REVENGE OF THE SITH
Part VII – Betrayal
If Bastila was expecting a surprise attack, she was unprepared when one never came.
She had followed the younger woman through a corridor before ending up in another chamber, this one slightly smaller than the front entrance hall. The room was empty, save for the woman she had followed. ‘You are highly mistaken if you think luring me away will make me any less of an opponent to you,’ the Jedi replied, haughtily.
‘On the contrary,’ the woman said, once again igniting her lightsaber. ‘I only wanted to fight in a less confining condition.’
Bastila looked around the room. ‘Bit small, don’t you think?’
‘Though without the presence of others and certainly more room without droids littering the floor.’
The women came together in a clash, red striking yellow. Their fight was more of a practice, a friendly battle than anything that seemed to be tense. And Bastila Shan picked up on that right away. ‘Your master has taught you well,’ she complimented. ‘It’s very hard to wield a double staff, as you know.’
‘Ellis…’ the woman stopped herself, shaking her head slightly. ‘Lord Trayun didn’t teach me how to wield a double-handed staff. That pleasure went to my former mistress and my sisters.’
‘Then they are to be commended.’
The two again went at each other, Bastila clearly on the offensive, while the mysterious woman blocked her attempts at getting an upper hand. ‘The Force is strong within you,’ the Jedi said. ‘I can feel the good that is in your heart. Surely you know what will happen if your master continues on this path.’
The woman stood for a moment, looking at Bastila with such an unreadable expression, but which Bastila could feel was a quiet calm of sorts. ‘I am aware of what the consequences could be,’ she whispered. ‘But you must understand what this about. Do you still think the Jedi were correct? Even with your feelings for Revan known?’
‘This is much more than the Sith vs the Jedi,’ Bastila spat. ‘If you haven’t noticed, there are no more Jedi left.’
‘I’m well aware,’ the woman replied. ‘I can not influence the direction this fight leads us.’
‘I think you can and are unwilling.’
‘Believe me, Ms. Shan,’ the woman said. ‘I am quite willing to do whatever I can to keep Ellis from his death.’
‘Even if it means falling to the dark side?’ asked Bastila.
‘You, above anyone else, should know the answer to that.’
Before Bastila could respond, Revan came running from the direction behind them. He stopped when we saw the white haired woman, his mouth hanging open at the sight of her. ‘We meet again, Revan,’ she said, a small smile on her lips.
‘So we do,’ he whispered. ‘Where is he?’
She shook her head. ‘I can not let you harm him.’
‘Even when he’s doing something stupid?’
‘As opposed to going off for a few months hunting down Sith relics?’ the woman countered. ‘Yes, I guess this would seem pretty small in comparison.’
‘This is different…’
‘This is no different from when you tried conquering the galaxy,’ the young woman spat. ‘The goals are the same; only the means are different. Then again…perhaps they’re not.’
‘What do you mean?’ Bastila asked, looking between the two of them.
Just then, all three felt a shift in the Force, the feel of one who was on the least leg of their life. ‘Jolee!’ two of them exclaimed, looking through the doors they had entered, trying to figure which direction their colleague could be.
‘Try the east,’ the woman whispered, causing both to look at her in surprise. ‘I can’t assure that’s where your friend is, but it’s a start.’ With that, she turned and rushed down the corridor behind her.
‘Do we trust her?’ Bastila whispered, watching the retreating figure.
‘We have no choice, do we?’ Revan responded. He looked at the east corridor and began to move toward it. ‘Was this where you last saw him?’
Bastila shook her head, following him through the hall. ‘He was in the opposite direction, actually,’ she replied. ‘Do you think the hallways loop around?’
‘Maybe,’ Revan mumbled. ‘Possibly. I’m not too sure.’
The corridor they went down indeed looped to the left and came into a small weapons chamber. Though Revan knew timing was of the essence, something was telling him to stop; to look at the supplies he could have.
The knight slowed down, being drawn to a footlocker nearby. ‘Revan!’ Bastila admonished. ‘We don’t have time!’ The young woman herself was finding it difficult to resist some of the urges she seemed to be encountering within this place.
Revan shook himself out of it, cursing his wandering emotions and thoughts, continuing on his way through the room to a shorter corridor. After passing through, he and Bastila were met with a hallway that held various energy doors, shields that blocked the passageway the two Jedi now faced.
They could see at least four, all pink in color and all pulsing with energy. Further down, they could see Jolee pass in front of them, before moving out of the entrance. Revan instantly tried bringing down the shield with no luck. ‘They must be timed,’ he muttered, looking around for a console of any sort.
‘Should I use my Battle Mediation, you think?’ asked Bastila, straining to see who Jolee’s opponent was.
