REVENGE OF THE SITH
Part IV – Discovery & Recovery
Carth Onasi was a man of action, a man who had a purpose and when that purpose was fulfilled, he would quickly find another purpose. When he was younger, his purpose was to rid the Republic of the Mandalorian threat and come back to his wife and son.
When he had done that, his new purpose was to stop Darth Revan and Malak. Within that main purpose, was to kill Saul Karath for what he had done to Telos. And when that purpose was fulfilled, he started a new one.
Keep the Republic afloat.
That new purpose had been given to him by Revan himself, just before he left. Carth wasn’t sure when he would begin this purpose, but it would come soon enough. In the last six months, he had signed back with the Republic fleet, being granted the title of admiral for all his work for the Republic he served. During that time, he had watched his son and his friend go into hiding, as a new threat seemed to be targeting Jedi.
While he was hesitant about letting the two of them out of his sight, he knew staying on Telos for who knew how long wouldn’t suit them. Both Bastila and Dustil were the adventurous types, even if they wouldn’t admit it, and sitting still was not their style. Nor was it his. So he signed back with the fleet, hoping he could find this new threat and stop it, before it reached to an unknown part of the galaxy…
The part where Revan could be.
The former pilot would admit that having his own personal ship, the Sojourn, had its benefits. As did his position. As an admiral, he was able to hand pick all his crew aboard his ship, but he had saved one spot for a friend of his.
It had been the start of the third year that Revan had left him and all their friends behind and about six months after the destruction of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. It took some time in doing, but with his status, he was able to find out more on this new threat.
This new ‘shadow Sith’, as one Jedi had called them, had come from absolutely nowhere. Most were convinced this was a left over plot by Malak; others thought it was a perfect plan by Revan; Carth thought neither. While Revan had been the brains of the Sith, the admiral knew his friend and knew he would never do something like this. He had too much to lose if he did. Malak, on the other hand, was a straight up enforcer. He didn’t waste around and sneak; he came at you full force.
No. This was different. This was something…new. And that could only mean one thing.
He read the latest reports; how the bounty on Jedi had virtually extinguished the Jedi Order, even without the bombing of the temple. He had been worried about that. If this had happened years ago, he wouldn’t have cared. Good riddance is what he may have thought. But now…well his best friends were Jedi, his son was a Jedi, his former crewmates were Jedi…and he refused to see them die like this.
He had been in his personal quarters on the ship – a completely over sized room with a master bedroom and a guest room, a small, but fully stocked bar and an office desk just for him – when he had gotten a surprising message that was downloaded on his data pad. It was signed by a Jedi Master, though he couldn’t remember the name, and it said that he would be needed on the mid rim world of Katarr. A special meeting of Jedi would be taking place and it requested his presence.
He had stared at the message in confusion and suspicion. Why would the Jedi want him there? He wasn’t a Jedi, just a Republic grunt with an incredibly large personal quarters.
As if the Force itself was intervening, he got an incoming call from one of those Jedi friends of his. He smiled at the young woman, someone he hadn’t seen in months and wished to keep an eye on. “I was just thinking about you,” he said, in way of a greeting.
“I’m not sure if I should be ecstatic or slightly worried.” Bastila Shan joked, smiling at the image of the man. “I was actually calling because I got the strangest message yesterday…”
“One from Jedi Master Atris, who requests your presence for a meeting of the utmost secrecy and importance?” Carth read, looking at his data pad.
“Why are you receiving messages from a Jedi Master?” she asked, eyebrow quirked in curiosity.
“Good question,” he said. “Maybe it’s cause I got a shiny new uniform and a really big ship.”
“I’m sure that’s not the reason.”
“I don’t know,” the pilot replied, with a smile. “It’s a pretty big ship.”
“I’ve seen bigger.”
“Ouch,” he said, in mock hurt. “That wounded me a little.”
“Oh, just a little?” came the retort. “I must try harder next time.”
“Hey, if you’re nice to me, I might even give you a ride to this thing,” he said. “Where are you?”
“A place of sentimental value, around large lakes perhaps.”
“Very good.” She said. “I’m quite proud, Carth.”
“I’m not all looks, you know.”
“Hmm…” she murmured. “And when can I expect you?”
