REVENGE OF THE SITH
Part VII – Betrayal
Kelath Vesay had once been a farm boy on the dusty planet of Tatooine, in the city of Mos Eisley. He had hated it and had run away to planet after planet, before finding himself on the dark planet of Korriban.
It was only here that he learned he could control the Force and use it. Truth be told, Kelath enjoyed using his build and his power to keep people in check; even his parents were afraid of him. He hated the weak, they annoyed him, and that was particularly why he was glad to stumble upon the Sith and not the Jedi.
He had come to the planet during the reign of Malak, but when word came that the dark lord had been bested by his former master, Kelath had quickly fled with some other students. He had then kept to himself and wondered on the surface of Nar Shaddaa for a while, the energies of the people there only fueling his anger and his desire to hurt and maim.
When the problems dealing with the new Sith began, the young man kept to himself, waiting and watching, wondering what would happen. Shortly after the second battle on the planet of Telos, a woman approached him.
Though he tried to guess her motives, he couldn’t help but be attracted to her. She was quite beautiful, not like the women of his species, always nagging about this or that or worse — whining. But she was quite fetching, even if she did look odd to his eyes.
She called herself ‘V’ and said that she could sense his presence on the planet even from above. Most of all, she could see his heart and knew that he craved what she could offer him. She talked of a great empire that would rise to over throw the hapless Republic and build the galaxy anew.
And they wanted him to help.
To skip ahead, that is how Kelath Vesay found himself as a Sith Marauder.
And on this very day, he would find himself presented with a most glorious opportunity. His masters wanted him to help in the rebuilding of one of their strongholds and V had told him that he had a second task — kill the traitor Revan. Now, Kelath knew of Revan and knew that their new lord, Darth Trayun, also wanted the former Sith lord dead as well. When he asked V about this, she responded with honesty.
‘Our masters feel that Darth Trayun may need some help. While he will battle Revan, you will eliminate anyone with him. As Revan watches one of his loved ones fall, he will be rendered weak. Then you may assist Lord Trayun in his destruction.’
Kelath nodded slowly, a slow smile coming to his features. He would do that, with great abandon, and all for the fact that it would make Revan prey. And he wouldn’t kill his companions with a snap; no, he would make them suffer and he hoped Revan would have to watch.
Carth had been to a few weddings in his time, mostly through his friends from the Fleet. They had been big productions, with hundreds upon thousands of people in attendance and sometimes folks from the Holonet. After his wife had died, Carth politely turned down invites to weddings.
What would be the point of seeing two people get together when he couldn’t share it with his wife or worse, be subjected to thoughts of their own wedding and then his own failure at being a husband? The former Republic pilot really didn’t enjoy those times, so he avoided them.
But today, he couldn’t and wouldn’t avoid this happy occasion. Revan and Bastila’s wedding — or rather joining — was much more subdued. The only people in attendance were those of the Ebon Hawk crew and Bastila’s mother.
Jolee stood at the front, presiding as both minister and witness. This wedding was more…intimate, he guess the word was. Revan had told him earlier, when he had asked Carth to stand with him that he didn’t just want to marry Bastila.
‘I want it to mean something,’ he replied. ‘I want it to mean that even in death, she’ll know she’s the only woman for me.’
And then the young man launched into having a life bond, something that would go deeper than what they had now. He’d be giving her his life and vice versa; he would know if she was hurt, he would actually be able to feel her pain if she was in any. The depths of that devotion nearly unhinged Carth, but then he realized he felt that way about his wife, too.
He would’ve done anything for her and he could admit that he felt a piece of his soul being ripped out when she died. He had never heard of this type of ability before and was surprised to learn that it was indeed a Jedi type power.
‘So why don’t more Jedi use it?’ he had asked.
Revan just smirked at him. ‘Admit it,’ he said. ‘When I described it to you, it freaked you out a little, didn’t it?’
‘No,’ the admiral insisted. ‘I was just thinking about…’
The two men stared at each other, a smile coming to Revan’s face. ‘You know, Carth,’ he said. ‘It is possible for someone without the Force to be bonded to someone who does have it.’ The look the younger man gave him caused the admiral to bristle. Couldn’t he get through one day without Revan suggesting he was Force sensitive?
‘It’s like a day without ale for you, isn’t it?’ he shot back.
Revan shrugged. ‘I can only go with what I see,’ he replied, mysteriously.
Carth once again shrugged off the jest. Revan had been joking with him like that since the beginning, though now it really was starting to grade on him. Force sensitive, sure, he thought.
