‘…As a Lady of the light side, a master of pure light, I’m not going until you come with me.’
‘Then we both die here, now.’
Kromus came at her. Perhaps he thought it would make her leave, but he was wrong. Shadie needed to understand him some more. How the dark side was corrupting him was unimaginable to her, but her light had touched him momentarily. She could not, and would not, leave him behind.
Kromus struck her hard at the mid. She blocked, but the blow had too much force. She let herself fall to the side and rolled, then came back up, spinning around and used the momentum to swipe at Kromus at a low right, then arced her blade upwards to strike low left, and then back again. The movement was so fast that the green of her blade formed a half circle blur. Then, with a two handed grip, she activated the other half of her blade and used both sides of the staff to continue the motion, using one side to simultaneously strike high right, whilst the other side struck low left, and back up to high left and low right, the motion blur of her staff creating a triangular eight in the air, each time advancing on Kromus.
Kromus ducked suddenly, bending low, and sent his staff lightsaber spinning towards Shadie. She leapt up high and came back down sending lightning at Kromus.
‘Can’t you see how this is corrupt? You’re using the dark side against me because I refuse to save myself, because I wish to save your life, and because you want me to live. You let your anger fuel you, you are in a frenzy. You are not in control of your actions, can’t you see?’
‘Oh, I can see, all right. I see your stupidity and foolishness. You fail to grasp at the bigger picture. There can be no redemption for me, not in the eyes of the Jedi Council and their petty rules.’
Kromus sent Shadie some dark energy; she quickly absorbed it and let the orb linger there as she spoke, as he kept sending the dark energy.
‘There was for Fane!’
‘So he has returned to the light. The boy is brave and has a lot of power within. Whichever path he chooses in the end, he will become very powerful.’
Kromus paused. Shadie held the orb of energy, though it was becoming a struggle. She could absorb it, but she did not know how to consume it to fuel herself with it as many Sith did, as Lahnius especially had known how to do. She tried to consume it, but it felt as though she were choking on some pipe weed, so she simply concentrated on holding the orb of dark energy in place.
Kromus smiled. ‘You are hesitant to send that back towards me, aren’t you? But if you send it anywhere else,’ he looked around, motioning, ‘you’ll damage the integrity of this ship and perhaps destroy it and most certainly destroy us both. Not to mention the transparisteel viewport over there that could cause a vacuum and send us floating into space if that orb fails to destroy the ship itself.’
Kromus sent more energy. Shadie did not want to send it back, it was true, even if Kromus might want her to kill them both, but there was so much energy now, sent anywhere else it would destroy the ship from within the cargo hold.
Kromus powered off his lightsaber and extended both hands. Crates came flying Shadie’s way. One hit her, she ducked another. A third, she used the Force to send back. Kromus wanted her to act quickly and she suspected he desired that her concentration would fail.
With everything flying her way, she could no longer hold the orb of energy. She sent it back towards Kromus. It hit him right in the gut and he cried out as he went flying across the room, hitting the wall hard. He fell to the ground, flat on his back.
Shadie ran to him. He lay motionless on the permacrete floor, one arm bent awkwardly under his back.
‘Oh,’ she sighed. ‘Forgive me, brother,’ she said low.
Then, his lightsaber came ablaze and Shadie instinctively blocked the blow her senses told her was coming, blocking low, as his blade came up high-mid from his lying position.
‘So weak!’ said Kromus to her, his tone indicating disparagement of the emotions that she felt.
He stood. He looked stronger. But the force of that dark energy should have knocked him unconscious, at least, if not killed him. She gaped at him. She had not realised the extent of his new abilities. The absorption and consumption of such power as that which she sent back towards him was impossible and had never been achieved by any Sith or Jedi before.
