Disclaimer: I don't own the Star Wars universe or Star Wars KOTOR, George Lucas and Lucas Arts do. They also own all the Characters and Worlds contained therein. The characters created by me for this story are all that I own.
We all boarded the Ebon Hawk and took off for the Star Forge. I went with Jolee and Juhani to meditate and center myself in the Force for the upcoming effort. Carth came and told us he had spoken to Admiral Dodonna and Master Vandar. I was happy to learn that Master Vandar was still alive and listened to their plan. The Ebon Hawk and several Jedi Knights would dock with the Star Forge and attempt to distract Bastila so the Republic Fleet could destroy the Star Forge. We nodded and trusted in Carth's skills to pilot us safely to the Star Forge.
When we docked I took Juhani and HK with me to see if we could find Bastila, leaving the rest of the group to protect the Ebon Hawk for our retreat. Four Jedi Knights waited for us as we exited and their leader said "You made it! Several Jedi have already gone ahead into the Star Forge. We have to strike while we still have the element of surprise. If we don't stop Bastila from using her Battle Meditation the entire Republic fleet will be wiped out!" As she said that a group of Dark Jedi arrived, though she said for us to leave we paused a moment to assist them and then exited the docking bay.
The walkways were strangely deserted until several assault droids appeared. It was but the work of a moment to use the Force to disable them though. As we continued we encountered more of the assault droids and were easily able to destroy them often before they were even aware of us.
We finally caught up with the force of Jedi Knights that had gone on before us in time to see them cut down by a group of Dark Jedi. The Dark Jedi ran to attack us and the battle began, HK cut one of them down before they ever reached us and the remaining two were no match for Juhani and I. In a surprisingly short amount of time we entered the second level of the Star Forge. It appeared that Malak had finally decided to give up the idea of sending droids and began to throw everyone he could find at us in an attempt to stop us.
The fights through the second level were hectic, with Sith troopers and Dark Jedi coming at us in groups of four and five each. Finally we appeared to have killed all that were willing to come against us and were able to proceed to the Command Center. I had the feeling that Malak was just trying to slow us down and I wondered what he was planning.
I sensed that I was drawing near to Bastila and I could feel her concentrating in her Battle Meditation. Then her concentration was broken and I could feel fear, confusion and turmoil through the bond. I wondered what had happened and then realized she must have been informed that I was on the station. I could think of nothing else that would account for her feelings.
More Sith troopers and Dark Jedi awaited us on the Command Deck but it was not long before I realized that Bastila was in the next room. I calmed myself and opened the door that stood between us.
Bastila got up from where she had been kneeling in her meditation and said "Revan – I knew you would come for me."
I said "I'll never give up on you, Bastila. I know you can still be saved."
Bastila was playing at being a Sith princess and in a haughty voice said "You are wasting your time. I have seen the Jedi for what they are: weak and afraid. The Sith are the true Masters of the Force. You have forgotten that lesson, Revan. Now you must pay the price. Here on the Star Forge the power of the dark side is at it's strongest. This time you will not defeat me!"
I prepared myself for a difficult battle, she was strong in the darkness and I would have to take care not to get myself killed while trying to save her. She tried to use her dark powers against me but as before I was prepared for her attempt and resisted all her efforts. She rushed me then attacking me with her dual bladed lightsaber. She was surprised by how easily I landed a painful gash to her thigh and backed off limping and said "I can't even imagine the power you must have wielded when you were the Dark Lord. You were a fool to give it all up and follow the light side."
I looked at her and said "I am as strong in the light as I ever was following the dark side."
Bastila stared at me and then said "The dark side has made me stronger than I ever was before! I have a greater command of the Force than all but the most powerful Jedi Masters. As Malak teaches me the greatest secrets of the Sith, I will unlock more of my potential. Eventually there will be no limit to what I can accomplish with the Force!"
I rebuked her saying "You will accomplish death and destruction with the dark side, nothing else."
Bastila glared at me and said "Jedi propaganda. The dark side is only a took, and Malak will train me in it's use. Eventually I will surpass my Master and challenge him. If I am worthy he will die by my hand. Then I will take on my own apprentice and the cycle will begin again. This is the way of the Sith, it is how we assure our leaders are always the strongest and most worthy!"
