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REVENGE OF THE SITH

Part II – Fall Into Darkness

 

 

 

 

 

The galaxy had seen its share of heroes rise and fall.

And like many a good holocron, the stories of those once great heroes who had truly fallen far were the ones people were interested in. It didn’t matter how they fell, only that they did and only that they had been great once. None so could capture the truly fallen as those that had been Jedi and then had turned to the dark side.

The public, whether they admitted it or not, was fascinated with the very thought that the so high and mighty Jedi could stoop to such levels of atrocities. They had seen it with Freedon Nadd and again with talented Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma.

But the most recent, the most shocking was that of a young Jedi master named Revan, who had single-handedly helped the Republic beat back the Mandalorian forces before returning as Dark Lord of the Sith. But it wasn’t just Revan whom the dark side had taken in the aftermaths of war.

There were others…

 



 

The planet of Malachor V was a hideous sight to behold. To those that viewed it, it was nothing more than a darkened waste land, full of horrible storm beasts that roamed its surface and underbelly. To those that dared venture on the planet itself, the very feel of evil could consume the strongest of men.

The Mandalorians had long ago deemed the planet a taboo, telling even their seasoned warriors to never step upon its surface, for it was to meet their doom if they did. The clans wouldn’t know what the presence was that they could feel until after they had engaged the Jedi during battle; the Force was unknown to them, but afterwards, they learned the cold feeling of the planet was due in part to the dark energy that surrounded it. Some said the dark side of the Force ate away at a man, changing his body, mind, and spirit.

For the Jedi that accompanied Revan nearly ten years ago, that was certainly true. Those very few who managed to live would go on to fight under Revan’s new banner of Sith Lord; but the first time they had come in contact with the planet and its surface had been difficult.

Most had felt the dark side in the deep seedings of others, had been warned against it by their masters, but this had been the first time that anyone had ever been so engulfed within it; few managed to make it down on the surface. Those that did, found it hard to center themselves and keep in control of their emotions.

For one young Jedi, this brush with evil would just be the doorway to what he planned on doing; on what he had already done.

Ellis Yoly had been a Jedi Knight at one time; the youngest since Revan had joined the Order. He had been young and idealic – and strongly in support of Revan and Malak for helping the Republic forces. Though he had been young – he was only seventeen when they left – he had the intelligence of a seasoned officer.

He had so impressed Revan, he had been made a general for the Republic troops. His plan of attack rivaled Revan’s and sometimes his thirst for vengence during battle put Malak to shame. But everyone agreed that Ellis Yoly was a talent to be utilized.

Revan and Malak certainly thought that as well. Before they had completed their full transformation into Sith Lords, the two friends knew almost instinctively that their careers as Jedi were over and that the Republic would fall at any moment.

It’s unknown when exactly Revan and Malak took the first steps to the dark side, but when they had, they immediately saw Ellis Yoly as someone who would make an excellent advisary. The three had plans – plans for the Sith, the Republic, and the Jedi Order.

But then the final battle occured on Malachor V.

It would be ten years before the young knight turned general would know what had truly happened that day, but for years he only knew that something terrible had happened on the surface. That the weight of the battles – his battles – would somehow cause a personal shutdown of the Force he carried inside him.

For ten years, Ellis had been under the impression that the Jedi Council had stripped him of the Force when he returned to them; they had stripped him for his disobience and then had exiled him.

But it was the fact that he had been dismissed personally by Revan that had caused him the most suffering. Revan had been a hero to him, to all the padawans of the Order. The man was known for his sense of humor, his intelligence; he was also famous for his impulsiveness and defiance for all things Jedi.

But he was a talented Jedi – no one had seen such skill since the days of Ulic Qel-Droma and when he became a Sith Lord, people said he rivaled Marka Ragnos. His mastery of the lightsaber was legend and helped propel him to master, with Malak as his apprentice.

Ellis had longed to be a student of Revan’s and when the Mandalorian War hit, the young man wanted to help if he could. Revan had easily taken the boy under his wing; he and Malak had sparred with him, shared knowledge with him, taught him…which was why Ellis felt stung when Revan turned him away from his secret academy within the depths of Malachor and then to add insult to injury, had insisted the young knight return to Dantooine to face the council that sat there.

Ellis had spent ten years getting lost within the planets of the Outer Rim. When he left the Jedi Enclave that day, it was the last of his days as a Jedi. He wanted nothing to do with them. He had sacrificed everything – they all had – while the council sat and waited within the walls of the Jedi Academy and that of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant; waited and watched their fellow Jedi die; watched millions of Republic citizens and soldiers die at the hands of the Mandalorians…from that day forth, Ellis hated the Jedi and everything he had been.

But he hated the ones who started it all first: Revan and Malak.

He spent his ten years in exile thinking how he’d loved to get his hands on those two and kill them for what they had done. Their hopes and promises had ruined his life and when he had sought their protection, they had served him up to the council like a piece of grilled nerf. He wanted revenge, but at the time, it seemed like only a fantasy. Until he returned to Republic space.

Upon his return, a series of fortunate circumstances happened. First, he was introduced to a new bred of Sith – a bred he had apparently helped create. It had happened on a Republic vessel, the Harbinger, where he had been ‘escorted’ aboard as he was leaving the planet of Kessel for that of Nar Shaddaa.

He had gone peacefully, hoping this was just a formality and that it had nothing to do with his being a Jedi. He had gone through great pains to conceal that fact; he had shaved his red head of locks for the buzz look and was growing a goatee. He thought he would just hop a ride, unaware of the bounty on Jedi and most definitely unaware that someone had already known he was a Jedi.

