Knarf sat by the Holonet console in the Clan Kandera bunker working through some codes he was receiving from several signals and channels. Shadie swivelled in the chair in which she sat, somewhat bored. T4 kept twiddling on about something.
‘I’m sure Fane’s all right,’ said Knarf. He looked at the droid. ‘Anyway, since when are you so worried about other Jedi? You’re a Mandalorian droid.’ T4 beeped a reply, an elaborate reply. Knarf laughed. ‘I suppose that’s true, T4; we’re all practically Mandalorians by now. I forget sometimes how you’ve known us this long.’ T4 beeped a series of comical sounding sequences in his binary language.
‘Well, I’m telling you,’ said Shadie, ‘it’s the second time Dargoza is put to shame by a Force-user. I don’t think he’s going to mess with us again.’
‘Not any time soon, no,’ said Knarf.
At that moment, Brenum and Trylia arrived.
‘Ah, conversational company arrives at last!’ Shadie exclaimed.
‘Why, is he that boring?’ laughed Brenum.
‘Right now, he is,’ said Shadie.
‘Hey, I’m trying to figure this out, here. I need my focus,’ said Knarf.
‘Any news from Fane or Talyc?’ asked Trylia, concerned. ‘Neither of them returned to the tavern last night after the two of you left.’
‘Yeah, after you two opted for a quiet walk home,’ said Brenum, ‘Trylia and I got chatting with the patrons. We hung around as long as we could. We were hoping you had news.’
Shadie shook her head. ‘I haven’t heard from Fane and he wasn’t at his apartment.’
‘Oh, I hope he doesn’t feel bad for what Dargoza said to him,’ said Trylia.
‘I’m sure he’s fine,’ replied Shadie.
‘So, what are you doing, Knarf?’ asked Brenum.
‘I’m trying to figure Perce out.’
‘Eh? Come again?’ The blue-haired Jedi leaned in, creasing his forehead.
‘He keeps tampering with some Holonet signals, or various channels,’ Knarf explained. ‘Every time he does something, I slice it, and he has to try something else.’
‘Isn’t he going to figure you out too?’ asked Trylia.
‘That’s what I’m hoping he thinks,’ said Knarf. ‘You see, he thinks that every time he programs or jams something, I’ll figure it out, so that he can learn to do something I won’t ever be able to slice. However, as soon as he does something complex enough for it to look realistic, I won’t slice it, let him think he’s got me.’
‘What if he still discovers some of your secrets or methods?’ asked Brenum.
‘That’s what I’m banking on,’ replied Knarf.
‘I’m still not following, but I trust your judgement,’ said Brenum.
Fane arrived at that moment. He was followed by Talyc, who was back in his usual purple and brown armour.
‘Fane,’ said Brenum. ‘You okay?’
‘Yes,’ said Fane, nodding.
‘I’m telling you, Dargoza sure felt shame from his Scorekeeper after you pushed him the way you did,’ said Brenum. ‘It’s a shame you weren’t there to see it.’
‘It’s okay. I, uh,’ Fane scratched his head awkwardly, ‘cleared my mind instead. Meditative activities.’
‘Oh, that’s good to hear,’ said Brenum. Shadie smiled, stifling a laugh.
‘I think he means he was with someone,’ said Knarf casually.
‘Oh,’ said Brenum. ‘And what about you?’ he asked Talyc. ‘Brought anyone home?’
Fane blushed. Talyc looked around shyly, and scratched behind his ear. The two were as obvious as a rancor in a nexu cage.
‘I see you blushing,’ said Brenum. ‘Who are the lucky ladies?’
‘Uh, Brenum,’ said Shadie, bringing her hand to her mouth to hide her smile. She shook her head. ‘No ladies.’
Knarf turned and pointed at Fane and then Talyc. ‘The two of them,’ he said. He swivelled back to the console and continued his slicing.
‘What, you two? Oh, together!’ Brenum’s eyes widened, then he grinned.
‘Oh, that is so wonderful,’ said Trylia, placing her hands on her cheeks. ‘I’m so happy for you.’ She gave them both a hug.
‘It was about time, if you ask me,’ said Shadie. ‘The way he’d been pining over him.’
‘You told her how you felt about me?’ Talyc asked Fane.
‘No.’ Fane shook his head.
‘Talyc,’ said Shadie, ‘you forget that Fane is my apprentice, and therefore we share a bond that allows us to understand each other in certain ways. I’ve known for a while, well, suspected. And you’re no better. Feigning you’re afraid of death when he saves your life.’
Fane looked at Talyc. ‘You said…’
‘I know. I was falling…for you.’ He smiled shyly, and then offered Fane his hand. ‘Seeing as our friends know now, no point in depriving ourselves of showing our affection.’ Fane took his hand.
‘Oh, you two,’ said Brenum. ‘So romantic. It feels good doesn’t it, to show affection thus?’ He looked at Trylia.
Talyc leaned his forehead on Fane’s. Shadie smiled at Fane and winked.
‘Talyc!’ a shout came from the other end of the bunker.
Everyone stood at the ready. Mandalore walked in.
‘I need to speak with you.’ Mandalore looked at the others. ‘In private.’
Talyc looked at Fane and then back at Mandalore. Shadie wondered if it had anything to do with Dargoza.
