‘No, Shadie, you’re not trying to drain my life. Don’t be afraid to harm me,’ said Master Juun Kloh, standing in the centre of the Temple’s interior training arena.
‘But how can I if you keep absorbing and deflecting?’ she replied.
‘You begin too weak,’ replied Master Juun. ‘You never had this power before; remember you are not a master of it. Lahnius was able to drain your life quickly. You only absorbed a portion of that power. When you use it, you will weaken your opponent greatly, slow him down, but your initial attack must be strong enough to paralyse him.’
Shadie came at Master Juun again and he pushed her away. She flew to the other end of the large circular arena. She got her bearings back, walked back to him and tried again, he absorbed her attack and sent it to the ground. And then again, this time deflecting; it bounced off him harmlessly.
Shadie paused. If she was to defeat either Lahnius or Kromus, she needed focus. She lifted her hand and a surge of energy pulled Master Juun to paralysis.
‘Yes,’ he muttered.
She drained him a bit, but was unable to sustain the power for long.
‘Much better, Shadie. We shall pause here and resume tomorrow. I need a rest. You’ve managed to make me sleepy and somewhat low energy.’ His blue lekku twitched and he smiled. ‘You’ve come a long way, my padawan. I believe it is true what they say about you, that you shall combine the light with the dark and make them work for you.’
‘Thank you, Master Juun.’
Shadie then became aware of Knarf’s presence. He was here now and watching, though she did not know where he was exactly; she could not see him. Master Juun Kloh must have felt him also for his expression changed.
‘You know, Shadie, it is all right to have friends and care for them as brothers and sisters, but there are reasons why the Jedi have a code and follow it.’ He paused and put a hand on her shoulder. ‘It is a dangerous time for attachments. With such evil lurking near. Such an attachment could be used against you to harm you. And so easy is it to fall prey to the dark side when such a loss pains us.’ There was an unknown sadness in his eyes. He turned his head towards Knarf’s presence in the Force. ‘I fear such an attachment might be used to destroy you.’ Master Kloh looked at Shadie again. ‘Think of what I have said. We will resume your training tomorrow.’
He left the arena.
Shadie suddenly felt the fear of Knarf’s death fresh in her heart, as she had felt it when Lahnius had commanded the sphere to destroy his shuttle. Fear could lead to anger and hatred, she knew, and ultimately to the dark side. Shadie would not let Knarf die for her.
She felt Knarf approach her. She turned to him, already blinking back tears. She did not want to deny herself any of th energies, any passion or serenity, but her duty… She would not risk anyone’slife for hers.
‘What’s wrong?’ he asked tenderly, concern in his deep-set eyes. Always so attentive was he to her needs, to her emotions, always so receptive, understanding. Compassion was one of his qualities that drew her to him.
He came closer to her and wrapped her in his arms. She closed her eyes and breathed him in. His smell was comforting. Then:
‘Knarf,’ she said pulling herself away. ‘We can’t continue this. It’s too dangerous. I can’t risk Lahnius or Kromus hurting you.’
Knarf nodded. ‘I understand. I’ll… I’ll respect whatever you choose, Shadie.’
‘It’s not that I don’t appreciate what we have.’
‘I appreciate it very much, Shadie. I appreciate you.’ He took her hand, she pulled away.
‘It was wrong of us to have a secret affair.’
‘Why? Because it goes against the code? Against the norm of social standing?’ He looked deeply into her eyes. ‘Or is it right because it feels good, because it brings us joy…’
‘Don’t!’ she warned. This was difficult enough.
She shook her head. ‘You must get as far away from me as possible.’
‘Shadie!’ Knarf’s brown eyes scowled with sadness. ‘My Lady.’
‘No. Your Lady I am no more.’
Knarf looked at Shadie solemnly, then bowed his head and closed his eyes. Before he could say anything more, Shadie leapt up with the Force and propelled herself out of the arena. Lightning sizzled at her fingertips and she quelled the urge to return to Knarf.