From there, it got a little hazy. He remembered being called to the med bay where he was injected with some sort of serum that kept him barely alive. The next moment, he awoke within a kolto tank on the deathly quiet mining planet of Peragus II.

Then the second circumstance happened: he met a new master. Not only a new master, but one who had been Revan’s while still in the Jedi Order. Ellis wouldn’t know the significance of meeting Kreia on Peragus, but with her help he would soon discover what he needed to do, to become what he strived for.

This began a new set of adventures, a new life as far as he was concerned. And the end result would be finding Revan. He and Kreia discussed Revan at length and it seemed no matter where they went, some part of Revan was always there.

Hell, he’d been traveling with two of his former crew members and his old master for the better part of a year, not to mention they were traveling in his ship and it seemed everyone was connected to the former dark lord in some way.

These circumstances caused Ellis to think back on days he would rather have forgotten, but it seemed the Force was guiding him; guiding him to find Revan. As Ellis’ hate and anger began to consume him fully, he accepted his training as a Sith Lord – from a Sith Lord in disguise. Kreia, or Darth Traya as she would be later, had been training him as her successor – that could be the only explanation Ellis could grasp. She had made a plea to him to find Revan, to help the redeemed knight save the galaxy again, but Ellis couldn’t be bothered with that. He would have his revenge.

And if Revan was indeed off looking for some unknown threat, that would make it hard for anyone to find him. He had discovered that when he had helped Telos fight off the legions of Sith Kreia had sent after him.

As if the Force hadn’t guided him already, Ellis Yoly landed in the company of one Admiral Carth Onasi – a highly decorated Republic soldier and the former pilot for the Ebon Hawk. And from the way the seasoned officer spoke, he was obviously a friend of the new improved Revan.

And to top things off, while the pilot rattled on about how he met the reformed Jedi knight, Ellis picked up on the fact that he was being probed. There was a Jedi behind the doors where Onasi stood, there was no denying that, and this unknown Jedi was using the Force to gauge Elllis’ mind.

He tried to counter, tried to find out about the person on the other side, to no avail. He did at least get the fact that who ever it was, they were missing Revan and had been trying to gather if he knew anything. That lead him into the knowledge that this Jedi was a woman and that at one time or another, she had feelings for the former Jedi master.

It was interesting how he could gather so little information on Revan’s whereabouts, but gain so much in the meantime. His friends didn’t know where he was, but they had given him a key into somehow finding him and it all came back to the Ebon Hawk. In hindsight, Ellis almost wished he had spared Kreia long enough to hear her verizon of the future and what would happen to his newly found crew, but some part of him already knew.

Those that followed him would stay with him, those that didn’t would quickly flee. And then there were those who were loyal to Revan alone: The new Mandalore had said he would continue what Revan had wanted him to; the T3 droid had disappeared as soon as they hit Malachor; the HK droid was the only one who would follow Ellis from that crew.

But he had his own crew. Atton Rand and Brianna Kae had succeeded his wildest dreams when they had been turned into dark Jedi – Atton with his unique abillity at blocking out the majority of Jedi mind tricks; Brianna, with her Jedi background combined with her Echani ancestry, had proved to be his best student.

But she was more than that to him. He found her very attractive and the thought of her serving as lady of the Sith, his lady of the Sith excited him. As the new Sith Lord, he refused to have what happened to those previous occupants happen to him. He had to follow Revan’s example, oddly enough. He needed to keep his friends close and his enemies closer. He only trusted Atton and Brianna to stand by his side, but he also had to give his new army of dark Jedi a morale boost to ensure their loyalty.

Now, as he sat in the middle of the Trayus Core, Ellis Yoly was quietly making his final plans to covet the throne of dark lord. Only Revan stood in his way now and the former Jedi knight was determined when he met his former friend, there would be no feelings of regret when he killed the redeemed Jedi master.

There was no love lost as far as he was concerned and killing Revan would fully guarantee his success. But in order to kill the only man that could stop him, he would need to put his first phase into motion.

He felt, rather than heard, his two apprentices enter the core of the academy and take their places behind him. He could feel their concern for him – Brianna’s overriding Atton’s by a large margin – and their questioning as to if they should disturb him. “I have a task for you, Atton.” he spoke, startling the two.

“Anything.” the scoundrel replied, bowing slightly.

“First off,” Ellis said, standing to look at the two. “You will not treat me like I’m some lord above lords. The three of us are in this together. I know in the past the Sith could never be run by more than one person; there were always those who wanted more, wanted to taste more than secondary power…but I know you both.

“I have seen into your hearts and I know you are my friends. I trust you above all else and with that trust, comes partnership. I know the three of us could lead the Sith against the Republic and win and that we could make the galaxy the way it should be.

“The dark Jedi that surround us will take orders from me and as they take orders from me, they shall take them from you as well. We can not have the short sightedness of the previous lords dictate our reign. As long as the three of us are loyal to each other, there is nothing that can stop us.”

Atton and Brianna looked at the young man, shocked by what he had just proposed. Atton smiled, slightly. He had always liked being in control of the situation and now Ellis was giving him the chance – just as Revan had – to prove his worth. Of course he was loyal to Ellis Yoly, he always had been. He had just as much respect for the younger man as he had back in the days of the Mandalorian War. He’d do anything for the man.

Brianna was just as surprised and just as conflicted. While she longed to share this with Ellis, it wasn’t the power she wanted – it was the man himself. Atris had reminded her on Telos before her death that the young warrior was in love with the Sith Lord and it trilled her and tore her apart at the same time.

