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REVENGE OF THE SITH

Interlude #1

 

 

 

The galaxy sky was quiet, despite the short battle that had been engaged only a few hours ago. A former Republic class interdictor ship had captured an elusive freighter turned smuggling ship and the crew aboard.

After a battle within the ship, the crew of the smuggling ship were able to escape and fly away, while fighters chased them. They were easily shot down and the smaller ship was able to jump into hyper space.

The Ebon Hawk had a reputation as the fastest ship in the galaxy and it had certainly saved some of the crews that had been aboard it at one time or another. This was no different.

However, instead of the joyous laughter and partying that accompanied an escape like that, the mood onboard was anything but happy. While they had literally escaped by the seat of their pants, they had inadvertently left one of their own aboard the villain cruiser.

But it was the information that had been revealed on the interdictor – the Leviathan – that caused the most stress and the most shocking revelation the crew had truly ever known.

It certainly was for one Carth Onasi. The Republic pilot had been quiet from the time he and one of his companions – Jayden Korr – had escaped the Leviathan and he had since dropped back into this mood after his talk with the smuggler turned Republic hero.

The Republic pilot sat within the captain’s chair of the Ebon Hawk, staring haphazardly into the night sky. His body told him he was getting tired, but he just couldn’t make himself go to bed. He had set their course to the water planet of Manaan after his talk with Jayden – no, no Revan – and he had been staring morosely out of the cockpit since.

The events of the Leviathan still played across his mind. The ship been waiting for them as they leapt out of hyper space after their adventures on Korriban. They had come up with a plan to have Juhani rescue them once she got past the guards.

Then he, Jayden, and Bastila Shan had been separated from the rest of the group and had waited for Adm. Saul Karath to arrive. Carth and Saul were no strangers to each other; Saul had been like a second father to him when he was still actively serving in the Republic Forces. He was a mentor to him, taught him how to be a soldier.

And then he had done the ultimate back stabbing thing anyone could ever do.

Carth couldn’t believe Saul had turned on them once Revan and Malak had come back as Sith Lords, but he knew. He knew when he woke up in his barracks and heard the alarms going off on Telos.

They had been breached and only one man knew the codes and he was leading an army of Sith into Telos space. But it was all over clouded when Carth had found his wife, nearly hidden underneath the rubble of their home. He had dug for what seemed like hours until he had her in his arms.

Maybe he knew she couldn’t be saved, but it didn’t stop him from screaming at the top of his lungs for the medics. “Hold on, baby.” he had whispered, repeatedly. “Just hold on for a little bit longer.”

Maybe she knew she didn’t have long, because she had said she loved him and would always love him, despite the problems they were going through. And then she just closed her eyes and didn’t wake up.

From that day on, Carth Onasi had declared his vengeance on Saul Karath. He would kill the space dog for what he had done.

And it seemed he would get his chance. He held no punches when he told the crew of the Hawk that no one would want to get in his way when he met Saul. Even when Bastila had told him not to give into his anger, he ignored her.

He would have his revenge and nothing would stop him. Nothing. Even when the sick bastard had tortured them; that was just the icing. He’d pay for that too.

Looking back, he couldn’t understand at the time why Saul seemed so intent on taking his frustration out on Jayden. The young man had been made to watch as Bastila was repeatedly tortured, all because he refused to answer any questions from the Admiral.

He had been so determined before that. And then, even after Jayden had succumbed to sleep due to the torture, the guards continued shooting electrical currents through his body, ignoring the screams from both he and Bastila.

And then the moment of truth…Juhani had come through and he could finally get the revenge he had waited so long for. They wasted no time in killing and butchering Sith commandos and officers until they had reached the bridge. Jayden and Bastila had used their lightsabers and Force powers to ultimately clear a path for him to Saul.

Wearing a Mandalorian shield, the energy blasts from Saul’s blaster had relatively no effect on him. Carth quickly went to work on the admiral, using the Kath double blade Jayden had given him to completely break the admiral until he was barely alive on the floor.

Even as the Jedi behind him tried to talk him out it, Carth was already thinking of ways to finish off the man he had looked up to. Even as Jay tried to tell him not to give in to his hate, Carth could see the anger in the young man’s eyes.