‘Don’t look so surprised! Lahnius wasn’t the only one to use such attacks to fuel his strength.’ Kromus suddenly shouted at her, very loudly. ‘Who do you think taught it to him!’ And he came at Shadie, fast and violent. He struck from side to side using one side of his staff, advancing on Shadie, using an upside down grip, left hand on top of the pommel, right hand under. He struck at mid arm level, at Shadie’s left, Kromus’s right. Then he whirled the staff, and his right hand was on the top with the left hand under, and he struck at mid arm level at Shadie’s right, Kromus’s left. His lightsaber kept spinning, it seemed. Instead of using the same staff side to keep striking from side to side, he kept switching, as though criss-crossing, swiping upwards every time he switched from side to side, sometimes spinning his blade in the middle of a switch. He kept advancing so quickly on Shadie that she found herself backing up way too quickly for her liking, and only able to block his blows without getting any openings to strike back.
Kromus did another one of his twirlings with his lightsaber before swiping from her high right to low left, and then he slashed at her knees. Shadie jumped, using the Force mildly and landed in time to evade a swipe low right to high left. Kromus lunged at her. Shadie bent backwards, very low. Kromus held is blade a while, it was inches above her face as she held her limbo; the heat of his blade would soon cause a burn mark. She decided to give into the Force completely.
Shadie let herself fall onto her back, using the Force to cushion her fall. This, Kromus was not expecting. She spun her blade on itself the same way Kromus had done so, twirling it upwards towards him, then held the hilt firmly, moving it in a swift motion, holding her arms out. The glowing green shaped a half circle as she formed an arc, moving low right, up above her and low left. But she did not stop her movement there; she let the half of her lightsaber closest to her hit the floor, sparks flying everywhere, and used the power of the motion to propel herself upwards. She flipped into the air as the blade continued its spin and twirl, her feet left the floor. When she hit the floor again, her blade was held out before her horizontally, like before, but this time she just spun on herself. Kromus jumped back to avoid her lightsaber. Shadie then changed her grip on the hilt and twirled it from under to come up to a straight horizontal position, one tip in front, and one tip behind, and jabbed at Kromus who blocked.
She advanced on him a few times until the fight came to a standstill, while the blades kept dancing like Life Day lights blurring someone’s vision. Shadie ducked instinctively. When she came up again, Kromus was advancing on her again. He was striking not from side to side anymore, but from above, to the head, hacking over and over again; his face was contorted with anger and regret. Shadie could not understand how the dark side had consumed such a being who was at the same time capable of love. Yet it was all he had ever known. Shadie had only known the dark side too until she had chosen to turn to the light. She had wanted to show Kromus that same light, but she understood now that she could not. He was scared, as she had been, to change, to turn to the light, to heal, but she had faced that fear. Kromus instead was using it to fuel his dark side evermore and unless he chose it, he could never turn to the light, it was not her decision to make, it was his. If he did not choose for himself, he could and would never be able to see the light side as a good thing. But Shadie refused to kill him any other way than with the pure light that she possessed, the light that so many had helped her to see she could emit from her heart.
Shadie blocked hack after hack. And Kromus kept coming at her. He was so strong and his next blow pushed Shadie to the ground. She fell on her bum. He waved his hand and before she knew it, her lightsaber was flying out of her hands and across the room, powering down as it hit the floor.
‘You should have gone when you had the chance, Shadie. Forgive me, sister.’
And he struck down. For a split second, right before the hit came, Shadie anticipated it and let it come. She closed her eyes, welcoming the Force within her weakened and tired body, feeling her bruises and injuries. She opened her eyes to see the crimson blade come down on…
‘Uh! What in the blazes!’
Something had blocked Kromus’s blade, some ghostly trickery of the Force perhaps, but his blade had clearly hit something, something neither of them could see. At the same time, Shadie suddenly felt naked. She could no longer feel the Force. What had happened? This was not death, she knew.
Whatever blade was blocking Kromus’s lightsaber was being held there strongly. Kromus was pushing down, forcing a great deal. Shadie saw Kromus’s eyes ablaze with anger and fear. He could not feel the Force either. And then, before both their eyes, as Shadie’s mind started working again, unstealthing as though appearing out of thin air, a charcoal and blue full bodied armoured Mandalorian with a vibroblade stood in a low and wide stance. One knee was more bent than the other, and the weight of his body was shifted onto that same knee, the other extended, suggesting he had run and slid into this position, his body held very low, his weight on his good leg.
