Shadereth ran across the alliance halls, trying to find his brother. An alarm was going off, informing all that the alliance had been infiltrated by the enemy. Sith, Jedi and Zakuulan alike went to arms, but no threat had entered…yet.
Shayder sat at the canteen, boasting about his winning to a drunken crowd of onlookers. His comm chimed in, there was interference going through the comm channel and he couldn’t understand what his brother was trying to tell him.
‘Come again, Shadereth?’
Since their recent reunion, they would get together as much as possible and catch up, swap stories, Republic versus Empire, trying to convince the other why the other faction was better for them and justifying their decisions throughout their careers on either side. Ultimately, though, none of that mattered anymore. Rosiet was their leader, Jedi or not, she was fair and sought for both Republic and Empire to someday join forces.
Shayder tried the comm again, calling his brother this time, but before he could do anything else, he was pinned down, his head bouncing on the table. Someone was trying to knock him out. He let himself slip under the table and flipped it. He crouched behind it as everyone around screamed and scurried away.
The room was quickly emptied and Shayder was alone with his assailants. He peered his head from behind the flipped table, hearing the sounds of Force powers being used. Whom he saw surprised him.
‘Killian? Tiamat? What’s going on?’
‘Justice!’ replied Killian, mance in his voice.
Tiamat lifted her hands, but before anything got sent Shayder’s way, the door at the far side blasted open and laser fire streaked the room.
Tiamat hurled herself at Shayder and pinned him to the ground before he could add to the carnage.
Kalros entered the room, ground still blazing, shooting left, right and center. Tiamat used the Force to protect herself and Killian.
‘Stay low, Shayder,’ called out Kalros. ‘I don’t want to hurt you!’
She crossed her arms, holding them out, and shot at Tiamat and Killian, but each shot was deflected.
‘You always liked a grand entrance,’ Shayder said, trying to sound amused.
‘Medeusa’s not here, I need to take advantage.’
‘I am now!’
Behind her, came Medeusa, Shadiesse, and Shadereth, all running in, with Desmond and T7 in tow.
Tiamat formed a barrier around her, Killian and Shayder. Killian took Shayder’s weapon and held him in a firm grip. Shayder could not move, nor could anyone enter the barrier to help him escape.
‘Tiamat!’ cried Desmond. ‘Why have you betrayed us?’
‘I told you, Desmond, I have betrayed no one. Killian and I have always been together, we have always been part of the same faction, of something so much bigger than you and your petty Jedi or Sith friends will ever be able to understand. We are not part of the Empire nor the Republic, we are part of something different, something long thought dead. We are followers of Kromus’s ways.’
‘Kromus?’ said Shadiesse. ‘Those are stories from the holovids. ‘Stories of the legendary Protector of the Force, Darth Shadie, he never existed for real.’
‘That’s what his followers wanted everyone to believe,’ said Killian. ‘But he was real, very real, and his academy still exists, in a place no one will ever find. I too am a spy. We each joined a different faction to gather as much information as possible. You see, I was to be the new leader! I was an Ambassador of the Dark Side. I was visiting Csilla to secure an alliance between The Followers of Darth Kromus and the Chiss, before my days in the Empire. The Chiss I met were proud to present me one of their rare adept in the Force, Shadiesse!’
‘Oh, dear,’ said Shadiesse.
‘What is he on about, sister?’ asked Shadereth.
‘You destroyed my life, you took everything away from me!’’ shouted Killian.
‘I…I,’ stammered Shadiesse, ‘it was an accident. I don’t even know what I did.’ She turned to her brother and looked at Shayder with worry, then back at Shadereth. ‘I severed the Force from him. I don’t know how I managed that. I honestly don’t. I was young, untrained, I wanted to impress. I remember, there was lightning everywhere.’
‘I felt as though my entire body was being torn apart from within,’ Killian defiantly revealed. ‘I could barely hold myself on my knees, I could not move, such raw power, pinning me down to the ground. And when it was over, it was gone, all gone. The Force. I no longer had any connection to it. It had been stripped away from me. I filled that hole it left with hatred and I vowed for revenge.’
‘As Killian’s lover, I promised I would aid him, to find you, all three of you, to kill you, and we almost did! We hunted your entire family! We destroyed your ship.’
‘You?’ said Shayder.
‘Because of you we thought my brother was dead!’
‘Because of you, I was torn apart from my entire family?’ shouted Shadereth. ‘I thought they had ALL died.’
‘Sadly, you three had lived,’ said Killian. ‘We knew there had been survivors though, we just didn’t know who, and I searched for you. We both did, in the Empire and in the Republic, among the Chiss… Just to hunt down the last remaining members of your family.’
