Star Wars; Knights of the Old Republic.
Disclaimer; all concepts that are not mine belong to their respective owners. I own original characters and situations but nothing more.
This story is set before Knights of the Old Republic, before even the Mandalorian Wars. It goes from a time about twenty years before the game up until a few days before it starts. More than that, this is the story of two men, both the same age, a Jedi and a soldier. Both men that are better known for what is to come later on. They are not related, they only meet three times in the same place and yet this is their story.
One thing I refuse to follow canon on is the Republic uniforms. I refuse to have my character looking like clowns. They wear dark blue or green and that is it. You cannot accuse me of not warning you that I have made this change.
Measurements; despite the fact I use and prefer metric measurements, I am using Imperial (American) measures in this story. It might not be canon but the aim is to make the story as easy to read as possible. Everybody understands what a mile and an inch is, even if not the specifics, I stand by this decision.
As hardly needs to be told, this is my version of the story, readers will doubtless disagree with parts of it, I accept this. Any comments, suggestions or reviews are welcome.
And I would like especially to thank Prisoner24601 for her continued support and for beta reading my piece. Making order out of chaos is not easy but she has managed.
Thanks also to Coruscant Publishing for various technical SW info pieces. As I have said, I am a bit ignorant about such things and her help was appreciated.
Book I – Ignorance and Wisdom.
Revan stood in an open room looking over the endless city of Coruscant, his hands clasped behind his back and his legs apart. Coruscant, the heart of the galaxy and crown jewel of the Republic. A planet so covered in buildings that the surface of the city was an artificial tangle of twisted stone and metal, a hell where people lived in the millions. On the highest peaks however, the richer, more fortunate people lived, neither concerned nor caring for those they lived below. To them, the sun was always visible in the day, no buildings blocked out the stars at night and nothing disturbed their sleep. Coruscant was capital of the Republic, symbolising everything it stood for in more ways than one. Across the surface of the planet were various sections designated by their importance and wealth, in the centre of it all was Republic Square, the centre of the web of galactic events. Near each other, in close proximity was the Senate, the Office of the Chancellor, and the Headquarters of the Republic Military. And then there was the Jedi Temple, the Jedi, the Order that claimed to be the guardians of peace and justice in the Republic. There were many common people that would dispute this claim and many in the Republic Military who would smile at the perfidy of the suggestion. The Jedi were essentially independent from the Republic, yet linked irrevocably to their fate. Neither the Republic nor the Jedi could survive without the other, a symbiotic relationship which had often borne fruit in the past.
Just twenty years before, the Republic had allied with the Jedi and defeated the first incursion of the Sith in centuries, the lightsiders instrumental in the defeat of Exar Kun. Now, the Jedi were still recovering from the shock of that war, the defections and losses had shaken them, the Republic had expanded so that the two groups were drifting apart. Many predicted that one day this would come to a head, as yet, no opportunity had arisen. The galaxy is a large realm however, and shadows can hide in even the smallest corners.
The Jedi temple, for being a mere two decades old was still a magnificent sight. Built in thanks by the people of the Republic, it was impressive, imposing and excessive. Great spires near a half mile high formed the points of a compass around the temple, lights burning from their peaks even in the brightest of days. It was the centre which was the most impressive though, a wide base near a half dozen miles across, surmounted by high walls and modern defences. One did not simply walk to the temple; it was alone on a wide pedestal, apart from the city around, a security measure taken by all the largest buildings in the capital.
The temple itself was a tall, strange mixture of ziggurat and conventional building, a tall series of buildings around a massive step pyramid beneath a tower of white. The temple was a self contained city, having its own supplies of food, power and of course, defence.
In an open room far above the surface of this platform, there stood a person. The room was airy and open, allowing the air and light easy access without causing discomfit. Revan stood unmoving, staring at the endless city to the distant horizon, his face hidden by a plain brown robe. He did not even turn as the door opened to announce another Jedi onto the roof.
"I knew you would be here. Somehow, I could sense you would come here to be alone." The speaker was a woman of about thirty, good looking and compassionate. Brown hair framed her face which sparkled from the deep blue eyes set therein; her skin was tanned and hardened by injury and experience.
"It is the one place that I feel like I own Master. Nobody comes up here, not anymore. I just wanted to be alone," the voice was masculine, the tone blank. It was as though all the emotion it possessed had been drawn from it, the sadness was still undeniable though. The woman could feel his emotions warring inside him. Like volcano, the placid appearance hid a broiling and churning mass within.
"You did the right thing my student, I know what it is you suffer, and I have had to deal with it. For once, I will understand if you want to let your emotions out."
The man turned to her and shook his head, "would that help?"
"Containing your anger will only make it build, only lead to the darkside."
"But you and I both know Master that I could do nothing about it. Being angry and resentful will not bring them back, I have my own life to lead, that is something I must do. I will not bear the weight of the dead; their memory is enough for me."
The Jedi Knight who was the young man's mentor smiled at him gently, "you are mature beyond your time Revan. I know a dozen Jedi of your age alone who would have lost their control in this instance."
Revan pushed back his hood, revealing a handsome face disrupted by red eyes; he had been weeping and trying to hide the fact. Beyond that, he had crystal blue eyes, short black hair, ramrod straight and a quick smile. "That, Master is why I feel alone in this place. They are dead but as I said, I cannot bring them back."
Jedi Knight Mirar Levarne had expected worse, there were few people at the age of seventeen who could take the news of their parent's death so well. She supposed however, that there were few enough people of any age like Siandar Morantine, Revan as he preferred. Revan's parents were dead, killed in an unspecified accident on the fringes of space; they had been merchants, running a small business in dangerous places. It had been no thug's knife that had ended their trade; just a malfunctioning hyperdrive component had thrown them into the clutches of a quasar's gravity. The convoy had confirmed the destruction of the ship, the message taken to the only family, Revan the Apprentice Jedi.
