REVENGE OF THE SITH
Part I – Aftermath
The Jedi High Council had a reputation of law and order among the Jedi. It was the very founders of the Order that had drafted a Jedi Code and it was these same people who had decided on a stricter form of the code after the events of Freedon Nadd, Exar Kun, and Ulic Qel-Droma.
Those who sat on the council, usually a ten person panel, were the wisest of the wise and duly respected masters of the Jedi and of the Force. It was only in rare instances that the High Council was ever called, most sitting on their own councils on other worlds or doing other Jedi business, but in those rare instances, the council did convene and handed down their judgment on the situation.
This time, the Jedi High Council convened in order to hear the events of the Star Forge battle. They were lucky that two of their members, Masters Vrook and Vandar, had escaped the destruction of Dantooine and were able to give details on the attack.
They now met in order to meet with the Jedi that had gone on this adventure and to get answers on certain matters that concerned them. Master Vandar had pulled the young Bastila Shan aside during the night time celebration on the Rakatan world in order to tell her to be ready to speak with the High Council come the next morning.
There were matters that needed to be discussed: her torture at the hands of Malak, her fall, and how she was saved. They also wanted to speak to Jolee Bindo, a padawan they hadn’t seen since the turn of Exar Kun. How did he join them? Where had he been?
There was also the matter of a Dustil Onasi, who had contacted a member of the Republic forces just a few days ago, asking the council if he was able to discuss a ‘redemption deal’ for a few members of the Sith who had escaped the academy on Korriban.
Most of all, they wanted to speak with Revan, the prodigal knight turned Sith Lord turned redeemed Jedi. They wanted to see for themselves that this once promising Jedi had indeed rejected the dark side that had lead him against them and the Republic only two years earlier.
The ten member council now awaited these people, set atop the spire that housed them.
It was outside the doors that those people now stood.
Coming to the Jedi Temple hadn’t been hard; the very temple was easy to spot, its towers high above that of the skyscrapers that lined the sky. There were five pillars, a larger one and the highest at the center and the other four surrounding it in a cube. It was a sight to behold for Revan, Bastila, and Juhani, who had never seen anything like this before.
For Jolee, it was a bitter memory, but also a nostalgic one, remembering the days he had spent on this planet. The rest of the group had drifted off, heading to the cantina for some local entertainment and perhaps a bit of drink, leaving the Jedi quartet to head to the council.
“Where do we go?” Revan asked, still looking at the towers in awe.
“This way.” Jolee announced, heading off for the far most pillar. The other three hurried to catch up, looking around like the tourists they truly were. Bastila was astounded by the beauty of the temple and of the promenade that had led them there. She had seen holos of the place, but this was her first time truly seeing the magnificence of it.
She had heard the temple itself was of an ancient design that was to symbolize a padawan’s ascent to enlightenment. She wondered if she had achieved such wisdom, the wisdom that would hopefully lead to becoming a master. Looking over at Revan, she wondered when he had reached that level. He had been a knight on his way to becoming a master – wasn’t Malak his apprentice? – surely if Revan could do it, she could.
They continued to follow Jolee as he led the way to the top of the tower through a nearby elevator. The old man chuckled at his companions. “What is wrong with you three?” he muttered. “You’re as antsy as tachs in the way of some kath hounds.”
“Isn’t that what we are, old man?” Revan retorted. “Food for the ready?”
“Revan, really.” Admonished Bastila. “You make it sound as though we’re heading to an execution.”
“I…will admit that I am a bit…nervous at being called in today.” Juhani whispered. “I guess I am a bit overwhelmed.”
“No sweat, Ju,” the young knight replied, stroking the fur on the Cathar’s arm. “Go in there and dazzle them with your one, two turn around. ‘Sides, it’s me they that want to roast and examined like a holiday meal. You’ll get off scotch free.”
“Revan, I’m sure this won’t be as painful as you make out to be.” Bastila replied, her annoyance coming in loud and clear to him. “All we have to do is give them an account of what happened and we’ll be done. Nothing to get so up in arms about.”
“Says the woman not on the main course.” He quipped.
“You are not going to be skewed up like a nerf on a stick.” She huffed.
“And neither are you.” He whispered back, casting a glance in her direction.
The rest of the ride was extremely quiet and pensive. When the door opened, the group stepped into a beautiful hallway, pristine and lit up in white. They followed Jolee as he led them down a short corridor that led to a small lobby.
And in that lobby were the doors to the council chamber. Master Vandar was already standing at the entrance, waiting for them. “Ah,” he said, upon seeing the group. “I see you have made it. I hope the trip was not a long one.”
The group bowed before the diminutive master, Revan replying, “No, sir. Just a hop, skip, and a jump.”
The green alien nodded, before looking up at Jolee. “It is good to see you back in the halls of our temple, padawan.” He said.
“I must admit, it feels nice to be here again.” The old man sighed. “I see you put in that fauna I always talked about.”
Vandar chuckled. “Yes, I believe you were right in that it brings out the beauty in the building a lot more.” Smiling, he said, “But we are not to discuss the décor of our honored halls. The council wish to speak with all of you, on your time away from us. We…have some decisions that will most definitely concern you. I believe Padawan Bindo will be the first to speak to us, then Juhani, and we wish to see you and Bastila together, Revan.”
“Hooray,” Revan replied, sarcastically. “We get to go in as a team.”
“The council hopes this will not take long,” Vandar continued, ignoring the young knight’s snide comment. “But we feel a number of days, perhaps even weeks may be used in putting together the whole story. For that, we have booked lodgings for you and your crew, Revan, at one of Coruscant’s hotels. We hope you will be comfortable there.”
He handed Revan a data pad, outlining the hotel and the rooms they would be in. “We will contact you when it is time for you to see us.” He continued. “For now, Padawan Bindo, if you would follow me.”
Jolee nodded and turned to his companions, taking note of Revan giving him a salute. “Goodbye, Captain.” The young man replied. “I’ll let the troops know what you’ve done, until then I can only say how…touched I am.”
“In the head maybe,” the old man responded. “And just for that little quip, I’ll make sure to come around and tell you some of my stories from my youth. And I’ve lived a very long time.”