I shook my head sadly and said "You're dooming yourself to an endless cycle of death and betrayal."
Bastila drew on the power of the Star Forge and healed herself and shouted as she attacked again "No, Revan, it is you who are doomed!"
She attacked again and got in a few good blows, but I was able to drive her back and sent her sprawling. We paused again and she said "You are growing weary, I can sense it! Your strength falters; the light side is failing you while the power of the Star Forge re-energizes me! Soon this will all be over!"
I said to her "I have not faltered, Bastila. You have been misled by the dark side."
We fought and I was growing worried that I might accidentally kill her, I had scored deep gashes across her thigh and arm and still she fought on in a frenzy. Finally I wounded her again across her side and she backed off limping and said in a defeated voice "No, this is not possible! You have rejected the dark side; you are a weak and pathetic servant of the light! How can you still stand against me? Why can't I defeat you?"
I said to her gently sensing that this was my chance to persuade her "Now you see the dark side is not stronger than the light."
Bastila "Yes, I see you speak the truth. I am no match for you. Please, for the sake of what we once shared, do not make me suffer. End my life quickly. There is no other way."
I remembered when I had felt the same way, this was a strange reflection of when we had met on a Sith ship once before, only now it was Bastila who felt that she could not return to me. I said to her with all the love I felt for her "I could never kill you, Bastila."
She looked at me and said "What other choice do you have? I have fallen to the dark side; I am the apprentice to the Dark Lord himself. You cannot let me live."
I held out a hand to her and said "You can reject the dark side, Bastila. Return to the light." I know she heard through our bond 'return to me.'
She dropped her eyes and said despairing "No... I'm not strong enough. There is too much anger inside me now. Too much hatred and fear. I can no longer find peace in the Force."
I opened myself to her and as she looked at me wondering at the emotions that sang through the bond to her said "Use our bond, then. Take your strength from me."
She straightened some and said "You... always had more strength than I did. I told you that. I felt so... helpless before your destiny. You were Revan and I couldn't tell you... it was agonizing! Even worse when I began to... feel closer to you. I despised myself for it. And even now I... feel your strength. It... does help me. Thank you, I think I can face the end, now. If you are the one to end it for me."
I took a step closer to her and touched her face and said "I love you, Bastila. I can't abandon you, ever." I gently began to heal her and waited for her reply.
Bastila straightened as I healed her wounds and looked at me wonderingly and said "You... love me? Heh. I... there was a time I yearned for and yet dreaded to hear those words. I loved you, too, but I could never... face who you were. Malak knew how I felt. Any part of the light that was within me would be extinguished when I killed you. But what good is love? It cannot save me from the sea of blackness I am drowning in. I have betrayed everything I ever believed in! How can I atone for that?"
I stepped another step closer to her and said "Help us defeat the Sith, Bastila. This will atone for what you have done."
Bastila said "Yes, I... could join you in your battle against the Dark Lord. That alone would not make up for all I have done, yet... it would be a step in the right direction. But how would you be able to trust me? How do you know I wouldn't turn on you when you faced Lord Malak? How do you know the dark side wouldn't make me betray you again?"
I smiled at her and said "I trust you enough to leave myself open to your attack, Bastila."
She shook her head at me and said "You play a dangerous game. Are you certain you wish to take this risk? I could end your life and gain Malak's favor with a single stroke of my lightsaber."
I looked into her eyes and said "You won't Bastila. Because I love you and I believe in you."
She blinked and I could see she was fighting back tears and she said huskily "You are brave... and some would say foolish. But you are also right. The dark side has not wholly consumed me. I cannot raise my blade against you. You will go on to defeat Malak; of this I have little doubt. You will have gone from being the Sith Lord, to the savior of our galaxy. And... and you said you loved me. This may not be the best time to say it, but... I love you, too. With all my heart."
Relief and joy rushed over me and I said "You aren't afraid to love me anymore?"
She smiled at me and said "After this? No, nothing could make me feel safer than to be loved by you."
