REVENGE OF THE SITH
Part VII – Betrayal
No one saw the arrival Revan and Malak would make with the Sith until it was too late. The galaxy had already been in an upheaval because of the Mandalorians, but when the ousted Jedi had joined the Republic to stop them, things seemed to be going for the best. However, things had drastically changed once those heroes became the villains.
One never knows when a friend will turn into an enemy, but when it happens drastic measures sometimes need to be taken in order to maintain the structure of the universe; and sometimes betrayal can be a double edged sword.
It was still late at night when the console began beeping in Ellis’ quarters. Easing himself from the arms of Brianna, he slid out of bed and reached for the pair of pants he had been wearing earlier. He was groggy — they had just fallen to sleep — so he wasn’t in the mood to be disturbed. Answering it, he was surprised to see Atton on the other end, looking a little worse for wear. ‘Because of the hour, I’m hoping you have something important to tell me,’ he replied.
The dark apprentice nodded.
‘This is about Goto?’
‘We’ve taken care of him,’ Atton said. ‘And his droids.’
‘He’s very fond of droids,’ Ellis smirked.
‘Ellis,’ the scoundrel sighed. ‘He was a droid.’
Atton and the others just stared at the black hovering ball, shocked to learn this was the crime lord they had been dealing with. ‘You’re Goto?’ The scoundrel exclaimed.
The black droid laughed. ‘I see you’re not as slow as the old crone thought you were,’ he chuckled. ‘Yes, I am Goto, biggest crime organizer for the Exchange; a thoroughly and highly advanced piece of modern machinery.’
‘But…’ asked one marauder. ‘How…?’
‘I was originally created to aid in the reconstruction of the planet Telos,’ the droid began. ‘It was a complete and utter mess there after Admiral Karath had it bombed. But that was the other reason I was manufactured — to help in the reconstruction of the Republic itself. It was too much for the galaxy after the Mandalorian War and then that of the war started by Revan and Malak’
‘Revan and Malak didn’t start that war,’ Atton muttered.
‘Of course that is how you see it, Mr. Rand,’ the droid replied. ‘Seeing as you fought along side them, but to those that built me, it was a different story. Now if you don’t mind — where was I?
‘Yes…I was only supposed to follow two prime directives — find options with rebuilding the Republic and following all of its rules. Unfortunately for the Republic, all of the logical options were against their laws, so I had to find other means of keeping to the first part of my programming.’
‘And exactly how does pretending to be a crime lord keep with your protocol?’ Atton asked, sarcastically.
‘I can see my earlier assessment of you was quite wrong indeed,’ the droid retorted. ‘In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve done exactly what my programming required. Though the thought of a smuggling ring sounds and looks illegal, it has eliminated those who sought to destabilize the galaxy, has brought profits to entire sectors, and stabilized planets.
‘I have also, until meeting up with the Jedi exile, managed to keep a tight reign on your affiliations of Sith and Jedi. From where I stand, your dark master has foiled my plans; however I did say that if he stabilized the Republic, I would pay him handsomely. So tell me, has he?’
‘Yeah,’ Atton began, igniting his lightsaber. ‘He’s well on his way, but first he has to take care of some loose ends.’
‘So Goto had all the galaxy duped,’ Ellis responded, after hearing the tale Atton told. ‘You were right, though. I am planning to fix the galaxy.’
‘With help from the people you keep meeting with?’
Ellis nodded. ‘Soon, Atton,’ he replied. ‘After Brianna and I…tie up some loose ends of our own, I want the two of you to meet the people we are helping.’
‘Who are these people?’ Atton asked.
‘Friends, Atton,’ Ellis said, an unmistakable gleam in his eyes. ‘Friends who will change the course of history, for a second time, and who we will stand with when that time comes.’
Atton nodded, albeit slowly. He wasn’t sure about this arrangement; he just had a weird feeling about it, but rather than voice his concerns, he nodded again as way of a goodbye before turning off the transmission.
Ellis grinned softly as he turned and looked at Brianna, who had stirred somewhat. He wanted to marry her before they continued on their quest. Afterwards, things would be okay. He knew it.
He just knew it.
The mood on the Ebon Hawk was one of slight celebration. The return of Jolee Bindo to the group was a happy occasion that needed to be celebrated. At least that was what most of the crew felt. For Mission Vao, however, she didn’t feel like celebrating.
In fact, she was sitting on her bunk within the women’s dorm, thinking. She had easily gotten over the ordeal with being a prisoner of the Exchange, but what she couldn’t get over, not even forgive, was how she had gotten in that position in the first place.
Griff, why? She thought to herself. She had known for quite some time that her brother was clearly not a saint, but she didn’t think he would stoop so low as to…to…sell her, his own sister. She should’ve realized when she saw him last that perhaps he wouldn’t really change, but Mission had really believed he cared about her and now this.
