REVENGE OF THE SITH
Part VI – The True Threat
Canderous was waiting for them at the landing point on Dxun. As he had told Visas, he almost had a sixth sense that Revan would be calling him. And sure enough, only ten minutes later the former Jedi had rung in, asking for him to meet the Hawk at the landing site. He had forgone his armor as soon as he was away from the camp, reverting back to his bounty hunter digs of khaki pants and a black tank top.
Visas always liked him best when he was just plain Canderous – she had said she liked to see him without the armor; he thought she liked to ogle, but who was he to contradict a beautiful woman from staring at him?
He often thought how he never would’ve seen himself in this position before – leader of his clansmen; devoted to a wonderful woman…thinking of marriage…It was just – what was the word? Fate? – that he and the former Sith apprentice would end up together.
They spent their time finding those like themselves; they hadn’t meant to fall in love, but then again, one never knows when one will fall in love. But soon, he found himself thinking about her and contacting her on Katarr, then he would visit her and help her; soon she wanted to speak to him and see him…
They managed to keep their affair secret and the Mandalorian was going to make sure it stayed that way. Revan’s request for this meeting wasn’t sitting well with the clan leader and he certainly didn’t want to put Visas in harm’s way. He had a feeling this was concerning that Jedi exile and while Canderous liked the young man, he knew he was trouble, especially if he was getting counsel from that old schutta Kreia.
No words were said as the landing lowered to the ground, letting the former bounty hunter enter the ship. It was soon raised, as was the ship as it rose in the sky. Most of the crew were already in the main hold, while Carth and Lynsel acted as pilots. The former bounty hunter raised an eyebrow when he saw everyone, saying, “Throwing a party for me? You shouldn’t have.”
“I didn’t.” replied the former knight. “I need directions to this planet, Canderous.”
“Let me hang out in the cockpit.” He said, heading towards the destination. Revan didn’t stop him and ignored the looks he got from Dustil and Mission.
Carth wasn’t surprised to see Canderous walk in ala his bounty hunter garb, though Lynsel was. She almost reached for her blaster had Carth not given a greeting to the man. The Mandalorian leader looked just as opposing out of his armor as he did inside it. He handed Carth what looked like to the navigational charts to wherever they would be heading. He then turned and walked out.
“That was Mandalore?” she asked.
Carth nodded. “Shocked to see him out of uniform?” he teased.
Lynsel chuckled. “I’m not so uptight that I sleep in one, you know,” she retorted. “I’m beginning to think it’s pointless to obey any rules on this little adventure.”
“I told you that.”
They were silent until Carth looked over at her. “I can see the gears whirling in your head,” he replied with a smile. “What’s going on in that pretty little head of yours?”
The Intel officer let out a sigh. “A lot of things actually.” She murmured. “I won’t lie and say that Revan’s behavior on Onderon didn’t bother me, cause it did and I know it bothered you too. I’m just…I’m questioning what’s going on here, which I’m sure is more than we know.” She turned to look at him. “And I really hate not knowing something.”
“I’ve noticed.” He said, with a grin. “And I agree with you. This whole thing is making me feel…”
“Uneasy?” she finished. Carth nodded. “What’s this planet we’re going to?’
“Don’t know.” The pilot shrugged. “But whatever it is, you can bet only Revan managed to get Canderous to tag along.”
“I don’t like this, Carth,” she whispered. “Things are…shaky at best, especially after his statement that our lone Sith Lord has the backing of the True Sith.”
“After this,” Carth began. “Whatever he’s coming here for, you can bet when he gets back, I’m gonna find out what’s going on.”
In the aftermath of the destruction of the Jedi Temple, the Republic Senate had been busy; very busy indeed. They had meetings upon meetings after it was discovered that the former dark lord of the Sith and now redeemed Jedi knight had slipped through their fingers, thanks to the Jedi Order.
They had worried that Revan was going to once again come back to the power he had wielded only two short years ago and the fact that the Jedi Order didn’t know – or didn’t want to tell them – where the errant knight had gone only put them in a more heightened sense of doom.
When a year passed and then two, the Senate members became antsy. The last time Revan had gone off, he had come back under the Sith and nearly destroyed the Republic. They couldn’t let that happen again. And when the business with that other Jedi came, the Republic Senate was more than happy to look away.
The Order had done nothing when one of their own had nearly destroyed the galaxy and there were many senators who remembered the days of Exar Kun and Freedon Nadd as well. All three a part of the Jedi Order and all three dangerous as hell.
