Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars, even though I am an avid fan of it. Star Wars and KOTOR belong to George Lucas and BIOWARE.
Chapter 25: Darth Revan Returns
It had been nearly a year since a group had gathered themselves around the holoprojector in the Ebon Hawk's central room, but now Revan stood with what remained of his original crew, Carth, Bastila, T3-M4, and HK-47 and the few new comers to join them, Alex Gorric and Carth's pair of Sharakan bodyguards, whom Revan had learned were named Thulk and Yizta. It sadden Revan to think of the members missing, Jolee and Juhunai dead at his own hand, and Canderous who was off commanding a Sith Fleet to conquer the Republic at the order of Revan during his second reign as Dark Lord of the Sith. And now Revan was about to leave the remnants of his old crew again; possibly forever this time.
Revan could feel Carth and Bastila's eyes on him as he stepped up to the dormant holoprojector with a heavy sigh, "What I am about to tell you both is not going to be easy to hear, and believe me when I say that is not any easier to say. Once we arrive at Coruscant we will need to land after which I will depart again as soon as I can refuel the Hawk."
Bastila looked puzzled, "Why will we be leaving so soon Revan? The Jedi Council will undoubtedly want to see you to see for themselves you have truly turned back to the Light again."
Revan shook his head slowly, "You misunderstand me Bastila, yourself and Carth will remain on Coruscant to serve the Republic as best as you are able to recover from the devastation that I brought upon it." Revan closed his eyes slowly and opened them again as if listening to something far away, "As for Alex, the droids, and I, we will be heading for the Unknown Regions to find the true source of the threat that has been endangering the Republic for so long."
A stunned silence hung over the room for several moments before Carth found the words to speak, "How do you plan to do that Revan? You may be a powerful Jedi but not even you could face the entire Sith Empire alone, you'll need help."
Bastila nodded in agreement, "He's right Revan let us go with you, we can help you fight this threat together."
Revan looked at Bastila slowly, fighting to keep the longing to agree with her from his face, "No. Where I'm going neither of you can follow, the path I walk is mine and mine alone to walk, I cannot take anyone I love with me or those I face will use that against me." With a sorrowful expression etched on his face Revan dropped his head, "It will be on Coruscant that we part ways once more and only the will of the Force will tell when we will meet again." Without another word Revan turned and left the room, returning to the cargo hold quickly leaving his friends out of fear that if he listened to more of their pleas he would change his mind and stay despite the knowledge that if he didn't go the Republic would be doomed. As Revan left the room Alex followed behind him and stood guard beside the door to the cargo hold while Carth and Bastila, still stunned and unable to comprehend what had caused such a response in Revan, returned to the cockpit.
Inside the cargo hold Revan fell to his knees and slammed his fists into the deck as thoughts of doubt filtered into his mind, Am I doing the right thing? Maybe I should tell them what is happening, what I set in motion. No I can't if they ever truly were to find out why I need to return to the Unknown Regions nothing I said or do would keep them from following me.
Revan brought a hand to his face and wiped a pair of tears that had escaped his eyes unbidden and rose to his feet, with resolve reset on his face.
Even though it maybe hard it will be for the best.
UNMARKED LANDING PAD, CORUSCANT
A slow, steady drizzle fell from the evening Coruscant sky creating a mist over the city as a battered and scorched freighter named the Ebon Hawk landed in the depths of the planet wide city covering Coruscant.
With a slight groan the Hawk's boarding ramp lowered allowing two shadowy figures to emerge from the freighter quickly move to the edge of the landing pad were they crouched down to the scarred floor. The figure on the right loose a throaty growl from its mouth, cutting through the sounds of the humming engines as the Ebon Hawk waited to take to the sky again.
As the growl from the shadowy figure faded two more figures descended the battered space vessel's boarding ramp into the damp mist being swirled around the ship by the wind that whistled through the air.
When they reached the bottom of the ramp Carth and Bastila looked back up the ramp at the robed figure looking down at them from the head of the ramp.
Revan nodded confidently to his two friends and followed them down to the bottom of the ramp. From the folds of his robes Revan produced two data cards and handed one to each of them, "These contain valuable information that will help you finish off the bulk of the Sith Empire after I leave, Carth yours holds their military positions and all of their codes and coding systems currently in use. Bastila yours holds the Sith's major training Academies' locations so the Jedi can wipe out the rest of the Dark Jedi in the Republic."
