REVENGE OF THE SITH
Part VIII – Revenge of the Sith
The planet of Honoghr was a sacred planet, as far as though who lived on it were concerned. It was the home planet of the Noghri, a primitive humanoid species. They were vicious creatures, skilled in hand to hand combat because of the stealth they possessed.
Though small creatures, they had fangs and claws and an acute sense of smell. In the time of the Rakata Infinite Empire, these small creatures were slaves; however they evolved to hold their masters in awed reverence. A temple, left from the ancient days of the Rakata Empire, still stood on the surface of the planet and this was where Atton Rand now stood.
Atton’s task had been two fold — find the Noghri, the most brutal he could, and turn them to the Sith uprising and to kill all those that were opposed to the idea.
So far, part one of his job was done.
It was almost as if the clan, the Norose, were expecting him; perhaps they were, as they willingly listened to HK translate what it was that Atton wanted and what they would get out of it. The marauder wasn’t entirely comfortable at having the homicidal droid accompany him on this trip, but with the droid’s capability at languages, the former assassin had to admit having him along was a good thing.
It was also fortunate that the more aggressive Noghri just happened to be stationed within the sacred Rakata temple that had been built thousands of years ago when the empire had enslaved the planet. One of their Sith masters had told him about the Rakata — how they had also had a hold on the Sith planet of Ziost and how it was their technology behind the Star Forge that Revan and Malak had once again brought forth during the Jedi Civil War.
Atton remembered those days, his days as an assassin for Revan. He just had a hatred of Jedi then and it was only brought back when he joined forces with Ellis. He didn’t need to be a Jedi to see what the Jedi were – cowards, no muscle and all talk.
Philosophy this and Jedi Code that. Even thinking about the Jedi made his blood boil.
Well, no more. Their masters had told them of these ‘Lost Jedi’ and somehow it didn’t surprise him, but all he wanted to do was take every last one of them and put his lightsabers through their hearts.
It was power that coursed through him, he could feel it. Freedon Nadd had been teaching him, honing on his skills at avoiding Jedi and then killing them. The more he learned, the more he wanted the Order to still be around, just to get the practice in.
At this point, it wouldn’t matter. They were quickly gaining allies that would no doubt help in the destruction of the Republic and a new Republic would be formed, one where the strong were powerful and the weak died. That’s how the galaxy worked; survival of the fittest and something Atton had been doing all his life.
The Chief of the Norose had wanted the two of them to do a favor, a service if you will. The group had been slowly gathering wayward members, those that were disillusioned and wanting for power and battle. The Norose were a separate tribe from the rest of the planet and somehow, the others wanted peace, either away from the Republic or with the Republic.
They were weak, as the Chief replied and they threw back everything in the face of their honor, of their culture, and of their pride. In short, the Chief wanted these people taken care of. If a droid could smile, it was certainly the way HK had looked knowing he could go on a virtual killing spree.
“Gleeful Exclamation: It has been too long since I have engaged in the killing of a worthy meatbag.”
“I know what you mean,” Atton replied, the two of them coming to a short hill that overlooked a smaller village. The Chief had given precise directions on getting to the nearest village and who they would need to kill.
Of course, by some unspoken agreement, both assassins thought killing everything in sight would be in the long run. Below them, several Noghri walked about, unknowing the chaos that would befall them. The children played their little games, the women – who Atton taught were as equally as ugly as the men – talked about various topics. The two were surprised when they spotted what looked like an elder Rakata talking to a small child that was seemed to be a cross between the two species.
“Suggestion: The art of surprise would greatly increase the changes of these destitute individuals being slaughtered by our hand. Malicious proclamation: I am of course ready when you are.”
“Just back me up,” Atton whispered, his body shimmering away as he used the Force to cloak himself. From what he knew of the Noghri, they were not Force sensitive, so they wouldn’t sense him coming. The Rakata on the other hand, might. Creeping along the hill until he was on the ground level, he stalked his prey.