* * *
Shadie’s training was intensive. Maser Juun Kloh not only helped her master the Life Drain power as much as she could master it, but also helped her combine light and dark side powers together, thus creating new ones. Absorb and Deflect were his basis to help her become more adept at it all. Grip and Lightning worked well for her; lifting an opponent and sending lightning their way as she moved them out of the way was enough to weaken them, but not enough to kill them. Brenum and Trylia had volunteered to be “opponents” during her training so that Master Juun could keep his energy for lightsaber training. Shadie even managed a touch of Grip to choke with enough Mind Trick so that an opponent would have the impression he is still choking long after she had stopped choking him. Brenum had felt silly afterwards; she had done it mildly not to hurt him, of course, and the combination of powers, absorbing lightning herself, and sending it back to her opponents and deflecting as much as possible, became more like second nature. She was confident that she would be able to do them with the full power of the Force to destroy her enemies.
However, lightsaber techniques and Force abilities were not the difficult part of her training to defeat Kromus. Every time she closed her eyes, she could feel Knarf’s touch, smell his scent, hear his voice or see his face, the images of their night together replaying continuously through her mind.
She needed to clear her mind. For days she’d feared meditating for fear of missing him, longing for him.
Shadie went to the Krayt Dragon, the one place she could feel isolated these days; her apartments brought up too many memories still. Though Brenum and Trylia had not mentioned where to or when Knarf left, they’d told her he was safe. When she reached out through the Force though, she could not feel him.
She sat down in her meditation chamber and closed her eyes, clearing her mind and banishing all thoughts of Knarf.
That’s when she heard it, the call. The sphere was reaching out to her in the Force. It wanted to protect her and serve her, take her to the Crypt the safe way. She had earned that right, that privilege. She reached back to it, to where it was hiding, protecting itself from those who could never be its true masters… Dathomir. She would go to it.
She opened her eyes, her path was clear: Dathomir and the Crypt, once her training was complete. She now had fully recovered, but her training remained to be refined. Once Lahnius and Kromus were destroyed, she would search for the Sith Holocron Kromus had built and seek to destroy it as well.
Suddenly, there was a sound outside the Dragon, though she had locked it with a security code. A familiar presence made her heart leap. Shadie stood and waited. Soon, he was inside the ship. There was another sound at the entrance of the meditation chamber. Shadie was beside herself; he was slicing the security systems on the Dragon and then the doors to the chamber parted open.
‘Knarf!’ Her voice was high pitched with surprise and suppressed delight.
‘Shadie,’ he said calmly. He looked a bit scruffy, and his glasses were a little askew. But he was as handsome as ever.
‘I thought you’d gone.’
‘No. Brenum and Trylia told me to stay on Coruscant for a while, to give you a few weeks, that you’d come to your senses and decide it was best I stayed. But I cannot wait any longer, so I’ve come to tell you.’
‘How is it, I could not sense you sooner?’ Shadie was a bit confused on the matter.
‘They wanted you to believe I’d gone. And they did not want Lahnius or Kromus sensing me either. They provided me with an ysalamir.’
‘Ah.’ Ysalamiri were lizard-like creatures, tree-dwellers, and native to the planet Myrkr, mostly known for their ability to repel the Force by creating a Force-neutral bubble. This ability evolved in response to predation by the ferocious Force-sensitive vornskrs. Several ysalamiri together would expand their Force-neutral bubble to exponential distances, sometimes even kilometres.
Shadie took a deep breath. So Knarf had been hiding from Force users and waiting for her to change her mind. And he’d come to tell her he could no longer wait. This surely meant he was going to leave Coruscant for good. Shadie braced herself.
‘So you’ve come to tell me what?’
‘That this can’t continue; you, me, apart like this. I close my eyes and you are there. Is it not so for you? Why, you are always in my thoughts. I think of you all the time. Even when I’m programming for the hammerheads, concentrating, focused, you’re there, in the back of my mind, and when I stop my work, I think of you.’
He took a few small steps towards her. He stood with an intense gaze.
‘Must we deny ourselves such joys and pleasures because of one code? Do I not make you happy? I don’t want to be apart from you, Shadie. I think you need me as much as I need you. Let us live now. Be my Lady once more?’
Shadie looked at him a while. Then smiled. ‘Your Lady of light,’ she said.
Knarf’s lips were on hers before her arms had reached him, and the embrace felt so pure, so refreshing.
‘Never tell me to leave again,’ said Knarf. His tone was more of pleading than it was commanding.
‘All right,’ Shadie soothed.
