REVENGE OF THE SITH
Part III – To All Things, A Beginning
To all things in life, there is a beginning. A beginning of one’s destiny; of one’s downfall; of one’s rebirth.
Many people – that is to say, those that were born without the powers of the Force – often wonder what it is that drives a Jedi, someone who is sworn to protect the galaxy and rid them of all its evils, turns to the dark side of the Force and then turns to bring destruction and chaos into the lives of the Republic.
The galaxy is never prepared for what can happen in the span of a parsec; and even worse is when it finally dawns on those planets and the people that their savior has become their worst enemy…
He had been at peace once, before all of this. Once, he had been laughing and joking on Coruscant; once he had been flirting with the female padawans on Dantooine; and yes, even once, he had been the studious master who yearned for more knowledge. He had been many things once, but this would surely change him…
It had been a standard day, Satunda or maybe it was Datunda, but whichever day it truly was signaled the beginning of the end for him and his friends. There had been reports about the warriors known as the Mandalorians raiding planets and conquering whatever inhabitants stood in their way for nearly a year now, but so far no action had been taken.
Just recently, reports came in that the Mandalorians had advanced into Republilc space and the Republic fleet, though known throughout the galaxy as the best safeguard there was, were quickly being out done by these savage brutes. And what was worse, the Mandalorians were gaining the upper hand. Rumors abound within the Jedi Academy on Dantooine.
Word said the Council- and the High Council on Coruscant – had been approached several times by the heads of various Republic vessels, begging for help and the masters that over saw the Academy – Masters Vodo-Siosk Baas, Atris, Kavar, Zez-Kai Ell, and Vash – had been in the chambers for several days, discussing this and that with the members on Coruscant.
Master Revan had heard the rumors too and he knew more than anyone that they were true and more to the point, what it would do to the Jedi persona. He had only just been appointed a master – his skills at the lightsaber and his command of the Force greatly impressed his various masters – but they still saw something troubling within him.
He was brash, headstrong, stubborn…he would engage in activities – such as Pazaak – that Jedi such as himself should not. And some of his masters, like Kreia Sovin and Arren Kae, knew he sometimes used the Force to get better deals on food and drink. He had even tried to use some persuasion on several of the young female padawans.
But his personality quirks were what made him such a hit to the younger students, especially Malak Restasian and Ellis Yoly. Malak, though only a year younger than his friend, was much more quiet and subdued. Many said he possessed the calm of a master himself, which was why he had opted for the role of consular, which worked well with Revan’s guardian class.
And when the two had discovered the young Ellis, who was a sentinel, it seemed there could be no better matches suited to one another. A few masters even said it was eerily reminisant of Ulic Qel-Droma, his brother Cay, and Nomi Sunrider.
But it was the day that Revan heard the Jedi Council would do nothing to aid the Republic that would cast the first stone in this tale. Master Zhar Lestin had been Revan’s first master and always held a soft spot for the young orphan, so when as a man, he came to him asking about what course of action the Council would take, Zhar felt inclined to tell him.
Though he hid his anger well from his master, Revan was furious. The masters called themselves Jedi, but yet they ran from a true threat. He said as much to his second master, Kreia.
“Your anger may blind you, my pupil.” she had said, in that velvety voice of hers. It was she Revan had been sent to by Zhar when the young boy sought more knowledge than the Twi’lek could give and Kreia was eager to help. Most of her pupils shared her philosophy and Revan could always be counted on to add his two credits into a discussion.
“What exactly do we train the younger students for, if not to fight the evils of the galaxy?” he asked, rhetorically, his form moving quickly for all his pacing. “If we neglect to fight this war with the Mandalorians, the galaxy as we know it could be in peril.”
“What exactly has the council said, Revan?” asked Malak, who had seen his friend storm into their shared master’s chambers and had followed.
Revan stopped his pacing. “They received another plea today,” he said, softly. “The Republic is being slaughtered; her troops murdered before they can even scream at the atrocities they have seen. The commander of one ship – a…uh…Adm. Karath – pleaded with the Council to aid them; that if they took any more losses, the Mandalorians would easily make it into the Core Worlds.”
“The Core Worlds?” Malak exclaimed. “You can’t be serious! Are these brutes really going to come after the Core Worlds?”
“The Mandalorians are warriors, young Malak,” Kreia replied. “They only know taking as their language and friend. Of course they will come after the Core Worlds, if the Republic falls against them.”
“Master,” Revan asked softly. “What can we do? I…I just can’t believe the Council would just abandon the Republic like this, especially when we are sworn to protect them.
“Master Zhar said Master Vandar had a vision; a horrible vision where a great menace would come from the farthest reaches of the galaxy and plunge us all into darkness. No one would be able to withstand it.”
“And do you believe this?” Malak asked. “You are a master within the Order. You are expected to agree to this…course of action.”
