie. She looked up. ‘I feel spent. I put so much effort. And for what? I have to destroy him again.’
‘Well at least you can do it with the light side this time,’ said Brenum. Shadie gave him a glare.
‘Not funny, Brenum,’ said Trylia.
Shadie bit her lip nervously. ‘I must go to the Crypt.’
‘No! It’s too dangerous,’ said Master Juun.
‘He could be there,’ argued Shadie.
‘You are not yet ready to face him again,’ said Master Juun. ‘Not until you’ve come to terms with what happened last time. I would have otherwise petitioned the Council for you to go, but they feel you should not go. I will go to the Crypt. And you three will remain here.’ His tone indicated he was giving them no choice on the matter. ‘For now,’ he added quickly, in a gentler tone.
‘When did this happen?’ asked Trylia.
‘Gareth’s death? A couple of standard weeks ago,’ said Master Salah.
‘So he could be anywhere!’ Shadie lifted her arms and dropped them dow again in defeat.
‘I know this is difficult to take in, Sh… Eidahs, but you must remain calm.’
‘I’ll do my best, Master Juun.’
* * *
‘Who does he think he is, dictating to us what to do, where not to go?’ Shadie was pacing to and fro in the main hold of the Krayt Dragon. ‘I can’t just stand around and do nothing.’
‘You’re not standing around, Shadie… you’re pacing,’ said Brenum, ‘and it’s making me dizzy.’
‘Shadie,’ said Trylia, ‘maybe this is for the best. If someone contacts the Council with news on Kromus’s whereabouts, we can go. Maybe.’
‘Sithspawn! I just killed him.’ Shadie stopped her pacing and sat down. ‘I can still feel what I felt when I killed him. I can still see his sneering face. “The dark side is absolute!”‘
‘He said that because he felt he was winning,’ said Brenum.
‘Maybe because he was winning. I killed him with the dark side.’
‘No,’ said Trylia, ‘he was winning because you were not really killing him because his life was bound to that holocron he’d built.’
‘Maybe,’ replied Shadie. ‘So what are we supposed to do now?’
There was a pause. It was Trylia who replied in her usual soothing tones.
“Wielders of Pure Light” is written by Celinka Serre (2019).
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 storylines from the films are used. No storylines 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 FairUse.
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.