He wanted Carth gut the man, the pilot could see it, but his blasted Jedi training stopped him from actually saying anything. So Carth finally settled on watching this man – this man who had taken everything from him – slowly die. And then he began to call for him.

“Carth…” Saul wouldn’t last much longer, but he apparently needed to say something, despite the fact he was coughing up his own blood. “… must tell you… must tell you something… come closer….”

Carth had seen the look in the dying man’s eyes and had actually thought Saul was calling him over to say he was sorry; sorry for what he had done to the man’s family, to his life, to…to actually want to be forgiven for the pain he had brought his favorite student. The pilot went over to him, convinced he had seen a glimpse of his former mentor, father figure, and friend.

Only to be terribly disappointed.

He whispered something into Carth’s ear, something that turned Carth’s blood cold; “You didn’t know, did you?” the admiral chuckled, the smug bastard actually laughed at the look of horror on his former pupil’s face. He actually found the piece of information he just gave to be hilarious.

“Remember my dying words.”, he sputtered. “Remember them whenever… whenever you look at those you thought were your friends!”

That had been the beginning of this whole nightmare. And to top it off, the subject of conversation didn’t even have a clue what was going on. He didn’t know. He didn’t even fragging know who he truly was. It wasn’t until they ran into Malak on the way out that the current dark lord informed Jayden that he was his former master.

Jayden Korr was in reality Revan, the former Jedi who had helped the Republic beat the Mandalorians and had then turned his loyalties to the Sith, taking Malak and half the Republic military with him.

And Bastila and the Jedi Council had known the entire time. Known who he was and hadn’t said a damn word about it.

Then the former dark lord began to argue with his fellow Jedi; had actually said she was no better than the Sith herself with her secrets and lies. Then Carth was in stasis and he could watch as Jayden – Revan – had gone after his apprentice through the corridors.

And then Bastila was there, saving the young man from Malak’s final blow, and then they were behind a door, with no way to save Bastila from the Sith Lord. Carth had to practically drag the young man to the Hawk.

And there, the secret was let out. Jayden was Revan and not only had Bastila known about it, but apparently Jolee Bindo – former Jedi, current cantankerous old man – knew as well. And to add insult to injury, everyone onboard wasn’t at all phased by it.

This man had lead the Sith to raze worlds and systems; had killed people; had destroyed families; and they were all nonchalant about it. Well, not Carth. He wasn’t about to let this man betray him like he had done the Republic and the Jedi. He’d send the young man to hell before that would ever happen and he had told him that too.

They were on a mission and the pilot would finish the mission, but as far as he was concerned, he never wanted to see Jayden Korr or Revan ever again.

However somewhere between the escape and drifting out in space had caused a slight change of heart for the pilot. He and Jay were close, had been since their escape from the Endar Spire and throughout their journey. They had sat in the cockpit talking about their lives and certainly about Jayden’s interest in one Jedi princess.

Thinking about that, and the fact the man seemed to have withered in the face of this whole ordeal, had caused the Republic officer to consider things from Jayden’s view.

He had thought he was a smuggler who had been recruited by the Republic for his crimes. He then gets shot down by the Sith only a few days after being quickly added at the last moment to the Spire.

Then he learns he could wield the Force and is whisked away to the Jedi Academy on Dantooine. Months of jaunting across the galaxy for these Star Maps, while evading the Sith…and now to discover he is in fact the man who caused the trouble in the first place and that the woman he had fallen in love with has been hiding it from him this entire time…

Carth had been surprised when Jay – Revan – had approached him to talk. After thinking about it, Carth realized he didn’t fill as fulfilled as he thought he would once Saul was dead. Instead, he felt…hollow, he guessed.

Saul’s death didn’t bring back his wife; it didn’t return his son; it didn’t make him feel as happy as he thought. He said as much to…Revan…that the young man had shown he wasn’t the same man as before and that he had something larger about him.

“Whatever’s happened up until this point,” the pilot replied. “There’s going to come a time very soon where you’re going to have to make a choice. And there won’t be any turning back.”

Carth was surprised when the young man looked down to the floor, obvious turmoil written on his face. “And if I make the wrong choice?” he asked, the question barely a whisper.

