REVENGE OF THE SITH
Part IV – Discovery & Recovery
Another year went by.
And it was a year Carth Onasi would try to forget and ignore. He felt like an ass that year, an unbelievable ass who was also a pervert. He didn’t know when it had happened, but some where along the way, the good admiral, who prided himself on his standards and his ability to gauge people, was now a first class ass and heel.
All because he found his best friend”s girl attractive.
Well, it was more than that. Over that year, Carth had seen a side to Bastila that Revan must see all the time. And apparently now that she was technically no longer a member of the Jedi Order, she seemed to be a lot more relaxed than he had ever seen her before. She had a wicked sense of humor and he enjoyed trading barbs with her. As Carth got to know her, the more attractive he found her.
At first, she was kinda cute to him. The way she smiled was attractive. Then they spent more time together and she became beautiful to him. She was incredibly sexy with her hair down and the fact that he thought Bastila Shan – who was not only his best friend”s girl, but also a good twenty years his junior – was sexy caused him large amounts of undue stress. He could not be thinking about her in this way.
But he just couldn’t help it. It had been five years since the death of his wife and four years spent trying to hunt down the people that killed her, along with looking for his son. He could only attribute this new found fondness to the fact that now he was technically a “free man”, his libido felt it was a good time to start noticing women again.
And the first woman it noticed was Bastila.
He tried to fight it and sometimes, he even let his imagination consider the possibility that she might actually find him attractive too – and then he shook his head and he felt sick. The woman virtually pinned over her beloved knight and that knight was supposed to be his best friend. Revan did not leave Republic space telling Carth to put the moves on his girl. No, he did not. He said to watch out for her safety, not leer at her like some dirty old man.
And that always brought a sense of loneliness to him.
While he was happy that his friends had found each other and dared to defy that ridiculous council on their misguided views of love, the sight of them together made him lonely and it brought back memories he had spent so long repressing. He missed his wife and the fact that she was dead because of him made it harder. If he had just gotten there sooner…if he had just yelled a little bit louder…
If he had just quit and stayed home like she wanted.
Even now, he could still hear their arguments every time he had to go on leave; how she screamed at him that he was never home, that he was missing Dustil grow up, that…that she wondered if she could even go on. That was what their last fight had been about. She had wondered if she wanted to continue to stay in their house; if she wanted to continue what little life they had; if she truly wanted to wait for him.
Though he had tried to deny it, over the years he came to the gripping conclusion that, had Telos not been bombed, his wife would’ve asked for a divorce. He already had guilt within him when he had left and it only intensified when he had returned and found her battered body on the concrete, only a few blocks from their home. She had used her last breath to tell him that she would always love him and then she was gone.
He had sobbed for hours.
Then he had turned his heart off and planned for the revenge and death of Saul Karath. He didn’t care how many Sith got in his way, even if they were Revan and Malak themselves, he would slaughter them before he inflicted the true torture on Saul. Seeing him again on the Leviathan had brought that hate boiling to the surface and it really had taken all his might to heed the warnings of Jayden and Bastila. And when Saul told him the truth…
Carth shook his head. Jayden Korr was an incredible man and he had told Carth – during their drunken haze within the port dorms – that if he hadn’t been a Jedi, he would’ve told Carth to do it; gut the bastard. The pilot turned admiral had seen fire in his best friend”s eyes, even as the young man told him not to kill the Sith fleet commander.
And that night within the port dorm, Jayden – now discovered as Revan – had confided it had taken all his self-control not to cheer Carth on as he killed the man responsible for their torture.
And Carth had seen it. Revan wanted nothing more than to kill the admiral once Juhani had busted them out. Even when Bastila had said Malak was coming, the young man couldn’t care. All he wanted to do was crush Saul Karath’s neck for putting Bastila through the torture he had.
And the only thing that stopped him was the fact that Carth Onasi has first dibs. In fact, the two had sat around – shortly after discovering a hidden ‘stash’ – and conversed how they would’ve liked to string Karath up and take turns beating the holy hell out of him.
Carth had gotten a glimpse of Revan – or rather the man who would become Darth Revan. The young man talked of how he wanted to torture Karath, the way he had tortured them, and then heal the admiral so he could torture him again.
It was a vicious and horrible thing to say, but Carth was in no mood to say that it was wrong; that’s what he had wanted to do for years. And when the former lord spoke of what he would do to Malak if he dare lay a finger on Bastila, on his woman…the pilot had shuttered.
And now, Carth wondered what exactly Revan had done to his former apprentice. He knew it hadn’t been good; he never talked about it and he just let it go, as if it was something that was over and done with.
“Here’s where you’re hiding.”
Carth closed his eyes at an onslaught of emotions. Just as he had gotten his mind off her…there she was. “Hiding?” he asked, leaning back in his chair.
