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Chapter 1: Distractions
For two years the Mandalorians tore through the Republic unchallenged. The Republic forces scattered under the brutal onslaught of the Mandalores. In one month, that all changed. The jungle world of Onderon was one of the first to fall to the Mandalorians after they claimed its moon, Dxun as their own and all but enslaved the population of the world the moon orbited. The jungle world was also the first to be taken back from the Mandalorians. The Jedi had finally joined the war effort after two years of slaughter. The Mandalorians met the Jedi gladly, wanting to test themselves against the fables and mythic figures that had only heard tales of. Onderon fell from the Mandalorian's grasp in less than a week as the natives united and rebelled against their Mandalorian overlords. Dxun was another story. The Mandalorians seemed to have a deep connection to the jungle moon and did not give in. A brutal stalemate began in the thick jungles as the Jedi and Republic fought the Mandalorian warriors and the wildlife of Dxun. Onderon and Dxun had been what some would refer to as 'clean war.' The Mandalorians seemed to fixated on fighting the Jedi that the slaughter was reserved mainly to military Forces. The fact that Onderon had fallen so quickly and that Dxun was devoid of settlers helped that. Amidst the thousands of warriors and soldiers that fought against each other on that moon, one man stood out above all the others.
Silently, the armored man moved through the treetops, stalking his prey. Two brown eyes looked through his crimson and obsidian mask as a deep scowl lit his face. It had been six months now since the fighting on Dxun began and almost seven since the Jedi had joined the war effort and already the effect was evident. The constant advance of the Mandalorian juggernaut ground to a halt under the Jedi. The Mandalorians had become enthralled by the Jedi and their power, ignoring the Republic forces and attacking the Jedi head on. Of a hundred thousand Jedi in the galaxy at the time of Exar Kun, only about half that had survived the initial rift in the Jedi Order and only ten thousand had chosen to fight alongside Revan. The Jedi Knight watched twenty armored Mandalorians move swiftly through the thick jungle to their fortress and his scowl deepened.
"Where are they off to in such a hurry"
He wondered as he quietly leapt to another tree and followed them. The young Jedi Knight soon discovered where the Mandalorian warriors were heading when he caught sight of a Mandalorian fortress hidden in the deep jungles. Taking a moment to scout the area, the Jedi Knight found several anti-air defenses and what looked to be an orbital Ion cannon. Using the Force, Revan could feel that there were thousands of Mandalorian warriors resting and training within the buried fortress and he could faintly sense the shield that protected the base from aerial and orbital assault.
"The only way in is on the ground..."
This was the last stronghold the Mandalorians held on the moon. Onderon had since joined their fleet with the Republic's in orbit and had successfully cut off retreat and reinforcement to the Mandalorians on the moon. The 'Siege of Dxun' as it became known had been bloody and of nearly two hundred thousand Mandalorians that had inhabited the moon at the beginning, Revan estimated that only three or four thousand remained, entrenched in the fortress before him. Until this moment, the fortress had remained hidden and the Mandalorians had struck from their hidden base, leaving horrendous casualties amongst the Republic's ranks. Of nearly a thousand Jedi that took part in the battle, two hundred had fallen in the six months of guerilla warfare. Revan could not help but admire the determination of his enemy, though a foreign feeling of hatred slowly began burning in him each time he came upon the mangled corpses of his comrades.
"No, I cannot hate. There is no emotion, there is peace."
Revan recited in his mind, using the Jedi Code to calm him, though it brought forth a new anger. Revan had met the Mandalorians on the battlefield and had seen firsthand what the Jedi Council refused to see, he knew that the Mandalorians were too strong for the Republic to stand against alone. The Basilisk war droids alone were too fast, too agile for the Republic gunners and fighters to shoot down. Only a Jedi could track and destroy the nimble Mandalorian craft effectively and even then with some difficulty. The twenty year old Jedi Knight moved to activate his homing beacon on his wrist communicator before he suddenly stopped, pulling his hand away from the activation switch.
