REVENGE OF THE SITH
Part XI – Coming Home
It was going into the start of dawn by the time Mandalore made his way into a regal suite of one of the local Coruscanti hotels. The Supreme Chancellor had been adamant that those heroes that had returned to Core World space after their fight with the Sith were treated like first class royalty.
Canderous Ordo was not a fancy man by any means, but after the physical and mental strain he’d put himself through against the True Sith, all he wanted now was to fall into bed.
And he wanted to make sure he was lying next to his woman when he did.
While he had thought about staying aboard the Sojourn and their travels to Telos, Canderous knew his heart wanted to see Visas and make sure she was okay. He could easily ask Revan how things were via comm., but he wouldn’t know about Visas and he wanted to see for himself if she was alright. So as soon as his transport landed on the docks of Coruscant, he immediately began asking his men where Visas Marr was.
He wouldn’t be the leader of his people if he just left his own woman alone. Canderous wasn’t stupid to think that Visas couldn’t handle her own – he meant what he told her – but he had this intense protectiveness he didn’t even know he possessed when in her presence.
All he wanted was to be near her, especially after this.
That’s how he found himself in an affluent part of Coruscant, headed for the room he was told Visas would be in. He knew it was early, but he had a feeling she would be awake, maybe awaiting him (or so he hoped), but he knew she would be up at this time. He knew those that saw him looked at him strangely as he passed; they in their business clothes and he wearing his bounty hunter garb. It didn’t bother him, though he thought a few people may have remembered him from the Star Forge battle.
Her room was in a private section of the hotel, one usually reserved for members of the government. Canderous had to admit the Chancellor was giving them a slice of the good life, perhaps a first in thank yous for what they had done for the Republic and the galaxy. He found her quarters easily enough, the two armed Mandalorian guards outside her door a clear sign. He nodded to them both, grateful that these were two within his own circle of confidential soldiers or else he may have had a harder time getting in.
Visas wasn’t alarmed when the door opened, revealing the man her thoughts had just recently turned to. Smiling, she turned to the console, where she was giving an update to Bao-Dur. “I take it from your smile, breakfast has arrived,” jibbed the Iridonian.
The Miraluka chuckled, throwing a glance at Canderous as he lounged on her sofa. “You could say that,” she retorted. “I’ll contact you later to see how things are going.”
“All right,” he replied. “Happy breakfast.” He closed the communication as she turned to her companion.
“Have you slept?”
“I’ve had some sleep,” she whispered, walking towards the sofa and standing over him. “And you? I’ve never known you to be up so early.”
“Not unless it concerns you,” he said, huskily, pulling her to him. They stayed that way for a moment, she in his lap, his arms around her. “Was everything a success?”
Visas nodded against his neck. “Kelbourn and Braylor both reported there were only minor injuries,” she replied. “I can sense your sadness and anger, Canderous. Did we lose many?”
“Too many,” he whispered, gruffly, hugging her tightly. “Too many to count.”
Canderous was not an overly emotional man, most Mandalorians weren’t, but the knowledge of losing so many of his men took a toll on him. And not just his men – he had seen his share of war in his days, but this seemed to go beyond what he had ever seen. The True Sith were relentless, bombarding them all with horrible illusions.
Wanting to see Visas safe and sound on Coruscant wasn’t his only reason for rushing out there. It was almost as if the Sith could see into their souls, see their thoughts and emotions. That proved to be a turning point for the enemy, as they targeted the people they loved most and as Mandalore, he was not spared that one bit.
“We will honor them,” Visas responded softly. “For the heroes they are.”
Mandalore nodded, turning his head to gaze at her. “Atton is dead.”
“No!” she murmured quietly. “How?”
“The masters sent one of their servants to their ship,” he replied. “Slaughtered the entire crew. Revan said it looked as though he fought for his life.”
Visas didn’t know what to say. While she had never been close to Atton, he was a crewmate and from what she had seen and heard, he had done his best to keep Brianna safe throughout the separation from Ellis.
“Ellis?” she asked. “And Brianna? How are they?”
“I don’t know,” he responded. “When I left, they were both on the Sojourn, heading towards Telos. Ellis…he was unconscious and Brianna looked like she would burst any minute. I told Revan to contact me if anything…”
The console interrupted the couple’s thoughts and cuddling. Visas stood, hurrying over to answer and was a little surprised to see Revan on the other end. “We were just talking about you,” she said.