Shadie’s heart leapt as the man pushed Kromus off and away. Then he held his vibroblade horizontally and pushed Kromus away again, sending him staggering off balance long enough for Shadie to recover. Then he turned his helmeted head towards Shadie.
‘Missed me, my love?’
Shadie smiled. ‘Knarf, you saved my life!’ declared Shadie as she stood.
‘Yes, this time I could. But we’re even now. So don’t go saving mine again.’
‘Suits me just fine,’ Kromus shouted and he struck Knarf at his arm.
Knarf staggered forward as he was a bit pushed by the movement. He looked at his arm.
‘Careful there, please, don’t damage my armour.’ Knarf giggled. ‘It cost Talyc ten thousand of your credits.’
Kromus grabbed Knarf’s jetpack and ripped it off, pulling it downwards, Knarf reacted. Kromus then hurtled the jetpack as far as he possibly could, throwing it across the room. Shadie felt the Force return to her. Knarf was preparing to strike at Kromus, as Shadie reached out with the Force towards her lightsaber, extending her arm. It landed in her hand with a snap-hiss.
Kromus sent dark energy at Knarf and lifted him off the ground with a choking grip. Knarf croaked as he gasped for air. Kromus sent him flying across the room. Knarf hit a wall of crates and slumped into a sitting position. As long as Kromus didn’t make the ship fall on top of Knarf or slice his legs off, Shadie was sure he would remain alive, though she remained greatly worried.
A piece of ceiling fell from right above Knarf’s head. Shadie used the Force to catch it and send it away from him. Even a beskar’gam helmet could not protect him from falling permacrete.
Shadie sent lightning towards Kromus. She ran towards him, flurrying her lightsaber and stopped in mid stride, suddenly weakened.
This was not draining of any sort, life or Force, but she could feel energy leaving her. She could feel emotions leaving her, changing to…hopelessness, fatigue, anger, fear, despair, regret and suddenly she realised Kromus was inside her head. But how?
‘Did you think I had not acquired new powers in my resurrection, Shadie? If I cannot kill you physically, I will destroy you from within. Just like you are doing to my ship,’ he added with a sneer, which was followed by a heartless laugh.
Shadie began to see images, but not those of the past, those that could be the future. She saw Brenum and Trylia suffering at the hands of the Sith, Darth Gourd using the Force to make them do his bidding, torturing them, goading them. She saw them turning to the dark side, Brenum and Trylia as Sith, with such hatred in their eyes and such anger, and it felt as though their anger was towards her, their darkness was because of her, all her fault. She could see the Jedi Temple burning. Mandalorians being struck down. Talyc dying. The Mandalore dying. Mandalore, the planet, burning, being destroyed from out in space, laser batteries coming down hard onto the planet’s surface.
Shadie saw Knarf, angry with her for causing all of this, for failing. She saw her living this day but with such destruction around her, and Knarf choosing a life of calm without these wars, Knarf leaving her for failing and causing him to suffer, physically and emotionally, for causing him to almost die.
Emotional fears, she told herself. To be ignored. And she did her best to cast those fears aside. She tried to think of Knarf’s face when he said ”I love you” to her, and held onto that.
But then, before light could return to her, darkness swept in again. Shadie saw Knarf being tortured by the Sith, long and treacherous, painful tortures. He was crying out, calling her name, crying in pain, and weeping for her. ”Shadie, why did you have to leave us? Why did you have to die for us? Shadie, my love. I have nothing without you.” She could see him weeping again as he did before when he thought she had turned to the dark side. And she felt such sorrow. She saw him bear such anger towards her for that act alone.
Again, Shadie was heart broken with the visions of Knarf’s possible future tortures. She saw Knarf die, and then die again in many different ways: by lightsaber, dark energy, lightning, Life Drain, Force choke, she even saw him taking his own life. She saw her own death in many different ways, but those images were not nearly as painful to see as those of Knarf, who was full of life, be overcome by death. He had told her she made him feel alive. Again, tortures, without her, he is dead already. She saw his face up close, all life leaving him. His dead face.