She could feel the dark side within her, but even she knew she had yet to be consumed by it like Atton and Ellis and somewhere deep within her, she had the feeling that neither man was as consumed as Sion and Nihillus were.

It was that feeling from deep inside that carried out the hope Ellis could be saved. He had outlined his plan to them; how Revan was the only thing that stopped them from taking over fully and with him gone, they could truly rule.

But Brianna hoped the former master could find his way of escape – he was the one person she thought could truly bring back the man she had fallen in love with. There were two sides to Ellis Yoly – the Jedi and the Sith Lord.

The Jedi that still lurked within him had been the one to rid Dantooine of the mercenary threat. Though he had said it was to lure Master Vrook into his clutches, she could tell – she could see – how saving the only home he knew was important to him.

The Jedi inside him was the one who had talked to her inside the snow capped academy, who had talked to her about her father, her mother, who had shown her the Force. Who had shown her compassion; shown compassion to his other crew mates.

But the Sith Lord was slowly taking over. It was the Sith Lord that helped the overthrow of Queen Talia on Onderon; it was the angry and embittered Sith Lord that had gotten a laugh out of blowing up a lost Mandalorian on Dxun; it was the Sith Lord who had so taken pleasure from slaughtering his former masters.

It was this personality that wanted to throttle Revan for all he was worth, then to heal him in order to do the process all over again. It was this man Brianna truly dispised, but unfortunately, he shared a body with the man she truly cared for.

And the way he had looked at her when he had said they would be partners, equals made her heart race. It was the look she had seen before from him, when it was just the two of them and he didn’t have the pretense of being the next threat to space.

She didn’t know the depths of his pain, but she knew it hurt him deeply, so he covered it in his own macho way. But when he looked at her like that, Brianna could almost believe he loved her as well.

“You know we’re loyal.” Atton replied, like a contented kath hound. “We’ll always be loyal.”

“I know.” whispered Ellis, in a way that made Brianna’s heart go to him. It must be a very lonely place as a Sith Lord, perhaps that was way Ellis wanted to change it. Clearing his throat, the new dark lord responded with, “As I said, I have a task for you, Atton. I need you to hack into the nav-computer on the Ebon Hawk. Revan’s destinations are in that thing and I want to know where he went and where he is now.”

“Statement: As I mentioned earlier, Master, the nav-computer is voice locked and can only be opened by the meatbag who installed the blasted thing in the first place.”

The three were shocked to see the red assassin droid stalk from the shadows behind Ellis and march right up to them. “That’s correct, HK,” Ellis began. “But do remember you can mimick voices and if my guess is right, I think somewhere deep inside you is the voice of Revan just waiting to get out.”

“So you want me to use this crazy droid to get access?” Atton asked, incredulously.

“Your repair skills are much more sophisicated than mine are,” the dark lord commented. “If anyone’s going to get him to mimick Revan, it’s you. Second, I want you to use what you come up with to get access into that nav-computer.”

“What if it’s got a password?”

Ellis smirked at him. “Never stopped us before.”

The scoundrel gave his own smirk, heading towards the archway that would lead him outside, HK-47 trailing behind him. Before they left however, Ellis called back to him. “Think of a name, Atton. One that will instill fear into those who utter it.” The pilot again smiled, this time truly leaving. That left Brianna in his presence.

He could feel her emotions – how she felt he truly was entering into something that would potentially cause him harm. Her loyalty – most importantly, her love – would hopefully stop him from making the same mistakes that had caused the downfall of the other Sith Lords.

Ellis turned to her, studying her outline. Her face was still as beautiful as it had been when he first encountered her inside the secret academy on Telos’ snow packed surface. Her hair had begun to grow where it nearly hit her shoulders, one section placed behind her ear when she spoke to him.

Where Atton’s dark side energy could easily be seen, Brianna’s was much more hidden. Her outward appearance was that of beauty and poise, but inside he could feel how the dark Force swirled within her. He also felt that all to familiar seed of doubt, just waiting to bubble to the top. He knew how that felt, when his emotions conflicted with what should be done.

Even now, as he strove for the ultimate power as a Sith Lord, he doubted the choices he had made and would make before this was all over.

“You’re troubled.” she whispered, turning to glance at him.

Ellis smirked at her. “As are you, my love.” he said, raising a hand to stroke her cheek. “I’m glad you are with me, Brianna. I know it may have seemed at times I did not need your counsel, but I do.”

The young warrior was slightly surprised at his honest cander, but it still managed to draw a blush upon her face. “I worry about you.” she spoke. “About…the choices you have made on this journey. The choices you will continue to make as we go look for Revan.”

“This will not be an easy journey, that I know.” he replied. “Revan has been gone for some time and I wonder myself if he hasn’t returned to the dark side again. But it’s no matter. He is the one true thing that stands in our way. We can make this work, Brianna. The Republic is nothing but a sick and dying beast that refuses to die. As for the Jedi Order,” He scowled, remembering his encounter with the Jedi Masters.

“The Jedi Order is dead. I saw to it myself. If Revan has indeed managed to keep his prodigal knight appeal, there’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll attempt to bring those outdated and ridiculous notions of the Order back into existence and I can’t allow that. After what the Jedi Order has cost us, cost me – I refuse to let some simpling old fools dictate what is right and what is wrong.”

Brianna stared at him. His speech was so passionate, so like him, she wondered if this was what he sounded like when he first approached the council about going with Revan to war. Atris had told her he had sounded so sure of himself, she had almost believed him – maybe would’ve gone with him. But then again, that didn’t seem to surprise Brianna now. She too was in love with the handsome kinght turned future ruler of the Sith.