"Are you going to be alright?" Mirar asked him, laying a gentle arm onto his shoulder. He already was the same height as her, already six feet tall.
"I can't see the future Mirar; I will work to make sure it doesn't effect me." The Jedi Knight hid her frown at the use of her name; it was not something that bothered her. Not when they were alone anyway.
The Jedi smiled reassuringly, waved her student on, "you will be ready soon. Only the end of your education and then the true challenges will lie before you."
"I shall study to be deserving of your praise Master," he said grimly as the two reached the stairway leading down into the heart of the temple.
"It is near dusk, you should go my student, be with me tomorrow at dawn."
"I shall be there Master," Revan said and strode from the room.
Mirar Levarne watched him go; he was perhaps the most gifted of the Apprentices of his age. His dedication, his stubbornness surpassed even his natural skills as a Force user. She was proud to have been made the Master of a boy such as him, although he was barely a boy anymore. He would be eighteen in just two weeks; she had no doubt that he would pass his final tests beginning in three days time.
"I see your Apprentice has taken the loss well," a calm voice intoned from behind her.
Caught in her own thoughts, Mirar was startled, turning to face her old Master. Nobody really knew how old the man was, he had looked the same even twenty years before when he had taken Mirar as a Padawan. In appearance he looked like a normal man, shoulder length white hair, grey coloured eyes and an exceptionally calm and patient demeanour. According to the records she had read, Master Aetius Perinard had been a Jedi for nearly ninety years, she had dismissed it as impossible but looking at him, she was not so sure. The man had a patience that even long lived non-humans did not possess.
"Master Perinard, I did not hear you approach," she said with a bow.
The man nodded slowly, "You were in your own thoughts Jedi Levarne. So how is he? This Siandar which the council hears so much of."
"He was given news today of the death of his parents, navigational accident. He took it better than I thought he would, he has shown true maturity in dealing with it."
The two Jedi began to walk along a corridor which overlooked the wide inner courtyard of the temple. "Indeed, he is progressing on with great speed, in time he will be a man to watch. His dedication and fervour may be his greatest asset or his downfall."
"He is the most committed of all those of his age, he does not give up until he has Mastered something. He has a desire to succeed which few his age has."
"Or of any age Jedi Levarne, of any age. He still has difficulty controlling his emotions does he not?"
"He has a keen sense of morality," Mirar said firmly. "He does not let anything happen that is against his conscience, he will learn though."
"If he is to succeed, he must put aside his emotions and look upon what he does with a certainty of logic. If he cannot do this, then he will fall. Do not think it cannot happen, that is what we said twenty years ago, nobody thought that the defections of that era would happen. We are more aware of the danger now."
"I will see that he learns such lessons Master," Mirar said dutifully.
"Yes, if he can control his emotions, then he has great potential, if he fails…." he did not finish, he did not have to.
"If there is one boy who can do it, it is he."
"Pride is an emotion that leads to the fall Mirar, do not be blinded by your pride in his ability, see what is really there,"
"I shall try Master," she said and strode away.
Aetius watched her go, nodding his head in satisfaction as she left the corridor.
Siandar Morantine, Revan to those around him, was nearly back at his room when he heard a scream of anger or rage. He winced, not from the sound but from the negative emotions surging through the Force. He felt anger, fear and even hate in the person, as yet he could not tell who it was so he moved away from his door down the hallway. Apprentices had small rooms, single beds in a room a mere ten feet by eight wide; a small window complimented it, making it seem like a cell. Revan walked down the hallway, the noise had come from the children's living areas where the new initiates were taken. The young man was used to such outbursts by those who had been taken from their parents, this had felt different however. There had been anger, not at the Jedi but at something else that was almost breathtaking, he followed the invisible path of the force trail. He came at last to a locked door, locked with a simple bolt on the outside, leading into a small bedroom on the other side. A small window allowed Revan to look through the door at the interior, the room was a mess.
Although hardly a palace, Revan's room was palatial compared to this small room, barely large enough for the child's bed and small wardrobe inside. Clothes and possessions were scattered over the floor, and on the bed was a girl. Revan knew this was a room where the more difficult students could be kept until they could be calmed from whatever trauma they had suffered. The girl looked about five, brown hair in two pigtails by her ears. All other features were hidden because she had buried her face in her hands, leaning against the wall, crying.
Revan was not a full Padawan yet but even so, he had a keen sense of how to talk to people. He could read a person's emotions and use the Force to comfort them almost instinctively, in time his Master thought he would make a great negotiator. He could feel the girl's emotions, fear was overwhelming but what was more apparent was anger, anger at someone close to her. Revan stood before the locked door for a full minute, then, on an impulse, he pushed it open. The child made a whimpering noise and moved back as far as she was able. Revan moved in and sat beside her, the fear was like a cloak around her, he was not sure what she was so afraid of to make her feelings so open.
"Who are you?" he asked as a lame way to start the conversation. The child said nothing so Revan moved forward and lay a gentle hand on her shoulder, he almost drew back when he felt the pain in her young mind. Revan was nowhere near perfect in his command of the Force, despite his dedication, instead he acknowledged that it would come in time. Even the youngest Jedi could sense that something traumatic had happened to the girl to make her come here. In a galaxy rife with danger, this was not uncommon; Revan had just experienced this first hand.
"Shh, its alright my dear. Calm please, tell me what is wrong, I am your friend. What is wrong?" he asked soothingly. Reaching out his right hand, he laid it on the frightened child's red cheek; she flinched but did not move away. Revan let his eyes close as he focussed his energy to calm the girl, to comfort her.
