Chapter Nine

10 Header Chapter Nine

Shadie and Knarf stood before the Jedi Masters in the Council chamber. Master Shargal stared at her for a long time. Master Herl’unik was looking over his datapad.
            ‘There have been no known Jedi to have gone into exile in recent years,’ said Master Herl’unik. ‘Fane is the most recent, and Master Vorum was the last before him, and that was a long time ago.’
            ‘The man on the other end of the call identified himself as a friend,’ said Shadie. ‘I assumed that meant he was a Jedi. He asked questions about Kromus, about Darth Gourd, he wanted to know what had been going on in the Empire.’
            ‘Maybe he’s just a friend for now because we share a common enemy?’ suggested Knarf.
            ‘He sounded, I don’t know.’
            ‘And you didn’t recognise his voice?’ asked Master Herl’unik.
            ‘No,’ said Shadie. He sounded old, and as though he was purposely altering his voice a little, just like I was while speaking to him.
            ‘He must have known Kromus,’ said Master Shargal at last. ‘Which means he must be Sith.’
            ‘The Sith want me dead,’ said Shadie. ‘They yearned for my defeat even before they joined forces with the True Sith. I highly doubt this would be anyone I knew on Korriban. Most of the Sith who opposed Kromus have been killed by him or by other Sith.’ Shadie paused briefly. ‘Or by me.’
            ‘Then someone who had dealings with Kromus,’ said Knarf, ‘caught in the middle of a war he didn’t want to be in.’
            ‘What makes you certain this person is in exile?’ asked Master Herl’unik, ‘could he not simply be on a secluded planet, stranded, or even…’
            ‘We must not speak of that place,’ Master Shargal reminded Master Herl’unik, interrupting quickly.
            ‘I know about Belsavis,’ said Shadie. ‘Mandalore knew of it. I don’t know what it is exactly that leads me to believe he’s in exile, but the man on the mysterious call sounded as though he’d been away from everything for quite some time. It’s the vibe I got in the Force.’
            ‘Knarf, what did you sense from the call?’ asked Master Shargal.
            Knarf shrugged. ‘I’m not sure. I didn’t sense any ill intent, if that’s what you mean, but my senses aren’t yet attuned well enough to sense a being via comlink or holocall, even if they’re on the same planet as I am. So imagine someone who’s far away, maybe even at the other end of the galaxy.’
‘            You would have had to hear him for yourself,’ said Shadie.
            ‘Can you call him?’ asked Master Herl’unik.
            Shadie shook her head. ‘I tried. Looks like this special comlink is one way only. Our friend is untraceable.’
            ‘I linked my datapad to the device,’ said Knarf. ‘I could only record the call, but when I went to listen to it on my datapad, all I got was static. I tried slicing through the encryption, but I’ve not been able to. I think the file is corrupted.’
            ‘That says a lot about this device and the person’s desire to remain anonymous and hidden,’ said Master Herl’unik, ‘if the best slicer in the galaxy, who manages to slice through every single new sliced system, code and program that Darth Perce, the second best slicer in the galaxy, throws at him, cannot even slice through this.’ Knarf nodded agreement.
            ‘Who else was there to listen to the recording, who could offer an assessment of the situation?’ asked Master Quar’zun.
            ‘Talyc was present. Zaereg was nearby.’ Shadie paused. If Fane had been there, he could have helped her, he was devoted to problem solving, and she could use his expertise right now. ‘All they could say was that they were a bit creeped out by the situation, and that it seemed the person was covering his tracks very well.’