“You tell me,” he said. “This message says this meeting will be in a few days. Do you want to come early? Choice is yours.”
“I’m not really sure I want to go,” she said, reluctantly. “Something feels…”
“Off?” he supplied. At her nod, he replied, “I get that too. Especially when I get a note. You can bet this didn’t go through Republic channels, meaning it must be a private message.”
Bastila didn’t speak for a moment. “We’ll talk more when I see you.” She said. “How soon can you be here?”
“I’m leaving as we speak.”
It took Carth all of a day and a half to reached Talravin and when he did, he was glad Bastila had decided to come aboard. It had been entirely too long since he had seen her and he couldn’t help feel that protective need over her.
After all, Revan had made it one of his primary jobs to watch over her and keep her from harm. She hadn’t changed much in the few months he hadn’t seen her. She was dressed casually and Carth couldn’t remember if he had ever seen her with her hair down before.
In a sense, she was quite beautiful, standing there awaiting him against the back drop of a setting sun.
The admiral blinked hard, shaking his head and he went out to greet her. “Long time no see, huh?” he chuckled, giving her a hug.
“Too long.” She said, a smile on her face. She glanced at the ship that was docked behind him. “That’s a pretty big ship.”
“I’ve still seen larger.” She quipped, taking his arm as he led her aboard.
“I’m surprised, Bastila,” he said. “This is a side I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. I’m beginning to wonder if you’re subconsciously picking up Revan’s wit.”
The young woman gave a small chuckle. “Believe me,” she said, heading up the loading ramp. “If I had Revan’s wit, you would surely know it.”
The two headed onboard the Republic issued Harbinger class/interdictor ship. Carth hadn’t expected to get such a ship; its design was in combination of the decommissioned fleet ships that had been found after the Star Forge mission.
Though most couldn’t be salvaged from the time Revan had turned them against the makers, a few parts were scraped together to make at least a few Harbinger class cruisers, but as Carth had been such an outstanding force within the fleet, he was able to use some of those parts to add to the ship, making it one that had been the pride of the Republic fleet.
It was shorter than most interdictors, only a mere 450 meters, but she was still a beauty. The corridors were painted a nice cream and there were various rooms for the crew to relax or sleep.
There was a large medical facility with at least two human doctors aboard and three droids. The senior officers had an office and rec room to themselves as well and Carth found he not only enjoyed their company, but also made a wise choice in choosing his crew.
They made their way to his quarters, noticing that it was mostly quiet on the ship. The admiral headed to the bar for a drink, offering a glass to his guest, who politely declined.
“I must say, Carth,” she replied, looking around at his quarters. “I am quite impressed. The Republic made a good choice in its leadership.”
He smiled at her, downing half his drink before taking a seat behind his desk and offering the seat that sat in front of him. “I have two questions for you,” he said, leaning back in his chair.
“First things first, how’ve you been?”
Bastila laughed, it sounding so good, so musical, so…something to the older man’s ears. “I’ve been well, thank you.” She replied. “It just seems so…odd not doing anything, really. Sometimes, I just can’t believe how we”ve ended up here.”
“I get that way, too,” he said, honesty. “Like…for every good thing, there”re three bad things falling right into step behind us.”
“You’re being pessimistic.”
“I’m being realistic.” He said, with a smile. “But that does lead me into my second question. As long as you have so much time on your hands, how would you like to do something for me?”
She raised an eyebrow. “Oh?” she asked. “And what’s that?”
“Join my crew.” He stated. “I have this one spot I have left to fill. Call it a…technical adviser, if you will. Fleet commander stats and everything. Not to mention, I can keep my eye on you.”
“Keep an eye on me?” she asked. “Come now, Carth, I know you better than that. And that was surely a dreadful pick up line.”
“Oh, that one got me right in the heart,” he joked. “I’m serious. That bounty is still out by the Exchange and these “shadow Sith” are also roaming about. I’m pretty sure my son”s okay where he is, but I don’t hold out the same amount of hope on you.”
Bastila put a hand to her chest in mock hurt. “What exactly do you take me for?” she quipped. “Do you think I’m just going to send out holos, asking them what’s taking so long? Really, Carth. I can’t believe you have no faith in me.”