In a few moments, he sat back, his breathing more ragged then before, he was happier though as he saw the results. The girl took a deep breath and looked up at Revan, her blue eyes filled with sorrow, her white skin red from the heat of her arms. She wore a simple farmer's tunic and trousers that were well made, but frayed. Like a family on hard times.
"Are you alright? What is your name?" Revan asked quietly.
She looked at him gravely, like she was stuck in a body too young for her mind. "Bastila," she finally said.
"Well Bastila, I am Siandar Morantine," he did not add his self proclaimed title he had taken when his brother had died six years before. Revan, meant ghost in the language of the people of his world, a fitting title he had thought. He took his hand back and smiled at her, "why are you so sad young one?" he asked sincerely.
"They took me away,", a light accent on her words. "They took me here, I wanted to talk to daddy but the said no," she added, still sad. "I want to go home."
Revan leaned forward, how could one explain the sacrifices one must make to one so young? Perhaps one had to be his age to appreciate the need to be away from outside influences. Revan was aware that she was waiting for an answer, he cleared his throat, suddenly his impulse to come inside and talk to her did not seem so wise.
"The Jedi took you away because it is the only way you can become a Jedi."
"But I don't want to be here," she said in reply.
Revan sighed and closed his eyes; he could feel her fear was going, replaced by sorrow and curiosity. The Force burned true through her though, she would be a powerful Jedi one day if she lived. He sensed what he had to say. "Bastila, the Jedi did not want to hurt you, they took you here because your parents wanted it." He sensed a flash of hated in her mind, it was time to turn this around, he had a one in two chance of getting the next question right.
"Why do you dislike your mother?" he asked, he had struck the problem head on.
The eyes narrowed, "She hates me. She's always sending dad off. I don't want him to go. She sent me here dad was gone," Revan nodded his head slowly, that accounted for her bitterness.
"Then perhaps it is good you are here," he said, not because he believed it, but because it was the right thing to say to her. "You are too young to understand I think, but one day you will see that what they did was right."
There was a commotion at the door and a young Jedi, a Padawan pushed into the small room, he had seen the door open and likely come to investigate. He looked at Revan then to the now calm Bastila, then back to the man's impassive face.
"What are you doing here?" he asked with a hint of annoyance, Revan stood, towering over the older man. The Padawan was perhaps a year older, his robes not yet worn by much exposure to sun and wind.
"I heard her screams, felt her pain so I came to see what had happened. From what I sensed, I thought she was hurt, fortunately she was not."
The other Jedi did not know what to say, what the younger man was saying was explaining things that nobody his age could do.
"How did you know?" he asked lamely.
Revan bowed his head, "I am what is called an empathist, I suppose it is called, I can see a persons emotions through the Force. Of course, I am not that advanced but it was clear what she was thinking."
"Her name is Bastila Shan, from Telravian, this is the first time anybody has had a coherent conversation with her."
"Patience my friend, patience, she misses her family. Do not be too hard on her."
Something about the reasonable, commanding tone of the younger man made it nearly impossible for the Padawan to refuse.
"I will make sure that she is moved. Thank you, who are you anyway?"
"Revan, the name is Revan," he said and walked back down the corridor.
It was four days later when Revan found his Master in the training room.
"Revan, you are looking well," Mirar said as her student entered the teaching room. She was not supposed to call him that, encourage his strange habit but she found that it was easiest to simply call him that. He seemed to prefer it and besides, everyone had one strange character trait.
Revan did indeed look better than he had in the days since he had been told the news of his parent's death. He seemed more alive, determined, and even more than normal.
"I am well Master, tired but willing as usual."
"Good, today I will test you on the most complex thing an Apprentice learns, if I had my way, you would have learned this long ago. Rules are rules though and only those ready to take their end exams may try to do this. I think that you, Revan are more than ready for this, but do not let this go to your head. The path of the light is never easy but more satisfying then the other road that might be taken."
"The darkside?" Revan asked, received a nod and smiled very slightly. "I suppose you expect me to say I will never fall, like everybody does."
"But you won't say that?" Mirar said in puzzlement as she turned from her desk in the middle of the room. The room was a pleasant room, a teaching room that could train a dozen people or just one. Now there were just two tables, one was covered with items, the other bare. The room had windows looking at the inner courtyard and the walls beyond.
"I like to think of myself as practical, whether I am or not is another matter," he smiled winningly. "If you tell yourself that you can never fall, am never wrong then you will never see the path when it branches, If you think what you do is right then you will never question yourself and that I think is far more difficult."
Mirar just stared at him, always a mature boy; he seemed to have been changed by his parent's deaths, a change for the better. He had become graver, more serious despite flashes of humour and more responsible. He seemed so out of place amongst the bravado of so many young Jedi, too many were prideful and arrogant. Half of these young Jedi were nobles who took their rank as an excuse to do as they wished whilst many others lacked dedication or responsibility. Not that Revan was not prideful or arrogant, but he seemed to acknowledge and moderate it.
"Or did I say the wrong thing?" he asked with a tiny smile.
"No, it surprised me that is all. There are few enough who would give me such an answer, even those older than you. I must admit that I feel constantly surprised by you."
"I am honoured by the compliment Master, I am nothing yet, but in time perhaps I will learn to control myself."
"Yes indeed," Mirar said, more than a little worried that she would not be able to teach him forever. Revan had a strong natural ability, but ability did not translate to actual skill. Too many Jedi, arrogant and humble alike became prideful of their abilities, then they died or turned. It was not as simple as this, Mirar knew but the core of the problem was that a young person given such powers struggled to understand the powers they possessed. They were given to pride, anger and eventually it twisted even the noblest heart. Mirar Levarne was not as powerful as many of her students in potential and she knew it; instead she had focus and dedication. In her opinion, that was better than a whole freighter load of potential, she had to work and trust herself to achieve results, not achieving without understanding.