“Well,” she stated, taking a seat on the corner of his desk. Did you have to do that? “You didn’t go to dinner, which was an hour ago by the way, and after asking around, apparently no one has seen you for quite some time. Naturally, I just used the Force to find you.”
“Naturally.” He quipped.
Her face softened to a mild look of concern. “Honestly, are you all right?”
He nodded, slowly, placing the back of his head against the chair. “I’m okay,” he whispered. “Just thinking.”
“That would explain the smoke.”
He smirked, but didn’t rise to the bait. “It’s strange how at the oddest times of the day, your mind assaults you with memories.” He said quietly.
“I know what you mean,” she whispered, giving him a slight smile when he turned to her in surprise. “Even seeing something familiar causes your brain to switch to another time…a… happier time, I guess.” She looked down, taking an interest in a non- existent piece of fluff on the desk.
Carth couldn’t help but stand and walk over to her. Despite his feelings, she was still his friend and it was still his job to make sure she didn’t drown in her sorrows, didn’t go out and do stupid things…didn’t turn into him.
“Hey,” he whispered, placing his hand on her arm. “Things will right themselves. I know it will, even if I have to make sure of it myself.” That garnered a chuckle. “I missed dinner, huh?” he asked, smiling at her. “That would probably explain why I’m so hungry. Want a quick bite?”
She shook her head and stood from his desk. “Already ate,” she said, turning to head into the personal guest quarters that served as her room. Carth followed her, leaning against the door jam. She mirrored his position, crossing her arms across her chest. “Though if I were you, I”D head down now before that Gunderson eats everything on the ship.”
The two shared a laugh. One of the crew, Davil Gunderson, was a human trash compactor for sure, as he was able to eat huge amounts of food and never seemed to gain any weight. He was the envy of the other members of the crew, mostly the female staff.
Carth chuckled and was once again caught in the horrible pull Bastila seemed to have over him. She had bowed her head as she laughed, causing some of her hair to cover her face. Without thinking, he had reached over and tucked some of it behind her ear, pulling back to his original position against the door.
He was surprised at himself for the action; he had never taken steps to be so…personal with her before. He saw a slight shocked look that crossed her face and then one that told him she had known what he himself tried to deny.
“It’s just a crush, Bastila,” he said, hurriedly. She didn’t need to let him down; he knew what the answer would be beforehand. “Nothing more than an infatuation.”
“Are you sure of that?” she asked gently.
Carth nodded. “You mean the world to me.” he said. “But so does Revan and I’m not about to betray him like that. Heaven knows, I know what it’s like to be betrayed.”
“That you do.” She whispered. “Carth, you are a joy, you must know that,” she said. “And I…I don’t know what I would have done without you during this time. I love you, Carth. I truly do, but…”
“Only as a friend,” he finished. “Bas, I’m fine. Really. Like I said, this…this is a crush. And I know nothing will come of it. I love you too, but I’m not in love with you. Okay?” he smiled, hoping she understood.
Bastila slowly answered his smile with one of her own. In truth, she had known Carth was developing feelings for her and she decided several times that her leaving would be the best answer.
While she loved Carth – as a sister loved an older brother – her heart belonged to Revan and after all that they had been through, all they had done to achieve their moments together, she could not, would not, do anything to ruin that.
“Don’t worry, Carth,” she said, patting him on the arm. “While you may be slightly obsessed with me…”
“I don’t believe I used the word ‘obsessed’,” he interrupted. “I believe it was ‘infatuation’. Yes, I’m almost positive that was it.”
“…You could possibly have any woman on this ship.” She continued, as though she didn’t hear him. “Excluding me, of course.”
“Yes of course,” he said, distractedly. He stopped. “What are you talking about, any woman on the ship?”
Bastila sighed, in a way that signified she couldn’t believe the admiral had even asked such a question. “You men are all so blind.” She muttered. “Carth, do you not pay attention to any of your female staff? They are all hopelessly in love with you.”
“They are not.”
“Oh yes they are!” she countered. “I swear, I can hardly make it around this ship without hearing, ‘Admiral Onasi this’ or ‘Admiral Onasi that’. There’s a small group of them that sit together at dinner and speculate whether you wear anything under your uniform or not.”
“You’re…you’re making that up.” he sputtered, a blush rapidly rushing to his face.
“Oh, that Adm. Onasi is so handsome,” she mimicked, her voice high and seductive, a hand resting on her chest. “He looks so regal in his uniform. Oh he looks regal out of his uniform.” And my personal favorite, ‘Carth Onasi rocks my socks.’” She smiled at his incredulous look. “And do you know what appeals to them even more?” she asked, watching as he shook his head slowly. “Is the fact that you are completely unaware of how attractive you are.”
“You find me attractive?” he asked, a grin on his face.
“As I find a shyrack attractive.” Came the retort.
