REVENGE OF THE SITH
Part IX – Confrontation
The planet of Ziost was a dark and cold world. In its heyday, it had been a pennicle for the Sith empire, where they ruled from afar as they began to take over the Republic and the galaxy as a whole. However after the defeat of Naga Sadow, the Republic discovered the planet and made sure that no one would ever walk its surface again, changing it into a frozen ball within the sky.
This did not deter the true and ancient species of Sith. As their empire lay in ruins and largely forgotten, those that remained planned. They were able to resurrect their deceased lords and make their way to the planet of Ziost.
It took them years, but they were able to break through the icy depths and begin their hidden base. It was to be undetected; the planet was forgotten; it was covered in ice. It made things that much easier.
The Republic was more concerned with building themselves back up, they would give little thought to the Sith right now and they certainly weren’t expecting the kind of beings the True Sith were.
They had been blessed with the gift of magic, in which they used in their everyday life. It was only when the outcasted Jedi came to their planet of Korriban did they learn of the Force. They blended their two gifts together, creating many creatures, most of them grotesque creations of nature.
But that had been the golden age for them until it all came crashing down. It was now the time for their empire to return anew. Those Sith that had managed to flee to Thule had used their Force infused magic to stay themselves from death; they even managed to bring their ancestors back as well.
Their numbers had been few when they fled, but now their military would be able to combat that of the Republic forces, especially now. It had been easy to recruit, especially when their current puppet had amassed troops of nearly a thousand. It had been easy to corrupt them further, coming to those Sith that they felt had true potential.
The masters had foreseen another vision, one that was cloudy, but had given them hope once more. They had seen the capture of their Sith’ari, Darth Trayun, but they also saw his betrayal of Revan. But they kept their thoughts amongst themselves, for fear of their vision going bad.
They had once foreseen Revan as their Sith’ari, as well as his capture, but their vision had ended in his ruling the Sith, not trying to destroy them. This had been another of their mistakes, one they hoped to rid themselves of once Darth Trayun was returned to them and once he fulfilled his destiny.
If their visions were true, then Darth Trayun would become their king and they would need to make sure that nothing occupied his mind other than ruling the Sith.
And the masters hoped that Darth Casus, apprentice to Trayun, would see that done.
The journey to the dark planet of Ziost began by planning an attack. Revan had immediately taken charge of the situation — as the others expected him to do — and began to plan out an offense. With the Supreme Chancellor now firmly behind Revan and the crew of the Ebon Hawk, it made the operation much more manageable.
Revan, along with Mission, was able to enlist the help of the wookies lead by Chief Zaalbar. They finally had a break when they received a broken transmission from Onderon, stating that everyone was banged up, but otherwise unharmed. The former Jedi advised them to stay out of harm’s way and that they would soon be getting help.
To his surprise, and that of everyone else, Ellis offered to resend the lockdown the planet was under. While the order had been given by his True Sith masters, it was Ellis’ troops that were stationed there.
He used the holo within the communication hub — closely watched by both Carth and Dustil — and contacted his representative on the planet. While the order to retreat was an odd one, the Sith officer did as he was told and the planet of Onderon was free once again.
Ellis was also able to get in contact with his apprentice, Darth Casus, though the conversation was short due to the other man’s proximity to their True Sith masters. He confirmed Ellis’ fears, that the True Sith did indeed have Brianna and were holding her prisoner.
This was a crushing blow to the young lord, making everything that Revan said as being true. “They deceived everyone, Ellis,” Revan replied, patting the young man’s shoulder. “That was their plan all along; to divide and conquer.”
“And I walked right in,” Ellis whispered. “This is my fault.”
Revan shook his head. “It’s not,” he said, noticing the look of surprise on the Sith lord’s face. “Not entirely. This scheme has been going on for years, I’m sure. We were just two more pawns in the mix. No more, no less.”
He had gathered the crew together within the main hold, wanting to finalize the plans they had or would make. He now stood before them, looking at their faces and trying to remember them as much as possible.
There was Mission, whom he always thought of as a younger sister. They had always been close and though it took some time for the hurt Mission had felt at his departure, they had still spent their time together. That is, when she wasn’t with Dustil Onasi.
That very young man stood next to her, the relation to Carth very clear, though some of his features could only be from his mother. He had come a long way from the angst filled young man Revan had first met within the halls of the Jedi Temple. He was far more confident and shaping up to be a fine Jedi, if there would ever be such a thing in the future.
Next Revan turned to the two men they had picked up on Dantooine, Bao-Dur and Mical. He remembered Bao-Dur from the Mandalorian War as the man who had built the mass shadow generator. At the time it had been a technical invention masterpiece; now it was just a horrible invention of death and destruction.
But Revan didn’t blame the Iridonian for that; it had been his decision to have it built and his decision to have it used. As always, the deaths and destruction rested solely with Revan. Looking back at the men, he had been pleasant to have on the ship — Bao was another mechanical tinkerer and his help alone kept the Hawk in prime shape as they made their long trip towards Ziost.
Mical had not only been a reference post for the Jedi and the basic history of the Republic, but he was an excellent healer, something that greatly benefitted them if their Jedi were to ever be cut down. Revan found him to be exuberant on certain things, but the man’s heart seemed to be in the right place and the former Jedi wished this man could’ve aided the Jedi Order when it was needed.