“I do have faith in you,” he insisted. “I also have some well placed people and these well placed people were nice enough to inform me of your trip to the Outer Rim a few months ago.”
The young woman narrowed her eyes. “Jolee.” she hissed.
“Dustil, actually,” he countered. “But Jolee did tell him and he told me. What the hell were you thinking, Bas? You know the Outer Rim is a virtual no man”s land.”
“Well, that’s why I went.” She huffed. “If you haven’t noticed, Carth, I’m not a man.”
“Oh that’s cute,” he said, not at all finding the humor in the situation. “That’s real funny. I’ll make sure to tell Revan that when he comes back.”
“If he comes back,” she muttered under breath. Looking up, she saw his facial features harden.
“He’s coming back, Bastila.”
“And what if he doesn’t?” she exclaimed. “It’s been three years, Carth. Three years! And nothing from him. that’s…that’s why I went. I had hoped…hoped being there would somehow trigger the bond we share, so I could find him and bring him home. And nothing. Nothing that would make me believe that…” she turned away, lest he see her tears. They were silent for a time.
“I miss him so much.”
“I miss him, too.” Carth whispered. “Believe me, Bastila, there hasn’t been a day when I’ve wanted to use my status and this ship to go tearing through the Outer Rim to look for him, but I don’t cause he told me what I needed to do and what I needed to do was here, in Republic space. He’s got the faith that I won’t let him down and I have faith that he won’t let us down.
“He said he’d come back and damn it, he’d better, cause you know Revan doesn’t break his promises. Not now at least.”
They didn’t speak and it felt like hours went by, when only minutes ticked before she said, “I’ll do it.”
“Join your crew as a ‘technical adviser’, under the title of Fleet Commander,” she clarified. “Though, I’m sure you meant ‘tactical’ adviser.” She gave him a knowing grin.
“There…could be instances where your…skills could prove to be a help,” he said, smiling. “The adviser thing is interchangeable. But that’s great. Now, I can ask you the next question.”
“Carth, that’s three questions,” she stated. “You said you needed to ask me just two.”
“Think of the first one as a freebie,” he said, still smiling. “Or this one as question two, part B.”
“It’s inconceivable that I continue to be around you.”
“It’s cause I’m lovable.” He smirked.
“So I’ve heard,” she murmured. “What’s the question?”
The admiral held up his data pad. “What do we do about this?”
Bastila shook her head. “I don’t know,” she said, her lips turning into a frown. “But I get the sense that something else at play here.”
“As do I.”
“It makes no sense to send you a private message like that when you’re not even a Jedi.” She looked at the pad. “You don’t think that may have been for Dustil, do you?”
“Can’t be.” He said. “I’m the only person who knows where he is.”
“Exactly.” she replied. “What if you got that message in order to lure Dustil out of his hiding spot?” She looked at him thoughtfully. “Though that wouldn’t make sense, as it is clearly from Master Atris.”
“Not personally,” she stated, shaking her head. “But I know of her. She’s one of the masters that oversaw the Academy on Dantooine. In fact, I heard that one of her students had been exiled for going with Revan to war.”
“Bas, none of this makes sense.”
“I know.” She said. “It’s been months since Coruscant. Why would she want to hold a meeting now? And why contact you or me for that matter? I would think this would be something the masters should hear or very least, the former members of the council.”
Carth sat up, placing his arms on the desk, and leaning on them. “How many people know where Jolee is?” he asked.
“Just me.” She said. “Just as he’s the only person to know where Juhani is, as you’re the only person who knew where I was and where Dustil is at this moment.”
“This is no coincidence.”
“We”re not going.” He stated. “If another one is called, maybe, but there are too many things going on here that I don’t like. It smells suspicious because it is suspicious.”
“I don’t like it either, Carth,” she whispered. “It troubles me more than anything. And the horrible thing is there’s no way for us to truly warn those that are going.”
“What do you know about Katarr?” he asked. “It says here that’s where they”ll meet.”
“Katarr is a small world,” she said. “It’s home to the Miralukas, people who are Force sensitive. They have an ability to…to ‘see’ through the Force.” At Carth’s look, she replied, “I don’t understand it myself. I’m just going off what I learned in a history lesson.”