"Is something wrong Mirar?" he asked, seeing her distant look.
"I'm fine Siandar, and call me Master if you please," she said, perhaps a little too forcefully.
"As you wish Master, I was merely concerned for you. What would you have me do?"
"The force is like money Revan," she blurted out. She tried to make herself understand what she was saying, no easy task as she had no idea what she meant.
"Money Master?" he questioned with an eyebrow raised.
"I mean, if you are born with it, you do not appreciate it like a man who has to work for it to make his way. That is how I see the force, ability to use the force does not make you a Jedi, it is everything else we teach that does that. Responsibility, control, compassion, that is what makes me and you what we are."
Revan thought about that for a long moment before sitting on the spare table, "yes," he decided. "Yes, I can see your point Master. That which comes cheaply or freely is never appreciated like that which one must struggle for. A rich noble might buy something in a minute that takes a normal person a month or a year to save for. But usually, the rich man never appreciates what he has truly whilst the other man better understands. Not always, but usually."
Mirar nodded, it had worked out quite well although of course she would never admit otherwise. "Well, I thought it suited," she said happily.
"It was a good choice Master, even if it was made up on the spot," Revan said innocently. A brief smile was the only answer he received.
"Now, I know you have meditated long and hard on the actual method of channelling the Force, but you have not actually used it yet have you?" she looked at Revan who nodded.
"I have, yes. Only those abilities that I have not been training for." The Jedi Knight was impressed by the honest admission.
"So what have you done?" she asked sternly.
"I used the Force to calm a frightened new initiate who was giving into despair. Just after we met on the roof actually."
"I specifically told you not to do that, being able to do something is one thing, knowing why you are using it is another thing."
Revan nodded placidly, "and yet, the Jedi teach us compassion and understanding. How interesting this contradiction is."
"Are you grasping why I told you this?" Mirar asked patiently.
"I have Master but if I had not done that, just stood there, I would not have forgiven myself."
"So you are willing to do what is right no matter the cost?" she asked calmly.
"If that is what it comes down to Master, yes," Revan said very calmly.
Mirar nodded her head in acknowledgement of the fact, now was not the time to make an issue of this.
"Then sit on the table and cross your legs like I taught you to do," she waited until he had complied. Moving to the other table, the Jedi picked up a bar of metal, about three and a half pounds in weight, moving back she set it before the younger man.
"Focus now my student, reach out with your mind, only then will you see how to do this. Pass this test and the standard education exams and you will be ready for the final trial
Revan concentrated, he felt only calm as he let his conscious mind flow out, he closed his eyes. Others of his age had already secretly tried to use the Force to their will but such nonsense was not for Revan. He would learn everything he could and only when he was ready would he try. He wanted to make sure he succeeded in this, not rush through and fail. His methodical determination came to his aid as he patiently sought the path through the Force around him. He focused, never proceeding until he was sure he was ready.
Standing a few feet away, Mirar had never seen such concentration, such focus on a student so young, this Revan had a mind like iron, she knew that there would be none that could dominate his will in the years to come. Mirar waited, sensing the power flowing into the boy, he had talents and he had patience, something so rare amongst the younger Jedi of this day.
Slowly, with a seemingly infinite patience, Revan reached out his hand towards the block of metal. He had read that when one opened oneself to the Force that the sight it granted you was different, now he found it was true. He saw the things around him that lived as pillars of light, his Master was a rich blue whilst the wood on which he sat and the plant by the window was a dull white. The bar was a shadowy grey, not vibrant at all, it had never been alive so it was duller than objects of living matter.
With a hiss of breath, Revan made sure he was ready and turned his hand palm upright, his fingers pointing at the roof. He focused, doing as the books suggested, as his Master had told him, he told it to move.
Mirar's blue eyes opened in amazement as the bar floated into the air, it hovered an inch above the table, sitting there, suspended by invisible strings. Slowly it began to turn, the metal's rotation gradually increasing. Finally, the strain began to tell, Revan's face became a grimace of concentration, then with a cough, the bar fell. It bounced on the table, denting it and fell to the floor where it lay unmoving.
Mirar moved over to Revan and took his hand gently, his eyes opened slowly, focussing on her.
"I am sorry Master, I lost control of it. I thought I was ready but perhaps I was mistaken," the words were a strange monotone.
Mirar Levarne looked at him with something akin to admiration, "are you jesting? That was incredible for the first time you tried," she said warmly. "It is the first time isn't it?" she asked, just in case.
"It is, I swear on that Master." In the seven years the Jedi Knight had known the boy, she had learned he had a deep sense of honour. If he gave his word, even whilst young, he would keep it.
"The test is merely to move a block half that size at all. You raised it four inches and made it rotate, that is something I could not do in the test. I will pass you with the highest grades my student."
Revan looked almost puzzled, "you mean, I passed?"
"Half of the Apprentices your age will fail this, it is not easy to do, too many try to be too quick, too rash."
"Then I look forward to speaking to you again Master, if you will excuse me, I have my studies to attend to."
Mirar Levarne, Jedi Knight and student watched the Apprentice leave the room. She shook her head as she looked down at the block of metal, he had done it so easily but had not made it seem important. He had seemed disappointed at his lack of control, he had potential and he had the willingness to take the hard road. She wondered if he would try in privacy to use the Force, she knew he would not, after waiting all this time he was hardly likely to simply be frivolous with his power. It was a comforting thought to her as she finished her report and sealed it. She had wondered why it was her being the mentor for Revan when she had been a Knight for barely six years, three of them as the mentor of Revan. She had done her job well enough but beyond that, Revan had made it easy for her to succeed.