Revan smiled warmly at them, "May the Force be with you, both of you."
Carth nodded and extended his hand, which Revan grabbed and pulled the war veteran into a hug, "I know you'll do your job Carth, keep the Republic strong to face the coming storms it will have to face."
Revan turned to face Bastila and immediately felt a lump form in his throat, the words he thought to say died before they even could take shape, "Bastila…I…"
Without warning Bastila launched herself into his arms and pressed her lips to his, kissing him furiously. Her arms wrapped themselves around him as if they had been made to be there and his followed without any conscious thought, holding her tightly for those few moments.
For a brief moment Revan was swept away by the flood of sensations he felt, the taste, scent and feel of the woman he loved so much. For a moment the thought of staying entered his mind, to find a way to defeat the Sith from within the Republic.
Those thoughts might as well have been a siren going off in his head as they snapped his mind to the task at hand. Slowly but firmly Revan pushed Bastila back and smiled lightly, "I will miss you Bastila, more than you know, but you must help the Jedi Council rebuilt the Jedi Order from these many years of war and recover what was lost. The Republic, the entire galaxy, will need the Jedi to be strong if we are to defeat the darkness that is ever threatening us."
Bastila sniffed, a single tear falling from each eye, "I know, I'm going to miss you too," the auburn haired woman gulped and wiped the tears from her cheeks, "may the Force be with you."
Revan smiled soberly, "And with you." Without another word Revan walked up the Ebon Hawk's boarding ramp before either of his two friends could see the tears welling up in his eyes.
Waiting at the top of the ramp when Revan reentered the Hawk HK-47 glared as best the droid could at him, "Impatient Question: Now that we have dispensed with those two meatbags will we finally head for the Unknown Regions, my combat protocol ache to be put into use."
Revan nodded slightly, "Don't worry HK, once we're in the thick of the Sith Empire there may come a time when you wish that you didn't have to use your combat protocols."
The black assassin droid responded curtly, "Stark Refusal: Master I hope you are making a joke, in an odd meatbag way, for the thought of desiring to never use my combat protocols if allowed to would lead, to use a meatbag term, a total nervous breakdown."
Revan couldn't help but chuckle as he walked past the loyal droid to the Ebon Hawk's cockpit, though it seemed that his mirth did alleviate the droid's worry letting him put his Master's comment down as more strange meatbag humor.
That same assassin droid's master stepped into the cockpit where a servant of a different kind sat waiting in the copilot's chair, plotting various routes to the boarders of the Unknown Regions fro them to take.
Revan took a deep breathe as he lowered himself into the pilot's chair and looked over at Alex, "Alright, we have one more thing to do before we're off to the Unknown Regions, lay in a course to Onderon's moon Dxun."
Alex nodded and bent himself to the task of plotting the course while Revan piloted the Hawk out of Coruscant's atmosphere and back into the cold embrace of space.
ABANDONED MANDALORIAN BASE, DUXN, ONDERON SYSTEM
Canderous Ordo has never been one to let his nerves get the best of him, but if he had been one to do so this would have been one of the times. Duxn was already a stormy, untamed world to begin with, but add to that the darkness of night and only the most veteran warriors would be comfortable standing in an abandoned base where his own people had been dealt one of their bloodiest defeats.
Yet that was where he stood following Revan's orders to meet him here, though it wasn't until he received Revan's last message he had known where to meet him on Duxn. A thick fog lay on the ground around his feet, curling over the armored boots of his old Mandalorian Armor that he'd retrieved from storage after leaving the Sith Fleet, again per Revan's last message to him.
As if thinking of him was enough to make him appear Revan's fog-enshrouded figure emerged from the fog before the veteran Mandalorian with the black, shadowy HK-47 at his side bearing a large crate and another man Canderous did not know at Revan's other hand. The Mandalorian warrior bowed his head to his friend and commander, "Reporting as ordered Revan. I received your message, but I must admit I am mystified as to why the sudden change of strategy. I realize the siege of Ghorman has been taking longer than we'd planned, but I feel that we should be able to break the Republic very soon."