"No, if I do that, they'll trace it and be on me in an instant."
Of the eight hundred Jedi that remained, only a few dozen would be nearby to answer to the call and even Jedi could not stand against the thousands of Mandalorians Revan sensed within the base. Making a quick decision, the Jedi lowered himself from his perch on the tree overlooking the Mandalorian base and used the Force to speed his return to the Republic base camp.
"I can recall the Jedi spread over this moon and we can bring our full force along with the Republic forces to bear on the Mandalorians."
Revan winced slightly at the mental picture of the Republic forces on the moon. To say that they were pitiful would be an understatement. The men had arrived in the first days of the fighting without reinforcement due to some foolish debate in the Senate as to the cost and effectiveness of the lengthy siege. Revan snorted in disgust at the short-sightedness of the Senate. The Mandalorians had lost thousands of men and dozens of ships trying to break through the Republic blockade and though the Republic had lost nearly twice as many men on the moon than the Mandalorians, the losses in space were far more to the Republic's favor and the victory, the total destruction and defeat of the Mandalorian forces on the moon would be a symbol to the Mandalorians of the Jedi's resolve. What better way to break your enemy's will than to take what they have claimed as their own, to take the moon that the fierce, armored warriors had seemed to call their home. With pride as great as the Mandalorian's it would be a slap in the face and it would severely break their morale to know that their stronghold had fallen to the Republic. It would also show the Mandalorians the effect the Jedi could have on the war.
Sighing in frustration, Revan ran the countless battle plans through his mind, too distracted to notice the perimeter sensor he had tripped, or the ten Mandalorians that stalked him expertly within the cloak of their stealth fields. One man cannot bear the full burden of a war, or even a battle and this was to become painfully clear to Revan. Warriors and soldiers cannot suffer distractions on the battlefield and as Revan planned for the coming battle, he was ignorant of the one that was already upon him.
The Force screamed a warning to Revan as the Jedi's eyes widened in surprise. Revan ducked below the invisible strike of the Mandalorian's vibroblade, pulling his lightsaber and activating its azure blade. The blade shot through the Mandalorian, tearing him cleanly in two as four other warriors appeared to challenge the Jedi Knight. Revan deflected the blaster fire that rained down on him from the distance, leaping to the treetops and slicing through the branches, allowing them to rain down on the Mandalorian warriors below.
"I should have known they were coming, I should have been more mindful of the here and now."
Revan's mind chastised
himself. He could almost hear the voices of his Masters Kreia and
Zhar joining the scolding as he leapt from the tree and descended on
two dazed Mandalores. Revan chose to attack without his saber,
kicking one Mandalore across his face and sending him to the ground
and catching the other with his fist, knocking him unconscious. The
Jedi had no wish to kill the Mandalorians, but he would if he had to.
Vaulting himself from a tree trunk, Revan grasped a low hanging vine
and rocketed to the treetops, away from his pursuers. The sound of a
repulsor firing startled the young Jedi, who's main concern was
escaping and relaying his position to his comrades. A Mandalorian
swoop platform hovered above the treetops, carrying a dozen armored
and burly warriors. The Mandalores immediately opened fire on the
Jedi Knight and Revan was thrown to the ground by the concussion of a
nearby explosion. The blaster bolts whizzed overhead as he lay on
the ground, struggling to gain a painful intake of breath after the
nearly twenty yard fall. Spots swam in the young Jedi's vision as he
grunted with effort and pulled himself to his feet, feeling a blaster
bolt tear through his thigh. Revan dropped to the ground and winced,
reaching for his lightsaber, only to have a hard, metallic boot slam
down onto his hand, no doubt shattering the brittle bones.