“Then I hope I can save you. From yourself.”

That had been about two hours ago and no one had seen the smuggler turned Jedi in that time. “As much as I enjoy looking out the window of a cockpit, I would think one would want to pilot the ship instead of admiring the stars.”

Carth smirked and looked up at the elderly man that hovered over his shoulder. Jolee Bindo had joined them when they had entered into the Kashyyyk Shadowlands. “I’m not admiring, old man,” he said, good-naturedly.

“You look dead on your feet, sonny,” Jolee said, leaning against the side divider. “And I see your companion is already fast asleep.” The two looked over at the co-pilot’s chair to see a sleeping blue Twi’lek curled in the seat.

Mission Vao had joined the pilot in the cockpit, thinking he needed to talk. He did his best not to yell at her for sitting in Bastila’s chair, but all that did was remind him not only was she not there, but that she had been the one who has started this in the first place.

“I suggest you let an old pro handle this.” Jolee replied, shooing the pilot from his seat with little protest. “Now go on, go on. Shoo!” Carth relented, heading to the door, before Jolee stopped him.

“You might want to check on our young friend.” he said. “Believe me, I know the loss of a loved one. As I know you do, as well.”

“Bastila’s not lost.” Carth replied. He waited for Jolee to say something, but he got no response. He turned and headed out the door, down the corridor. He stopped when he reached the main hold, noticing Zaalbar carving something with a piece of metal; Juhani sat meditating within her chambers.

T3 whirled past him, checking the ship’s condition. He headed off towards the port dormitories, not hearing anything. He stopped halfway before turning and heading for the garage.

This was probably a serious matter and would need to be executed with precision and a bit of an inhibitor.

 


 

He didn’t know how much time had passed, but he knew they weren’t close to their destination of Manaan. He didn’t want to be here anymore, didn’t want to be on this damn, fragging quest for those fragging bastards on Dantooine. He heard the voices that had passed by, that had dared to enter his sanctuary, asking if he was okay.

Hell no, he wasn’t okay!

He just learned he was the dark lord of the Sith not more than 2 years ago! That the woman he was steadily falling for had been behind this whole…deception and that the Jedi Council had basically sent them on a mission through his apparent scattered memories. And now, that woman – who he loved and who had betrayed him, them – was in the clutches of their enemy. No, he definitely was not fine nor was he okay.

He had been sitting within the port dorms since his talk with Carth. He had been so afraid of letting his crew know the truth they had learned, but he wouldn’t be a friend if he kept this to himself. He told them and was quite surprised at their willingness to stand by him.

Well, everyone except Carth, though he had expected that. After all, he had killed his wife and lost his son and despite Canderous coming to his aid, Jayden still felt responsible. He was the reason Malak went over, right? And all those Republic officers, right?

He now sat on the floor, knees to his chest, and his arms around them, his face buried within. He just wanted to be left alone. In fact, he thought maybe he should do this quest alone and then he’d return Bastila to her precious council and he would take the Hawk and leave Republic space…

The sound of footsteps alerted him that someone was going to try and talk him out of his mood. He made a mental bet as to who it was and he had his money on Juhani.

He was surprised when it wasn’t.

It had taken Carth some kind words and 100 credits to get the two bottles of Mandalorian whiskey from Canderous. The pilot begrudgingly admitted that the Mandalorian wasn’t too bad of a guy and he had instantly known why Carth wanted two bottles.

He handed them over, from his ‘secret stash’, warning the pilot to be careful as they packed quite a punch. Carth had just smirked, bragging that he could handle his liquor. He was on his way out, when the former bounty hunter had stopped him with a hand on his arm.

“This isn’t the time for accusing, Carth. I’ll admit learning what he has is quite a shock to the system, but I think he’s taking it harder than he should.”

The pilot had shaken his head. “I’m not going to accuse.” he said. “We’re…we’re over that, past it. I just…I can’t begin to imagine what’s going on in his head right now.”

“I imagine it has a great deal to do with a certain Jedi princess who’s in the clutches of that space dog Malak.” the bounty hunter had laughed. “I remember how much of a terror Revan was on the battlefield. Malak had better hope we find Bastila alive and unharmed or he will regret what he’s done.”