So when this disgruntled Jedi laid waste to the home of the Order, the Senate wasn’t too upset really. They had deserved it for all their secrets and lies and pupils that were hell-bent on ruling the galaxy…
But it didn’t solve the problem of Revan. Many felt that the mysterious exile was Revan and that he was doing what he had done years earlier. Unfortunately, those rumors had been squashed by Lt. Grenn from the Telos Security Force, which Adm. Carth Onasi of the Republic Fleet corroborated. But they were still uneasy.
It had been nearly over five years and there had been no word from Revan. What was he doing? Where was he? In an act of desperation, the Senate had told the Fleet to send out some people in order to look for the errant Jedi. They didn’t think they would get anything, but when a Lt. Belyn from Intelligence had called in, they were happy to know Revan was found.
It was then some of the senators had insisted they keep tabs on Revan now that they had found him. Seven of the most influential senators would be in charge, but they would preside over some high ranking officials that acted as the liasion to Lt. Belyn. It was these senators that sat in one of the meeting rooms on Coruscant.
There was currently construction going on with the Senate building – years of wars had slowly degraded the older building and they had set about making a new, more modern place. It was mushroomed shaped, about two kilometers wide.
The workers were currently working on statues of the founders of the Core Worlds to adorn the walkway, as well as fixing the minor problems from the fall out of the destruction of the Jedi Temple. Because of the destruction, many senators were happy to return to their home worlds for a bit of a vacation, certain that whatever problems arose would be dealt with quickly.
It was a private meeting, therefore in a private office. The office expressed the climate of the owner – a new specialty allowing certain aspects of a senator’s home world within his office – and that was of blue skies and fluffy clouds.
The décor was of the planet Talus, one of the twin planets in the Corellia sector, and a planet known for some of its natural resources. Though the room held promise of lighter days, the meeting itself held the element of intensity.
Their leader – or rather the man who was running this meeting – was currently pacing slightly. The last time they had received a report from Lt. Belyn was when they were about to meet the current leader of the Mandalorians.
What was that about? Didn’t Ulic use Mandalorians? The man that paced seemed equally annoyed for the lack of communication. “I get the distinct impression that something more is going on.” He stated.
“What do you mean?” asked an elderly man.
“I mean,” the younger man replied. “When we first assigned her for this, she contacted us at every opportunity. Now, we hardly hear from her. I’m afraid she may be under Revan’s influence.”
“Isn’t that pilot with them?” asked another. “The decorated admiral. He’s friends with Revan.”
The young man stopped his pacing and looked at the others. “I think it’s time we talked to the ‘prodigal knight’,” the man responded. “That ship of theirs, what’s it called?”
“The Ebon Hawk,” replied an elder woman. “I believe we can trace its signature to locate them.”
The young man nodded. “Do it then.” He commanded. “And get in touch with the Supreme Chancellor. I’m sure he’ll want to know what’s going on.”
Most of those gathered left soon after, except for the young man and an elder species of Mon Calamari. “You’re worried about her?” he asked.
“Of course I am,” the young man replied. “She’s on a mission with a Sith Lord and an apparent rogue Republic officer. And now she’s in the hands of those Mandalorian beasts.”
“I’m sure there’s nothing to worried about,” the Mon Cal said, patting the younger man on the shoulder. “Besides, we have our own duties. We must keep Revan here by all means or at least persuade him to stay for a bit.”
The younger man nodded. “You must remember our plans, Robert.”
“I haven’t forgotten.” The man named Robert said. “Even if my father feels differently, this is for the best. Despite the problems in the past, I have a feeling things will be different now.”
The Mon Cal nodded and headed of the room, just as a dark skinned human male poked his head in the door. “I hate to disturb you, Mr. Belyn,” he began. “But your father is looking for you.”
Robert nodded his head at the information. “I’ll be there shortly.”
The Hawk landed on solid ground, not too far from the small village that Canderous knew Visas would be. He led Revan and Bastila off the ship and through the nearly deserted planet.
The small hut they came to was the only thing within a mile of various scattered trees and the like. When the door opened, it revealed a woman, with shoulder length brown hair and a black blindfold across her eyes. She wore a light blue sleeveless summer dress.
The former knight bowed.”Visas Marr,” he replied. “It is a pleasure. Bastila Shan.” He continued, motioning to his lover beside him. “And you know Canderous.”