Though he knew Revan and Bastila wouldn’t start pushing him to become a Jedi, it still angered him to think they thought he could. He wasn’t a Jedi, nor was he Jedi material. In fact, aside from those friends of his, he didn’t even like the Jedi and anything they stood for.
Shaking his head with a bemused smile, he turned his attention back to the happy couple. The ceremony had been near the house Helena Shan lived in, right out near the small beach behind it. It was held mid day, so as the ceremony started, the sun began to go down, lighting the beautiful background to an equally beautiful event. Revan and Bastila stood by the refreshment table, talking to Jolee, with their arms around each other.
The couple wasn’t big on outward displays of affection, but every now and then they would let down their guard and let everyone see how much they loved one another. Standing there and watching them put a bit of pain in Carth’s heart. Though he was truly over the death of Morgana, he would never stop loving her or forget the times they had together.
‘Credit for your thoughts?’
Carth smiled at the voice, turning to look at Lynsel as she stood next to him, gazing at the very scene he watched. She looked beautiful — her reddish-brown hair out of its usual ponytail, her eyes alive, happy. She had been brave to tell the crew what she knew and how she came to be on the Ebon Hawk.
She didn’t tell them about her Force training, but he could tell both Bastila and Revan had known about it and from the way Jolee looked at her, Carth knew he had some suspicions. ‘They really are good together,’ she commented, watching as Revan gave his new bride a kiss on her temple. Carth nodded his agreement, tearing his eyes from her and back over to the happy couple.
‘Are you sorry you gave her up?’
Carth’s head snapped immediately back to Lynsel, before he chuckled softly. ‘Still think there’s something between Bastila and I, huh?’ The Intel officer just shrugged. ‘Nothing romantic happened,’ he continued. ‘I don’t make a habit of going after another guy’s girl, especially when that guy is my best friend. I’ll admit, we’re closer than I could’ve thought possible after our first initial meeting, but it’s all based on friendship.
‘Do I love her? Of course I do. You don’t spend a year chasing down the Sith and then another six chasing down a loved one and don’t get close, but Bastila and I…’ He sighed, again turning to watch his newly married friends.
‘We needed each other,’ he whispered. ‘You don’t know what it was like, that first year after the Star Forge; watching as the Jedi Council tried to tear them apart; watching him suffer from nightmares and then coming back and seeing how much he had suffered. You weren’t there when we heard this exile was a Jedi or that he looked so much like Revan.
‘And knowing that Bastila had known, known Revan had slipped…’ he shook his head. ‘It was trying, for both of us.’ He finished. ‘I don’t think either of us could’ve gotten through by ourselves, which says something. We’re both too stubborn for our own good.’
Lynsel chuckled, ducking her head in embarrassment. While she tried to tell herself she was just looking for more information, she couldn’t help but be elated that nothing had ever happened between Carth Onasi and Bastila Shan. She couldn’t stop the small blush as she asked, ‘Think you’ll ever get married again?’
Carth crossed his arms over his chest. ‘You know,’ he began. ‘If you had asked me that years ago, I would’ve said no. I wasn’t ready and…and I didn’t think I could ever get over the loss of my wife. But now…’ He looked at her seriously. ‘It would all come down to me finding someone I thought could handle my boyish charm.’
Lynsel laughed, placing her hand on one of his arms. ‘If what I heard on your ship is any indication, Admiral,’ she smirked. ‘You might be hard pressed to keep women away from you.’
The former pilot smiled. ‘What about you?’ he asked, in a conspiratorial whisper. ‘Think you’ll ever get married again?’
‘Probably not,’ she said, just realizing where her hand was and quickly removed it. ‘Most men wouldn’t want to date a Republic officer. Too involved with work, you know? I’d be hard pressed to find someone who respected that.’
‘You might not have to look very far,’ he countered, giving her a look that literally made her shiver. Someone clearing their throat caused the two to step away from each other, only to find Bastila standing in front of them, smiling.
‘Mind if I steal him away for a bit?’ she asked, cheekily.
‘No!’ Lynsel exclaimed, covering it up with a nervous laugh when she felt her cheeks heat up. ‘I mean, he’s all yours, so to speak.’ The officer recovered enough to be approached by Jolee, who had already launched into a story about how he had lead a Republic cruiser on a chase through the Mid Rim.
‘Sorry to have to pull you away and redirect your attention, Admiral.’
‘You know, I have a feeling you’re not the least bit sorry.’ Carth retorted, as he let her lead him to where Revan stood.
