REVENGE OF THE SITH
Part V – Reunited
Lynsel sat within the port dormitories, just finishing a holocron journal. She had gotten in contact with her superiors before boarding the former smuggling ship and had asked how she was to proceed. The answer was clear — continue following Revan and update them on this journey he seemed to be taking.
When she had reported again, after Bastila had left her alone, the heads were also curious as to why Adm. Carth Onasi seemed to be willing to tag along with two ex Jedi and ex-Sith members.
She mentioned the meeting the three of them had earlier that morning, but for some reason she held off telling them what Revan had told her, about the possibility of another Sith Lord and that the Sith were actually an ancient race that could be coming back.
After she had closed the connection to her superiors, she had started a personal journal. She always did one on every mission she ever took and then would review them after about a standard year or so. The more painful ones — the ones she had made during her divorce — she kept locked within a box, which was then buried and locked within a footlocker back home.
She didn’t know why she had secure measures of hiding them; perhaps from others or even from herself, but she kept them to maybe remind her of her past and how she would never repeat it.
Sometimes it was hard to begin a journal, especially after her divorce was final and then learning of her husband’s very public affair. She had so many emotions swirling around within her and her commanding officer had insisted she take a leave of absence in order to clear her head.
So she had taken a good two-year absence before coming to her senses. She was a Republic officer and a member of the Special Forces Intelligence unit; she could not be depressed over some man. There was a reason she was the only woman at the top of her profession; because she refused to act like a weak, sobbing woman who just had her heart broken.
It would not happen.
So she had gone back to work and was greeted with this assignment, which she now figured she would be on for quite some time. So, as she had always done, she brought out a cube and began to record. She talked about how many questions she had about this whole thing — where had Revan been all this time?
Where had Bastila Shan been?
What was Adm. Onasi doing with these two? And what had they discussed?
And what about this new threat to the galaxy? And was Revan behind it?
She also mentioned that, as any good Intel officer, she would need to come across facts and gather information from those involved.
She decided she would start with the admiral himself, as Revan had so nicely placed them together for the first watch. She knew from experience that the two former Sith wanted to be alone; probably planning how they would take over the galaxy once this ‘threat’ was over.
She had heard rumors, of course, that the two were lovers, but then again from being on the Sojourn, she wondered if it wasn’t true that Bastila Shan was having her cake and eating it too.
Standing and stretching, she left the port dorms and wandered into the main hold. The little T3 droid whirled around, checking on the maintenance of the ship. She wondered where the little droid had come from and again left that up to the results she got from her talk with the admiral. Revan and Bastila were nowhere to be found — probably scheming — so she headed up into the cockpit.
Lynsel was a pilot by necessity. She learned to fly from her husband, of all people, because she needed to know how. One never knew when they would have to pilot out of some unfriendly territory. However, she was glad to see that Adm. Onasi was already hard at work in the pilot’s chair.
She mentally reviewed his record — an ace Republic pilot who had been honored more than once for his duty in the Mandalorian Wars and again for the Star Forge battle at the end of the Jedi Civil Wars. His planet had been one of the first to be hit by Malak and Revan; it was no secret anymore that it had been former admiral Saul Karath who used his codes to break in to Telosian space and help bomb the planet.
Adm. Onasi’s wife had died in that battle and it was thought that his son had, too. But again, the rumor mill had said his son had appeared several times over the years; first on Korriban and then on the Outer Rim world of Nar Shaddaa, and then again on Onderon, where it was said he was a Sith spy secretly working for Revan. She had a lot of questions for him, some personal than others, but they needed to be asked.
She stood in the doorway, watching as he checked and rechecked the ship’s instruments. He looked quite in his element, an obvious pilot from the start. She observed him — he wasn’t an unattractive man, quite the opposite.
She could certainly understand the girlish giggling from the female members of his crew. He didn’t look like a man of forty-four and from what she had seen, he was in expert shape. He was out of his regulation uniform, instead reverting back to a standard orange flight jacket with black military pants.