            ‘And you know how Mandalorians and pirates operate,’ said Knarf. ‘If a Jedi, a slicer, a pirate, and a Mandalorian all agree on something, then it must be accurate.’
            ‘And what is it you all agree on?’ asked Master Shargal.
            ‘Exactly what you’ve concluded,’ said Knarf.
            Before he could continue, there was a chime from the special comlink.
            ‘He’s calling,’ said Shadie.
            ‘Answer it!’ Master Herl’unik said eagerly.
            ‘Yes,’ said Shadie, taking the call.
            ‘I have meditated,’ came the voice. ‘I am sending you coordinates, as a show of good faith. There you will find something that should prove I am true to my word when I say that for now, I am your friend.’
            ‘Thank you, I think,’ said Shadie. ‘What will I find?’
            ‘Something Kromus kept from you.’
            ‘Did you know Kromus well?’
            ‘That is of little import,’ replied the man on the other side of the call. His tone was surprisingly warm, and almost comforting.
            ‘Are you Chiss?’ asked Shadie.
            ‘No.’
            ‘This comlink-datapad that I hold is of Chiss design.’
            ‘I acquired the information I needed to reach this line, this comlink, which you hold and now possess. I bear no relation or connection to its designer.’
            ‘I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be rude. I just have so many questions.’
            ‘Which will be answered in due time. Right now, you need proof that you can trust me. I have provided it.’
            ‘We’ll see about that trust once I find what lies at the coordinates you sent me,’ said Shadie. ‘You needed to reach Kromus, which means you knew him. Why would you need to reach Kromus, and why would you need to be informed about the goings on in the Empire? It sounds as though you’ve been in exile.’
            Shadie thought she heard the man chuckle. ‘I was not aware that this line was directly connected to Kromus. I knew it belonged to someone on his ship. As for who I have been trying to reach, I thought I had made that perfectly clear in the very first question I asked you.’ He paused briefly. ‘We will speak again, Jedi Shadie.’ He chimed off.
            ‘Wait!’ Shadie closed her eyes, feeling frustrated, and sighed. She looked up. Master Herl’unik had his forehead creased. ‘What?’
            ‘You were a little on the eager and aggressive side,’ he said calmly. ‘I think your friend may have been a little put off by your boldness.’
            ‘Sorry, I’m not the best detective,’ she admitted.
Master Herl’unik smiled. ‘You’re right though, there is something in his voice that sounds as though he could be a Jedi, a friend, someone who once knew much.’
            ‘What was his first question to you?’ asked Master Shargal.
            ‘He asked me if I was Darth Shadie,’ said Shadie.
            ‘That means he hasn’t been trying to reach Kromus at all,’ said Knarf. ‘All this time, he’s been trying to reach you.’
            ‘Me? I don’t understand why,’ said Shadie.
            ‘He must have thought you were with Kromus or on his ship,’ said Master Quar’zun. ‘Or hoped you had retrieved Kromus’s belongings.’
            ‘Do you trust that his word is true and the coordinates he sent do not lead into a trap?’ asked Master Herl’unik.
            Shadie looked down at the datapad. There was a series of coordinates. She checked them on her datapad.
            ‘These coordinates lead to Hutt Space,’ she said. ‘To Nal Hutta.’
            ‘At least it doesn’t lead us to Dromund Kaas or Korriban,’ said Knarf.
            ‘Then you know what you must do, Master Eidahs,’ said Master Herl’unik. 
            So they did just that: Shadie, Knarf, Fane and Talyc followed the coordinates to find whatever was there.
Master Herl'unik (w)