The Jedi woman looked down at the bar and smiled, after all this time she had no problem with such an object. She reached out her hand, it still took a second to focus on it but the bar levitated to her front, she picked it out of the air and smiled.
"Using your time productively, Jedi Levarne?" a gruff voice called to her.
Feeling slightly guilty, she looked up to see the worn face of one of the many older Jedi Knights in the temple. He had a head of prematurely balding grey hair and beady black eyes set amid tanned, scarred skin. Vrook Lamar, Jedi Knight and a famous fighter in his earlier days, having fought with distinction against the Sith in the last war. He rarely smiled, was slow to trust and even slower to forgive, but he was a good man who was an even handed judge of people.
"I just finished testing Apprentice Revan-" she began.
"Siandar Morantine," Vrook cut in sharply. "His strange fascination with the word is not to be indulged. Such weakness leads only to vanity and corruption."
"I understand," she said calmingly. "I tested him with a simple application of the force, he was able to move a bar of steel four inches above his hand on the first try. I am impressed, if he survives, he will be a great asset."
"Just be sure not to tell him that, too easy is it to give in to pride and arrogance."
"I will make sure that he is well looked after, how do the others fare?"
"They pay for their inattention now, they are not so proud now are they?" he asked grimly.
Mirar frowned at the almost gleeful words, certainly, had they come from another man they would have sounded happy. From Vrook though, they sounded flat and hard.
"No I suppose not. Dedication is what will help this through this period," she said calmly.
"Indeed it shall, now if you will excuse me, I have business elsewhere," he said and stalked off.
Mirar watched him go, packed up her few items and left the room, going to meditate in her room about what the future of Revan held.
It was three days later, the day of the final test, the last obstacle between becoming Padawans lay before them. It was a simple test, finishing their education before they became Jedi officially. The Jedi were renowned throughout the galaxy for giving high quality educations to those who joined their Order; it was considered as good as any of the many private academies on Coruscant. The fact that only Force sensitive children could attend was of course, a restrictor on numbers and ensured a higher dedication from the students. Now, the sixty five Apprentices, all between seventeen and nineteen, stood outside the room where they would take their test. In the manner of students everywhere, Apprentices were hurriedly going through last minute revisions of what they had learnt. Only one did not, Revan, his robe impeccably cleaned, crouched in meditation by the door; the students put it down to an arrogance that he possessed. He seemed to subconsciously exude a dominant air, a natural display of competence. The doors opened and the students went in.
"You summoned me Master?" Mirar looked up at the brown robed visage of Revan in the doorway. He looked confident but also his natural calm.
"I did, come inside please," she ordered. Revan was one of the few to have a Master all to himself, most students were assigned in multiples to Knights until they became Padawans. Revan, his natural ability recognised early on, had been assigned just to Mirar Levarne.
"I came as swiftly as I could Master, there was a mix up in the messages sent," Revan said calmly.
"That is not a true concern here. I have just read over your test result, I am surprised. When I heard you left the room after only two hours I was worried."
"Doubt is an enemy of the wise Master."
"I will leave you to figure that out for yourself," she said sternly. "I needn't have worried though, I have never seen or heard of one who succeeded so completely at these tests."
There was no change in the calm face before her, the blue eyes opened just a little wider. "I tried to do what I could Master," he said modestly.
Mirar sat back, looking at the boy, his dedication had paid off after all. "You do know that you and sixteen others were the only ones to pass both tests?"
"I was not aware, the others were not worthy of the order's attention," Revan said blandly.
"Perhaps not, but do not let this go to your head, there is one final task you must do."
"Master?" he asked politely, knowing full well what the task was.
"Go and see Master Raalier, she will tell you what you must do."
"Then I bid you farewell Master." He was half out the door but turned back, "Master?"
"Is it a gift or a curse to be a Jedi?" he asked.
Mirar considered the question thoughtfully, "it is both. It is a gift because we have the ability to do what is right, to help those who cannot help themselves. It is a curse in that with such power comes responsibility; that is something that so few people understand. It is not just the darkside, it is everything you do, it is who you are my student. If you can learn to use the power you have in you responsibly, then you will one day be great, if not, then you will fall to the ruin of all."
"Then I shall try to be careful, Master."
Jedi Master Raalier Lvov was a tall, blue skinned Twi'lek woman of about middle age; her skin was the colour of light blue crystal, matching her eyes. She was a Jedi, but more than that, she was the chronicler and archivist of the Order. She was new to the job, her predecessor killed a few years before while attempting to land on Ossus, the former base of the Jedi. The Jedi had never been seen again, the death put down to a natural phenomenon on that blasted world. Raalier was a typical Twi'lek woman in appearance, the long lekku curling almost involuntarily together, her blue hands resting on the ground as she meditated. Revan, knocked on the door, entering when he heard the summons from within.
"Ah, you are Siandar Morantine yes?" she asked with a soft, almost lilting tone. The Twi'lek stood, her head-tails moving behind her head in complex patterns. She caught the young Jedi smiling and frowned. "Is something amusing, Apprentice?"
He seemed to be weighing up what to say, eventually he shook his head. "No Master, I just found what you were saying amusing," he nodded to her lekku.
The Jedi's eyes widened in surprise, "you understand it?"
"Not much Master, but I caught something about me being a-" he began.
"Enough of that," she cut in quickly. "Now, you are here because of your successes in your exams are you not?"
"Yes Master, my Master told me to meet with you."
"Now you have passed the two basic tests, there is two more that will determine your path in the Order. Now, where do you see yourself, what role do you think you will play."
"That is something Master, I cannot say now. Only as time proceeds can I uncover my path."