“All good, I hope,” came his retort. “And if by ‘we’ you mean Canderous and yourself, then I’ve contacted the right person. I wanted to give you an update on things.”
At Visas’ nod, Revan continued.
“I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Atton Rand or Darth Casus, is dead. I understand he was a member of your crew.”
“He was,” Visas whispered. “He was arrogant and irritable, but he had a good heart. In the end of things.”
Revan nodded, slowly. “Indeed,” he said. Clearing his throat, he began again. “Brianna is fine,” he said. “Despite months with the Sith and certainly resisting any type of interference, doctors say no lasting effects. They want to monitor her and keep her just to be safe, but…she’ll be good.”
“Did she have her baby?”
Again, the former knight nodded. “Twins,” he replied. “Boy and a girl. Again, despite being a month early, they’re fighting. They’re being monitored, but doctors say it looks good.” He went silent, as if thinking on how to broach the subject. “As for Ellis…”
“Is he alright?” Visas asked, worriedly. Canderous couldn’t help raise at eyebrow.
“Physically, he’s…fine,” Revan murmured. “Emotionally though…I…I don’t know. I’m having doctors take a look at him. Unfortunately, he’s been in and out of conscious for hours now. Brianna’s sleeping too and I’m not about to ask for help in her condition. Doc says all we can do is wait.”
Visas told him of the Mandalorian losses, adding that there would be a ceremony for those that died.
“They will honored,” she said. “On Dxun, on their home. And that goes for Atton too. He belongs with us; he didn’t have anyone else. But only when Ellis and Brianna are able. They need to be there.”
Once again, Revan nodded his understanding, saying he would let them know of any change before closing the connection. Turning to face her mate, she couldn’t help but feel as though she had made a misstep somewhere.
“You’re quite concerned over our little Sith lord.”
“And you’re jealous.”
Canderous chuckled. “I see many things, Visas Marr, from under the Mandalore helmet,” he retorted. “It doesn’t take the Force to know you loved him.”
“Once,” she whispered, taking a few steps towards him. “I knew even as I told him that his heart did not belong to me. Isn’t it obvious, Canderous? With the birth of his children?”
Taking another step until she stood directly before him, she asked, “Have I overstepped my bounds? I know…I shouldn’t have assumed you wanted Atton with…or that we should wait. They…they’re your people.”
“Our people,” he stressed. “I need a strong woman, Visas, able to make decisions in my stead. I want someone who can arrange for things, ones that correlate to the Mandalorian people. You may not be Mandalorian by blood, but you’re the type of woman I want to raise my sons and daughters.”
“What’re you saying?” she whispered, reaching out to stroke a bearded cheek.
“You don’t have to ask.”
“But I am,” he growled, pulling her closer. “Give me an answer.”
The young woman giggled, feeling his stubble rub under her chin as he nibbled her neck.
“Yes, cyare,” she laughed. “Of course, you know that.” She hugged him tightly, kissing his temple, then his ear, and cheek. “Then you agree with my thoughts?” she asked. “About Atton?”
“I agree with everything, cyar’ika,” he murmured. “He died heroically in battle, trying to keep the Sith away from his master’s wife. He will be honored, with everyone else. And you’re right – Ellis and Brianna need to be there for him. And everyone else. We’ll mourn all those who’ve died and we’ll honor them as the warriors they were.”
She was warm and comfortable. It had been so long since she’d been able to dream – about the life she would have with her children and her husband. For so long, her dreams had been drenched with horrific images and there were many times when she had given up hope. But now…now it seemed she was somewhere safe; able to dream peacefully about how she would change her life before it was too late.
All too soon, she awoke.
Brianna let out a small groan, one that was both frustration and pain. Her body hurt, but through the pain she was able to discern that she wasn’t dreaming about her surroundings. She was indeed somewhere warm – a bed, she realized – with sheets covering her and a soft mattress underneath. That was when her panic also kicked in.
Where was she? And where was Ellis? She had the oddest dream, that they had escaped the Sith, that Revan had indeed shown up and helped them escape the Sith. But that had to be wrong, didn’t it? Had they found them and then…oh Force!
“My baby…” she moaned, turning her head from side to side. They took her or him; they took her child from her! The only reminder she had of Ellis and their marriage.
“Shh,” came a whisper. Brianna tried to open her eyes, but the lights were so bright. Whoever was with her, stood to her left and the young woman made a move to push away the stranger with the Force.
