REVENGE OF THE SITH
Part VII – Betrayal
Revan wasn’t in a talkative mood, nor was he in a happy mood. He had just left the moon of Dxun, dropping off Mission, Dustil, and Lynsel at the meeting point for the Mandalorian camp. Canderous had told them they had seen a few scattered Sith officers just roaming the jungle — most of those encountering the fierce beasts within — and had pretty much taken care of the others that managed to avoid such dangers.
But the clan leader had said they had been attacked — one that was reminiscent of when the exile had been on the moon with them — and after defeating those soldiers, things seemed to be quiet.
Until Visas said something was amiss.
Revan didn’t bother to ask why the former Sith was on Dxun instead of her planet of Katarr, but he noted Bastila filed that little tidbit away. When asked to expand on that statement, the clan leader only said Visas thought that Dxun was once again being shrouded in dark energy and she stated it was coming from the temple that held Freedon Nadd’s tomb.
While Revan would’ve liked to have taken the whole crew, they still had the matter of finding Ellis. The former Jedi didn’t know how he had done it or what planet they were exactly heading to…he had just come up with the coordinates in his head and told them to Carth, who looked at Revan in confused awe.
He couldn’t tell the pilot where they were headed, but he just had a feeling that it was some how important. Jolee had pulled him to the side later, also wanting to know how he had just ‘instinctively’ known where to go and how to get there.
Revan shrugged. ‘I don’t know,’ he said. ‘I mean I just…I was thinking about where Ellis might be and all of sudden, I had a route in my head.’
‘Hmm…’ the elder man replied. ‘I’ve heard of this, where some Jedi could actually plot a hyperspace route in their heads, without the help of a nav-computer.’ The elder Jedi nodded his head, slowly.
‘Do you think this is an ability I’ve had before?’ Revan asked, quietly.
‘Hard to say, isn’t it?’ Jolee asked. ‘With most of your memory gone, one can’t say if this was something that was always an ability for you or if you’ve just now begun to show signs of it.’
After that conversation, Revan decided to focus on the upcoming confrontation with Ellis and he knew there would be a confrontation. He hadn’t seen the young Sith Lord since their meeting on Yavin IV, which wasn’t a true battle between them. Revan was in fact, a little worried about meeting his former friend.
After their last battle on the Hawk, Revan had hoped Ellis would turn away from the dark side or at least be smart enough not to get involved with the true species of Sith. On top of that, Revan still suspected Ellis was being helped in a way that wouldn’t bold well for him, mainly the fact that he thought Ellis was possessed. He didn’t know why he thought that, but there was something within himself that said he had once been that way as well.
Had he been possessed by a spirit of the True Sith? He didn’t know and he couldn’t remember. He couldn’t imagine what kinds of…gifts the True Sith could’ve bestowed onto Ellis, but he knew, it wasn’t good.
And on top of that, they were trying to raise Freedon Nadd’s spirit and the way Canderous had worded it, apparently this wasn’t the first time. Again, Revan thought he may have rushed things with coming after the Sith. He had known there was something beyond the Unknown Regions that spelled doom for the Republic, but he had never imagined this.
Not in his wildest dreams.
Dustil knew from his Jedi history, as well as his time on both Dxun and Onderon, that Freedon Nadd’s tomb sat nestled in the jungles on Dxun. He remembered Canderous telling him not to wonder far within the jungle, especially to the tomb itself, as it was forbidden.
The clan leader had told him that the exile, with their help of course, and his crew had driven the Sith out and off the moon and though things should’ve been fine, had been fine up until this point, the Mandalorians still felt the tomb and its dark power.
And soon enough, as soon as he stepped off the ramp onto the meeting place, he could feel something on the moon he hadn’t truly felt before. At least, not since his time on Onderon. Their guide led them into the camp and they were immediately met by Mandalore and Visas Marr.
Dustil made introductions to the former Sith, knowing her as an acquaintance of Canderous’ as well as a gifted welder of the Force. The two again explained the situation to the trio, stating that this time they would have to do something to ensure that this didn’t happen again.
Mandalore took charge instantly, telling his commanders to accompany Visas, Dustil, and Lynsel to the jungle tomb. Mission was a little put out for being made to stay behind, but Dustil spoke softly to her, telling her the dangers may be more than even he could handle and with the Sith, it might do well to have Jedi fighting against them.
