The meeting took the most part of the morning and the beginning of the afternoon to strategise a plan. Present were Mandalore, Kelbourn, Talyc, Knarf, Shadie, Brenum, Trylia, Master Salah, and the whole of the Jedi Council, with of course Master Herl’unik, the Grand Master.
Then the Mandalorians, along with Knarf, were dismissed, and the Jedi stayed a bit longer. Surprisingly, there was less talk of the risks involved or of Kromus, but more of his holocron. There was the possibility that it could be with him if he still needed it to feed him power, otherwise they would need to find out where he’d hidden it. If they did not, he could be brought back another time and Shadie would be forced to kill him yet a third time. There was much talk of what to do in the event Shadie would die, and if — it was implied by some of the masters present — she turned to the dark side. They also discussed the consequences of such things on the galaxy and the Republic. Much was at stake.
When the meeting was over, Shadie found Knarf in one of the corridors not far from the Council Chamber, sitting on a bench, looking down at his helmet, which he held in his hands. He looked grim.
‘Knarf,’ said Shadie as she approached, ‘what’s wrong?’
‘Well,’ he said, ‘I have a decision to make.’ He stood and paced a bit, then faced her. ‘I’ve been asked by the Mandalore himself to join the battle with the Mandalorians. I’d have my own starfighter, and then we would board some of the Sith ships.’
‘Oh.’ Shadie took it in. ‘What about you staying by my side?’
Knarf looked away. ‘That’s what I’m not sure about anymore.’
‘I don’t understand. Are you afraid you might die?’
‘Look, you will defeat Kromus, and then what? Be a Jedi? And me, I can go back to slicing and programming, or I can join the Mandalorians…’
‘We can be together,’ said Shadie, ‘because we want to be, and we’ll figure out the rest together.’
‘That’s just it, Shadie. I’m not sure what I want. I know I care about you and I want to be with you. I know I don’t want to lose you, nor to death, nor to the dark side. I know that you make me happy…’
‘Then where’s the problem? What’s holding you back?’ Shadie could feel her heart thumping; she could feel fear, sadness, and anger within her. ‘Knarf, I care about you more than you may ever know. You make me happy and I want to be with you.’
‘But it’s not as simple as that, is it?’ Knarf looked pained to be voicing these thoughts. Shadie shook her head. His words made her feel disposable, and she knew he was sensing that from her somehow, she knew he was sad and hurt to see her sad and hurt.
‘Why does it have to be complicated?’ she said softly. ‘What are you afraid of?’
He shrugged. ‘I’m not sure. What are you afraid of?’
Shadie swallowed hard. Knarf could tell fear was dominating her being at that moment; just by the way he looked at her, she knew he sensed it.
‘I… I can’t say,’ she said at last.
There was a long awkward silence filled with sadness, as Knarf started to turn and go, and Shadie did nothing to hide her tears. She felt disposable. She’d never felt that before, and she couldn’t explain why the situation was making her feel this way, but she let her emotions through so that Knarf could feel it too. Perhaps through the Force, he would understand what words could not express.
‘Oh, Shadie,’ said Knarf tenderly. He turned back to her and put a hand on her face and wiped a tear. He looked sad, confused. ‘I’m sorry. I’m hurting you right now, aren’t I? I don’t want to lose you, I’m just scared. And it’s hurting me. But I don’t know if I can do this, fight by your side. Watch you almost die again, or almost turn to the dark side. I’m not sure if I’m more afraid of losing you or of dying. I don’t even know if I should be fighting in this war at all. Look at me, a Mandalorian warrior, but I’m just a slicer.’ He paused, his deep brown eyes staring at her in a piercing gaze. ‘I need time to figure it out.’
Shadie looked at him straight in the eyes.
‘I love you,’ she said at last. ‘And I fear that you don’t feel the same.’
Knarf swallowed, as though taking her words in.