She knew she shouldn’t be so upset, but she couldn’t help it. Somewhere inside her, this hurt worse than anything, and the only way she’d feel better was…well, she didn’t know, but for the moment, crying felt just about right.
And that’s how Dustil found her a few minutes later, sitting on her bunk with her arms wrapped around her knees and her head resting on her arms. Looking at her, knowing she was so upset, tore at the young Jedi’s heart and it seemed to fill with a longing he knew all too well.
He approached her, whispering her name, and watched as she hastily wiped away some fresh tears. ‘Hey,’ she said, shakily. The young Jedi moved to sit next to her, putting a hand on her back to soothe her.
‘I got worried,’ he whispered. ‘When you left, I mean.’
‘I shouldn’t be so upset, you know?’ she sniffed. ‘I mean, I’ve always known he wasn’t the best brother in the galaxy, but he was family, yeah? I mean…I don’t even know what I mean!’
She started crying harder and didn’t protest when Dustil pulled her to him, wrapping his arms around her and soothing her outburst. He held her as she continued to cry, until after a few minutes the tears began to recede, but Dustil didn’t let her go. ‘I’m sorry,’ she whispered. ‘I probably made a mess of your shirt.’
‘Don’t worry about it,’ he said, letting his fingers trail down her lekku. He knew Twi’leks were sensitive in that area and for some, it was a sign of a close connection for one to touch them. He didn’t know why he was doing what he was, but he was relieved when Mission relaxed against him and didn’t pull away.
‘Revan and I gave him a good talking to,’ he continued. ‘I can guarantee he won’t hurt you again, but…’
‘You can’t say that he’ll see me again, either.’ She finished. She snuggled against his neck and it took all Dustil had not to express the pleasure of the action. ‘I just don’t understand why he’d do something like that. I mean, I’m his sister, doesn’t…doesn’t that mean anything to him?’
‘You know,’ Dustil began. ‘When my dad used to go off, with the Fleet and everything…in…in the beginning, it was okay, cause he wasn’t gone long. But when the Mandalorians came, it was like he was never home and…and…we missed him. Sometimes…sometimes I wondered if he even cared about us anymore. That’s…that’s when I started hating him. I thought…I thought maybe being in the Fleet was more important to him.’
He didn’t know why he told her that, maybe to show that he had felt the same way at one time. Either way, he was becoming very comfortable having her in his arms. His lips brushed her forehead and he drew her closer, feeling one of her tails move against his throat; this time he didn’t stop the moan that escaped. ‘Thanks for talking to me, Dusty,’ she murmured, her voice husky against his ear.
He turned his head, letting his lips trail along her cheek, then her jaw, before moving his lips along the path to where he truly wanted to…
The familiar sound of Revan’s voice startled the two away from each other and they each looked over to the man that stood in the doorway. ‘Am I interrupting?’ he asked, slyly.
They both stammered out negatives, with Dustil standing and heading towards him. ‘I was just…’
‘Dustil was just…’
‘…wanting to see how she was.’ The young Jedi concluded.
‘That’s actually why I came by,’ Revan chuckled. ‘Wanted to see how you were.’
‘I’m fine, Rev,’ Mission replied, blushing. ‘I’ll…I’ll be out to see everyone. I just…you know.’
‘Yeah,’ he responded. He looked between the two of them before nodding. ‘Okay then. Whenever you’re ready, ok?’ Looking at Dustil, he said, ‘Come, young Jedi. Your master awaits you in our dining quarters. I think he wants to know what kind of trouble you may have cause while hanging out with Canderous.’
Dustil chuckled. Looking back at Mission, he gave her smile, before following Revan out of the dorm.
The chambers of the Senate were relatively quiet, save for the small meeting that was taking place. Only a few members were clustered around the ground floor seats, talking in a heated debate. There were about twenty of them, most shouting at the news that one had delivered regarding the presence and purpose of Revan.
Robert Belyn stood to the side, equally chagrined at the news that his former bride had ignored her direct order to stay on the planet and rushed off to aid Revan in whatever mayhem he would once again cause the galaxy.
‘Gentlemen,’ he began, trying to calm the nerves of those shouting. ‘Gentlemen, please. I know this new development is not something we were expecting; hardly seems fair, does it? I mean, who does Revan think he is? Surely none of you believe that story he told Kodis about being on vacation.
‘It’s clear to me that Revan and his mistress have clearly placed those traveling with them in some sort of Jedi trance. I find it disturbing that he could manage to trap not only one, but two highly decorated officers of the Republic.’
‘What do you suggest, Robert?’ asked one man. ‘I’ll admit that I wasn’t sure if this rumor was true, but now…’
‘Gentlemen,’ he said. ‘It is clear to me, as it has for many years, that the Jedi can not be trusted. They have continually turned against us in their vicious bid to rule the universe. They manipulate those around them and then try to erase those mistakes by begging for our help. But no more. Gentlemen, I know it may be extreme, but desperate times call for desperate measures.’