He shuddered when he thought about that, knowing what the bounty hunter said was true. If Malak had done anything to Bastila, anything at all…He had shaken it off and headed to the port dorms, which is where he stood now.

The young man that sat didn’t note his presence for a time and Carth wondered if he had fallen asleep in his position on the floor when he heard, “Go away, Carth.”

Taking that as his cue to enter, he did, closing and locking the door before walking over to the young man. “Figured you needed a drink.” he said, tapping his shoulder with one of the bottles. Jay – Revan! – looked up and Carth was shocked and slightly concerned at his features.

It was obviously he had cried within that time frame, his eyes red and glazed for the burden that he carried. He also must’ve skipped out on any sleep because he also tired and drawn.

“Canderous’ hidden stash.” the pilot replied, watching the man. “You’d better take it. It cost me fifty creds.” He tried making the last comment as a joke, but his chuckle soon died within second of delivering it. The young man hesitated before taking the offered bottle and cradling it in his hands.

Carth sat down next to him, unsure of what to say, what to do. He had been truthful in what he told the former bounty hunter; he had no idea what to say. What the hell do you say to someone that’s had a major bomb drop on them like this?

“Hey, wondering if you were okay, after that whole learning you’re the dark lord and your woman’s betrayal. Let’s get drunk!” Yeah, that probably wouldn’t go over so well.

“Jayden…”

“That’s not my name.” the young man spat, still cradling the bottle. “That’s not my real name. My name is Revan and up to now, my whole life has been a lie.” The two were silent, each mulling this information.

“That damn council.” Carth said, harshly. “They knew as soon as you walked in those doors and they didn’t say a damn word. That’s…that’s just fragged up right there.”

Jayden chucked. He twisted off the cap to his bottle and raised it in the air. “To all of life,” he toasted. “And how incredibly fragged up it is.”

Carth smiled, repeating the man’s gesture and clinked the raised bottle with his own.

 


 

The Ebon Hawk was making a slow trip to the planet of Manaan, but had managed to evade their capturers for the moment. It would only take another three hours to reach Ahto City and then the hunt for the Star Maps would continue.

As long as the man in charge of this mission was able to function.

Jolee had found the two nearly three hours after he had assumed piloting the ship. He had let Mission sleep peacefully and once assured they wouldn’t be attacked at any time, he had left the cockpit to check on everyone.

He ran into Zaalbar as he was going down the hall, the wookiee saying he would take over piloting duties if the old man wished. Jolee nodded his consent, adding that the young Twi’lek was sleeping in the co-pilot chair.

The Hawk was quiet, for the first time in a long time, it seemed. Juhani was sleeping within the starboard dorms; Canderous and HK having an impromptu training session within the garage; T3 whirling about in the engine compartment. Jolee continued his tour, his mind briefly wandering towards Bastila.

While he knew her to be strong willed and powerful in the Force, he knew that the dark side would be hard for her to ignore, especially depending on the reaction Revan may have given her regarding his former life. If it was positive, her guilt may still be a trigger to Malak; if the reaction was negative…well…

Jolee wasn’t a fool, nor was he blind. He knew Revan was interested in her and he could see that the young lady may have designs on him as well. Bah! Blasted Jedi code; Bastila wore like it a robe around her, preventing anyone from getting close, especially this Jayden Korr.

If two people were more in love with each other…well…and in thinking that, he thought of his wife. He hadn’t told Revan all the story and he wasn’t sure he would either, he just…he just hated seeing people throw away something so right for the ideals of a few old men sitting in chairs.

And for that, the old man was worried. Had been worried since Carth and Jayden had shown up with no Jedi princess beside them. He had never seen so much confusion, so much…doubt in someone so young. And to see the level of sadness in the man’s eyes, especially after what Carth had said.

It seemed to irk the pilot that the crew stood behind this young man; this man who had been Darth Revan only two years ago. And while he understood Carth’s reasoning – after all, he too had lost a wife to the Sith – the man the Jedi had ‘reprogrammed’ had shown he was in no way the same man he had been.

This Jayden Korr had shown a good deal of restraint when it came to the destruction his heart had known while head of the Sith.

Jolee just hoped he could overcome what to be in their ongoing mission.