It didn’t take away her annoyance, but it did ease her somewhat — or maybe it was the kiss he dropped on her forehead, as he told her he’d take out as many Sith as he could in her name. Visas said goodbye to Mandalore, her voice low and soft, as though she didn’t want her words overheard.
Dustil wasn’t blind and was quite aware that something was happening between the former Sith and the clan leader, but he excused himself, along with Lynsel as they went outside to wait for their group.
The second in command, Kelbourn, was to accompany and lead them to the tomb. The armored Mandalorian was known throughout the camp as one of the greatest and he had only been bested once — by the Jedi exile — and he had helped to discover and eliminate the searching of Col. Tobin’s troops from Onderon. He was doing this out of respect to Xarga, who had been wounded while fending off some of the Sith troops they had recently battled.
They headed off, reaching a jungle corridor that the remains of what looked to be mines and a motion sensor. ‘You don’t have to worry about those,’ Kelbourn replied. ‘Xarga told me the exile’s companions took care of that the last time they were here. In fact, I doubt we’ll have any problems getting to the tomb itself.’
‘Isn’t that a bit dangerous?’ Lynsel asked. ‘I mean, militarily speaking, of course. I would think if I’m about to raise the dead spirit of an evil Sith lord, I’d make sure I wasn’t interrupted. Not putting up any kind of defenses…’
‘That’s what I wonder, too,’ Visas responded. ‘It’s not like the Sith to just invite one into their private party.’
‘Unless we’re not dealing with the normal Sith.’ Dustil commented, walking ahead to view out of the corridor. ‘I can see the temple from here. And you won’t believe this…there’s nothing stopping us.’
‘You’re kidding, right?’ Lynsel asked, walking over to him. Peering out, she too saw the water waves to their left and the mixture of brown and green grass ahead of them. Sure enough, the outline of a building stood in the foreground and it didn’t seem as though they’d be meeting any resistance. ‘Something’s not right,’ she muttered. ‘There really should be something here.’
‘I agree,’ Visas said. ‘There is something waiting for us. And they appear to be very large.’
‘Do I even want to know how you know that?’ Lynsel asked, warily.
‘Force sight,’ Dustil replied, unhooking his lightsaber and taking a few steps out of the corridors. ‘Allows her to see things beyond the natural realm of regular sight, like through doors and walls.’
‘You impress me with your knowledge, young Jedi,’ Visas smiled. ‘Kelbourn, do you think your men would enjoy some sport?’
‘We’re Mandalorians, Lady Visas,’ the leader commented, teasingly. ‘We always enjoy a good battle.’
The group walked cautiously towards the tomb, greatly on edge with what seemed to be a very ingenious trap. No sooner had they passed a security terminal when they heard the first cries of an animal. The group seemed to suddenly be swarmed by bomas, but the creatures seemed different than before.
Usually, the creatures were easily taken care of and would succumb to the normal Force power, but even as Dustil and Visas unleashed theirs, the beasts didn’t seem to slow any and it was a much harder fight than it should’ve been.
Afterwards, fifteen of the beasts lay dead, with two members of their Mandalorian group dead next to them. Visas used her healing powers to help those that had been wounded, but it seemed the group wasn’t out of the woods yet. As soon as they had walked away from the carnage, another roar was heard, this time from one of two drexl beasts.
The group split off, a smaller portion each fighting a beast. Dustil and Lynsel fought off one, with Lynsel leading an offensive while Dustil tried to slow the creature down with various dark sided powers. It seemed like hours before both beasts were down, but again, they lost a large chunk of their fighting force.
From a group of about eleven warriors, they were now down to six.
‘There’s no way we can survive like this,’ Dustil panted.
‘We’ll have to,’ Lynsel countered. ‘There’s no way we can turn around and come back. What if we return and there’s more of these things to kill?’
‘The lieutenant is right,’ Visas replied, shaking her head. ‘We must move forward. If the Sith are indeed trying to raise Freedon Nadd, we don’t have the luxury of time to turn back and gather reinforcements.’
‘Agreed,’ Kelbourn said. ‘Forward then.’
The group remained on guard, though nothing seemed to happen once they headed up to the ramp to the entrance of the tomb. ‘The Force is strong through these doors,’ Visas whispered.
‘It’s stifling.’ Lynsel mumbled, causing Dustil to look at her curiously.