Revan's face remained an impassive mask as he listened to his trusted friend's report, when Canderous stopped speaking he did not respond at first. Instead the crate in HK-47's hands rose of its own accord and settled itself at the Mandalorian's feet, "The future of the Sith Empire is no longer your, or my, concern Canderous. I have new goal for you to fulfill, one that will be more challenging than commanding the Sith Fleet; open the crate Canderous and you will see."
Canderous crouched beside the crate and slowly released the latches and pulled the lid up to reveal the contents; what the veteran Mandalorian saw nearly dropped him to his knees. There staring up at him was the scarred and battered helm of the leader on the Mandalorians, the helm that Revan had taken from the body of the last Mandalore that he had slain in combat. Canderous reached for the helm, the hands that could be steady in the most dangerous of firefights shaking uncontrollably, and lifted the dull silver helm from the crate. Canderous pulled the helm to him and was surprised to see two drops of water fall on the scarred surface, despite the fact that there was no hint of rain in the Duxn sky.
Canderous rose to his feet, clutching the helm tightly at his side, "For what reason to you honor me by giving me this gift Revan?"
For the first time since he'd arrived Revan's face broke into a smile, "Because me old friend, the galaxy has been without the strength of the Mandalorians for to long and they will be needed again," Revan pulled the Helm of Mandalore slowly from Canderous' hands and set it upon the man's head, "Now assemble your people once more, as the leader of the Mandalorians, Mandalore."
Though the helm hid his face, Canderous could feel hi eyes go wide in their sockets, "But no one can claim to be Mandalore without facing the honored trials of my people and only Mandalore himself knew how to find the place of these trials, I would be a usurper in a shell of armor to do this."
Revan shook his head and patted Canderous on the shoulder, "In the crate, along with the rest of Mandalore's armor are the personal journal of the pervious Mandalore and in it he describes where the trials are to be found and a few other things about his campaign against the Republic that I believe will be key to all future generations of Mandalorians."
Canderous looked down at the crate, truly speechless, "Revan your honor me far more than I deserve, I will always be at your service." Canderous looked up to say something more but only the cool, gray swirl of the fog of Duxn remained to greet him.
Canderous looked around with a new view on the crumbling ruins of the Mandalorian Base surrounding him, "Here it begins, here the Mandalorian Clans will be reborn under a new Mandalore of the Clan Ordo."
If anyone else heard his declaration they remained silent, yet still Canderous felt a sense of finality in the statement and after lifting the crate that contained the Armor of Mandalore and marched through the mists to his ship to fulfill Revan's final command.
EBON HAWK, UNKNOWN REGIONS
An endless field of star extended before Revan as he sat in the cockpit of the Ebon Hawk at the barrier where Known Space ended and the Unknown Regions of unclaimed space began. In the distance beautiful nebulas swirls like space borne clouds with the twinkling lights of stars flashing like some distant fireworks displays.
Revan closed his eyes and felt the flow if the Force that existed even in coolness of space as it whirled between the stars that he saw and the other deep space life forms that inhabited space.
However, behind that life and deeper in the Unknown Regions Revan felt a deep undercurrent of darkness that flowed like the treacherous undertow of a river fattened by spring rains ready to pull him under if he'd allow. A small part of that darkness came from within his own ship, a man named Alex who would travel with him into that very undercurrent of darkness. Yet Revan could also feel a weakening of the darkness hold on Alex, if only faintly, and he could also feel the essence of his old darkness still within himself.
Revan opened his eyes once more and slowly gripped the comfortable controls on his freighter as an ancient verse from the depths of his patchwork memory emerged from his lips, "Darkness falls on the stars of the Galaxy, yet the Light does not despair it boldly faces the darkness till the end of time." Revan typed in the first set of coordinates that would set him on his journey into the True Sith Empire, "Let this darkness know that Revan in coming to them and may the True Sith learn to fear the time when Darth Revan returns."
Author's Note: I will quickly apologize for the time it took me to complete this final chapter, but I also will say that I hope everyone enjoyed it and that you have enjoyed this story that I have been working on since October 26, 2004. This will be the first of my stories to be completed, but it will not be that last. I thank each and every one of you loyal readers who have kept me going on this story, pointed out my errors, and encouraged my efforts. I dedicated this final chapter to you all.