* * *

            Fane crinkled his nose. The planet stank. It reeked. It smelt like every Hutt in the galaxy had dumped all their fodder onto the planet and left it there to ferment and to grow into mildew. There was a hint of sulphur in the smell as well.
            ‘Are you sure I can’t catch any diseases just from breathing this planet’s air?’ he asked Shadie. She nodded confirmation.
            ‘Only if you live here for decades at a time,’ said Knarf.
            ‘Fane, my man, if you’re that worried, you can wear my helmet,’ said Talyc.
            ‘How chivalrous of you,’ replied Fane.
            Talyc took his helmet off and coughed. ‘What happened here? Who dropped a load?’ Knarf laughed at him. Talyc pointed a finger at Knarf. ‘Let’s see you take your helmet off, then.’
            ‘No chance,’ said Knarf, shaking his head.
            Shadie just stood there, looking like she was feeling the Force. ‘You Mandos have no resistance,’ she teased.
            ‘Do you not find that this place smells like all the garbage and fodder in the galaxy was dumped onto it?’ said Talyc.
            ‘You forget who I sleep next to,’ said Shadie. ‘My nose has grown accustomed to smells.’
            ‘Hey!’ exclaimed Knarf. Talyc and Fane laughed.
            ‘Forget flattery, Bes’laar,’ laughed Talyc, ‘let’s talk about flatulence.’
            ‘Well, I’m getting used to it,’ said Fane, ‘as in, I’m using the Force to attenuate the smell.’
            ‘Come,’ said Shadie, still laughing, ‘the coordinates lead that way.’
            They arrived at a barracks looking place, not far from a Hutt palace.
            ‘Stop right there,’ said the guard. He looked like a pirate. ‘You are Republic. This is Empire territory.’
            ‘You’ll find that I used to serve the Empire,’ said Shadie. ‘I’m actually here on personal business, and Mandalorian business,’ she motioned Talyc and Knarf so the guard could see their Mandalorian armour, ‘which has nothing to do with the Republic. My name is Shadie, formerly Darth Shadie.’
            ‘Yeah, I know your name,’ said the guard. ‘Doesn’t mean I can let you pass.’
            Shadie handed him her lightsaber. ‘Come with us, take my weapon. If we do anything we shouldn’t, kick us out.’
            The guard reluctantly took her saber. He stared at it for some time before giving it back to her, shrugging.
            ‘You step one bit out of line and I give the order to kill you on sight.’
            ‘Agreed!’ said Shadie, nodding once.
            Fane frowned. ‘Master, what are you doing? This is crazy.’
            ‘Yes, it is, Fane, but this is how pirates talk and think. That’s one thing I’ve observed from dealing with Zaereg.’
            They made their way to the Hutt fortress. Inside, there was a cantina and they sat at one of the tables.
            ‘So, Knarf,’ said Talyc, ‘has Perce tried to reslice the Empire’s Holonet frequencies?’
            ‘He hasn’t bothered,’ said Knarf, ‘but they’re just not giving the Empire any more information. The Empire is in the dark in order to keep us in the dark. They didn’t like how I almost killed Perce.’ There was disdain in his voice.
            ‘I didn’t like how they almost captured Shadie,’ said Fane. Knarf nodded in such a way that confirmed he felt the same, his eyes going wide.
            ‘Yeah, that fight was an intense one,’ said Talyc, moving his arm in a circular motion.  Fane placed his hand Talyc’s shoulder. Talyc turned his head to him. ‘Your friend really did something that helped. It barely hurts at all. It’s just a little stiff. I’ve never healed from a dislocated joint this fast.’
            ‘Meaning you’ve dislocated your shoulders before?’ said Fane.
            Talyc took his helmet off and Fane could see his smile. He touched the tip of his nose to his. Fane saw Shadie looking around and under the table.
            ‘So, those coordinates?’ said Fane, turning his attention back to his master. ‘I don’t mind sitting here talking sweet nothings with Talyc, but…’
            ‘It’s here.’
            ‘The coordinates?’
            ‘Yes, right here. Where this very table is.’ She crouched and looked at the underside of the table. ‘I didn’t bring us here just for some drinks. We can have those in a better smelling place. There are better places than a Nal Hutta cantina for us to go on a double date and talk sweet nothings to our respective partners. We’re here because the coordinates mark this very table as the location of whatever it is we’re here to find.’
            ‘Lost something?’
            Shadie looked up as Fane turned his gaze. The guard who had advised them to follow the rules had sidled up next to their table. He looked as though he wanted a reason to have the group fired upon. Fane didn’t want this to turn into a fight; he was still recovering from the battle on Tython.
            ‘Yes,’ said Shadie. ‘My ring!’
            ‘Your ring?’ The guard sounded incredulous.
            ‘We’re getting married,’ Knarf said.
            ‘We’re waiting for someone who isn’t showing up. I got impatient. When I’m bored, I play with my ring. I can’t find it. I think it went under the table.’ She looked at the guard.  ‘Allow me to check, it won’t take long.’
            Shadie used the Force to lift the table slightly. It had one of those heavy bases that prevented patrons from leaving with the table. Fane knew places on Coruscant where drunk patrons would sometimes attempt to leave the cantina with tables and chairs, and then would sell them to other cantinas. He supposed that was one way to make a profit, albeit not a very honest way.
            Fane reached with the Force and pulled whatever was hidden under the table towards him, and right away hid it in his pocket.
            ‘Stang! It’s not there.’
            ‘Shadie,’ said Talyc, putting his helmet back on. ‘I’m receiving word that Zaereg isn’t going to show up. He’s not saying why. We’ll have to meet him some other time.’
            ‘You’re friends of Zaereg’s?’ said the guard. This drew their attention. ‘You tell that scumbag that he does well not to show his face on Nal Hutta.’
            ‘I will,’ said Shadie, a sardonic smile on her face. ‘We’ll leave, shall we?’
            ‘Yes, I think it best that you do,’ replied the guard.
            They stood and, as casually as they could, walked out of the cantina, out of the Hutt’s fortress, and back to the ship they had taken to travel to Nal Hutta.