‘I suggest you save it,’ came his reply. ‘We may need it. Who knows what else is in this building before we can get out of here?’ As Revan predicted, the shields shimmered before disappearing completely, enabling the former Jedi master to sprint through the first two doors before they reemerged again, trapping him in the center, with Bastila one door behind him.
What are you doing?
I’m going to try and see who Jolee is facing. He’s strong in the Force and I sense others are here as well.
Revan bounced slightly on his heels, waiting for the next door to open. When it did, he went through, but the last door didn’t shimmer like the rest. That left him with a front row seat of the fight between Jolee and another man dressed in a set of dark apprentice robes.
I can see their fight.
How is he? Are you sure you don’t want me to use my Battle Meditation?
He seems fine for now…
What the two didn’t know was that Jolee had been injured earlier and the young man that hadn’t let up in his assault. It had been his own damn fault, he reasoned. He had allowed himself to be momentarily distracted by the young apprentice, who was then able to Force push him into a wall.
That had caused Jolee to hit his head and be susceptible to a round of Force lightening before he was able to bring up another Force Immunity. And, truth be told, he wasn’t a young man anymore and he certainly couldn’t move the way this young man was, so he was finding it difficult to even hold his own.
Jolee didn’t think he was that old, but that shot of lightening shock hit nerves that obviously controlled moving parts because his knees felt stiffer and his limbs didn’t feel very limber. He felt his heart rate speed up, whether it was in nervousness or the adrenaline of the battle, he wasn’t sure, but he was growing slightly concerned.
He hadn’t taken this much damage since their time on the Star Forge and even then, it was against droids and some whippersnapper dark Jedi, but it couldn’t compare to this; this seemed to be the toughest fight yet and he wasn’t even including fighting his wife.
Bastila tried her best to settle her mind in order to help Jolee, but even she could feel his fatigue through the Force. It was harder this time, she noted, to go completely still and think nothing but the battle between Jolee and his opponent. It was harder because she could feel Jolee’s fatigue; feel Revan’s eagerness to get in front of these doors; feel the approaching danger…
That sense caused her to open her eyes. She could sense someone approaching and more to the point, there was definitely something sinister about who came towards them. But to her horror and confusion, she couldn’t understand what she was sensing. It didn’t seem to be a person at all and they were doing something odd within the Force — as though they didn’t truly belong there in the first place.
Revan, meanwhile, was too busy watching the fight between Jolee and his unknown assailant to even worry about who was coming towards them. In the back of his mind, he could feel the pull of something, someone telling him something, whispering in his mind, but he ignored it — like he did when things that were unsettling from his past — and focused on concentrating on the ongoing battle-taking place in front of him. The young man was quick, his jabs and pivots were more than a match for Jolee and he feared the worst.
Kelath took his time, toying with the elder black man, trying to find his weakness. The man became slower after he had used a Force push and Force Lightening. He was just waiting for the moment to unleash what he could really do.
He inwardly smiled when he saw Revan waiting to get to him. This would be great. He could feel his master waiting in the wings; waiting for the prey that he, Kelath, would bring to him. That would bring him the power he sought…
The young apprentice let Jolee get the upper hand, letting the elder man push him far back that they stood in front of Revan as they fought. This was it…it was time. Kelath countered a side attack, pushing Jolee’s weapon hand up and away from his body.
He then struck the former counselor with a stasis, one that would be over quickly, but would give Kelath what he needed. He turned to Revan, a sinister smile on his face, before turning back to his prey in front of him. He put his hand out, palm facing the stunned Jolee and used the Force to drain the life of the elder man. Because he was in stasis, there was nothing Jolee could do, except pray it would be over soon.
But that wasn’t enough for Kelath. He wanted Revan to watch as he killed this man, his friend. He would torture him in front of the former dark lord and when the energy door opened, timed to make sure he could take his time in his torture, he would incapacitate Revan and let his master finish him.
The dark apprentice released both the stasis and the Force drain, leaving Jolee within a very small inch of his life. He walked up to the elder man, watching as he began to teeter on his feet, and it looked as though he was going to keep Jolee from falling. Instead, as the former counselor stumbled forward, Kelath stopped his fall with one hand and the hilt of his lightsaber.
He gave Jolee a sadistic grin before powering on the weapon, causing the energy blade to puncture Jolee’s stomach and exit out through various organs and then his back.
Kelath released the man, watching as he hit the ground with a thud.
Revan had seen death in his time, of course. He had killed many people, from Mandalorians to Republic officers to Jedi and he had seen the deaths of many people as well. But never had he felt the sort of rage coursing through him as he watched Jolee be struck down.
He hadn’t forgotten what his anger had felt like — he remembered it enough when facing Malak that last time, but now…now it seemed as though nothing could shake his focus from what he wanted to do.