Shadie could no longer bear it; the images she saw, the despair she felt.
‘No, stop it, please,’ she begged. ‘Kromus, please!’ She began to weep. ‘Just do it. Finish me already.’ Her command came out harsh and pained.
‘What’s that, Shadie? You wish to die?’
She was on her knees, crying, head in her hands, still seeing the visions, the flashes appearing faster and faster in her mind.
‘Kromus, please, just…’ She took a breath and whispered. ‘Strike me down.’
She let herself fall forward into a fetal position.
‘NO!’ she heard an authoritarian voice shout. Or was it more snapped?
Startled, she looked up and saw that the images no longer flashed in her mind. Knarf had his helmet off. He put a hand on the floor to help himself up and placed the helmet on a crate nearby.
‘You let her go, Kromus. Get out of her head.’ He took his gloves off, as though ready to fight with his bare hands, and clipped the gloves onto his utility belt.
Kromus laughed. ‘You going to stop me, Knarf? I will kill Shadie and you shall watch and you shall suffer before your own death.’
‘I won’t let you!’ Knarf stood tall and handsome and defiant.
‘You’re no Jedi, you can’t stop me.’
‘Oh, but I am Force-sensitive, remember? I will do what I can.’
Kromus laughed again. He looked at Shadie and got into her head once more, more with emotions than with images.
Knarf extended both arms out, hands up, open palms, one in Shadie’s direction, the other in Kromus’s direction. And then she realised what he was doing, for Kromus was not alone to be in her head. She could feel joy, and love, and light, pure light. The Lady of pure light who had the love of Knarf was strong and beautiful and had great power to endure such trials in life. Knarf loved her and was happy to have her in his life and to live everything they were living together, good and bad. She also sensed from him he had purposely taken off his helmet, he wanted her too see his face, see the love he bore for her within his eyes. He wanted her to know that he loved her for the grace she had within her. Despair turned to hope and confidence.
She could see that Knarf could not penetrate Kromus’s mind, but it seemed he was extracting the negative and sending it back to Kromus while sending her his own thoughts of the light side. All the thoughts she had just had were Knarf sending his light and will to her.
Shadie admired him. He stood eyes closed, concentrating and more handsome than she had ever seen him before. The veins on his forehead stuck out, sweat beaded on his face, but he looked relatively calm. He was a gorgeous man. At that moment, she loved him more than she had ever loved him before. It looked like she would have to save his life again at some point for the score to be even.
She stood up. ‘Thank you, my love, I can take it from here.’
Knarf nodded as a bewildered Kromus, looking angered and confused, sent his lightsaber flying towards Knarf. Shadie sent a barrier and the red blade bounced right off it, flying back towards Kromus. Knarf remained untouched and unharmed.
Knarf broke the mental connection with Shadie, sending her all his luck and support and light at the same time, and he stood back from fatigue, leaning his back against the crates and smiled at her. The mental bond was perhaps gone, but it had only strengthened her, and the emotional bond they had shared from the moment they had met would always be there and it would only grow stronger with time. It stayed in her mind to guide her with the light side that she had within her as she fought Kromus to conclude the duel. Knarf smiled again. Perhaps some of that mental bond remained; he too had acknowledged he enjoyed their bond, which had been present and so strong since the moment they had met.
Kromus caught his blade.
Shadie turned her attention away from the man she loved and to her former master and brother.
‘I give you one last chance to turn away from the dark side and be cast into my light, Kromus, my brother.’
‘You and Knarf will both die tonight, even after I am dead.’ He gestured towards the ship’s hull that was falling apart around them.
‘Then so be it,’ she replied.
* * *
Shadie held her staff blade vertically in a straight line and rushed towards Kromus, slicing through the air. She whipped and spun her blade, which Kromus blocked with calculated precision. The glow of their lightsabers dazzled as they twirled, the drum-hum hissing and clashing with each parry and hit.
Knarf took a few steps back. He would not get another leg sliced off. Prosthetics looked real, felt real, had nerve endings in them, were practically no different than flesh and blood, but the maintenance was a drag. He looked at his hands, bewildered at himself. He still did not know how he’d done it.
