Chapter Nine

11 Story 1 Chapter 9

When Shadie walked out of the refresher, she garbed in her most comfortable and flexible dark outfit with her black cape.  Best enter a dark cave dressed for it.  Knarf was handsome as usual to her and he took her hand as they made their way to the cockpit.  The sky streaked into star lines and into the backdrop of space.  Dathomir loomed in the centre of the forward viewport.  Shadie closed her eyes, reaching out in the Force, and pointed.
           ‘There.  There’s the sphere.’
           Brenum set a bearing and head into the planet’s atmosphere.
           ‘The binary message was from Master Juun like I thought,’ said Trylia.  Knarf smiled strangely to himself, but Shadie took little notice.  ‘To tell us he’d left Coruscant safely.  He’s perhaps a few standard hours away.’
           Shadie nodded as she felt a familiar prickling at the back of her neck.  Her danger sense.
           ‘Starboard!’ she shouted.
           ‘I see it,’ said Brenum, swerving the ship.  ‘There’s a whole minefield of them.’
           There were missile bombs set for sleep, to wake upon detection of the Krayt Dragon.  Sith fighters began to approach and streaked laser fire towards the ship.
           ‘Hey Knarf,’ said Brenum, ‘you know why Shadie, Trylia and I decided to call this baby the Krayt Dragon?’
           ‘Why?’
           ‘Because krayt dragons are difficult to kill and you got to be karking barvy to try to destroy one.’  Brenum veered the ship aft and up.  ‘How many people do you know who didn’t die trying to bring down a krayt dragon?’
           ‘None, actually,’ replied Knarf.  ‘Well there was that one Jawa who claimed his cousin…’   He shook his head and laughed.  ‘No.  I can’t remember ever speaking to a successful krayt hunter last time I was on Tatooine.’
           ‘Exactly!’
           Brenum steered the ship using the Force to feel the Sith fighters and the invisible bombs the Sith had lain out for them.  Up and down, port and starboard, twirling and flipping, dodging and veering.
           Next thing they knew, they were landing on the planet’s night side.
           ‘So what’s the plan?’ asked Trylia, as they all exited the ship.  ‘You head for the sphere while we fight Lahnius?’
           Before Shadie could answer, a large rancor approached, a Night Sister riding it.  Shadie kept her hands by her side, Knarf thumbed his blaster, and Brenum and Trylia stood like Shadie, with their hands by their sides, for now.
           ‘How do these Dathomiri witches tame those beasts?’  Knarf seemed to size it up and down.  ‘You’d think a Jawa would have better luck taming a gundark.’
           ‘They’re Force-sensitive, Knarf,’ replied Trylia.  ‘But I’m not sure.  I’m a Jedi and I wouldn’t try to tame a rancor.’
           The Dathomiri witch sitting atop the rancor halted it and studied the Jedi carefully.
           ‘I have a bad feeling about this,’ said Knarf.
           The Night Sister called out in her chanting tongue.  Then as one, several dozen red blades lit up the night.  
           ‘Oh, that’s rich,’ murmured Shadie, as she heard Knarf gulp.
           ‘Lahnius does enjoy the preliminaries,’ said Brenum.
           ‘Oh, I do!’ came a familiar voice.
           From the centre end of the ring of Sith approached Darth Lahnius, his dark hair dishevelled.  Come to think of it, he could have been quite handsome, Shadie observed, but for the dark glare in his eyes.  They glowed of the dark side, his pale skin tone contrasting with the darkness of his irises, as his aura permeated dark side energy,
           With a snap hiss, he ignited two red blades.
           ‘Kill the others, but Shadie is mine!’
           Several things happened at once: Knarf started shooting with his blaster, the rancor started the other way, Sith were battling Brenum and Trylia, while Shadie and Lahnius both ran towards each other and leapt up into the air, their blades igniting in mid jump, striking each other in mid air.  Lahnius held both blades criss-crossed and Shadie had hers as one, in the centre, pushing.
           They landed atop a tree.  Lahnius pushed her blade away from his and came at her on both sides.  Shadie quickly parried, one side then the next, and back the other.  Then Lahnius simultaneously swiped both her sides but before he could hit, she had ignited her other half of blade and the staff blocked both blades simultaneously.  She did a flurry and a double strike, an advance, a retreat.  Lahnius lunged at her.  Shadie stepped aside, flipped into the air, and landed on the other side of him.
           Shadie noticed that the rancor was heading for a cave.  She could sense the sphere there.
           Shadie leapt up and landed on the rancor.  She drove her lightsaber into the witch and sent lightning into the rancor.  It faltered.  After some time, it fell dead.
           Shadie hurried to the cave entrance.  The sphere was calling out to her.  There was an opening from above, it told her.  It could wait for her there or go to her.