Walking over to the co-pilot’s chair, she noticed he seemed to be startled by her appearance. “Sorry to startle you, Admiral,” she said, taking a seat.
“No prob,” he replied, going back over his instruments. “I didn’t think you’d want duty so early.”
“What do you mean?” she asked. “Revan assigned the duty, though I don’t see how he could have rank above an admiral.”
Carth chuckled, sending her an amused glance. “Again, Lieutenant,” he said. “This isn’t your ship. And furthermore, there’s no rank aboard either. I would’ve volunteered for it anyway. I always did love piloting this ship.”
“You’re right, I suppose,” she murmured. “Sorry, Admiral.”
“It’s Carth,” he said, turning to look at her. “No rank, remember?”
He gave her a smile before turning back to look out the window. It was beautiful outside, the stars that twinkled and the darkness of space. Carth missed being a pilot, even though he was honored with being an admiral within the fleet. He sometimes just missed the view.
“Admiral…” she began, before his side look caused her to clear her throat. “Sorry. Carth, may I ask you some questions?”
“Sure,” he replied. “I’m happy to answer what I can.”
“About this…’mission’ we’re on,” she started. “Is Revan serious? About a new threat to the Republic? And are you absolutely sure that he’s not this ‘threat’?”
Once again, Carth chuckled. “I know Revan can be a kidder sometimes,” he answered. “But I know this thing we’re on is real, at least to him. He saw some…pretty bad things while he was gone and if he says there’s a threat, you’d better believe there might very well be one. And yeah, I’m sure he’s not a threat. I met this new Dark Lord and though at the time, I tried to dismiss it, I knew deep down he was trouble.”
Lynsel shook her head. “You mean to tell me that you met with this…new Sith Lord and you didn’t arrest him?” she asked, incredulous.
“At the time, I didn’t know he was scrambling to be a Sith Lord.”
She sat and thought about it. “It’s him, isn’t it?” she whispered. “That Jedi exile everyone was all worked up about last year. The one who blew up Peragus and overthrew Queen Talia of Onderon.”
The pilot only nodded.
“Frag,” she spat. “Damn Jedi. Everywhere you turn, there they are trying to take over the galaxy. I’m so glad that Order of theirs is gone and that most are dead and rotting.”
“Don’t say that,” he exclaimed. He was looking at her with anger in his eyes and a frown on his face. “Don’t ever say that. The Jedi may’ve had problems, yeah, but that doesn’t outweigh the good they’ve done.”
“The good they’ve done?” she repeated. She didn’t believe it. “Have you so quickly forgotten about Freedon Nadd and Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma? Or perhaps you’re just hiding behind the fact that your best friend is a murderer. Or maybe It’s cause you know what your Jedi girlfriend did while she was Malak’s apprentice. Just how close are you to Bastila Shan?”
That was over the line and somehow, Lynsel knew it, but it needed to be said. The admiral was obviously too close to the situation to be purely rational. They had two former Sith onboard and they were traveling in a former Exchange smuggling ship.
Not to mention the fact that they were heading to Nar Shaddaa, Exchange central. If the admiral couldn’t see what was right in front of him, as an officer of the Republic, it was her duty to show it to him.
“If you’re going to insult me and my friends, perhaps we shouldn’t be taking watch together,” he said, a growl of fury in his voice. “So if you don’t mind, I have a ship to steer.” He turned away from her, checking and rechecking instruments he had already checked previously.
Lynsel stood and headed for the door. That man…she stopped though, turning slightly to address him.
“In case you had forgotten, Admiral,” she said. “You are an officer of the Republic Fleet and a high ranking one at that. If I were you, I’d do well to remember my loyalties. To the Republic, not the Sith.”
“And in case you forgot, Lieutenant,” he threw back. “Not only do I outrank you on this ship, but so do Revan and Bastila. If I were you, I’d do well to remember my place.”
Well, she thought, hurrying out of the room in a huff, trying to ignore Revan and Bastila as they came down the corridor. “Hey, LB,” Revan greeted, and instantly wished he hadn’t said anything.
