REVENGE OF THE SITH
Part VII – Betrayal
Carth had never truly been in the Unknown Regions before; hell, he had never really been past the Outer Rim before, and this time, he was really within uncharted space. He had been so surprised when Revan had given the coordinates for a planet he wasn’t sure even existed, but the former pilot knew better than to question Revan and his motives, so he powered up the Hawk and made the jump to lightspeed. When they hit their mark, they were greeted with total darkness and an icy planet before them.
‘Where are we?’ he had whispered, looking up at his friend. Revan had been quiet the entire trip, only just now returning to the cockpit as they got closer. The look on his face could only be one of confusion, but what the former knight could be confused about, Carth didn’t know.
‘Revan?’ Bastila asked, from her co-pilot’s chair.
‘I don’t know,’ came his whisper, in response to Carth’s question. And truly, Revan had no idea where they were or what the planet before them was called. He only knew that he had been here once, that he had seen it once in his mind. ‘T3,’ he said, calling the little droid to him. The little astromech droid beeped at his master, wondering what he could want.
‘It’s time, T3.’ Was all he said.
To Carth, it seemed as though the little droid tried to put up a fight, but Revan shook his head and repeated his earlier statement. Again, the droid protested. ‘Be that as it may,’ Revan replied. ‘It is time.’ T3 seemed to let it go then and made his way out of the cockpit.
‘What was that about?’ asked Carth.
‘It seems Ellis tried to break into the nav-computer,’ came the response.
‘To see where I had gone.’
Carth and Bastila looked at each other. ‘I want you to review those files, Carth,’ he continued. ‘While we’re on the planet.’
‘What am I looking for?’ the pilot asked, hesitantly.
That was as far as he would elaborate, before he walked out of the cockpit, leaving his friends to stare after him. ‘I have a horrible feeling about this, Carth,’ Bastila whispered. ‘I sense that this planet is heavy within the dark side and it will take everything for both Revan and myself to counter it.’
‘What do you think’s going on down there?’ he asked.
‘I haven’t the slightest idea,’ she replied. ‘But I feel as though nothing good will come from this. In fact…I have the feeling nothing will go as planned.’
‘Maybe we shouldn’t be here.’
The young woman shook her head. ‘The Force is directing us for a reason,’ she whispered, standing and heading for the doorway. ‘However the event will end.’
Only moments later, Carth was landing the ship in a remote location that was blocked by a large mountain of ice. From the windows, they could see the planet to be extremely cold, prompting the trio of Revan, Jolee, and Bastila to dress warmer than they normally would.
The winds looked to be calm, directing Revan to wait to leave while the temperatures weren’t harsh. ‘The winds here can cause hypothermia,’ he said, casually. He missed the look passed between Jolee and Bastila.
The trio left the safety and warmth of the Ebon Hawk to step on the surface of this unknown, cold planet. The winds were just as Revan said — harsh, cold, and brutal — and the three moved slowly within the snow that lay thick on the ground.
Revan wasn’t sure where he was leading them, just that something told him to go north and that’s where he headed. They walked in silence, until Jolee had to ask where they were headed. Revan shook his head, muttering, ‘I don’t know,’ before pushing on ahead.
For Bastila, she didn’t know how her husband could endure the swirl of the dark side here. It was almost as if the planet itself was incased in it and it brought about horrible memories from when she had been turned by Malak — the rage and anger she had felt had truly blinded her, almost to the point she had nearly killed the man who would become her husband of the past few weeks.
She smiled inwardly; she knew most women would balk at their journey. She and Revan should be on a traditional honeymoon; instead they were on a planet heavy in the dark side, looking for a former friend of Revan’s who wanted him dead.
‘I see nothing funny about traipsing around in the snow,’ Jolee huffed, seeing her small smile
The young woman smirked. ‘Just thinking, Jolee,’ she replied.
‘About where we’re going, I hope.’
‘I have as much as an idea as you do, old man,’ she retorted. ‘Though you must know that the Force is pointing us in this direction.’
‘Hmph,’ the elder muttered. ‘The Force is many things, though sometimes I do wonder if it does indeed lead us.’
‘You think we’re here for nothing then?’ she asked.
‘Oh, I think we need to be here,’ he admitted. ‘I just have a bad feeling about it.’
Bastila looked ahead of her, seeing Revan further ahead than she would’ve liked. ‘I have the same feeling, Jolee,’ she whispered. ‘I can’t help but feel we’re walking into a trap somehow.’
Before the elder man could respond, they saw Revan standing still in front of them and looking ahead, they could see why. Before them stood something of a castle, wide and grey. The walls were high, leading into two towers on either end. The perimeter seemed to be deserted, but all three Jedi could sense the evil this place held.