He had continued his nightly/mid morning check on everyone, stopping at the closed port dorm door. Sighing, he used the Force to unlock it and wasn’t quite surprised to see what was on the other side. Carth sat on the floor, his head thrown back against the bunk, apparently in a deep sleep. Revan was slumped over next to him, mouth open, and drooling.

Stepping in to the room, the elder Jedi noticed the two empty bottles and a small plastic bag. Now Jolee Bindo wasn’t dumb. Not by any means, so it wasn’t like he didn’t know what kind of substance had previously been in that bag. Though he was slightly amused that the respected Republic Fleet commander had actually engaged in the smoking of said substance…

He kicked Carth’s outstretched foot, immediately alerting the man that there was someone in the room. He awoke with a start, a glazed look in his eye as he started up at the intruder. He squinted, before opening his eyes once again.

“You look like Jayden.” he laughed, before quieting down and looking at his still sleeping friend. “Shh!” he whispered, or rather tried to whisper. “He doesn’t like being called that anymore.” He looked at his friend, before yelling, “Jayden!”.

The young man too woke with a start and realizing he was on the floor didn’t help matters any. He too looked dazed and confused before his eyes settled on Jolee. He cocked his head the best he could while lying on the floor.

“You look like this guy I know.” he slurred. “Oh wait. That guy is me!” He laughed, which caused Carth to laugh before the pilot looked up at the old man again.

“Hey,” he exclaimed. “You look like Jayden.”

“So you’ve told me.” Jolee replied, trying to hide a smirk. “What exactly have you two boys gotten up to in here?”

The pilot looked at the smuggler turned Jedi, who in turn looked back at his friend. They then looked up at Jolee and, “Nothing.”

“Oh really?” the elder huffed, picking up one of the empty bottles. He gave it a sniff. “Hmmm, Mandalorian brand. Good stuff.”

“Should be,” said a voice from the door. “Those were part of my stash.”

Canderous walked in the room and stood over the two men on the floor. “What do we have here?”

“Two very drunk and – if I may speculate – very stoned young men.” Jolee answered, handing the former bounty hunter the small bag.

The Mandalorian out right laughed. “And where exactly did you two get a space bag from?”

“From under the bunk,” Carth replied.

Canderous chuckled. “Good thing the two of you found it,” he said. “I don’t think we would’ve heard the end of it if Bastila had found a bag of spice aboard.”

At hearing her name, Revan groaned loudly before falling over on his side. “We’re not supposed to talk about her.” Carth tried to whisper. “He’s in love with her.”

“I am not,” came the weak protest.

“You said you were.”

“That was the alcohol talking.” Revan slurred. “I also said I thought Juhani was sexy. She’s fuzzy.”

“Yeah, but you said you liked Bastila’s curves.” Carth pointed out.

“I said I thought she had a great ass.”

The former bounty hunter smirked. “On that we agree.” After saying that, he felt a slight push and looked down. Revan was now sitting up slightly and his hand, although outstretched in front of him, kept weaving back and forth.

“You shouldn’t make him mad.” Carth said.

“No one talks about Bastila’s ass except me, Canderous.” the young Jedi growled. Had he not been in an alcohol and spice induced stupor, that statement – and his use of a Force push – would’ve been more powerful and deadly.

The young man groaned again, this time his head hanging down. “I miss her.” he whispered. “Why’d she have to be all…Jedi like?”

Carth shrugged, reaching for the discarded bottle still on the floor. He tried drinking from it, but saw there was nothing left. “Oh.” he sighed. “No more.” Looking up, he saw Canderous and smiled. Then his gaze went back to Jolee. “Hey,” he said. “You look like Jayden.”

“All right, that’s it,” he said, rolling his eyes. “You two have had enough. You’re cut off.” The two men groaned in protest, but Jolee wouldn’t hear of it. “Now, I know things are tough, but you have to suck it up, especially you, Revan.”

“Don’t call me that.”

“That’s your name, isn’t it?” Jolee huffed. “Now, we’re only a few hours from Manaan, and I need you to be at your best. So come on. Into bed, both of you.”

The two again protested, weakly this time, and made the effort to crawl into two separate bunks. “The two of get some sleep.” the elder replied. “It won’t be much, but I suspect you can use the Force to straighten up a bit, sonny.”