Revan narrowed his eyes at the elder Jedi. “I hate you, old man.”
Jolee just laughed. “For that, maybe I’ll tell two stories.” He boasted. “Two extremely long stories.” With that, he entered the High Council’s chambers and the doors were closed.
“Now look at what you’ve done.” Bastila teased.
“I hope you do not have any plans for later.” Replied the Cathar.
“You reap what you sow.” Revan muttered. “But I guess that leaves us without a lot to do.”
“I believe I want to see the Jedi facilities.” Juhani stated. “It will be good to work off my nervousness with some saber training and perhaps I shall meditate until Jolee is released.”
“You sure?” asked Revan. “You can hang out with us, no problem.”
“It is all right.” She said, giving the young knight a smile. “I…wish to explore such a place of beauty. I have never seen anything like it.”
“Well…just don’t get lost.” Bastila said. “This is a pretty big place. I’m surprised Jolee found his way so easily.”
“If you’re sure, Ju.”
“I am.” She nodded at them before walking out of the lobby.
“Guess that leaves just the two of us.” Revan said, grinning at the young woman.
“You know, exploring doesn’t sound half bad…” she began, but cut off with a giggle as Revan pounced and started tickling her.
“Well, well, well.” He murmured. “Bastila Shan is ticklish. How exciting.”
“Revan, stop that!” she squealed, pushing him away, but smiling at him. “You’re incorrigible, you know that? Tickling me in front of the council doors. What if they heard?”
Revan shrugged. “So?” he asked. “We’re probably having a better time than Jolee, that’s for sure.”
Bastila shook her head at him. Sometimes she just didn’t understand him. Maybe that was why he was so appealing to her. “Well, you’re certainly right about us having nothing to do.” She said. “So…is there anything you want to do?”
“Well…” he said, pulling her back towards him. “We can see if your mother got here okay.”
She nodded, putting her arms around him, loosely of course. “I was thinking that myself.”
“She’s wrong you know.”
“Juhani.” He clarified. “When she said I didn’t have any plans for later.”
“Oh?” she asked, raising an eyebrow at him. “And what plans are those? Besides listening to two of Jolee’s stories.”
Placing his forehead against hers, he said, “I’m having dinner with you.”
Even though she tried to stop it, Bastila’s face began turning a light pink. “I didn’t think you were serious.”
She was at a lost for words and some part of her – the Jedi still in her, she guessed – begged they take this conversation else where, lest the council feel the emotions passing between them. “We should…”
“…take this else where.” He finished. He nodded, taking one of her hands in his and leading her back the way they came. They waited until the elevator doors opened, stepping inside, and the doors closing before Revan turned to her, brushing an errant piece of hair behind her ear.
“When have you ever known me not to be serious?” he asked.
She looked at him, incredulously. “You must be teasing to even ask.” She replied. “You’ve been a jokester since Taris and I bet if I asked Carth, you’ve been that way before leaving the Endar Spire.”
“I was serious when I said I respected you,” he began. “And that I value our friendship. That I trust you with my life.” Stepping closer to her, he whispered, “And I definitely meant it when I said I was in love with you. So…by my count, I’m a pretty serious guy, deeply in touch with his emotions.”
“No argument here.” She grinned. Looking over at him, she replied shyly, “I’d liked that. Having dinner with you, I mean.”
“Good to hear it.” He chuckled. He put his arm around her shoulders. “I’d be very sad if I only had Jolee and his stories to keep me company tonight.”
Their mood was still playful as they headed out of the Jedi Temple and back on to the streets of Coruscant. Revan put in a call to Carth, telling him where they’d be staying at and that the council would indeed want them there for a time.
They then headed to the nearest informational droid, asking about Helena Shan. The droid was quite helpful, not only pointing them in the direction of the premiere medical facility, but also giving them a choice menu on the best restaurants in the city. Thanking the droid, they went towards their destination of the medical facility.
The medical facility was located fairly close to the Jedi Temple, only a walkway and a few buildings separated it. It was a pretty large building, with three floors, each holding a different section for recovery.
It was on the third floor, one that was labeled ‘intensive care’ that they discovered Helena Shan had been sent. Though the name of the floor brought unwanted thoughts of…death…the floor nurse assured them it wasn’t anything horrible.
“It’s for those patients that needed exclusive treatment.” The nurse replied. “This way, they get the treatment they need without taking away from those in emergency or recovery.”
“Do you have a lot of personal here?” Revan asked.
“Oh my, yes!” the nurse exclaimed. “Coruscant is at the forefront of the war recovery. As you know, it’s the center for the Republic Senate and now the Jedi Temple is here as well, so a lot of the casualties are sometimes sent here, too. We get a lot of the new docs, those that just got their med certificates. But, we do boast to have the best healers in the core.”
“Do you know if Helena Shan has been admitted?” Bastila asked, tentatively.
“Hmm…” she murmured, going to her console. Typing in a few things, she replied, “Here she is. She came in a few months ago to receive treatments.” She let a whistle. “These are some treatments. Expensive, too.”
“How many treatments?” Bastila asked.
“On here, to help her recovery, she had a total of five.” The nurse replied. “And again, not cheap. 500 creds a pop!”
“For each treatment?” cried Bastila. “How in the world did she manage…?”
“Doesn’t say.” The nurse said. “Anonymous benefactor. Hell, I don’t even think she knew! I was her nurse for the first three treatments and she was completely shocked when I told her it had been all taken care of.”
“Well,” Revan chuckled, nervously. “Just goes to show you, there’s always a…good guy in every bunch.” He nodded quickly, ignoring the look Bastila was giving him. “So…where can we find Mrs. Shan?”
“Oh!” the nurse said. “She’s in room 220B. It’s down the hall, take a left, and her door on the far right.”
The two Jedi nodded their thanks, hurrying to the medical room. All the while, Bastila wondered who this mystery benefactor was. Was her mother – Force forbid – seeing someone? That was a thought she just refused to acknowledge.
Was it like Revan had said? Some random stranger who wanted to do a good deed? She shook her head. That was unlikely. So who was it? Could it be someone who knew her? Could it be possible the Sith had sent the money, in an attempt to hold her mother hostage?