‘It’s the dark side,’ he answered.
‘Our mission should end here,’ Visas continued. ‘Regardless of an outcome.’
With that said, the group entered the tomb.
Again with caution, the group walked a narrow hallway, on guard to defend themselves if necessary. And again, they were met with a large door that easily slid open for them. Another corridor and another door was passed before they found themselves in a large chamber.
It was quiet, but the sounds of doors opening immediately put the group on guard once again. They heard grunts and a low roar from either of them and the sights that greeted them were not good.
To their left, was a large reptilian like creature, that had sharp claws on both hands and on its feet; it had long spikes that rested on its head and two long and pointy front fangs. To the right of them looked to be a man, but he had been horribly transfigured into the creature before them. He was red and stood at least seven feet tall; most importantly, he was mutated. A creature of genetics gone terribly wrong.
‘What the hell…’ Kelbourn whispered, looking at the red figure coming towards them, then glancing over his shoulder at the beast that came from behind.
‘I believe,’ Visas replied, igniting her lightsaber. ‘This was the trouble we were hoping to avoid.’
The battle was even fiercer than what they had faced outside. Neither of these creatures seemed to deter from Force powers and it left the Jedi in the group in a disadvantage. Lynsel, fed up with the evidence that nothing they seemed to be doing was working, quickly pulled Dustil behind her before throwing out a proton grenade at the large scaled beast.
The impact did seem to disorient the creature, allowing Dustil to strike it with his Force Lightening. That only seemed to make the beast madder than it already was. The two quickly ran for it, trying to lure the creature from the fight that was taking place with the red-skinned being.
The two ran towards the right-handed door and then doubled back, running past the creature, who continued to stumble towards the door. Realizing its prey was behind it, the creature turned, but his momentary lapse of judgment was all it took for Lynsel to produce a thermal detonator and toss it at the creature, destroying it and opening the door behind it.
Turning back to the second creature, she and Dustil help defeat it, but their numbers had again dwindled, leaving the four of them. However, Kelbourn was badly wounded and even Visas and Dustil’s healing powers weren’t sustaining him. They gave him two of the med-pacs they had, but suggested perhaps Kelbourn sit out this fight, to which the Mandalorian stubbornly agreed.
The trio went to investigate the right side, walking into a room that seemed to be devoid of anything except an ancient looking terminal. Dustil was the brave one to take a look at it, seeing that it would allow them to access the large double doors that stood at the end of the ramp out front. Activating it, he and the ladies returned to the outer chamber and headed down the ramp to enter the crux of Freedon Nadd’s tomb. When they entered, a ghastly sight greeted them.
Three beings stood in front of a tomb, their skins slightly darker than the large human turned creature had been, and they had small chin tuffs. They smiled at the three new comers, for a figure had arisen from behind them. He was a specter, but he was also very large, though his appearance could’ve been due to his armor, but he was a daunting figure to be sure.
‘Is it true?’ the ghost asked. ‘I have been raised to continue what I was denied?’ He looked around him, seeing the three dark cloaked figures bowing before him. ‘Ah, my followers.’ He grinned. ‘So afraid I was that you would haunt me in my life and here you are, bowing to me in death.’
Looking up, he spotted Visas, Dustil, and Lynsel. ‘Have you brought me something?’ he asked, tilting his head to the side. ‘Ah…Jedi and so strong in the Force are they.’ He chuckled, deeply. ‘Do not be afraid, my children. I ask that you join me for a great cause.’
‘We’ll never join you,’ Dustil stuttered, backing away from the scene as much as he dared.
Again, the specter chuckled. ‘I sense you have touched the dark side, young one,’ he whispered. ‘And your companion as well. Surely, you do not find comfort in the light, when you can have so much within the dark.’
The trio could only stare at the figure as he began laughing, slow at first, and then growing in volume and sound. It was all they could to run out of the chamber back in the previous one.
Kelbourn took one look at them and didn’t ask any questions, instead followed them outside, where Dustil immediately became sick over the side of the temple’s ramp before collapsing to the ground. ‘Do I want to ask what happened?’ the Mandalorian asked, nervously.
‘We have failed,’ Visas spat, doing her best to maintain her composure, but like Dustil, she too was deeply affected by the temple itself and their meeting with those inside. ‘Freedon Nadd has arisen.’