“How do I – we – know this will truly work?” she asked, timidly. “There have been successful Lords of course, but they were soon defeated. Most of the times, they are undermined by their own followers.”

“Because I’ll make sure that doesn’t happen.” Ellis said, his voice still holding his convictions. “I would never do anything to hurt you, Brianna. You must believe me when I say that.” His voice wavered, reminding her of the knight she had met on Telos. She could see the questioning in his eyes, the fear they held if she truly believed he could hurt her.

Not wanting to make him think that, she leaned over and kissed him softly on the mouth, a quiet moan escaping when he responded to the kiss, his tongue asking for a deeper exploration. She pulled back from him, shocked at her own forwardness and his response. She reached up to stroke his cheek, saying, “I bellieve in you, Ellis Yoly, more than I believed in my own mistress. I can’t explain what it is you do to me, but I know this. I know you would never hurt me, as I would never hurt you. I love you, Ellis. As a student loves her teacher; as a child loves a hero; but mostly as a woman could ever possibly love a man. I only worry that our quest may take you from me.”

Ellis shook his head, pulling her into his arms. “Nothing will ever take me from you or vice versa. I truly think the Force wants us together, together to make the Sith better, to make the Republic better, to make the galaxy better.” He tilted her chin up to look at him.

“Things can only get better, Brianna. I know they will. This is the right path to take. The Jedi were blind to think that surpressing one’s emotions would make them better people. The Sith saw this error and have corrected it. They are only blind when it comes to love. Your love for me – and mine for you – will make us stronger. No one will stop us once we have ridden the galaxy of those that are truly trying to destory it.”

 


 

“Statement: I must say, I am quite impressed with your abilities, companion meatbag. I didn’t think anyone could possibly have the same superior circuits my previous master had. But – and I am quite berefted to say this – I believe you have outdone the normal neural circuitry that my previous master was known for.”

Atton gave the droid a smirk. He figured that was as much as a compliment the HK-47 could truly think up and rather not get into another fight with the assassin droid, the former Republic pilot shut up.

He and the dark red droid sat within the Ebon Hawk. The former smuggling ship that had once carried a former Dark Lord had been pretty banged up during the adventures of the current Dark Lord. The landing on Malachor V had really done some bad damage to the outside of the ship.

Atton had done his best with the inside – working on repairing the engines and getting the hyperdrive back up – especially when the little astromech droid decided to abandon ship. The dark Jedi hoped it had been a juicy meal for one of the storm beasts. In fact, most of the crew wasn’t even on the dark planet.

Mandalore had left them after taking out the Destroyer, saying he had other things to do. Visas had also left around the same time. Atton wasn’t unconvinced that there had to be something going on with those two. The only ones who had come with them were the Iridonian Bao-Dur, the wookiee Hanharr, he, and Brianna. They also had four droids to watch over.

Come to think of it, that big bloated GoTo had mysteriously disappeared after they had crashed landed. Bao had sent out his little remote droid to disable the mass shadow generator or activate it. Atton couldn’t be sure. Bao had hit his head pretty hard on the landing and he had been in and out for the duration until Ellis had ordered one of the live remaining dark Jedi to take a shuttle and get Bao some medical help.

One of those had actually refused to do the task and Ellis had made him an example, by Force Crushing in front of at least fifty remaining men and women. And if that wasn’t enough, he had revived the man – making Brianna heal him – and then did it again, before finally killing him with Force Storm.

Atton had seen cruelty before – he was one of Revan’s top guys back in the standard day – but even this slightly unnerved him. He couldn’t help the rush at seeing someone suffer for what they had rightly deserved, but another part of him felt slightly guilty. He could understand the guy’s reluctance, he guessed, but…he got what was coming to him.

But for now, he was carrying out the orders given to him by Ellis Yoly, his new master. As strange as it seemed to say that, Atton was glad to be in the young man’s service – just as he was when he served Revan all those years ago. He was loyal and he would stay loyal. Hence why he didn’t say anything when he got saddled with the psycho droid. But, he had to admit, HK was beneficial.

Once Atton was able to break into the inner lining of the nav-computer, he was able to get around the password Revan had set for it. Then he got it back online. From there on, he liked HK. The red droid allowed Atton to fool around with his memory core, pulling a vivid, but unclear audio track of Revan setting the password and voice locking the computer.

He had immediately sent word for Ellis and Brianna and now the three humans and one droid stood staring at the nav-computer. “So I have good news and bad news.” he began. “Which do you want to hear first?”

Both Ellis and Brianna responded differently at the same time. Ellis turned to her, wondering why she would want to hear the bad news first. “That way when you hear it, the good news will make up for it.” she responded, inwardly cursing herself for saying something against him. But the Sith Lord just smiled at her, a sweet smile of his appreciation.

He turned to Atton and asked, “What’s the bad news?”

“We don’t have a complete destination.”

“What?”

“You should’ve heard the good news first,” the pilot muttered. “In a permacrete shell, I managed to not only dig through the nav-computer, but HK’s memory as well. I got an audio of Revan setting the password and voice locking the thing. Unfortunately, we only got half of the galactic map he used. And the guy didn’t just voice lock it once, he did it three, four times at least.”

Both man and woman looked at the pilot in stunned silence.

“What exactly is Revan protecting?” Brianna asked.

Ellis was just as shocked. “I don’t know.” he whispered. A small amount of fear for his former friend lodged in his conscience, but he quickly placed it somewhere he wouldn’t find again. “None the less, we have to work with what we have, especially seeing as Revan could be anywhere. What does that map show?”