* * *
Waking up with Shadie in his arms, in his bed, in his Coruscant apartment, felt so divine. Her gorgeous face resting on his chest looked so relaxed. Knarf breathed in her smell and sighed out loudly, smiling. He closed his eyes; he could still see her face, the way she looked at him when their passions and pleasures were about to…
‘Good morning, my Lady,’ he said. She smiled. Knarf brushed soft green hair out of her face with the back of his hand. ‘You’re so beautiful,’ he said. ‘And you’re here, with me…’
‘And hungry,’ she replied slyly.
‘You want more already?’ he teased. ‘You’re the one who couldn’t go all night.’
Shadie blushed. He loved it when she blushed, it only added to her beauty, and her eyes had that fiery intensity to them when she smiled at him. He felt he could stare at her forever, melt into her gaze, melt into the energies that flowed between them, the energies he was now accustomed to, though he still did not fully comprehend them. He enjoyed those energies.
‘I mean real food,’ she said.
He scowled. ‘What, I’m not real?’
She laughed. ‘Oh, you’re very real.’ She stood up. He watched her, marvelling at the perfection of such beauty a woman could posses. She walked to the hall and gasped at the doorway.
She looked at him, almost annoyed. ‘The ysalamir,’ she replied.
‘Oh, I’m so sorry,’ he said rapidly, realising.
He got out of bed. He’d forgotten to remove it, or at least put it farther away. It had served well to conceal his presence in the Force while Shadie needed to believe he’d left Coruscant, but now he had no need for it. Besides, one ysalamir would not protect him from the Sith if they came after him. He could understand Shadie’s unease at entering its bubble. She had explained to him that for a Jedi, to enter the bubble an ysalamir projected and no longer feel the Force, being stripped from it, was like any non-Force-user entering a room and being stripped of sight and hearing, but to a different degree.
He took the creature and brought it to another corner of the apartment. ‘I should give that back,’ he said.
‘Definitely. But why did Brenum and Trylia…’
‘They thought you’d be resentful if you knew I had stayed,’ replied Knarf. ‘They figured after some time you’d miss me and come looking for me.’
Shadie’s eyes softened. ‘I did miss you, Knarf.’
‘I know.’ He walked to her and took her in his arms. Her naked body against his was so soft. He could hold her evermore. ‘You are always on my mind, you know.’
‘Yes, I know.’
‘I could not leave Coruscant. I just…’
She put a finger on his lips and smiled. She kissed him. Oh, that sensation, of Shadie wanting more of him, more of his energies, devouring him. He returned her kiss fiercely, a hand in her hair.
Then, she pulled away, and had that look on her face, the look of a Jedi listening to the Force. He waited, longing to see the look she had when she wanted to feel their energies more intensely, but somehow he had the feeling that would have to wait now.
‘It’s the sphere,’ she said. ‘It’s warning me. Darth Lahnius has arrived on Dathomir.’
‘That complicates things.’
‘Well, better I fight them one at a time and deal with Kromus after, than have to fight both Sith together.’
‘I suppose.’ Knarf shrugged. Shadie scowled and worry came to her face. ‘What is it?’ he asked.
‘Master Juun needs to speak with me. It’s urgent.’
‘I guess it’ll be breakfast to go then.’
Shadie was already dressing. Knarf garbed and holstered his blaster.
‘What are you doing?’ Shadie asked, pausing.
‘Why, I’m part of this now as much as you are. We’re a team. I’m going with you…’ He paused for a couple of beats. ‘To Dathomir. Brenum and Trylia will need my skills once you leave with the sphere. You can’t get rid of me, Shadie. I’m following you, to whatever ends. Besides, even though I’m no expert, while you Jedi are down planetside fighting Sith, someone‘s got to fly the ship, let alone streak laser fire about to keep the Sith at bay. I’m better in a starfighter than I am in a shuttle. I should be able to contribute enough damage to make a difference.’
Shadie smiled and took his hand. ‘Come on then, Master Juun said to hurry.’
‘In the Force, you mean?’
Yes, of course, Knarf still wasn’t used to all those Force visions and telepathic senses and communications, and he probably never would be either.
He paused at the doorway of his apartment and looked at Shadie who had wonderment on her face. He took her face in both his hands and kissed her a long fierce while. Then he smiled at her, his mouth ajar.
‘Now I’m ready to go.’
Shadie blushed. It was so cute when she felt shy at something he’d done spontaneously. She squeezed his hand gently.
‘Then we must go.’
Her words were commanding, but her smile and tone almost seemed regretful that they could not stay and feel more energies.
“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.