“You’re thinking.” He said. “That’s never a good sign.”
Again, she shook her head. “I can’t believe that some…stranger would just hand over 2,000 credits to ensure my mother’s health.” She replied, obviously frustrated with the thought. “I mean, what if this is some Sith plot? Could it be the Sith knew of my mother’s illness and have implanted some fake doctor to harm her?”
“Not that I don’t enjoy our conversations, Carth,” he joked. “But I’d like to talk to Bastila again if at all possible.”
“Revan, I’m not joking.”
“I know,” he chuckled. “And that’s what makes it even funnier. Look, I’ll settle your fears right now. I hardly think the Sith have somehow smuggled a rogue doctor in here to do your mother in. Just like I don’t think she has her sights on someone else either.” At this, Bastila blushed. “Will you just take my word? That a really nice, and probably very attractive young man, did you and your mother a good deed?”
“Well…” she sighed. “I guess there really is no way to actually find out who did it and it did help my mother…All right. I guess I can let it go.”
“For now at least.”
Revan rolled his eyes, following her as she approached the door to her mother’s room. She was bit hesitant however. Though they had been able to get the speeder rolling on a new…mother/daughter relationship, the nurse had brought up something very important.
That had been months, many months, ago.
Tatooine had been the second planet they had gone to in their Star Map quest and the third map they had received. And really, the only reason they had gone there was because a friend of her parents had spotted her on Kashyyyk. And really, it was Revan’s insistence that they head out there as soon as they were finished with the wookiee home world.
She felt Revan come up behind her, before his arms slipped around her waist and his head rested on her shoulder. “Aren’t you going to open the door?” he asked.
“I’m not sure.” She responded. “It’s been…a while since we last talked.”
“But this is what you’ve wanted.” He whispered. “A chance to…to set things right between you. A new beginning, a new start, you said.”
“I know.” She sighed. He felt her apprehension, her fear, her…guilt…and did his best to pass on his calm and excitement back to her.
“You know you want to see her.” He encouraged. “You’ve waited too long for this already, Bastila, and I know you won’t be happy until you do this.”
Bastila took a deep breath, her hand reaching out for the knob. “If I do this…” she whispered. “I would’ve broken the rule about attachments.”
Revan placed his hand over the one she held out and guided it to the door handle. “You’ve already broken the one about falling in love.” He whispered. “For once, stop thinking about the council and their rules, and think about your own happiness. Think about the things that you want.”
“But I am happy.”
Taking another breath, she turned the handle, stepping out of Revan’s embrace and into the room. Helena Shan sat up in bed, seemingly watching the Republic News on a nearby console. A data pad lie on top of the sheets, long forgotten now that the holo vid was working again.
The elder woman looked up, smiling as her daughter walked in. “Hello Bastila, dear.” She greeted, happily. “I just finished watching a news holo. Imagine me. Mother of one of the galaxy’s saviors. It’s quite a remarkable achievement.”
Bastila smiled shyly, not used to hearing praise from her mother. “Hello again, Mother.” She replied, coming to sit in a chair that had been placed by the bed. “How’re you feeling?”
“As good as can be expected.” Helena replied. “The doctors want me to stay for observation, they say. Hmph! They want to ogle, plain and simple.” Looking at Revan, she exclaimed, “You there! What’s this I hear about you being the dark lord of the Sith? Where exactly have you been taking my daughter? Gallivanting around the galaxy, huh?”
“Mother,” Bastila hissed. “He’s not a dark lord anymore. He…”
“I want to hear it from him.” Helena protested, crossing her arms in front of her. “Well? What’s your story?”
The bluntness and straightforwardness caught Revan off guard for a second, before he recovered enough to answer, “Yes, ma’am, it’s true. I was the Dark Lord of the Sith. At one time. But I’m totally good now!”
“We’ll see about that.” The woman muttered. “What’s all this ‘star forge’ business? And what exactly did you do since Tatooine?”
Revan would’ve smiled at the scene; Helena looking at him with the same look he’d seen on Bastila’s face when they had met on Taris and Bastila doing her best not to die of embarrassment. Knowing a smirk could lose any favor he may have with Helena Shan, he cleared his throat instead.
“Well, Mrs. Shan,” he replied. “It kinda all begins with the Mandalorian War…” He proceeded to tell his story, using his knowledge of what had happened with him and Malak, only going into great detail as to what happened from his time as a smuggler hired by the Republic to learning of who he really was to what had happened a few days ago.
He managed to be honest, while still holding certain things back, like how the Jedi had ripped his memories away and replaced them with new ones. He managed to skip over the tension that had happened between him and her daughter on the Ebon Hawk and completely left out the fact that she had been on the dark side when he’d come to the Star Forge.
And every single time he mentioned Bastila in the story, she was always in the good light; all her battles had been won flawlessly by her, her Force powers had saved them more than once, he even admitted – finally! – that she had escaped the clutches of the Black Vulkars by herself, while he stood by and watched.
“Well…” Helena replied, leaning back against her pillow. “That’s some story. Now, how much of it is true?”
“I’m sorry?” he asked.
“Well, I’m sorry.” She said, sighing at her only child. “Knowing your temperament, I find it hard to believe you were such an angel on this long winding adventure of yours.”
“Well, thanks a lot.” Bastila huffed.
“Are you calling me a liar, Mrs. Shan?” Revan asked, letting his anger start to get the best of him.
“No.” she said. “I’m saying that, while the whole of the story may be true, you’ve purposely have left out some things. Now, only a man who was in love would do something like that, putting my daughter in the best light possible. Or a man who was lying in order to get something from her. Which are you?”
“Mother, really!” Bastila exclaimed, standing in outrage. “That’s rather rude, don’t you think? Interrogating him like that. So what if he didn’t tell you every single detail, that doesn’t mean you have the right…”
“I’m a man in love.” He replied, successfully cutting off the rest of Bastila’s tirade.
A ghost of a smile appeared on Helena’s face. “I thought as much.” She said. “I know my daughter, young man. She’d like you to think she can handle anything and everything that comes her way, but she can’t. She’s stubborn, just like her father.”