Atton inclined his head for the group to follow him, while he headed up to the cockpit. Hitting the galaxy map, he waited until Ellis got a good look at it. Ellis looked at the planets that were lined out for him. “Dantooine, Korriban, Talravin, Ord Mantell, and Yavin 4.” he muttered. Leaning away, he looked at Atton. “And these were the only worlds you could get access to?”

The pilot nodded. “I had heard Revan was good at computers and stuff, but this is incredible.” He sighed. “Not only did he double lock the navi-comp, I think he actually went into HK prior to us finding him and erased some of his memory core.”

“Irritated answer: Oh Master, please let me have the opportunity to deal with my previous master. If what the meatbag pilot says is true, I shall enjoy gutting the scoundrel.”

Ellis shot a look of annoyance towards the droid, his facial features then continue to register confusion and thoughtful glances at the map. “Why would Revan go to these places?” Brianna questioned. “For what purpose would they serve him?”

“It’s fairly obvious why he went to Korriban and Yavin 4.” Ellis mumbled. “They hold a great deal of knowledge on the Sith and have Sith background as well.”

“I know that he went to Korriban and Dantooine during that Star Forge mission.” Atton replied.

“Yes,” the Sith Lord said. “That Republic officer…Onasi…gave me the whole story. I was vaguely paying attention, but I do remember him saying they had gone to Dantooine for the Order to ‘retrain’ Revan as their loyal puppet and then later they went to Korriban to find another one of those star maps.”

“Do you think he went back to those places?” Brianna asked.

“Hey,” Atton interrupted. “I heard those star maps are what got Revan and Malak the huge fleet they had when they attacked the Republic. With something like that in our hands…”

“No.” Ellis said, cutting off the rest of Atton’s words. “I highly doubt that while searching for them or even after, Revan didn’t destory them all. Besides, look what happened when they did use those maps. Malak got so greedy with power, he turned his loyalties to himself and nearly got Revan killed. And for what? So the Jedi Order could reprogram him and send him to kill his apprentice. I don’t think so. I’m trying to keep the Sith – and ourselves – from doing exactly that. Something so incredibly stupid that it gets us all killed.”

Atton looked crest fallen, causing Ellis to put a hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry, Atton.” he said. “While it is a good plan, it has been tried and it has failed. And I intend to keep the Sith from falling this time around.”

The pilot nodded, still embarrassed by his quick thinking. Why Ellis considered him to be a Sith Lord was beyond him. The Sith Lord continued to look at the partial map they had retrieved.

“I have no use to go back to Dantooine,” he spat. “So, I suggest we move along to Korriban and Yavin 4. If Revan is doing what I think he’s doing, we may be to late to save anything of usefullness.”

With that, he left the cockpit area for unknown parts of the Ebon Hawk. As he walked through the corridor, they heard him tell Atton to get ready for take off.

Atton looked at the silver haired woman in front of him, asking, “Do you think he knows something we don’t?”

“I think he knows more aobut Revan’s plans and whereabouts than we.” she answered. Turning to him, she said in a more crisp tone, “You heard him. Get the ship prepared for take off. I assume he wants us off this planet and headed to Korriban within the hour.”

“What am I, you’re personal kath hound?” he asked, sarcastically. “Don’t forget I’m a Sith Lord too. Or at least one in training.”

“Not when you say ridiculous things, such as suggesting we go after the Star Maps.”

“Well, not all of us can share our master’s bed, can we?” he retorted, pleased to see the fire in her face ignite.

“Amusing statement: Are you two meatbags going to tear each other to shreds? Can I watch? Or better yet, can I participate?”

The two looked over at the droid, both with some degree of appallment on their faces. “Why don’t you go and see what our plan of action is once we reach Korriban?” he told Brianna.

“Then why don’t you fly the ship and keep that big mouth of yours shut?” came the gibe.

“You’re just jealous cause you can’t experience this ‘big mouth’ of mine.”

“I can assure you, Atton, that our master’s oral skills are probably much higher and more proficient than yours.”

“Have some knowledge in that area, do we?”

“Not yet.”

Atton watched as she went down the corridor to search for their master. He hated her. Well, no. He just thought her annoying and definitely after something that was not power. Lust, yes. Power, no. But deep inside, Atton had the feeling she would be like the Jedi that had turned him while under Revan.

Women were nothing but trouble and that Echani princess had it written all over her in spades. He’d have to talk to Ellis about that, steer him away from what he knew would be a downfall.

 


 

The trip to Korriban had been two-fold. First, it was to find any remnants of Revan and what he had done here; second, it allowed Ellis to explore the shyrack caves once more in search of the hidden enclave that rested there.

The last time he had been, he had just saved Dantooine from mercenaries, which may have ruined his plans for total domination of the galaxy. The enclave must have sensed that too, becuase every time he tried to enter, he’d be rendered helpless and would be in considerable pain. Kreia had told him he hadn’t yet picked a side, probably secretly cursing him for saving those on Dantooine.

He cursed himself as well. Once again, on trying to enter, he fell to his knees in pain, openingly cursing anyone and anything that prevented him from walking the path he knew he was choosen for. He was turned away again, a seemingly reoccuring theme in his life.

He headed back to the Hawk to learn what Atton and Brianna had found. Just as he suspected, if there was anything left by Revan, it was buried beneath the rubble of the once proud Sith Lord tombs. Nodding, he told the two they would heading to Yavin 4 next, so he could ‘check something out’.