She gave a small smile to the Mandalorian before moving aside and letting everyone in. There was a table to the left, which Visas indicated they would be sitting. The former Jedi took their seats while Visas sat across from them, Canderous standing behind her at her side.
“Would you like anything?” the young woman asked. “I don’t have much, but…”
Revan shook his head. “We’re fine.” He said. “I think Canderous has told you why we’re here.”
The young woman nodded.”He said you wanted to know about my time under Darth Nihilus.” She stated.
“Not just that,” the knight replied. “But it’s certainly a start. I’m interested to know how he came across you, seeing as Katarr was supposed to be wiped out completely, as well as the Miraluka species.”
The Miraluka gave the former Jedi a smile. “Straight to the heart of the matter,” she quipped. “How much do you know about my people?”
“They’re able to actually see through the Force,” Bastila spoke. “It’s said your species has been around for hundreds of years.”
“Thousands to be exact,” Visas corrected. She turned to Revan, almost peering through him, before smiling at him again. “You don’t truly want to hear about my time in the Sith.” She stated. “There are…other reasons.”
Revan gave a bitter chuckle. “Am I that transparent?” he asked, rhetorically. “I need to know what you know about the Sith. Plain and simple.”
Canderous seemed to sense the conversation of dread was about to take place and he gave Visas’ shoulder a squeeze, an act that did not go unnoticed by the Jedi across from them.
“Thousands of years ago,” she began. “My species fled a dying world and went to the planet of Alpheridies – a Sith world. From what I understand, it was a dark place and that’s how my people became able to ‘see’ through the Force.
“Like how the Jedi can sense when danger approaches or how the Sith know when an enemy is near; we Miralukas have that as well, but it is transmitted to our sight, our visual perception. My father use to tell stories of how the first Miralukas had eyes, but the darkness that surrounded their planet made their sight useless and through the generation, we were born without visual sight, but inner sight – the ability to perceive the environment around us without using our eyes.
“Anyways, our people moved to the Sith planet,” she continued. “There were stories about a great library that was housed there, but it could never be proven.”
“Why not?” asked Bastila.
“Because they don’t know where the planet is.” Revan whispered, his eyes locked on the woman before him. “Continue.” He told her.
“I don’t know why my people left that planet,” Visas said. “But they soon found this one. It was here, as you know, that a Jedi meeting was to take place.” She seemed to have trailed off, perhaps thinking about that day. “I saw a lot of people about, more than usual.” She whispered. “We had a Jedi on this planet in hiding; he befriended most of the village. There wasn’t many Jedi, well if you can call about thirty to fifty Jedi many, but they were here. I don’t know where they met, but they hadn’t been gone long when the Ravager showed up.
“I…I’m not sure what Nihilus did or what happened in that time – perhaps I was unconscious – but when I was aware, I was onboard the ship and Nihilus was standing over me.” She shivered slightly, causing Canderous to grip her shoulder.
“He spoke to me, wondering how I escaped. I may have screamed at him – you must understand; we Miraluka can feel the Force strongly as well and after he did what he had, I could feel the life of the planet die, stripped of breath everywhere.
“I must have been hysterical, but then that’s…”
“You don’t have to finish this.” Canderous whispered in her ear.
She shook her head in defiance. “He made me ‘see’ the world,” she said, bitterly. “Made me see for the first time the galaxy without the Force, how…horrible it was and that life was the cause of it all. He wanted me to believe in him, in his cause to destroy what lived. How was I to deter him?”
The group was silent, each of them in their own thoughts. “Visas,” Revan whispered. “I need to know…”
The young woman bowed her head. “I don’t know who he may have taken his orders from,” she whispered. “But I know it was not from their former master; your former master. However, she trained Ellis in the ways of a Sith Lord. At times, I wondered if she wasn’t disappointed in him.”
“He let his anger get the better of him,” she replied. “I know the former handmaiden found that to be very disconcerting, as did Bao Dur. I think perhaps Kreia had another agenda that he may have not gone along with. I just know he wasn’t happy when Canderous and I went with him to Telos.”
“It was almost as though he was reliving a war.” Canderous muttered, causing Revan and Bastila to look up at him. “I never met him in battle when we went after the Republic, but I could tell by the way he gave orders that he treated this as another battle. Maybe he was a little too into it.”
“What do you mean?” Bastila asked, hesitantly.