‘Sorry, Capt’n,’ Revan smirked. ‘But we couldn’t let you have all the fun. It is our wedding, after all, and there you are making eyes at the Lieutenant.’
‘What?’ Carth cried, trying his best to maintain his compose and force a blush away from his face. ‘Making…what’re you talking about?’
‘Don’t worry,’ Bastila replied, putting a hand on his arm.
‘We’ll let you get back to it in a moment.’ Revan finished, with a smile.
Carth looked between the two, noticing neither one of them looked as though they were remotely sorry for causing his embarrassment. ‘You two are really a pair, you know that?’
‘Darling, I do believe that was our first compliment as husband and wife!’
The admiral rolled his eyes, but couldn’t keep the smile from his face. ‘What do you want?’
‘Tell us about this ball that we have to go to,’ Revan replied. ‘I’ve heard they hold one every year, but that doesn’t explain why we’ve been picked to go this year.’
Carth shrugged. ‘You gotta know something’s up,’ he replied. ‘Seeing as our last visit wasn’t full of sunshine and flowers.’
‘Quite right, Carth,’ Bastila agreed. ‘I hardly think the Senate just suddenly remembered that we helped defeat Malak nearly six, seven years ago. There must be something more to this ball than we are being let on to.’
‘And we still have to find Ellis and the Sith,’ Revan spoke. ‘I know we haven’t heard from them and I don’t like it. Ellis isn’t the patient sort and I doubt he’s just sitting around waiting for me to find him. He’ll come to me, I’m sure of it.’
What the three of them weren’t aware of was that in fact, Darth Trayun was waiting for Revan to find him or rather, he was making sure that Revan would remember where to find him. He, Atton, and Brianna had directed their troops to the icy world of Khar Delba, deep within the Outer Rim.
This part of the galaxy had been known as ‘Sith space’ as it was where most of the Sith empire hailed from. For now, however, those planets that had been utilized by the Sith had never been found by the Republic or the Jedi and they had a certain mystique and danger for those that were unaware of them.
The masters had told them of this planet; how Naga Sadow kept a false base here, one that was attacked by Ludo Kressh, unaware that the true base of operations lay on the nearby moon of Khar Shian. The masters had told Ellis, in secret of course, how Revan had built a small stronghold within the false fortress, knowing that no one within the Republic would know where an attack would come from.
This is where Ellis stood now.
Dressed in warm fatigues, Ellis and his troops had discovered the hidden base within the snow-capped terrain. It reminded the young lord of when they had stumbled upon the hidden base upon Telos, where he had first met Brianna. The young man couldn’t help but smile at the memory, smile at the thought of how they were now wed to one another.
His thoughts stopped before he could envision her in his arms, just as Atton walked up behind him. ‘It’s damn cold here,’ he complained. Ellis smirked at him, turning slightly to look at his attire.
‘I’m sure you’d be warmer if you actually bothered to wear a jacket,’ he joked, motioning to the scoundrel’s dark robes.
‘I like looking the part, if you don’t mind.’ He shot back. He looked at the galactic map that hung on the wall in front of them, asking, ‘Are you sure Revan will come here?’
Ellis nodded once. ‘I’ll make sure he’s aware that I’m waiting for him,’ he replied. ‘But just to make things interesting, I plan to give them a little surprise at that ball they must attend.’
‘I hope this doesn’t alienate us from our source within the Senate.’
‘It shouldn’t,’ the dark lord responded. ‘We’re after Revan. And besides, they’ve told us who needs to be…dealt with. In that sense, they’ve already allowed us some…liberties.’
Atton smirked at that. ‘So everything should be set?’ he asked, tentatively.
Again, his master nodded. ‘If everything goes well,’ he replied. ‘We will be rid of Revan and have the full backing of the Republic Senate.’
The task and responsibilities of the Supreme Chancellor were certainly not for those with the weakest of hearts or constitutions. Being the head of the Galactic Government was one of fierce politics and even a bit of backstabbing if the need called for it.
Robert Belyn, Sr. had hoped to get through his political career without that ever happening. He had just entered into his second term, after successfully leading their government through the upheaval that was the aftermath of the Star Forge.
He had seen, from the inside, what war could do to the galaxy and the Republic as a whole. He had been Vice Chair to the last Chancellor during the Mandalorian War and again through the whole Jedi Civil War. He had seen the struggles that the government had with the clashing of Jedi propaganda.
Belyn personally had rather liked the Jedi, had thought them to be upstanding in fact, but he had to take a hard look when those heroes had betrayed them, though it should’ve been no surprise with the way they had seemed to betray their own masters and order.