Once aboard, Ellis took refugue within the cold walls of the port dormitory; the place where his last master had guided him and his training. Here, he reflected on where Revan was and what the former Sith Lord was aiming to do.

He wasn’t surprised to learn that any secrets there could be – and probably were – buried within the tombs, like the dark lords whom the tombs were home. He wanted to go to Yavin 4 to see if Revan’s stronghold was still there. He’d only known about the ones on Yavin and Korriban, but he had seen the one on Yavin 4.

It was tucked away admist the ruins of the Massassi temple – the one where Exar Kun had apprently drained the life force from the tribe of savages and then had overloaded himself with their power. Revan had said the area was strong in dark energy and that he himself had been tempted to see what it would do.

In hindsight, Ellis could tell that’s exactly what his mentor had done. Why else have a hideout within the buiral mound of a dead Sith Lord? Revan wouldn’t let him enter, only telling him ‘one day, some day’ he’d be able to sit and have dinner with his idol.

The strange sense of loss and worry crept upon him again and he tried his hardest to squish it down into nothing. He was a Sith Lord. He would become the greatest Sith Lord ever, taking the priviledge from both Exar Kun and Revan and placing it on himself. But as such, he couldn’t let the weak feelings of years past cloud his judgment.

Revan and Malak had made their feelings known to him when they ordered him back to Dantooine. He wouldn’t do that to his own apprentices. Atton had a great potential, something that been sqaundered while under Revan; Brianna, his beautiful Brianna… She had the skills to train a thousand of their troops, make them stronger; then he’d make her crumble under him at night in their bed…

He shook himself from the way his thoughts led him. He was becoming distracted and he needed to focus. They would be arriving on Yavin 4 soon and he needed his wits about him when walking through the jungles.

Though a large portion had been destoryed during the first Sith War, there were still an abundance of green on the planet’s surface and with it came ferocious beasts like the rancor. Some even said the terrifying terentateks were bred here by Exar Kun in order to fully help his army invade the Republic.

Ellis opened his eyes when he felt the ship land in a tree invested area. Standing, he reached for his red double bladed lightsaber, turning it on and giving it a few twists and turns. He smirked. Revan and Malak had been his tutors and therefore, he had eagerly learned from their teachings.

Revan, the master duelist, had taught him techniques, as did Kreia. The techniques he had learned from Vrook and taken from Kavar would put the oh-so-great lord of the Jedi in peril indeed. He wouldn’t kid himself and say it would be an easy fight, not by any means.

Revan liked to win.

But then again, so did he.

 


 

The secret stronghold that Darth Revan had built was gone and in its place, tattered pieces of a past Ellis cared not to remember. He wasn’t disappointed at finding the temple destroyed; in fact he had known it probably wouldn’t be standing when they arrived. They did find some grenades and a short, but torn data pad that dated back to the Mandalorian Wars.

It had been Revan’s thoughts on him; how he and Malak had watched him and how they wanted to place him within the academy on Malachor V. He went on to state that something made him suddenly become very interested in the Mandalorians, that they were ‘going off script’ and ‘inconceivable’ about what they were doing. The pad ended there or rather, the scorch marks prevented them from reading the rest.

While Atton and Brianna were clearly disappointed, Ellis seemed rather content. It wasn’t a coincidence that the Valley of the Dark Lords was demonlished, as was the former temple of the Massassi people.

Oh no, no coincidence at all and Ellis knew Revan was behind it. Now if he could only figure out the true purpose of it, things would be settled. He snorted. Things between them would only be settled when the prodigal knight’s head was severed by his lightsaber. It certainly did wonders between him and Atris.

Back aboard the Ebon Hawk, Ellis again found solice within the port dorms, passing by a patrollilng HK on his way there. It wasn’t long before Brianna found him and sat beside him, matching his meditative posture.

He stretched out with the Force, just as Kreia taught him, listening to the woman’s thoughts beside him. She was concerned for him, worried for him…he blinked his eyes, his head instinctively turning to gaze at her. He watched as her eyes fluttered opened and she turned to look at him.

He cupped her face in one of his hands, whispering, “You need not worry, my warrior. I’ll be fine, though your concern for me lightens my heart. I wonder if I’m not deserving of the feelings you have for me.”

She repeated his actions, this time taking his face in both of her hands. “You deserve nothing but the best and you deserve everything that is worthy of you, including me.”

Ellis kissed her, pulling her body against his as the kiss deepened. Neither of them noticed the droid that hovered outside the door, watching their embrace. With a loud clearing of a clearly imitated throat, the two would be lovers broke away slgihtly.

“Statement: Master, are you trying to suck the life out of the female meatbag? If so, how deliteful. May I stay and watch?”

“You have about one minute to state what the hell you’re doing here and why you’ve disturbed me.”

“Placating answer: I am terribly sorry for the intrusion, Master, but the meatbag in the cockpit has requested your presence. He said it was urgent. Query: Might I ask what you and the female meatbag were doing?”

“No, you may not.” Brianna replied, standing and holding a hand out for Ellis.

“Go tell Atton we shall be there shortly.” Ellils commanded. He waited until the droid had turned and walked away before he gave Brianna a quick kiss on the lips. “Sorry about that.” he whispered.

She kissed him once more, saying, “You’re always forgiven. No matter what.” She left him there, staring at her departure, her hips swaying as she walked. Taking a deep breath and tucking away certain…images, Ellis followed her and met her and Atton in the cockpit within a few seconds.

The pilot had a smile on his face when he turned to Ellis. “Looks like we hit pay dirt.” he said. “I was doing a scan, you know for any Republic ships headed our way, when I got this. I used the recorder of course.” His fingers flew over some buttons before an scattered audio bit came up. “Now, I know it’s got static, but just listen.”