The Mandalorian shouted to his companions as several other Mandalores approached. Revan used the Force to dull the pain in his hand as he kicked the Mandalorian's legs out from under him and slammed his booted heel into the Mandalorian's throat, earning a sickening crack. The other Mandalorians gawked momentarily, stunned by the swift movement of the injured man before one raised his blaster rifle and fired a stun blast into the injured Jedi.
"Check him for comms
and get him back to base camp."
The Mandalorian's gruff voice snapped as two Mandalorians moved to disarm the armored Jedi. Revan's azure beamed saber was taken as a prize by one of the Mandalorians while his armor was stripped away, revealing the deep black of his Jedi robes. The Mandalorian captain at the base did a double take when his patrol and search team brought back a Jedi, not to mention which Jedi they brought back.
"Is that who I think it is"
The Mandalorian asked in disbelief as he looked over the armor that was taken away from the young man.
"He wears his armor anyways."
commented as he looked down in disbelief at the youthful features of
the young man.
"He's just a brat, I have a son as old as he... this is Revan"
The Mandalorians nodded silently as they allowed themselves to look on to the young Jedi in respect and awe.
"We lost four men out there to him."
A Mandalorian in crimson armor commented as he slowly lifted the demonic crimson and obsidian mask of the Jedi.
"Who'd we lose"
The Mandalorian captain asked as he examined the young Jedi laying on the floor of the Mandalorian compound.
"Intari, Daren, Harin and Amiel."
The captain asked in disbelief. The Mandalorian sergeant that spoke nodded.
"He was the best we had here aside from his old man."
The next week was a blur for Revan as he was mercilessly beaten by an older Mandalorian. The murderous rage burning in the older man was easily sensed by the young Jedi as well as the pain in the man's aura. Revan knew then as he was beaten for what seemed to be the hundredth time that this man had shared a bond of some kind with one of those he had killed.
"Look at me when I
talk to you, Jedi"
The man hissed as he struck Revan across the face with his armored hand. Revan spat the blood, turning his eyes to the man with something resembling pity.
"I. Pity. You. Old. Man."
Revan said wearily through painfully earned breaths. He knew his ribs were broken and he felt as though every other bone in his body was following suit. Only the Force had kept him conscious during most of the beatings and he knew it frustrated his Mandalorian torturer to no end.
"Did you contact your Jedi friends"
The older man hissed,
accompanying his question with a swift and hard punch to Revan's gut.
Had he not been chained to the wall, Revan would have doubled over
in pain. The Jedi coughed violently as he cursed the disruptor field
that surrounded the room, weakening his connection to the Force.
Just as the Mandalorian was about to strike again, the fortress
shuddered violently under a powerful explosion. The base's alarmed
blared loudly as the lighting flickered and shifted to red. A
Mandalorian in yellow armor rushed into the room, tossing a blaster
rifle to the older man.
"Garr, the generator's been destroyed. Some Jedi got through our scanners and sabotaged it. We need to move. Now"
The younger Mandalorian
shouted. The Mandalorian turned back to Revan and sneered as he
pointed his blaster rifle at the young Jedi.
"There's no time, the Republic and Jedi are destroying our turrets and overrunning our positions. Move it"
Growling in frustration, the Mandalorian fired a blast into Revan and took a moment to revel in the feeling of killing the man who had killed his son before rushing to battle. The younger Mandalorian gave the man a disapproving look before leading him to their defensive positions.