“You really shouldn’t be doing that,” said the stranger, who Brianna now knew to be female. How many women were in the Sith? “The doctor thinks you’re still not ready for things like that. You need to keep up your strength.”
“What’ve you done with her?” Brianna asked, weakly.
“My baby!” exclaimed the woman. “I told you I wouldn’t let her into the Sith and you’ve taken her!”
“Brianna, calm yourself,” the stranger replied, placing a hand on the patient’s shoulder. “Your children are fine! You’re in a hospital on Telos. You went into premature labor and delivered. The doctor says you’re malnourished and you’ll need to stay. The same is true with your children. They are about a month early, but the staff says they are doing quite fine. They’re both trying to make their ideal birth weight.”
Brianna stopped struggling, letting this information sink in. She was on Telos? How did she get there?
“Is there anything I can get you?”
“The…the lights,” she murmured. “They’re so bright.”
She heard movement and then a confirmation for her to open her eyes. Brianna opened them slowly, taking in her scenery, and quickly thinking of a way to escape in case this was a trick. She saw four walls of white and medical equipment all around. Turning to her obvious caretaker, she was able to make out the shape of the womanly stranger and once her vision cleared, she recognized her.
“You’re…you’re Bastila Shan.”
“We’ve met,” Bastila said, wryly. “Do you remember?”
Brianna nodded slowly. “You said we were on Telos,” she began. “How did I get here?”
“Revan brought you back when we left Ziost.”
“Then it wasn’t a dream,” Brianna murmured. “The Sith? They’re destroyed?”
“Well,” Bastila started. “You know as well as I that’s probably not true. ‘A true Sith never dies’ as they say. But for now, yes. We’ve destroyed the Sith.”
Again, Brianna lay and thought of what the lady Jedi told her. Their nightmare was over. “And you say my baby is alright?”
“They both are.” At the mother’s confused look, Bastila elaborated. “You’ve had twins, a boy and a girl. As I said, they were born early, but the doctors and staff say they are fighting. All three of you will have to spend some time here, however, for a full evaluation.”
The former Sith lady again nodded her understanding. For the moment, everything seemed to be fine. She and her children would be safe here, right? Immediately, her thoughts turned to her husband. “Ellis?” she asked, fearfully. “Is he here? Is he well?”
For the first time since her waking, Bastila was silent and seemed somewhat fidgety, as though she knew something she didn’t want Brianna to know.
“Perhaps…” the other woman replied. “Perhaps it would be better if Revan explained it to you.”
Brianna gulped. “Then he’s…” she couldn’t even finish the sentence.
“No,” Bastila started. “Don’t think that. He’s fine. Well…for the moment.”
“What do you mean?”
I hope you’re on your way.
Yes, darling. Why? Problems?
Well, she’s asking about her husband. I’m not sure what to tell her. I told her it would be better to hear it from you.
Right. I’m nearly there.
“There’s obviously something you’re not telling me,” Brianna insisted. “If my husband isn’t dead, then where is he? And when can I see him?”
“Why don’t I give you a little more information on the subject?” Revan said, walking through the door.
“I’ll leave you to it,” Bastila replied, giving Revan a kiss on the cheek, and exiting the room.
Revan smiled at the young woman. He couldn’t help but feel nostalgia when looking at her; he could definitely see Arren Kae in her features and her eyes. “How’re you feeling?” he asked.
“I’m fine,” she replied, curtly. “Though I’d be better if I knew where my husband was.”
“Is there a reason your wife couldn’t tell me that?”
“Things are…complicated,” Revan mumbled.
“How so?” Brianna asked, fearfully.
“He’s fine,” Revan reassured her. “Physically, he’s fine. The doctor said he had a slight concussion from that bump on the head. However, as I said, there are…issues. Mental and emotional issues.” Brianna swallowed before she nodded for him to continue. “How much do you know about the dark side of the Force?”
“From experience?” she retorted. “I can tell you it hasn’t brought my family any peace of mind.”
“No doubt, I’m sure,” Revan seconded. “But I mean about the…unfortunate side effects that might occur.”
“There are side effects to the Force?”