The admiral thought about it for a few seconds. “Maybe I could get a ship out there.” He muttered. “Just do a sweep or something. Just to make sure things are on the up and up.”
“That would…ease my mind greatly.” She said, smiling softly at him.
He returned her smile, noting the way it seemed to make her look even younger than she was. “Hey,” he grinned. “Being Admiral has its perks. And one of them is inviting my friend to dinner. How bout it?”
“I am famished.”
“See?” he said, standing and walking over to her. “Aren’t you glad I came? I give you a job and a free meal.”
“Oh yes,” she quipped. “What’s next? Free lodgings?”
Cantinas weren’t his favorite place of choice, but when in a star system, do as the people do, he remembered one saying. It wasn’t too bad of a place actually, considering where they were. Or maybe it did have everything to do with where he was. He was currently on Onderon, the planet notorious for the civil war it was going through, not to mention its refusal to join into the Republic.
Dustil Onasi had found himself on Onderon after spending sometime on the former Jedi planet of Ossus and before that he spent nearly the rest of the year on Telos. He and his master- for- the- present, Bastila Shan, had arrived on Telos during an uncertain time within the Jedi Order.
While they had been staying with his father, they had received the horrible news via his first master, Jolee Bindo, that the temple on Coruscant had been destroyed and that several members of Jedi task squads had disappeared or were killed by a legion of Sith assassins, presumably under Malak’s orders.
Though he hated saying it out loud, Dustil had wondered if Revan was involved some how. It was no secret around the temple that Revan was on the outs with the masters and that he wanted to leave the Order.
What if…just what if, this was an elaborate plan by the former Sith lord to rid himself and the galaxy of the Jedi Order. The young man had still felt…betrayed by the man, though they had come to a slight truce before the former”s departure.
And because of this, Dustil felt compelled to learn more about this man who had been a master and then had forsaken everything and had joined the Sith.
He was extremely grateful for Master Bindo”s guidance and thoughts on placing him with Bastila. The hostility that had hovered over their first meeting seemed to be gone now and they truly got along. She wasn’t that much older than him and when he talked to her about her training and her past, realized she was a lot stronger than he had ever been.
She had only been about nineteen when she was placed as the head of the task force that would try to bring Revan back alive. And only two years after that, she found herself immersed within the Jedi Civil War”s Star Forge battle.
At nineteen, Dustil had been wondering how he had ended up where he was. He was on the verge of that age when he had heard the rumors that Darth Revan was back and he had slain his former apprentice. Then he had seen the reports that his father, along with the other members of the Ebon Hawk, had waged battle on the Star Forge.
He had been so bitter, so angry, he had almost gone out with the rest of the students to exact revenge on those people. But…something stopped him…someone stopped him.
He had been alone in his bunk when she first came to him. He had been talking to his mother for years, never truly getting a response from her until now. She had smiled at him and said that she loved him and that his father loved him. When he had shaken his head at that, she had looked at him sadly.
“He loves you so much, Dusty.” She had said. “He’s looked for you for so long.”
After that conversation, Dustil decided he needed to get out of the Sith. He could tell his mother wasn’t happy about his choices and she seemed to want him to find his father. So he did it, for her, of course.
He and a few friends that felt the same had quietly and quickly snuck out of the Academy and found transport off Korriban. He then looked up a friend of his father”s and asked that he wanted to get in touch with him.
That had been nearly four years ago and he had found himself on the former planet of the Jedi Library.
It was amazing how he had found himself there, going on some quest to find his former master to make sure he was all right. He didn’t know where Jolee Bindo was, but something told him he may have been there, at the place most said started it all. So imagine his surprise when he couldn’t find Jolee, but he did find someone he least expected.
He had been in the cantina for about an hour when he saw the young man that walked in. Dustil almost didn’t recognize him; his normally bald head now covered in hair, his Fu Man Chu moustache/goatee was now a full beard, but Dustil would always know who Revan was, even if he was sort of in disguise.
He had gotten over his hate of Revan a while back, though he was still wary of the former dark lord. Not because of his past, but mostly because he had never taken the time to talk to Revan. All the information he had gotten on the Jedi knight was from his girlfriend and his best friend.
