REVENGE OF THE SITH
Part VIII – Revenge of the Sith
The golden age of the Sith had been one of glory, bloodshed, and betrayal. Their leaders were skilled in both the dark side and that of alchemy – the ability to use magic in order to change anything, or anyone, they wanted. They used these skills to make the Republic tremble and quake under their short rule.
But they were thwarted, and like anything that becomes unglued, their empire fell. Their squabbling and their killing of one another placed the Sith Empire into the logs of history.
Until they came across a few young men who would help them reach the top once more…
The trees of Kashyyyk were silent as a group of people and Wookies stood around a large bond fire. The home planet of the towering creatures had gone through a massive cleansing since the last time any humans had been on its surface.
After the departure of Revan and his crew, the high chieftain Freyyr had ensured that the venomous creatures known as the Czerka Corporation were driven completely off the planet. When Zaalbar – the chieftain’s son – returned, they continued to make sure that Kashyyyk was put back in its proper place of beauty and splendor.
Not many humans were allowed on the planet, much less in their ceremonial place of the Shadowlands, but when Zaalbar, now chief of the Wookies, was contacted by his long time friend Mission Vao, he knew something was wrong.
When he heard the news that the elder human known as Jolee was dead, he immediately told the young Twi’lek to bring him back to the place he had called home for so long. And that’s where they stood, around a funeral pyre in honor of the former Jedi Master and friend. When Bastila and Revan had returned to the Ebon Hawk with a dead Jolee between them, there had been outbursts of sorrow and anger.
For Revan, the reality of the situation hit the hardest for him. As he stood and watched the fire burn, he hardly noticed that everyone had left to be alone with their own thoughts. He was lost in his own sorrow, tempered by the fact that he needed to clear his head about their next move.
His anger had not dissipated, but had rather enveloped him. He felt calm, but calculated; he knew what would need to be done and he held no pretense that he would need to be brutal about it. Ellis Yoly no longer existed to him; he was replaced with the man known now as Darth Trayun and the dark lord was now his enemy, not his friend.
As Revan gathered his anger, he turned away for the lodging that Zaalbar had wonderfully provided for them, never noticing that the body of Jolee Bindo had faded from the fire.
The room was sunny and bright, which was a stark contrast to the sky outside the Necrosis. The ship sat within the Corellian sector, near the trade route, while keeping a close eye on the planet Corellia. Ellis and Brianna sat in their quarters, finishing up a large breakfast. The couple grinned at each other, both still feeling the effects of being a new couple and the joys that brought with it.
Atton walked in, stopping at the table and waiting for his presence to be noted. He watched as the newly married couple smiled at each other, with Brianna bending over and giving a brief, but deep kiss before she walked into their bedroom, Ellis watching her with a loving gaze.
“What can I help you with, Atton?” he asked.
“Thought you’d might like to know about some of our recon,” replied the marauder. At his master’s nod, he continued with, “I sent scouts to the city of Kor Vella, you know the big tourist place. While news that Revan may be this new dark lord, people are pretty unassuming. I think it’ll be easy for the planet to fall.”
Ellis nodded again. “I’m sure you’re right,” he said. “Our masters want us to continue stabilizing their former planets. I got word that Dxun is now in their hands; the Mandalorians have all but abandoned the tomb of Freedon Nadd. Our followers are being instructed as we speak.”
The dark lord grinned at his apprentice. “Yes, Darth Casus,” he replied. “You will be under the tutelage of Freedon Nadd. He was once a great Sith lord; said to be the first true non-species Sith lord to rise. He had the planet of Onderon in his palm.”
“What do we do now that Onderon is back in the hands of the Queen?” the apprentice asked.
“We’ll come to that when we get to it,” Ellis took a drink from his glass. “I think our masters have plans for that planet, but I am unaware of what those would be.”
“Have you heard from them lately?”
“They are gathering forces right now,” the dark lord replied. “We will be attacking the Republic very soon.”