Revan's fists were clenched into tight fists as his face twisted in pain. The blaster bolt the Mandalore had fired had burned its way into his abdomen, causing the acid in his stomach to spill painfully forth and burn his insides. His legs would not move despite his body's wish to writhe in agony and his vision soon swam in red as he fought to remain conscious and reached to the Force to numb the pain, or heal it on some level. The Force disruptor was still firmly in place after the loss of power and Revan knew that any assault on the fortress would be bloody and likely draw out for hours. Opening his eyes, Revan saw the switch to the disruptor field and reached to the Force, feeling it as if it were an echo, calling to him. The switch tremored for a moment, but did not move and Revan snarled in frustration as the pain shot through him in another wave. The young Jedi took that moment to reflect on his captors, recalling the angry exchanged his captor had with other Mandalorians that had 'stopped by.' He recalled the disapproval in their tones though they always relented, stating it was his 'right' according to their code to seek retribution. Revan slowly felt a fire within him. One that did not burn through his abdomen and he curiously reached for it, realizing it was hatred. He did not hate the man who had tortured him, he pitied him. What he hated was something much less obvious. He hated the Jedi Council. Each and ever last one of the Twelve Masters. None of them knew what it was like on the battlefield. It was true some had fought against Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma, but none, none had fought against the Mandalorians, had seen the ravaged worlds they left in their wake and all for some warrior code and glory. The ones that had fought, were so detached from what was going on to even recall what it had been like and scolded him in a condescending manner as to the evils of fighting.
"I hate them."
Revan struggled for his words as his vision darkened. He painfully shook his head as he looked down to the blood flowing freely from his stomach. How could they be so blind. The Mandalorians were slaughtering worlds to goad them into an attack. The Mandalorians wanted to fight the Jedi, so why keep them waiting? Revan knew that in a way he was giving the Mandalorians what they wanted, but what were his alternatives? To let another Cathar happen? He had seen the worlds the Mandalorians ravaged as a young Padawan, being sent on missions with his Master Kreia until she had finally had enough and left the order to try to help those worlds. He was later taken by Master Zhar and the Twilek had quickly proclaimed his ready for the trials of Knighthood. Revan's thoughts drifted to his friend, Malak and he wondered is his companion was here now, looking for him. He had known the tall Jedi Knight since they were both children and they had been like brothers, always causing trouble and always doing something to gain the ire of the Jedi Masters. A short laugh escaped Revan as he relived his childhood antics with his friend before his consciousness slipped and he fell to the peace that darkness offered him.
Revan awoke in a Kolto tank. His eyes burned as they made contact with the thick fluid and he panicked momentarily until the soreness of his body made him think otherwise. The Kolto drained and the mask that fed him oxygen slowly dropped away as he stood shakily in the empty cylinder. A hiss sounded as the glass casing lifted away and he was greeted by the face of a young Republic nurse. The woman smiled warmly as he bowed.
"It is good to see you conscious, Commander Revan."
She greeted with his Republic rank as she pulled a small scanner and ran it over his body. Revan frowned as the unpleasant and bitter smell of the Kolto hit his nose. The young nurse laughed as she saw this and set the scanner to the side.
"It looks like you've
made a full recovery"
She said cheerfully, too cheerfully for Revan's liking.
Revan finally asked in a
raspy voice, ignoring the nurse's confused frown.
"How many what, Commander"
The nurse asked in slight concern. A deep voice answered behind her, earning a startled yelp from the young woman.
"Forty Jedi and five thousand men."
Malak answered in a somber
tone. The young nurse's carefree and happy expression instantly
switched to a sad and solemn one as the two Jedi continued their
"Why didn't you just bomb it from orbit"
Revan asked as he
swallowed, ignoring the dryness in his throat and the crack in his
voice. Malak looked at Revan for a moment, frowning.
"We needed you, Revan. You are a symbol for all the Jedi that follow you and the victory on Dxun would not have happened without you. You led us to their hidden fortress, we felt you through the Force and planned for a week on the assault."
Malak answered, some
annoyance in his tone.
"I'm not worth it, Malak."
Revan answered after a moment's pause. Malak gave an uneasy laugh.
"Its not up to us, my friend."
Revan smiled slightly at the joke. It was in fact, not up to them. By decree of the Jedi Order, all the Jedi that had joined Revan to fight, or had gathered on Taris were cast out of the Order and treated as exiles. The Senate controlled nearly all actions within the Republic military, making their actions ineffective and dangerously slow.
