REVENGE OF THE SITH
Part VIII – Revenge of the Sith
The crisp night air of Kashyyyk was a far cry to the rather humid air Carth knew of Telos. Though he had been on the planet before, it had been years since he, Bastila, and Revan had landed here looking for the second Star Map after finding the first on Dantooine.
Standing here, remembering that year when they had all met each other gave him a pang in his heart when he thought about the cantankerous ex-Jed they had met in the Shadowlands here. He was a decorated officer and had seen his share of death, but this one — Jolee’s death — seemed to put him in such a mood tonight.
He couldn’t help but think back to when the war with those Shadow Sith had started and he seemed to always be in a constant state of fear regarding Bastila and Dustil. If he had never met Revan or Bastila; if Dustil had never been touched by the Force, he supposed he wouldn’t have cared about the bounty or the fact that there seemed to be killings left and right.
But life wasn’t like that for him.
He did know Revan — his best friend was somewhere in the Outer Rim and Unknown Regions; he did know Bastila — he told Revan he would watch over her; Dustil was touched by the Force…all those things and then some made Carth Onasi the most jittery person during that time.
And now, everyone he loved was in one place; a seemingly easy place to get to them. He didn’t know what happened on that planet they had left, only that Revan and Bastila had returned with a dead Jolee between them. Revan’s eyes were strange, a mix of color Carth had never seen before, and he was quiet, pensive.
The set of his jaw told the crew to leave him alone, that whatever happened, Bastila would take care of it, but even the former Jedi princess seemed to be shell-shocked. Carth hadn’t seen her so worked up since she had heard about her mother’s illness back on Kashyyyk the first time. The seasoned pilot didn’t know what to think, only that things would probably get worse before they would get better.
The forest of the trees seemed so vast, making an odd parallel for his feelings of the night. He stood on one of the platforms overlooking the treetops, his thoughts heavy at what could or would happen at that moment. He didn’t know how he knew she was there, but even before her arm went around his waist, Carth’s mind and body was instantly at ease.
He continued to stare out, his arm lifting to gather around her shoulders and pulling her closer to him. She laid her head on his shoulder, arms wrapped around his waist, and snuggled against his chest. The pilot was thankful for her presence and there didn’t need to be any words for him to tell her so.
It was hard to stay focused on so many horrible things when he had something very right in his arms at the moment. She may not have known him very well, but Lynsel knew the crew of the Ebon Hawk had lost a friend this night.
She was the only one who, though affected by the death, wasn’t close to the former Jedi as everyone else. She hadn’t spent a year traveling with the old man or a few months training under him. She had known him for about a week or two, not enough to feel anything but deep remorse that these people had to lose someone. They let the T3 droid pilot the ship, as no one wanted to do anything but grasp the loss they had suffered.
She had found Carth in one of the med bays, just standing and looking around. She hadn’t said anything, just touched his back before hugging him from behind. It was nice, not having to tell him she was sorry for what happened; not having him talk about it. She never had that with Robert.
Any time she had a setback, she had to virtually replay an entire event before he would even understand that she was upset about it and the cure he thought worked every time was taking her to bed. She liked that she didn’t have to say things to Carth; somehow, he just knew.
They stayed there like that, as the time passed, eyes closed and listening to the sounds of the Wookie planet. They said nothing as they pulled from one another, Carth dropping a kiss on her forehead, before taking her hand and walking her to the quarters she was sharing with Mission — at least Carth hoped Mission was still staying there — and giving her a kiss goodnight before retiring to his own quarters.
The crew spent a few days on Kashyyyk, catching up with Zaalbar and learning about what had happened after the group had parted ways on Coruscant. They learned there was quite some blood shed when it came to ridding the planet of the Czerka employees.
Those that didn’t want any part of the feud that was taking place quickly went off world to escape, leaving those that were still somewhat loyal to Chunndar to fight the combined efforts of the Wookies under Freyyr and Zaalbar.
The fact that the Wookies and their planet won the fight was testament to their desire to free themselves from slavers. It was very commendable and something the Republic thought as well. In fact, Zaalbar had already been approached by a representative once before.
One Robert Belyn, Jr.
While that name seemed hardly a surprise, Revan wasn’t taking any chances and after some goodbyes from their friends, the crew took off for the planet of Onderon, where they rendezvous with Canderous and the remaining Mandalorians.
The Queen had graciously cleared an area for them after the True Sith had come, fully backed by a menacing and dangerous Freedon Nadd. The news that Dustil and Lynsel brought back, that the mission had failed and Nadd’s spirit had once again risen, had surprised everyone but Revan, who seemed to sink even lower into his own despair. Once the crew had retired to the ship for departure, the former Jedi knight and master retreated to his now shared room with Bastila.