His gaze then turned to Lynsel Belyn, the Special Intelligence officer sent by the Republic to gather evidence that Revan was trying to regain his throne of Sith Lord. She too had come a long way from the suspicious woman to the one she was now. He was still impressed by her intelligence and more so by her humor, something he attributed to the man standing next to her.
His eyes locked on Carth and he still couldn’t believe how far this journey of theirs had gone. He remembered first meeting the pilot, running through the Endar Spire and listening to his com-link for more instructions. He remembered running around the planet of Taris with the man, looking for a elusive Jedi who had been captured by a rival swoop gang.
He remembered the tension they had once they had fled from the Leviathan and how they had drunk themselves silly later that night. Carth was probably the closest person to a brother he had since Malak and the thought was both a comfort and an ache.
He and Carth had nearly been through everything together and it had taken some years for either of them to get over their past; Revan was glad to see his friend able to find what he needed.
And that brought him to Bastila, his wife, his friend…his everything as far as he was concerned. Their relationship had not been an easy one, but somehow fate or the Force had shown them they were meant to be. He couldn’t count the number of times he pined for her while he tracked down his life before he was Jayden Korr, knowing he couldn’t be with her at the time.
He knew the bond they shared felt so strained for her, but he had never told her how much it hurt for him to feel her slip away from him. He didn’t receive visions a lot, but he cherished those that showed their life together, their children.
In the months that they had known she was expecting, Revan couldn’t stop gazing at her, touching her, placing a hand on her stomach…he was awed by her, charmed by her, and he couldn’t imagine how he had gone through life without her.
And he refused to let anything happen to her. He hadn’t told her, but his plans didn’t include her coming, but rather staying onboard and using her Battle Meditation. He’d be damned if the Sith took her like they had taken Ellis’ wife.
And finally his gaze rested on the man that had started this journey, or rather, had continued on the path that he himself had started. Ellis, like the others, had changed too. Instead of the arrogant persona that Revan had seen on Yavin and again on Thule, the dark lord seemed to have withered under the weight of the knowledge from the last few days.
His face still showed signs of his dark sided habits, but his shoulders were slumped in a signal of defeat. And his eyes still held a haunted look to them, the same look he had seen when they had awoken him after Malachor V. Revan had known this young man since his early teens and he had known then that Ellis Yoly would be important and would be the center of something important.
He just didn’t know what that big something was until now.
These were the people that had helped him, had stood by him, or had challenged him. They would be facing enemies that, though small, had every advantage of using magic backed by the Force. They only had so many Jedi and who knew how many of the Sith still were loyal to Ellis.
These were odds that they might not overcome; this was a situation where Revan might not see these people again. The loss of Jolee Bindo had hurt him more than he could even admit and the loss of any of the others might be too much. However, this was the beginning of a war and Revan knew how to fight a war; he knew that loss came with war, as did defeat and triumph and if he could, he’d make sure they wouldn’t lose anyone on their side.
“The plan, for now,” he started. “Is to meet up with the Republic troops, the wookies, and Queen Talia’s group on Coruscant. Then we make our way to Ziost. I wish I could really prepare you for what we’ll face, but…I really can’t.
“I have no idea what sort of arsenal they have, especially knowing they can rely on the use of magic and alchemy. We’ll talk more once everyone is together. For now,” he sighed. “For now, just take a break. Enjoy the last moments of peace and quiet.”
There was some nervous chuckling, but everyone did file off to do their own thing. Ellis continued to stand, his posture indicating he was still adjusting to everything. Revan nodded to Bastila to continue on to their quarters, as he would meet her, and he walked over to where the young lord stood.
“You never said how many troops we’d be expecting,” he said.
“Very few, I’m afraid,” the young man muttered. “You’ve put my apprentice in a very bad place and I’m afraid suspicion now falls on him as well.”
“Is he in danger?”
“Not anything immediate,” came the answer. “As far as some are concerned, he’s trying to get people together to come rescue me from the big, bad Republic. Though I’m afraid the masters may know the true reason.”
“I need you, Ellis,” Revan replied, putting a hand on his shoulder. “I need my friend back; the friend that helped me, us, the Republic win the war. I need Gen. Ellis Yoly back. I need him to help me.”
“I told you I would,” the young man muttered.
“I need to believe you,” the former Jedi said. “I need to know that you and your troops won’t turn on us once we’ve hit Ziost.”
Ellis shook his head. “You needn’t worry about that,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ll even make it.”
Revan patted the young man on the shoulder. “The path to redemption is never easy, Ellis,” he murmured. “Above all, you must actually want to be redeemed.
“After that, all that’s left is whether you want to do the right thing or the wrong thing. There’s no more Jedi to tell you, us, what to do anymore, just like the Sith are really no more than broken men following the past of century old ghosts.”
He walked past, headed for the cockpit to check on T3, when he stopped and looked over his shoulder at the young man.
“Just know we confront the True Sith soon,” he said. “And I will stop at nothing to ensure that the life of the Republic and that of my friends are not tainted by their presence any longer. And I don’t care who I have to go through to do it.”
With that, he continued on his journey, leaving one of the last Sith Lords thinking of his fate.