Lynsel turned on him, saying, “That’s Lieutenant Belyn to you. I don’t know what you’re up to, but when I find out, you’ll wish you had never come back to Republic space!” She continued her walk back to the port dorms.
She’s spirited, huh?
I don’t think spirited is quite the word I would use.
Meow. Should I get a saucer for your milk?
You’ll watch your remarks unless you want my claws in your side.
Revan chuckled, pulling his lover closer to him. “But I so love it when you mark me,” he whispered in her ear, taking the moment to nibble slightly on the lobe, causing Bastila to gasp and giggle.
That only caused the young man to outright laugh, before giving his lover a gentle pat on the rear. “Come on,” he said, continuing the walk towards the cockpit. “I have to know what just happened.”
When the two arrived, the admiral seemed quite intent on muttering and keeping himself busy doing whatever he could to keep himself occupied. Bastila cleared her throat in order to get his attention, only to be assaulted with his comment.
“Back for more?” he spat. “Couldn’t get enough in round one, huh?”
“Whoa!” Revan said, causing the pilot to turn and look at his new visitors. “I come in peace, Capt’n. Should I wave my white flag?”
“Sorry,” he muttered.
“Trouble in paradise?” the young knight asked. “You were only in here for what? Thirty minutes? And hour at best and already you’re tearing each other apart? That’s a new record.”
“I’m telling you,” Carth began, watching as Bastila took her seat as co-pilot and Revan sat upon the divider. “That Lt. Belyn is trouble. I can feel it and you know I am never wrong when it comes to trouble. She is the most paranoid, suspicious individual…”
“Who does that remind you of?” Bastila whispered, causing Revan to smirk.
“She’s gonna be trouble, Rev, I just know it.”
“Calm down,” the knight soothed. “I’ll admit she’s not starting this trip off in sunshine rosy fashion, however, I think she could be beneficial. Besides, when have you known any of us to start out in a friendly manner?”
“You and I started out in a friendly manner!” the pilot protested.
“You accused me of sabotaging the Endar Spire and alluded to the fact that I was a Sith Lord in disguise, which I guess was partially true…”
Carth stared at his friend in shock. “That…that was a joke,” he stuttered. “I was joking with you. And I apologized for that!”
“Point is, Carth,” Bastila responded, “That none of our meetings ever start off…positive.” She gave a look to Revan.
“Hey,” he said, “Our meeting was positive.”
“I thought you were a member of the rival swoop gang.”
And I thought you were prissy.
“But I did rescue you.”
“You will never let that go, will you?” she asked, trying to hide a smile.
Prissy, uptight, and demanding.
As if you were Prince Charming.
I charmed you, didn’t I?
Point taken, I suppose.
I did, however, think you were downright sexy. Even then.
I’ll admit, I did find you…attractive.
Revan laughed.” Oh, I know you did, darling,” he said. “And you’re right. Until you’ve stated it on top of the highest mountain top that I saved you from a swoop gang, I will never let you live it down.”
“See what I had to go through before we found you?” Carth pouted.
“If I remember correctly, the two of you did quite well before then.”
“See?” Revan replied. “That just goes to show you, we’ll be fine. Yeah, the odds are really not in our favor, but hell, we’ve gone against unbeatable odds before. In fact, It’s a prerequisite for all my adventures. Don’t worry. We’ll do fine. And that Lt. Belyn we got onboard will be a help, I know she will. There’s more to her than she lets on, I’m sure of that.”
“Yeah, well,” Carth grumbled. He didn’t like it, but he knew never to doubt Revan’s word. Despite the differences their crew had, they did work well together.
“‘Sides,” Revan continued, leaning over to whisper to Carth, “You can’t deny she’s pretty cute.”
Carth smirked. “She’s alright.”
“She’s more than alright,” Revan said, winking at the pilot. Suddenly, he was crying out in pain and threw a look to Bastila. “That hurt!” he cried. The young woman just looked at him. “You did that on purpose,” he accused. “You used the Force to hurt me.”