The elder seemed content to just stand outside of his hut, admiring the day that the Gods had brought them. He had come to the planet much by accident; he had belonged to the clan of the One — the one who had been bested and killed by the Jedi known as Revan. He had managed to escape the slaughter that had happened in the wake of the One’s death and he quickly made his way off-world.
He had never told anyone of his clan, but he had retained some of his intelligence before the warlike mindset had fully grabbed him. When he had landed on this planet, he had hoped to start what he had on his, this time peacefulness.
When he had arrived, he hadn’t been aware these primitives had still worshipped the Rakata and the empire they once had, but he was met by an intense fandom. But unfortunately, just like his world of Rakata Prime, the tribes were split and he had to constantly battle invaders from the Norose clan.
Sometimes his people would disappear, just like on his other planet, a very harsh reminder of his former life. If he could only make the Chief of the Norose understand, perhaps he wouldn’t be so against joining the Republic. His thoughts were silenced, however, when his head went flying from his shoulders, a clean cut by the humming of a red lightsaber.
There was pandemonium and death quickly followed. Those that had seen it with their own eyes still didn’t understand as they were cut down. A man had suddenly appeared behind their self appointed leader and dispatched his head from his body with one of his glowing sticks, then had used the other to cut down the child that had stood in shock at what he seen, slicing the boy right down the middle.
The tribesmen and women tried to run, but were cut down by a hail of bullets that accompanied the man dressed in black. Those that tried to fight back were horribly stopped in the attempt. The sounds that carried were that of screaming, crying, and the sounds of bodies hitting the ground. When it was over, the man in black grinned at the red metal body that walked calmly over the hill towards him.
One being, a small girl, still lived, though she was rapidly losing her battle. She could see the man’s eyes — cold, maniacal, and yellow in color. She, like the boy who had been stuck down, was part Rakata and Noghri, however she could feel the Force, however much of it was left in her.
And apparently, the man could feel it flow through her as well. He walked over to her, looking down at the eyes that were slowing clouding over. She didn’t know how nor would she ever learn the secret of how she managed to stay alive for so long, but she could see the man just looking at her. She asked with her eyes, pleaded that he spare her, let her live with her injuries.
Just when she thought the man understood, would let her go, she was looking through the barrel of a small blaster. She heard a click and knew no more.
If the added number of people onboard the Ebon Hawk was supposed to cause problems, it seemed as no one really paid that much attention. Mical and Bao had been welcomed aboard, if not in a very subdued way. The Jedi historian was given a tour of the ship made famous more times over than any other ship in the galaxy.
Bao found himself at home within the garage and working on giving little T3 a full scan with upgrades. As much as Revan loved tinkering with things, especially with the droids and the computer systems, he hadn’t been himself lately…
Not since they had left Khar Delba.
While everyone was just as worried about the former knight, it was his wife that saw him sinking into despair. Since their argument within Khoonda, Bastila hadn’t been able to speak to Revan. He seemed to be avoiding her, though he was truly avoiding all of the crew. He spent most of his time within the cargo hold, sitting in front of one of the foot lockers.
It was silly, really, the way her husband seemed to be hiding away from everyone. Not for the first time, Bastila wondered if maybe Revan was slipping to the dark side again and while she knew in her heart she could possibly bring him back – the way he did with her – she did have the small fear that she wouldn’t be able to do; that he was much stronger than she was.
Steeling herself for what she knew to be a fight, she made her way to the cargo hold. She wasn’t surprised to see him — sitting cross legged in front of one of the footlockers they kept supplies in. She leaned a shoulder against the door jam and just watched him, watched him for any signs of…well, what she didn’t know, but signs of something.
However, he didn’t stir or move, just sat there. Upon closer inspection, she could he was holding something, like a sword and he just kept turning it over and over in his hands. She knew that he had been a good judge of a weapon, before and after his fall.
The masters had commented that Revan was a master when it came to crafting lightsabers, even when he had returned as Jayden Korr, his skills at building a lightsaber hadn’t left him and he still took precision in every one that he made.