“Isn’t that the truth?” Revan chuckled.
“But I can tell you’re the kind of man she needs.” Helena continued. “You don’t take any guff. Hell, you told those stodgy masters of yours you were gong to war and did just that. I don’t claim to understand you Jedi, but you did what was right and you stood up to them. That’s what Bastila needs. She needs someone to challenge that attitude of hers – she gets that from me.”
“I’ve seen it.” The young knight said. “But I can meet that challenge. I have the same attitude.”
“I’m still in the room, you know.” Bastila retorted. “I’m standing right here.”
“I’m sorry, Bas,” Revan asked, smiling sweetly. “What did you say?”
Bastila closed her eyes, repeating the Jedi Code in her head as a means to prevent her from whacking Revan. Helena burst out laughing, putting a hand to her side as she did. “And a sense of humor.” She cackled. “I like that.”
“Seeing as Bastila’s pretty much annoyed by my behavior,” Revan chuckled. “How would you like to go to dinner with me? I have roguish charm.” He waggled his eyebrows at the woman, causing her to giggle again.
“If I was a bit younger…” Helena replied, causing Bastila to look over at her mother in the kind of disgust only a child could possess towards their parent having any kind of…those feelings.
“You know, you remind me of my late husband.” Helena continued. “He was a bit like you. Strong, charming, adventurous, and oh, so handsome. I’ve always said Bastila got his looks, not mine.”
“She has your nose.” Revan stated. “Which is good, cause I like her nose.” Turning to watch a blush creep up on Bastila’s face, he finished with, “It’s a cute nose.”
“You treat her right, you hear?” Helena commanded. “Her father isn’t here to do what fathers usually do to test the merit of the man who wants to court his daughter, but I think I do him justice on the matter. And you had better be doing a proper courtship with my daughter. You may have fallen in love on that ship of yours, but that doesn’t account for anything in my book.”
“Mother…” Bastila whined.
“Oh yes, ma’am.” Revan said, holding up his hand in a scout’s honor. “Dinner, dancing, flowers, candy…the whole thing, I’m prepared to do. No worries on that. Besides, I have to show your daughter I’m a perfectly, respectable guy. I feel she may have fallen for a ‘bad boy’, but I am indeed…a bad boy with heart.” He looked over at Bastila, a boyish look on his face.
Bastila was just…stunned. How dare he? And in front of her mother! She literally could not remember the last time she had been so angry and annoyed with someone…no. Wait. She could remember who the last person was that put her in such speechless anger and it was him.
“You…you are the most arrogant, prideful…insufferable man I have ever met.” She growled.
“Likewise, darling.” He cheerfully replied. “Well, all except that man part. If you were a man, we wouldn’t be in this situation right now, but if you were, a man that is, I think you’d be a very beautiful man. Though as luck would have it, you were born a woman and quite frankly, I’m a little happier with that arrangement. Don’t you agree?”
She just glared at him. “Force, you’re going to be the death of me.”
“Is that really appropriate?” he asked. “Blaming the Force for your death? I can assure you that you’ll be quite taken care of. I won’t let the Force get its hands on your…” He sent her a volley of thoughts, none of them appropriate to be having in front of one’s parent. “…body.”
He gave her that smile, that horrid smile that first exasperated her on Taris, had soothed her on Tatooine, and then had weakened her in the knees on Korriban. That same smile had spelled her doom on the Star Forge when he had said he’d leave himself open to an attack and that he trusted and believed in her.
The smile he’d given her after she had told him she loved him; given to her before he faced his old apprentice.
She could hear her mother laughing in the background. “Oh, he’s a keeper, all right.” She said, smiling at their behavior. “If I was only a bit younger…”
“Now that’s a compliment.” Revan chuckled. “Two gorgeous women and of the same family, vying for my attentions? I must be one very lucky man.”
“Oh you!” Helena giggled. Her mother actually giggled. “I’m feeling much better, but these treatments always leave me tired.”
“Of course, Mrs. Shan.” Revan bowed politely. “We should probably be getting to our hotel.”
Bastila shook her head. “Could I stop by tomorrow, Mother?” she asked.
Helena’s features softened. “I’d like that.”
The two Jedi nodded their goodbyes before turning to leave the room, but Helena called Revan over before they could leave.
“Don’t think I don’t know where the money for my treatments came from.” She whispered. “I wasn’t sure until you came in, but looking at you and seeing you with my daughter, it all made sense. Now, whether or not you tell her is one thing, but I wanted to thank you for giving me another chance with her. Remember what I said about her. She can be tough, but I think she’s worth it. But then again, I am her mother.”
Revan smiled. “Believe me,” he whispered back. “I think she’s worth it too.”
With that, he again bowed, joining Bastila at the door, and the two headed out. Bastila was already walking ahead of him, seemingly trying to put as much distance between her and Revan as possible.
When she thought she had reached somewhere where her comments couldn’t be heard, she rounded on him. “I can not believe you!” she cried. “Flirting with my mother!”
“Technically, she was flirting with me.”
“I don’t care.” She huffed. “That was just…just…wrong! And what you said!”
“She’s looking out for your well being.” He replied. “Wouldn’t you be a bit suspicious if your daughter suddenly shows up with an ex-dark lord, wanting to court her? I’d be worried if she wasn’t.”
The young woman sighed, continuing her walk to the elevator. She didn’t speak again until the doors shut and they began their decent. “You make everything seem so simple.” She whispered.
“That’s cause it is.” He replied. “At least in my own little world. The little things are the simplest.”
He shrugged. “I’ll admit, some things aren’t as black and white as the council makes them to be.” He said. “They’re always so busy looking at the ‘big picture’ and never looking at right now. I mean, sure the big picture is nice, but you need the right now in order to make up the big picture.”
“Is that why you hate the council so?” she asked, timidly.
“I don’t hate the council.” He sighed. “I hate how they handle things, handle people. I hate some of the practices, some of the rules…”
“But in the world of Revan?” she asked.
“The world of Revan is great!” he exclaimed, grinning. “Swoop races every other day, happy smiling faces…” his face softened as he gazed at her. “A beautiful brunette to take to dinner every night.”
