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Chapter Seven – Jedi Shadie Story 2

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Standing aboard the bridge of the Republic flagship, the dreadnought called Force of Peace, Knarf took it all in. They had found, well the Jedi had found, Kromus’s army waiting for them in the Mid Rim near Iridonia. Apparently the Sith had used some sort of Force-meld to announce their presence there. It also explained why several of the Sith were Zabrak.
The ship’s Captain, a Quarren from the world of Mon Calamari, cohabiting the world with the Mon Calamari themselves, stood near the large viewport, watching the battle wage beyond the transparisteel viewport: starfighters swirling and dancing about, quad lasers, cannon batteries and proton batteries, all going off out in space around the frigates, freighters, battle cruisers, and dreadnoughts. Many beings of many species at different posts on the Force of Peacewere targeting and manoeuvering.
Shadie stood in the centre of the bridge, in a meditative stance, hands clasped behind her, eyes closed, and beautiful as ever. Brenum and Trylia stood by her side, each to one side, in the same stance. They were in a Jedi battle meld, using Battle Meditation to help coordinate the fight outside. The Jedi Master who was named Salah stood with Talyc and a few other Mandalorians whom he had brought with him to be part of Shadie’s boarding team.
Knarf smiled. Talyc had said to him: ”I formed you into a half-decent Mando, I’m not letting you out of my sight to worry if you’ll die.”  He smiled again and looked down at the helmet in his hands, the vibroblade and repeater rifle that were secured on his utility belt. Who had known a simple slicer would become a warrior.  So many unpredictable events causing his life to go to shambles, sending him tumbling away from the path he had set himself on. And he was glad of it, glad it had happened. He wouldn’t change any of it. He looked at his leg in its armour.  Well perhaps he’d change getting the bottom half of his left leg sliced off by a Sith lightsaber. Although, the prosthetic was better than a droid’s limb, it had prosthetic skin, he could feel with it, function with it as though it were a normal leg, and it took very little maintenance to keep it functional. However, the pain when Lahnius had sliced it off had been excruciating. Thinking about it too much brought the pain back, and that, he could dispense with.
The com chimed.  The voice of the Mandalore came through.
‘We’re ready to jump in on your mark,’ he said.
‘Hold position for now,’ replied the Quarren Captain in his guttural voice, with a somewhat slurred basic.  ‘Let us wait and see what surprises the Sith bear first.’
‘He is waiting for me,’ said Shadie, still in her stance. She opened her eyes  ‘I sense he will try to draw me in. He hopes I will want to save the Jedi and the Republic from further death.’
‘Then that is good news,’ replied the Quarren in anticipation.  ‘More ships approach.’
No sooner had the Captain spoken the words than many more ships appeared coming from hyperspace: battle cruisers, dreadnaughts, and destroyers. Knarf gaped at the amount of starfighters that bled from each of the larger ships.
‘Mandalore,’ said the Quarren.  ‘The playground, I mean the battlefield, is yours.’
Knarf thought he actually heard the Mandalore laughing. Then he realised that he was.
‘Hehehe, I like you, Quarren. If ever you should tire of the Republic, you’ll know where to go.  Now, it’s time to teach these Sith scum who’s boss of this galaxy. Mandalore out.’
Brenum whistled. ‘Arrogant man, isn’t he?’
‘Like you’re one to talk,’ replied Trylia.
Knarf took his gloves off and stood behind Shadie. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her on the shoulder, permeating comfort to quell her fears. He did not care who the onlookers were, this was war, anything could happen; it was no time to worry about professionalism. Besides, he was a slicer and a warrior, not a politician or an official of the Republic.
‘I believe in you, my Lady,’ he said.
Shadie turned to face him, smiling. She gave him a quick kiss without a word. Then nodded at the others who filed up behind her. Knarf stayed by her side as they began to walk to the turbolift at the back of the bridge.
‘Shadie,’ called out Master Salah. Shadie stopped and looked at her. ‘Remember all that Master Juun Kloh taught you.’
Shadie nodded but did not continue. ‘Mandalore arrives,’ she said instead.
Just then, dozens of ships appeared, sleek in design. There were so many and they were so large.  No wonder the Mandalorian blockade was a force to be reckoned with.
‘Aha!’ cried the Quarren Captain in triumph.  ‘The Sith are now sandwiched.’ His head tentacles swayed with satisfaction.
Indeed it was true. The Sith ships were surrounding the Republic forces, with the Mandalorians on the exterior of the battlefield.  The Sith had nowhere to go.
Shadie smiled. ‘This time, we will win.’
Everyone followed Shadie down to the main hangar and into the Krayt Dragon.  Brenum and Trylia went to the cockpit. The Mandalorians installed themselves in the main hold. Shadie took Knarf by the hand and sat down.  He took her hand in both hands and kissed it. On the edge of such a massive battle, what could he say? She smiled at him. He put a hand on her face, replacing her hair.
‘My beautiful, my gorgeous Lady of the Force. My pure light.’
He kissed her.  They would soon be in battle with the Sith aboard Kromus’s dreadnought, perhaps die. So he kept kissing her as long as he possibly could, hungrily and passionately, feeling their amazing energies that fuelled him with life and desire. Even though they’d just shared an intimate moment on the way to Iridonia, he wanted more of Shadie, more of the energies, more of her love, and he could feel she wanted more of him. Finally, he realised they were far from alone. He blushed, pausing his kissing, and looked at the others.
‘Oh, you can keep going,’ said Talyc.  Shadie gave him a look. ‘Or not.’
Knarf burst out laughing. And as the Dragon descended into the hangar of Kromus’s large and ”real” flagship, Knarf put his gloves on, looked one more time at Shadie and put his helmet on.  Their battle had just begun. He secured his weapons and stood.
‘We ready?’ he asked.
‘Question is, are you?’ said Talyc.
‘Well, as long as I walk out of this fight with both legs intact, I’m good.’
‘You mean as long as you walk out,’ said Brenum, coming from the cockpit.  ‘As I recall, you were carried out last time by the Force,’ he continued pointing at Trylia.
‘Such minor details,’ replied Knarf in mock dismissiveness.
‘Easy for you to say, you were unconscious through most of it.  Whereas I…’
You are going to shut your mouth,’ said Trylia.
Shadie smiled. ‘I don’t know what traps await us but we must be careful. We must be vigilant. There will be many Sith and we need to find the Holocron as well. Kromus may have it near him to help fuel his life force. If not, we need to find out where he’s hidden it in order to avoid him coming back to life a second time.’  She paused. ‘May the Force be with us.’