He heard a noise from above and moved aside just in time. Another piece of the ceiling had fallen. The ship really was falling apart from within. The explosives they had placed below, while he was fighting Gourd, while the others formed the plan to which he was not privy, were small but sufficient for the job, for the slow and steady job of destroying the ship. Where he, Shadie, and Kromus were, in the cargo hold, was perhaps one of the least affected places of the dreadnought. But Knarf knew that a few decks below, parts of the ship were already venting into space. It wouldn’t be long before the entire ship was destroyed. Knarf looked ahead. At least he’d be dying alongside his love, his Lady of the Light, if that was their destiny.
Kromus held his blade horizontally and came at Shadie in a straight line. She jumped just in time to avoid being sliced into pieces, leaping high with the Force, and landed on one of the catwalk halves that now formed a ramp. It was behind from where Knarf stood. Propelled by the Force, Kromus jumped and landed beside her.
‘There is no emotion, there is peace,’ Shadie said loudly as they fought.
Kromus gave no reply, he was concentrating on his parries, and his cuts and jabs and swipes. Shadie slashed at him, he blocked. He lunged. Shadie bent backward with her back, batted the red blade aside. Knarf could sense a similar move had trapped her last time and she would not be left so vulnerable again. She came up with a flurry.
‘There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.’
Knarf drew closer. She was reciting the Jedi code, he knew. It sounded so beautiful spoken from her lips, those lips he’d kissed so many times. She was so beautiful.
‘There is no passion, there is serenity.’ She pushed Kromus with the Force and spared Knarf a glance and winked. ‘Perhaps a bit of passion,’ she corrected.
Knarf smiled widely. Even as she fought to the death, she had time for humour. He loved her so much, and that was one of the main reasons why.
Shadie seemed to bring her focus back to Kromus who came at her, cutting low. She cut high, he ducked.
‘There is no chaos; there is harmony.’
The smell of fire was apparent now and more of the ceiling fell. Knarf looked about. There wasn’t much time left now. Shadie was totally immersed in the Force. She paused her movements.
‘There is no death; there is the Force!’
She plunged forward. Kromus pulled his blade back and then up, thrusting, as Shadie changed hers to a single blade, both of them suddenly stabbing, and drove her green lightsaber into Kromus’s body, Kromus driving his red lightsaber at Shadie’s chest.
Both of them became suddenly quiet as they stared at each other in great shock. Shadie somehow looked more shocked than Kromus did. She also looked more pained. Shadie, standing more above on the ramp, seemed to slump downwards towards Kromus. Knarf saw her blade deep into Kromus’s body, but he also saw a red blade extend passed Shadie’s body. Shadie had one hand on Kromus’s blade.
Knarf’s heart stopped. He would not, could not believe what he saw. Kromus’s blade powered down and fell away, though Kromus still held strong, standing on the broken catwalk. Shadie slumped some more and fell atop Kromus entirely, her face falling onto his shoulder.
‘NO!’ shouted Knarf.
‘Forgive me, sister,’ said Kromus. ‘I never truly wanted to kill you.’
Knarf blinked back tears that were now blurring his vision. He shook his head. No, not like this, he couldn’t lose his Lady.
‘Forgive me, brother,’ Shadie said.
‘Even now, at the end…you truly are…a Lady of the Light.’ Kromus’s eyes went wide. ‘Shadie…Gourd…immense power…’
The green blade was powered down and Kromus fell dead onto the ground. Shadie was still on her legs, albeit very bent, as though with a cramp.
‘Shadie?’ Knarf said softly through a sob.
She looked up at him. And stood up completely. She had a few tears herself. Tears of sadness for killing Kromus, who’d been her brother for so long.
‘I’m okay, Knarf. I held the blade between my arm and rib. I hit the deactivation switch just in time.’ She moved her arm a bit. ‘It got hot under here,’ she motioned her armpit. ‘I’m just exhausted.’
Knarf laughed, though more out of relief than from her attempt at making light of their situation. He ran to her, took her in his arms, and kissed her with all his love.