Bastila huffed, turning away to check the ship’s internal navigational chart. “I don’t know what you are talking about,” she said. “Because I certainly do not use the Force in such a childish manner. So there.”
“You did too,” the young knight pouted. “And I demand to be healed.”
“You’re a Jedi,” replied the young woman as she stood. “Heal yourself.” She turned and walked out of the room.
“I’ve been healing myself for five years!” Revan shouted back at her, trying to ignore the laughing that came from his pilot.
“I think this conversation has taken a wrong turn,” he chuckled.
Revan glared at him. “Laugh it up, flyboy,” he muttered, jumping off the divider.
“Okay, then.” Carth quickly moved from being swatted in the head and continued chuckling as Revan made his way out the cockpit in search of Bastila. The pilot shook his head, glad that his horrible mood had been tempered by their ribbing.
He thought back to the conversation with Lt. Belyn and sighed. He could see this would be another one of those head butt battles and it was certainly starting early. But he knew what Revan had meant. None of them had really gotten off on the right foot from the beginning, really save for Mission and Revan.
He shook his head again. He just hoped this time things would work out differently.
The next morning aboard the Ebon Hawk was anything but pleasant, at least how Lynsel saw it. She had been fuming so over her conversation with Adm. Onasi that she couldn’t even get to sleep. And when sleep did come to her, it only lasted a few hours as her chrono alarm went off.
She had blown out a breath upon waking, just staring at the ceiling above her head. Some part of her felt the need to apologize to the admiral. She hadn’t meant to go at him like that, and it certainly didn’t answer any of her questions that she had wanted to ask.
But she couldn’t help it. This was something so…foreign to her. She was used to addressing her commanding officer in a professional setting and certainly, she had never taken direction from a Jedi before. Well…that was slightly untrue.
Shaking her head, she stood from her bunk and stretched. That was not the thing she wanted to be thinking of so early in the morning. Going through her bag, she gathered some clothes and headed for the fresher.
She could hear a conversation coming from somewhere past the main hold, but she decided to wait until after her morning wake-up to investigate.
She didn’t spend as much time within the fresher as she would’ve liked. She was, after all, sharing with three other people, and she had no idea who Revan planned to pick up next.
Fully dressed and awake, she went out to find the source of the muffled gibes and giggling. The noises were coming from the communication hub and when Lynsel stood in the doorway, she received a shock.
Her other three ‘crewmates’ stood together, cups probably filled with caffa in their hands, and they appeared to be having a lively conversation that was directed at Adm. Onasi. But it wasn’t their presence that startled the Intel officer; it was their appearance.
All three stood in their night clothes; both Carth and Revan being shirtless, while Bastila wore what Lynsel figured was a shirt that could’ve come from either man, but at least she wore a black robe around her.
The young woman had her arm wrapped around Revan’s waist, her fingers doing a lazy trail up his side, while her lover’s arm was wrapped around her shoulder; the admiral was leaning against the console that contained the nav-computer, allowing him to be the first to notice her.
Even after their argument, the former pilot smiled at her sweetly and raised his cup in a slight salute. “Good morning,” he said.
“Is that appropriate?” she asked, saying the first thing she thought of.
“What?” Revan asked, raising an eyebrow at her. “Saying good morning? Well, it is the morning, you know. I mean, yeah I could see the confusion if this was, say, early afternoon, cause there are some people who do say good morning at the early afternoon…”
You’re rambling, love.
“Not that,” Lynsel huffed. “I mean about you still being dressed in your bed clothes. It’s…inappropriate.”
Revan sported an incredulous look on his face. “It’s my damn ship,” he said. “I’ll walk around naked if I want to.”
“Please don’t,” muttered Carth.
“I don’t think that would be too bad,” drawled Bastila, as she hugged her lover closer to her.
“Speak for yourself.”
“Well…” the Intel officer began, “I find it offensive.”
