REVENGE OF THE SITH
Part IV – Discovery & Recovery
It had been a crazy and chaotic year, ending with the knowledge that the exiled Jedi that seemed to be roaming around and destroying parts of the galaxy was not Revan. It had also ended with four Jedi Masters dead, three Sith Lords dead, and a number of Sith elite dead as well.
It was the aftermath of a harrowing year, where Dantooine had been saved from mercenaries; where the Exchange was smaller in number; where the queen on Onderon had been overthrown by her hapless cousin and his troops; where Telos had once again been targeted by the Sith, but this time it had been saved.
Thanks to the help of the man who had brought this destruction along in the first place.
Carth needed to meet him, needed to…he didn’t know. He was close to yelling at him, wanting to know what the hell would possess him to do what he had done; why the hell did he have the Ebon Hawk; what had he done with Revan…but upon seeing the young man, the admiral”s threats and shouting had abruptly died within in his throat.
He had been around enough Jedi to know a dark Jedi when he saw one, but while the young man’s appearance was easily attributed to the dark side of the Force – his pale skin, the dark lines within his features – the man’s eyes held the haunted look the ensign from earlier in the year had described him. His eyes were dark, swirling with emotions and it seemed as though the man”s anger and bitterness rolled off him like his dark side aura.
So Carth talked with him, telling him about Revan and the adventures they had within the Ebon Hawk. The young man had even asked the same question Carth worried about: wasn’t it possible Revan was dead?
But some how, he refused to believe it. They talked a bit longer before the man left, asking if there was a message Carth wanted to give to the prodigal knight – on the off case the dark Jedi should see him.
“Just…just tell him Carth Onasi is doing what he asked.” And with that, the man left, leaving Carth to wonder if he would ever see him again. He didn’t need to turn when he felt the presence at his side.
“Did he know?” she asked.
“No, he didn’t.”
She sighed, her shoulders slumped. She was tired, he could tell. Battle Meditation always left her drained, that’s why he had two glasses sitting on his desk when they got back to their quarters. “There are times I fear we shall never know why he left, Carth.” She whispered. “And I can not live not knowing the answer, why he sought to protect us.”
He glanced at her. She knew why. “He asked us to stay, to keep the Republic safe.” he said. “It was important to him. And, after meeting the exile, I’m convinced that there are worse things to lose in the Galaxy.”
They were silent for a time, each lost in their own thoughts. He nudged her arm, inclining his head towards their quarters. She nodded, still looking at bit lost and wary. He put an arm around her shoulders as they walked back.
It took some time, but soon things seemed to be…shaky at best, but slightly better than it had been. The shadow Sith had been destroyed, hopefully, and the galaxy was once more on a shaky ground when it came to resources.
While Telos was now still hovering in space, the fuel situation had fixed itself, again thanks in part to one Ellis Yoly. Carth didn’t know how he should feel about this man, the man known as the last of the Jedi. While he had helped in their situation, he was also responsible for several destructive things taking place.
But above all, the admiral didn’t think he could forgive the man for killing the four remaining Jedi masters. He wouldn’t have even known it if he hadn’t been called to the med unit with a report that Bastila had collapsed in pain just outside the galley.
He had been frantic, of course. And when he had seen her, she had been terribly upset. After ridding the room of personal for a moment and calming her down, he had finally been able to understand why she was so upset.
Master Vrook was dead.
He had learned, during their Star Forge mission, that all masters and students shared a Force bond and there were very few exceptions. One exception was that of Bastila and Revan. He had heard Jolee mumbling about another, rare case, but the Jedi master wouldn’t say anymore.
The bond a master and student share was one of great importance, as it let one know if the other was in trouble. Not only that, but it allowed one to know if the other had joined the Force and it seemed that Master Vrook had.
And it had been violent.
They still hadn’t known that the exile wasn’t Revan at that point and that cut to the heart. Could Revan actually have done this? He knew about force bonds and he knew slaying his lover’s master would cause undue hurt and pain.