With that I could not restrain myself further and in a echo of the past I swept her into my arms and kissed her passionately. This time though she didn't push me away, nor were there any words of anger. Instead she wrapped her arms around me and returned my kiss with just as much passion and love as I was feeling. As Bastila accepted and returned my love the bond between us filled with joyous emotion.
We finally broke apart only to realize that HK and Juhani had entered the room at some point. HK was waiting patiently to be noticed and Juhani was pretending an interest in the walls of the room. I smiled at the both of them and Bastila buried her head in my chest for a moment then straightened and said "You should go. Malak waits. This isn't over yet... for any of us. I should stay here, thought. If we face Malak I am afraid his dark presence will overwhelm me. It would not be wise to expose myself to such temptation."
I frowned and said "Bastila, I want you at my side when I face Malak."
Bastila shook her head and said "I'm sorry, but the risk is too great. I am not wholly free of the dark side's shadow. Not yet. But you are more than a match for the Dark Lord. I understand that now. I will stay here in this chamber and use my Battle Meditation to aid the Republic fleet. I am their only hope of destroying the Star Forge and ending the Sith menace. You must go and face Malak, but you have to hurry. Once I turn the battle in the Republic's favor we won't have much time to escape the Star Forge before it is destroyed.
She stepped back from me and said "Good luck, my love... and may the Force be with you." With that she returned to her meditation and I bent over and kissed the top of her head and asked HK and Juhani to remain with her and make sure she was safe. They agreed and I went in the direction that Bastila had indicated Malak had gone.
Master Vandar felt a disturbance in the force and realized that something had changed. He looked around him and noticed a difference in the soldiers' attitudes. They no longer looked despondent and hopeless from Bastila's Battle Meditation. Instead they looked more alive every passing second, there was a spring in their step and hope in their eyes.
Master Vandar tried to determine what had changed, it felt like Bastila was now using her Battle Meditation to help the Republic but her Battle Meditation had never had this effect before. The people around him seemed more alive in the Force and there was an undercurrent of.... hope and joy that what was growing in the people around him.
Master Vandar looked at Masters Vierina and Tallok from Corsucant and could tell they were sensing the same thing. He stilled himself and looked at the Living Force that surrounded them and realized what was occurring.
He said to them and Admiral Dodonna "Bastila is aiding us with her Battle Meditation once again." Admiral Dodonna nodded then said "I thought it might be so but I wasn't sure, this doesn't feel like what I remembered. I've been in battles where she aided us before and there wasn't this sense of.... Joy and hope?" She stared puzzled at Master Vandar.
Master Vandar nodded and said "It is the bond between Bastila and Revan you are sensing; it is affecting Bastila's Battle Meditation."
Admiral Dodonna gaped at them and said "But Revan is dead what are you talking about?!"
Master Vierina ignored Admiral Dodonna's question for now, "So it is as you predicted Master Vandar, Revan has found Bastila and through their bond turned her back to the light. They have admitted their love for one another. It is a powerful emotion; I can see how the soldiers around us are affected by it. I can feel the strength of it through her Battle Meditation. Such a thing I have never heard of, or read of, in all our history. I see now, why you said the bond is the will of the Force, and I agree that we should observe only and not try to interfere in any way with the bond. We must determine what the will of the Force had been in all that has occurred as a result of it."
Admiral Dodonna listened to them with astonishment and asked again "Are you saying that Revan is alive?"
Master Vandar looked at her and nodded saying "When the battle is over I will explain everything. But for now, yes, Revan lives and walks in the light once again and goes to fight Malak now on the Star Forge. May the Force be with her."
Admiral Dodonna was one of the flag officers who had accepted the Republics part in the events following the Mandalorian Wars. She had pushed for changes in training and had gotten approved an order stating that the Republic Fleet would never again accept any Jedi assistance when the Jedi Council had not given their permission.
The Jedi Council had been right when they said that something dark awaited them and that only ruin would follow if the Jedi assisted them when the Republic had asked for aid. But the Fleet had ignored their warning and accepted the offered help from Revan and Malak when the two went against the wishes of the Jedi Council and events had unfolded as the Jedi predicted. Revan and Malak had returned as Sith Lords seduced by the dark side and bent on conquering the very galaxy they had saved from the Mandalorian threat.