He reached into his robe and pulled out a data pad. ‘I received this the other day, after our meetings with the criminals. I know my father has spoken to many of you about having patience in this matter, but I think enough is enough.
‘In this data pad, someone has so very nicely described some things that need to be considered, especially when speaking of Revan and his group.’ Robert looked at those around him. ‘Were any of you aware of the fact that the Jedi are essentially the Sith, just in a different set of uniforms?’ Whispers went around the group.
‘It’s true,’ he replied, holding up the data pad. ‘Jedi who were exiled mated with another species on the planet Korriban, where they took the name of the Sith. The Jedi are the reason we battled them in the past — everything always comes down to those two factions — well, I’ve arranged to meet with some people who assure us that this will no longer be a problem.’
‘But how is that possible?’ asked another person. ‘I mean, we all know what happened to the Jedi Temple last year. Rumor was that all the Jedi were dead.’
‘Except for one errant member,’ Kodis Basil stated. ‘The Jedi Exile somehow managed to stay alive last year.’
‘As well as cause damage to the entire galaxy!’ one Bothan shouted, causing the yelling to start again.
Basil held up his hands. ‘Please,’ he soothed. ‘We all know what has happened; this is why it is imperative that we discuss this rationally. These people that I have talked with have a plan to right the galaxy once more and their first act was just that — to rid ourselves of the Jedi.’
‘But what of Revan?’ someone questioned. ‘He’s a Jedi.’
‘Former Jedi,’ Robert interrupted. ‘I doubt he’d be recognized as such now. The person I spoke to was…a part of the Republic’s plans from after the Mandalorian War. He was…acquisitioned to help with the repair and stability of the Republic.’
‘He’s rather…’ Basil began, looking over at Robert. ‘Unorthodox when it comes to…aiding us. But his duties were clear and he has fulfilled them in a way.’
‘And what has he done?’
‘He’s made sure that certain people didn’t continue to ruin our planet and our universe,’ Basil responded. ‘He brought stability back to some parts of the galaxy.’
‘Most importantly,’ Robert added. ‘He took care of our problem with the Jedi and the Sith.’ At the others’ looks, he asked, ‘Who do you think put up that bounty for Jedi?’
Many of them looked at the young man in horror. ‘The Exchange, Robert!?’ one cried. ‘You’ve used the Exchange to do our business?’
‘I used the individual who was fronting for the Exchange,’ he calmly replied. ‘But he is very much a proponent of the Republic. In fact, he brought up something very interesting the last time I spoke with him — it shouldn’t matter with whom we have to back us; as long as we keep the Republic stable.’
‘What my colleague means to say is,’ Basil took over. ‘We should leave all possibilities open for who we would like protecting us.’
‘You mean…’ said one Zabrak, completely stunned. ‘Join with the Sith?’
‘I mean,’ Robert elaborated. ‘I think we should look at who will help us with rebuilding and who will hinder our efforts.’
‘Of course before you make a concrete decision,’ Basil replied. ‘You should take into account those actions that have been for us and against us.’
‘But aren’t the Sith…well…evil?’
‘Evil is as evil does, Bucri,’ Robert replied, smoothly. ‘And what is a Sith but a disgruntled Jedi? I’m not saying anything at the moment, but it seems as though Revan is quite clear to keep his activities to himself and surely -‘ Here, he chuckled. ‘I’m not the only one here who thinks his activities suspicious.’
‘Just think on it,’ Basil said. ‘We’ll tell you more when we know more ourselves. In fact, we are waiting for a check in with our friend in the Exchange.’
The others nodded slowly and each turned to walk out of the chambers, leaving only the senator and the Genosian. ‘Excellent speech, my boy,’ the insectoid said. ‘I dare say you’ll be a force to recon with once your father steps down from being Chancellor.’
‘That is the plan,’ the man responded, in a confident manner. ‘And I refuse to have anyone hinder that. If siding with the Sith is what we will need to do to ensure our stability, then so be it. Besides, from what I’ve seen, the Jedi are no better. They say they protect us, but do they?
‘Most of their order has turned to the dark side and have lead the Sith against us. And when we cry for help, what do they do? Sit within their tower and hide. I refuse to have alliances that tremble in fear when things go bad.’
‘I agree,’ Basil said. ‘But do not enter into a contract with the Sith on hatred of Jedi alone, Robert. You must use caution when dealing with anyone, especially the Sith.’
‘I know what I’m doing, Kodis,’ he sighed. ‘And I had hoped that my former wife knew her role as well.’
‘Do not worry,’ the Genesian said. ‘The Chancellor’s Ball is upcoming and it’ll be the opportune moment to have Revan tell us what he is up to. Surely a former hero of the Republic should be honored for his tasks during the Star Forge mission, even if it is six years a little too late.’
‘Will they come?’
‘We have found them before,’ he replied. ‘And we shall find them again. Let them think we are through with them. For now.’