Talyc followed Mandalore out of the bunker. Fane looked at Shadie. She shrugged.
* * *
Talyc felt his heart pounding as he kept pace behind Mandalore, a different kind than he’d felt the previous night. Mandalore sounded stern. Talyc worried if he was about to be reprimanded for something. If it had to do with Dargoza, he would stand his ground. He did not regret standing up to the Trandoshan, and he’d do it again in a heartbeat, for any of his friends or clan mates.
Mandalore entered his private office and Talyc followed him in. Mandalore closed the door behind him and walked to his desk. He stayed standing.
‘Talyc, I have a serious matter to bring to you this morning.’
‘I have been speaking with other members of Clan Kandera, with members of other clans.’ Talyc looked down slightly. He was ready with his arguments to defend his actions against Dargoza. ‘There seems to be a consensus among your clan mates and the other clans. Now that Kelbourn is no longer among us, your clan needs a new leader. Often times, Kelbourn appointed you to lead the charge in battle. Hence, everyone agrees, myself included, that you should be the new clan leader.’
Talyc thought his heart had stopped. ‘Excuse me?’ he said. This was not at all what he had expected.
‘You heard me.’ Mandalore’s mouth creased into a wide smiled. ‘The new clan leader, that would be you, Talyc. Do you accept?’
‘Yes,’ Talyc smiled. ‘Yes, I do, sir. I’m honoured. I hope I will live up to the standards that Kelbourn established within Clan Kandera. I don’t think I can ever be the leader he was, but I hope I can make him proud, or at least make his memory proud, by taking up the mantle and continuing his legacy. He was my clan brother, and my cousin. What he taught me will inspire me.’
‘I’m glad to hear it. Congratulations, Talyc.’
‘Thank you, Mandalore.’
‘To that effect, I’d like to invite Shadie, Knarf, Fane, Brenum and Trylia to become members of Clan Kandera. Knarf to a certain extent already is, and Shadie was born on Mandalore, not ot mention she has Kandera blood in her as well. Why not make it official?’
‘I’m sure they’ll be happy to hear it, sir,’ Talyc said smiling.
‘I also hear the Jedi again defeated Dargoza. You think he learnt his lesson this time?’
‘I don’t know,’ said Talyc.
‘Well, from what I hear,’ said Mandalore, ‘you stood up to him like a true clan leader would.’ Talyc smiled, and stood taller with pride. ‘You may go deliver the news to your friends.’
‘Thank you, Mandalore.’ Talyc turned and started to go.
‘Oh, and Talyc?’ Talyc turned back to look at Mandalore. ‘Congratulations.’ Mandalore winked at him. ‘I hope you and Jedi Fane will be very happy together.’
Talyc’s shoulders dropped slightly. ‘News travels fast.’ Mandalore shrugged. Talyc smiled to himself.
* * *
Fane saw Talyc return to the bunker. He wore his helmet. Fane looked at the others.
‘Talyc’s back,’ he said.
Talyc approached, walking slowly. He stopped when he reached them.
‘And so?’ asked Fane, trying not to sound too eager.
Knarf swivelled his chair around to look at Talyc, who took his helmet off, a serious expression upon his face. Fane worried greatly. Then, Talyc’s lip curled into an amused smile. Fane sighed in relief, shaking his head, now knowing Talyc would not be the bearer of ill news.
‘I’ve been appointed the new clan leader.’
‘Wow, that’s amazing!’ said Knarf. Everyone cheered him on and congratulated him.
‘And,’ continued Talyc, ‘Mandalore would like you all to become official members of the clan.’
‘I thought I already was!’ laughed Knarf. He swivelled back around to the console.
‘We’d love to be,’ said Trylia.
‘Then let me officially welcome you to Clan Kandera!’
Fane hugged Talyc, who put a hand on his face.
‘Aha, gotcha!’ shouted Knarf in victory. Everyone looked at him. ‘Thanks to Perce and his jamming, I’ve sliced into the Empire’s Holofeed. The next step is to figure out where our Sith friends are hiding.’
‘Friends, he says,’ said Brenum.
Knarf punched a few commands and the holoscreen flickered into life.
‘That is why,’ the person in the holo was saying, ‘the Empire has aligned with a group of Sith who call themselves the True Sith.’
‘Oh, not that True Sith nonsense again,’ said Fane.
‘Their leader assures us a grand army with which to overtake the Republic. Haar’elso’rothmor promises to find us artefacts that will grant the Empire the full power of the dark side and together we will overwhelm the Force and the Jedi to defeat them.’
‘So that’s Relsor’s full name,’ said Brenum.
‘He wants to destroy us from within the Force,’ said Trylia. ‘And he almost did.’
Brenum took her hand. ‘But he did not. Remember what defeated him in the end. Besides, Lian’s going to figure out how to stop him from ailing the Force.’
‘What about those artefacts?’ asked Talyc. ‘If he gets his hands on such powerful dark weapons, he could be unstoppable.’
‘Not unless we find these artefacts first,’ said Shadie.
‘Where?’ said Knarf. ‘That announcer never said where Relsor was going to find them.’
‘Oh, I know exactly where he’s going,’ said Shadie. She looked at everyone. ‘He’s going to the Crypt.’
“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.