“Then find your own ship,” Revan stated, with a shrug of a shoulder. “In fact, I’m sure you’ll be able to find a capable pilot once we land on Nar Shaddaa in about two standard hours. However, do come and find me within the hour on your decision. I am on a mission and I’d like it to stay quiet and between people I choose to tell about it. Remember? Crazy former friend trying to kill me? I need to keep a low profile, if you don’t mind.”
And that was how that went. Lynsel had quickly left the three to go back and give a report to her commanding officers. As much as she wouldn’t be adhering to protocol, she knew before she had even spoken with them that they wanted her to continue following the former dark lord.
They wanted to be absolutely sure that what ever he was doing wouldn’t be a danger to the Republic in any way. Once again, Lynsel refrained from telling them about this quest he wanted to go on.
She needed proof; proof that he was indeed off his rocker or that he and Shan were going to take over the galaxy. She still figured the admiral was under some sort of Force persuade – so deep he didn’t even know it.
She had just finished her report and had closed the transmission when she heard a knock at the door. Opening it, she was quite surprised to see the admiral standing before her. “Admiral,” she said, clearing her throat.
“Hey,” he said, giving her a smile.
The two stood, silent, until Lynsel cleared her throat again. “Can I…uh…help you with something?”
“Oh, um…” he stumbled a bit, before rubbing the back of his neck. “Yeah, actually…I…uh, came to see if you were all right.”
She looked at him in confusion. “I’m fine,” she replied.
“I…I can see that,” he stuttered. “I just meant…Revan’s…he didn’t mean anything, I hope you know that.”
Lynsel smirked, though some of it sounded more like a huff.” You think someone like him can get to me?” she asked. “Do remember, Admiral, I’m at the top of my field within Republic Intelligence and the only woman who’s up that high. I think I can live through some verbal sparring with the former Dark Lord of the Sith.”
Carth chuckled, “I can certainly see that.”
She looked away from him for a moment. She always hated apologizing because she usually felt she was in the right, but last night she had insulted a commanding officer, even if he wasn’t following protocol or was best friends and possible lover of two former high-ranking members of the Sith. She had overstepped her bounds and she needed to at least clear the air with him.
“I…uh…” she began. She sighed, saying, “We didn’t end our last conversation very well.”
“I…uhh…” he again stumbled, this time a small blush of embarrassment on his face. “I’m not very good at this. I know I owe you an apology. More than one probably.”
“No sir,” she began. “It’s I who owes you an apology. I…I know you consider Revan and Bastila your friends and I…I shouldn’t have insulted them like that. Or you, for that matter. And for that, I’m truly sorry.”
“Listen, I know this is probably all new to you and everything,” he replied, noticing her look of surprise. “What? A mysterious stranger appears with my best friend, on my ship, and you think I don’t check them out?” He again smiled at her.
“I noticed in your service record that you’d been on leave for a while and I’m sure you’re a by the book kind of person, but you’ll quickly discover with Revan…with any of us really, we don’t follow the book. In fact, I think Revan threw it out the ship’s window after he burned it.”
That did bring a small smile to her face, as well as a slight blush. Why was she blushing? “I just want to talk with you,” she whispered.
“Oh?” he asked, amused. “You want to argue some more then, is that it?”
This time, she shared in his chuckles. “Well, I’m always up for a good fight,” came her answer.
That really had him. “I’ve noticed,” he said. “What do you want to talk about?”
“You.” Again, she blushed. “I mean, if that’s okay. You do know about me.”
“Heh,” he said. “I thought my life was pretty common knowledge by now.”
“I know about your service to the Republic,” she stated. “And the honors you’ve gotten and all that.” She looked away from him then. “I also know about your wife and what Saul Karath did.”
Carth looked solemn, his gaze drifting to a spot on the floor. “I came to grips with that,” he whispered. “I mean, I…uh…accepted what happened and…Saul was taken care of.”
“What about your son?” she asked, taking a chance to glance at him. Instead of the hollow look she expected, Lynsel was surprised when Carth grinned.
“He’s fine,” he said. “In fact…” he trailed off as he looked at her. Carth didn’t say anything, just smiled. “I hope you aren’t planning on leaving.” He replied. “When we get to Nar Shaddaa, I mean. I saw your records, Lieutenant; I definitely think you’d be a help to us. Revan certainly thinks so.”