“He killed Col. Tobin.” Whispered the Miraluka.
“He was Vaklu’s kath hound,” Canderous supplied. “I think he may have held a grunge for Tobin sending troops our way while on Onderon. But he killed him and made him suffer too. He was brutal when we met Nihilus; I hate to think what happened when he met the crone Kreia.”
Bastila turned to look at Revan, who seemed to very introspective at the moment. She couldn’t sense what he was feeling, which meant he was once again blocking her from his thoughts; she could only imagine what this information was doing to him – Ellis Yoly, from what she had gathered, had been like family to him, a brother along with Malak, and they both seemed to have betrayed him.
And worse of all, his mentor – a beloved mentor – seems to have not only betrayed him, but was the reason his former friend was a Sith Lord bent on causing havoc and destruction.
“I’m sorry.” Came the whispered response from the Miraluka’s lips.
“As am I.” Responded Revan. “I want to help, if I can.”
“As do I.”
The former Jedi nodded, standing and holding his hand out for her to take. “Thank you for seeing me,” he said. “And…for what you told me.”
“I’m not sure if it helped any.” She replied.
“It did,” he said. “It has. I hate to talk and run, but we must go. There’s…there’s a lot of things I need to tell the crew before they have me walk the proverbial plank. Canderous, you coming?”
The former bounty hunter shook his head. “I’ll stay, if you don’t mind.” At Revan’s look, he smirked. “Don’t worry. I have a way of getting back.”
The younger man nodded, sending a smile to Visas, before he and Bastila took their leave. The Miraluka gave a sigh when she felt his hands relax her shoulders; she wasn’t even aware of how tense she had become during the meeting. “I don’t think he realizes what he’s getting himself into.” She whispered, leaning in to his touch.
The Mandalorian chuckled. “Actually,” he said. “I think he has just now realized it.”
Smuggling life on Nar Shaddaa had been hit relatively hard in the last few years. The Jedi exile had made quick work of all those factions that worked under the title of the Exchange and he had also killed a heavy amount of members that worked for the corrupt organization. It was quite annoying.
That was how the remaining bosses of the Exchange saw it. At this point, there were really only two real leaders — that of Vogga the Hutt, who had been screwed in a deal to rid himself of his rival, as well as a minor blockade on his ships; and that of Goto, the mysterious crime boss who had not only put that blockade on Vogga’s ships, but had also managed to kidnap said exile and then traveled with him for the remainder of his adventure.
It had been mere luck that the black droid that acted as his ‘movement’ was able to get off the planet of Malachor V. He had been found shortly after he had stopped that insignificant repair droid from disrupting the natural flow of things.
Oh, he knew the exile was evil, but it didn’t matter. The point was to strengthen the Republic by any means necessary, even if that meant handing it over to the Sith. But those were just names of a group who believed differently from another group.
It was all politics in the end.
In the aftermath of everything, the exile’s troops – those he managed to spare apparently – had found him fighting off a small group of storm beasts. When he had been ‘rescued’, he was taken for a private meeting with the exile turned new Sith Lord.
In the quiet just between the man and the droid, a bargain was struck – an agreement of sorts. Goto was a pretty wide known crime lord, as well as a politician, if not by hobby. The droid’s counterpart would be the voice for the new dark lord to ensure the Republic knew it would be saved, not destroyed as some would think.
The crime boss would also help Ellis in any quests he took part in, ie any missions in which he would need the help of the Exchange. Meanwhile, the dark lord promised the Exchange would be taken care of when he ruled the galaxy.
Now, being the intelligent person he was, Goto knew when something was amiss. This young man had all but desecrated the outfit by himself; Goto could imagine what ‘taking care of the Exchange’ meant indeed. However, he had to admit he had met his match.
The exile had bested him on his ship and again when he had gone and turned the galaxy upside down. The dark lord would be in charge now, but he also realized the stake in which he played a role in. The droid reminded him what would happen if the Republic should fall and the young man had smirked, as though he knew something the droid didn’t.
He was told not to worry.
So the droid liaison for the crime boss could only secure another vessel – one that was kindly donated by the new Sith lord himself – and hang out above the skies of Nar Shaddaa. He still had his minions; those that wanted a chance to serve this new lord, some who wanted nothing more than to gut him like a Gamorrean pig. But all in all, this was all he needed. The exile knew the stakes and Goto was going to keep him to it.
The Republic would not, could not fall.
It just wasn’t economically sound.