           Come to me, she said to it, as Lahnius’s blade came down at her hard.  She blocked above her head.
           They fought a long while at the cave’s entrance.  Shadie stayed focused, predicting all his moves.  Nothing or no one else anywhere else mattered.  She could vaguely feel the sphere rising from its alcove and into the air, as it began moving towards her.
           Lahnius came at her, his lightsaber slashing high.  She ducked.  He came again from the other side, high again.  She parried and swiped his blade and came at him from the left.  He gripped her with the Force, trying to choke her; she sent lightning his way.  He sent a surge of dark energy and Shadie flew backwards, landing on her back.  She used the Force to subdue the pain.
           Before she could get up, Lahnius was on top of her, his strong arms clasping her.  He looked into her face.
           ‘Shadie, I will destroy you!’
           He began to drain her life.  She put up a Force barrier, but it did not hold for long.  She gripped him with the Force herself, he only winced, but seemed otherwise unaffected.  He sent a surge of dark energy, which she absorbed into her palm.  She sent the energy back his way, but Lahnius was strong and used the dark side to prevent Shadie from pushing him off her with the Force or otherwise.  And he took the energy in and it only fuelled his strength ever more to keep her pinned down.  Shadie in turn tried to drain him, his life, his Force, but it was no use, he was just too strong.
           Shadie closed her eyes and focused her mind on the pebbles and boulders that lay at the cave’s entrance.  She lifted a large rock with the Force.  She slammed it against Lahnius.  He cried out in pain and rage as he was shoved onto his side.
           Shadie stood and sent another boulder his way.  She was able to do so without pointing at it, it moved just by her using her mind.  Lahnius rolled to avoid it but was hit anyway.  And she quickly sent another, but this time Lahnius was ready for it.  He raised his hand and stopped it with the Force.  He stood.  Still he held the boulder, preventing it from slamming into him.  The boulder was held in mid air by both of them: Shadie pushing it towards Lahnius, Lahnius pushing it towards Shadie.  And then, both of them pushed so hard with the Force that it shattered into thousands of tiny pebbles.  Shadie had to shield her eyes.
           She saw a starfighter streak the sky, spraying laserfire further down where the others were fighting the other Sith.  Master Juun had arrived.
           The sphere now loomed above them.  It asked Shadie whether it should help her.  She told it this was her fight.  If she were to be the Lady, she had to win this battle herself.
           Lahnius came at her more aggressively, giving out faster blows than before.  Shadie blocked both blades every time, her staff bobbing up and down diagonally, so quickly it seemed to be almost twirling in circles non-stop.  Lahnius used the Force to push her away, and she bounced off a tree.  The air was thick with the dark side with which he was pushing her, keeping her at bay; it was like walking against such strong wind, except there was no wind at all.  Lahnius crouched and closed his eyes.
           ‘If I can’t kill you, Shadie, then I will kill him!’
           The air around Lahnius began to swirl.  He stood.  A cry sounded out somewhere afar.  Shadie turned towards the sound.  Floating above the trees in a Force grip, coming in fast, was Knarf.  Lahnius stretched out a hand.  Knarf put a hand to his throat, trying to loosen the invisible grip that was choking him.
           Using the Force, Shadie reached out towards Knarf, but Lahnius sent a surge towards her.  At the same time, he slammed Knarf down onto the ground, who landed face down.  Knarf struggled to get on hands and knees.  Lahnius gripped him once more and sent Knarf flying across the cave floor, deep into it.
           ‘Knarf!’ shouted Shadie, in a high pitched tone.
           She started in his direction, but Lahnius was in front of her after only a few steps, intercepting her and pushing her back with his blade; Shadie found herself leaning backwards on her legs as Lahnius pressed his two blades on hers, always pushing with the dark side energy.  She sent a wave of lightning towards him.  He smiled and laughed as he let her take a step back away from him.  He stood his ground, blades ignited and at the ready, laughing in his throat maliciously, as she kept the lightning coming.  Lahnius was absorbing the lightning and using it to somehow strengthen his own Force powers.
           Shadie then became aware that Lahnius was using the Force to make the cave crumble.
           ‘Are you more powerful than me?’ he sneered.  ‘If you are, you’re doing a poor job at proving it.’
           ‘I will not let you kill him!’