* * *

            ‘Did you see his face?’ laughed Talyc. ‘That was so much fun.’
            ‘Eager to go back to Nal Hutta’s surface?’ said Knarf. Talyc shook his head vigorously. Knarf laughed.
            ‘Mentioning Zaereg was quick thinking,’ said Talyc. ‘I’ll have to ask him what he did on Nal Hutta. Sounds like someone on the glorious jewel has put a bounty on his head.’
            ‘I’ll say,’ said Fane.
Shadie looked at Knarf. ‘Are we…? Well… What you said…?’
            ‘I’d like that,’ said Knarf. ‘I found what it means to me, although I already knew the answer before realising it. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.’ Shadie smiled.
            ‘Me too!’ She kissed him. ‘So… Are you going to, you know, ask me?’
            ‘Well, if the decision has been made and we’ve discussed it already,’ started Knarf. Talyc cleared his throat, making his eyes big, and stared down at Knarf.
            ‘Pro-per-ly!’ said Shadie, giggling.
            ‘When we’ll have more privacy,’ said Knarf. ‘Then I can tell you all that I realised it means to me, how I found the meaning of marriage.’
            ‘Yeah, we know what he really means, don’t we, Fane?’ said Talyc. They all laughed.
            They installed themselves in a briefing room, bringing their attention back to the more pressing matter. Fane handed the datapad to Shadie. She stared at it.
            ‘More datapads,’ she said. ‘What’s in here that Kromus has kept from me?’
            ‘Let’s find out,’ said Fane.
            Shadie thumbed the datapad. A holovid appeared. There was a child, a very small child, playing with her parents. The child had her arm out and something moved in the air, as though with the Force. It seemed the holocam was recording from far. The scenery was of a meadow. The holocam turned as the parents and their child ran through the meadow. In the distance, there was a house, the very house in which Shadie and Knarf now lived on Mandalore, the house where her parents had been killed.
            Shadie brought her hand up to her mouth, gasping; Fane put a hand on her shoulder and Knarf took her hand. Talyc could only stare at the holovid, which he understood to be of Shadie as a young child with her parents. The holovid stopped. Shadie had tears in her eyes. She leaned into Knarf, as he took her in his arms and she wept.
            Talyc looked at Fane and motioned the door. They made their way to another room and left Shadie and Knarf to their privacy.
            Talyc couldn’t read Fane’s face. He had a similar expression as when he’d found his brother’s lightsaber. He knew Fane had great empathy towards his master, but there was something more. Not being a Jedi or Force-sensitive, Talyc couldn’t begin to guess what it was, but he could sympathise with what he observed of his partner.
            ‘Is this bringing back memories of your childhood?’ Talyc asked. Fane nodded.
            They sat down on a lounge that stood in the middle of the ship’s main area.
            ‘It’s a lot to take in, understanding where we come from, what leads us to where we are today,’ said Fane. ‘My brother was a late bloomer, though he was older than me. He started at the Jedi Academy after me. He did not show much progress and decided he did not want to become a Jedi; he said the Force was not for him.’
            ‘That was a lie, wasn’t it?’ said Talyc.
            Fane nodded. ‘He left and we didn’t hear from him. We thought he was roaming the galaxy, discovering things, self-searching. No, he was learning to be a Sith, learning from Darth Kromus. Apparently, the dark side allowed him to be a proper Force-user, whereas the light side had not. The Order doesn’t talk much about what happened, but I remember learning about how my brother, who had chosen to turn away from the Jedi, had declared himself a fully trained Sith. He tried to have me join him. I did not.’
            ‘He didn’t try to kill you?’