“Surely you’ve noticed the outward appearance,” he stated. “Some are able to control it better. That’s why Bastila was so surprised when she saw my face on my flagship all those years ago. I had control over it. I think you may not have been fully taken by the dark side, that you still felt the light and you fought to maintain it. Ellis, like so many others, wasn’t…so lucky. There is more to just appearance that the dark side can cause. One of the most…troubling…is the ability to lose one’s mind.”
The young woman looked at Revan in shock. “Are you telling me that my husband…that he’s…”
“I’m saying,” stressed the knight. “That Ellis is going through…an emotional downward spiral. I’m afraid that his last usage of the dark side had some reverse effect on him. Or it could be due to the time he was being possessed by Exar Kun. The truth is, I don’t know. I have a specialist who plans to come in tomorrow in order to observe him. In the meantime, he’s being heavily sedated.”
Again, Brianna sat and absorbed this information. Ellis may lose his mind? Would he be this way forever?
“Is there anything that can be done?” she whispered.
“As I said,” Revan replied. “I don’t know. I hope there is and certainly, Brianna, you must believe that I will try to do everything I can to help.”
She nodded slowly. “I’d…I’d like to be alone now,” she murmured. “I’m still very tired.”
“Of course,” Revan replied. “I’ll take my leave. If you need anything, Bastila will be by later. The staff will also come if you summon them.”
Brianna nodded her thanks, more than anything wishing Revan would leave faster than he currently was. He gave her one last look before leaving through the door and closing it behind him.
The images were rushed and hard to concentrate on. There were flashes of events, disjointed, out of focus…it was so hard to understand them. He could see himself sometimes; other times he relived his life. Most of the time, he saw himself at the start of the Mandalorian War, when he had been a young talented Jedi. He had thought he was an up and coming padawan, having just been knighted shortly after his nineteenth birthday. He had known Revan and Malak for a while, perhaps in passing, but as he got older, he had Revan for an instructor. Revan had told him that he had talent and could one day be a great Jedi Master, especially when it came to teaching.
He seemed to have a way with people, they wanted to be near him and learn from him and Revan had said that was a gift. The Jedi knight turned master had told the younger man he had overheard Master Vrook speaking to Master Vandar one day, that Vrook thought he was dangerous because he seemed to reach the younger students, that he wasn’t even a decent Jedi, but evil incarnate in disguise. That had shocked him. No one really liked Vrook to begin with, but to think the elder master was actually talk about him behind his back, especially to the point of calling him evil…well…that was rude. Revan had told him not to listen to anything Vrook said.
“He’s just a contemptuous old man,” he chuckled. “I think he’s just jealous because you’re a student of Atris and Kavar.”
“But I’m your student as well, aren’t I, Master Revan?” he asked, timidly.
Revan had patted him on the shoulder. “Do not be ashamed to have so many masters, Ellis,” he said. “A Jedi should never stop learning, should never stop trying to learn as much as possible about our world and universe. It does a Jedi credit. That’s how Vandar is as wise as he is. I’ve heard good things about you, Ellis. Don’t let Vrook’s harsh words affect you.”
It was the time of the Mandalorians invasion of Republic space that young Ellis Yoly felt his life change. He didn’t have qualms about joining Revan and Malak. He had tried discussing it with his master, Atris, but she had tuned him out, stating that what they were doing would lead to their downfall and that they would succumb to the dark side.
“So helping the Republic like we’ve been charged to do is a path to the dark side?” he had exclaimed. “You’re pathetic. You and the rest of the masters on the council.”
“How dare you!”
“How dare you!” he shouted back. “How dare you sit on the almighty council while people are dying and then tell us we’re in the wrong for wanting to help!” He took some deep breaths, trying to calm his emotions as he had been taught. “Master…can you not see what’s happening?” he asked. “The Republic is calling for aid. How can we be Jedi if we do not answer and come to their defense?”
The white haired woman had sighed. The way he looked at her, eyes pleading with her to understand, Atris nearly caved to him. The feelings she had been having for him these last few months were making themselves known at the moment, knowing that if she agreed with him, perhaps he would see her more than just his master and teacher. As soon as the thought entered her mind, she dismissed it harshly.
She was not a giggling teenager!
She was a master on the Jedi Council and what Ellis was proposing was akin to mutiny. This was Revan’s influence, she could tell. Looking at him, she stated, “If Revan is your new master now, perhaps you thought to have told me in a better manner. Until then, I am your master and I am forbidding you from doing his dirty work. Mark my words, padawan, he will lead you to the dark side.”
Ellis stared at the woman. While he thought she was an alright master, he rather enjoyed his studies more with Master Kavar and Master Revan. “I can only wish Revan was my master,” he sneered. “The last time I looked, you were my teacher, not my mother. I am a grown man, Atris, not the little boy you’ve tried to convert from day one. If you and the council are such cowards, so be it. However, the rest of us will be helping those we’ve been sworn to protect.”
That was the last time he saw her, at least until Revan sent him back to Dantooine for judgment. She had sat in her chair, all of them, looking at him in contempt and scorn. They then proclaimed him a Jedi no more, convinced he was on the dark side. At the time, perhaps he was; he had seen so much death, so much destruction.
He felt empty, as though his soul was devoid of any feeling or emotion. It would be ten years later that he would learn that Kavar and Zek-El had been concerned for him, even as they sent him away. How ironic. They had thought him on the dark side then, only for him to return as a dark lord of the Sith. His time away had made him think long and hard about their decision that day and the decision of Revan and Malak.
And he would make them pay…
It had been several weeks since Revan had led the offensive to destroy the Sith and several weeks since he had brought back an emotionally distraught Darth Trayun and a Lady Salus who had gone into labor. Since then, Brianna Yoly had given birth to twins who were stable, if not outright healthy despite their mother’s captivity, while her husband Ellis had to be constantly sedated due to his frequent outbursts against the staff.
Revan couldn’t begin to imagine what was going on in Ellis’ mind, but he could tell it wasn’t pleasant in any means. He had been called several times by hospital staff due to Ellis’ erratic behavior until he had used the Force once again to place the younger man in a deep slumber.
Revan had been at the young dark lord’s bedside just about every day, while Bastila had attended to Brianna. He had tried keeping everyone appraised of the situation, well as best as he knew it. He had rethought his position of having an expert doctor come to check on Ellis; this was a Jedi matter, he knew that.
He had contacted the Supreme Chancellor on Coruscant, asking him if he could send out a coded message. He had hoped Master Dorril was still on the planet and that the coded message would reach him. He didn’t know where the Bothan master had gone after their last encounter, but he hoped he was somewhere safe at least.
In the meantime, he watched over Ellis.
He tried reassuring the man’s wife that he would recover and that hope was not lost. Revan smiled slightly; his own wife had taken the younger woman under her wing, so to speak. Perhaps the fact that Brianna had just given birth when Bastila was still with child made a bond between the two, he didn’t truly know, only that Bastila had decided that no one got to see Brianna Yoly without her strict say so.
He was proud to have such a wife – changed from the arrogant, uppity puppet of the Jedi to the strong, confident woman who was his wife and partner and who would bear his children. Things were going so well for him, for all his friends it seemed. Carth and Lynsel seemed to be starting something, he finally could see the true nature of the relationship between Canderous and Visas Marr, even Dustil Onasi had Mission as his love interest.
Maybe that’s why he sat at Ellis’ bedside for weeks, made sure the young man was comfortable when he woke randomly in a state of panic…he owed Ellis the chance that he had been given. He had lead the younger man down the path of the dark side, it was only fair that he try to lead him back to the side of the light.
He wouldn’t let Ellis turn into Malak or go the way Malak did, that was evident when he brought the young man back. Revan hadn’t been able to save his best friend…he couldn’t fail his former student and friend either.
For the aforementioned younger man, his thoughts were plagued by visions and dreams that he couldn’t escape. He saw death all around him, all of it caused by him. He saw betrayal, he saw lies, his saw hopelessness, desperation…he saw death as it lived and breathed. He was death.
In his being, in his soul, was the power to bring about the destruction of the entire Jedi Order – a task that had been so rudimentarily simple, it was simply too easy. He had brought about the downfall of the Exchange and their leaders. He had converted most of his shipmates to dark sided apprentices and those that resisted were too close to him to show their weakness.
The galaxy should’ve been his.
But in the end, only death remained and had taken him to its depths. His plans undone by his wife, his dreams and plots ruined by his former friends and crewmates, his very person altered by what he now knew. He wasn’t a Jedi; he had never been a Jedi. He had been tolerated, this he knew was true. He had no gifts that were being sought after, no extraordinary powers that caused the masters to fear him.
He was death and he would bring death to the Force and to all living things. He understood that now. Oh, what a fool he must’ve been! So keen to learn from Master Atris, so willing to perch by the knee of Kavar…the worship he had for Revan and Malak. How they must’ve despised him, only tolerated him.
And his crewmates…how pathetic they must’ve seen him. Had they known he controlled them? That it was his presence that caused them to react? Atton, Visas, Canderous…had they tried to soothe him with their words? And Brianna…his beautiful Bria…had she deceived him as well? Was she just tolerating him, their marriage? Why did it matter?! She was dead! And Atton was dead! And if the fates were kind, he was also dead. How stupid…how naïve he had been…
The pain in his skull was only slightly throbbing when Ellis opened his eyes as a calmer man. His thoughts betrayed him, only in his heart did he know that he was well and alive somewhere. He was in a room, he knew that, and at first, he thought perhaps he dreamed the whole thing.
He felt like his younger self, when he would awaken in the Jedi Enclave and wonder if he had been dreaming that he was a Jedi. But he knew from looking slightly around now that this was not his room within the Enclave and that it had been a long time since he had been a Jedi…he was a Sith now, wasn’t he?
“I see you’re awake.”
Ellis turned his head, wincing as the throbbing only grew stronger. “Careful,” continued the voice. “You’ve had some head trauma. Your concussion grew into something much worse over the first week. I can see by your expression, you’re still experiencing pain. There are some pills in the cup to your left you’ll need to take. You’ll have a few headaches for a while.”
“Yes, Ellis,” the voice replied. “You are very much alive, despite your injuries.”
“And I suppose I have you to thank for my being here,” he said, snidely.
Revan frowned at the younger man. “I spared you because I thought you might want to see your children grow up,” he growled.
“What’re you talking about?” Ellis muttered. “My wife and child are dead. I’ve killed them and you should’ve let me die!”
“Your wife and children are perfectly safe!” Revan exclaimed. He watched as Ellis’ face contorted in pain for a moment and then confusion.
“Yes, Ellis,” he said. “You’re on Telos, within their medical facility. Brianna went into labor, but she is fine. She delivered a set of twins, a boy and a girl and they are also safe and being treated down the hall from her. My wife is with her now and never lets anyone near unless they have permission from her or myself.”
“And she’s alright?”
“She’s fine,” Revan whispered. “A bit malnourished when she came, but she’s doing well. And asking for you. You may see her, if you wish.”
“Really, Ellis?” asked the former knight. “It’s one thing when you’re a total ass to me, but your wife? And I suppose you won’t see your children either.”
“You don’t understand…”
“I understand more than you give me credit for.” The two stayed in silence until Revan sighed and headed for the door. “I never thought I would regret saving someone’s life,” came his whisper. “Especially one of my friends. But through it all, Ellis, you have proven me wrong time and time again. You’ve done something I thought only the Jedi Order and its masters were capable of and that’s making me doubt the decisions I’ve made and make me question who my friends truly are.”
“You forget what you and I are products of,” Ellis mumbled. “We have been betrayed and turned against. I don’t trust anyone.”
“If my wife lives, as you say,” the young man continued. “She is better off in the knowledge that I lay here dying, as I am better off with being dead.”
“I’ll come back when you’re a bit more full of sunshine.” With that, Revan left the former Sith Lord alone with his dreary thoughts.
Dustil was restless.
While he had been requested by the Supreme Chancellor to return to Coruscant, he elected to take a small freighter towards Telos. Admiral Dodonna had given him the permission, as well as the ship, in order to get word on his father. He felt fine – well as fine as one could be after they had gone through a war – but he was well enough to know that he needed to speak with his father first.
It had been such an experience, being in a war. All those years he had resented his father for leaving, for going off and leaving him and his mother alone for the sake of the galaxy…and now he understood. Even as a teenager, he had heard the stories of the Sith and the Mandalorians, but he never really understood what everything was all about.
He was there…he had been there, in the thick of things, had faced the enemy and had actually lived through it all. The images the Sith had put into his head had been horrible – of his mother, his father, Mission…that was the other reason he needed to get to Telos as soon as possible. He knew Mission was there safe with Mical, but that didn’t stop his sense of urgency.
The young man began his trip as soon as the Mercer left the Unknown Regions. It would only take a few hours to enter Telosian space, but Dustil wanted the trip to be as fast as possible. The trip however gave him time to think of everything that happened to him. It was so odd that he had gone from angry teenager to Sith recruit to Jedi padawan to current war survivor. He knew as a boy he never imagined the situation he was in now, returning from a battle in order to check on his father.
That was another issue – his father. They had gotten closer since he left Korriban and went to become a Jedi. He had spent nearly a year on the moon of Dxun helping Mandalore and his people, keeping Queen Talia from the eyes of her cousin and his people. His life for the last few years had been not at all as he imagined and perhaps for the better.
Dustil knew that if he had continued his life in the Sith, he may have been on the receiving end of the carnage earlier. He had helped the Mandalorians and the Onderonians; had helped the Onderonian queen regain her health and her throne; had become a Jedi and had not one, but two masters; mostly importantly, he had learned more about his father and even his mother and had fallen in love hard with a little blue Twi’lek.
Dustil piloted the small ship in silence, trying to occupy his mind with Jedi calmness. He meant what he told Bastila – that he hoped to continue his training, if she was willing to teach him. He wasn’t sure where the Jedi Order stood now, with most of the Jedi dead or gone.
At the moment, he only knew of Revan and Bastila, though he was aware that there were a few people had been trained; he just didn’t know if they would reform an order or not. He wondered what he would do, if there wasn’t an order. Could he continue using his Force powers? Would he make a home for himself on Onderon or Dxun? Would Mission want to stay with him?
His thoughts ended up carrying him all the way into Telosian space, where he made the request for clearance. He put in a call to his father, but received no response. He did his best not to panic about that; it was obviously late and Carth was probably asleep. There was nothing to worry about. The young man put in a call instead to the Ithorian compound, where he knew Mical and Mission to be. A protocol droid answered with a friendly disposition.
“I’m trying to get a hold of either Moza or Chodo Habat,” Dustil began. “A few friends of mine were sent to talk to them. Mission Vao and a man by the name of Mical?”
“Yes,” the droid. “They were here earlier and have been assigned quarters nearby. Would you like me to connect you?”
“If that’s possible,” Dustil said, hopefully.
Dustil waited for awhile, wondering if he was calling too late. It took another ten minutes before the tired face of Mical. “Sorry for waking you,” the younger man apologized.
“It’s no trouble,” Mical mumbled. “How can I help you, Mr. Onasi?”
“You can probably start by calling me Dustil,” the young man chuckled. “I wanted to let you know that I should be landing in Telos in the hour. I…um…wanted to let…let Mission know. If…you could tell her for me.”
The blonde smiled. “I shall tell her,” he whispered. “I can only hope that with your message, everything has gone to plan?”
Dustil nodded. “The Sith are gone,” he said. “Well, for the moment. You never know when another insurgence could happen.”
“Were there many casualties?”
The young Jedi shrugged. “I’m not sure,” he whispered. “I know we lost some people on the planet, but I don’t know about the air support. I…I tried calling my Dad, but…”
“I’m sure he’s fine,” Mical reassured. “It is very late after all. He may be asleep.”
Dustil nodded once more. “You’re right, of course,” he said. “Again, I’m sorry for waking you.”
“I will let Mission know you’re all right.”
The younger man closed the connection, a feeling of warmth spreading through him. At least he knew Mission was safe; that only left his father. He tried having faith in Mical and that of the Force – he would know if anything had happened to Carth, he would know it. For now, he just had to trust that people and things had come out of this battle alright and undamaged.
He needed to count on that.
The trip home had been as he had expected. There were some rumors abound, that the Republic had gone to war with an ancient race of the Sith and that the soldiers had won. While that shock him a little, it didn’t deter him. He was, after all, Robert Belyn, Jr., right hand to the Supreme Chancellor, not to mention his only son.
He already had the explanation he needed – that he had been on his way to view the situation on Genosis and was captured by Sith rebels and taken to Nar Shaddaa. That would explain his appearance. If there was any question of his loyalty, he would just say that he was doing undercover work. He had his suspicions of the Senate and wanted to find out for himself; before he could, he was taken captive.
The lie was smooth, he knew that. There would be no way anything could happen to him. Smiling to himself, Belyn awaited his arrival to Coruscant in good spirits. He would be fine, he knew that. There was nothing that could involve him with this. After all, Kodis had always shown his true colors as a blood thirsty brute.
He had thought over his plans while coming back on a transport. It had taken him time and a handful of credits before he could secure one off the smuggler’s moon. Apparently, word of Czerka’s involvement with the Sith Lord Trayun and that of Vogga the Hut had caused the Telosian government to rethink its shaky partnership. They had begun an investigation into the dealings of Czerka, halting any and all traffic from the hut controlled docks for further inspection.
But really, what could a bunch of overstuffed weaklings do?
Belyn had easily bribed the dock attendant and had gotten a pilot for a few hundred creds with no difficulty. It had been quite easy to slip in and out of sight. It helped to be a man of power and that’s all Belyn had wanted to secure with his working with the Sith. As he had stated in the chambers, the Sith were just disgruntled Jedi, who used the galaxy as their personal battle ground.
Yes, the Sith were technically evil, but they served a better purpose than the cowardly Jedi. The Sith were going to maintain a sense of order that the so called ‘protectors of the Republic’ could and would not do. Belyn had just ensured the safety of the Republic is all with his actions. People would be thanking him!
But that left another problem. If the Sith were indeed defeated, as rumor had it, and his father was indeed still alive, that meant his plans for the future were again hindered. He wouldn’t become Supreme Chancellor at this rate. He needed to think of something. Suddenly an idea struck him. What if he could sow the seeds of distrust?
He could always state that it was Trayun and Revan’s troops who held him hostage. He could point out that yes, Revan had saved the day, but he had saved the day before, hadn’t he? And within a few months time, he had gone from savior to Sith Lord! What if Trayun was just the face of the Sith? Meanwhile, Revan ran the show. Yes, yes…that would do nicely.
With revised plan in mind, Belyn sat back and waited. They would be landing soon and he would walk to open arms of his father and that of the people of Coruscant.
That, of course, is not what happened once he stepped off the transport.
The first thing that was wrong was that armed guards were waiting for him. While that in itself wasn’t strange – they were protecting him, naturally – the moment they put him in restraints was the issue. He asked repeatedly what was going on.
This was embarrassing!
Didn’t they know who he was!?
But all pleas fell on deaf ears as they brought him inside to the terminal. Waiting for him were his father and ex-wife.
“Father,” he breathed, looking at his angered escorts. “I’m so glad you’re here. Please tell these…men…who I am.”
“Oh, they know who you are, Robert,” the Supreme Chancellor stated, his lips in a grim line. “I asked them to bring you here. I wanted Lynsel here to take one last look at you before I have you thrown in prison for treason.”
“Treason?!” the younger man gasped. “I don’t understand! Father, please, let me explain…”
“Explain how you helped nearly the entire Senate be seduced to the dark side?” Lynsel asked, sarcastically. “Or how you hired an assassin to kill your father? Or about how you maneuvered several planet wide takeovers by the Sith?”
“I don’t know who you think you are,” Belyn growled. “But whatever lies your lover Onasi has told you are just that. Lies.”
“He didn’t need to tell me anything!” she retorted. “I could smell your foul underhandedness a mile away! I knew it when you called me back to ‘discuss’ my time with Revan. And I was convinced when the Senate refused to listen to Revan’s claims that the Sith were back.”
“Father,” Belyn replied, staring daggers at his former wife. “Are you going to listen to your son or the ranting of a tawdry schutta like her!?”
“You watch what you say to her,” the senior Belyn sneered. “I tried to ignore what you were doing, Robbie; tried to look away from the way you were hurting her. But this, Robbie…this is unforgivable. Is power so important to you that you would destroy the very place you live? Your family!?”
The two stared at each other. “You just don’t get it, do you, old man?” Belyn murmured. “While the rest of you sit complacent and docile, the Jedi are planning our destruction. Don’t you know who the Sith truly are? They’re just Jedi; angry Jedi who didn’t get their way. Do you honestly think because Revan ‘saved’ us again, that he won’t turn back to his dark side? You mark my words – a few years time and you’ll be fighting a smarter and quicker Revan and all his little friends.”
Turning to Lynsel, he asked, “Is he that good between the sheets? So good that you would forsake everything I have done to keep this Republic afloat? I’m glad you have each other. Heaven knows, you could never give me what I wanted in a wife. In fact…”
Belyn never completed his sentence. When the stars cleared from his head, his lip was swollen and a drop of blood had fallen to his collar. It was only when he was placed in a Force cage was he told that Lynsel had cleaned his chrono pretty good. And only with some persuasion did he learn that she had turned down his father’s request for dinner, saying she needed the first shuttle heading out to Telos.
He would never speak of her or his father again.