Warning: The following chapter contains scenes depicting torture and violence, which may be triggering to some readers. Reading discretion is advised.
Fane made his way to Shadie and Knarf’s house. On his way, he saw Dargoza, surrounded by his clan, all of them eyeing him. He scowled at them.
‘Lost another clan leader?’ Dargoza said in a snide tone.
‘Talyc’s not dead,’ said Fane, ‘though I’m sure you’d like that.’
He motioned his hand towards his lightsaber in warning. Dargoza knew better than to pick a fight with a Jedi.
When Fane reached Shadie’s place, she was sitting in front of a holotransceiver and holoscreen, and Knarf was pacing to and fro frantically. The holoscreen showed Brenum and Trylia who were on Tython. The pair sat in front of their own holomonitor.
‘I did not agree to this, Shadie,’ he said. ‘I will not let you do this!’ He lifted his arms and threw them back down, exasperated.
‘What’s going on?’ asked Fane.
‘Your master,’ said Knarf, ‘wants to give herself up to Relsor when we go on the rescue mission.’
‘What? Shadie, you can’t do that!’
‘Fane,’ said Shadie calmly, yet she seemed a bit impatient, ‘if it were you or anyone one of you,’ she glanced at the holodisplay, ‘I’d do the same. If it were me, you’d do the same.’ ‘Why give yourself up, though?’ said Fane. ‘I had assumed we’d go in, grab Talyc, and then run right back out of there.’
‘Relsor wants to capture me,’ said Shadie, ‘he needs me for some reason.’
‘Relsor wants us all,’ said Brenum through the holochannel.
‘If I let him capture me, there are better chances that the rest of you can make an escape with Talyc, that the rescue mission will be a success.’
‘No,’ said Knarf. ‘No, I’m not letting you, and that’s final.’
‘My love, if I reclaim the Crypt, then I can escape with the Sphere. I’ll be fine.’ Knarf shook his head. ‘Look, claiming the Crypt should make this doable with the least amount of risk.’
‘Least amount of risk, she says,’ said Knarf.
Fane sat down next to Shadie and waved at Brenum and Trylia, smiling gingerly.
‘If you’re letting yourself get captured by Relsor, then so am I!’ said Knarf, turning around quickly, determination on his face.
Trylia leaned quickly in to Brenum’s ear and whispered something. He nodded.
‘And so will we,’ she said. ‘He wants us all, he can have us all, except for Fane, who’ll have escaped with Talyc.’
Fane’s heart grew heavy. ‘Master, I don’t know if I can let you do this.’
‘Relsor is going to keep coming after us until we defeat him,’ said Shadie. ‘Whoever he captures next time might not be so lucky. At least Talyc is still alive; we can still save him. I can find out valuable information before I make my escape. I can use this opportunity to our advantage. Fane, I’m not just doing it for you or for Talyc, I’m also doing it for me.’
Brenum laughed. ‘See Fane, she’s a bit more selfish and a little less selfless than you feared!’
Fane couldn’t help but smile. ‘But then this means someone’s going to need to steer the ship,’ said Fane.
‘Then it sounds like I’m your Jedi,’ said Lian, stepping into view. ‘That is if Brenum trusts me with his ship.’
‘Well,’ started Brenum, jokingly, ‘it’s for a good cause.’ Brenum smiled at Fane through the holoprojection.
‘Lian,’ said Shadie, ‘I’m glad you’re here. Relsor and Perce spoke about sharing the power of the Crypt. I’m assuming that means that when I go to reclaim it, there may be a way for me to share that power too. Brenum, Trylia, Fane and Knarf are all coming with me, but we could bring another. I’d be willing to share that power with you too. It could prove useful.’
‘It could,’ said Lian, ‘and I can’t deny being tempted to enhance my powers, but I must decline. It is a generous offer, Shadie, don’t get me wrong, but my powers function purely within the light side of the Force. I would not want to taint that in any way, perchance it might render them ineffective against Relsor’s powers, which function purely within the dark side.’
‘I understand,’ said Shadie. ‘It’s very noble of you to deny yourself such power.’
Lian shook his head. ‘It’s what makes sense in the Force, that is all.’ He smiled sympathetically.
‘Then that settles the matter,’ said Trylia. ‘We go to the Crypt, claim it, come back to pick up Lian, and head straight for Relsor’s ship.’
‘Uh, he hasn’t exactly sent me coordinates,’ said Fane.
‘He will,’ said Shadie, certainty in her voice. ‘He’ll contact you again, and when he does, you can tell him that you will bring him…me.’
‘If that’s what the plan is,’ said Fane. Knarf smiled sympathetically and put a caring hand on Fane’s shoulder.
‘Excellent,’ said Shadie. ‘Now all we need to do is inform the Council and hope they don’t object…too much…because we’re still going.’
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