            ‘No, he didn’t want me harmed. I know that. Everything he did, despite of it all, he made sure no harm came to me, so much that Kromus wanted to recruit me. When Shadie killed Lahnius, I was so angry. I thought that even if my brother was Sith, if he was letting me live, I could let him live. I thought that maybe one day he would turn back to the light. Shadie had taken that away from me, that fantasy. So I turned to the same darkness he had. Kromus was overjoyed to have me join him, but he wanted Shadie more.’
            ‘What made you change your mind?’ asked Talyc.
            ‘I don’t know. Shadie was about to be killed; I couldn’t let that happen. I had worked so hard to become a Jedi of worth and respect, and there I was falling down a dark path, having already killed my master, and Shadie was offering me a hand to catch me from my fall. I saved her because she had already saved me.’ Fane bowed his head. ‘I worked so hard to come to this point where this darkness would not haunt me. To be the Jedi I could truly be.’ He shook his head. Talyc took his hand. ‘I killed my master, our master, whom I just found out was Lian’s father.’ Talyc whistled softly. ‘Lian lost two family members at the hands of the dark side, one of them because of me, and he did not fall to the darkness into which I had so quickly fallen. I don’t want to let the people close to me down.’
            ‘You haven’t let anyone down, Fane,’ said Talyc. ‘We are all so proud of you; Shadie is proud of you. She permeates it, even I can feel it.’ Talyc gently took Fane’s chin and turned his face. He looked him in the eyes. ‘The only person you are letting down is yourself, by not being true to who you truly are. Don’t be afraid to face the things that scare you, they will only make you stronger.’
            Fane smiled. ‘You sound like a Jedi.’
            ‘Hey, that’s what I get for hanging out with them twenty-four-seven, I guess.’ Talyc kissed Fane softly. 
            ‘I just feel so conflicted,’ said Fane. His stare was intense, as though there was more he wanted to say. Talyc assumed it had to do with the dark side. He didn’t want Fane to be afraid to share such thoughts with him.
            ‘I there anything I can do?’ he asked him.
Fane nodded. ‘Just hold me in your arms.’
            Talyc took Fane in his arms and held him, closing his eyes.

* * *

            Shadie took a deep breath. She looked at Knarf. He could almost hear her questions in his head; understand what she needed at that moment. He helped her up and they walked to the ship’s main holocom. Shadie opened a channel to Coruscant. It didn’t take long before Master Herl’unik’s holoimage appeared.
            ‘You found what your…friend…sent you to find?’ he asked.
            ‘Yes.’ Shadie took a breath. ‘It’s a datapad containing a holorecording of me.’
            ‘You?’
            ‘Yes, as a child, on Mandalore, with my parents, exhibiting Force abilities.’
            Master Herl’unik brought his hand to his chin. ‘This is very peculiar,’ he said.
            ‘Could there have been a Jedi recording my abilities as part of the evaluation to see if I was a good fit for the academy?’
            ‘We never take holorecordings of prospect children and infants,’ said Master Herl’unik.
            ‘But the records say that the Order had had contact with my parents,’ said Shadie. ‘Could someone from the Order have come to evaluate me?’
            ‘We have no records of anyone going to Mandalore to evaluate your abilities, Master Eidahs. I promise you, I would tell you if we did.’
            ‘Could a Jedi have done so on their own accord?’ asked Knarf.
            ‘That, I cannot say,’ said Master Herl’unik. ‘If they had, there would be no record of it and had I known of it, I would have put it in the archives. It truly is a mystery to me. Is there anything else on this datapad?’
            ‘Not that I could find,’ said Shadie.
            ‘Return to Coruscant. We will study this datapad together. I wish to view this holorecording, and I’m sure the Council will be able to offer some advice on what the meaning of this might be and on what our next course of action should be.’
            ‘Right away.’

