REVENGE OF THE SITH
Part VII – Betrayal
Within minutes of their arrival, the whispering began. Revan had known he’d be seen, despite his different facial and head appearance and the absence of Jedi robes, but people knew him no matter what.
It didn’t help certainly that both he and Bastila were not only together, but former allies — at least as far as the people in the room were concerned. They had both been in the Jedi and they had both been in the Sith and for the moment, it didn’t matter if they were in neither. They had a past and they had arrived together.
Carth and Lynsel weren’t spared from the treatment either. Many people knew who Carth Onasi was and many knew of his history with Revan and with Saul Karath. Seeing a senator’s former wife on his arm didn’t help his appeal any and Lynsel couldn’t help but be embarrassed by those who knew her.
Of course they would know her — she was a top Special Forces officer and the former wife of Robert Belyn, Jr., the basic left hand man of the Supreme Chancellor, who of course, just happened to be her former father-in-law.
‘Ah, Revan,’ Kodis Basil greeted them, standing by the door as though he had been anticipating their arrival. ‘I’m so glad you could come. And Miss Shan, how beautiful you look tonight. I might have to steal a dance from you.’
‘I wouldn’t count on it.’ Bastila replied.
‘Really Basil,’ Revan began. ‘Was this necessary? I do have things to do.’
‘I’m sure you do, Revan,’ said Robert, as he came towards them. ‘Come. I have a table for you and your crew. No point just standing in the doorway. Unless of course you’re plotting your escape.’
‘The thought had occurred to me.’
Robert smirked at him, before offering his arm to Lynsel. ‘No thanks,’ she said, huffily. ‘I already have one.’ She leaned into Carth, who smiled wickedly.
‘For tonight maybe.’ Came the retort. ‘Come then.’
The group followed the aide, trying their best to ignore the pointed stares and whispering that came as they entered. Robert led them to a table that was on the right of the Supreme Chancellor, who immediately stood as the group came towards him.
He instantly went to hug Lynsel, causing a smile on the face of the young woman as they greeted each other. He shook Carth’s hand, saying, ‘I’ve heard nothing but great things about you, Admiral.’ When he got to Revan, the younger man could see he was being sized up.
‘The great Revan,’ the Chancellor replied, holding out his hand. ‘There has been much talk about you.’
‘All mixed, I’m sure.’ Revan supplied, shaking the hand held out to him.
‘To say that you have been…straightforward…on your activities would be an understatement.’
‘I have to have my secrets, Chancellor.’
‘Don’t we all?’ Robert asked, his eyes momentarily moving towards Lynsel before turning back.
‘Robbie was a bit mistaken,’ the elder man continued. ‘You’ll be dining at my table.’
‘Chancellor, that’s…that’s…not necess…’ Revan stumbled, only to be interrupted by the Chancellor.
‘Nonsense!’ he exclaimed. ‘We have so much to discuss. Besides,’ he said, throwing an arm around Lynsel’s shoulders. ‘I have to catch up with my favorite daughter-in-law.’
The Intel officer chuckled. ‘Bob, I’m your only daughter-in-law.’
‘But you’re still my favorite.’ He whispered. ‘Come on, have a seat.’
The evening only seemed to drag for the crew. The tension that had been felt earlier upon their arrival only seemed to intensify as they sat and talked at the Chancellor’s table. Revan sensed something was brewing between the junior Belyn and Carth, while he nervously glanced around at nearby tables and groupings — all had their eyes on him and they didn’t make a move to deter the fact that they were staring and suspicious of him. He noticed Bastila glancing towards the doorway repeatedly, almost as if she was thinking of making a run for it at any minute.
‘Kodis tells me you’re on a vacation, Revan,’ the Chancellor said, suddenly, startling the younger man from his musings.
Revan looked around him — his friends gave him looks that asked what he would say, while the Senate members at their table wondered if he would agree or disagree. The young man nodded, slowly. ‘That’s right,’ he said. ‘I uh…thought it be good for me, you know. Therapeutic.’
‘And what exactly have you been doing on this vacation of yours?’