"A wise answer and one not often answered by those in your position. There are three paths available to the Jedi; the guardian, the sentinel, the consular. The guardian fights for what they believe in, using the weapon of our Order to defeat injustice and evil. The guardian places themselves in the forefront of fighting the enemy, dedicating themselves to fighting for the oppressed. The sentinel is the caste who fights but only when it needs to; using other means to fight the enemy. Stealth, machines, deception is the weapons of the sentinel, rooting out injustice and battling hidden evil is its role. The sentinel concentrates on the mental approach to an attack, outwitting the foe. Finally there is the consular, the consular is the negotiator, the strategist of the Order. They place primary importance in using knowledge and the Force combined to find a solution to any problem."
The Twi'lek finally finished her speech, looking at Revan who had listened to every word. "So which do you advise?"
"I do not advise, it is your path to choose. You are young but in your heart I think you know what road you will take."
"Perhaps and perhaps not Master, how will I choose?"
"You know the code of the Jedi?" she asked.
Revan nodded, "I do Master."
"Then speak it to me now," she ordered. "Then I will ask you the questions that will determine your path."
"There is no emotion; there is peace," Revan began. "There is no ignorance; there is knowledge. There is no passion; there is serenity. There is no chaos; there is harmony. There is no death; there is the force."
"Reciting the code is one thing Siandar , understanding it is another. Do you think you understand it?"
"No, I have not even been alone outside the temple since I was brought here. No, I know nothing of what it means."
Raalier gave him a queer look, "that is an answer I did not expect. And of course you are right, sitting here, you would know little of what it means until you are forced to face the darkness in yourself. Very well then, in time you might learn what it means but for now, we must proceed."
"Master, if there is no emotion then how will we understand compassion or understanding? Is it not a contradiction?"
Raalier shook her head, "no Siandar it is not. Emotions are fraught with danger, they twist you and everything a person does until finally you are but a shadow of the person you were. I was only young but I still remember fleeing from Exar Kun's fury. He was once a good man, but he was twisted. Passion, hate, fear and anger make you illogical, it makes you do things that you never thought you could."
"You sound like you have experience in this," Revan said softly.
The Jedi nodded her head, "I had a friend once, an older friend, more of a mentor. He took a lover and trained her in the Force without the permission of the council, in the end it caused more harm than good. She turned on him and he had one chance to end the menace before it began, he chose to spare her. Only after much hardship, did he finally rectify his mistake. All because of the love of two people, for that, dozens would die."
"Who was the man?" Revan asked.
The Twi'lek, aware she was being diverted, shook her head, "no Siandar . He is lost to history, remembered by few even now." She looked at Revan, "now for you. That answers your question?"
"It is a contradiction but I see the truth in it, yes."
"In time you will see I am right Siandar . Now, your path; answer these questions as I speak them. You are in charge of a security squad surrounding a group of insurrectionists in a building. What would you do?"
Revan said nothing for a moment, then spoke firmly but slowly. "Try to find a peaceful solution, if none can be found, then I would feint with an attack while attacking from an unusual direction."
"I suspected as much," she murmured. "You are in combat with a Dark Jedi allied to the Sith, hypothetically of course. There is a pause in the battle, what do you do?"
"If he will not turn back then I have no choice but to end the threat, I attack."
"Indeed? You are different from those who normally come before me." She leaned back, her eyes flashed, she would ask the question which could only be answered the three ways. "You are in charge of a Jedi strike team investigating a refinery possessed by terrorists, you plant an explosive but the others in your group are captured. The refinery must be disabled or destroyed. What do you do?"
Revan did not hesitate like before, "I set off the explosive."
The Twi'lek had turned away to a small jewel case but turned back in shock. "Before rescuing your comrades?"
"The lives of many, including my own will be lost if I try and fail. And for what? Three people is a small price for the future of an entire world. I would eliminate the threat, the enemy will expect a rescue, I will use this to my advantage."
The Twi'lek stared at him, his patient face, he understood fully what he had said, knew what the results would be. There was something unnerving about the patient look he gave her.
"That is terrible, you would leave them to die?"
"It is logical Master. In the scheme of a thousand worlds, nobody matters, truly. In this case, such a sacrifice is necessary."
"That is not the way of the Jedi, we do not abandon those to die, by our own hand or not."
"Then perhaps I shall learn in time what the true path is," Revan did not sound convinced. In fact he sounded almost mocking, something unusual from the boy.
"So which path do you see yourself taking?" she asked, trying to put the unsettling question behind her.
"You would recommend the sentinel, but no. I will take the path of the consular."
There was a final resolution in Revan's tone, the Jedi Master bowed her head, "so be it."
Raalin shook her blue head as the human left the room, she was worried by his answer. He had been so calm, so logical, almost like he did not see the hypothetical loss as a drawback. She made a mental note to talk to Mirar about this, he needed to understand the value of life.
"Master, I have what you asked for," a voice called from behind her.
Turning quickly, Raalin saw her young Apprentice walking towards her. "I knew you would find it. What does it say?"
The man scratched his bald head, the dark skin a contrast to the azure blue of his Master. Padawan Karlian Dorak looked down at his manuscript. He started to read his findings, going over what he had learned, he was reading to himself though. Raalin was staring at nothing, her eyes half closed in thought.
"Master, what is wrong?" Dorak asked with concern.
The eyes snapped open, "nothing Padawan, I apologise. Please continue."
As the Padawan continue his findings, the Twi'lek again thought of that patient, terrible calm and shuddered.
Mirar was waiting as Revan came back to the training room, she smiled as he bowed his head. There was something different about him now, something that had not been there before, the Jedi dismissed it as tiredness on his part.
"So, I see you return, do you have what you need?" she asked.