It had only been a few weeks since the defeat of the Mandalorians at his hands; a few weeks since he told the Republic that he, Malak, and a few of the fleet ships were going to track down any errant Mandalorian warriors that had survived.
While that in itself was a lie, it was true where they were going — beyond the Outer Rim and into the Unknown Regions. Revan had found many artifacts within the Academy he’d discovered on Malachor, among them, a Sith holocron that told of the rise of the Sith Empire and some of their planets.
This was the first place he wanted to investigate.
Now he and Malak stood on the surface of a dark planet, just having come through a massive forest of dark trees and creatures. The two Jedi found it easy to get past the creatures, but the trees — which seemed to hinder any effort they had at getting clear — proved to be even tougher. But now, the two of them stood before an immense and ominous gray structure that loomed before them.
“Revan,” Malak asked timidly. “What is this place?”
The two walked towards the building, the heavy feeling of the dark side hitting them harder the longer they stayed. “I don’t know,” whispered the other Jedi. “But I have the feeling we have much to learn here…”
Pain. Lots of it.
He had never felt such an intense feeling of pain before. He lay, writhing on the ground, only a few inches from his friend Malak, who was also in the same predicament he found himself in. He turned a painful head towards the figures that stood over them, the ones that had caused this unbearable torture.
“Why have you come, young Jedi?” asked one figure. “We normally don’t see your type around here.”
“How did you find us, young one?” asked another.
“I…I…” Revan stumbled, grimacing from his discomfort. “Mal…Malachor…”
“Malachor?” asked the first. “As in Malachor V?” At the young Malak’s grunt, the figures stared down at the young men. “Interesting. I sense the dark side in you both. Is this why you are here? To learn more about the power you could possess? Then, let us help you, young sirs.”
Suddenly, the pain that had ripped through their bodies eased into something akin to relief. The two looked up at the figures. “Tell me, young lords,” the first figure asked. “Do you know of the Star Maps?”
Revan awoke in a sweat, his breathing labored. He sat up in bed, his mind a flurry of activity and warring with the sleepiness of his body. The images were coming faster and more frequently than before and they all did nothing but disturb him.
If he guessed correctly, he and Malak had come in contact with the true species and they had told the two Jedi about the Star Maps. They had been behind the Mandalorians and then he had fallen into the same trap and had taken Malak, Ellis, most of the Jedi Order, and half the Republic Fleet with him. That thought alone troubled him greatly.
He hung his head when he felt Bastila stir next to him, sighing as she sat up and placed her head on his shoulder.”The nightmares?” she asked, softly.
Closing his eyes, he listened to the soothing sounds of the wildlife that nestled on Kashyyyk, noticing that even with the noises and Bastila beside him, he was anything but relaxed and soothed.
“It’s been a set up, Bastila,” he whispered. “This whole time, the True Sith have been waiting and watching, waiting for their time to come. They thought they had succeeded with the Mandalorians and then I just helped them along.”
“You didn’t know what would happen,” she insisted.
“No Bas,” he gulped. “I did. I’ve met with the True Sith. Malak and I did. They told us about the Star Maps and I found the planets.”
“But did you know what they were planning?” she asked. When he didn’t reply, she turned his head to face her. She could feel the guilt, but she could still feel the overwhelming surge of anger. She had been shocked to see the way his manner had changed.
She couldn’t imagine what he had gone through watching Jolee’s death; it was painful enough feeling it as she tried to meditate. She would never forget the set of his eyes when he looked at her, the way they had gone from the brown she loved to the gray that had terrorized the galaxy years ago.
“I know you feel as though you have to right the wrongs of your past,” she whispered. “But you can’t drown yourself in the guilt. Or the anger.” She looked at him seriously, causing a small blush to appear on his face.
“I just think it’s too much,” he sighed. “I never…I didn’t mean for any of this to happen, not like this.”
“The important thing is that we try to stop this threat.” Bastila said. “That’s what is important.”
The former Jedi knight and master smiled at his new bride. Even in the darkest times, she could still elicit a smile and a feeling of love from him. If there was ever a time he thought he had done something good, it was having Bastila in his life.