There was more static but soon something could be heard. It sounded like music in the background, as well as numerous people talking. “T…T3…hear me?” Ellis’ eyes grew twice as large as he recognized the voice. Atton, seeing his master’s expression, only nodded, grinning like a fool.

“That’s how I felt too.” he boasted. “Seems our little astromech droid forgot to unattach his com line with the ship.”

“Meaning what exactly?” Brianna asked.

“Answer: It means that the little tin can has enabled us to hear a portion of this conversation. He did not unlink himself from the communication unit.”

“In other words,” Ellis interrupted. “This message was received by the T3-M4. We’re hearing some of that message. I think the fact that the T3 disappeared on Malachor could explain the static. I’m surprised we’re not getting the full audio on this.”

“Maybe the message is just for the little frag.” Atton said. “That said, the connection could be too far out for the T3 to get a solid source. All it’s doing is looping back to us.”

“Just as well.” Ellis muttered as they continued listening.

“…3…hear me now? I…get this. It’s….damn! Stupid…Rev…copy? …Hope…this. It-…-ime…Ord Mant-…N-ed…-tila and Ca-…Ver-…-portant. They…ok? T-…? -a go. Or-…-tell, all…?”

The transmission then stopped and Atton turned off the voice recorder. “What now, boss?” he asked.

“HK, do you remember the little droid that was with us?” Ellis asked. “The T3-M4?”

“Irritated statement: The less than stellar appliance? Sarcastic retort: Oh yes, master. I remember him.”

“Can you duplicate his voice?”

“Amusing query: And why would I want to do that?”

“Because if you don’t, I’ll use your parts to fix up the nav-computer you and Atton nearly destroyed.” Ellis smirked, watching as the droid cycled through his language core. He made a few boops and beeps that sound eerily like the astro droid. “Excellent. Send a transmission to our friend there. Atton, set a course for Ord Mantell.”

I have you now, Revan.

 


 

Ord Mantell was a waste pit.

At least, that’s how Lt. Special Class Lynsel Belyn felt about it. She had been stationed here for nearly three months on assignment and so far, all she got was bored and groped by the drunk aliens that hung out at the cantina. She would’ve turn down the mission if it hadn’t been the highest of importance: Find the Jedi Exile, Revan.

There had been such a scandel the last anyone heard of the heralded prodigal knight. He had saved the Republic – again – by defeating his own Sith apprentice and then had been whisked off by the Jedi Council as soon as they returned from the Rakatan planet.

And then, when the council felt it appropreiate, they let those ’saviors of the galaxy’ give a press conference. Only, the person they wanted to talk to wasn’t even there. It was then learned – or rather leaked – that Revan had once again disappeared, apparently doing the same trick he had done after the Mandalorian Wars.

So of course the Senate got all antsy and called out the Republic Special Forces. The only problem was, no one knew where the former Jedi went, not even his friends and collegues knew. That, without a doubt, caused problems.

And to top it off, another Jedi exile had come swooping back into the galaxy only last year, causing hell as he single handedly blew up Peragus II, putting the small planet of Telos in a fuel – as well as a financial – crisis. Then he had helped that totally inept General Valku take over Onderon, a planet the Republic had been trying to keep within the alliance, and now they had succeded.

Lynsel shook her head, her redish-brown ponytail flipping behind her. She sighed. She really should had her hair cut before this mission, but how was she to know it would take three months of nothing. Though she was almost forty – thank the stars in another two standard years – she sometimes found herself acting like her teenage self. Impatient, headstrong, sarcastic…she rolled her eyes.

How times really hadn’t changed all that much. She was still impossibly average: average height, average weight, average looks; and at this point in time, completely bored out of her mind.

The officer had to be thankful though. She had been in a real funk for years after her husband left her, though through no small feat on her part. She practically did push him into the arms of another woman, but what did he expect? She was a Republic soldier, her work was her life. Besides, things were just so crazy back then.

The Mandalorians were slaughtering millions and then in only a few short months, Revan – their hero and savior – came back with a thirst to completely destory them. And then three years after that, he comes back and saves them again.

Lynsel wouldn’t pretend to understand those Jedi, but as far as she was concerned, the galaxy was better off without them in it. She had heard the reports from Katarr and Coruscant, and though it didn’t sound pretty or look pretty, the Republic would be fine without their secrets and lies.

Besides, look how many of them turned around to bite everyone in the ass. Freedon Nadd, Exar Kun, Ulic Qel-Droma, Revan, Malak…the list was so long, it was ridiculous. Nope, Lynsel had no love for the Jedi, hence why she was eager to get on board with finding that dirty son of a Sith traitor. There was no Jedi Council or Order to protect Revan and that Bastila Shan from getting the proper punishment this time.

So the higher ups had sent her to Ord Mantell, an up and coming Coruscant, but for now, it still acted as a military grouping and debriefing area. But the days when the planet was solely for military officers were over, now it had turned into a free for all shipping yard. This was the place you went to ship something out.

It was also a good place to find pilots to ship you. An upscale Nar Shaddaa, people joked, but that was precisely why she was there. The Republic and the Senate felt that Ord Mantell could very well be a good hiding spot for Revan, but to be sure, other officers were stationed on other low key planets, such as the smuggler’s moon. They even had people watching on Dantooine and Coruscant, because you never knew.

Again Lynsel found herself in the cantina, for the third month in a row, watching to see if Revan would drop in. They had gotten some info from an anounimous source, who told them Revan would most likely be in a place that catered to the swoop race and dueling ring crowd.