She shook her head and brought her attention back to the battle. They still had to destroy the Star Forge, and she hoped that the Jedi's on the Star Forge would have time to escape before that happened.
As I passed through the door to the next section of the Star Forge I noted bins and computer terminals beside them. Curious I went over and accessed one it read 'Accessing Droid Generator, Internal System, Loading Status..... Generator Inactive.' My only option was to log off. I looked at the machinery next to the terminal and deduced that it must be the Droid Generator and the terminal the controls for it.
I shrugged and continued deeper into the section, walking past several different droid generator terminals. Finally I came to the end of the section and a door opened to reveal two Jedi being held by Malak's force powers. He turned and killed them and then said to me "I tire of this game, Revan. You have been a thorn in my side from the moment I seized the mantle of Dark Lord from your feeble grasp! You made a mistake coming here, Revan. The Star Forge fuels my command of the dark side. You are no match for me here. And this time you will not escape!"
I fought my feelings of anger at what he had done to Bastila how he had dared to try and interfere with our bond. How he had attempted to get Bastila to kill me and thus endangered her and managed to growl "It's you who can't escape, Malak. Surrender and the Jedi might show you mercy." Instead of telling him I was going to see him dead for his actions.
I continued to fight my feelings, hearing the sirens call of the darkness to strike him down for his actions as he responded to me saying "Is that what you call it? You think stripping away your power and your identity was an act of mercy, Revan? I would rather die!"
I realized that I did now consider my loss of memory a mercy; it had allowed me to freely choose a different path and have experiences that made me stronger, more able to resist the dark side. I breathed easier and said calmly. "I was saved from the darkness, Malak. You can be too, if you wish."
Malak glared at me and said "Spoken like a true slave of the Jedi code. Save your preaching, Revan – I will have none of it! You are an insignificant speak beneath my notice. I have surpassed you in every way and accomplished what you never could... I have unleashed the full potential of this Rakatan factory! You had no idea of the power within this place! It's very walls are alive with dark side energies! And now, my old master, I will let the Star Forge itself destroy you!"
With that he shut and locked the blast door between us and I could sense the droid generators activating behind me. What was it with Sith and droids I thought to myself puzzled. Then I realized that the dark side had no direct ability to affect droids and so they saw them as powerful, totally forgetting that the light side had powers that directly affected droids.
I avoided the droids that were generated and instead ran to the computer terminal that was nearest. Using the terminal for protection I sliced into the terminal. Now that the generator was active I had the option to overload the generator. I did so and watched as the generator destroyed itself. Using the Force I leapt over the droids and choose another terminal to slice.
I worked my way around the room using my energy shield to protect myself from the blaster bolts of the droids and ignoring their efforts to attack me except to avoid them. When I thought that I had disabled most of the droid generators I attacked the droids using my force powers and looked to see if I had missed any of the generators. I had missed one and I jumped over the droid that it produced and ran to it's terminal. The droid paused trying to pick me up on its sensors but I had disabled the terminal by then and it stopped attacking.
I shook my head and wondered why Malak had thought that exercise would be challenging. The droids the generators had produced hadn't even been all that threatening. Thank goodness he had thought that would stop me though, I would probably catch him off guard now, as it had only taken me minutes to disable all the droid generators.
I paused and prepared myself to face Malak. I had my emotions under control once again and reminded myself that I had led Malak into this, he had been my friend once and I owed it to him to try and persuade him to return to the light, even though I did not see a path for him in the Force. I opened the door to an elevator and took it to the final level of the Star Forge where I felt Malak waiting.
Malak turned to me as I entered and I detected his surprise.
Malak said "Well done, Revan. I was certain the defenses of the Star Forge would destroy you, but I see there is more of your old self in you than I expected. You are stronger than I though; stronger than you ever were during your reign as the Dark Lord. I did not think that was possible."
I replied "The light side is stronger than you know, Malak."