The former Jedi schooled his features. He couldn’t let them know this line of questioning was starting to unnerve him. ‘What a person normally does when on vacation,’ he replied. ‘Looking at beaches, shopping, doing some swoop races. You know, that sort of thing.’
‘Do you mean to tell his Excellency that for five, six years, you’ve been ‘hanging out’ on a beach and shopping?’ Robert asked, sarcastically.
‘You forgot the swoop races,’ Revan retorted. ‘I did those too.’
‘What does it matter what he did or does on vacation?’ Mission asked, clearly annoyed by the turn of conversation. ‘It’s his business, not yours.’
‘Unfortunately, my dear child,’ the Chancellor replied. ‘It matters a great deal. Especially when rumors say he’s not truly ‘vacationing’, as he’d like us to believe.’
‘I wouldn’t have pinned you as someone who believes in rumors and hearsay, Bob,’ Lynsel said.
‘As Chancellor,’ he responded. ‘It’s my duty to make sure no threat or harm comes to the Republic, if I can help it. Now my question to you, Revan, is whether or not you’re planning on harming the Republic any time in the future.’
‘Honestly Chancellor,’ Revan said, seriously. ‘I’m hoping to save it.’
‘Like you hoped to save it when you became Dark Lord of the Sith?’ Robert asked.
‘Robert, that’s enough.’ Lynsel stressed.
The tension had just mounted and it didn’t look as though it would be lowering any time soon.
What a night! Lynsel thought as she made her way into her shared quarters with Mission. This was exactly what she suspected the night would be and exactly how she thought the night would end. She originally had no intention of going to the ball that night, but the fact that Basil’s invitation was addressed to ‘Revan and crew’, apparently no amount of protest could persuade Revan to just let them be for the night. She had been pleasantly surprised though, when Carth offered to escort her.
‘We might have some fun together,’ he shrugged. ‘You never know.’
Well, as much as she had wanted to have fun with Carth, it was literally a hard thing to do with her ex-husband and his father hanging around her all night. Though she enjoyed catching up with Bob Belyn, she couldn’t wait to get away from Robert and made no secret in showing that she was there with Carth and was determined to have a good time. Of course, Robert took that as a challenge or something, because no sooner had she and Carth gotten to the dance floor, there was Robert cutting his way in.
‘Must you be so rude!’ she hissed.
‘I’m just protecting what’s mine,’ he growled, an all too familiar smell on his breath indicated he was getting to the point of being belligerent. ‘What exactly do you know about this Onasi fellow anyway? He could easily be trying to get into your pants or worse, turn you into one of Revan’s willing victims.’
‘What the hell are you talking about?’ she whispered. ‘Robert, you’re obviously in the throws of getting drunk, so why don’t you get back to it?’
‘You don’t get it, do you?’ he asked, pulling her towards him as she tried to turn.
‘No, you don’t get it,’ she hissed. ‘I am not your wife anymore, nor am I your property to control. We are through, Robert! We have been for years.’ She looked around and noticed quite a few people were staring, so she moved closer to him. ‘If you don’t unhand me this very second, a room full of people are going to watch you fall to the floor in a lot of pain.’
‘I didn’t realize what a schutta you were,’ he grumbled. ‘So when you’ve fallen out of Onasi’s bed, will you be stumbling into Revan’s as well? Or maybe you need a bit of fresh meat. I saw you looking at Onasi’s son. Or maybe you like the exotic. That old man would do the trick; put some cream in his caffa, would you?’
‘You’re vile and vulgar and this conversation is over.’
Sometimes, she couldn’t believe the sheer audacity that man had and it was clear to her he posed a problem, for everyone involved. A quick knock on the paneling had her turning from her thoughts and gazing at Carth.
He was still dressed in his admiral uniform — a formality for formal dinners — though his top buttons were undone, revealing a white t-shirt underneath. ‘Hey,’ he said, walking over to her.
‘I wanted to make sure you were okay,’ he said. ‘It didn’t look like we had fun after all.’