"Where am I and how long has it been"
Revan asked after clearing his thoughts of his increasing annoyance at the Senate and the Jedi Council. The answer he received caused him to look at his friend as if he were mad.
Revan asked incredulously, his voice taking on its old sound. Malak nodded, unable to hold in his devious grin, it had been nearly a month since the battle had ended on Dxun.
"I thought that when you recovered, you'd like to speak at the Jedi Enclave. We could always use the support..."
Malak added as he looked at his friend. Revan nodded, taking a deep breath.
"If you don't mind, I'd like to shower and speak with the men."
The nurse had no objections, though she told the young Jedi and Republic Commander to rest. Revan brushed her warning away and conversed with the fleet commanders, pleased to hear that the Jedi and Republic had seemed to rally after hearing of his capture and the sad state he was found in. It seemed the Senate had approved his official status as a fleet commander and had incorporated the thousands of Jedi that had rallied behind Revan into their ranks. The Senate had ordered Revan to take two weeks of Recovery on Dantooine, which the young Jedi fervently protested. Malak had calmed Revan, commenting that his generals were not imbeciles and that the Republic wouldn't fall in two weeks. Revan had relented reluctantly and spend the first day of his forced vacation going over fleet movements and casualty reports. After only two days of going over the intelligence, Revan decided it was useless. The Mandalorians seemed to attack randomly, without any structure in their attacks. The assaults always brought panic to the Republic forces. Revan knew the Mandalorians used fear as their ally, it aided them just as much as their prowess in battle and their ability to remain cool and composed, stoic and detached from the horrors they unleashed on the battlefield brought a whole new meaning to the term, 'There is no Emotion.' Revan took one last look at the pile of datapads and holocrons before shaking his head, he'd have to restructure the entire Republic military and he'd have to find some way to incorporate the Jedi into those changes. Many would find it strange that a twenty year old man would be running the Republic's war effort, but Revan was no ordinary young man. The Jedi Knight had been a prodigy since he had joined the Order, absorbing all the techniques he was taught and drilling himself until he executed them with perfection. Revan was also frighteningly brilliant when it came to complex strategies and even subtle subterfuge. His ability to solve problems was almost legendary amongst his peers when he was a Padawan. He did not know what had driven him to fight the Mandalorians, he had to admit it did give him a thrill, a rush of adrenaline to fight, but he could do the same as a Jedi. He had tried to convince himself that he fought to uphold the Republic, but after only nine months in the war, Revan soon realized there was little to no strength in the Republic. They relied on numbers and leaned on the Jedi like a crutch. The young Jedi Knight found it pathetic to think about at times and soon threw his thoughts to recruiting more Jedi to fight along side him.
The sentiment in the Jedi Order to aid the Republic was vast, though to speak of it in the years following the war with Exar Kun and the rift that had formed in the Jedi Order was a taboo. The Jedi Council's word was law and the Council had so feared that another Exar Kun would rise that they began teaching their students to forsake all emotions. Compassion, love, anger, hate. They all seemed to lead to the darkside according to the Council. Though his professionalism as a Jedi was unmistakable, Revan often had his disagreements with the Jedi Council as to their slow response to the Mandalorian threat. All though his short life, the Mandalorians had burned the Outer Rim and the Jedi as well as the Republic ignored this. After seeing first hand what the Mandalorians did to those worlds, Revan began to speak out, unknowingly drawing other Jedi to him. The young man was charismatic and passionate when it came to his speeches and he could draw in hundreds to listen to him speak. Some even thought that Revan could persuade a Wookiee that he was an Ewok. The Jedi had split, as the Council feared. Going into battle against the Mandalorian threat only after they had burned through the Republic. Many individual Jedi had joined the Republic to fight the Mandalorians, but alone they were ineffective. Revan had somehow managed to convince thousands of Jedi to flock to the Republic in what many viewed as their darkest hour while the Jedi Council preached out against the evils of embracing war and fighting. Revan sneered as he thought of the countless arguments he had with the Council as to the morality of inaction. To do nothing was to allow the destruction to go on. All he had heard from the Council to back their decree were excuses, excuses that help little to no basis. The Jedi would vaguely comment on a hidden darkness or would speak cryptically as to the involvement of the Sith and how they needed to remain strong.