Upon landing on the planet, one of the Queen’s aides greeted them in an excited hurry, quickly ushering them to the palace and to the Queen’s audience. Talia greeted the group, her manner a bit abrupt, but she quickly apologized.
“I’m sorry, Revan,” she sighed. “But things are not well. You have of course heard about Dxun?” To that, Revan nodded mutely. “It gets worse,” she continued. “With the occupation of Dxun, it seems there have been a few incidences on other Sith planets as well.”
“;What sort of incidences?” Bastila asked, warily.
“Perhaps we should take this in my personal quarters.” The queen announced. “I’m sure you’d like to see your comrades as well.”
The group nodded, following the queen as she went through a door near the back of the throne room. Dustil was happy to note that the queen’s quarters were a far better cry than her digs of squalor from before. It was larger than her former hideout and decorated more to fit that of a member of the royal family.
Her curtains and bed sheets were silk, the finest brought in from Coruscant, and her floors nicely tiled in a design of the royal seal. There was a modest living area that had been converted in a small command center. There were data pads littered on the small couch and a medium sized galactic map that was stationed in a nearby corner.
“I was quite worried, you see,” she began, pointing to the map. “When I heard about Dxun, that I sent some of my troops to the known worlds of the Sith.” When some of the group gave her looks, she gave them a cheeky smile.
“You may not know this, but I am a descendant of Freedon Nadd himself. Or to be more correct, the granddaughter of the corrupted king and queen of Onderon before me. Anyway, knowing about the dark side myself, I decided to send some of my soldiers out, as I said. I sent some to Yavin’s fourth moon and that of Korriban.”
“And what did you find?” Revan asked.
“Followers,” she whispered. “Out of eight men all together, only two returned. And only one of them survived his injuries.”
“What happened to them?” Mission wondered, in silent awe.
“Unspeakable things, I’m sure.” Revan commented. “So it continues.”
“Revan,” the queen replied, walking up to the former dark lord. “I know you have knowledge that surpasses my own in dealing with these…these beings and I can see from your eyes that this is something you have pondered over. What exactly is going on?”
“I think…” the man began, clearing his throat as he did so. “I think it would be wise if Canderous and his clan stay on Onderon. I have a feeling that you will be in need of their services.”
That was all Revan would say on the matter, instead opting to find Canderous before they departed. They found him and Visas in their own personal quarters, provided by the queen. The former Jedi and Sith pulled his friend to the side, the two talking in hushed tones, before Canderous clapped a burly hand on Revan’s shoulder, nodding his head solemnly.
Revan then nodded and smiled to Visas, who bowed smartly to the man. “We need to go,” was his statement and he lead the crew back to the Hawk, ignoring questions that came from all around him. It wasn’t until Carth had lifted off and told T3 to take the controls that the former pilot became quite annoyed with the silent treatment.
“Damn it, Revan!” he exclaimed. “Where the hell are we going?”
“We’re going to Coruscant.”
“Why?” asked Lynsel.
“I think the Senate has the right to know what they are up against,” he shrugged.
“Revan,” Dustil began. “What exactly do you mean?”
Revan held up a hand to the younger man and faced his father. “Did you find what I told you?” he asked.
The admiral looked uneasy as he nodded his head slowly. “T3 said there had been some tampering with the nav-computer,” he responded. “That might explain why Trayun found you on Ord Mandell.”
“HK.” The former lord smirked.
“I never did trust that droid,” Bastila sneered from beside him.
“You were pretty thorough, Rev,” Carth continued. “You covered your tracks pretty well. I had to get T3 to mimic you in order to get to stuff that was hard to access. But I did come up with a galactic map of…of the Sith Empire.”
Revan nodded. “I forgot I had that,” he mumbled. “That’s gonna be important.” He looked around him at the confused looks on their faces. “This isn’t going to be an isolated incident,” he continued. “Them being on the Sith worlds. It wasn’t a coincidence for us to be on Khar Delba; the Sith have a rhyme and reason. This is only the beginning.”
And it was as Revan suspected. The True Sith were building, getting ready to launch their attack when the Republic was unaware. They used the information Lord Trayun gave them, as he made his appearance before their operatives within the Senate.
He told them he didn’t want any blood shed, he only wanted a more peaceful galaxy. It was ironic in a way — here he was, the self-proclaimed enemy of Revan — and he was using the same tactic the former lord had used to garner support in his early days of being the leader of the Sith.
He used to be so proud when people said he was like Revan, then he became enraged by the comparisons. And now, he was using his own charisma to gain support within the Senate and to cast doubt on Revan.
After all, Revan had known this was coming. He had always known.