“With flowers and candy.” She supplied, matching his grin. “It’s too good to be true.”
Revan shook his head. “Nothing is ever too good to be true.” He said. “At least, you should never believe that.”
The shift of the elevator alerted them that they had reached the ground floor, the door opening and allowing them to step out on the first level. “So, what now?” Bastila asked.
Revan shrugged. “We should probably find out where our hotel is.” He replied. “Then…I guess we can have some downtown time. I know I’d love to get into a fresher right now. How bout this? We head to the hotel and I meet you at your room at like…nineteen hundred hours?”
Bastila nodded. “That sounds like a plan.” She agreed. “All right. Let’s get going.”
The two looked at the data pad Master Vandar had given him, showing where the hotel would be located. The building was in the upper class section of the planet, surprising the crew of the Ebon Hawk.
It was upscale, as tall as the skyscrapers located around it, and decorated in a soft cream. Their rooms, all located along the same hallway, were on the sixth floor of the hotel, the ‘premiere’ floor section, as the hotel attendant had told them.
“This is pretty cushy.” Carth replied, once Revan and Bastila had returned. “The council is being pretty generous.”
“Yeah.” Revan muttered, looking around his own spacious room. “Very generous indeed.”
“I know that tone of voice.” The pilot said. “You don’t think this is genuine. You think something’s up.”
The young knight chuckled. “Sometimes Carth, I wonder if you’re not Force sensitive.” He said. “Yeah, I think something’s up. We’re dealing with the Jedi Council here. Of course something must be up. And I can almost guarantee you that it has to do with me and Bastila.”
“For someone who’s the prodigal knight, you certainly have a strong dislike for the Jedi.”
“Can you blame me?” he asked. “After what they did to me? What they had Bastila do?” Revan sighed. “You understand betrayal, Carth, more than I think anyone should. And that’s what it feels like to me. Like the Jedi betrayed me, betrayed us. I can’t get over that, I guess.”
Carth looked at his young friend. He could certainly understand the man’s frustrations. He didn’t necessarily agree with the Jedi, nor did he particularly trust them, but he did trust those Jedi he had traveled with. They had shown more loyalty than most of the officers he had served with in the Mandalorian War and that was saying something.
And he liked these particular Jedi; Jolee, though he could go on and on about his past, had the view he wished most Jedis did regarding their codes and their rules; Juhani was someone who had looked at the Jedi in a worship type degree, but she had a good heart and had overcome a horrible past; He and Bastila hadn’t started out the trip on good terms, but the pilot could see the effect that Revan had her and he saw it as a positive influence.
She was more relaxed around Revan. Stepping back, Carth finally saw Bastila for what she was: a scared young woman who had been given this tremendous power and along with it, a tremendous amount of responsibility. He couldn’t even fathom how she got through, unable to tell this young man he had been monster, unable to really cope with the fact she had fallen in love with this monster, this redeemed knight.
And of course, there was Jayden Korr aka Revan. Even though he wouldn’t quite admit it, he liked the young man straight off. He admired his humor and his ease with the crew, with people in general. He was generous, always helped when there were people who needed it.
He would never forget how the young man had insisted on entering that holding pen in the Undercity, in order to help those citizens who had been stricken with the rakghoul disease. In hindsight, Jayden had said he wasn’t expecting three of those people to be turned so quickly, but he had felt bad at their deaths. Carth could admit he had said more in the presence of Jayden Korr than he had ever said to anyone.
Carth had been stunned, angered, when Saul had told him his friend – his partner – was in reality Revan, the murdering monster who had killed so many, done so many evil things…and then to learn that Bastila had known all along.
Carth had felt betrayed, but not as betrayed as Jay had felt. The pilot couldn’t imagine what was going on in the young man’s mind. It short order, Jayden Korr ceased to be and in his place was Revan, prodigal knight turned Sith dark lord. In one conversation, this young man learned he had been the leader of the enemy they chased, that he was responsible for the destruction and devastation that plagued most of his crew, but above all…he had been lied to by the woman he loved.
The seasoned pilot had grown to respect this man more during the time after the Leviathan than any other time they had been together.
“Well,” Carth replied, leaning against the door jam. “That drink offer is still on the table. Tonight is good for me.”
Revan grinned. “I can’t.” he said, sheepishly. “I…uh…have dinner plans…actually.”
Carth raised an eyebrow. “Dinner, huh?” he smirked. “Anyone I know? Does she have sister?”
Revan laughed. “Well, yeah you know her, but she doesn’t have a sister.” He chuckled. “But her mother is quite feisty. You should go for it, if just to annoy Bastila when you make her call you ‘daddy’.”
The seasoned pilot snorted out a laugh. “As…great as that could be,” he said. “I think I‘ll pass. But you’ll think about that drink, yeah?”
The young knight slapped his friend’s shoulder. “I’m there.”
It had taken nearly two weeks before it was finally time for the council to call Revan and Bastila before them. They hadn’t told Jolee and Juhani what their decisions would be concerning them, only that they wished to hear the whole story first before passing their opinions and judgment on the matter.
On the morning they were to stand before the Jedi High Council, Bastila had spent the morning meditating. She had awoken quite early, earlier than normal, and had immediately begun to meditate, trying to get the images of Revan out of her mind.
The two weeks Revan had deemed ‘freedom week’ had been, in all honesty, the happiest she had ever been since she had been at home with her father. They had taken to the sights of the planet, looking at all the tourist type spectacles, generally spending way too much time together.
They had dinner just about every night in those two weeks and he had surprised her by coming several mornings with breakfast and twice he was able to make a Talravian breakfast, the kind she had enjoyed as a little girl. Revan had certainly taken to the task of courting her appropriately. She smiled, fingering the pendant he had given her the night before.
But wasn’t that the problem?
She was a Jedi and already Revan’s rebellious nature was seeping into her own sense of rules and order. She had now broken two of those underlying rules of being a Jedi. What was happening to her? She had told herself she would be quite above the little fluttering in her stomach whenever he looked at her, that she could maintain the distance whenever he was near, that what she was feeling was just a symptom of their bond.