He patted Revan on his bald head, not surprised at the fact the young man was already asleep before his head hit the pillow. Canderous was standing over Carth, who also passed out as soon as he was on something soft.

“I’d never expect this from you, Republic,” he whispered. “You’re just a surprise at every turn.”

“Come on, Canderous.” Jolee said, tapping him on the shoulder. “Let’s leave these two to their beauty sleep.”

 


 

Revan felt absolutely horrible when he awoke a few hours later. He was still tired and his stomach felt queasy. He made his way slowly into the communications room where they kept their caffa dispenser. He was greeted by a cheerful Mission and a concerned Juhani, both who mentioned he looked horrible.

When Canderous walked in, he gave the young man a resounding slap on the back, with enough force to nearly knock the young man down. But it was what the pat did to his stomach.

It lurched and he could feel the bile coming up.

He was able to calm down slightly, and he looked up to see the former bounty hunter smiling at him. “Rough night, Junior?” he asked. Revan rolled his eyes. Truth be told, he wasn’t really sure if it was a rough night.

He remembered what happened yesterday, sure, but from the time he brought that bottle of whiskey to his lips to when he awoke…the stuff in between sort of disappeared. All he knew was that Bastila was gone and Malak was doing who knew what to her. And that made him just sick.

Oh Force, he was going to be sick.

Something in his thoughts must’ve triggered his stomach, because he was backing up before breaking into a run for the toilet, passing a slightly green Carth on his way. “I don’t feel so good.” the pilot announced as he walked in.

“What’s wrong with you guys?” asked the Twi’lek. “Did you eat something that totally makes your insides rot?”

“Oh Mission please,” Carth muttered, a hand on his stomach. “Don’t…don’t say things like that. That’s…don’t.”

“Don’t worry, Kid,” Canderous replied, giving her a wink. “They didn’t eat anything, which is way this is hurting you more than it should, Republic. You should always have a meal before getting toasted. And if I miss my guess, I think you and Revan are still mighty toasted.”

“Dude…” Mission whispered, looking at Carth in something akin to awe and horror. “You’re hung over?”

“A little more than that, I think.” the bounty hunter muttered.

“Nothing a cup of caffa won’t fix.” the pilot mumbled.

Canderous laughed, while Juhani threw the pilot a look of disappointment. “Spare me, Juhani.” he said, seeing her look from his cup. “I’m really not in the mood for a lecture. And if Revan wants one, he’ll ask…” he stopped himself before he said her name.

“He’ll ask for one.” he settled. Revan chose that moment to return, his stomach empty from everything he had ever eaten in his life. He was still slightly green, but he felt a little better, but not by much.

“Think you can handle this today, Junior?” Canderous asked, in some actual concern.

The young man nodded. “We have to.” he whispered. “For Bastila’s sake, we have to.”

The Mandalorian nodded, briskly. “Jolee and I are going with you, just so you know.” he stated. “Carth needs a bit of a lie in, so I’m entrusting the Hawk to you, Mission. Any signs of trouble, you get this bird in the air, got it?”

“Yeah, Canderous,” she said. She didn’t have the heart to argue with him. “I got it.”

“Get yourself all pretty, Revan.” the bounty hunter continued. “When you’re ready, we’ll head out.”

They all shuffled out, leaving Revan with his thoughts. Carth gave his shoulder a squeeze before taking his caffa back to the port dorms. The young man sat down at the small table they had erected for morning briefs and caffa.

His nausea was still present, but was tempered – or maybe prolonged – by the task that was before him. He needed to find that other map before something horrible happened.

And though he tried to deny it, he couldn’t stop telling himself he needed to save her. He loved her, despite everything she had done, he had fallen in love with her. And she knew he loved her; he had told her right before she kissed him.

Force, how he missed her. And how he was lost without her. Shaking his head, he stood and went to grab his own cuppa. He couldn’t let this effect anything. He would get that last Star Map and they would find the Star Forge and he would rescue Bastila.

And then he would find his former apprentice. He would make sure no one but his crew would make it off whatever the Forge was alive. And he’d make damn sure Bastila was on the Hawk before he’d teach his former student a lesson he’d never forget.

 

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