           Shadie sent lightning from both hands now, so strongly that Lahnius was lifted into the air and she slammed him against the wall of the cave.  She used the Force to propel herself far into the cave.  She found Knarf lying on the ground, moving and alive, near the clearing a way further where the sphere had been previously berthed.  Light began to shine through it; Dathomir’s Sun was rising.
           ‘Knarf, are you all right?’
           ‘I’ve felt better.’  He managed one of those half-open smiles of his when flirting with Shadie.  She blushed and took his face in her hands.
           ‘Let’s get you out of here,’ she said.
           ‘Shadie, look out!’
           She felt Lahnius and a prickle on her neck as Knarf said it.  She quickly rose and blocked the blow that came her way.  Knarf managed to his feet.
           ‘And I was doing so well with that Mandalorian repeater-blaster.’
           ‘The Mandalorians are here?’  Shadie asked as she fought Lahnius.
           ‘Uh, yeah, that code wasn’t your Master.  I only said it was…  Element of surprise.’
           Shadie sensed that by telling her this story he was also sending her a double message.  She took the hint and tried to look for an opportunity to give Knarf the opening he needed.  He still had his blaster holstered.
           Lahnius slashed low, Shadie jumped.
           ‘You sent a message to the Mandalorians and they came to our aid?’
           ‘Kromus is a threat.’
           Knarf was leaning against the wall of the cave.  Lahnius kept hacking at Shadie, so much that she was beginning to lose her footing.  Lahnius was overpowering her.  She saw Knarf level his blaster and she used the Force to guide his shot.  He sent the lucky shot towards Lahnius’s hands.  And another double shot, guided by Shadie again.  They hit Lahnius’s hands with much force.  Shadie sent a surge of lightning to emphasize the shots.
           ‘Argh!’  Lahnius’s lightsabers left his hands.  He sent dark energy towards Shadie, flattening her to the wall.  He turned his head to Knarf.  ‘You dare battle a Sith!’
           Lahnius used the Force to lift one of his lightsabers and reigniting it.  It flew towards Shadie as it went towards Lahnius.  She shouted out in alarm and ducked.  Lahnius caught his blade and lunged sideways and down, slicing off the bottom half of Knarf’s leg.
           ‘Aaah!’  Knarf cried out in pain and fell on all fours.
           Lahnius took Knarf in a Force Grip, choking him, lifting him.  Shadie sent lightning towards Lahnius, but Lahnius was already draining Knarf of life.  He put a Force barrier around them.  Shadie could not reach them.  She could not save Knarf.  All she could do was watch in horror as Lahnius drained him of life.
           No!  She would not let him kill Knarf.  She reached into herself and gathered all her strength and pushed with the Force so hard that the barrier faltered.  She came at Lahnius with her lightsaber, hacking at him with such violence.  For a moment, she remembered what it felt like to be a Sith, to let anger fuel her Force powers, and for a moment she savoured that sensation.
           ‘Ask yourself one thing, Shadie,’ said Lahnius as he duelled her.  ‘Can you truly be both light and dark?  I, Darth Lahnius, don’t think so.  You’re either Jedi or Sith, light or dark.  So what are you?’
           ‘I am both,’ she replied.  ‘Passion can be serene.’
           ‘But are you Jedi or Sith?’
           Lahnius smiled.  He reached a hand out and sent dark energy towards Knarf who cried out in pain.
           ‘No!’
           Shadie blazed lightning at Lahnius.  He kept laughing.  She came at him.  He stood, still sending dark energy towards Knarf, uncaring of the fact that he was open to attacks, and Shadie knew that all he cared about in that moment, was killing Knarf.
           Shadie took a beat, standing directly in front of Lahnius, who continued his sinister giggle, continuing the dark side torture he was inflicting on Knarf.  This would end now.  Shadie struck Lahnius in the chest with her lightsaber.  The streaks of dark energy stopped, and Darth Lahnius fell to the ground, his lightsaber powering off as hit the cave floor.  He was still laughing when he died.
           Shadie powered down her lightsaber and put it to her belt.
           She turned to Knarf, who was struggling, trying to pull himself towards her, lying on his stomach, the cauterised wound on his leg still smoking.
           She knelt beside him and helped him turn around to sit up.  How could she have let this happen!  Her jaw tightened with anger.
           ‘Shadie,’ said Knarf faintly, struggling to speak.  ‘You must not let the dark side overcloud you.’  Once again, it was as though he’d read her mind and automatically knew what to say.  ‘The light and dark are both a part of you, and together they make you stronger than anyone else.  More powerful than any Sith or Jedi.  But purity of intent will make the difference between good and evil.  And you can be light in its purity…because…’ he seemed to be struggling more and more, speaking with effort as he leaned in Shadie’s arms… ‘Because, you are my pure light.  Remember that, when you face him, my Lady of the Light.  Remember me.’