“No darling,” he said, his voice dropping in that unmistakable trace of desire. “You are what’s important, to me.” He kissed her lightly on the cheek, making a trail to her neck and then to her lips, stopping only an inch from them. “And I think it’s high time I remind you of that.”
“Oh yes,” she purred. “High time indeed.”
There was a planet, a dark planet, that sat unnoticed and unknown with the Outer Rim, just a short distance from Korriban. It was a planet without moisture, though the land was tropical with flat grasslands, but there were such lightening storms that frightened even the creatures that managed to survive.
This planet, this darkened orb, had been around for centuries and in that time, only a few people knew it even existed. The orb itself was cloudy, murky clouds that swirled in the atmosphere, and rocky mountains that glowed with an illuminating hue. Any traveler that stumbled upon the planet would never really see it — it was masked within the dark side, hidden from everyone, including the Republic and the Jedi.
The Sith Empire had fled here, or at least those that still lived and breathed fled here. They had watched their empire crumble; an empire that had nearly conquered the galaxy before infighting destroyed the entire populace.
What even many more didn’t realize was that the true species of Sith never truly died out – they watched; and waited. They waited for those who felt as they to wave their flag and do their bidding; waiting for the one person they knew would be their savior. Many had come and many had tried, but only two managed to come closer than they ever thought possible.
It was on this planet, this planet known as Thule, that those surviving Sith beings waited until the time was right. Many of them were specters now, embracing their dark halves in order to sustain their powers though they were dead. They had the means of alchemy along with their dark side powers to prolong life; preserve it.
When Naga Sadow and Ludo Kressh finally met their ends in the Great Hyperspace War, it was here the remnants fled to; here they planned to build again. It had taken over a millennium, but finally they had found the one – the one they believed would bring them back to their rightful place in the galaxy. And it seemed fitting – to end as they had begun – with a disgruntled Jedi leading them.
On this planet of Thule, the True Sith had waited and watched. They had used their influence with a Mandalorian who had been foolish to crash there. They had broken him quickly and he had sworn his alliance just as fast.
They learned about his people; how they were warriors – proud, brave – and how they looked for a challenge. They had challenged him; told him of a great battle yet to be had against the Republic. Some of them had foreseen it – had foreseen the first coming of the one – and they wanted to bring him to them.
So the Mandalorian had left and had told his people and they had left to conquer, bringing about the appearance of him — of the one. And with him, they sat their hopes, that he would bring them back to their glory.
But as they say, the future is always in motion. It was an expression they had never before thought of, never before heeded until it was too late. It was only when they had gotten wind of what the one planned – from his apprentice of all people – that they knew they may be lost.
But their work had been done – the Jedi Order was in ruins; the Republic crumbling before their eyes. Even if the one was going to betray them, the blocks were in place.
They had no need for him anymore.
He had set the groundwork and it all fell into place when the second coming of the one transpired. Their new warriors hunted and destroyed the rest of the Jedi; those that weren’t killed soon met their end on Katarr – a plan worthy of one of the lords themselves.
They had seen it; seen this young Jedi – his struggles, his passions – they knew he couldn’t rid the anger in his heart, no matter how hard he may have tried. And to their great surprise, he managed to gather others to him, leeching from them what he needed. The Republic wouldn’t be able to stand much more.
And that’s why they were assembled here – that’s why they made their weapons and creatures — because the time had come to reclaim their empire. Their plans were perfect and their leader also perfect.
With the first Sith’ari coming once again under the thumb of the defunct Jedi, they thought hope lost, but they could feel his rage…his rage could be felt this far into the galaxy, as it always could. Even if their current leader failed, they knew it was only a matter of time before Revan would be with them once more. And if not?
Well, he would be dead.
This meeting was reminiscent of the old empire. Their former lords were assembled, even those that resided elsewhere. They were ready. Their beasts and their ships were ready. Their powers were ready. They would take their places once again and this time, the Republic would pay dearly for their transgressions.