She laughed at the statement. ‘That was entirely due to the company,’ she said. ‘And I don’t mean yours. You…you were great. And I’m sorry I didn’t pay you much attention.’
The pilot shrugged. ‘It looked like you really got on with the Chancellor,’ he said. ‘Being your in-law and all. Though things got a little…heated between you and Senator Belyn.’
Lynsel snorted. ‘Sometimes I do wonder why I married that man.’
‘His charm? His way with words?’
The lieutenant giggled at the absurdity, though in the back of her mind, she wondered if those were indeed the reasons. As she giggled, she couldn’t help but notice how close she and Carth were, causing her to blush. She saw Carth also noticing their proximity as well and she could tell he was thinking of backing away.
Lynsel had always been fairly ambitious when it came to what she wanted and her conversation with Robert earlier had cemented what she had been feeling for quite sometime. She was, without a doubt, attracted to Carth Onasi. And she was quite sure he was attracted to her. It would be wrong to deny it and certainly on this ship, she had learned never to deny anything with present company — assuming they were trust worthy of course.
She had a hard time trusting people after Robert, especially men, who she knew looked at her like a main course or a dessert platter.
But not Carth.
He had always joked with her and they usually had a good time talking about their military histories and funny tidbits and stories. She was quite comfortable with Carth, something that she never experienced with Robert. If he hadn’t been part of the senators that had known about her Jedi training, she probably would never have said anything.
And even when he knew, Robert had treated her differently; that’s when the affairs — oh, she knew of at least one other time — started. But Carth…Carth had figured it out himself and he wasn’t the least bit angry with her. In fact, it seemed as though he understood her.
Swallowing, she fingered one of the open buttons of his collar. ‘I really did have a good time with you,’ she whispered, raising her eyes to look at him.
His hand covered hers and he said, ‘I’m glad.’ His thumb stroked the skin of her hand, before he released it and backed up. ‘You were getting ready for bed, so I’d better let you.’
‘What?’ she asked, teasingly. ‘You think you’re so boring you’d put me to sleep standing up?’
‘Oh ho,’ he chuckled. ‘That’s cute.’
‘I am adorable,’ she retorted. ‘That may explain why you’ve been watching me lately.’
The admiral’s face seemed to blanch before coloring up again with red. ‘Oh,’ he mumbled. ‘I hadn’t thought you’d noticed…’
‘If you were any more obvious, your eyes would fall out of your head.’
‘I’m not that bad…’
‘Not for a monkey-lizard, no,’ she joked. ‘Not bad at all.’
‘Damn it, woman,’ he exclaimed, a small grin on his face. ‘If you keep hounding me, I’m going to put you over my knee and teach you a lesson!’
‘Is that a promise?’ she asked, innocently.
Carth chuckled. ‘You really are something, you know that?’
‘Something good, I hope.’
She didn’t mind the lust in his eyes as he muttered, ‘Very good.’ He seemed to shake himself out of it, turned and began heading for the door. He stopped however, looking over his shoulder at her. She stared at him, raising an eyebrow in a silent challenge. What was he planning on doing?
She watched as he turned back towards her and reached her in a few steps. She didn’t move, instead closing her eyes as his lips descended on hers. It wasn’t a full on ‘leading to something’ kiss, but it was deeper than any normal good night kiss she’d ever had.
They said their good nights to each other, not stopping the smiles that got the better of them both. She sighed happily when he left and tried her best to settle the flutters that seemed to start in her stomach and then chest. For his part, Carth seemed to be a little in shock, to the point that he just leaned against the door when it closed.
He had been fighting his attraction to her for fear she would reject him. He knew enough to know Robert Belyn had destroyed the confidence and trust she probably used to have and that caused him pause in his pursuit of her. But tonight…tonight, he couldn’t stop his jealousy from mounting as soon as Belyn had his eyes on her.
After what he had done, he seriously thought she’d want to get back together with him!?
He calmed his heart and tried to keep his features neutral as he headed down the corridor. No sense in giving Revan ammunition…he abruptly stopped as he came around the corner. Against the wall stood Dustil and Mission, but it was truly hard to see where one ended and the other began.