She had never been to this Sith planet, but she never missed an opportunity to revel in the power of the dark side. She of course knew of the planet – she had easy access to the Jedi Archives while in the Academy and the Temple – but she wasn’t prepared for the heavy, confining feeling she felt when her ship landed on the grassy terrain.
It was certainly a contrasted planet — being both tropical and arid, but it was beautiful in its own way, she guessed, with the lightening raining down in spurts throughout. She had been told she had rather odd tastes, but then again all of her species was unique in their habits and dispositions. They were after all, the most regal of the alien species.
That’s why she knew her place was within the Sith and especially this true species. They – like herself – were regal and they knew that their rightful place was that of kings and queens; not lurking on some backwater planets. She knew when word got out, there would be a backlash. People would wonder how something like this could happen.
She was a former Jedi master; how could she be with the Sith? But that was the problem with the galaxy – they could never see what was right in front of them. Take the Jedi Order, for example. She had been under their noses for years and they hadn’t suspected a thing.
In fact, she had been the main proponent of getting rid of that insufferable Revan. She couldn’t believe that the other masters – her contemporaries — had actually gone with her suggestion on wiping the former master’s mind.
All but that Vandar; and his suspicions were only peaked when she had mentioned the way of riding the young man of his true self. She believed that he knew, at least the power they would use, was a dark sided power. Whether he knew what kind of dark power, she didn’t know, but it didn’t matter.
The plan had been successful; at least until Revan began meddling in affairs that were not his business. She didn’t know how he knew of the Sith, but she didn’t like it. However, her masters thought it played into their plans, so she was not one to mince words as a follower.
But for now, she had another mission, one far more important than that of Revan’s recovering memory. It was the reason she ventured here from the planet of Ossus, just after her pleasant way of riding that bumbling Kumar.
When the masters had acquisitioned her for this assignment, she was more than happy to rid the galaxy of troublesome Jedi and she was very thorough. She didn’t care if the old man could barely feel the Force; the point was that he could. She made sure to track down any Jedi that could hinder the plan as it stood.
And now, she stood before her masters, telling them the details of how she had tracked this last remaining Jedi. “You have done well, Master Dee,” replied one image. “But I think you are mistaken. Your kill was not the last of the Jedi.”
Veroba Dee hung her head, knowing she had erred with her arrogance. That was one thing that separated her from the Jedi – she admitted her wrongs. “I am sorry, Master,” she apologized. “I did not mean to be so arrogant in my proclamation.”
The Sith masters all chuckled. “There is still some Jedi in you, Veroba,” replied one ghostly image. “Still, you have not erred in the way you think.”
“Certainly, you did not know of these ‘Lost Jedi’.”
“Lost Jedi?” she questioned. “What, exactly, are those?”
Again, the masters laughed. “These were to be the individuals who were to defeat us.”
“But you, Master Veroba, will of course take care of that for us.”
Veroba nodded. “Of course,” she whispered. “You’ll forgive my ignorance when I ask how you were able to know about these ‘Lost Jedi’.”
“We have seen it,” replied one. At the incredulous look Veroba gave them, a second spirit chuckled. “Do you not think that the Sith can also see into future events?”
“Of course not, Master,” she said, hurriedly. “I’ve just never been one to believe in such things.”
“That’s a wise view point, Master Dee,’ said another. “However, sometimes the ability to see into the future helps us; especially if we want to change or hurry that future along.”
“These Jedi are ones who would’ve been found by our current associate, Darth Trayun,” replied a second in command. “In fact, he is the reason his apprentices are with him and not against us. The former exile has…a unique ability that we are quite fortunate to be in possession of. Unfortunately, not all of his companions saw the light, so to speak.”
“There are still those that were close to the exile that are touched by the Force,” replied another spirit. “They were the key at rebuilding a future Jedi Academy.”
“Which we can not let happen,” the former Jedi master interrupted.
“We have located two on the former Jedi planet of Dantooine,” a spirit continued. “They are both faint traces within the Force, but once attuned, they may become problematic.”
“We’ve also traced the former apprentice of Darth Nihilus to Freedon Nadd’s world of Onderon,” another supplied. “We will be sending some of Darth Trayun’s troops to try and unseat the current queen. We will take care of her there.”
“For now, Veroba,” the first spirit replied. “You are to dispose of the forgotten Jedi on Dantooine and then return to us. We are only just starting and we will need you and your skills.”
Veroba bowed in compliance and made her way out of their chambers and back to her ship. Lost Jedi, she thought. She had never heard of these beings and clearly, it sounded as though they had never been to the Academy.
But it seemed strange that they were both on the former planet where the Academy had once been. She was thoughtful as she plotted her course, wondering who exactly these Jedi were.
But she would enjoy ‘disposing’ of them.