The Ord Mantell cantina had all that, including five Pazaak dens, three swoop areas, a dueling ring, and a place for those interested in the annual Blockaide Runners Derby. All in all, it was an okay place, in the middle of class and tackiness. But, it was her duty as an officer to stay at her post, even when all she wanted to do was go to her suite and take a nice, long bath.

She had been there for about two hours already, with no sign of anyone acting pecuilar. Scanning the bar patrons, she came across the same alien vermin that were in here day and night. Pilots, swoop racers, fighters; everybody just hanging out and drinking.

She did another sweep with her eyes, when they landed on a secluded figure in the darkest corner. He sat by himself, a half full glass of some liquor sitting in front of him, and he had on a cloak, one that obscured his face from those on the outside.

Figuring this was slightly suspicious behavior, Lynsel casually made her way closer, getting about a table or two within his. From here, she could clearly see the figure was a man and he seemed to be…yep. Talking to himself. The officer rolled her eyes, deciding she wouldn’t intrude on the man’s conversation when he suddenly looked up and looked around.

From her view point and her training in detecting the undetectable, the special forces officer now saw the man wasn’t talking to himself; he was speaking into a comm link hidden inside his hood. He appeared to be agitated, scowling a few times, then looking down at his drink.

She watched him for a few minutes before his face broke into a grin. She only saw it for a brief moment, but she had to admit, the man was cute, in a rugged kind of way. She could see a thin beard on his face and noticed a bit of hair from his hood, both the color of black, and his eyes were a deep brown. Then it hit her. Something in her head sounded the warning bells and the image of her target was in her mind.

Seated in front of her, in a cantina on the planet Ord Mantell was Darth Revan himself.

“No fraggin’ way.” she breathed, silently elated at her discovery. She watched as Revan put some credits on the table and started for the door. Lynsel couldn’t afford to lose him, especially in this crowd, so she kept her closeness – at least until they got outside.

When they reached the streets, Lynsel began to pull back, watching and waiting. She didn’t want to just take the man straight away. Sometimes in situations such as these, the nerf went into a whole pack and then you could eat for a galactic month. Who exactly was Revan talking to on that link of his?

She acted as casually as she could, without giving away the fact that she was following the former dark lord of the Sith into who knew what. She saw him raise his head slightly to look at the fluffy pink clouds that hovered above.

Did Revan come here as a tourist? No. While Ord Mantell was a tourist attraction to some, the former leader of the Sith couldn’t be gallivanting around looking for vacation spots.

Or could he?

Malak was dead and gone and as of last year, the three new usurpers of the crown had been defeated by the Jedi exile that had cause the damage so far. What if this new Sith Lord was just holding the place for Revan’s return? Lynsel smirked.

Not on her watch. She followed Revan until he made his way to the landing bay of Ord Mantell. There were several shuttles waiting there to take various tourists to see the moons of the planet and into one of those shuttles Revan went, so Lynsel followed him.

The trip to the first large moon, named the Bright Jewel after the system the planet hung in, was also tinged with a few pink clouds, but was slightly whiter in color than its planet. The Czerka Corp. had already gone and made a metropolis like structure on both moons, tailor made for the traveler who had nothing, but wanted a souvenior.

When the shuttle touched down, a guide was already stationed outside the doors for those that hadn’t been here, which was most of the passengers. For the others – about five or so – they went and headed for the Czerka station to get whatever they had to get.

All except Revan.

Revan slipped through the crowd almost unnoticed and began to walk in the direction that was clearly not sanctioned by the officials of Ord Mantell or Czerka. Lynsel nearly lost him, too, having been taken with the beauty of the moon.

By the time she saw him again, he was a good twenty yards ahead of her. Cursing her curiousity and wonderment, she quickly hurried to catch up with him. The former lord continued to walk on the smooth surface before turning a corner and stopping. From her position behind some rocks, she moved to see why.

Off in the clear distance was the Ebon Hawk, the famed flagship of the crime boss Davik Kang before Revan and his crew had ‘commandeered’ it from his grasp. It was also said – rumor though – that the same Jedi exile that had made bad alliances last year also traveled in the famed smuggling ship.

And there it was. It was said to be the fastest ship in the entire galaxy and Davik had personally seen to its defenses and other maintenance. Revan seemed to be just as awe struck as she was, for he hadn’t made a move yet, just stared at the ship. He gave a relieved laugh and then began a jog over to it.

Lynsel watched, waiting until he was near the ship in order to start following him. The former Jedi was quick and he seemed to fly onto the loading ramp as it decended. She waited until he was fully inside, before she herself entered.

From the loading ramp, she could see a workbench to the right, along with various corridors. She could hear Revan calling for someone, so she used the noise to creep down the hallway next to the workbench.

Lynsel listened for any other sounds, but was surprised when it became quiet. Then she heard soft murmurs, that became loud shouting. Creeping her way ahead, she came at the center of the Ebon Hawk: the main hold, where to her surprise, stood the two people she wanted more than anything to catch.

Revan stood to her right and he was muttering something to the man across from him. That must’ve been the Jedi exile that had gone and put the galaxy in even more trouble. The two were staring at each other now, both clearly angered. It was now or never.

“Freeze!” She cried, jumping from her hiding place, blaster in hand, aiming between the two of them. “The two of you are under arrest. It’s been a long time, Revan, but you’ll be brought to justice soon enough. And as for your new apprentice there…”

That was the last thing she remembered before pain like she had never felt before fluttered into her and she went flying off her feet down the same corridor she had come from.

 

 

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