Before he could reply, a dark figure jumped down from the ceiling airshaft, causing both of them to bounce back in a stagger. The hooded being ignited a crimson blade and struck Knarf at the mid. Knarf fell back, recovering with a barrel roll. He looked at the Sith assassin as he remained in a crouched position.
‘Mandalorian beskar’gam, you Sith poodoo. You’re not going to kill me that easily.’
He put his helmet on, jumping up and took out his vibroblade. The Sith came at him again. Shadie ignited her blade with a snap hiss. The glow of her green staff comforted her emotions, the hum hypnotising her to quell them. She set them aside for now and came at the Sith from the side, focused on the Force.
The assassin was skilled. She looked at both Shadie and Knarf and used the Force on both to try to weaken them, extending her arms towards each of them and draining them of life at the same time as choking them. While she was choking them, she was lifting them off the ground. Shadie waved her blade, but it did nothing.
It was Knarf who broke the connection somehow. He seemed to have taken advantage of the fact he was floating to spin backwards in the air and when he came front, he extended his arm with the vibroblade so far and with such force, it came so close to the assassin’s neck that she broke the Force connection. Both Shadie and Knarf dropped. Shadie sent a zap of lightning, spitting from her fingertips towards the assassin. Her hood fell back a bit, unveiling her face. She was a grey-green skinned Zabrak, and Shadie could see her head horns under her hood.
The Zabrak looked at Shadie. Knarf came up behind the assassin and jumped on her back, bringing his vibroblade about front. The assassin sent her lightsaber spinning around him, twirling wildly, so Knarf let go and backed away. The Zabrak ran towards him. Shadie yanked her back with the Force. She came towards her; the Zabrak blocked her, spun and blocked Knarf.
The assassin sent dark energy towards Shadie, strong volleys and she bounced back towards the wall. She took a moment to gather her strength. She was beginning to send more lightning at the assassin when another dark figure jumped down, igniting another red blade and catching her lightning on it.
Fane didn’t give her a second glace, he went right for Knarf. Shadie used the Force to pull him away from Knarf, but he resisted it well. He had grown even stronger in the Force during his brief time with Kromus. She pulled harder, but he anchored himself on the ground with the Force and all she did was pull Knarf closer to Fane.
‘I killed Lahnius, not Knarf.’
‘Kromus sent me to kill him.’
‘Looks like you’re not the only one he sent,’ said Knarf. ‘Although it’s flattering that you’re all cueing up for me… But doesn’t he trust you? After all, you killed your Jedi Master.’
Fane gripped Knarf in a choke. Shadie sent lightning. Fane used it to fuel himself and began to duel Knarf. The Zabrak assassin was fighting her now. She saw Knarf slide under Fane and come up behind him, but Fane was fast and had the upper hand.
The Zabrak came at Shadie low, she blocked. She came high and left, Shadie blocked. She came low and right and then up again, nicking Shadie’s shoulder. She moaned in pain, but let it subside. They fought a while longer. She came at the Zabrak assassin, jumping up above her; she used dark energy to bounce Shadie her off and send her flying in the opposite direction.
Shadie stood and put a hand to her throat, she could no longer breathe. The assassin was so powerful, sending dark energy and choking her. Shadie blocked her blade as she came at her. She sent dark energy her way again and Shadie bounced onto the wall, still unable to breathe, losing her lightsaber in the process. She began to feel dizzy, to see blurry. She slid down to the ground, gasping for air. Little black dots danced before her eyes. She fought to remain conscious. She could not see or hear the fight going on between Knarf and Fane. She could not hear anything either.
The assassin’s red blade came down at her fast and her heart pounded so quickly, as though in a hurry to beat its last beats as much as possible, as though it would make its final moment last longer. Inches from her eyes, another blur came in, perpendicular to the assassin’s blade, blocking the red blade it seemed, bright and aqua-blue, pushing the assassin away.
‘What are you doing, Fane?’ asked the assassin in a fury.