Revan held up a crystal in his hand. Revan was left handed, something that could be put to great use on the battlefield. The crystal was pure green, two inches long and seemed to be filled with a deep radiance from within. The artificial lights of the room refracted in the heart of the crystal, making it burn with green fire.
"Normally, a Padawan discovers their own crystal, but since you would have to go ten parsecs to reliably find one, we have given you one. Now, you must make the rest of the weapon, there is no time limit, there is no race to finish. It is the cumulation of all of your time here, if you show the wisdom and skill to finish, then you will be made Padawan. You may use any methods you wish to construct it but it must be alone, and it must be left un-activated until in my presence or the presence of one of the High Council. Do you swear to uphold these rules?"
Revan bowed his head, "I do promise I shall follow your instructions."
"Then I will leave you to your own devices, do not disappoint me, Revan," she said and walked from the room.
The room was the same he had passed his first test in, Revan put the crystal safely away and walked from the room. He walked briskly back across the temple to his own small room, he unlocked and pushed his way in. On his bed were three objects, a datapad, a paper book and a power-source. Revan gathered them all and walked swiftly back down the hall to the library of the Jedi. Sitting down in his accustomed seat, he looked over his blueprints, manuals and technical schematics; he knew he could probably throw the weapon together in a day but Revan was patient and methodical. He would take a week if it took a week to finish, he would succeed if wanted to.
The heat from the workbench was sweltering as the man laboured over it. Three days of constant work had finally began to tell on the stubborn Apprentice Jedi, his face was drawn and his eyes tired. He pushed on though, sealing and soldering the final joint in the long tube. He had worked at it for three days and now it sat before him as he pulled off the heavy gloves and mask that had shielded him from the heat and sparks. Revan knew what had to happen next, four hours for the casing to cool and set, then inserting the crystal into the matrix of the power web. If all went well, his weapon would be ready by nightfall. Moving over, he consulted the schematics a last time and nodded, he had done everything to specification, now he had to wait. After three days, he could wait a few hours for the final step.
Deciding that he needed a break, he cleaned his hands and walked out the door, walking along the passages. Most people, seeing his purposeful gaze, avoided him, even many of the Jedi Knights were not eager to get near him. Oblivious, he walked out along the passages until he came to a wide outdoor terrace, just below the library.
"So you are the famous Revan are you?" an accented but pleasant voice called from behind him. The voice was gentle but stressed some words it said strangely, clearly not a Coruscant native.
Revan turned to see a man about his age or perhaps a little older watching him. He had the robe and demeanour of a Padawan Jedi who had recently reached his rank. But still, there was no arrogance about the man, just a polite interest.
"I don't know about famous, but yes, I am Revan."
"So, a ghost eh?" the other man said, stepping into the light.
Revan took in the green eyes, brown hair and tanned face. The man had a scar on his neck just below his right ear but when he saw the interest, he shifted his robe to cover it.
"You know? I was under the impression it was not well known," Revan said to buy time.
"Revenant is the derivative of it, yes? Outer rim dialect I recall."
Revan was impressed, despite himself, even the council did not know the meaning of the word. "So where are you from? And you have the advantage of me, who are you?"
"I am from Iax my friend, that planet of unending smoke," he said calmly.
Revan did not miss the term of endearment, he put it aside for later. Iax, he recalled was a factory world on the other side of the galaxy from his home world. It was hardly a place of great knowledge or wisdom. He told the man as much and he chuckled. "Aye, it was hardly the world of geniuses, my parents were inventors, high ranked but not high enough to escape that hell-hole. They sent me to the Jedi when I was young, probably just as well, you heard what happened?"
"No, it is not exactly in the public spotlight often," Revan responded.
"That is true as well my friend," the man's face darkened. "Meteor strike Revan, meteor strike. They appealed to the Republic for help but by the time action was decided upon, the planet had a two mile hole in it. My parents and a score of thousands of others were killed."
"I regret your loss, I hope that the pain is not too much," Revan said fervently.
The green eyes widened slightly, "I hope so too lad," he said, using the odd words despite the fact he was only a few month older than Revan. "But I suppose the Jedi pretty much consider themselves soulless so maybe it might rub off on me eh?"
Siandar Morantine smiled thinly at the man he still did not know the name of, he liked his attitude. Different from the rest of the Jedi, he seemed the man to not blindly accept what was put before him, a man who would irritate his Master, Revan knew.
"But how remiss of me Revan, I still have not told you my name. The name is Jedi Padawan Valiens Nantaris, honoured to meet you."
"Siandar Morantine, call me Revan though," he replied.
"I intend to lad, besides, I could use the help of the dead," he joked morbidly.
He seemed odd next to Revan, his eccentric speech and lightness of tone contrasted with the serious and severe Revan.
"So where are you from? To know what my name means is strange indeed," he asked.
Valiens nodded, "I suppose you want to know, nothing wrong with that. As I said, I am from Iax originally, but arrived here specifically today."
"So where were you before? I have not seen you before."
"As I said, I arrived this morning, I sought you out. The man who passed his trials with the same score as I."
"You got full marks?" Revan asked, surprised.
"You find that strange friend? Not the Force trial, the written one. A couple of months ago I passed."
"So where was your original training ground?" Revan asked the question for the fourth time.
"You heard of Morlock Four? No? Jedi training ground, near your homeworld, that is why I know the lingo."
"How do you know where I was born? It is a common enough dialect out there," he said defensively.
"Aye, it is but I found out you are from Miletus."
"And how?" Revan felt he was going in circles.
"I asked your Master of course," he said smugly. "I was pleased to see her again."
"She used to be there?"
"Aye, on Morlock Four, before she left for here."
"So why are you here?"
"I am here to obtain a Master," he said gnomically.