Did Revan actually want to hurt her? Thankfully, in a way, the exile was not Revan, but the pain at losing her master in such a way had truly saddened the young woman.
After they took care of things on Telos, she wanted to travel to Dantooine. Wanted to see his body.
Carth was making last minute preparations when a TSF officer had approached him. He told him that a young Zabrak male had been brought to the medical facility. While Carth was concerned, he wasn’t sure why the officer was bringing it to his attention. “He said he wanted to talk to you, sir.” he replied. “Or rather, his droid did.”
“His droid?” he asked. He wasn’t even sure who this patient was, let alone his droid, but something made him ask, “What kind of droid?”
“A little astromech droid.” he said. “The med staff said it seemed…hysterical that he may not be able to…Admiral, where are you going?”
Carth had broken into a jog, headed for his apartment with the Citadel Station. “To the med facility!” he shouted over his shoulders.
The admiral tried to take his time, but he couldn’t and he was happy to see Bastila walking out as he ran up to her. “Carth, what’s…” she started and was startled when he grabbed her arm and rushed off with her.
“No time!” he huffed. “Med unit!”
When they had run the course of the station to the Residential West area, Bastila yanked her arm from Carth as he tried talking to a young nurse that greeted them outside the makeshift med facility. “Carth Onasi,” she hissed. “If you don’t tell me right now what the meaning of this is…”
“Woman, can’t you take a surprise when it’s handed to you?”
“What are you…?”
A familiar beep caused the two to look over at a small white astromech droid, that was currently rolling over to them. “T3!” they exclaimed, upon seeing the droid and rushed over to it. Bastila knelt down, kissing the little droid on his head top. “What’re you doing here?” she asked.
That seemed to get the little droid excited, as he began to let out beeps and whirls. The two looked at him in confusion. “Wait, what?” Bastila asked. She could barely understand him, as he was talking to fast.
“T3, slow down,” she commanded. “You’re not making any sense.” The little droid stopped its chattering, seeming to take a moment, before he again began a story in beeps and droid sounds.
He told the two how he had gone along with Revan to many different planets and how just one day, he and the Ebon Hawk were given over to an old woman. Not only was she mean to him, but she was a Sith Lord in disguise.
He told them that they had been flying around when they were spotted by a Sith capitol ship and just by chance, stumbled upon the Jedi exile aboard the Harbinger. He went on to describe the new adventures he had with the exile named Ellis Yoly and how at the end of it, the old woman had betrayed them all.
The last place he had been was on Malachor V, where the exile and the old woman had to fight. He was on the ship when Bao-Dur, the Zabrak that had been brought in, told his remote to activate the Mass Shadow Generator once again, in order to destroy the planet. But it didn’t work that way.
After the remote left, the GO-TO droid had followed it. Then when Bao discovered that, he went out to active the device himself, only to be swarmed with dark Jedi. The dark Jedi had suddenly stopped, then escorted a badly injured Bao to a shuttle. T3 had tagged along and that’s how he had gotten on Telos.
“What about Revan?” Carth asked, slowly. “Where is he?”
The little droid beeped and chirped, saying he wasn’t sure and that he didn’t even know all the places they had gone. Revan had done something to his memory core, but that the prodigal knight had instructed him to keep everyone and anyone away from the nav-computer, which he had voice locked before his departure.
The astromech gave a proud beep, as he told his human friends how he had blasted the HK-47 for even thinking of breaking into it. That got identical smiles from both Carth and Bastila.
“So you don’t know where he is, either.” sighed the young woman.
T3 beeped his response, but then said how Revan would be contacting him soon. “Are you serious?” Carth asked. “You’re sure on that?”
The droid beeped that Revan told him he would contact him when he was ready to come home or if he was in trouble. While it was good news, Bastila couldn’t help think they were right back where they started. If Revan wasn’t ready to come back, how long would he make her wait for him?