They were in a deep embrace and if Carth hadn’t cleared his throat loudly, he couldn’t imagine where his son’s hand had been heading. They immediately broke apart, both embarrassed at being caught, though Carth noted that Dustil seemed more to be annoyed at being caught than embarrassed by it.
‘I was just…’ Mission stuttered. ‘I was…um…heading to bed.’ Her blue face looked pink from the heat of the blush. She mumbled a goodnight to both Onasis before hurrying past Carth to her quarters. Carth raised an eyebrow at the defiant stare his son gave him.
Chuckling, he said, ‘Come help me get the ship ready for take-off, Lover boy.’ The younger man groaned, but dolefully followed his father towards the cockpit. They passed by a meditating Jolee, who smirked when Dustil walked by him.
‘Not one word, old man!’
Carth was still chuckling as they continued, only stopping when the admiral took his son by the arm and pulled him into the main console room, before crossing his arms over his chest and looking at him.
He wasn’t going to lecture; his son was a man now and he could make his own decisions and certainly, he had given the young man an abridged version of how men were to treat a woman and what a woman expected. He could see the eyes of the boy’s mother staring back at him, almost the same kind of stare Morgana would give him if he had said something to upset her.
‘I’m not going to lecture,’ the pilot chuckled. ‘You’re a grown man and I expect you to treat Mission the same way you’d want someone to treat your mother. However, I thought it might be good to go over certain…precautions.’ Dustil rolled his eyes, the only way a child who knew what was coming could.
‘Just because I had my tongue in her mouth, doesn’t mean I’m going to be charging up her loading ramp.’
‘What a lovely image that makes,’ Carth retorted. ‘But with that in mind, I think I have to ask, just want do you want to happen between the two of you?’
‘You’re her guardian now?’ Dustil exclaimed.
‘No,’ Carth replied, leaning back against the console. ‘But I would think you’d want me to ask instead of Revan, cause surely if he had caught you…’
Dustil groaned. He had certainly not seen this happening. When he had asked Mission to accompany him to the ball, he had hoped they could spend more time together. Not that they weren’t spending a lot of time together now, but he wanted alone time with her. Ever since Revan had caught him…comforting…her, the former Jedi seemed to make it a point to be where ever the two of them were, which was surprising, as he had his own wedding to worry about.
‘I like her, all right?’ he whispered. ‘I wasn’t intending to, but I do. A lot. I didn’t want to…I don’t want to fall for her, but it feels like I am.’
Carth regarded his son and suddenly things began to click. He remembered when they had met on Telos and they had actually talked for the first time since Dustil was a boy. He hadn’t wanted to pry, but he needed to know that he hadn’t missed too much of his son’s growing up and that included girls. Dustil hadn’t said anything specific, but there had been one name that had stood out for Carth.
‘Selene wasn’t just a friend, was she?’
The young man tensed, but only for a moment. He didn’t like talking about Selene; he didn’t like talking about his time in the Sith; he didn’t like the memories that came when he did. But that was the main reason he had fought against these feelings. If they were on a planet or she had just been passing by, maybe they wouldn’t haunt him, but they did. They were on a small ship, enclosed, and most of their time was spent together. ‘No,’ he whispered. ‘She wasn’t.’
‘It’s not easy, is it?’ he asked. ‘Trying to stay true to your first love when you have feelings for someone else.’
‘Is that how you feel?’
The admiral sighed. ‘I spent years wanting vengeance, Dusty,’ he said. ‘I didn’t have time for a relationship and really, I don’t think one could’ve lasted then. I was so…devastated, I told you that. I did nothing but think about you, your mother, and how…how I failed to protect you like I should have. I couldn’t find room for anything else.
‘But you can’t turn your feelings on and off,’ he continued. ‘There’s got to be a reason that you’re letting Mission get close to you.’
‘Like you and Lt. Belyn?’ the younger man asked, sending his father a small smile.
Carth couldn’t help but smile as well. ‘We certainly picked the most determined women, didn’t we?’ he joked.