* * *

           Brenum and Trylia ran to the scene to see tears fall from Shadie’s face onto Knarf’s.  She leaned down to kiss him.  Her lips stayed on his a long time and he lifted a hand to her face to kiss her even more passionately.  Then his body went limp.
           Brenum looked around.  Darth Lahnius lay dead.  He heard the cave grouse and felt it tremble as it began to collapse.  Whatever had happened here had damaged the cave’s infrastructure.
           Trylia slowly walked to Shadie.
           ‘We need to go,’ she said.
           Shadie didn’t reply.  She sent a burst of energy to push Trylia away a bit.  And then the strangest thing occurred.  Shadie closed her eyes as though to enter a meditation healing trance.  Brenum saw a red orb of energy linger between Shadie and Knarf and the red lines of life energy.  Trylia gasped, but more in awe than anything else, as Shadie held her hand above Knarf’s sternum, as his head hung back.  It took him a while to figure it out, but Brenum saw that the streaks of life energy were flowing from Shadie into Knarf.  Shadie was doing the exact reverse of Life Drain, thus sending her own life energy into Knarf to sustain him.  Brenum had never seen or heard of anything like it.  Shadie had completely transformed a dark side power into one of light.
           ‘Shadie?’ said Trylia.
           ‘She won’t hear us,’ said Brenum.
           He looked up, a piece of the cave collapsed further down.  He sensed their Master approach.
           Master Juun came running to the scene.  He stared, puzzled for a brief moment.
           ‘How is she doing that?’ he exclaimed.
           ‘With the combination of both the light side and the dark side,’ replied Brenum.
           A portion of the cave’s ceiling came down above Shadie and Knarf.  Master Juun reached out with both hands, and with use of the Force, held it at bay.  It hung above them.
           ‘Go!’ he shouted to Brenum.  ‘Go now.  I shall hold the cave above them.’
           Trylia used the Force to gently lift both Shadie and Knarf off the ground.
           ‘Sith are approaching,’ said Master Juun with urgency.  ‘Hurry, Brenum!’
           ‘Yes, Master Juun.’
           Brenum took one last glace at the phenomenon before him.  He hurried towards the mouth of the cave, holding his powered off weapons, one in each hand.  He was soon intercepted by many Sith.  He ignited his blades and they shone bright yellow and blue, contrasting against the red hue of the Sith blades that met his.  He blocked high and low simultaneously, one blade hacking high, another slashing low.  Soon, he’d defeated the few of the Sith who had come to meet him.  He saw Trylia and Master Juun arriving, Shadie and Knarf still floating.  Shadie seemed unaware of anything around her.  Master Juun was holding a Force barrier above them, preventing anything from falling on them or harming them as the cave around them fell apart, collapsing completely.
           Brenum could hear the Mandalorians shout out their cries of victory afar.  He should have known Knarf would think of a back-up plan.  The sphere lingered above them and followed them to the Krayt Dragon, setting down next to it.
           Trylia floated Shadie and Knarf into the ship.
           ‘She will not be able to sustain that power for too long without risking her own life.’
           ‘I don’t think that matters much to her at the moment, Master Juun.  She’s completely unaware of her surroundings.  She won’t hear us,’ said Trylia.
           ‘Oh, she’ll hear me.’
           ‘You don’t mean to enter a meditation trance, do you?’ asked Brenum.
           ‘I do.’  His lekku twitched, his blue face tinted darker with concentration, and his face grew serious.  ‘I will wait a bit, but just enough to be sure there is yet enough life in Knarf for there to be hope.’
           Brenum certainly hoped Knarf was still alive, for his friend’s sake.  Besides, he’d become quite fond of the guy.  And amazingly enough, Knarf had managed, even with everything he’d just gone through, to keep his glasses on his face, and relatively clean on top of that.  Perhaps Shadie was right when she said he was slightly Force-sensitive.  Brenum smiled slightly; Knarf was a good man.  There had to be hope for him yet.
           A loud noise announced the final collapse of the cave, its rubble burying Darth Lahnius’s remains for good.