He had managed to interject a question or comment about Revan in every training session he had with Bastila. While he had learned as much as she knew, he couldn’t help notice the way her voice often softened at the mention of his name and some times, her voice was even tinted with some sadness.
He – like most Jedi – couldn’t understand the attraction the two held over each other, but in talking with Bastila, he could see it. Revan was the class clown, so to speak, a man who had something funny to say at most instances; but he was also compassionate, a person who would do anything to right a wrong and wouldn’t hesitate to place himself in danger in order to do it.
Dustil hadn’t known any of that and it made for an interesting turn of thoughts for him. Revan wasn’t the monster he and others had thought he was. He didn’t go around chopping people”s heads off with his lightsaber…
In talking to Bastila and even his father, Revan seemed to be an all around nice guy.
But the young Jedi padawan hadn’t been sure until he had made contact with the former Jedi master. When Dustil had joined him at his table, Revan had been surprised and even more alarmed when the padawan had told him the fate of the Jedi Order.
It was then Dustil realized he had been wrong about his initial assessment. Revan hadn’t even known the events that had placed the young man on another world.
And then Revan did something Dustil never expected: he told the young Jedi to seek help from his Mandalorian friend Canderous Ordo. If Revan was the hateful, vengeful man people thought he was, then why was he offering the young man asylum? Dustil couldn’t believe it and he had to know why. Why was he offering this…this refuge?
And the answer stunned him.
“Cause your dad promised he’d keep Bastila safe.” Revan replied. “He’d watch over her and wouldn’t let anything happen to her. He’s keeping the woman I love safe. The least I can do is make sure he never loses his son again.”
And that’s how Dustil Onasi found himself on the warring planet of Onderon. It took him some time to find the former bounty hunter, but when he did, Dustil was expecting a somewhat happy meeting.
He obviously didn’t know Canderous Ordo. The mandalorian had requested Dustil do some work to prove his worth and while at the time he had thought this was just busy work, he had to admit that some of it paid of.
He had trained within the jungles of Dxun, a sister moon to Onderon. There were furious creatures and beasts within the jungle and Canderous was nice enough to have Dustil go and kill some of them. He was usually surrounded by at least three cannoks and bomas and the training he had done while on Telos had greatly paid off. He was able to use his lightsaber in a real fight, at least one with dangerous creatures.
After that, he had earned some respect from the clan.
Until he had to face some of them in the duel circle. He was no slouch and he did raise his respect level when he was able to meet the mandalorian known as Kelborne in the ring. Last time he had nearly won. Nearly, but the mandalorian had said he had been a formidable opponent and he looked forward to fighting him again.
He had left the clan within their base on Dxun before heading back out to Telos. He wasn’t terribly surprised when he noticed his father not there. He wasn’t too thrilled when he had signed back with the fleet, but then realized there really wasn’t anything his father could do.
He had learned from Bastila that his father had spent the next day after Telos was bombed to just recently, not only looking to settle the score with Saul Karath, but looking for his only son. In fact, that was all he had done for four years.
Dustil was glad he had spent the time getting to know his dad. As a small boy, he had idolized him, always wanting to hear about the trips he took and the missions he went on. At one time, he had wanted to be a pilot just like him.
As a teenager, he hated him. He was never home and he hated seeing his mother cry over him when they got into an argument. And he had hated him more when Telos was bombed and he wasn’t even there to save his own family. He resented him and the Republic, which made joining the Sith all the more easier to do.
But as a young adult, he could see the pain the last five years had caused his father. After watching Saul die, there really was nothing left for him. He was on a quest with a man who was the former dark lord Revan and he still had to rid the galaxy of Malak and the Sith. But when all that was said and done, Carth Onasi was a man without a purpose. Or so thought his son.
Revan had given his father a purpose and a job. Keep the Republic afloat. And as a side quest, keep Bastila Shan safe.
And when he had seen Revan on Ossus, the young man thought he too was being given a task. Make it back home to Carth alive and in one piece. And through his contact with Canderous, let the mandalorian know the former Jedi was all right.
that’s why he was back on Onderon. He didn’t know why, but something told him – and some would say it was the Force leading him – that he needed to be on Onderon and he needed to know what was going on with this civil war. He was sure it was important.
Important enough that if Revan needed him, Dustil Onasi would be here.