“Hey, that had some bite into it, Bas,” he whined, leaning dramatically against the doorframe. “I think you really hurt me with that one.”
An incoming transmission cut off any retort from the young Jedi and they looked at each other in confusion. Who was calling at this time of night?
Carth went to his desk, activating the holo image of one Republic officer. “Adm. Onasi, sir!” the young man saluted, seeing his superior officer on the other end.
“At ease, Ensign.” Carth replied. “What can I do for you?”
“Well, sir,” the young man began. “Remember when you gave a few of us some orders to be on the look out for anyone…peculiar?”
“I remember giving that order to a few choice senior officers, yes…”
“I know, sir,” he replied. “But the captain wanted to get this information to you quickly, but he’s other wise detained.”
Carth signed. How was he supposed to keep highly classified – yet highly personal – information from getting out if no one ever listened to his orders? “I’m giving you a warning, Ensign,” he replied. “What ever you’re about to say is highly classified and make sure you tell that to your captain as well, so he’s not surprised when I have a chat him on this later. Go ahead then.”
The ensign gulped. It wasn’t like he wanted to be doing this, but his captain had told him to report it. “The captain thought you should know that we think a Jedi just boarded our ship.”
Both occupants in the room held their breaths. “What?” Carth croaked.
“Well, as you know, The Harbinger is currently in the Kessel sector, doing some transports and random patrols and the like,” the ensign began. “Well, we picked up at least five passengers from Kessel itself and…I don’t know. The captain had looked at one of them strangely and then he conferred with another of the senior officers and then he told me to contact you, as he was called into a meeting with the Republic higher ups.”
“The one the captain looked at,” Carth pressed. “Did you see him? What did he look like?”
The ensign thought about it before responding. “Medium height, bald head with a bit of fuzz, a chin beard, a bit of a moustache when he got on, but I think he may have shaved. Wore a pretty tattered blue robe with the hood up.”
“Are…are you absolutely sure?” the admiral asked, not wanting to get his hopes up too far.
“Oh yes sir,” the ensign replied. “It really looked like he didn’t want to be noticed, but I saw some of his profile, sir. He…he didn’t look so good. He looked, I don’t know, haunted or something.”
“And this is the guy the captain thinks could be a Jedi?”
“Oh yes sir.”
Carth nodded, slowly. “Where”s your next destination, Ensign?”
“Peragus II, sir.” He said. “Then I believe we”re headed back to Corellia.”
“Get fueled at Peragus II, then make a short stop at Telos.” Carth commanded. “The Sojourn is heading back that way and I want to talk to this man.”
The ensign nodded, though a bit confused. “Is he in some kind of trouble, Admiral?”
Carth gave the man a nervous grin, glancing over at Bastila. “If he’s in a worse condition than he is now, he may be.” he muttered under his breath. “He’s not in any trouble, Ensign.” he replied. “I just need him for a bit of questioning. that’s all I can tell you. Remember? Classified?”
The ensign nodded, gravely embarrassed. “Of course sir,” he saluted. “Anything else?”
Carth shook his head. “Just…just head out to Peragus and I’ll see you at Telos. Thank you, ensign.”
“You’re welcome, sir. The Harbinger out.”
The former Republic pilot sat back in his chair, just…stunned. He knew his guest felt the same way. He had spoken to several senior officers that he trusted and who he knew patrolled the Outer Rim to be on the look out for a Jedi.
These were men who knew he was friends with Revan and Bastila Shan; who knew that his son was a Jedi; these were men he trusted. So he asked them to be on the look out and anyone that they remotely suspected of being a Jedi was to be detained until Carth could talk to them. He made sure the officers would call in and give a description. Though he hoped to come across Jolee or even Juhani, the reason for his asking was a clear one.
He wanted them to find Revan.
It was his hope that Revan, if injured or in trouble, would see the Republic ships and take a ride onboard. And he hoped that his senior officers would alert him in case something like that happened.
And it seemed as though it had.
“Carth, do you think…?” She couldn’t say it, much less think it. But they were both thinking the same thing.
Was this man, the one the ensign described, Revan? Was the prodigal knight really coming home?
With the knowledge that a mysterious Jedi exile had returned to Republic space, all hell broke loose. It all started on the Republic vessel, the Harbinger. The ship had picked up this Jedi, with orders to stop at Peragus II for fuel then head to Telos so Adm. Carth Onasi could speak to him.
It didn’t go as planned.
Weird things began happening on the ship, starting with the drugging of the exile. Then there were a series of accidents aboard the ship and then, they encountered an unwanted passenger.
An old woman, flying the Ebon Hawk, had stumbled on to the Harbinger. After that, the ship was attacked by a Sith capitol ship and the old woman, the exile, and the Hawk were gone.