“Of course I don’t agree with this poodoo!” Revan exclaimed. “And I don’t care if I’m master of the universe, I refuse to let the Republic fall. It is our duty, apprentice, to help the Republic by all means.”
“Are you sure this course of action is wise, Master Revan?”
Both Revan and Malak turned to look at the middle aged woman. “Do you have doubts, Master?” Revan asked.
She laughed – it sounding like a cackle more than a chuckle – and said, “I do not doubt your abilities, my pupil. I know that the Mandalorians will rule the day you are in their presence. But know this, if this is the path you choose, you may never again have the benefits we as Jedi can afford.”
“You’ve never let something like that impede your judgment or your teachings.” Revan retorted. “In fact, you find the Jedi to be pompous, upstarting pains in the backside of a bantha. Why does this worry you now?”
“It does not.” she stated. “I feel as you do, Revan. The Council are quite protected within the walls of Dantooine and Coruscant, but the people of the Republic are not. And while they sit and debate, more lives are lost. I would not stop you, even if I wanted to, you have always been headstrong…”
“A trait you admire in your students.” came the cheeky quip.
Kreia laughed once more. “Even a master such as myself is not immune to your charms.” she said. “I have faith in you, my pupil, but I must give you a word of caution.” She stepped up to him to look him in the eyes.
Be mindful and cautious of those you take into battle, my student.
‘You’ve’ had a vision as well?
Yes, but the future is…uncertain. Only that you must be careful on this journey you take.
Malak stood back and watched the silent exchange. He knew that Revan had always been a favorite among their masters and had been given certain ‘gifts’ as rewards. While he couldn’t blame them, he always wondered why he had to be witness to these events.
The master and student nodded solemnly to each other before Revan turned to Malak, saying, “We have a lot ahead of us.” then turning to walk out the door.
The two walked in silence through the corridors until they reached the outside of the grassy planet of Dantooine. “You are planning on helping, my master?” asked Malak, though he already knew the answer.
Revan gave a nod, saying, “We would want the Republic to help us if we were in need. This is no different.”
“Who shall we take with us?”
Revan stopped to look at his student. Malak was much taller than he, by a good foot at least, but he always seemed to be seeking guidance and acceptance from Revan.
“You do not have to this, Malak.” he said. “I wouldn’t be a true friend if I just let you jump into this without thnking it through. That’s my job.”
The large man smiled. Yes, he was known as the cooler head of the two; Revan always seemed to be jumping into something without fully considering all the angles.
“I would be honored to serve with you, my master. My friend. After all our time spent together, do you truly believe I would let you undertake this quest without someone to bail you out of trouble?”
The young man laughed, slapping his friend on his arm. “I wanted to ask, of course.” he chuckled. “I am honored, my apprentice. My friend. And you’re right. To come so far together, it wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t have you at my side. Come.”
The two continued their walk. “As to your earlier question, Malak,” Revan began. “We need only the most skilled Jedi. These Mandalorians…I can’t put my finger on it, but they have a weakness, I’m sure of it. Every enemy does, we just need to find it.”
“I have a feeling I won’t be seeing much of you.”
Revan chuckled at this. While many said his thirst for knowledge was a passion that would lead to his downfall, the young master did enjoy researching and reviewing history. Kreia was unofficially training him to be her replacement as the chronicler of the archives on Dantooine.
“Joke if you must,” he said. “But research does need to be done on this. We must learn what drives these people, discover their weakness and exploit it.”
“We will also need allies, as you said.”
“I have a few in mind,” the master muttered. “Among them that Ellis Yoly.”
“But he’s a padawan.” Malak insisted. “Surely you’re not thinking of enlisting the help of the younger students.”
“Not all, just him.” When he saw the look Malak gave him, he continued. “Surely you’ve noticed how the Force flows through him. He’s strong within it and I’ve heard that he’s becoming quite the saber wielder. I might have some competition.”
At his joke, he chuckled. “And in case you haven’t heard, Malak, young Ellis was just knighted a while back. Youngest the Order has seen since…well, since me, and I was nineteen. This kid has me beat by two years!”
“Are you certain of his abilities?” Malak asked, hesitantly.
Revan nodded slowly. “He has such a command of the Force, Malak. I’ve seen him in training and all the other students seem to like him. He has a way about him. I see great things and those include us helping him find his potential.”
He gave Malak a look before a smile graced his features. “And if I’m not mistaken, you owe me a hundred credits.”
“I believe we’ve discussed young Ellis Yoly before, my apprentice,” Revan chuckled. “And at that time I told you, I bet he would make knight within the year and you said you’d put up a hundred credits if that happened, so…where’s me loot?”
“You’re insane.” the man barked. “I never made such a bet.”
“You did and I wants me creds.” Revan replied, squinting his eye like a pirate.
“You’re too good at that.” Malak said. “I bet in some other life you really were a pirate or a smuggler.”
The Jedi Master just laughed.