Revan, please. Be calm…
He barely heard the whisper to calm himself, instead he only felt and he felt rage and anger building within him. His only thoughts were revenge — revenge on this man who had taken away a friend, a confidant; revenge on the true species who were trying to once again reemerge; and revenge on Ellis, the man he had called friend at one point in time; the man who had started this in the first place.
And it came upon him in a rush of feeling, the dark thoughts he had pushed aside, the ones that had been erased from his memory and replaced with a man who probably never existed. It was clear to him, as it had been made clear on Malachor all those years ago. There was a reason he was Revan, dreaded dark lord of the Sith…
And he would show this young whelp why people had feared him.
He was calm when the energy doors opened, his lightsabers at his side, ready for a battle. The young man was speaking to him now – how he had enjoyed killing Jolee, enjoyed watching him die. He was saying something about how he would be rewarded for his cunning, for his prize.
Revan nodded. Oh, he would be rewarded all right.
Oh yes, he would be rewarded.
His first strike was downward with his right and predictably, the young apprentice blocked it with his saber, forgetting that Revan wielded two. Back when he had been a Sith Lord, Revan trained those under him to master the double-bladed weapon, explaining that its mastery would make others tremble. It seemed that Ellis hadn’t remembered that lesson.
Kelath had known Revan was a skilled duelist, but he had never expected this. His movements and swings were fluid and the younger man had difficulty in blocking every shot that came his way. In a different environment, he might have been impressed, but now he was growing increasingly worried.
Where was his master?
Why hadn’t he stepped in yet?
He wasn’t supposed to kill Revan, just stagger him, wound him, hurt him. But the former lord was supposed to be battered, not resilient. Kelath again countered a blow by Revan, but was hit with his own treatment of a Force storm by Revan.
Revan saw nothing but revenge in his wake. He was vaguely aware that Bastila was somewhere behind him, but he could no longer hear her words of calmness. All he could do was feel. And it felt wonderful watching this young apprentice suffer a wrath he never had encountered before.
He enjoyed making this young man suffer, enjoyed the casual swipe that severed his weapon had his wrist. Like so many dark Jedi, he was never taught to heal himself through the Force, only how to take it from someone. He loved the look in the young man’s eyes as his immunity to the Force prevented him from doing to him what he had to Jolee. And he loved the thought to severing every part of this man’s body, piece by piece.
Kelath was truly panicked now. What remained of his hand was now only a stump, his former body part lying away from him, lightsaber clutched within its fingers. He cuddled his stump to his chest, cradling it with his other arm.
He was defensiveness and the look on Revan’s face told him this was only the beginning of his pain. Again, Kelath felt the presence of his master and he smiled faintly at the man before him. He would pay. His master would make him pay. His smile only lasted so long before it faded and was replaced with a look of surprise and then pain. Looking down, he saw the shimmer of what appeared to be a spear that now protruded from his left hand.
Revan watched, just as surprised as the man in front of him. Where had the spear come from? And then Revan was struck by something — this was his dream. This was the dream he had during his trip through the Outer Rim and Unknown Regions.
This was the man who would suddenly turn into Ellis…as the young man fell, Revan saw the reason behind his death. Ellis. Ellis. This didn’t seem like the Ellis he had met earlier, but for once Revan didn’t care. All he wanted was to hurt.
How dare he take this death away from him? How dare he rid Revan of his rightful revenge and avengement of Jolee? How dare he think he was the better Sith Lord?
Then the walls collapsed and it seemed like nothing would stop the anger and the rage Revan now felt. He Force Jumped to the other side of the room, his sabers coming down towards Ellis’ head. The young lord ducked, nearly surprised at the ferocity in which Revan was attacking. The two locked into battle, with Revan taking the offense.
Their styles matched so well, both learning and using what the other gave off. Revan was relentless and only a strong Force wave knocked him back enough for Ellis to turn tail and escape through a dark hallway. Revan quickly got to his feet, prepared to chase Ellis through the whole building, in order to satisfy his own bloodlust, but a frantic scream caught his attention.
Turning swiftly, he saw Bastila kneeling by Jolee, who lay on the floor, unmoving. This sight ebbed some of his anger, as he quickly forgot his pursuit of Ellis in order to rush to Jolee’s aid. He crashed to the floor on the other side of the former counselor and was stricken when he saw the paleness of the man’s dark face.
One look at Bastila told all he needed to know — he was dead and even though she had tried, Bastila couldn’t save him. She looked up at him, tears falling from her eyes and gasped. Revan bowed his head, taking her intake of breath as a way to control her emotions. He too was quite upset.
What Revan didn’t know at the time, was that his wife’s gasp wasn’t that of emotional anguish, but of surprised horror.