Shadie stood on weakened legs. Fane did not give the assassin any reply. Knarf stood, looking almost as stunned as Shadie felt, from what she could tell from his body language, standing as though frozen in the mid-duel position he’d been in before Fane had suddenly broken off the attack on him, to come and stop the assassin from killing Shadie.
Fane came at the Zabrak, sending spurts of energy towards her. The assassin staggered back and put her arms out, as though feeling the air for balance, more from surprise than from the energy. Fane took advantage of this brief moment of non-focus, he unclipped his other blade, the red one, and came at the assassin, both blades ablaze, and struck her in the torso. He held his blades there for a brief moment, before pulling them both out again. The assassin grunted, looking at Fane, red and aqua light shining on her features, and fell dead.
Fane looked at Knarf.
‘Kromus sent me to kill you.’ He powered down his lightsabers and dropped the red one on the ground. He sighed and clipped the aqua one to his belt. He looked at the dead Zabrak, and then at Shadie. ‘Shadie, what have I done? I killed Master Juun.’ He began to weep.
‘Oh, Fane.’ Shadie took him in her arms. ‘It’s all right. You can turn from the dark side.’
‘But I killed our master!’
‘There is still light in your soul. I can see it. You saved my life. Why?’
‘Because my anger towards you did not warrant you to die.’ He shook his head. ‘It was a force stronger than me, as though I need you alive. And Kromus… Master Juun was right. He is using others to fill the void you caused when you left his side. He is manipulative, cunning. I thought… The dark side is not what I thought it would be. It does not set you free as the Sith code says. ”My chains are broken, the Force shall free me.” That’s not true. More chains are bound. Regret, sadness, despair, it does not heal any of those emotions. Happiness cannot be found through darkness. But look how far I’ve fallen.’
‘You forget where I come from, Fane. I was once Darth Shadie. And look where I am today.’
‘Forgive me, Shadie.’
‘I forgive you, Fane!’
‘Will you teach me to return to the light?’
‘I will teach you to revel in it and transmit it to all living souls that will be lucky enough to be cast in your light.’ She smiled at Fane who smiled back and wiped his eyes dry.
‘What’s going on!’ cried Master Salah as she and Master Herl’unik arrived followed by Brenum and Trylia.
‘Masters,’ said Fane, unafraid, yet with a tone of shame in his voice, while dropping to one knee and bowing his head. ‘I was sent by Kromus to kill Knarf. But instead I killed the other Sith Assassin he sent. I repent my dark side. I know my deeds cannot be easily forgiven.’
‘Indeed not,’ said Master Herl’unik. ‘You killed a Jedi Master. Your Master. You should be exiled and stripped from the Force, to the very least…’
‘Fane saved my life,’ said Shadie stepping forward. She could see Knarf staring at her with what she thought was awe, as he cast off his helmet and held it under one arm. ‘Many lose their way from time to time. Forget not where I came from before I turned to the light. Forget not that I came to you as a Sith before deciding to turn away from the darkness I had known all my life. Forget not the crimes and ill deeds I did before you showed me the path of the light side. I wish to apprentice Fane and guide him as Master Juun once guided me, with the light side of the Force.’
‘Jedi Eidahs,’ said Master Salah, ‘you were willing to turn away from the dark side. You came to us seeking answers. You were not a Jedi and then betrayed us and—’
‘I faltered to the dark side, if you recall, the first time I killed Darth Kromus. You know very well why I went to Dantooine for a time. And Fane? Is he not all that different? He is willingly turning away from the dark side. He made his decision to return to the light the moment he saved my life using his Jedi weapon.’ She motioned towards his clipped lightsaber, and then the other one cast aside on the ground. ‘For me, that counts for something.’
‘Oh, Shadie, that’s beautiful,’ stammered Trylia emotionally.
‘Listen,’ continued Shadie to the Masters, acknowledging her friend with a smile, ‘Fane may have betrayed us and hurt us gravely, hurt me gravely. But I have forgiven him, should you not do the same?’