“Yeah,” he chuckled. “You’ve got his ringing endorsement.”
Lynsel was shocked at this revelation. Revan thought she could be of help? After she had repeatedly accused him of once again heading the Sith?
“Don’t look so surprised,” he stated. “Revan’s like that. The first time we traveled together, I thought he was crazy too, but that’s just how he sees people. Believe me, we were quite a rag-tag bunch, but…we’d do anything for Revan; we’d do anything for each other. That’s…that’s just how it works.”
The two were again silent; Lynsel reflecting on this bit of info. She looked up when Carth cleared his throat. “Um…I should uh…” he made a motion to leave, but stopped as he was out of the doorway.
“I know we didn’t hit it off from the start, but…I’m hoping you’ll provide me with a little company when I’m up there in the cockpit. It’s kinda lonely by yourself, but the view’s nice.”
He looked so happy, so…hopeful that Lynsel found it hard to say no to him. She smiled and nodded, causing his small grin to grow. He was still smiling when he left her and entered the cockpit.
It didn’t take as long as two hours to jump from hyperspace and into Hutt space. Lynsel had apologized to Revan, personally, to which he shrugged and said, “Knew you’d stay.”
She had heard from the prodigal knight over the intercom that they would be landing on the docks of the Refugee Sector of the smuggler’s moon. In the cockpit, Revan stood leaning against the divider as the Ebon Hawk began her decent.
“How exactly are you going to negotiate with Vogga the Hutt?” Carth asked, glancing at Revan.
“Don’t worry,” replied the former Jedi master. “We’re just gonna have a nice chat. And if all else fails, I know a guy who might be able to straighten things out.”
“What guy?” asked Bastila.
“Just a guy,” was the cryptic answer.
The Hawk made a smooth landing on one of the Refugee Sector docks. Carth told Revan as they landed that Ellis Yoly had not only taken out the Sorroco gangs that littered the Refugee Quad, but the Exchange as well. From what he and Bastila had heard, the criminal circuit had taken a bit of a hit because of that.
The group was surprised that they weren’t met by some dock master who wanted credits for their docking, however Revan did suggest that Lynsel stay and use her ‘Republic authority’ to make sure everyone left their ship alone.
The pilot, the Jedi Princess, and the prodigal knight all stepped out into the darkened air of Nar Shaddaa. Many found it hard to believe that this moon had once been as prosperous as Coruscant; being a hub for intergalactic trading, profits rolled in, but like Taris, the lower dregs were formed and soon, the moon of the Hutts become little more than a criminal haven for anything illegal.
The air of the moon was thick and both Revan and Bastila found it disconcerting. As they left their ship and the docking bay, they could see little had changed on the moon, even if the new Sith Lord had rid the planet of Sorroco and the Exchange.
“Where to?” Carth asked, patting his hip. Both his trusty blasters were hidden within the sides of his pants, both Jedi beside him also hiding their weapons and identities.
“I really wish we had a map,” Revan grumbled. “I have no sense of direction whatsoever.”
“I find that hard to believe,” Bastila huffed. “The greatest tactician to ever live not know where he’s going?”
The knight nodded, pointing to their left as they started. “It’s true,” he replied. “While I may know where an enemy may strike and from which direction, left to my own devices, I could get lost anywhere. It took me months just to find my way around the ship.”
They passed by numerous people, some males even giving Bastila the once over, but a look from Revan quickly had their heads turned straight in front of them. The walk wasn’t a long one before they found themselves on the docks of Nar Shaddaa.
It seemed to be busy, with a large amount of freighters coming and going. A green skinned Twi’lek stood at a computer console and was apparently talking to a nearby pilot. Revan stopped by briefly, to ask where Vogga could be, and the Twi’lek pointed to the far end of the walkway.
The trio then continued, with Revan in the lead, and headed to meet with the head of the current Exchange on Nar Shaddaa.