Continue reading Chapter Seven.

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Chapter Six – Jedi Shadie Story 2

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The meeting took the most part of the morning and the beginning of the afternoon to strategise a plan. Present were Mandalore, Kelbourn, Talyc, Knarf, Shadie, Brenum, Trylia, Master Salah, and the whole of the Jedi Council, with of course Master Herl’unik, the Grand Master.
Then the Mandalorians, along with Knarf, were dismissed, and the Jedi stayed a bit longer. Surprisingly, there was less talk of the risks involved or of Kromus, but more of his holocron. There was the possibility that it could be with him if he still needed it to feed him power, otherwise they would need to find out where he’d hidden it. If they did not, he could be brought back another time and Shadie would be forced to kill him yet a third time. There was much talk of what to do in the event Shadie would die, and if — it was implied by some of the masters present — she turned to the dark side. They also discussed the consequences of such things on the galaxy and the Republic. Much was at stake.
When the meeting was over, Shadie found Knarf in one of the corridors not far from the Council Chamber, sitting on a bench, looking down at his helmet, which he held in his hands. He looked grim.
‘Knarf,’ said Shadie as she approached, ‘what’s wrong?’
‘Well,’ he said, ‘I have a decision to make.’ He stood and paced a bit, then faced her. ‘I’ve been asked by the Mandalore himself to join the battle with the Mandalorians. I’d have my own starfighter, and then we would board some of the Sith ships.’
‘Oh.’ Shadie took it in.  ‘What about you staying by my side?’
Knarf looked away. ‘That’s what I’m not sure about anymore.’
‘I don’t understand. Are you afraid you might die?’
‘Look, you will defeat Kromus, and then what? Be a Jedi? And me, I can go back to slicing and programming, or I can join the Mandalorians…’
‘We can be together,’ said Shadie, ‘because we want to be, and we’ll figure out the rest together.’
‘That’s just it, Shadie. I’m not sure what I want. I know I care about you and I want to be with you. I know I don’t want to lose you, nor to death, nor to the dark side. I know that you make me happy…’
‘Then where’s the problem? What’s holding you back?’ Shadie could feel her heart thumping; she could feel fear, sadness, and anger within her. ‘Knarf, I care about you more than you may ever know. You make me happy and I want to be with you.’
‘But it’s not as simple as that, is it?’ Knarf looked pained to be voicing these thoughts.          Shadie shook her head. His words made her feel disposable, and she knew he was sensing that from her somehow, she knew he was sad and hurt to see her sad and hurt.
‘Why does it have to be complicated?’ she said softly.  ‘What are you afraid of?’
He shrugged. ‘I’m not sure. What are you afraid of?’
Shadie swallowed hard.  Knarf could tell fear was dominating her being at that moment; just by the way he looked at her, she knew he sensed it.
‘I… I can’t say,’ she said at last.
There was a long awkward silence filled with sadness, as Knarf started to turn and go, and Shadie did nothing to hide her tears. She felt disposable. She’d never felt that before, and she couldn’t explain why the situation was making her feel this way, but she let her emotions through so that Knarf could feel it too. Perhaps through the Force, he would understand what words could not express.
‘Oh, Shadie,’ said Knarf tenderly. He turned back to her and put a hand on her face and wiped a tear. He looked sad, confused.  ‘I’m sorry. I’m hurting you right now, aren’t I? I don’t want to lose you, I’m just scared. And it’s hurting me. But I don’t know if I can do this, fight by your side. Watch you almost die again, or almost turn to the dark side. I’m not sure if I’m more afraid of losing you or of dying.  I don’t even know if I should be fighting in this war at all. Look at me, a Mandalorian warrior, but I’m just a slicer.’ He paused, his deep brown eyes staring at her in a piercing gaze. ‘I need time to figure it out.’
Shadie looked at him straight in the eyes.
‘I love you,’ she said at last.  ‘And I fear that you don’t feel the same.’
Knarf swallowed, as though taking her words in.
Before he could reply, a dark figure jumped down from the ceiling airshaft, causing both of them to bounce back in a stagger. The hooded being ignited a crimson blade and struck Knarf at the mid. Knarf fell back, recovering with a barrel roll. He looked at the Sith assassin as he remained in a crouched position.
‘Mandalorian beskar’gam, you Sith poodoo. You’re not going to kill me that easily.’