So, how in the Force did she get to here? Where she was in love with Revan, prodigal knight who became the ultimate dark lord of the Sith who had just finished becoming a redeemed soul, who had redeemed her.
She could feel her anxiety start to spike when she thought about what she would tell the council. They would of course want to know everything on her part, of her mission in redeeming this former Sith leader.
But how could she tell them that somewhere along the way, she began developing feelings for this man; that she had fallen to the dark side believing if she could lure him back, they could fully live out their love; that it was his love for her that had saved her and in turn, her love had prevented her from truly harming him.
They wouldn’t understand it, certainly Master Vrook would look at her in distain and that would be hard. He reminded her of her mother, someone who she could never please, even though she tried her hardest to do so.
But Revan…she guessed her mother was corrected. When she thought about it, the young knight did remind her of her beloved father. She had always loved going with him to the beach during the early mornings to watch the sunrise and then at night, they would watch the night sky for passing ships and stargaze.
Bastila admitted, with a blush, in her younger days she wanted to have a husband who would be like her father. Someone who was as kind and caring as he was; and the young woman couldn’t hold back a slight smile, thinking that Revan was that kind, caring man, with a determination that matched her own, and a sense of humor that never seemed to fail in getting her to smile or laugh.
Sighing, she berated herself. She was supposed to be clearing her mind of Revan, not filling it with reasons of why he was such a wonderful man and how much she…shaking her head, she massaged her temples. This was obviously going no where.
The sound of a knock brought a sense of relief, having found something that would at least take her mind of the young, handsome knight. Standing, she left the bedroom and headed for the door. Checking the view screen, she noticed that Carth stood there, patiently waiting for the door to be opened. Going over and opening the door, she greeted the pilot.
“Good morning, Carth.” She replied. “What can I do for you?”
“Morning, Bastila.” He responded, nodding to her. “I’m actually here on behalf of Revan.”
Inwardly, she groaned. “Revan’s behalf, hmm?” she questioned. “And what exactly has he done now?”
“Nothing.” He insisted. “To my knowledge, anyway. Look, Revan wanted me to come by and give you this.” He pulled a flower from behind his back, one she identified as a Talravin lily, one of her favorite flowers. She smiled, taking the flower from the pilot.
“Where is he?” she asked, staring at the lily dreamily.
“Uh…” Carth replied. “Well…I believe when I left him…he was…on his…second heat.”
She looked at him. “He’s swoop racing?” she asked. “On the morning we’re called before the Jedi High Council and he’s swoop racing?”
“See, I told him Canderous would’ve been a much better messenger…”
“How could he be swoop racing at a time like this!” she continued. “Carth…”
“I told him not to, I swear!” he said, startled when she turned to him.
“Good morning, guys!” came a voice, causing the two to turn, seeing as Revan, dressed in his Republic uniform, approached them. “Guess what? I had such a great race and the whole thing panned out and look!” He held up a credit stick. “Five hundred credits! We are eating so good tonight!”
“Revan!” Bastila exclaimed. “Have you forgotten what we’re supposed to do today!”
The young man shrugged. “We’re appearing before the council.” He said. “Big deal.”
“Darling,” he said. “I think you’re putting too much strain on yourself.”
“Revan, do you have any idea how much our future in the Order is hanging in the balance?”
He regarded her shrewdly. “I didn’t know reaching the rank of master was such a priority.” He said.
“It’s…it’s not a priority.” She replied, weakly.
“Well, I’m glad I could at least make the list.” He joked, but with a slight embittered tone. “Assuming I am, of course, on the list.”
“Hey, come on, you guys,” Carth interrupted, seeing the way this could possibly end. He had been lucky enough to never have seen a fight between them, not including the one on the Leviathan, and he really didn’t want to start now. “Don’t you think you should be getting ready?”
Bastila took a deep breath. “You’re right, Carth,” she replied, chin up. “I have to continue my meditation before going in. I suggest, Revan, you do the same.” She turned quickly, closing the door in their faces.
The two men stared at the door, before turning to look at each other. “I have a feeling the rest of my day is going to be exactly like that.” Replied Revan.
“Come on,” Carth said, chuckling nervously. “She’s just a little upset you’re not preparing the way she is. I’m sure things will be fine.”
Revan shook his head. “I have a bad feeling about this.” He muttered, walking from Carth and heading to his own room, leaving the seasoned pilot worried as well.
Things were still tense between the two younger Jedi as they made their way inside the Jedi Temple. The elevator ride was painfully quiet and the two didn’t speak until they had entered the council chambers.
The chamber was a large circular design, with the image of a sun dial in the center. Around the center were ten chairs, and in them were seated the ten members of the council. Behind them, was a large picture window, to which you could see the entire city and the blue sky that hovered above it.
“We apologize for making you wait for such a long time.” Master Vandar replied, ushering them inside. The two followed the alien until they both stood in the center of the circle.
Bastila gasped as she saw Master Vrook, sitting in one of the chairs. “Master Vrook!” she exclaimed. “I hadn’t thought anyone else had survived the…”
“It was difficult,” Vrook replied, in his gruff manner. “But fortunately, Vandar and I were not seriously injured.”
“And the others?” Revan asked. “The academy?”
“The academy…is gone.” Vandar replied, bowing his head. “It is truly nothing but a crater. The shell does indeed exist, but the heart of the place is completely destroyed.”
“Your master is one with the Force, Revan.” Vrook said, staring at the young man. “Or at least one of your masters is.”
Revan quirked an eyebrow at him. He went to asked what the elder master meant, but Vandar waved him off, instead directing their attention to the other members. On the end, in seat number one was a rather tall bothan, who stood and bowed to the two Jedi.
“I am Dorril Sevadjian.” He said, his voice a regal bass. He gestured to the Mon Calamari beside him. “This is Master Titus Ahleme.” The Mon Calamari nodded, then gestured to the two Twi’lek females on his left, one an emerald green, the other a light pink.