She didn’t know what to expect when they had landed on Dantooine. The Jedi Academy still seemed so vacant and hollow as it did when she and Jolee had been forced to come back by the council. She hated being here then and she hated being there now.
She couldn’t believe what Malak had done to the place of learning that many Jedi had been a part of. If she couldn’t bear to look at the academy, she didn’t want to think how bad the temple on Coruscant was.
Carth, too, was in awe at the destruction. He hadn’t been on Dantooine since the very first time they had met those masters that resided here. To see the place now…he was speechless. The docking bay was moved closer to the Khoonda office building, a place that had used to be the Mantale family mansion.
They continued in through the door to see the administrator, Terena Adare, but Carth maneuvered Bastila around to a side path where a blond haired man was waiting. The man stood, holding his hand out for Carth to shake.
“Hello Admiral.” he replied, smiling at them both.
“Mical, good to see you.” Carth said, shaking the man”s hand. He motioned to Bastila. “I don’t believe you’ve met Bastila Shan.”
The blond turned to her, a larger smile on his face than before. “This is a pleasure,” he said, shaking her hand as well. “It’s a great honor to meet a…” – here Carth cleared his throat. – “Remarkable woman, such as you are.”
Bastila returned the smile, sending a sideways glance at Carth. “The pleasure is mine, Mical.”
“I had Mical here stationed on Dantooine in case our friend came by.” Carth said.
“And it was as you thought, Admiral.” the blond nodded. “I had a chance to talk with the exile. He…he was…deeply troubled I think.”
“Yes,” Bastila sighed. “We felt that as well.” She was looking at Mical in an odd way, trying to place his face. “I’m sorry, I just can’t seem to place you,” she said. “Have we met before?”
“I…” Mical blushed. “I don’t think we have.”
“Really?” she asked. “You…you look familiar to me some how. What is it that you do exactly for the Republic?”
“Bastila!” Carth couldn’t believe his ears. That had to be the rudest thing…
“It’s all right, Admiral, really.” the blond jumped in. Turning to Bastila, he said, “I’m a historian and scientist.” he chuckled. “Technically, I’m more of a scientist than a historian. The historian part is a bit of a hobby, if you will.”
“Historian of what?” she asked, ignoring the look Carth gave her. “If you don’t mind me asking.”
“Not at all.” he smiled. “I like learning about a lot of different things, but truth be told, I am a historian of the Jedi. It…it’s become a bit of an obsession, I’m afraid, but…I can’t help it. They are truly interesting people, who have their successes and their faults. I think of it as…a character study.”
“You don’t say.”
“I thought you’d be interested to know, Admiral,” the man began. “That the Jedi Academy is once again open.”
“I thought you said it was highly unstable to be in there.”
“It is, sir,” he said. “But I meant as the laigreks that roamed the sublevel, but thanks to the exile, that really isn’t a problem any more. But that’s not what I meant about it being open.
“The door that once lead into the enclave, where the training facilities were, where you could find the Jedi sub council…that door has been opened. It had previously been closed. And what you’ll find there…”
Mical glanced at Bastila before looking back at Carth. “I discovered them only a short time ago, but I was hesitant to report it to the administrator…” he began. “I did what I could, but…I thought I should wait until you arrived.”
Carth looked at Bastila. “Are you sure you want to do this?” he asked, seeing her resolve weaken.
“I have to.”
Though there was strength in her voice and posture, Carth knew her far too long to think she’d be able to handle what she would see. But she was stubborn and she felt it was her duty to know the fate of her master. The admiral nodded, knowing he would stand no chance in changing her mind.
“Do you need me to show you the way?” Mical asked.
Carth shook his head. “We know it.” he whispered, following Bastila and T3 out. It was a quiet walk through the grass to what remained of the Jedi Enclave. They weren’t hassled by horrid looking kath hounds and it was nice to hear the quiet peace that settled on the planet.