Continue reading Chapter Six.


Chapter Five – Jedi Shadie Story 2

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Brenum had told the Mandalorian spaceport authorities that they were here on business with several offers. Of course, he omitted to mention they were Jedi. To go about more unnoticed once they’d docked, they had dressed into more simple and casual clothes; no obvious robes labelling them as Jedi, though a small jacket hid the presence of their lightsabers.
Searching with the Force was no use here on Mandalore, many used ysalamiri in these dangerous and treacherous times, and many places held many of them, so trying to detect Knarf would be impossible, so they would have to search the old fashioned way: by foot.
They walked about, heads low, getting unwanted sneers of unwelcome. They entered a tavern, only to be kicked out again by a brawl that was already going on and had nothing to do with any of them. A large Tradoshan waved his baton about as other patrons were being pushed or thrown out if they tried to meddle in the fight that did not concern them, yet which seemed to include the whole lot of patrons present. So the three Jedi continued across a field.
‘What does Knarf’s armour look like?’ asked Brenum.
‘I forget. I had more important things to worry about at the time than its details… like when was I going to see him again.’  She paused. She had replied more harshly than she had wanted to. She softened her voice. ‘It has a jetpack.’
‘Great, that’s precise,’ replied Brenum, though Shadie could tell he was purposely exaggerating, to let her know no offence had been taken.  ‘What about the colour?’
‘Well Talyc’s is brown and purple.’
‘That narrows it all down…’
‘Stop being so exaggeratingly…’ said Trylia, as they entered a tapcaf. She let her sentence trail off.
It grew quiet as they entered, conversations ceasing and turning into hushed tones and whispers of suspicion as heads turned their way. A green Twi’lek leaned towards a red Twi’lek as they stared at them and began speaking in hushed tones.
‘Something tells me we’re not going to be welcomed here either,’ whispered Brenum.
‘And you’re absolutely right,’ replied a Mandalorian, standing up and walking towards them. He wore a charcoal and silver armour. He inclined his head. ‘Jedi are most unwanted guests on Mandalore. Always cause so much trouble.’ The three of them stirred. The Mandalorian laughed.  ‘Don’t think you can fool me, Jedi. I have hunted and killed your kind before. I can smell you from light years away. Why have you come to Mandalore?’
‘We seek a man who goes by the name of Bes’laar,’ said Shadie.
‘Never heard of him,’ replied the Mandalorian.
‘He hangs about with Talyc.’
‘No,’ he said flatly, dryly, ‘doesn’t ring a bell.’  He abruptly changed the subject. ‘Tell me, Jedi, you honour your codes, no?’ Shadie nodded. ‘Well, we honour ours. You are on Mandalorian grounds, you shall honour our codes.’
‘And that is?’
‘A melee! Not against me, of course, the fight would be too unfair.’ This drew laughter from the ”audience”.  ‘But against one of my men. No Force powers allowed, and to ensure that…’
He looked at the Mando behind the counter and nodded. Moments later, several ysalamiri were placed around the tapcaf. Shadie felt the Force leave her and heard Trylia gasp as though for air.
‘I don’t trust Jedi to not cheat, you see,’ continued the Mandalorian. ‘Oh, and no lightsabers either.’
Shadie scowled, but did not object. Finding Knarf was her number one priority now, whatever it took. She unclipped her lightsaber from her utility belt and handed it over to Trylia.  The Mandalorian, who acted like the leader of this tapcaf, handed her his vibrosword.
‘You fight to disarm. If you win, we help you find your friend. If you lose, you’re on your own.’  Shadie nodded. ‘Do I have any volunteers?’
Several armoured Mandalorians stood and stepped forward. Shadie scanned the room with her eyes, trying to see if she could recognise any of them. There was one with green armour, one with blue and silver, one with blue and black and who clearly looked like he wasn’t human under that armour, one with black and red armour, another with yellow and brown with green, one wore all white, another with purple and red, one with blue and charcoal, but none with purple and brown.  And all who stood there wore no jetpacks.
The Mandalorian leader, looked at the Mandos waiting to melee with Shadie. He pointed at one with blue and charcoal armour.
‘You, show this Jedi how the Mando fight.’
‘With pleasure!’ The Mando let his ”r” trail for a while. It was unpleasantly eerie, especially through the helmet’s speaker, coming out tinnier than anything else.
He set aside his repeater rifle and took a stance with his vibroblade. Shadie took a two handed grip on the vibrosword she held. How could she predict this Mandalorian’s moves if she could not channel the Force?  Granted her weapon was slightly longer, but she had lost her most dependable weapon, the Force. She would have to rely on skill alone.