Malak said "I am tempted to try and capture you alive, Revan. Then I could break your will and bind you to me as my apprentice, as I did with Bastila. You would be a far greater asset to me than even Bastila and her Battle Meditation, if I could control you. But is it worth the risk? Perhaps you are too powerful to be my apprentice. I betrayed you when I realized my own strength was greater than yours; in time you might try to do the same to me."
I shook my head and said "I will never serve the dark side again, Malak."
Malak said "Foolish words. The darkness and the light wage a constant war within you. The balance is tipped one way now, but it can easily be tipped back. Savior, conqueror, hero, villain. You are all things Revan... and yet you are nothing. In the end you belong to neither the light nor the darkness. You will forever stand alone."
I recognized the truth in what he said, it was possible for me to fall to the darkness again, but not while my bond with Bastila existed, not while she loved me. And I did not stand alone, Bastila would be with me, she was with me now through the bond and I could feel her love for me. I looked at Malak and said "I believe in the power of redemption, Malak."
Malak said "Of course. What else do you have? Fate and destiny have conspired to keep you alive despite my best efforts; they have thrust you into the role of savior. We have been inexorably pushed to this final confrontation, Revan. I see now that this can only be settled when one of us destroys the other. Once again we shall face each other in single combat... and the victor will decide the fate of the galaxy!"
With that he attacked, but I was prepared and he did not catch me off guard. He retreated when I injured him and I took the opportunity to use one of my med paks. I wanted all my force powers available for I had the feeling that he had something up his sleeve still. And what were dead Jedi doing hanging in the tanks in the room?
Malak spoke then and said "You continue to amaze me, Revan. If only you had been the one to uncover the true power of the Star Forge you might have become truly invincible. But you were a fool. All you saw was an enormous factory; all you imagined was an infinite fleet rolling forth to crush the Republic. You were blind, Revan – blind and stupid!"
I asked "Is there some point to this?"
Malak snarled "The Star Forge is more than just a space station. In some ways, it is like a living creature. It hungers. And it can feed on the dark side that is within all of us! Look around you, Revan. See the bodies? You should recognize them from the Academy. These are Jedi who fell when I attacked Dantooine. For all intents and purposes dead, except for one difference: I have not let them become one with the Force. Instead I have brought them here. The Star Forge corrupts what remains of their power and transfers the dark taint to me! You cannot beat me, Revan. Not here on the Star Forge. Not when I can draw upon the power of all these Jedi! And once you are beaten I will do the same to you. You will be trapped in a terrible existence between life and death, your power feeding me as I conquer the galaxy!"
With that he drew upon one of the Jedi to replenish himself and I could feel what he did, he tainted the Jedi's soul. Abomination I thought, I must stop him. I was certain that the Jedi he had touched could still become one with the force if the Star Forge was completely destroyed. As for the others if I could destroy the field holding their power they would become one with the Force and forever beyond Malak's reach.
I ignored Malak for awhile, simply evading his attacks and concentrated on destroying the remaining containment field on all the Jedi that Malak had not tainted yet. Finally when I had destroyed the last containment field I faced Malak for our final battle. He had no more Jedi to draw upon; this would be our last engagement. It was a close battle but I was able finally to land a deadly strike that brought him to his knees.
Malak coughed and gasped "I'm... impossible. I... I cannot be beaten. I am the Dark Lord of the Sith."
I shook my head sadly and said "The power of the light will always be stronger than the dark side." I searched the paths for a way to him, but still I could see no way for him to return to the light.
Malak said "Still... still sprouting the wisdom of the Jedi, I see. Maybe there is more truth in their code than I ever believed. I cannot help but wonder, Revan. What would have happened if our positions had been reversed? What if fate had decreed I would be captured by the Jedi? Could I have returned to the light, as you did? If you had not led me down the dark path in the first place, what destiny would I have found?"
Sadly I said "I am sorry I started you on this path. But you chose to continue down it."
Malak replied his strength failing "I suppose... I suppose you speak the truth. I alone must accept responsibility for my fate. I wanted to be Master of the Sith and rule of the galaxy. But that destiny was not mine, Revan. It might have been yours, perhaps... but never mine. And in the end, as the darkness takes me, I am nothing."