"How could they not see"
Revan snarled aloud as he walked the silent halls of the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine.
"How can they not see that we weaken ourselves and invite destruction with pacifism."
Revan found that his fists were clenched into tight balls and that his footsteps were beginning to become unusually heavy. He had not taken the young Republic nurse's advice to rest and instead had spent the five days that had passed since his awakening catching up on what he had missed and going over what could be changed.
"Its not as if I
have a choice! Who else is going to handle things? The Senate?
They are too busy stuffing their faces and their pockets with credits
to see what is going on. The Council? They are too afraid to do
anything. Fear leads to the darkside... hypocrites."
Revan growled as his face twisted in his anger. The whites of his eyes were nearly obscured by the bloodshot scarlet that shot through them. In contrast to his dark brown eyes against the red, Revan appeared menacing and it was no surprise that the few Jedi that passed by did not intrude on his dark thoughts. Even as a young boy, Revan had what some would call a traumatic life. No one had talked about it and no one really knew. Kreia, the Jedi Knight who had found Revan had never spoken of where she had found the boy who seemed to surpass any problem that crossed his path, all the Jedi knew was that there was a scar on the boy, a pain that seemed to rest within the Force. It was almost frightening that one so strong in the Force was not found until he was five years of age, but the Jedi ignored the implications, seeing his skills as a gift. It was strange to the Jedi that this boy, even young as he was and from whatever origins he possessed did not anger quickly or act rashly. Stranger still was his fervent belief that the Jedi should meet the Mandalorians head on and the anger that seemed to show itself after so many years of being denied. Revan had always been difficult at times when he disagreed with something, difficult as in he voiced his disagreement, but for hi to physically take action was something that totally shocked the Jedi Masters. Revan closed his eyes as the thoughts of his childhood flooded his mind.
"How can any of them know what it feels like? To know that your own people are unleashing this kind of death and destruction while those that took you in allow them to destroy and murder."
Revan closed his eyes, taking in a deep breath. How could he tell anyone that he was a Mandalorian, born into their ranks and orphaned in his infancy. He couldn't, that was something even malak did not know. Only Kreia, the one who had found him, sought him out, had known and only because she had seen him with the Mandalorians on that destroyed world fifteen years before and had seen his potential and had taken him. A sickening feeling settled into Revan's stomach when he thought of the hundreds of thousands of Mandalorians that had died on Dxun and Onderon and his part in that.
"To kill your own people... Jedi will never understand that."
The fact that he shared much of the Mandalorian's belief in honor and glory and that the fighting seemed to boil in his blood was almost enough to drive him mad in the peaceful surroundings. His life until joining the Order had been a battle, difficult and unforgiving. He had developed an appreciation for that struggle in his childhood and the gap that formed during his time in the peaceful surroundings of the Jedi Order was what drove him, what drove him to be the best, the strongest and the smartest. If he could not prove himself on the battlefield, he would prove himself through his actions. Revan was so absorbed in his thoughts, that he did not notice the young girl walking directly towards him, immersed in a datapad. The Jedi Knight nearly tripped over the short child and let out a surprised 'oof' as he staggered and looked down into two burning azure pools. Revan was so transfixed on the two burning blue fires that he did not hear the indignant comment the girl threw at him or feel the girl's annoyance. All he saw were those eyes. The eyes were as blue as the oceans of Manaan, or the sky above Tatooine and they held an anger and pain that he felt almost mirrored his own pain and frustrations. The girl was fourteen or fifteen from what Revan saw when he was finally drawn away from her burning eyes by a finger jabbing into his chest.