* * *

            The Council Masters had come to the same conclusion: that the mystery caller had truly wanted Shadie to trust him, for he’d given her the location of something Kromus had hidden from her, and had not led her into a trap, thus proving his worth as an ally. Lian had joined them via holocall. He had been sceptical, though he admitted to Shadie how he could not deny that the mystery man had not led Shadie astray.
            ‘Why do you think Kromus had this datapad to begin with?’ asked Lian.
            ‘I suspect Kromus is the one to have taken the recording,’ said Shadie. ‘If all other possibilities are off the table, then this is the only explanation left that makes sense.’
            ‘So Kromus recorded it himself,’ said Master Shargal.
            ‘Or one of his spies,’ said Master Quar’zun.
            ‘Kromus did mention he had spies on Mandalore at the time when he found me,’ said Shadie, ‘before he…took me.’
            ‘I don’t think it matters who made this recording,’ said Lian. ‘How are you feeling, Shadie? I mean, Master Eidahs, since we’re being formal.’
            ‘It’s a bit creepy to think of Kromus spying on me,’ Shadie admitted. ‘Maybe he found it, the recording, and that’s how he found me, and thus he hid it from me so that I wouldn’t find proof about maybe joining the Jedi Order. But that no longer matters.’
            She had been upset at first, but the recording was more than just a piece of her past now. Regardless of her feelings, the recording existed, Kromus had had it in his possession, had hidden it, and her new contact had known about it, known its location, and had shared it with her.
            She sat in a private room at the Temple with Knarf, having returned from the meeting, continuing a holocall with Lian, Brenum and Trylia, the three still being on Tython. 
            ‘Is it not strange that we have not heard from Relsor or Perce?’ said Brenum.
            ‘Because they’re going to drop us a call to see how we’re doing,’ said Knarf sarcastically.
            ‘No, but we’ve had no word about anything happening where they are,’ said Brenum.
            ‘They’re keeping the Empire in the dark,’ said Shadie. ‘Perce hasn’t even bothered reslicing the Holonet, so we’re not going to find out anything from that. It’s been quiet since the battle on Tython.’
            ‘They have the power of the Crypt,’ said Lian, ‘Relsor has the power to create multiple illusions, touch several minds at once, create illusions on such a massive scale, except where I’m present, or against you,’ he looked at Shadie and Knarf, then at Brenum and Trylia.  ‘Perce can regenerate at a rate that is much faster than any of my capabilities, and both are adept Sith. They were trying to capture you; and they almost did. By now, they’ve had plenty of time to regroup. Why would they keep quiet, why would there be no shift in the Force?’
            ‘I agree,’ said Trylia. ‘It makes no sense. We would have heard from them by now. They would have sent out a message, or attacked something, somewhere.’
            ‘I think they’re just too baffled by all your amazing Jedi powers and they’re so stumped, they have no idea what to do next,’ said Talyc, entering the room. Shadie and Knarf looked up at him. ‘Sorry, should I have knocked?’
            ‘It’s fine, Talyc, come in,’ said Shadie.           
            ‘You’ve got them in a stalemate,’ said Talyc. Knarf shrugged.
            ‘How’s your arm?’ asked Lian.
            ‘Much better, thank you.’
            ‘So then, Relsor and Perce,’ said Brenum, bringing the subject back to their Sith nemeses, ‘could they be waiting for us to make the next move?’
            ‘Waiting for me to go to the Crypt, perhaps?’ said Shadie. ‘I need to give it enough time. When I do go, we need to make sure there are no Sith there, or at least very few. Who knows what’s involved in reclaiming it.’
            ‘Who knows,’ said Brenum. ‘Well, we need to get back.’
            ‘Take care of yourself, Shadie. Be safe, all of you,’ said Trylia. Brenum waved, and Lian nodded, as Trylia ended the call. Shadie looked up at Talyc.
            ‘Fane not with you?’
            ‘He said he needed to sort himself out,’ said Talyc. ‘I’m not sure what he was referring to, but he should be back soon, from whatever it is he went to do.’
            Shadie nodded. “Sort himself out.” She wondered what he meant by that. She hoped it wasn’t what she thought it was.