I walked over to Malak's body and closed his eyes, I had failed to find a way to free him of his darkness and I grieved. I tried to let him know wherever he was that he was not nothing to me, he was still my friend, and I was so very sorry that I had played a part in leading him here to his death at my hands.
I became aware that I needed to hurry if Bastila and our friends were to escape the destruction of the Star Forge. I turned and left with one last look at the body of my old friend and started running for the Ebon Hawk.
Carth and Bastila waited for me near the ship and as I ran up Carth asked "There you are! What happened?"
I became aware that tears were streaming down my face and they were both looking at me in concern. I said "There was no way to turn him to the light side. I had to kill him."
Bastila was in no mood to forgive Malak, but she realized that I felt guilty for what he had become and merely said "I don't think anyone actually expected that he could be redeemed. I'm surprised you would even think of trying. There's no time to celebrate just yet. I was able to use my Battle Meditation to allow the Republic to break through the Sith fleet. The capital ships are in bombardment range."
Carth nodded and said "And that means we have to get out of here right now before this entire complex comes down around our ears. Everyone else is already on the ship, lets move!"
We all sprinted for the Ebon Hawk and Carth ran for the pilots chair to navigate the Ebon Hawk away from the Star Forge. Memories of another escape from destruction intruded and I remembered Taris and wondered if the outcasts had found shelter. Maybe now I would be able to go to Taris and search for them.
Bastila came and stood by me and I leaned against her and wrapped an arm around her waist. She glanced at me and asked "What was Malak to you? Why do you grieve for him so?" I sensed through our bond that she was angry with me, I wasn't sure exactly why though.
I sighed and said "Malak loved me, and I loved him, but not as he wanted. He was the older brother I never had when I was at the Academy. He was always there to join in with my plans and help bail me out of trouble when I did something foolish. Against his better judgment he followed me to the Mandalorian Wars, he understood that I needed to get away from the Enclave." I paused and Bastila said "Away from me you mean."
I winced but nodded and said "That was one of the reasons yes, but not the only one. I wanted to go, I wanted to do good. I thought the Master's were just being too cautious after Exar Kun. And I could never take no as an answer, I was willful and proud." I paused and sighed deeply and said "I was stupid and young, and I should have listened to them."
I continued "That war broke the goodness inside of me. To win I had to make terrible choices. I've always been able to see how to get from the past to a certain future. It started small, a choice to arrange troops so that a town was lost but a major engagement won. I wept after every battle for the lives I had caused to be lost with my choices and Malak always was there for me. Holding my hand, telling me I had made the only choice I could have."
I paused trying to remember what I could of that time and realized that Carth was staring at me with an odd look on his face. I remembered that Carth had thought that Revan and Malak were heroes, that they had come and rescued the Republic from the Mandalorians. Now I was telling him that the Mandalorian War was the cause for my fall to the dark side. Bastila had tried to tell him before, maybe this time he would listen.
"I cannot remember much about the specifics of the War and the choices I made, the closer I get to the point I actually went to the dark side the less I remember. I do remember that the choices only got harder, and I started not caring about the deaths those choices caused. That was the beginning of my fall, and by the war's end I suspect I had gone to the dark side, though I did not know it myself then. Malak held on to the light longer than I did, but in the end he followed me into the darkness."
Bastila asked "So you were never lovers?" I looked at her puzzled and said "I don't think so? I don't remember us being intimate... but honestly I could not swear that we were not after our fall. I just don't remember enough of that time. If we were I'm sure I only would have done that to control him." She stared at me and I could feel her anger ebbing, I wondered what Malak had told her during her captivity.
I opened myself to her letting her feel the strength of my love,"Bastilla I have never loved anyone else; I will never love anyone else. You and I are bound together in the force; I believe we always have been." She smiled back at me and I could feel whatever doubts had been tormenting her fade away.
A frown of worry crossed her features, "But what about the Jedi Council?"
I chuckled, "I have given the Jedi Council many things to consider, I believe they will choose not to interfere with the bond."
Suddenly Admiral Dondonna's voice broke in greeting us and betraying her relief that we were still alive.
Carth grinned at everyone in the room and replied, "We couldn't let you start the party without us Admiral."