"I said you could at least apologize for not watching where you were going"
The girl snapped in a rich
and cultured core accent that Revan guessed was from either Talravin
or Alderaan. Blinking several times, Revan looked over the girl and
"I'm sorry, Padawan. I should be more mindful in the future... but one has to wonder why you were not watching where you were going."
Revan felt a grin quirk on the edges of his mouth as the girl flushed bright red and stammered an apology as she realized he was a Jedi Knight by the lack of a Padawan's braid and the dark Jedi robes he wore. Revan laughed internally as he noticed the underlying frustration that was radiating from the young girl.
"There is no need to apologize young one."
She did indeed seem young despite the anger that seemed to be boiling under the girl's surface. Revan took a moment to look over the girl, noting her light brown hair that was much like his own and the ridiculously tight outfit the girl wore.
"Not exactly standard Jedi robes"
Revan commented, nearly bursting into laughter as the girl flushed even more. Revan offered the girl a bow, turning his head upward as a devious grin lit his face.
"I apologize for not watching where I was going, Milady. I hope I did not harm you with my carelessness."
A small smile played on the girl's face though she was still flushed and she returned the bow.
"I must be off to the auditorium now though, Padawan..."
Revan asked. The young girl's eyes widened slightly when she realized she had still not introduced herself and had scolded a Jedi Knight as if he were an initiate.
"Of- of course, sorry Master. Shan, Bastila Shan."
Revan smiled as he bowed once more.
"A pleasure to meet you, Padawan Shan, though I hope our next meeting will not be as dramatic."
Bastila giggled softly as she made a motion to retrieve her fallen datapad. Revan used the Force to lift the datapad and examined it for a moment, raising an eyebrow and looking at the girl.
"Battle Meditation? Aren't you a little young to be studying such an advanced technique"
Revan asked in a genuinely curious voice. Battle Meditation was nearly unheard of within the Order and only the most powerful of Jedi Master could even begin to use the advanced technique to any effective level. A small frown lit Bastila's face as she looked to the ground.
"My Master says I show great potential in that technique... though I find it difficult. It is just so..."
Revan asked quietly.
Bastila looked up at him and nodded, the small frown deepening.
"Yes, Master Vrook can be quiet... pushy when it comes to learning a technique."
Revan suddenly burst into laughter, holding his side as he fought for breath. Pausing for a moment, Revan took in the genuinely confused face of the young Padawan and the datapad still in his hand and fell into another fit of laughter. Bastila's confusion turned to anger as she placed her hands on her hips and glared at the young Jedi Knight before her that seemed to find so much humor in her plight.
"And what may I ask do you find so humourous, Knight"
Bastila hissed, causing Revan to cease his laughter and stiffen as he blinked several times at her. Taking a steadying breath, Revan shook his head as he handed the datapad to Bastila, who snatched it angrily.
"Its just that Battle Meditation is... well... unheard of for anyone who doesn't have more than three digits to their age. And if I know Master Vrook he is probably going on and on about how simple it should be for you to Master such a 'trivial' technique."
Bastila was silent for a moment, not knowing if she should take offense to the blatant disrespect for her Master or to laugh at the irony of his statement since that was indeed how Master Vrook had commented on her inability to perfect her Battle Meditation. After a moment of deliberation, Bastila decided to let the comment slide, choosing to sate her own curiosity.
"You said you are on
your way to the auditorium... are you going to listen to Revan
A this innocent question, Revan could barely contain his laughter or the grin that fought to play on his face.
"Actually I was
planning to see if I could talk some sense into a few of the Jedi
Revan commented cryptically, enjoying the sudden lighthearted nature of the conversation, something he was definitely missing in recent months.
A harsh voice scolded, cutting into the peace that had momentarily taken hold over Revan. Revan sighed, no longer amused by the mortification in Bastila's features. She would likely be scolded and punished by Vrook and all because he had been careless. Revan frowned and gave Bastila an apologetic look before beginning to walk away.