‘It took a while,’ said Tiamat, ‘but we found you, all three of you. We also found out your code and your secret for your “shade” operation. ‘You severed Killian from the Force, my lover, my true leader, and now you are going to pay the price for it, all of you!’
‘I have been hunting you down for years. I will have my revenge.’ Killian looked at Shadiesse with burning hatred.
Desmond realised in dismay that Tiamat had never loved him, she had always belonged to someone else and had always belonged not to the Jedi Order, but to a group of secret Sith, more dangerous than the Sith Order, well hidden from the Eternal Fleet, following the ways of a Darth long since dead. He felt like falling to his knees, but instead he put a hand on Shadereth’s shoulder.
‘You will not fight them alone, my friend,’ he said. ‘We have all been betrayed today.’
‘I understand now my initial misgivings about you, Killian,’ said Medeusa. ‘I understand why your signature in the Force was so strange when we met. I could read you in the same way I sense other Sith, yet you had no Force abilities.’
‘That’s because I have the Force, and I will find it again, I will regain my powers, and you watch yourself when I do, Medeusa, for I am more powerful than all of you combined. My work with Intelligence taught me a lot too. I admit I was surprised to meet Shayder, I recognised him right away.’
‘But I thought you were an ally,’ said Shayder. “And here I am, at your mercy. That’s just my luck, I guess.’
‘Well, I needed to befriend you, didn’t I? Finding your sister was so much easier after we met. And when you both reunited with Republic brother, over there, I knew i’d hit the jackpot.’
‘Just like you did, apparently,’ said Tiamat. ‘Too bad you won’t be alive to enjoy them.’
‘What? No!’ cried Shadiesse and Shadereth together.
Tiamat began to use the Force to gether energy. Suddenly, her skin began to change colour and a fire rose around her. She put a hand on Killian who put a hand on Shayder.
‘Ugh,’ gasped Shayder.
Desmond leapt towards the barrier and with all his might shattered it using the Force. Tiamat continued to burn her Force rage, the fire was real and hot, yet it did not affect Killian at all. Desmond jumped into the fray and dragged Shayder out of the area, who began coughing.
‘I’m still alive,’ he managed, before falling unconscious.
Killian rose. Tiamat remained crouched. Two lightsabers ignited.
‘Where did you get those?’ asked Desmond.
‘Where does not matter,’ replied Killian. ‘Who I will kill does.’
Suddenly, Desmond found himself flying backwards with the Force.
Tiamat stood. Killian looked stronger. He deflected blaster fire and lightsabers, but still could not use much of the Force, it seemed.
‘Used up all your Force powers to push me away, did you?’ taunted Desmond. ‘Should have saved it to save yourself.
Desmond came at him and intended on stabbing him, but Tiamat blocked. No, not Tiamat, this was the real her, with the new face, the purple lekku, the red face, this was Tassanah. She pushed Desmond away.
A duel broke out between them as Medeusa and Shadiesse faught Killian.
‘Your reflexes are slow, Killian, but you fight with skill and precision,’said Medeusa. ‘I should have killed you when I had the chance.’
Tiamat began burning again. Together, she and Killian were an unstoppable duo.
Suddenly, she created a whirlwind and the host of defenders were pushed back. Next thing they knew, Killian and Tiamat had made an escape.
‘Blast them!’ shouted Shadereth.
He crouched by his brother.
‘He’ll be fine,’ reassured Shadiesse.
‘And Killian and Tiamat won’t be,’ said Kalros, who’d been in a private comm conversation. It had been brief, but obvious she had someone tracking them. ‘A pal of mine has had dealings with them and serves them. Remember Shadowlynx?’
‘He owes me,’ said Medeusa.
‘He also owes Rosiet, and he owes me,’ said Kalros. ‘He will repay his dept. He will collect when he brings us the location of Tiamat’s and Killian’s hiding place. He will work for them once more and gain information for us.’
‘But I want them dead now!’ insisted Desmond.
‘Patience, young Jedi,’ said Shadiesse. ‘I want them dead as much as you do. ‘We will let things sit for a while and…’
‘And Killian will gather his full strength in the Force again!’
‘Perhaps, but we will regroup too. We will hunt them when they least expect it, and you, Shadereth, Shayder, and I, will have OUR revenge.’
Desmond nodded. T7 twittled softly.
‘Revenge is not the Jedi way,’ he admitted. ‘But justice is. I will protect my friends and prevent our enemy from killing any of us.’
‘Truer words have never been spoken,’ said Shayder, coming to. ‘What did I miss?’
Shadereth laughed and slapped him gently on the shoulder.
‘Time to put those winnings to good use, brother. Let’s hire ourselves some Mandalorian spies.’