Continue reading Chapter Five.


Chapter Four – Jedi Shadie Story 2

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Master Juun Kloh had been relieved upon seeing Trylia, Shadie, and Brenum. Although he knew Shadie would not turn, he had feared it, and it was a recurring fear, for he knew Shadie was still vulnerable to the dark side’s influences. For Fane to have actually fallen to the dark side and to know he had joined Kromus was a tragedy beyond any Juun Kloh had known, or at least one of the few tragedies that had truly shaken him to the core.
He sat in a chair at the Temple’s large common lounge.
‘It’s worse than I had feared,’ he said.
Shadie made a sound in her throat. Obviously she knew he had feared she had turned. He looked up at her.
‘It’s one thing to fear a pupil who has already tasted the dark side, let alone grown up with it, to fall to it once more, but it’s something completely different when one least suspected unexpectedly turns.’
‘No one could foresee this, Master Juun,’ said Trylia, in her usual soothing tones.
‘Fane!’ He sighed.  ‘His brother had defected long before I knew that Xavier and Lahnius were the same.  Xavier had fallen, turned to the dark side, and changed his name to Darth Lahnius. His master did not wish to train Fane, for fear he’d fail him the same way he felt he’d failed Lahnius.  I understand that emotion.’
‘Master,’ said Brenum, kneeling before him to be at the same level, ‘you did not fail Fane.  He failed you.  You are not to blame.  He obviously could not accept his brother’s death, despite him being a Sith. Living worlds apart may have suited them and never had they yet been forced to battle each other, but,’ he paused and seemed at a loss for words, ‘if he could not let go and accept that his brother died instead of a fellow Jedi, then the fault for the defection is his and no one else’s.’
‘A terrible loss for a master it is, though, worse than death.’  Master Juun stood and looked at Shadie. ‘I, uh, heard what happened to Knarf.  I’m sorry.’
Shadie nodded, Brenum and Trylia looked slightly down without bowing their heads.  They hid their deception well. Regardless, Master Juun was relieved, especially after everything Shadie had done to save Knarf’s life. He would not ask the details. A wise decision it was to keep him hidden to protect him.
There was an awkward silence.
‘So,’ said Shadie, breaking the silence casually, ‘any news from the Crypt?’
‘Dead end,’ replied Master Juun.  ‘No Sith remain even remotely near the place. Except…’  He let his sentence trail off.
Shadie took a large intake of breath. ‘It’s still there?’ she asked.
‘It awaits you, Shadie. It awaits your summons. It told me it will serve the Lady of the Force wherever she chooses to claim as her domain.’
‘Well, it’s good to know it accepts you’re not entirely Sith,’ said Brenum. Shadie smiled.
‘So what’s next?’ asked Trylia.  ‘We go to Nar Shaddaa and seek out Kromus?’
‘No, he will be expecting that.’
‘But how will we know where he’s gone once he leaves?’
‘Trylia,’ said Shadie, ‘I wouldn’t worry about that. He’s hiding in the Force. All we need to do is gather some ships and starfighters, and wait for him to leave the Hutt moon. Then we can battle it out in space. I will not destroy him in person when it is an unfair fight. If I am to win this battle, I will do so properly, fairly, and with all the power of the light side.’
Master Juun beamed at her. ‘You have no idea how heart-warming it is to hear you say that.’
‘Well, I mean it. Besides, killing Kromus now will achieve nothing when all his Sith are scattered across the galaxy. They dispersed for a reason when he fell the first time. We need to win this war once and for all; therefore we need to fight them once they’ve gathered.’
‘Then let us bring our ideas to the Council,’ said Brenum, leading the way.  ‘We have a lot of planning to do.’

Continue reading Chapter Four.