* * *

            Fane knelt before the Jedi Council, his head bowed low, one knee touched the floor, and his hands were by his side. 
            ‘We are listening,’ said Master Herl’unik.
            ‘I am conflicted, Masters,’ said Fane. ‘I wish to be a Jedi, I wish to join the Order again.’
            ‘You have worked hard to come to this point,’ said Master Herl’unik, acknowledging his efforts. ‘Are you concerned about the darkness that once haunted you?’
            ‘No, Masters.’ Fane remained in his bowed position. ‘I have healed the wounds that caused me confusion, addressed the issues that caused me doubt, shed light on all darkness that clouded my judgement.’
            ‘Then how come are you thus conflicted?’
            ‘Because my heart belongs to another. The Force speaks to me, calls out to me, yet my heart yearns for another, one who has helped me see that I was already the Jedi I had hoped to become. I know you have already granted too many exceptions to my master and to my friends, and I know it ill behoves me to think you would so readily extend the same courtesy to me. However, I cannot deny that it is the love I bear that has granted me, or at least contributed to, the clarity I needed to find my purpose in the order of things, my purpose in the Force, and clarity to know that I am now ready to return to the Jedi Order.’
            ‘Well, it depends,’ said Master Shargal, ‘you know we extended leniency towards Master Eidahs due to her exceptional Force bond with Knarf, let alone the fact that he is a Force-user and has become much the Jedi himself, albeit through untraditional means.’
            ‘Forget not withal, that although Jedi Brenum and Trylia do not have as intense a Force-bond,’ said Master Quar’zun, ‘that their love, for both couples, have proven to be immune to Darth Relsor’s mind attacks, and thus makes them very powerful in combat against him. If such love can serve the Force, then I see no fault in granting the same courtesy to you, Jedi Fane.’
            ‘The problem is,’ Fane paused, ‘he is not Force-sensitive. He will never become a Force-user, like Knarf became. He will always remain outside the realms of Force-bonds, and our love will never be able to defeat the illusions created by our enemy.’
            There was a long pause.
            ‘He is a Mandalorian, then?’ asked Master Shargal.
            ‘Yes,’ replied Fane.
            ‘The Force flows though all living things,’ said Master Quar’zun. ‘This Mandalorian is not devoid of the Force, just because he does not sense or use it.’
            ‘Perhaps,’ said another master, ‘but he would still remain outside the order and never be a Jedi, therefore he would be a distraction and could lead Jedi Fane away from his duties.’
            ‘That is why I am thus conflicted,’ admitted Fane. ‘I don’t want to fail the Order, or let you down.’           
            There was another long pause.
            ‘Answer this, Jedi Fane:’ said Master Herl’unik, ‘do you wish to serve the Jedi Order?’
            Fane lifted his head, feeling the Force as it called to him with intensity, and looked at Master Herl’unik directly in the eyes.
            ‘Yes. I wish to serve the Jedi Order to the best of my capabilities and be the true Jedi, the full Jedi, that I was always meant to be.’
Fane kneeling before Jedi Council (w)


“Seekers of Darkness” is written by Celinka Serre (2020).

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 story lines from the films are used. No story lines 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 Fair Use.

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.


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