"They did not have one on Morlock Four?"
"The majority of Jedi become guardians, sentinels are the smallest number percentage wise. And that is what I am lad. My Master to be, died. Killed fighting a last pocket of Krath in the outer rim."
Revan nodded, "I see. Well anyway, I have to get back."
"Aye I see that, you did well on the lightsabre," Valiens said airily.
"And how, would you know that unless you picked the lock?" Revan asked sweetly.
Valiens smiled, "not to worry lad, just wanted to see how you were going. Besides, I needed somebody to show me around, you looked like just the fellow to do that."
"Why not? I still have a couple of hours before I can finish the weapon."
"It is ironic really," Valiens said as the two of them walked out onto the wide balcony that looked over the main courtyard.
"What is?" Revan asked as the older man stood, watching the Jedi below.
"That for an Order that preaches humility, we certainly have a grand enough building," he said with a sigh.
"It was a gift from the senate if I am to believe what I am told."
"Does that mean we have to use it? No lad, kind of contradictory really."
"That is just one of many," Revan said softly, moving to follow his new friend over towards the council chambers.
Jedi Master Aetius Perinard looked down calmly at the two approaching figures, Siandar Morantine and Mirar Levarne walked forward towards him. It was near midnight but the small council chamber was still bright with artificial light; Siandar was carrying a small wooden box before him whilst his Master was walking behind the boy. The Jedi Master nodded his head in appreciation as the two bowed.
"Master Perinard, Apprentice Morantine wishes to present his final test to you."
"Then he will approach," the Jedi said calmly. Revan opened the wooden box and drew from it a silvery metal cylinder about ten inches long, fairly plain from ornamentation and held it up.
Aetius took it and hefted it, he frowned slightly, "did you make this by yourself Apprentice?"
"I did Master, I swore an oath that I would do this by myself and I have kept it."
The grey eyes blinked, there was no reaction. The Jedi was surprised though, the balance on the weapon was something that he would not expect on a first attempt, it was well proportioned indeed. He held it up, seeing the neat and accurate joins, the delicate but not adventurous design. No hint of ornamentation was on it, it was the weapon of a practical person; if it worked of course. After seeing it and the builder however, Aetius Perinard had no doubt that the device would work, he handed it back.
"Then if you believe that you have had the wisdom to see the path before you, you may try. Remember though, it is a physical embodiment of your responsibilities as a Jedi."
"I understand Master," Revan said, showing a small amount of amusement as he took the weapon back. Taking it in both hands, he held it facing straight up and closed his eyes, he knew what to do. He activated the weapon with a single movement of his finger.
The emerald beam that sprung from the hilt shone even through his closed eyelids, it was three feet long from silver end to shining emerald tip, pulsing with light.
"It seems that you have succeeded Padawan," Aetius Perinard said calmly.
"Yes Master, I hope that this day may be one I remember with pride."
"Jedi Levarne, are you willing to undertake the task of training the Padawan?" Aetius asked, turning to the Knight.
"I am Master, I will take this task as long as I am able to fulfil it."
The blade deactivated at the Jedi Master's nod, Revan clipping it to his belt and nodding in recognition.
"Then with the consent of the Jedi council, I create you Padawan of the Jedi and student to Jedi Laverne. May you walk in the light as long as you are among us."
"I thank you Master, I appreciate that I have much to do yet. I will endeavour to be an inspiring example."
"Then go with a final warning, the way of the light is hard and long, many pitfalls stand before you but in the end, they can be overcome. Try to see what must be done and do it."
Revan looked interested for a long moment before nodding. "As you will Master," he said and turned with his teacher to leave.
"So I see you passed lad, well done," Valiens said as the Padawan stepped out onto a wide open space with views of the endless city. There were a few people around, they were engaged in thoughts of their own and ignored the two Padawans.
"Thank you, why lad though, you're what, three months older?" Revan asked innocently.
"What else was I going to call you?" Valiens protested.
"How about friend?" Revan asked seriously.
"Aye, I could do that, friend."
"So, what happens now? Have you got a Master yet?"
Valiens frowned, "they told me that there was one available. I have not met them yet but they come on high recommendation."
"I'm glad to hear that my friend." Revan held out his hand, the other man smiled slightly then took the offered wrist firmly.
"If we work together then we will both be better off, yes?" Valiens asked.
"My pardon, is there a Padawan Nantaris here?" a deep voice asked.
"I am he, what service may I be?" Valiens said with an ironic bow.
"I am Jedi Knight Findarl Prestona, I have been appointed as your Master whilst you are a Padawan."
The Jedi Knight was an average looking, dark skinned man in his forties. There was nothing particularly special about him, just that he was the sort of Jedi who seemed almost factory built these days. Once the Order had relied on individuality an initiative, now, after the Sith War, such thoughts were shunned and put aside. He seemed a kindly enough man, the sort who would be raising crops or selling goods if the Force had not taken him.
"I am pleased to meet you, Master," Valiens said with a slight bow again.
"And you would be the Siandar Morantine I have heard of yes?"
"Yes Master," Revan said automatically.
"Good, Padawan Nantaris, I would be appreciative if you were ready to start tomorrow at dawn."
"I will be there Master," Valiens said s the Jedi strode away.
"Look after yourself Nantaris," Revan said as his friend moved away.
"And you as well Revan," the older man said and walked away into the temple.
Siandar Morantine stood watching the city, studying the weapon he held like it was the Key to Time itself, soon he was alone. He held the silver tube out and pressed the button. The emerald light was the only luminance on this now deserted space. Revan saluted with the blade and swept it down, there was silence on the open space, save for the wind.
Any and all comments, reviews and queries are welcome. I hope you enjoyed this, I will be back soon.