The story continued to get more bizarre and more dangerous as it went on. Turns out, the Hawk had gone to Peragus II, with the now Sith controlled Harbinger in pursuit. No one knows what exactly happened, but the miners on the planet were all dead and then the planet was blown up. The Harbinger was just sitting out in space when the Sojourn sided up to it.
Carth and Bastila had been speechless since coming aboard. There were bodies – Republic and Sith alike – all over. And none of them looked like it had been quick and painless. On the way to the bridge, one officer had found a severed hand and quickly rushed it to the med workers.
The whole feel of the ship was utter dread and full of death. One officer had come over and told Carth a Lt. Grenn on Telos” Citadel Station was asking for him and that he had the perpetrators within a holding cell.
“Keep them there!” Carth had shouted, turning back to the destruction in front of him. “What the frack happened up here?” he asked to no one in particular. He turned to see his companion, who was struggling to get a hold of herself. “Bas, you all right?”
Bastila shivered, a very dark feeling taking a hold of her. The very ship seemed to ooze with the dark energy of the Sith that had boarded, most importantly, the Sith Lord that had seemingly stolen aboard.
“I’ve never felt anything so dark in my life.” she whispered, closing her eyes against her emotions. Just being here brought up some very painful memories.
“Let’s get out of here.” He commanded, taking her by the arm and practically dragging her back to the Sojourn. Only when they were back in the confines of their shared quarters, did she seem to relax slightly. Perhaps she was more on edge than she liked to admit, because she gratefully took the offered drink Carth had poured for both of them.
“Talk to me.” he said, kneeling in front of her.
Bastila took a calming breath, then downed her drink in one gulp. She must have been truly upset, for she didn’t react as the whiskey went down her throat. “Do you remember what Jolee said about those Jedi task forces being ambushed?” she asked.
“The shadow Sith,” he nodded. “They”ve been responsible for a number of Jedi deaths these last two years and they are definitely suspect to what happened on Katarr.”
The home world of the Miraluka was utterly destroyed, not to mention that the few Jedi left had all ventured there, had all been killed. Bastila had felt one death in particular and it had hardened both her and Carth. There was now revenge to look into.
She nodded, looking at him. “I think you can add this to the list.” she said. “And worse…I think there may have been a Sith Lord on board as well.”
“Great.” he muttered. “Just fragging great.” He downed his drink. “What about this guy on Telos?”
“I don’t know.” she sighed. “Despite what we know, I refuse to think that Revan would purposefully blow up a planet.”
Carth nodded. “Well,” he said, standing. “Only one way to find out.”
And the story just kept getting worse. Before they had even reached Telos, Lt. Grenn from the Telos Security Force had told them the exile had some how managed to escape, but not before joining Czerka in a mini take over and then killing the errant mercs who decided they wanted control.
And that was before he had massacred the resident Exchange boss and his cronies. Carth, finding no choice but to maintain a vigil on this exile, told Grenn to let it go…for now.
And over the next few months, reports of the exile just flew in to him. He had been successful at ridding Queen Talia from Onderon in order to usher in that incompetent Gen. Vaklu, then he turned around and saved Dantooine from a mercenary take over. He had also once again killed members of the Exchange on Nar Shaddaa, but not before cutting a deal with Vogga the Hut on getting fuel to Telos. While Carth would’ve outright said “hell no” to the offer, Czerka had other plans, as usual.
All through this, Bastila had looked nearly heartbroken. They were still under the impression that this was Revan they were dealing with and for him to…do these things was hard on both of them. Then when he had asked what could possibly make him do this, she had stunned him with her words.
“I’ve felt him fall.”
She was near tears, she knew it. “I didn’t…I didn’t think our bond could even still be intact after all this time…” she sniffed. “But I…I felt him…give in to his anger…more than once.”
“How long have you known this?” he asked, surprised and shocked.
“Damn it, Bastila!” he exclaimed. “Are you telling me we have Darth Revan running around again?”
“Is that what you think?” her tone matched his.
Carth was truly at a loss. “I…I don’t know.” he managed. “For all we know, this isn’t even Revan. And you’ve heard the reports; that the Ebon Hawk is once again in known space. Revan loved that ship and no one should have it unless…” He let the thought trail off.
“You…you don’t believe that.” She whispered.
“What if it’s true?” he asked, turning away from her. “What if he is dead?”
“He’s not!” she cried. “Damn it, I would know. We would know! He’s not dead. He’s not.”
Carth couldn’t say anything; his emotions were too raw and so were hers. He decided to just leave her and let her have her peace. Besides, he needed to leave as well. He headed for the door, but stopped, a thought needing to be said.
“If this is Revan…” he began. “And if he has fallen to the dark side again, it’s our duty as Republic officers to make sure what happened before doesn’t happen again.”
He took a chance and looked at her. Though she had a look of defiance on her face, it was tempered with the reality and weight of what he was saying.
“No matter how much it hurts.” he finished, before heading out the door.