The same was true for any weapon; he would spend his time looking at one thing or another, examining it, seeing how it worked and making one of his own. So Bastila wasn’t surprised to see him examining this new weapon; she was however slightly disturbed to note he hadn’t noticed her presence yet, even if they hadn’t been speaking to one another.
“Is that toy more entertaining than me?” she quipped, causing him to turn around quickly and look at her.
“You thought I was someone else?” she asked, taking a few steps into the room. The fact that he quickly put the sword away, locking the footlocker along with it, didn’t escape her notice. “And what kind of treasures are you hiding in there?”
Revan opened his mouth several times, trying to tell her something, but in the end he settled for, “Just…just a memento. Nothing important, I’m afraid.”
“As am I,” she mumbled. She looked at him, seeing his slight confusion written all over his face. “You’ve been hiding away in here for weeks,” she continued, placing a hand on his arm. “I’ve been terribly worried about you; everyone has.”
The young man’s shoulders seemed to slump and he looked down at the ground for a few minutes. “Jolee’s death hurt us too, my love,” Bastila whispered, bridging the gap between them. “But you can’t lose yourself within the pain of it all. How are we supposed to stop this menace if you are not yourself? We need you, Revan. I need you.”
Revan let out a huge sigh, the pain he had been feeling for the last few weeks seemingly rolling off his shoulders. He knew he had been pushing people away, especially Bastila and Carth, but he couldn’t help.
He couldn’t shake the feeling this was his fault – his fault for leading Ellis into the Sith and then falling to it himself. He hadn’t dared told Bastila his dreams, his memories of his former life. They were gruesome and horrifying and sometimes he had to stop himself from screaming out loud at the frightening scenes that played out in his mind.
The last few weeks had been so hard for him – trying to grip with Jolee’s murder and then the fact that Ellis had somehow betrayed him didn’t sit well with him either.
He was about to say something, when he felt a presence in the room with them. Though it was faint, he was suddenly alert. Removing one lightsaber and igniting it, he looked around, watching for the slightest movement. Bastila watched him in amused silence, raising one slim eyebrow as she did. “Looking for something?” she asked.
“Don’t you feel it?” he whispered. “There’s someone in here with us. They’re faint, but I can still sense them. Faint, but powerful.”
“That’s what I think too.”
Turning a backward glance at her, he asked, “Aren’t you going to do something? How do we know assassins haven’t boarded the ship? They could be stealthed.” He looked at her for a moment, before he muttered, “Wait a minute…” He stared at her, his face scrunched up in confusion.
“You truly do look like a gizka like that,” she joked.
“It’s coming from you,” he mumbled, shaking his head and taking tentative steps towards her. “Bastila?”
Bastila Shan wasn’t the type of woman to cry. She truly never got over emotional, even when she was a child. She may have pouted or huffed when she didn’t get her way, but one could never accuse her of being overly emotional.
Which is why she surprised herself when she felt tears at the corner of her eyes. “Do you see why I can’t let you go?” she whispered. “Why I can’t watch you do this to yourself anymore? I need you; we both need you.”
Revan was speechless, his eyes going wide and immediately drifting to his wife’s abdomen. “Bas?” he choked out. His mind couldn’t put together exactly what was going on, but her words just repeated themselves to him, through his brain.
We both need you.
Slowly, he reached out, placing a hand on her stomach. Then he could feel it, truly could feel the bundle of power that nestled there, still faint, but there none the less. Revan just stared at the position of his hand before looking up at Bastila, with a large grin on his face.
It had been fairly quiet within the halls of the Ebon Hawk, the crew sitting down to a late dinner. All of a sudden, the cry of “Yes!” could be heard drifting from the cargo bay followed by giggling and then laughter.
The sleeping arrangements on the Hawk made for quite a show when it was time for bed. No one wanted to take the room that Jolee had called home for the short time he was on the ship, making the ship seem even smaller. It was also discovered that certain… sleeping arrangements had been put in place that were a bit embarrassing when learned.