‘I’m…I’m happy for you, Dad.’ Dustil replied. ‘I know how much mother’s death hurt you and I’m…glad to see you happy again. She…she does make you happy, right?’
‘Yeah,’ the pilot whispered, a far off look on his face. ‘She does.’
‘Mission makes me happy, too.’
‘Good,’ the older man responded, with a grin. ‘Now about charging up her loading ramp…’
‘I’m not going to be charging up her loading ramp,’ Dustil muttered, his cheeks red in embarrassment.
‘I didn’t say you couldn’t,’ Carth said, admist a chuckle. ‘Just that you…um…be cloaked while doing so.’
‘The same goes to you,’ the son retorted. ‘Unless of course you’re planning on giving me a sibling or two. I always did hate being an only child.’
‘Why you little…’
Their joking was halted as they heard a loud commotion outside. ‘What the hell…?’ murmured Carth, as he and Dustil headed to the cockpit to see what was going on. They stopped when they heard louder shouts coming from the main hold.
Looking at each other, they quickly changed course, and hurried to the base of operations. They were surprised to see a transmitted holo of Robert Belyn, who seemed to be ranting and raving at a very angry Revan.
‘He wants to see you,’ Belyn spat. ‘Now!’
‘On my way.’ Revan seethed, turning and heading for the loading ramp, muttered curses coming from his lips.
‘What the hell happened?’ Carth exclaimed, looking over at Bastila, who looked equally chagrinned.
‘It’s the Supreme Chancellor,’ she replied, in a tight voice, reminding Carth of what he had dubbed her ‘reprimanding tone’. ‘He wants us in his office. Apparently, the Sith have attacked.’
It had been shortly after midnight when the attack came. The ball had let out about an hour before, but there were still stragglers that sat within the expansive Skysitter Restaurant. It was the most lucrative place within all the galaxy and incredibly exclusive.
When the Senate thought of having a ball, they turned to the Skysitter, knowing it for its delicious, yet expensive cuisine. It also boasted a very nice, though a bit small, dance floor for its patrons.
The Skysitter was one of many wonderful sights to see in the government city and it was the best place to see the city as a whole. The restaurant sat high above a spire that rotated to achieve a panoramic view of the city. It was from this view point that a few people noticed a disturbance from the ground floor.
Not thinking anything of it, of course, and went back to their after dinner chatter or their desserts. It wasn’t until the screaming began and people could see the emergence of Sith elite soldiers. As the panic set in, more Sith troops appeared, this time in the form of the Shadow assassins that had once stalked the Jedi to extinction.
Not everyone was hurt, but there were deaths, most notably a few of those senators that had decided to stay. The man in charge, assumably the captain, gave them a message:
‘Darth Trayun wanted to prevent this, but as usual, the traitor Revan has refused to even meet with us to discuss his withdrawal from the Core Worlds. Our master wants to avoid further blood shed, but Revan will need to be delivered to us.’
That started an outcry the Supreme Chancellor didn’t think he could avoid. He hadn’t even walked into the bathroom to use the fresher, then slip into his nightclothes, when his console began beeping with a vengeance.
His son had been on the other line, raving that the Sith had attacked the remaining party goers at the Skysitter and had killed four members of the senate. Looking across the city from his bedroom, he could almost see people tromping down towards his residence. For the first time in many years, Robert Belyn, Sr cursed, long and wildly.
He had immediately told Robbie to call Revan and his crew into his office and made him dispatch some officers that could calm the fears of the people of the city. He had then walked into his bath and splashed water on his face. He would not take this, not from anyone.
Bastila could literally feel the waves of anger that flowed from her husband. They had been making their way to the replicator when the main console beeped at them, revealing an outraged Robert Belyn, Jr. Revan didn’t even have time to defend himself from the accusations when Belyn barked that the Supreme Chancellor wanted to see them, immediately.
And now, standing in the office of the Supreme Chancellor, the earlier tension that had been building during dinner and the ball now exploded to no one’s surprise. Robert, Jr. was livid at the attack and he put all the blame on Revan, saying that despite the fact that the captain of the Sith unit had said another lord’s name, Robert was clearly in the camp that thought Revan was this Sith lord and he had planned this attack.