Politics was never an easy game to play, but as Chancellor, Belyn was determined to keep the galaxy as peaceful as possible.
So when his son and another senator had approached him about the return of Revan and the fact that the former Jedi and former Sith lord seemed to be sneaking around the galaxy once again, of course he was alarmed. Revan had gone off before and had returned as a Sith Lord with half the Jedi Order and Republic Fleet behind him.
That war had nearly destroyed the Republic as they knew it and Belyn refused to let it happen again. He trusted his son — after all, Robbie was the Senior Admin Aide, appointed by him personally — so he would listen to whatever suggestions there could be.
Robert had first approached him when the Jedi Order had given that press sitting with reporters from the Holonet and everyone of course was disturbed when they saw no Revan at the conference. And the flimsy excuse the masters gave — that he was on Order business — never set right with him either.
So he let it sit and stew for a bit, waiting for the other shoe to drop. And it certainly did. It may have taken five years, but when the reports had come out that the planet of Peragus II had literally blown up, causing a fuel shortage for the nearby Telos, Belyn knew there would be problems.
And there were.
The first reports were not good — an exiled Jedi was known to be responsible for the explosion and the description fit Revan’s last appearance perfectly. That’s when the Supreme Chancellor wanted knowledge — where did Revan go? Who were his friends? Lovers? Enemies?
People were to find them.
Immediately and have them questioned.
But he should’ve realized things wouldn’t go as he wanted. He should’ve known the attack and destruction of the Jedi Temple was significant in some way and when that was followed up by the murders of so many Jedi and then the thing at Katarr…those first years of his term were shaky at best.
People wanted justice. That was one reason why he hadn’t put his foot down on that Jedi bounty by the Exchange. As far as he was concerned, that was a problem between the Jedi and the Sith; he just wanted them to leave the galaxy alone for their skirmishes. Again, that was too much to hope for. And now, as he sat in his office, leaning back in his chair, soft music setting his mind at ease, he was still deeply troubled by what he had heard today.
While he had agreed to Robert’s plan of sending out the best of the best to find Revan, Belyn hadn’t realized his former daughter-in-law would be the person to find him. He knew why they got divorced and he certainly never blamed Lynsel for anything that had happened; this was business and it needed to be conducted as such.
And he listened as his son told them the information they had received — how Revan seemed to be up to his old tricks; finding former colleagues, hanging out with Mandalorians…he wouldn’t deny that that fact alone had worried him.
But deep within him, Robert, Sr. felt something was amiss; something was stirring and he didn’t like it. Robbie and Kodis Basil seemed to be joined at the hip lately and his son always had some place to be or someone to speak to; it made Belyn nervous.
When Kodis had approached him about sending out invitations to Revan and his crew for that year’s ball, he was instantly suspicious, but Kodis had eased his fears, saying that Revan would have the opportunity to perhaps settle the rumors about his once again allegiance to the Sith. It was a good idea, he thought, assuming the man accepted.
And even with the surprise that the invite was accepted, Belyn was still…wary. He couldn’t help it. He had been in politics for a long time and he knew when someone was yanking his chain.
This felt like one of those moments.
Coruscant always had the distinction of being a beautiful planet at night. The sky was always clear and the stars seemed to shine brighter from the capitol planet than on any other. This was the night that the Chancellor’s Ball was set against. Most of Coruscant’s leaders and high society types were in attendance and the rumor held that the former Jedi and Sith, Revan, would be there as well.
Robert Belyn, Jr. — the Senior Administrative Aid to the Supreme Chancellor — had hoped the rumors of Revan’s presence would be true. He wanted to expose the former Sith Lord for what he was; a former Sith trying to regain his title. He could see it in the way the man was secretative about his activities for the last few years and Robert wasn’t stupid to note that the mysterious exile had seemingly disappeared once Revan had returned to galactic space.
Oh yes, Revan was up to something.
And it didn’t hurt that his ex-wife would need to be there as well. He still had things to tell her and the fact that Admiral Onasi had seemed to stick his nose in their business didn’t sit well with him either. He wasn’t blind. He knew want and lust when he saw it and Onasi was dripping with it when his eyes turned to Lynsel.
Just because the man’s wife had died didn’t mean he could go about taking other men’s just to suit his repressed sexual appetite. Disgusting really, but what could one say when they were in the presence of a Sith Lord?
Tonight, Robert would show his father just what the former Jedi wanted and he would show his father that the time was right to finally set the galaxy back on its feet.