In order to save face, Mission and Lynsel offered to take the starboard dorm, while the Onasis took the port dorm; Bao offered to stay within the garage or the engine, if not to check on the ship every few minutes; Mical wanted the med bay, but was quickly voted down by the uncomfortable silence that stretch when he suggested it. He quickly decided to use a secondary room, while Bastila and Revan took the cargo hold.
For the moment, Revan had told the crew he couldn’t think of anything to do other than protect Mical and Bao. He then told them that the Senate had declined to get involved with their ‘mission’ as it were and that they so far were alone when it came to finding and defeating the Sith.
Despite how Carth and Lynsel tried to cheer him up – “I’m an Admiral. There’s no way I wouldn’t send for people.” – Revan once again felt the signs of despair and fear creep into him. The only joy he took now was in the fact that he was going to be a father, that the future he had seen would come true.
He would see to that.
But first, he needed to stop Ellis and the Sith and the more he thought about it, the more his thoughts trailed to the sword he had picked up in Yavin 4. He had been training with it recently; a hapless attempt at telling himself he was just brushing up on sword technique, in case he needed to use something other than a lightsaber.
But in his heart, he knew. He had studied that sword since finding it again and he could feel the power it held. Looking at the blade, he knew the metal inside was made of cortosis, a brittle and rare material that would resistant against any lightsaber and Revan could feel the tendrils of the dark side within its crafted handle and blade.
He would use this sword to kill Ellis, he knew it. And that’s where his problem lie – though somewhere in his heart, his mind, he knew he would be killing a friend, his overall sense of revenge was starting to override the small voice.
He wanted Ellis’ death and he wanted it as painful and horrific as Jolee’s had been. He tried remembering his apprentices, if they would stand against him, but he imagined his only true threat was Ellis himself and once he was gone, the True Sith would scramble perhaps. But again, he couldn’t afford that. He would need to have them destroyed. It really was the only way to ensure the Republic could stand up again.
It was the only way.
Needless to say, Revan had a restless sleep, his mind going a mile a minute as he thought over all the things he needed to. His night was spent tossing and turning, mumbling softly in his sleep of the horrors he had done.
He thought he was dreaming when he heard a scream in the background and then he felt it — as though ice and fire were thrown at him all at once. It was painful, feeling the way he did and only after he heard the commotion did he realize what was happening. At that point, his eyes opened and he felt as though he had no breathe left in his lungs.
No…oh Force, no.
Next to him, Bastila lay cuddled under the blankets, sobbing. This was new to her, this sensation, though even in the Mandalorian and Jedi Civil War, she had never felt anything so hard. When Taris had been destroyed by Malak, she had felt close to this, but for some reason this feeling was amplified. She knew what had caused it — the death of many people at the same time. What had Darth Trayun done? Blown up a planet? Several planets? She didn’t know and she didn’t think she wanted to know.
Revan stumbled out of the mat they had been using, standing on wobbly legs. He felt ill, very ill, and he knew that wasn’t good. Making his way to the main hold, he saw the rest of the crew standing there, feeling as he did.
He saw Dustil hunched over, probably experiencing this for the first time, the pain of loss nearly too much to bear. Mission stood next to him, rubbing his back as he dry heaved into a nearby bucket. Carth and Lynsel weren’t as bad, but they seemed to be a little green around the edges, their feelings more to the confusion of what had just happened. The same was true with Bao and Mical, who were looking at him in puzzlement.
“What the hell happened?” Carth exclaimed. “Everything was quiet and the next thing I know, I hear screaming! Is Bastila okay? Why is Dustil so sick?”
“Something really bad just happened,” Mission whispered, looking up at Revan.
“The Force…” the former lord began, before shaking his head. “Something bad has happened, yes, but I don’t know what. All I know is people have died. A lot of people.”
“How do you know that?” Lynsel asked.
“The Force flows through everything,” Mical said, taking on his role as historian. “It’s possible for those very strong in the Force to feel when the something has changed the Force in some way.”
Revan again shook his head. “Ellis, what have you done?”