Bastila lead the way, only stopping when they reached the bridge that lead them straight to the former academy. Carth remembered how he, Canderous, and Jayden had gone out to cleanse the grove from Juhani’s dark side aura. They had stopped to the left to buy maps from Adum Larp and to the right had been the woman Elise, who had an unhealthy attachment to her droid.
Their walk was a slow one, as if one part remembering all that had happened here and two parts shock at what the place was reduced to. As Mical had said, the door that lead to the inner chamber of the Academy was now opened and that’s where the trio headed, not knowing what kind of reception they would get.
They walked the hallway that led them to the inner courtyard. It was overgrown with grass and moss, but it looked like the same inner lobby, only now, the sun was able to shine through unabated, as there was no longer a roof to speak of.
The two humans knew something horrible waited them when they reached the former council chamber. The memories seemed to play out for both of them…a little girl who usually kept to the that beautiful garden, learning all she could about being a Jedi; a soldier worried about his new crew mate, who had been ushered into the council without so much of a thought…
They didn’t move immediately into the chambers; they just stood there in the garden, looking at the doorway that would lead them to a scene neither wanted to see. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Bastila made the first steps towards the archway.
What greeted them were two sheets that covered the remains of two bodies. Bastila gasped, a sob masked within it, as she felt nothing from these bodies. They were dead, of course, but there wasn’t even a trace of the Force in them, as though the Force had been sucked right out. Carth didn’t want to see who was under what sheet and he suspected Bastila didn’t either. She clearly looked horrified and distraught at being there.
“It’s like the Force never existed within them…” she whispered. “There…there should be a trace, in order to…to know and if…if I didn’t know that one of those men was my master…”
He gave her arm a squeeze, knowing how hard it was to see someone you admired…
Suddenly T3 began beeping wildly from his place within the garden, causing the two to look at him. “What’s wrong with him?” Carth muttered, walking away from the young Jedi. She gulped her pain before turning back and walking up to the admiral and the droid.
“What is it, T3?” she asked, seeing the astonished look on Carth’s face.
The little droid beeped a few times, causing the same look to cross Bastila’s face as well. “Are… are you sure?” she stumbled. If what he was saying, if what he meant…
T3 repeated the message he had just received, one from a man the two humans at his side hadn’t seen in five years. Bastila actually cried at hearing his voice, Carth couldn’t stop smiling at the little droid. “Ord Mantell…” he murmured. “That’s not far from here. If we leave now, we can make it there…if we jump to hyperspace…a few hours. A few hours! C’mon Bas, we gotta go.”
He and T3 were headed out, but Bastila – still in a state of shock – took half a second to move. “What about…?” she asked, as she hurried to catch up to them.
“We’ll send a message to Mical!” Carth shouted, as they both ran as fast as they could to get back to their ship. They had to meet someone on Ord Mantell.
It took a little more time than Carth had hoped, on the account that they had been engaged by a Sith fighter as they traveled. The admiral took his place at the bridge, Bastila in their quarters in case. The Sith fighter had been a surprise and he had the pilot steer around, just to make sure things were all right.
The last thing he wanted to do was lure a bunch of Sith to a planet that may hold their former dark lord. He wanted to make sure they found Revan, in one piece, and then they would escort him back to where he could be relatively safe.
Within their shared quarters, Bastila had nervously paced, then had tried to sit and meditate, all to no avail. She had been shocked and shaken at seeing her master’s body, even if it was covered with a sheet. The fact that he had died so violently and then to be stripped of the Force the way he had…she just didn’t understand it.
And then hearing T3 say he was getting an incoming message from Revan and then hearing his voice…she had immediately been assaulted with thoughts and memories. Force, how she missed that man; she knew she tried to downplay it in front of Carth and some times it worked, but most times, it did not. She died a little each day, not hearing from him, and as the years went by her hope began to run out that she would ever see him again.