* * *
Shadie felt the energies, the love Knarf bore for her, the passion and serenity, right then at that moment, and her heart leapt and her stomach back flipped with joy. She felt flutters in her body, a tingling, and much desire for the man whom she loved, the man whom from his angle, thought she had been stabbed as well.
She took a breath and looked at Knarf. His tears were beautiful; he was so handsome. She cried too, for Kromus, and also for the happiness she bore for Knarf, for the relief, for everything. So many emotions, some contradicting, but all very welcome. She wiped a tear off Knarf’s face with her thumb.
‘Shadie… I thought…’ He was unable to complete his sentence.
‘I know,’ she said softly.
And her lips were back on his, passion flowing through both of them with the energies they shared, holding each other tightly.
Knarf then put two gentle hands on her face.
‘But now it truly is the end, my love. But it doesn’t matter. You make me whole; I am a content and complete man with you in my life. You bring out the best in me, make me feel emotions I never knew existed and such happiness, words cannot express them. Our relationship was so unexpected, one of honesty, communication and trust. I’m glad I found you when I did. I will forever be by your side, my Lady. I will die a happy man, for I am here with you now, and we may die, but we die together. I’m not afraid to die anymore. It was a sacrifice I was willing to make when I left the Krayt Dragon to return to you. My place is by your side. I am happy to at least die with you in my arms, knowing that you succeeded, knowing you used the light side, knowing I was able to help you. I die a fulfilled man.’
Shadie smiled at him. She was so touched. Such beautiful words. But Knarf was mistaken about one thing.
‘Who said anything about dying?’
Knarf gave her a quizzical look. Shadie turned to face the viewport just in time to see the sphere loom up, as though emerging from directly under the belly of the dreadnought. Knarf gaped at it, then whipped his head back at Shadie.
‘Oh, Shadie, my Lady,’ he said. ‘I love you.’
She smiled. ‘I love you too, Knarf.’
They were kissing again and holding each other as the energies flowed between them. Knarf would not let his lips part with hers. He kept on kissing her hungrily.
‘You know,’ he said after a long and fierce kiss, ‘on second thought, I’m not that fulfilled at all.’ Shadie gave him one of those looks, inquiring yet with a hint of mock offence. He smiled. ‘I need to live many more years with you by my side first.’ He smiled broadly, mouth ajar. Shadie blushed and smiled.
She motioned and they walked to the viewport, dodging a few falling pieces of the ship.
‘You might want to put your helmet on for this,’ she said.
‘Oh, right.’ He looked around.
‘Allow me.’ She extended her hand and called the helmet to her with the Force. Knarf took it.
He put it on. Shadie took his newly gloved hand, and then ignited her lightsaber. She waited for the sphere to be almost touching the transparisteel viewport. She took a large intake of breath and held it as she plunged her lightsaber into the viewport. Then used the Force to shatter the transparisteel around the puncture. The vacuum of space pulled them out of the ship and the sphere engulfed them into it and into safety and air. Then it closed up behind them.
Knarf took his helmet off. ‘It really is your friend.’
‘It serves the Lady of the Force,’ smiled Shadie.
The sphere drew away from the dreadnought and let Shadie and Knarf see Kromus’s ship explode before the Sphere went into hyperspace.
Shadie sighed. ‘Goodbye, Kromus,’ she whispered, and she sat down next to Knarf.
He offered her a sympathetic smile, taking her hand and replacing her hair with one hand. He was perfect; he always knew what she needed from him.
‘Thank you, my love,’ she said.
He smiled. ‘Don’t be afraid to grieve. Kromus saw your light in the end. Perhaps was touched by it more than you realise. And you succeeded; you stayed pure. You killed him with the light side. t was your second chance. Master Juun Kloh would be proud of you.’
Shadie nodded. ‘He’s gone now, Kromus. I don’t feel the way I did the first time. He’s truly dead. I feel sad, regret, caring.’
Knarf smiled and gently passed the back of his hand on her face. Then he brought her into an embrace, kissing her head, and held her in his arms.
“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.