‘But Shadie,’ said Master Herl’unik, getting looks and gasps of surprise as he called her by her known name and not her new Jedi name, ‘you are not a Master.’
‘Then make her one!’
‘Brenum!’ Trylia’s eyes went wide, her lace coloured lekku twitching awkwardly, ‘you can’t speak to the Grand Master like that.’
‘Fane,’ the Zabrak Grand Master took a step forward, ‘are you serious about returning to the Jedi?’
‘Yes. I am. I was tempted, but I have seen therein lies no beauty, no peace, no love, no serenity. It did not heal my grief; it burdened it. I would rather die than fall to the darkness again.’
‘Then Shadie, if you defeat Kromus and do so with the full power of the light side, then I shall consider that your trial, and you shall become a Jedi Master.’ Master Herl’unik paused shortly. ‘And Fane shall be your apprentice.’
‘Thank you, Master Herl’unik,’ she replied.
Masters Herl’unik and Salah nodded and left the premises. Fane rose.
‘Fane, as your first task, I want you to dwell not on the negativity of the past events, but on what you have learnt, and how it has moulded you into a better Jedi.’
‘Yes, Shadie, I mean Jedi Eidahs, uh, Master, well, soon to be.’ He laughed nervously, but genuinely relieved and joyously. ‘I trust you will succeed. May the Force be with you.’
He smiled. Master Salah was at the end of the corridor, waiting. Fane went after her. Shadie knew Master Salah would help him in Shadie’s absence, in his first steps to redemption.
‘Brenum, Trylia, come on, we’ve got a Sith Lord to destroy.’
‘Not even a master yet and already telling us what to do,’ Brenum murmured under his breath to Trylia.
Shadie snorted at him. She then looked at Knarf, daring not to say anything, and then began walking down the long corridor.
‘Shadie, wait!’ Knarf called out.
Brenum and Trylia took a few more steps and pretended to mind their own business. Shadie turned to Knarf. He walked right up to her and looked at her in the eyes, smiling yet sad, as though he was sorry for what he had previously said to her. He stared at her for what seemed forever.
‘I love you too,’ he said at length. ‘We had at least one same fear. I have many more. But you are my pure light and the thought of not being cast in your light was enough to make me see clearly. I do want to be there when you face him. I was just so scared you’d die or turn to the dark side that I thought I didn’t want to be there. But I feel I must.’ He had that handsome serious happy look with longing in his eyes, more emotions than could be put into words. ‘Also, knowing how you feel helped a bit,’ he added shyly.
‘What do you want?’ Shadie asked tenderly, knowing the answer, but making sure.
‘To be with you. To have you by my side. And the rest, well, we’ll figure it out as it comes… Together.’ Shadie smiled. She took his hand; a few tears ran down her cheeks. ‘Oh, Shadie.’
Knarf took her in his arms and held her tightly. He leaned his forehead on hers, looking at her with what she knew was all the love he bore for her, the equivalent of all the love she bore for him. Shadie then kissed him fiercely, hungrily, and longingly. Letting his energies soothe her emotions, the sadness, the fear, the dangers they would be facing together, and his being simply calmed her as he kissed her ever more passionately than she was him.
‘I thought we had a Sith Lord to destroy,’ said Brenum in an amused, yet somewhat drawling. Trylia slapped his arm.
Shadie and Knarf giggled. Knarf smiled in his usual manner and took Shadie’s hand and they began walking.
‘Then it’s a good thing I’ve got this armour on,’ said Knarf. He laughed.
‘We don’t have armour,’ said Brenum. ‘We don’t need it. And we’re the ones—’
‘You don’t need armour?’ teased Knarf.
‘And I’m the one,’ said Shadie, teasing as well, speaking at the same time as Knarf.
‘You are the one, Shadie,’ said Knarf in a very playful and very inviting tone. Brenum cleared his throat very loudly. Shadie bit her lip; this was not the time to think of intimacy. There would be plenty of time for that in hyperspace.
“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.