"Where do you think you are going, Exile"
Vrook all but snarled to Revan's back. Revan stopped and stiffened in reply, turning slowly so his eyes met Vrook's. He did not hate the man because of his attitude, or because of who he was, Revan hated the man because he was a member of the Jedi Council and was likely the most short-sighted of all of them.
Bastila thought in shock as she looked to the young man she had been speaking with for an explanation. The way the man carried himself was the same way a Jedi Master did, the confidence and skill seemed to scream at her as she looked on his young and handsome features. Revan sneered slightly as he looked into Vrook's eyes, satisfied when he noted the unnerved shift in the Jedi Master's as he looked back.
"I am going to speak with my peers, Master Lamar."
Revan replied formally and in a detached manner that seemed to enrage the Jedi Master further.
"You are not supposed to be here, Revan."
Bastila paled at the mention of the Jedi's name, she turned to see the young man's handsome but stern features shift to a stony glare. She had never seen such disrespect for a Jedi Master and yet she had never seen her own Master so angry, even when the young man seemed to invite her Master's ire. Revan smiled suddenly, catching Vrook and Bastila off guard.
"I suppose you don't
like me taking your nerf"
Revan commented sarcastically, motioning to the Jedi drones that passed by, struggling to ignore the slowly heating argument. Vrook sighed wearily as he brushed his hand over his face, looking at the outcast Jedi Knight.
"You made your decision when you went to war, Revan. You cannot be here."
"I never agreed to be cast aside and treated like a plague, Master"
Revan snarled. The frustration within him was slowly building as he glared at the older man, almost begging him to say the wrong thing. Suddenly, Revan's eyes moved to Bastila and a small frown played on his face. Turning back to Vrook, Revan swallowed his anger and pride and bowed to the Jedi.
"I suppose I should go where I am appreciated, may the Force be with you, Master Lamar."
Revan said as evenly as he could stomach without gagging on his own words. For some reason he was finding it increasingly difficult to respect the Jedi Councillors after seeing first-hand the condition the Republic was in. Seeing that Revan did not want to continue the argument, Vrook offered a small nod of dismissal and turned his attention to Bastila, who's eyes were following the young Jedi Exile.
"And how are your studies to progress if you listen to the foolish ideals of outcasts"
Vrook asked wearily. He was too tired to snap at his young charge and he remembered being young once. Bastila frowned and stammered an apology before collecting her datapads and scurrying off, away from the audience chambers.
"Do not let anger cloud your judgement, my friend."
Jedi Master Zhar commented to Vrook as he stepped around a corner, looking thoughtfully after Revan's retreating form. Vrook frowned but nodded, knowing he had invited Revan into the argument and that it was Revan who had chosen to end it, for Bastila's sake. Zhar watched his former student's retreat until Revan turned a corner en route to the audience chambers. The Twilek Master sighed and looked over to Vrook.
"You should not have interfered so quickly, I sensed a calm within Revan that I have not felt for many years when he spoke with young Bastila..."
Vrook sighed and nodded his agreement as he looked to where Revan had vanished.
"That's what I am afraid of."
Revan entered the auditorium and looked around to the twenty or so Jedi gathered there. He knew it was early and that more would come to hear him speak his case for why they should forsake years of training to fight, but he could not concentrate on that, his thoughts passed back to the young girl and the contentment he felt as he joked with her for that short time. Growling in frustration, Revan activated his wrist communicator.
After a pause, Malak's deep voice responded.
"Early are we"
Malak asked in a tone that did not hide the amusement he felt, though it was also laced with mild concern.
"Yea, do you think you could stop by my quarters and pick up a few holodisks for me"
"Not a problem."
Malak responded as Revan deactivated the comm. The former Jedi Knight sighed as he looked over to the curious faces of the Jedi gathered and cleared his throat, preparing to try to convince them to leave their lives behind.