“Those are Masters Pura Motzer and Ali Thul.” Dorril continued. He pointed at a human female and the elder male on her left. “Masters Pernin Kaminska and Villard Baster.” They both nodded at the Jedi. “Next is Veroba Dee.” The bothan continued, gesturing to a female Falleen.
A Falleen? Revan thought. That’s certainly of interest. Falleens were known to be the epitome of perfect Jedi, valuing logic over emotion. Though despite that, they had the reputation of being irresistible to the opposite sex, thought they had ways to displace their pheromone in order to do business.
“You already are familiar with Master Vrook Lamar,” the bothan was saying, continuing on to the younger male that sat in between Vrook and Vandar. “Master Dario Kully.” The young man nodded, smiling at them both. “And of course, Master Vandar.”
“We are quite honored to have such talent amongst our ranks,” the emerald Twi’lek replied.
“It’s not everyday we see your kind of talent.” Dario spoke up. Seeing the look from Vrook, he amended, “Not that those who train are scruffy. Oh no. They’re the best.”
“Just not as good as us, right?” smirked Revan.
“That arrogance!” Vrook muttered. “Must I remind you where your arrogance led the last time?”
“Please,” Vandar interrupted, stopping any protests or comments Revan could say. “Let us not bicker when we have matters to attend to.”
Looking at the two Jedi, Vandar continued. “We feel you hold the last piece of the story, young padawans. Seeing as it was you we assigned this quest.”
“And we’d like to know the whole quest.” Master Veroba replied, stoically. She looked at each of them, a frown similar to the one Vrook usually wore was plastered on her face.
“From your points of view, of course.” Pernin finished, casting a look at the Falleen.
“If I may clear up some things,” Balster commanded. “Young Bastila, it is to our knowledge, that you were given the task to capture the dark lord Revan. Is this true?”
“Yes sir,” Bastila said, her voice cracking slightly. “When Revan and Malak had returned as dark lords, it was my understanding that the High Council hoped to turn one or both of them back to the light.”
“This is true,” replied Ali. “We had hoped they weren’t so far gone. We requested in retrieving Revan. He was always the more…mature of the two. At least concerning the…important matters that concerned him.”
“We already know this.” Vrook responded. “It is the events after they left our academy that we are concerned about.”
“That’s rather impatient, don’t you think, Master Vrook?” Revan quipped. “Impatience leads to the dark side.”
If Bastila could just disappear…or better yet, shrivel up and die, she would have. What was he thinking? And was it her or were those Twi’leks spending more time looking at him than they were at her?
“Enough.” Dorril said. “Vrook is correct. Perhaps we will begin with you, Padawan Shan. Tell us everything, from when the time you reported to the Endar Spire until present.”
Bastila let out the breath she had been holding and began. She started with being assigned to the Endar Spire as they were to follow up on reports of Sith patrol ships around Taris. She had met Commander Carth Onasi, who was assigned an observer for the ship and its Republic crew.
She admitted, with some shame, that she and other Jedi had taken over the lead on the ship, pulling rank above other officers. She then told them, sometime in the middle of the evening, the Sith had seen their ship and began an offensive attack. She had tried to use her Battle Meditation, but she had still been tired from sleep and the Sith forces seemed overwhelming.
Another Jedi, Holden, had told her Dark Jedi under Malak’s command were searching for her. Unable to officially aid in the fight, Bastila had worked her way through soldiers and commandos to the escape pods, where she managed to land in the Undercity of Taris.
The crash had affected her enough she was unable to focus on her Force powers, which had lead to her capture by the Black Vulkars. Dorril held up his hand, indicating for her to stop. Then looking at Revan, he asked the young man to describe his experience on the Endar Spire.
Revan began his story; how he was a smuggler by the name of Jayden Korr and how, in penance for his crimes as such, he was offered work for the Republic to battle against the Sith. He admitted he couldn’t really recall what he had done as a smuggler, what places he had been to, etc.
He had been asleep when the first attack began and his roommate, a Republic soldier named Trask, had awoken him and together they had made it the bridge. On the way to the escape pods, however, they had been stopped by a Dark Apprentice – who Revan would later learn was Darth Bandon, Malak’s apprentice – and Trask had gone ahead to battle the Sith, allowing Jayden Korr to make it to the escape pods, where Carth Onasi awaited him.
He went on to say that as soon as he arrived on Taris, he began having strange dreams – dreams of which he now realized were actually memories – which even Carth had picked up on. They had found refuge in an abandoned apartment in the Upper City of Taris which they proclaimed was their headquarters.
He and Carth then set out to find out about Bastila’s crashed shuttle. They had gone topside, finding a medical facility that had a few Republic soldiers recuperating. They then headed to the cantina, where Revan had been only a fight away from facing the Taris champion. Well, after that defeat, they had learned more about the Sith and the city gangs that had stumbled upon the crashed pod.
After talking to Gadon Thek, the leader of the Hidden Bek gang, Revan agreed to be the racer for the gang in order to win Bastila back.
“You actually enlisted the help of a city gang in order to ‘win’ back a colleague?” Vrook asked, incredulously.
“You know another way to win back a captured Republic officer, who just happens to be a Jedi?” Revan asked, rolling his eyes.
“You must admit, padawan,” Dario replied. “You encountered a rare set of circumstances.”
“Exactly.” He said. “That was the only way to get Bastila back, so I did it. And became champ. Though a lot of good that does me now, seeing as no one ever believes me. So I just have to prove that I am, indeed, the best.”
“Are you saying you still participate in these…races?” asked Veroba.
Revan gave the Falleen a confident smile. “You’re looking at the new Coruscant swoop champion.” He boasted.
“Surely, Bastila, you were quite surprised to see Revan as your rescuer.” Pernin wondered.
“Well…yes…” she began, still in shock over Revan’s blatant disregard for the masters. “I was…unaware that there were any survivors on the ship. I had known, however, that Revan was aboard, but I had not seen him during my time on the Endar Spire.”
“Imagine my surprise to discover I was added as a late entry to the ship’s roster.” Revan muttered, bitterly.
“So,” Balster asked. “You had no knowledge of your former self, but you had a vision?”
“Revan…told me later, after we had gotten back to the hideout, that he had a vision…” Bastila began. “A memory of when we fought on his ship.”