* * *

           In the white emptiness of the meditation trance she was in, Shadie sensed another presence, a reassuring one, telling her it was all right to stop fuelling life into Knarf’s body, that it was safe.
           She let herself slowly come to and found herself in the Krayt Dragon‘s medical bay.  Knarf lay on a bed, unconscious.  His cauterised leg seemed to be healing somewhat.  But his greatest wound was one that his body could not heal itself, because it was one caused by the dark side, one that only a great Jedi Healer could heal.
           Master Juun sat on the other side of the bed.
           ‘I’m glad you heard me, Shadie.  You cannot save him.  You need to keep your life energy for when you face Kromus.’
           ‘I know.’  She looked at Knarf.  He looked peaceful.  The rise and fall of his chest was slow, but at least he was breathing.  ‘How long…’
           ‘Nearly two full days,’ replied Master Juun.  ‘You must go to the Crypt.  It is time for you to face your former Master.’
           ‘But Knarf, he’ll die.’
           ‘We don’t know that.  What we do know is that there is nothing you or I can do now.  You’ve already done a great deal.  What you did, no other Jedi has ever done before.  Shadie, you saved his life. Had you not poured life into him with the Force, he would have died back there, in that cave, in your arms.  However, the rest must be done by a master of the lore.’
           Shadie looked up from Knarf and looked at Master Juun.
           ‘That is why I am taking him with me,’ continued the Twi’lek Jedi.  ‘My father is a great Jedi Healer.’  He looked at Knarf.  ‘We will go to Fellucia.  There Knarf’s fate will be determined.’
           ‘So there is hope, he may yet live?’
           ‘He may.  But he may also die.  Such dark power, used to kill, usually does just that.  He will last a while longer on his own now, though; you’ve made sure of that.’
           Shadie smiled and took Knarf’s hand.  His face was rather pale, but his hand was warm, his hands were always warm.
           ‘He is strong, but he is no Jedi.  That you survived Darth Lahnius’s drain attack on your own was one miracle.  If my father does save him, it will take many fortnights.’  Master Juun closed his eyes and shook his head.  ‘Who knows how long.’
           ‘I understand.’  Shadie bent and kissed Knarf’s lips.  Then stood.
           ‘How do you feel?’ asked Master Juun.
           ‘Oddly, I feel revitalised.’
           ‘Sacrifice sometimes does that, Shadie.’
           ‘No, not Shadie.  I am not Sith; I am both light and dark.  I am Jedi Eidahs.’  She stood and made sure she had all she needed before exiting the ship.  She took one last look at Knarf.  ‘I am a Lady of the light and Lady of the night,’ she paused, ‘I am Lady of the Force.  She turned and left.
           Brenum and Trylia stood outside.  Kelbourn along with the purple-and-brown geared Mandalorian was there as well.  Kelbourn nodded to Shadie but said nothing.
           ‘We will fly safely to Fellucia,’ said Trylia.  ‘So you have to promise to reach us back on Coruscant safely as well.’
           Shadie embraced her friend.  Her head tails swayed with sadness.  ‘I promise.’  She looked to Brenum.  He smiled.
           ‘Come here,’ he said and hugged her.
           The Mandalorian in purple and brown armour looked at Shadie.
           ‘Your barve lover has a way with words,’ he laughed.  ‘He got us here to fight.  Sent us an encrypted message with the encrypted code to send back our reply.  How in the kark he managed to slice that into our systems, I can’t even begin to guess.  And…  I don’t know.  We just couldn’t ignore him.’
           Shadie smiled her gratitude and turned to Master Juun who stood silently.
           ‘I will not be returning to Coruscant with the others,’ he said.  ‘I will stay on Fellucia until…until one fate or the other is determined.’
           Shadie nodded in thanks and clasped her Master in a tight hug.  Then she turned towards the sphere.
           Come, Lady.  I await you.
           She touched the sphere with one hand, placing her palm on its dome.
           I am ready now, she told it.  Take me to the Crypt.  It is time.  She entered the Sphere and felt it lift into space.  To Gravlex Med, she said.
           And the sphere was off.


“Darth Shadie: Lady of the Force” is written by Celinka Serre (2018).

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.

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: