Before - Legends The Blue Side of the Force: Book I- Complements (6/14 -An unknown planet and an ACTUAL NEW CHAPTER)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Commander-DWH, Aug 15, 2005.

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  1. Commander-DWH Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2003
    star 4
    emerald54: That Leviathan just sneaks up on you. :p In any case, it's going to be interesting to see exactly how this plays out. I have my own ideas, but the characters might fight me on it, so we'll see. Thanks for reading!

    Striker: You may remember Karath from waaaaay back on Dantooine. But you're right, he's trouble. :)

    Rogue_Pilot: I am occasionally timely! I actually think I'm on a writing spree lately. :p

    JoE: Thanks! I do worry about juggling the cast, but I'm glad that no one's gotten lost yet. :D

    Entropist: Actually, I have a confession to make. I hate Manaan as a level. And I don't think it would translate well into written form. So, even though Leiraya would have a field day with Hrakert Station, I decided to axe it. Don't worry, I have a logical explanation. But yeah... no Manaan for this story. Not in this draft, anyway. :p

    dark_jedi_lover: I may or may not have annoyances with the way the game was constructed so far as the male versus female players are concerned. So... I make no promises of anything. :D

    princess_of_naboo: I'm rather fond of that line myself. Thanks for reading!

    *whew* Now that I've taken care of that, I give you an update!

    Chapter 30

    "We've got a minute," Carth looked around the circle at everyone standing there, in varying stages of coherency. "They'll board the ship, and they're not going to want any nonsense."

    "But there has to be a way to formulate an escape," Aiden protested. "Bastila or I could-"


    "No," Carth cut him off. "You and Bastila are the first people they'll be watching. Me too, for that matter, since Saul Karath taught me everything I know. If there's going to be an escape plan, it has to rely on someone else."


    "I'll do it," Canderous volunteered. "You can shoot me somewhere nasty, I'll sneak out of the medbay."


    "Wait just a second," Aiden looked at the Mandalorian. "You can stage an escape while critically wounded?"


    "No," Canderous replied, clearly denoting the preposterousness of the statement. "Back in the late days of the war I got an implant that helps me regenerate at an impressive rate. It'll hurt, but a Mandalorian never shies away from pain."


    "You're sure you'll be able to do it?"

    "Yes, and you won't find a better man for the job, either."


    "All right," Aiden nodded. "Someone had better shoot Canderous before they board."


    "Which will have to be now," Carth replied, and quickly pulled out his blaster, shooting Canderous in the gut. Canderous coughed and grimaced, but motioned for him to continue. A few more quick shots rendered him unconscious. Carth checked his vitals, which seemed to be stable, and he and Aiden proceeded to lift him to the small medical bay.


    No sooner had they put him down on the table than the sound of the ramp hissing open tore through the ship.

    "They're here."


    * * *


    Things could have, on the whole, gone a lot worse, Aiden thought. Okay, so he, Bastila and Carth were being held in force-field cages with naught but their underwear to protect them, but he was pretty sure he'd seen Canderous carried out of the Hawk on a stretcher. He wasn't sure where they were, or why Malak wanted them so badly, but hopefully he'd figure something out.


    If not, things might get very interesting.

    "Karath," Carth snarled. Aiden looked up and saw the Admiral stride confidently into the small room holding them.

    "Ah, Carth. It's been too long since we last met."

    "You can drop the pleasantries, Saul."

    "That's Admiral Karath to you, Carth."

    "You destroyed my world," Carth continued, ignoring the attempt to reinforce rank. "You killed my wife, and for that I'll see you dead."


    "Empty words, Onasi. That's all I ever hear from you these days." Karath shook his head sadly. "And you were so promising. However, I'm not here to trade empty threats with you. I'm here to make sure your friends are ready for Lord Malak's arrival."

    "You won't get any information out of us, Karath," Bastila stood firm. "Our loyalty is to the Republic, and to the Jedi Order."

    Karath gave her an amused smile. "I expected as much from you. I'm much more interested in your friend here. After all, his loyalties have proved to be... flexible in the past."


    Aiden gave Karath a confused look as he felt his companions' gazes fix on him. "What are you talking about?"

    Karath blinked at him for a moment, then started to chuckle. "Oh, this is too good. You really don't know, do you?"


    Aiden could feel a knot beginning to form in his stomach. "Know what?"


    "Oh, far be it for me to spoil the surprise," Karath gave him a wicked smile. "I'm sure Lord Malak would like to tell you himself, given your past associations."


    "I'm not sure what kind of spice you're hitting, but I've never met Malak in my life."


    "Be that as it may, I still have to keep you occupied until his arrival." Karath walked over to a control panel and punched a few buttons. "I'm not to damage you, but I'm sure any information I could glean from you before he arrives would help me gain favour with Lord Malak."


    Before any of them could react, an electrical current was sent through each of the cages, and Aiden almost lost his balance as he was gripped by intense pain. Electricity coursed through his body at higher voltages than he knew how to deflect or absorb, and it was all he could do to keep himself from screaming.


    Just as suddenly as it started, the pain cut off. Looking sideways, he could tell Bastila and Carth had been given similar treatment.


    "A small taste of what's to come," Karath assured them. "Now seems like as good a time as any to conduct my interrogation."


    "You've got to be kidding if you think torturing me will do any good," Aiden spat.


    Karath merely smiled. "I don't think it will do any good. However, most people, especially those of your apparent moral standing, do not wish to see those they care about suffer. To this end, Bastila will receive a shock every time you are uncooperative."

    "Don't tell him anything," Bastila interjected before Aiden could protest. "My pain will pass."

    "We shall see about that," Karath seemed amused by her defiance. "Now, to the questions. First things first: where is your hidden Jedi enclave?"

    "You don't seriously think this will work, do you?"

    "That was not an answer," Karath replied mildly, and flipped a switch that sent Bastila screaming. "Feeling any more cooperative, Jedi Star?"

    "No."

    "A pity. Not that it matters anyway. Lord Malak discovered the location of your Dantooine enclave, and we received word an hour ago that it had been destroyed."


    Aiden's stomach fell to his feet. "You're lying."


    Karath favoured him with a small smile. "If it comforts you to think so. In any case, I have more questions for you..."


    * * *

    The sounds of screams could be heard through the thin wall that divided the torture chamber from the cell where everyone else was being held.

    "Geez, you'd think they'd want us to be afraid or something." Mission sat on the floor, holding a very frightened Sasha close. "Well, it's not gonna work. Right, Sasha?"

    The young girl looked up at Mission and nodded numbly. "Not s-scared," she stuttered unconvincingly.

    "That's the spirit," Mission squeezed her close.

    "Bastila's taking a beating in there," Leiraya observed.

    "No doubt someone's trying to scare Aiden into talking," Jolee replied. "Wouldn't be the first time a Jedi was tortured through his bond with another person."


    "You're just full of happy stories, aren't you?" Leiraya snorted derisively.

    "Hey, it wasn't my idea to live through this many wars." He shrugged. "If there's one thing that hasn't changed much through the years, it's torture."

    "Hey, I like rainbows and gizka," Mission interrupted, her look clearly suggesting that perhaps torture was not the best topic of conversation. T3-M4, sitting innocently in the corner, tweedled his agreement.

    "Statement: I myself have encountered a number of techniques-"

    "HK!" Jolee and Leiraya yelled in unison.

    "Retraction: It was uninteresting. I will not bore you with the details." HK paused and his photoreceptors dimmed slightly. "For now."


    "All I can say is that Canderous had better make his recovery. Fast." Leiraya folded her arms, and Zaalbar roared his agreement.

    The sooner they were out of there, the better.

    * * *

    Canderous woke in the medical ward. The harsh white lights dazzled his vision for a moment, but he sat up and took mental stock of his health. His wound seemed to be mostly healed, and when he stood, he didn't feel light-headed. Good. Blinking once more, he cleared his sight and took stock of the room. He was the only patient, which would make his job much easier.

    He walked over to a bin next to his bunk. His armour had been deposited in it, but it was unwearable. He'd have to find another set. Silently striding to the doorway, he listened to see if there was anyone in the hallway. He could hear the sound of one set of boots walking up and down the hallway.

    Standing aside, he pressed the switch that would open the door. He heard the boots pause, then change direction to investigate. As the Sith trooper walked in the door and past him, he planted a solid kick into the back of the trooper's neck, knocking him over. He quickly grabbed the trooper's blaster rifle, turned the trooper over, and shot him in the chest.

    Peering out the doorway, he could see the the hall was clear, and there was an equipment locker at the end of the passage. He ran towards it, shooting the lock off and removing the contents. There was a spare combat suit, which he quickly donned, and an extra blaster, which he slid into the holster, just in case.

    He snaked his head around the corner. A knot of troopers stood in the hallway, chatting about something or another. Canderous frowned contemptuously. A true warrior would never dishonour his armour by making idle chat while he was on duty. It made him feel less guilty about shooting two of them in the back before the other three could even react. Somersaulting out of the way of their blasts, he came up on one knee and shot one more in the neck before rising. The other two followed close behind, their blasts only grazing his armour. He shook his head. Before turning to the Sith, these troopers had been a part of the Republic that had defeated the Mandalorians. That being the case, this was a most disappointing showing.

    Identifying the leader of the group, he searched the officer's pocket, and found a ring of keycards. Smiling tightly, he pocketed the keys and quickly reoriented himself. If the design of the ship was at all like any of the Sith ships he'd studied in the past, the detention cells would be down the corridor and to the right.

    Jogging quickly, he had to dispatch two more knots of guards before reaching the detention center. Just as he was about to enter, the door whooshed open and he had to dive behind a storage locker, barely making it out of sight before he heard the sound of boots clicking on the deck. If they came his way, they would round the corner and see the trail of bodies he'd left, and he'd have to kill the lot of them, too. Clutching his blaster rifle, he prepared for another battle.

    The sound went in the other direction.

    Releasing a breath he hadn't noticed he'd been holding, Canderous waited for several more moments before checking to make sure the hall was clear. Seeing no one around, he quickly entered the detention block. A lone computer stood in the center of the room, and he ran the first keycard through it. A door opened, and the larger part of the crew was revealed.


    "Canderous! You made it!" Leiraya rushed out, everyone else close behind her. "Where's the others?"

    "I'm getting there," Canderous replied gruffly, finding another card to swipe through. After two unsuccessful cards, he finally found the card that opened the door to the torture chamber. Leiraya rushed in and quickly shut the force cages off. Aiden and Bastila immediately walked out of their cages, Carth stumbled a few steps before Leiraya rushed over and caught him.


    "Electric shock," he coughed, smiling weakly. "I hear we're not built to take that."

    "Aiden was treated worst by far," Bastila supplied, "but as Jedi, we can deal with the pain better."

    "We'll get you back to the ship-" Leiraya started to say, but Carth interrupted.

    "Oh no," he shook his head. "I'm not done here. Karath is still alive, and I've got a promise to keep."


    "Not like that, you don't," Leiraya insisted. "You can barely stand."

    "Oh yeah?" Carth tried to stand, but his legs wobbled and he fell over again. "I'll walk it off."

    "And you're doing a great job of trying."


    Carth looked up at her, clearly set on going whether he could stand or not. "There isn't time to argue."

    Leiraya frowned, but she also knew he was right on that count. "You're determined to do this, aren't you?"

    Looking her straight in the eye, he nodded firmly. "I told you, he has to pay for all he's done."

    Closing her eyes, she sighed and shook her head. "Then let me help." Holding her hand above his body, she concentrated on the electrical energy through the Force. Seeing how it had taken hold in his muscles, she simply redirected its flow. It didn't take much- a few electrons were coaxed down to the deck, and finding a conductor, other electrons were soon eager to follow in their path. When she opened her eyes, she stood and pulled Carth with her.

    Testing his legs out, he found that they worked much better when they were not still vibrating with electrical energy. "Handy trick, that."

    "Just don't try getting shocked on a regular basis," Leiraya replied softly, a concerned look on her face. "I got rid of the extra energy, but it still did a number on your system. You probably shouldn't do anything strenuous for a while."

    "There's a war on," Carth replied, "and until the galaxy's saved, none of us get to rest."

    Aiden had already begun to give directions. "Canderous, you'll need to get the crew to the Ebon Hawk."

    "We'll have to go to the bridge," Carth instructed as he walked over. "It's the only place we open the hangar bays."

    "Carth, do you know your way around these ships?"

    Carth nodded. "The Courageous had about the same layout. All our equipment will be stored across the hall."

    "Then we'd better move fast," Aiden nodded. "Canderous?"


    "I'm on it," the Mandalorian warrior nodded and motioned for the crew to follow.

    "All right, you two." Aiden strode towards the equipment storage room, more than eager to not only get his weapons back, but also his clothes. "Let's move."

    Just as they started to jog away, Leiraya's voice cut through the air. "Carth, wait!"

    She ran back into the room and hit Carth with an embrace at a dead run. He barely caught her without falling over, but she didn't seem to notice. "You've got to promise me you won't do anything stupid."

    "Stupid?"

    "Carth Onasi, you know exactly what I mean." She set her jaw and glared at him. "I know you want revenge, but just... just..." she seemed unable to finish the sentence, but her meaning was clear. Don't get yourself killed.

    "Hey, it's me," he tried to smile. "Don't worry about me. I'll come back, I promise."

    She looked at him skeptically. "Are you sure?"

    There were a lot of things Carth could think of to say in that moment, and a lot more that he'd like to say but couldn't articulate. Even if he could have, a quick look over her shoulder at Aiden told him that he didn't have time for any of it. So he did the only thing that made sense to him, and the last thing he had planned to do.

    He kissed her.

    It was at once exhilarating and terrifying, shifting into a strange happiness as he felt her respond. All too soon, however, he had to release her, whether he wanted to or not. Carth pulled her into one last embrace before he relinquished his hold on her. As she stepped back, he smiled reassuringly. "I will see you on the Hawk. I promise."

    For once in her life, she seemed unable to generate a snarky quip. "May the Force be with you."

    "And you." With that, he turned to jog out of the room with Aiden and Bastila, hearing the patter of her feet against the deck as she made her own retreat.

    Karath was going to get a healthy dose of justice, and for the first time, Carth was determined that he wouldn't die trying.
    Last edited by Commander-DWH, Jun 14, 2017
  2. Rogue_Pilot_2347 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2005
    star 4
    Cool chapter!!!!! I like the regenerator thing. Know where I can find one of those? That Kareth guy is NASTY!!!!!!
  3. emerald54 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2007
    star 1
    Humm, I always used Mission or Juhani for this part, but it's an interesting difference. Sasha's still around? Huh, didn't think she would stay.

    Nice to finally see some action between Carth and Leiraya, though I wonder if she's going to be the one that beats some sense into his brain after the whole revelation thing.

    Thanks for the PM, and update soon!

    Emerald
  4. RK_Striker_JK_5 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
    An... interesting plan by Canderous, although it did work. *Shrug* Ah, well. And hmm... past association? With Malak? *Rubs chin*

    Great post, DWH. :)
  5. jedi_of_ennth Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2005
    star 4
    Well, it's nice to see that Carth and Leiraya are making some progress on the relationship front. As long as Carth doesn't get himself killed seeking revenge, that is. ;)

    Canderous was great in this chapter; it's nice to see him get some time to showcase his mad Mando skillz of doom. :cool:
  6. Commander-DWH Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2003
    star 4
    Rogue_Pilot: Yeah, we all wish we could have one of those. However, it was really insanely handy in-game. :)

    emerald54: Yeah, I usually take Sasha back to Dantooine during the game. But it wasn't jiving with the narrative to take her back, and I realized they still had her. Whoops. Oh well, given what happened, I'm just as happy to have not sent her home.

    Striker: Silly plans are the stock in trade for video games. :p It does seem a little absurd, but it works. Thanks for reading!

    JoE: I think people forget how cool Canderous is, and I've had a lot of fun writing him. :D And yes, it was about time those two got together. I mean, this has only been going on for what, two years? Yeah...

    Chapter 31

    The storage room was right where Carth had predicted, and they immediately set about gathering their things. As they rifled through the equipment lockers for their supplies, Carth began to apologize. "Sorry I held us up-"

    "Don't worry," Bastila replied, firmly placing his orange jacket in his hands. "Took you long enough, anyway."

    "I... huh?" Carth blinked and looked over to Aiden for guidance, but he merely shrugged noncommittally. Turning back and meeting Bastila's pointed gaze, he finally got it. "Oh."


    "They're going to figure out what happened soon enough," Aiden stated, clipping his lightsaber back on to his belt. "We're going to have to move fast. Carth, how do we get to the bridge?"

    "If I'm remembering correctly, there's an elevator that will take us directly to the bridge. But it's on the other side of the ship."

    "Well, then let's move." Aiden motioned for Carth to lead the way.

    Carth edged his way out into the hall, blaster at ready. "Clear."

    The trio jogged to the end of the corridor before they heard the alarms go off.

    Aiden grimaced. "Fantastic."

    Bastila shrugged. "You knew it would happen eventually."

    "Yeah, but I was hoping we wouldn't have to fight through so many troops."

    "True." Bastila ignited her lightsaber as she saw a knot of Sith troopers running towards them. "But we've gotten this far, we can't let them stop us now."

    Aiden shook his head ruefully, and smiled as he ignited his own lightsaber. "You're crazy."

    "I resent that."

    "You shouldn't," Aiden blocked the first volley of bolts that rocketed towards him, "because that's why I like you."

    Bastila was too busy blocking her own round of blaster bolts to respond, but she had an atypical smile on her face as she cut her way through the soldiers trying to run them down. Once they fought through the first group, they knew they weren't finished. More were on the way, but Bastila took a moment to look over at Aiden. "Did you mean that?"

    "Wouldn't say it if I didn't," Aiden replied, stepping towards her. "I mean, there are other reasons, too, but the being crazy part helps an awful lot..."

    "Guys, I'm going to interrupt your moment," Carth interjected, almost apologetically, and fired a few quick shots at the next knot of troopers rushing towards them.

    "No problem," Aiden replied, running towards the soldiers. "I like staying alive." Quickly dispatching the soldiers, he turned back around and grinned. "Weird habit, I know."

    "Well, there are a lot more where they came from, and we'd better move fast," Carth replied, adding extra emphasis to the last word. "It's going to be bad on the bridge, and the sooner we get there, the fewer reinforcements they can call in."

    "Fast it is, then." Aiden hefted his lightsaber. "Let's get to work."

    * * *

    By the time they reached the elevator to the bridge, they were breathing heavily, sweating profusely, and had significantly fewer grenades than they'd had when they started.


    "This is insane," Aiden said to no one in particular. "And we are certifiably insane for doing this."

    "Well, it's that or surrender," Carth reminded him.

    "Right. Not an option." Aiden straightened his robes and pushed a few stray hairs out of his eyes. "Though I wouldn't mind if another one turned up."


    "I'm afraid not," Bastila replied, her voice tense. "I'd rather avoid any more contact with the Admiral if we could, but I doubt he'll be away from the bridge at a time like this."

    "Fine by me," Carth checked the charge on his blaster. "I want a shot at him."

    "Don't do anything stupid," Bastila reminded him. "It's more important that you live than that he dies."

    Carth looked ready to respond, but the elevator pinged, indicating they'd arrived at the bridge. Ready or not, they were there. The doors opened silently and without ceremony, and they were greeted by the sight of several troops of soldiers, a few dark Jedi, and Admiral Karath staring them down. They walked forward a few steps, and the elevator doors closed.

    Karath favoured them with a predatory smile. "Ah. So good of you to join me. I admit, I am impressed you made it this far."

    Aiden snorted. "Your approval somehow fails to impress me."

    "I'll give you one last chance to stand down," Karath continued. "If you lay down your weapons and come with me peaceably, I won't kill any of you."

    "Lies," Carth snarled. "That's all you were ever capable of, Saul. I'm done listening to you."

    "How sad," Karath replied contemptuously. "But your opinion means nothing here."

    "We didn't come this far to surrender," Aiden stated firmly. "You'll have to kill us."

    "With pleasure." Karath motioned towards his guards. They opened fire, and the room was filled with blaster bolts and flying grenades.

    The battle was intense, but reasonably short. Aiden and Bastila concentrated on dispatching the dark Jedi, while Carth whittled down the soldiers. Once the dark Jedi were defeated and Carth was no longer the only person gunning for the troops, he turned his eye to Karath, who was looking arrogantly down on the debacle. He shot down the troopers standing nearest him, and moved to where he'd have a better shot.

    He considered jumping down to one of the communications terminals, but changed his mind. He wanted Karath to see him before he died, to know who it was that shot him. He continued forwards, making very quick work of anyone who tried to get in his way. Finally finding a good position, raised his blaster and looked through the scope. "Saul!" The Admiral turned his head as he heard Carth's voice. Before he could properly react, Carth pulled the trigger. Karath tried to reach for his own sidearm, but all the motion did was make the bolt hit just to the right of his heart. He fell, gasping, and Carth lowered his blaster.

    "That was for Morgan," Carth said darkly, and turned his attentions back to the soldiers, who dwindling in number.

    It was several more minutes of fighting before the last soldier was down. Carth looked at the carnage on the bridge in disgust. "Let's get those hangar doors open and get out of here." He started to move towards the terminal, but heard a sound that sounded like a sick, hacking laugh.

    Bastila scowled. "It's the Admiral. He's still alive."

    "Carth," the voice came faintly. "Come here for a moment."

    Carth looked darkly at Bastila and Aiden, but kept his blaster ready and moved towards Karath's dying body. "What do you want, Saul?"

    "Heh." Karath coughed. Small drops of blood spattered from his mouth, but he seemed unable to contain a sadistic-looking smile. "You think these are your friends."

    "They are my friends," Carth corrected. "More of a friend than you ever were."

    "Here, I'll let you decide for yourself whether or not they're worthy of your friendship."

    Bastila watched as Carth leaned closer to the fallen Admiral's body, who was now whispering so quietly that she could no longer hear him. Carth, however, could hear him just fine. And judging by the way the shock was rolling off him, she could guess what the Admiral had just said.

    "Remember that..." she heard faintly, "as you look at your friends. You never knew them. You only thought you did..."


    Carth stood, his entire body stiff, and when he looked back at Bastila it was with his faced schooled into a stone-like mask. "Is it true?"

    Aiden looked confused. "Is what true?"


    Carth continued to stare straight at Bastila, fury clearly boiling just beneath the surface. "Bastila, you need to tell me if he's telling me the truth."


    "Now is not the time," Bastila replied quickly. "You've both said it, and it's true- we need to get those hangar doors open, and we need to get out of here before more troops arrive."


    "A simple yes or no will suffice."


    "There isn't time, Carth." Bastila said, almost pleadingly. "I promise you, when we're on the ship, I'll explain everything. But right now, we need to get out of here."


    Aiden waved a hand. "Would anybody mind telling me what's going on here?"


    "This conversation isn't over, Bastila," Carth replied, ignoring Aiden's question and stepping over to the computer. It only took a few moments to access the hangar bay and authorize the opening of the doors, and he did it with the same stony expression his face had held for the past few minutes. "Doors are a go. Now let's get down there so we can get out of here and get some answers."

    The trio rushed out of the room and took the elevator to the hangar level. An awkward silence hung between them until the doors opened, and they were greeted by yet more blaster fire. A few troopers at a time, they worked their way down the corridor towards the hangar bay. All the while, Carth's expression remained unchanged, Bastila looked more grim than Aiden had ever seen her, and his curiosity mounted with every step. Whatever it was that Karath had said, it was bad, and he had the sinking feeling it had something to do with him. He couldn't imagine what Karath could have told him, or why Bastila would be the one to blame for it, but he'd find out soon enough.

    Rounding the corner, the corridor angled downwards, and they ran through a set of blast doors before stopping short. They heard the doors close behind them, but the way forward was blocked.

    Darth Malak, robed in red armour, metallic jaw glinting in the harsh corridor lighting, stood before them.

    "Well, I knew I'd see you again eventually." Malak greeted them. "After I heard of your survival."

    "What can I say?" Aiden shrugged, trying not to feel overwhelmed. "I'm a tough guy to kill."

    "So it would seem," Malak replied, "though I give you little credit for the first time."

    "First time?" Aiden echoed. "Oh no, this is one of those things that has to do with us meeting, which I wasn't aware ever happened. Listen, I think you've got the wrong guy-"

    Malak laughed. "You're not serious. She hasn't told you?

    Aiden glared at the Sith Lord. "I've had just about enough of people saying that lately. Is anybody ever going to tell me what in the name of the Force is going on?"

    A metallic laugh emitted from Malak's vocabulator. "Oh, this is priceless. The Jedi never fail to bring entertainment."

    "Will you just tell me, already?" Aiden snarled.


    Malak had to wipe a tear of laughter from his eye before he continued. "I hardly know where to start. I never thought my own Master would be so susceptible to memory manipulation."


    Aiden looked at him questioningly for a few moments before the impact of that statement hit him with all the grace and subtlety of a Gammorean swinging a bag of duracrete blocks. Aiden turned back to look at Bastila. "You mean... no. I couldn't be. I grew up on Deralia."

    "I'm afraid you didn't," Bastila replied haltingly.

    "That's right, Revan." Malak said triumphantly. "Your entire life is a sham."

    Aiden closed his eyes. All of a sudden, things that hadn't been making sense fell into place. Why he'd taken so quickly to lightsaber combat. How he'd gone so many years before someone recognized his Force potential. Why the Masters talked in whispered voices when he was around. Why he couldn't always remember basic parts of his past. Opening his eyes once more, he looked accusingly at Bastila. "Why?"

    "We truly did wish to capture Rev- you. The Council believes that no one is beyond saving. When we went there, it wasn't with the intent of killing anyone. However, your apprentice here had other ideas." Bastila pressed her lips together grimly. "When Malak fired on the ship, we thought you died. But I was able to reach out towards that one spark of life you had left and save you."

    "And then erase my entire memory?" Aiden replied incredulously. "Where did that start sounding like a good, or even remotely ethical idea?"

    "They said your mind was too damaged, that you wouldn't be able to recover your real memories anyway," Bastila responded. "They hoped that, given time, memories of the Star Forge would surface if given the correct prodding. When you had the first Star Map vision, we knew our plan would work."

    "Those visions. They weren't really visions, were they? They were memories."

    "Correct," Bastila nodded. "And my bond with you was forged when I saved your life, which is why the Council always sent the two of us out together."

    "You lied, Bastila." Aiden said angrily. "All this time, all we've been through... it was all fake. Even you."

    Bastila looked hurt. "What?"

    "Your friendship? What a joke." Aiden replied, a pained expression on his face. "I trusted you, Bas. I trusted you with my life, and you kept this from me. You were a party to the erasing of my identity, and you didn't want me to find out, either." He pulled the whistle he always wore from inside his robes. "Even when I told you all about my mother, you knew the whole time that it wasn't real. How did you live with yourself?"

    "It wasn't easy," Bastila replied quietly. "The Council... thought it best..."


    "I'm sure they did," Aiden scowled. "They must have liked having that much control over a person."

    A metallic laugh emitted from Malak's vocabulator. "Ah, how the mighty have fallen. It's no wonder killing you was so easy."

    Aiden returned his gaze to the Sith. "You seem to be forgetting, I'm still alive."

    "A detail I hope to correct," Malak replied, igniting is crimson lightsaber and gesturing towards his companions. Bastila and Carth were immediately pinned back to the blast door with the Force, unable to move.

    Aiden ignited his own blade. "You're welcome to try."

    Malak flew at him in a fury, using his height to his advantage. Aiden, however was faster. He dove and somersaulted out of the way, coming up behind Malak and luring him further from Bastila and Carth. They exchanged blows for several minutes, each pressing the advantage in their turn. Finally, Aiden sensed an opening and he took it. He swung at Malak's unguarded side-

    -but the Sith Lord was too fast. His eyes widened in surprise, but he reflexively sent Aiden into the air, whirling him around so as to disorient him. And then he ran.

    By the time Aiden hit the ground, Malak had disappeared down one of the side corridors. He was about to chase after him when he heard Bastila's voice. "Aiden!"

    He turned, not sure whether to be thankful or irritated. "Yes?"

    Bastila looked more apologetic than he'd ever seen her. "I'm so sorry. I should have told you ages ago, but the Masters thought it was best if you didn't know who you were."

    "Yeah, well, I'm beginning to share Leiraya's opinion of them, and that's saying something."


    "I know there's no way I can ever make that up to you."

    Aiden nodded. "You're probably right."

    "But the mission is what's most important."

    "That's always how it is with you, isn't it?" Aiden scoffed. "It's all about the mission, no matter what it takes."

    "You're right, and that's why you're not fighting Malak off." Bastila looked at him, determination flaring in her eyes. "I am." Aiden looked like he was about to protest, but she silenced him. "I can't complete this mission without you, but you can complete it without me. I was only the moral compass, and you've shown you don't need one."


    Aiden's gaze softened. Though he was still angry at her, the responsibility probably mostly belonged to the Council. "Bas, don't go like this."


    "I have to," she replied firmly. "Because the mission needs you, and you need to get to the ship."

    "You can't make me-"

    "Go!" Bastila shouted, pushing him back with a wave of Force energy. She ran, and the blast door closed behind her. Aiden lunged towards the door, uselessly pounding the button that was supposed to open it, but it would seem that she had jammed it from the other side.


    "Damn it, Bastila!" Aiden shouted. He continued to pound on the door before he felt Carth behind him, shouting that they needed to leave. Aiden scowled, but they didn't have any more time to waste. He followed the pilot down the opposite corridor towards the hangar.

    When they ran on the ship, they were greeted by Canderous. "She's ready to go, you just need to steer her out of here." Looking behind them, he looked momentarily confused. "Where's Bastila?"

    "Buying us an escape," Aiden replied tersely. "Let's go."
    Last edited by Commander-DWH, Jun 14, 2017
  7. princess_of_naboo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2000
    star 4
    Dun, dun, dun... :D

    I like getting a bit more of his reaction to the big reveal.

    I'm bad. I keep hoping he'll get fed up and turn to the dark side.
  8. RK_Striker_JK_5 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
    Aiden shook his head ruefully, and smiled as he ignited his own lightsaber. "You're crazy."

    "I resent that."

    "You shouldn't," Aiden blocked the first volley of bolts that rocketed towards him, "because that's why I like you."

    That was classic SW, right there. :D

    And... Aiden's Revan? Holy cow! :eek: Nice little shock, there. Yeesh, DWH! DOn't leave us hanging![face_praying] :D
  9. emerald54 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2007
    star 1
    Sorry about not replying sooner, finals have been hell.

    Oh, damn, I was hoping for the rest of the conversation, but I suppose that's for the next chapter.

    I like how you changed Bastila's dialog around a bit, make her be the sacrifice to get them all out.

    Update soon!

    Emerald
  10. Rogue_Pilot_2347 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2005
    star 4
    I, also, apologise for taking so long to reply. I read it a while ago, and my internet was being stubborn....

    Cool chapter. Poor Aiden. What a way to find out the truth.
  11. Jherron Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Told you I would fall behind. Oh well, excellent update :D
  12. angry_bendu1 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 15, 2007
    star 2
  13. Commander-DWH Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2003
    star 4
    princess_of_naboo: Thanks! I rather thought the game's dialogue was a little lacking in that section, because I seriously wanted to tell Bastila off. :p As for the dark side... who knows? [face_mischief]

    Striker: Honestly, I feel a little bad about that moment, since I'm not sure it's possible to do it justice in written form. In the game, it's not a 'little shock,' it's actually kind of traumatizing. Traumatizing to the point where I wrote a giant philosophy essay on why it was traumatizing. :p I'm glad you enjoyed the update, though!

    Emerald: I know all about finals, so no worries. They're one thing I don't miss at all. :) Thanks for still finding the time to come 'round. :D

    Rogue_Pilot: No worries. See how long it takes me to update? I'm just happy you still come around to read and reply. :)

    Jherron: Hey, whatever speed of reading works for you. :D Thanks for keeping at it!

    angry_bendu1: Thanks! Glad to see you come by; it's always great to see a new face in the thread.

    And now, though it took me a while to work this out, here it is! I hope you all enjoy this installment.

    Chapter 32

    "You tell them," Carth looked pointedly at Aiden. After a rapid exit from the hangar bay of the Leviathan, a short dogfight with a knot of Sith fighters, and a quick jump to hyperspace, the crew had gathered in the Ebon Hawk's main lounge, wondering what had happened, and where Bastila had gone.

    "Tell us what?" Mission asked. "Is it about Bastila?"


    Aiden shook his head. "No."

    "Well, then what is it?"

    "I..." Aiden started, but couldn't seem to formulate the words. "I don't even really know how to say this... but apparently I'm Darth Revan."


    "You're what?" Leiraya asked incredulously.


    "You heard him," Carth growled. "The bona fide, genuine article Dark Lord of the Sith who got us into this mess."


    Leiraya frowned. "How does that even work? I mean, Aiden doesn't act like an evil overlord."


    "The Council wiped my memories." Aiden replied shortly. "Replaced them with a new bunch, and I became their dancing monkey-lizard."

    "You're joking." Leiraya stared at him, agape. "I mean, I never liked them that much, but I never thought-"


    "I only wish I was joking," Aiden sighed wearily. "Well, there you have it. I'm the worst evil to come to the galaxy since Exar Kun."


    "Oh, I wouldn't say that," Jolee replied thoughtfully. "Malak seems to be doing far more damage than you ever did."


    "You know what I mean."


    "I do, but you've changed. I knew it the moment you came to Kashyyyk."


    Aiden's head snapped up. "Wait a minute, you've known all along? Why didn't you say something?"

    Jolee shrugged. "I figured Bastila had her reasons, and that she'd tell you herself when the time was right. I was mostly just curious to see how you'd turn out."

    "You knowingly followed a mind-wiped Sith?" Aiden raised an eyebrow. "You're crazier than I thought."

    "Now, don't you get snippy with me, sonny." Jolee wagged a finger in mock indignation. "I'm not here to judge you, but I never felt in any danger. Your path is still unclear, but this is one old man who just wants to enjoy the journey for what it is."

    "Well, that's something. Anyone else care to weigh in on, well... me being Revan?"

    Mission shrugged. "Well... it's not like you can remember being evil, right?"

    Aiden shook his head. "Not a bit."

    "Then I don't see any problems. As far as I can see, you're the guy who came to Taris and has rescued and helped a lot of people since then. Anything that happened before that doesn't really matter, right?"

    "I agree with Mission," Juhani nodded. "You have shown us true leadership, and you have proven over and over again that you are worthy to be numbered among the Jedi. Whatever happened, it is in the past."

    "I still don't like it," Carth frowned. "What if your memories come back, and you turn on us all?"

    "Carth, I can't ask you to put aside your doubts. They're what make you a good soldier, and why you've been such an asset on this mission. But I will ask you to trust me."

    Carth looked generally dissatisfied. "I'm not sure I can do that, but I won't interfere. We've still got a mission to complete, and we need you for that."

    "Speaking of which, where are we heading?"

    Carth's expression became grim. "Well, we had the choice between Manaan, where they knew we were heading, and Korriban. I'm hoping they'll think it less likely that we'll waltz on to the planet with the Sith academy, so we're en route to Korriban."

    "Good. Well..." Aiden trailed off. "I don't know about anyone else, but I'm ready to fall asleep."

    With a general murmur of assent, the crew started moving out and away from the main hold. Aiden, true to his word, headed straight for his bunk and didn't bother to change out of his robes before falling asleep. His only hope was that he wouldn't have to dream of anything that had just happened.

    * * *

    "Carth, you're doing that thing again."

    He looked up at the sound of Leiraya's voice. "What thing?"

    "That thing where you don't want to talk, so you pretend like something is particularly fascinating about the ship's control board which, to my knowledge, has not changed since we started this journey."

    "That's not true," Carth protested. "I've rewired it three times."


    Leiraya smiled, and moved behind him to lean forward on the back of the pilot's chair. "That doesn't count, and you know it."


    "Why not?"


    "Because you rewire it every time you get really stressed about something." Leiraya began ticking items off on her fingers. "First, when I accidentally brought up the destruction of your homeworld. Second, when we set off from Dantooine and you weren't happy with the Council sending Juhani along. Third, after Tatooine for a variety of reasons, including your son being a Sith. If I leave you here much longer, you'll rewire it again."

    Carth looked at her with mild surprise. "How'd you know that?"

    "T3 told me. He sent me in to stop you before you do something truly crazy to the board."

    "I should have known." Carth smiled. "At least he didn't send HK in after me."

    "T3 is a smart little 'droid," Leiraya grinned. "And you need someone to talk to."

    "Do I, now?" Carth turned fully to face her and looked at her skeptically. "Did T3 tell you that?"

    "No, I figured that one out on my own." She pulled up a cargo bin and sat facing him. "You spent more time with Aiden than I did, since you've been with him longer. And you trusted everyone on this crew, even though you didn't want to at first."


    "Should've stuck with my original instinct," he sighed. "Sure as hell would've hurt less."

    "Don't say that," Leiraya admonished him. "I know how it feels, and it's not a party. But Mission nailed it right on the head."

    "Mission's just a kid."

    "She may also be the smartest one in this situation."

    "You're taking his side, aren't you?"

    Leiraya sighed. "Yes. Because he's not the one you should be angry at."

    Carth frowned. "He was an evil Sith Lord, and I'm not supposed to be angry about that?"

    "Oh no," Leiraya shook her head. "You're completely allowed to be angry about it. But like it or not, it really wasn't his fault. So you can do what I do about it." She grinned wickedly. "You can be angry at the Jedi Council."

    "How's that?"

    "Clearly you weren't paying attention in there. They're the ones that wiped his mind and reprogrammed him." Leiraya wrinkled her nose in disgust. "You know, I never liked them. But I have to say, I never thought any Jedi would do such a thing. Just think of how you'd feel if you were told your entire life was a forgery."

    Carth hung his head. "Jedi... Sith... no wonder people are having difficulty telling the difference anymore."


    "We'll get through this, Carth." Leiraya looked at him, determination in her eyes. "We always have, and we always will."

    There was a long silence before Carth responded. "How do you know it all isn't going to turn out badly?"


    Leiraya looked him in the eye. "I don't."

    A small smile touched his lips, and he shook his head ruefully. "Are you as disturbed about this as I am under all that optimism?"

    "Probably." Leiraya suppressed a shudder. "I know what the Force can do to a person. This has demonstrated to me that a lot of the techniques we're taught to use on the small scale can be adapted to larger scale tasks. Which, I suppose, is intuitive enough... but we're supposed to have the morals to know when and when not to go on with it."

    "The Jedi are losing their moral compass, then?" Carth grimaced. "That's not good news for the Republic."

    "The Jedi are becoming a rarity," Leiraya sighed sadly. "After the Mandalorian Wars, few enough of the Jedi were left. When Revan and Malak came back, even more Jedi were lost, either because they died or turned. Every day the news would come to Corellia, and it would be getting worse. Now with Malak at the helm, fewer Jedi are turning. But I think more are dying."

    "What do you do when the self-imposed keepers of peace and justice lose their way?" Carth mused.

    "Sometimes you've just gotta say to hell with the rules," Leiraya shrugged. "I haven't been playing by their rulebook for years. Personally, I trust my own intuition more than the collective wisdom of the Jedi Council as it currently stands."

    "If it's still standing," Carth frowned. "Saul told us the Dantooine Enclave had been destroyed."

    Leiraya's jaw dropped slightly. "Do you think he was lying?"

    "Bastila didn't think so, and she had no motive to lie about that." Carth shook his head. "We've gotten into quite a mess, haven't we?"

    "And it's only going to get more fun on Korriban," Leiraya agreed. "Smooth move there, by the way. Have you even told Aiden your son is there?"

    "No, and I don't really want to talk to him right now, either."

    Leiraya looked at him pointedly. "You can't avoid him forever."

    "I can damn well try."

    "Carth..."

    He made a face, but eventually assented. "All right, I'll talk to him." He stood and started to walk out of the cockpit, but turned around. "One more thing."

    "Yes?"

    "Back on the Leviathan... I've wanted to hunt Saul down for years. Dreamed of it hundreds of times. Thing was... I never expected to survive. Hell, I didn't think I had anything left to live for." He paused to organize his thoughts. "Listen, I'm not good with words. Never have been. But... I just want you to know that you've given me something to live for. That is... if there's room for me in your life." He took her hands and gently pulled her up. "Could you make room for me? I... I think I could love you, if you gave me the chance."

    For a few moments, she was speechless. While she hadn't been ready to put it into words yet, she knew she felt the same way, general Corellian prejudices against offworlders or no. Somewhere in the back of her mind, a voice was telling her that her parents would never approve, nor would anyone else. Kylan's taunts to that effect brought that point effectively home. But sometimes, she grinned, you just have to say to hell with the rules. "You know... I think I could love you, too."

    "Really?" Carth gave her a genuine smile, the first she'd seen from him in a while.

    "No, I'm just saying that to get your hopes up before I crush them," She looked pointedly at him and smiled. "Yes, really."

    "Well, then," Carth pulled her into an embrace, "that's good news."

    Leiraya enjoyed the hug for a few moments before looking up. "And you still have to talk to Aiden."

    Carth's look turned sour, but much of the anger was gone from his countenance. "Has anyone ever told you that you have a one track mind?"

    She nodded. "Get used to it."

    He laughed briefly, and gave her a quick kiss before releasing her. "All right, all right. I'll go talk to him."

    "You'll feel better for it." Leiraya grinned.

    "Better than I do now? I doubt it." Carth gave her one last smile and walked out of the cockpit.

    * * *

    Aiden was, once again, hiding in the engine room. Sleep had completely failed him, which wasn't terribly surprising, given how much his mind was racing. So there he stood, staring the hyperdrive down. He still didn't know what any of it did, but he still found it comforting. He wondered if Revan had been good with machines. That would explain a lot, he thought. However, that wasn't a subject he wished to dwell on. Even though it made everything snap into place, he wasn't ready to accept that he was anyone besides Aiden Star, Deralian Watchman and Republic soldier. Surely he couldn't be expected to take on the persona of a man he didn't even remember, could he?

    He stared at the hydrospanner in his hands. Maybe they'd expect it no matter what.

    Juhani's voice came from behind. "Forgive me for intruding... but might I have a word?"

    Aiden turned to face her, and gestured towards her with open hands. "Whatever you have to say certainly can't be more shocking than anything else I've heard lately."


    "It is just..." Juhani trailed off before gathering the courage to continue. "My family. We were on Taris during the Mandalorian Wars, and we were poor. Like all non-humans on that filthy planet."


    Aiden grimaced. "I don't think it improved that much, either."

    "I doubt it. Tarisians were happy with the way things were. The rich profited off the poor, and nobody wanted to change that, especially after the Padawan Massacre happened and the Jedi left without any warning. But now I know... it was you."

    Aiden tapped the hydrospanner on his chest. "Me?"

    "The day I was to be sold into slavery was the day the Jedi came back. You were leading them, and you found me." Juhani's eyes conveyed a profound gratitude. "If you had not come, I would never have been brought to the Jedi Order. I know you do not remember it, but... I thought you should know. Your name is not only associated with evil."


    Aiden looked down, and smiled wearily. "Thank you, Juhani. I appreciate it."


    Juhani merely nodded and left the room. She never had been one for lengthy conversations, but that suited him just fine. He wasn't sure what to say to anyone, and it just seemed easier to pretend to look at the hyperdrive. He was pretty sure he could have been evil incarnate and it wouldn't care.

    Just how he'd managed to find himself in this situation was beyond him. He alternated between being angry with Bastila for keeping such a large secret from him, to being angry with the Jedi Council for having the gall to wipe a person's memory, to being angry at Malak for betraying Revan in the first place. And if he really was Revan, which everyone seemed sure he was, a lot of it was probably his own fault.

    That was the part he hated the most. He couldn't blame the galaxy for being angry at Revan. And if he was Revan, then he could accept the logical extension of that anger towards himself. He just wished he had some sort of memory of why people were angry, or even an inkling of why Revan had acted as he did. Aiden considered himself a reasonable and logical sort of man, which meant that Revan must also have been reasonable.

    And that... that in itself was a terrifying thing to consider.

    However, he was mercifully saved from pursuing that line of thought when Carth walked into the engine room. The older pilot eyed him warily, seemed to weigh a few statements in his head, then finally decided to speak. "Listen, I've had a lot dumped on me lately. Which, as you know, I hate. I hate surprises, I hate not knowing what's going on."

    Aiden snorted. "You and me both."

    "I'll be honest. I wished several times that I could put a blaster to both Revan and Malak's heads, and when I discovered we actually had Revan on board, it was tempting."

    "Tempting to shoot me?" Aiden raised an eyebrow. "Please tell me that temptation has passed."


    "Don't worry, I'm not going to kill you." Carth narrowed his eyes. "I've watched you, ever since Taris."


    "I noticed. You had this amazing way of not trusting anything or anyone."


    "Only when something isn't adding up. Which even you admitted to. Bastila wanted to brush the issues aside, but I have to admit I've never had the same blind faith in the Jedi Council as some." Carth shrugged. "But I've got to say, they must have done one hell of a job reprogramming you, since I can't think of anything you've done to indicate you might've once been a Sith."

    "Oh, they certainly did one hell of a job," Aiden tossed his hydrospanner aside and sat on top of a footlocker. "My memories.... they feel so real. Did I ever tell you I had a little sister?"

    "I think you might have mentioned her once or twice."

    "Her name was Briane. She had long brown hair she liked to keep pulled back. Her favourite band was the Twisted Rancor Trio, and she had a ridiculous-looking dance she'd do to their last hit. I could do the dance, too. She hated eating vegetables, she loved to swim... and she's not real." Aiden finally buried his face in his hands. It was several long moments before he looked back up again. "How would you feel if your family didn't exist?"

    Carth's expression lost its edge. "Looks like the Jedi are pretty good at this cruelty business themselves, aren't they?"

    "Apparently."

    There was a long pause before Carth spoke again. "Speaking of family."

    "Are you planning on starting a new one?" Aiden asked skeptically.


    Carth blinked, then shook his head. "No, no, this is about the old one."

    "Aren't they all dead?"

    "Actually..." Carth trailed off, trying to find the right phrase. "Not in the way that both my wife and son actually died. Well, my wife did."

    "But your son didn't?"


    "No." Carth took a deep breath, and let it out in a heaving sigh. "Actually... he joined the Sith. And he's on Korriban."


    Aiden looked at him pointedly. "Bypassing Manaan, eh?"


    "Hey, it's on the list of places we needed to go anyway, and my previous logic stands." Carth made a face. "I'll just also want to be looking for my boy, if you don't mind."

    "Fine," Aiden said. "But you're going to come with me."

    "Really."

    "Yes," he nodded. "Carth, you're a good man, and I'm glad to have you on this mission. But I need you to trust me as I am, and I'm guessing the only way to earn that trust is to let you observe me."

    "You're probably right on that one." Carth granted. "But only so long as you promise we'll look for Dustil while we're there."

    "You have my word," Aiden promised. "I know how important this is to you."

    Carth nodded. "Thanks."

    "No problem," Aiden replied.

    Carth started to walk out of the engine room, but he put his hand on the doorframe and stopped. He turned his head to face Aiden, who was already idly picking tools out of the toolbox. "Aiden?" The younger man looked up, surprised to see he hadn't left yet. "So far as I've seen you, you've been a damned fine soldier. The kind I was proud to fight alongside. I really hope that's who you are now."

    "Me too, Carth." Aiden gave him a tight, sad smile. "Me too."
    Last edited by Commander-DWH, Jun 14, 2017
  14. RK_Striker_JK_5 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
    I'd like to read that essay, if it's cool. :)

    Leiraya and Carth... about time! ;) And very nice with Aiden, too. No, the hyperdrive won't judge you. [:D] Jolee and Mission are right, too. *KIcks Jedi Council-hard*
  15. princess_of_naboo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2000
    star 4
    Leiraya frowned. "How does that even work? I mean, Aiden doesn't act like an evil overlord."

    I totally pictured the evil overlord list at this line.


    Very nice showing Aiden's feelings. The part about the sister not existing...

    Of course, now I'm hoping that Aiden gets mad at the Council and turns grey at the least, if not dark again.

    Oh, I also loved the mention of the KOTOR comics you slipped in.
  16. Rogue_Pilot_2347 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2005
    star 4
    I like this chapter!

    The part where Aiden was describing the little details of his non-existent sister was SO heartrending!!!!

  17. padawanlissa Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2005
    star 4
    Wow! Amazing chapters! I can't believe you killed Kylan!:_|


    I am kind of surprised that you skipped the Mission/Griff stuff on Tatooine, though.
    As always, I look forward to the next chapter:)


    Who is in the bottom left corner of your cover art? Is it Juhani?
  18. Commander-DWH Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2003
    star 4
    Striker: You may, indeed, read my essay. :D [link=http://www.noamchomskyisaninja.com/phil01.html]What Would You Say if I Told You I Was Darth Revan? - Identification in Knights of the Old Republic[/link] This was written post-gameplay, but pre-Blue Side. And originally, Leiraya was a light sided, female Revan (it's a loooong story how she ended up where she is now), so her name shows up in the paper a lot. Just remember, it's not the same character. Not exactly. :p

    princes_of_naboo: I admit, I read the Evil Overlord list prior to writing this chapter. *ahem* Anyway, yes. The comics are awesome, and I've been reading the trade paperbacks. They will be mentioned more frequently in the revision, believe me. :D

    Rogue_Pilot: I really think the game glossed over this a lot, so I'm glad you liked that part. Aiden's struggle with his 'past' is far from over, though.

    padawanlissa: :oops: You caught me. I admit it, I accidentally dropped that plot line, and I feel bad about it. I'll have to pick it up in the revision, since I did actually mean to have Mission and Zaalbar have a merry romp in Anchorhead. And dropped plotlines make such a mess on the floor. [face_blush]

    Anyway, yes, that's Juhani in the cover art. And, as you have pointed out, there is new cover art! I really didn't like the old one that much, and I'm much happier with the new. :) And I'm working on the new chapter, so hopefully I'll have it done for you guys soon. As always, thank you so much for reading and replying- I really do appreciate it. :D
  19. Jherron Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Excellent update as always. Struggling to keep up, but my senior year should be a breeze from now on.
  20. Commander-DWH Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2003
    star 4
    Jherron: Glad to see you could keep up! Good luck with the schoolwork, I know how soul-eating that can get. :)

    Finally, I have the next chapter for you. Sorry it wasn't produced sooner, I spent a fair amount of time in spurts of incoherent rage over the stupidity of the actors and how their desire to strike is screwing with a lot of people who have nothing to do with their paycheck. I know I shouldn't rant at you guys, too, since you're awesome for reading this. But I feel the need to raise awareness that it's happening, since it's not being widely reported and it's really messing things up. However, this story is helping me maintain my sanity.

    This chapter is brought to you by delicious cake.

    Chapter 33

    Bastila debated whether or not she should open her eyes. There were restraints around her wrists and ankles, and she was not quite upright on a cool, slightly uneven surface. Stone, possibly. She didn't know where she was, exactly, and her last memory was of Malak looming over her beaten form, cackling menacingly. None of that was very encouraging.


    Eyes or no, however, she saw him enter the room- a swirling mass of red Force energy. Well, best to get it over with. She cracked her eyes open, and Malak was standing there, regarding her calmly. She was in a room that seemed to be completely made of stone, with only a few ancient terminals against the wall. "Lovely. Were all the remotely serviceable rooms in the galaxy taken?"

    A brief laugh emitted from Malak's vocabulator. "Charming. I always heard you were a delight." He circled to one side of her. "Among many other things."


    "Holding me here will do you no good, so you may as well kill me," Bastila spat. "Or is it true that you can't kill a person while you can still see them?"

    "Your attempts to anger me are amusing," Malak replied evenly. "But why ever would I kill such a prize?" He leaned in close. "Much better to turn you, don't you think?"


    "Never," Bastila gave him an icy glare. "I'll never turn to the dark side."

    "Really?" Malak reached out, stroking her cheek. Bastila turned away, but there was little she could do to escape his touch. "Your spirit is fierce. But believe me, child... I will break you." Force lightning played at his fingertips, and the skin around his eyes crinkled as though he were smiling.


    Bastila grimaced inwardly, but maintained a determined expression. "You're wasting your time."

    The lightning around his fingers intensified. "I will be the judge of that."

    * * *


    The entire men's cabin woke with a start as Aiden fell ingloriously to the floor, shouting incoherently. Canderous immediately had his repeating blaster rifle trained on the lump on the floor, until Aiden threw the blanket off his head and sat up.

    "What in the name of the Force was that?" Carth yelled, his own blaster in his hand, but pointed at nothing in particular.

    Aiden rubbed his head. "I'm not sure. I think it was Bastila."

    Canderous frowned. "The Jedi princess ain't here, Aiden."

    "I know that," Aiden replied testily, picking himself and his blankets off the cold floor. "But we have a bond. Guess that means she's still alive."

    "Did... did you see something?" Carth asked suspiciously.


    "Just a lot of colours." Aiden sat down on his bunk and rubbed his temples. "Lots of headache-inducing colours. And pain, too."

    "Sounds like Malak's got her," Jolee observed grimly.

    "You know, I was happier when I thought we were just getting handy Force visions," Aiden remarked. "This? This is nuts."

    Carth put his blaster back in its place and returned to lying down. "No arguments on that point."

    Canderous likewise returned his blaster rifle to its resting place. "Wake me up again like that, and I might actually shoot."

    "Don't worry," Aiden replied, grabbing his outer robe and throwing it on. "I'm not ready to try sleeping again." Leaving the cabin, he went to make himself a very large cup of caf.

    "Observation," HK's metallic voice sounded from behind, causing him to spin around quickly.


    "HK, don't sneak up on me like that," Aiden snapped.

    "Commentary: You are jumpy. Understandably so, given recent events."


    "And what does a rusty droid such as yourself have to say on the matter?"


    HK's photoreceptors seemed to flare. "Objection: I am not rusty!"


    Aiden resisted making a face. "I'm sorry, it wasn't meant as a commentary on your... qualities."


    "Statement: Oh, I'm sure it was, but I shall be gallant and ignore the comment."


    "Don't you have anything better to do?"

    "Statement: Why, I simply wished to confirm that you are, indeed, the Dark Lord Revan."

    Aiden eyed the droid suspiciously. "That's me. Why?"


    "Statement: Then I am pleased to be returned to you, Master!"

    Aiden blinked several times before responding. "Say what?"

    "Answer: My memory core, upon the news that Revan was on the ship, restored itself. It is a part of my standard assassination protocols that, once sent out on a mission, my memory is erased until the time that I should be returned to my proper Master. Statement: It is so good to see you alive, even though your newfound concern for life is perplexing."

    "I.." Aiden trailed off. "Forget the caf. It's time for the last bottle of Tarisian ale in the hold..."


    * * *


    When Leiraya entered the main hold in the morning, she was surprised to find Aiden chatting animatedly with HK-47, with an empty bottle of Tarisian ale sitting on the table.

    She raised an eyebrow. "Should I even ask?"

    "Did you know," Aiden grinned stupidly, "that Malak was the original meatbag?"

    "Pardon?"

    "Statement: The Master is mildly inebriated, though not as much as he probably should be. Recollection: He always could hold his liquor..."

    "Don't listen to him," Aiden waved the droid off. "He's just irritated because I've been asking him questions all night."

    "Didn't you sleep?"


    "Tried." He grimaced. "It ended in some nasty bond-related nightmares."

    "Ouch."

    "You don't know the half of it," Aiden rubbed his temple wearily. "Waking up with a colour headache on top of a fair amount of physical pain? Not my idea of a good time."


    "There must be some way of preventing it," Leiraya looked thoughtful. "I don't know, I've never had to block out a bond before."

    "Wish I didn't have one to block," Aiden made a face. "There is seriously not enough ale on this ship."

    "Well," Carth entered the hold, rubbing the last of the sleep from his eyes, "we should be arriving at Korriban some time today. Once we get there, I have no doubt there will be at least one cantina."

    "Good," Aiden yawned. "I hope they serve caf, too. Someone should find a way to combine the two."

    "I'm sure someone already has," Carth replied evenly. "Though honestly, you should try to get some sleep, now that the rest of us are awake and not likely to shoot you if you wake us up."

    "You're probably right," Aiden conceded. "Even though I'm not certain it will work."

    "You'll want to be slightly more conscious than you are now before you try infiltrating the Sith," Leiraya pointed out.


    Aiden snorted. "Who needs to infiltrate them? I was apparently their kriffing leader." Carth frowned, and Aiden raised his hands defensively. "Okay, self-deprecating jokes are not the best form of humour right now. Duly noted. Anyway," he straightened slightly and gestured towards Carth, "you're the next closest thing we have to a leader here. You figure out who's going where while we're on Korriban, since you're actually well-rested and sober. Me? I'm going to crash. Wake me when I'm needed, if I'm not violently ripped out of sleep before then..."

    Carth and Leiraya watched as he shuffled back to his bunk. With a frown, Leiraya turned to look up at Carth. "I'm not sure how good of an idea it is, taking him to Korriban."

    "Me neither," Carth sighed. "But it's where we're headed, and we have to go there eventually anyway. Sooner rather than later, if we have any hopes of finding and rescuing Bastila."


    "I don't think I'm ever going to be over what the Council did to him," Leiraya grimaced. "They're supposed to be the defenders of peace and justice in the galaxy. How is it at all just to destroy a man's identity?"

    "People have made a lot of choices they regretted later," Carth replied. "Even the Jedi."

    "It's unfortunate that their failures tend to be more spectacular," Leiraya grimaced. "I mean, we heard about Revan's conquests, even on Corellia. And that's saying something, considering reports of the Mandalorian Wars didn't really filter into the mainstream news until sometime in the middle of the war. He had everybody running scared, and I've never seen the citizenry that riled up about anything." She shook her head and smiled ruefully. "Even the less violent among us would have been there to fight him off, though. If there's one thing Corellians fight for, it's our home. But even if he was a monster... he was still a person. Having the ability to wipe a problem away doesn't make it right."


    "You'll have to debate ethics with the upper echelons of the Jedi next time you see them," said Carth. "If you can ever find any once Malak's done with them."


    "And so we try to finish this quest as quickly as possible." Leiraya crossed her arms and looked expectantly at Carth. "Speaking of the mission, I'm going with you."

    "What? So you can hold debates with every Sith that walks by?" Carth shook his head. "I don't think so."

    "I won't," Leiraya insisted. "Believe me, I know when not to start something. Like when you're literally surrounded by the enemy. The Sith aren't Czerka, and I know that. Evil corporations don't intimidate me. Sith..." she trailed off. "Well, you saw what happened to Kylan."

    Carth's expression softened. "And you still want to go in there?"


    Leiraya was silent for a moment. "It makes you wonder, you know. He was my best friend, and I thought I knew him. He was always the honourable type. Even before we were friends I knew he had the reputation. It's one of the reasons I got away with provoking him so many times." She smiled ruefully. "But knowing that even he fell, it makes me wonder if anyone is really safe. Then, of course, we found out Aiden was really Revan, and my perceptions of reality are really off-kilter right now."

    "Can't blame you there," Carth took her hand and squeezed it gently. "But you didn't answer my question."

    "I can't run away from the Sith because they got my best friend," Leiraya looked at him, eyes full of determination. "And I want to help you find Dustil."

    "If you're sure-"

    "I'm positive."


    "Then I'll be happy to have you there."

    "Thanks," Leiraya gave him a quick hug. "Now you get to figure out what to do with everyone else."

    Carth rolled his eyes and grinned. "Duty rosters. My favourite. Well, I haven't done one in a while, so it won't be so awful. But first," he gestured towards the food synthesizer, "I suggest food."

    As they procured breakfast foods from the synthesizer, they heard a muffled thud and a string of curses coming from the men's bunks. But Aiden didn't reappear, so they could only hope he was willing to try finding another way into rest.

    If he couldn't sleep properly, it was going to be a very long journey.

    * * *

    The touchdown on Korriban was fairly uneventful. The docking officials recognized the ship immediately, and welcomed her to her usual bay, asking if they needed any help, or if they preferred to stay under the radar.


    Occasionally, Carth mused, it was extremely helpful to be running around the galaxy in a stolen ship. Especially a ship with the reputation of the Hawk.

    After assuring the docking officials that they'd be better off without any help, they were bidden a good day and given clearance to land. Aiden walked bleary-eyed into the cockpit as Carth engaged the landing gear, yawning and holding a large mug of caf.

    "Get any rest?" Carth inquired.

    "Sort of. Maybe for twenty minutes at a time. I've really gotta figure out a way around these nightmares, though." Aiden scowled. "Did you figure out who's doing what?"

    "As a matter of fact, yes." Carth rose and walked out of the cockpit, and Aiden followed close behind him. The entire crew was there, waiting to receive their instructions. "First off, the number one rule here is to keep a low profile. If the Sith get even a hint of who we really are, we're sunk. To that end, and also to defend the ship in case they do catch on to us, I want Jolee and Juhani to stay on the ship." He then pointed at Canderous. "I want you to stay here, too. You're the only one who can make a quick getaway if we need one and I'm not here."

    Canderous nodded. "You got it."

    "Mission," he turned to the young Twi'lek, "I want you to stay here as well."

    Mission frowned. "Is this because I'm too young or something?"

    "No, it's because of all of us, you're the one who's best at looking after Sasha, and the poor kid's been through enough already." Carth smiled. "You up for being the big sister?"

    Mission tried to look annoyed, but she couldn't help smiling. "Oh, all right. When you put it like that 'n all, it doesn't sound so bad."

    "HK-47?" Carth looked over at the 'droid.

    "Statement: HK-47 is ready to serve."

    "I want you to patrol around the ship. If you perceive any danger, I want you to shoot first and ask questions later. We've instructed them to give us a wide berth, so anyone violating that can be dealt with accordingly."

    "Statement: Oh, thank you. It will fill me with unadulterated joy to dispose of any organic meatbags who attempt to harm this ship."

    Leiraya looked at him skeptically. "You're giving him weapons?"

    Carth shrugged. "It's what he's programmed to do. If there's anywhere to take advantage of that, it's here."

    She still didn't seem completely convinced, but she merely shrugged. "I suppose there's a certain logic to that."

    "That leaves Leiraya and myself," Carth continued. "We'll be going in with Aiden."

    Mission raised an eyebrow. "I thought extra Jedi were conspicuous."

    "Actually," Leiraya stepped in before Carth could offer an explanation, "I won't be carrying my lightsaber."

    This caused everyone to stare at her incredulously.

    "Wait a minute," Carth shook his head. "You're what?"

    "You heard me," she said, slightly less certainly. "I'm not carrying it. Which you should be happy for, all things considered. It's easier to pass as a non-Jedi when you don't carry the weapon."

    "Yeah, but you could hide it," Carth countered.

    "I'm not taking it with me," she repeated firmly.

    "I..." Carth trailed off, knowing there was more to it than a desire to remain inconspicuous, but also realizing that pushing her wouldn't procure an answer. Not now, anyway. "Fine. You leave the lightsaber behind." And hope to the Force that you don't end up needing it.

    "Okay, then." Aiden stretched and stifled a yawn. "You two are hereby known as my minions for the duration of our stay."

    Leiraya shrugged slightly. "I've always wanted to be a minion."

    "Then let's get moving," Aiden clapped his hands together, a little too enthusiastically. "We've got some Sith to confuse."

    Carth suppressed a grimace and rolled his eyes. "Oh, I think confusion will be easy enough..."
    Last edited by Commander-DWH, Jun 14, 2017
  21. Rogue_Pilot_2347 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2005
    star 4
    No lightsaber? Leiraya, what are you up to?

    I like this chapter. I haven't ever played the game (no X-box and didn't work on my computer :_| ) But I kind of know bits and pieces of it--the point: the first part of the chapter did an amazing job letting us know what was going to happen without spelling it out.

    Write fast!
  22. RK_Striker_JK_5 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
    *Begins humming 'I want to hold your gland'* :p Nice essay, too.

    Poor Aiden-poor Bastila! *Puts crash webbing around Aiden's bunk* :p Nice way to show Bastila's torture without showing Bastila's torture. And lol that Malak was the original 'meatbag'.

    *Smacks Leiraya* Bring your lightsaber! :rolleyes: Honestly...

    Great chapter! Up!
  23. princess_of_naboo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2000
    star 4
    Gah, I can't wait to see him interact with the Sith!

    I wonder what he'll think of the tasks in the academy. I always liked the Sith Code part.

    Poor guy, not getting any good sleep. Loved HK-47, as always.
  24. angry_bendu1 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 15, 2007
    star 2
    Just wanted to up this awesome fic!:D
  25. padawanlissa Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2005
    star 4
    I really like the way you had Aiden feel Bastila's torture.
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