She had never told Carth of the shared vision they had, the one of their children together. She herself had received it at least twice a year since he had been gone and it gave her a little hope that she would see him again.
So it had chilled her when she had woken from a nap one day when she felt his emotions swirl and then dip into that dark part within him. It had terrified her and as she tried to focus the Force, try to find him, it was gone and the feeling receded.
The second time had been just as worse, this time, the feeling held intense anger and hatred and it burned inside her. She had cried, the first time in many months, that she may have lost him, not to any danger, but to himself.
She didn’t know what to do. She couldn’t tell Carth she thought Revan had finally succumbed to his past emotions and feelings, but eventually when she did, the admiral had the reaction she thought he would, though it pained him to even consider it.
But now…now she knew he was alive and she wondered if all her doubts and theories would hold true. Would her beloved Revan be on the dark side? She was pacing again, unsure of what to expect when the ship would touch down on the planet where he would be. And then her insecurities welled up inside her.
What if so much time had gone by, he had fallen out of love with her? What if during his travels he had met someone else and upon landing, would end things with her? She didn’t know what she would do if that happened.
She certainly hadn’t fallen out of love with him. If anything, being apart had made her want to cement their relationship when he returned. She wanted to marry him and that just couldn’t happen if he was seeing someone else.
That very thought incensed her.
What if he wasn’t attracted to her any more?
Bastila fall back on her bed. She felt how she did when he had asked her to dinner that first night on Coruscant and how she didn’t know what to do. As the memory came to her, she smiled slightly. She hadn’t needed to worry then and she certainly didn’t need to worry now. Her smile soon faltered.
What if their bond had gone lax?
The planet of Ord Mantell was a white ball with bits of pink added for good measure. Carth paced, as the Sojourn traveled the length of the planet, trying to contact the Ebon Hawk. It was a slow process and the more time it took, the more impatient Carth became.
It wasn’t until one of his officers mentioned that Ord Mantell had two moons that he calmed slightly, looking at the pilot. The pilot nodded, turning the ship and heading for the smaller of the moons and began the search again.
What Carth didn’t know was on that very moon, his best friend was being lured into a trap by a man the former dark lord had called a brother.
The sweep was slow and irritating, as nothing seemed to be popping out at them. And then…a bleep on the screen signaled that the Ebon Hawk’s original signature had been discovered. Carth immediately went to an audio transmitter. “Ebon Hawk, this is the Sojourn calling. We recently received a distress call from your ship. Are you all right?”
At first, there was no answer and Carth began to wonder if perhaps Revan had been ambushed or if he had been injured when he gave his message to T3. What if they were too late? “Ebon Hawk, this is the Sojourn. Do you read me?” Force, please let him be okay. For Bastila’s sake and mine, please let him…
“Loud and clear, Capt’n.” came the response, though it sounded labored.
Carth sighed in relief and grinned a bit, before his protectiveness took hold of him. Of all the knuckle-headed people in the galaxy… “You rotten son of a…damn it, Re…” he stopped, looking around him. He didn’t need to let the crew know who they were about to pick up. Not yet anyways. “Damn it, Jayden, where have you been?” He finished.
The bridge crew heard a chuckle from the other end. “On a crazy ride, man,” he joked. “One…one I wouldn’t recommend. Where are you?”
“We”re right over head. Are you all right?”
“As well as I can be, considering.” The voice said. “You better send down a medic. And a waiter to take my drink order, I’ve become extremely parched.”
Carth chuckled at that. Once Bastila got a hold of him, there wouldn’t be time for drinking. “I’ll get some medics down there.” he said, still grinning. “And the drink”s on me.” He closed the connection and looked at his lieutenant.
“Get a couple people from the med unit ready.” he told her. “I want the best care. And have the mechanics look over the Hawk. I have a feeling we”ll be taking her out again.”
The lieutenant nodded, before asking, “Sir, exactly who was that?”
“A friend.” he said, smiling at her. “Someone who’s finally come home.”