“That’s when she told me I could be Force Sensitive.” Revan finished.
“How did you manage to get off of Taris?” Titus asked. “The Sith had a complete lockdown on the planet before Malak destroyed it.”
The two Jedi looked at each other, as though wondering which of them would answer. Revan cleared this throat and told them how they had gone back to the cantina and had run into Canderous Ordo, who was working for the resident crime lord, Davik Kang.
“So after participating in a swoop race, sponsored by one of the local gangs,” the Falleen said, sarcastically. “You then enlisted the help of a Mandalorian, who was working for a crime boss for the Exchange. I wonder why you did not put a stop to this, Padawan Shan.”
Bastila blushed in embarrassment. “And how else were we supposed to get off Taris?” Revan retorted. “Or perhaps it was your wish to see me completely wiped out, seeing as you failed to completely wipe out my memories.”
“You will do well to remember who you are addressing, Revan.” Vrook demanded. “It seems we’ve had this conversation before.”
“Have we?” Revan questioned, his anger mounting. “I wouldn’t know.”
“Revan, please.” Bastila whispered, willing him to control himself.
“We see your anger has grown since the last time you stood before us.” Pura replied.
“Perhaps we should continue this at another time.” Vandar ventured, but Revan shook his head in disagreement.
“No.” he said. “Let’s have this out right now.”
He once again told of meeting the Mandalorian in the cantina and getting aboard Davik’s ship. He made a special mention of the massage he received from Davik’s slave girls, saying it was the best he had ever received and causing a deep blush on Bastila’s face – and some rather high feelings of jealousy as well.
He then told them how they reached the hanger of the ship, after receiving the codes from a prisoner, and had a face to face with Davik and another bounty hunter, Calo Nord. After the battle, in which Davik was killed and Calo had been crushed – so they thought – they flew the ship out of the hanger, picked up the group they had assembled and barely escaped the planet as Malak had it bombed into oblivion.
“Then I suggested that perhaps we head to Dantooine.” Bastila piped up, hoping to end this round of questioning. “I wanted to give the masters my report and to tell them of the visions that seemed to be shared between Jayden – Revan – and myself.”
“It seemed even after having extensive head trauma, Revan was still able to command the Force as though he was born to do so.” Vrook said. “In just two weeks, Revan had re-mastered all the tasks which we usually put a padawan through. Zhar even said he put together his lightsaber in record time.”
“One of the tasks we set forth was one to test to see if anything of Revan remained in this Jayden Korr.” Vandar replied, taking over the conversation. “We sent him to the grove, where Juhani had fled after she struck Master Quatra. His task was to cleanse the grove. Not only did he perform it perfectly, but he brought Juhani back to the light and the young Jedi requested to join him on his quest to find the Star Forge.”
“And from Dantooine?” Dorril asked. “Where did you head?”
“I wish to know who else was in this…crew of yours.” Veroba stated.
“Commander Carth Onasi, decorated hero of the Republic forces,” Revan began. “Remember his name too, cause he’ll an admiral one day, you wait and see. Then there’s Mission and Big Z…”
“Mission?” asked Ali.
“Big Z?” asked Balster. “What is a ‘big z’?”
“Mission Vao and her wookiee friend, Zaalbar.” Bastila explained. “Revan and Carth had met them while looking for me.”
“Taris was Misson’s home.” Revan said. “If it wasn’t for Mission, I wouldn’t have been able to break into the Vulkar base and get that prototype engine in order to win the swoop race.”
“You stole a prototype engine?” Vrook asked.
“They stole it first!” Bastila exclaimed, quickly shutting her mouth as her face once again took on the telltale signs of embarrassment.
“The Vulkars stole that engine first,” Revan explained. “Besides, if I hadn’t gotten it back, Bastila would’ve been the plaything for any number of people.”
Dorril motioned for the two to continue their story. Revan told them how they had decided on Kashyyyk, which was where they met up with Jolee. Jolee was the one who initially told them of the ancient part of the Shadowlands where the Star Map was being kept.
After they received it, they helped Zaalbar and his father defeat the wookiee’s brother and Czerka from taking over the planet entirely. The young knight had completely left out the fact that Bastila had learned of her mother’s illness and her father’s death on the wookiee home world.
“It is late, Dorril.” Titus whispered to the bothan.
“Agreed.” The bothan replied, nodding at the two Jedi. “We won’t keep you any longer this day, but we do request you return to us in the morning.”
The Jedis nodded, turning and walking out of the chambers. “Such anger,” Vrook spat. “Such vengeance. Am I the only who can feel it?”
“No Vrook,” the Falleen replied. “I feel it too. There are parts within this story they have not told us. And their emotions are out of control.”
The Mon Cal nodded. “I sensed that as well.” He said. “Revan covered up something in his story and Bastila knew what it was, but yet she did not correct him on his error.”
“They are hiding something between them.” Dario agreed. “But what?”
“I believe they have become…closer.” Vrook replied, a thoughtful look in his eye. “Closer than they had been since we saw them on Dantooine.”
“Perhaps it is a side effect of the bond.” Vandar speculated.
Dario shook his head. “Things felt…tense between them.” He murmured. “You could feel it when Revan had his outbursts, as though…”
“We mustn’t speculate.” Dorril said. “They have only just begun their tale. But I shall agree you on your line of thought. The most important thing is for us to discover how it was that young Bastila fell to the dark side. Was it the dong of Malak? Or Revan? And these visions.
“How can we be certain that they are small and few in between? What if…what if Revan regains all of his former memories? And if you all are correct, that he and Bastila have indeed become closer, what will that do to her? To us? To lose Revan was devastating, but Bastila along with him? We couldn’t cope!”
“And what of those they traveled with?” Vrook asked. “A Mandalorian? A wookiee? You remember how Revan was. And even in his new personality, he is still able to gather followers to him. If he should ever fall again…”
“Listen,” Vandar interrupted. “We are getting ahead of ourselves. They have only just started their story and we only have a small portion. We can decide these things when the story becomes clearer.”
“Let us not wait too long, Vandar.” Pura said. “Remember what happened the last time we did.”