‘I know where we are,’ Revan whispered, his eyes scanning the area around them. ‘This is Khar Delba, once a planet of the Sith Empire. This place…this place was said to be Naga Sadow’s fortress, but it wasn’t. It was a decoy; the place Ludo Kressh attacked, while Sadow was hidden in the real fortress on the planet’s moon. He gave a surprise attack, virtually destroying Kressh’s fleet and taking two of his supporters with them.’
‘How do you know all that?’ Bastila asked in awe and a bit of trepidation.
Jolee smirked. ‘Revan was always looking for something to research,’ he chuckled. ‘I heard you were up for the job of Jedi historian, if not for the war.’
Revan shook his head. ‘Not that,’ he replied. ‘I’ve been here.’ He again looked around. ‘There’s a side entrance on the right, just over the hill,’ he continued. ‘There’re war and assault droids at the front and…’ The former dark lord shook his head, as if trying to remember something. ‘There’s something else, but…I can’t…’
‘You’ve done enough already, son,’ Jolee replied, giving the younger man a fatherly pat on the shoulder. ‘We’re wasting too much time out here. I say we go for broke and get inside this place.’
The couple nodded at the suggestion and the three headed off in a run towards the side door. It was hard to maneuver with the snow, but when they finally reached the door, Bastila was dismayed to see that it had a control lock on it. Revan shook his head.
‘You got me, remember?’ he quipped, before slicing into the computer pad and opening the door. The inside, though a sharp contrast from the harsh winds of outside, was just as intimidating as the outside of the castle. Revan surmised the place hadn’t been use since his last time here, though he couldn’t be sure on when he had been here at all.
Though it had been some time — centuries supposedly or years from the last time Revan had been there — the corridor they stood seemed to be immaculate and recently cleaned. The light was dim from where they stood, but further down they could see the light considerably brightened. The trio took cautious steps, the sound of their footsteps oddly muted on the cold floor.
They had just reached the junction between the darkened area and the lighted one when a figure appeared before them, standing at what seemed to an entrance into a large room. He was of average height, with a shave head that seemed to previous hold red locks; he was dressed in the black robes of a dark knight, and he actually winked at them before turning away.
Bastila didn’t have time to think how it was odd it was that this Sith lord — and she was positive it was this Darth Trayun that stood before them — was bold enough to meet them, when she heard a shout and was suddenly watching as Revan took off after the man.
She and Jolee moved as one, trying to follow the former knight, but when they entered the room, he and his chase were nowhere in sight.
‘Damn fool kid,’ Jolee muttered, as the two of them looked around. They entered something of a large chamber, by the looks of it, with three different accesses to other parts of the castle.
‘Where do you think he went?’ Bastila asked, looking at all three pathways and trying her best to find Revan, but the dark side masked his presence and it seemed there were other Force users in the building as well.
Jolee was shaking his head, his eyes glued to the entrance to their left. ‘I don’t know,’ he grumbled. ‘But I don’t like it and I have a bad feeling we’re about to have company.’
Sure enough, from the entrance Jolee watched, they could hear the sounds of several droids approaching, the first two being Mark IV assault droids, followed by what seemed to be an army of military droids.
‘Oh bloody hell,’ came the curse, surprisingly from Bastila herself.
‘Looks like we have our work cut out for us, hmm?’ Jolee quipped, preparing his lightsaber
Revan didn’t know what he would do once he got a hold of his former friend, but as he chased him down one corridor and then another, the thought of some sort of vengeance for making him run after the guy was in tall order. As it was, the former Jedi paid no attention to where his former ally was leading him, so when he ended up in a third corridor, only the way he came and the entrance to a nearby room were his only choices.
Looking this way and that, Revan wasn’t certain where Ellis — or himself for that matter — had ended up and it looked like the only way to find out was to move forward. He eyed the forward room with some trepidation, his hands hovering over his sides where he kept his lightsabers, and he took the tentative steps towards the opening.
Something in his senses told him to duck, which he did, falling and sliding forward across the floor on his knees as the swing of a double-bladed, red saber flew over his head. While still in motion, and with a flick of his thumbs, Revan countered a blow coming at his back with his left handed weapon.
He ducked by rolling to the right and immediately got on his feet, weapons ready to face his opponent. He saw the confident swagger in the younger man, a smirk on his face as he twirled his lit lightsaber like a baton. ‘I thought you were much smarter than this, Ellis,’ Revan replied. ‘I didn’t think you would stoop so low.’
‘You’re one to speak, Revan,’ the dark lord retorted. ‘So high and mighty you thought you were, but look how far you’ve fallen. Even after you taught us that the Jedi thought us as pawns, you still worked for them as their puppet. The great Revan being led around by weak minded fools!’