‘And what, prey tell, would be my motivation for planning an attack against the Senate?’ Revan angrily asked.
‘Perhaps you’re once again taking up the mantle of dark lord!’ Robert exclaimed.
‘Enough!’ the Supreme Chancellor yelled. It had been non stop shouting since they had all walked in and some of the insults were getting personal. ‘Revan,’ he said, trying to calm himself down. ‘Is there a reason for the Sith attack tonight? And do you know of this new dark lord?’
Revan’s eyes bore into the Senior aide’s before turning to address the Chancellor. ‘I don’t know why the Sith have attacked tonight,’ he stated. ‘But yes, I do know of the new Sith Lord.’
‘Was Darth Revan taken?’ Robert sneered. Carth made a move towards him, but the former Jedi held him back.
‘I don’t want to keep you in the dark, Chancellor,’ he continued. ‘But I must. I can at least tell you I plan on taking care of Darth Pain in My Ass as soon as possible. However…I would like to warn you about something, something that affects the entire galaxy.’
‘And that is?’
With a look to Robert, Revan replied, ‘Keep close watch on those you call confidences. I…I hope to avoid my past mistakes, as well as making sure a friend of mine doesn’t make an even bigger one.’
The former Jedi left it at that, leaving a thoroughly wary and confused Supreme Chancellor and an enraged Senior aide.
Storming back on the Hawk, Revan didn’t seem the least surprised when the main console beeped to life with an incoming message. In fact, the image coming through only seemed to incense Revan more. ‘Condescending greeting: Ah, my former master. How good it is to see you again. I do hope things have gone well.’
‘I should strip you for parts, you blood-thirsty traitor,’ Revan hissed.
‘Placating response: You always did have a terrible temper. I’m only communicating until my current master arrives. Gleeful salutation: Master! How wonderful. I was just telling my former master how he needs to watch his temper. He’ll cause himself undo pain and torture. Mournful retraction: How unfortunate that would be for us.’
‘Yes indeed, HK,’ Ellis replied, giving an evil smirk towards Revan. ‘Get my message, did you?’
‘Where are you?’
‘The mighty Revan,’ Ellis taunted. ‘The great Revan. You were said to be the brilliance behind the Sith. Why should I bother telling you were I am?’
‘You won’t get away with this!’ Bastila countered.
The current dark lord smirked at the woman. ‘And I suppose you’re going to stop me?’ he asked.
‘Yeah we are.’ Carth supplied.
‘With what army?’ Ellis asked. ‘Too bad you had to go and destroy the Star Forge, Revan. You may have actually had a chance. But that’s not why I called. I decided I’ll let Coruscant rest up a bit before I start in again on the Core Worlds. Unless of course, you think you can find me.’
‘I’ll find you.’ Revan growled.
‘Maybe I should give you a hint,’ the dark lord said, sweetly. ‘You didn’t destroy all your strongholds, you know. In fact, I’m sending this to you from a very nice one. Oh, you need some plants and maybe a bit of a sky light, but overall, a nice place to say…conquer the galaxy from. Catch me if you can.’
The transmission ended, leaving the crew pondering where Ellis could possibly be. The message however seemed to put Revan over the top as far as his anger was concerned.
‘Bastard!’ he spat, before moving towards the cockpit. He hadn’t even entered the corridor when the main console beeped again, this time showing the drawn face of the current Mandalore.
‘Canderous, what…?’ Bastila started, but was interrupted by the clan leader.
‘We’ve got problems.’
‘So do we,’ the former Jedi responded, walking back towards the main hold. ‘What’s your problem?’
‘The Sith,’ the leader responded. ‘They’re here on Dxun and Revan…you’re not gonna like what they’re doing.’
Revan stared back at his old friend, almost afraid to ask what the Sith could possibly be doing on Dxun.
‘I think…’ Canderous began, swallowing. ‘I think they may be trying to raise Freedon Nadd again.’