Darth Trayun came at him, feigning a swipe at his left side, just to turn his saber upwards, nearly severing Revan’s head had the former Jedi not moved away and countered. The two battled, the older man surprised with his former friend’s movements and directions. It seemed like Ellis’ movements, but they were slightly diminished, as though the Sith Lord lost some of his weapons training.
But some moves and counters were the same — he still used the Shien form that Revan and Malak had taught him, as well as that of Jar’kai; but there was another style too; he seemed to be fighting in the style of Makashi, a very elegant form for saber to saber fighting and Revan couldn’t remember ever teaching him the second form.
Revan could also see the style of Echani within their dance and that brought about a pain he didn’t wish to acknowledge at the moment. The thought made him think of Arren Kae, the woman who had been his master and a mother figure; whose husband had taught his troops about his people and then led them against the Mandalorian onslaught.
He had a flash to several months earlier when he had encountered Ellis for the first time in nearly ten years — how the young lord had addressed one of his apprentices as the daughter of Arren and Yusanis. Certainly, with her heritage, she would be willing to teach her master the art known as Echani fighting.
The Dark Lord was on the offensive, pushing Revan backwards towards the wall, trying to block him. The former knight dodged, Darth Trayun’s blade missing his head and scrapping the wall behind them.
‘Ellis!’ Revan screamed. ‘Don’t do this. You have no idea what these…beings are capable of.’
‘There you go again,’ the Sith Lord said, walking towards his opponent. ‘Always doubting my ability. My masters have taught me more than you and Malak combined. And when they reclaim the galaxy, I will sit on a throne worthy of my talents. While you, dear Revan, will be rotting in this room.’
‘So sure, are you, that you’ll beat me?’ Revan replied, flourishing both his sabers.
‘The student has become the master.’
They danced around each other before their blades met again, causing some energy sparks with the intensity. They parried and swung and blocked, neither of them getting the upper hand. ‘When the Sith take the galaxy,’ Ellis taunted. ‘Your friends will be the first to fall. And then, we will make adequate use of your Jedi whore.’
Revan could feel his anger build and he came at the Sith Lord with renewed energy, turning his defense to offence and pushing the young lord back. Darth Trayun tried to counter, but in the end, could only block Revan’s downward swing, but didn’t block the left swing that came at his side, seemingly cutting him in half.
However, as Revan’s blade hit the side, the figure of Darth Trayun ceased to exist. He simply disappeared.
Revan stood and looked around him, trying to discern what had happened to his former friend. Seeing that the young lord was nowhere in the vicinity, the former Jedi moved out of the room slowly, hoping to either find his foe or his friends.
There seemed to be a mass number of droids that continued to flow through the doorway, even though Jolee and Bastila were doing their hardest to keep them at bay. They were using a heavy amount of Force powers, exclusive to disabling or destroying droids.
Though they used their lightsabers as well, it was known that sabers were not much when compared to the complex shielding and metal of droids and it seemed as these droids were of a high caliber, resistant to lightsabers.
Just as suddenly as the attack began, it stopped when the droids that were attacking them began to wind down and stop. The former Jedi stood in the center, surrounded either by debris or by droids that were no longer moving.
‘Do you get the sense that was deliberate?’ Bastila asked, looking around their area.
‘It’s mighty hard to tell, Lass,’ Jolee murmured. ‘The dark shields everything and in this place, no truer sentiment than that describes what we’re experiencing. Evil truly does shroud this place like a baby’s blanket.’
‘I fear we are not alone.’
No sooner had Bastila said it, when they both heard the familiar hiss of lightsabers being turned on. To Bastila’s right stood a woman of average height and a build similar to the young woman herself. She was white haired with piercing blue eyes and she wore robes of grey and black.
Her saber staff glowed in the shadows of where she stood, causing her to be bathed in partial red light. To Jolee’s left, stood a man considerably taller than the woman, with no hair to speak of and a malicious glint in his eye. His one red lightsaber twirled lightly in his hand.
‘I’ll take him,’ Jolee spoke. ‘You take care of the other one and go find Revan. Force knows what kind of trouble he’s gotten himself into.’
Bastila was torn; she didn’t want to leave Jolee alone, but on the other hand, she couldn’t allow this person to get away either. Looking at him, she nodded once, saying ‘May the Force be with you.’ before turning and walking towards the woman who seemed to be beckoning her to her.
‘The Force will do nothing to save you, old man,’ the younger spouted, sending a blast of Force lightening his way, only to watch it be blocked by the former counselor.
‘Kids these days,’ he muttered, igniting his lightsaber. ‘No respect what so ever.’ The two split and went after their perspective marks.