Title: "Delaying Action"
Spoilers: "Knights of the Old Republic" Video Game
Summary: What happened to Bastila after she held off Darth Malak to allow time for Revan and Carth to escape the Leviathan?
Author's Notes: First off, I heartily recommend to anyone to go out and buy the game! Very few games have a storyline that is so immersive that one gets so wrapped in it. That being said, there was much material to use for writing in this game. One scene in particular was Bastila fighting Malak to give your character and Carth time to escape. I'm a 'What happened next?' kind of person, so I wrote this story. Features a Light Side Female Revan.
Dedications and Thanks: To Alice the Raven whose help as a beta ironed out a few things with this, not to mention I consider her one of the better writers I've had to pleasure to come across. I only hope to one day measure up to that quality. Lastly, to the developers at Aspyr who brought this incredible game to the Macintosh. And here I thought the game was going to be boring!
Read and Review!
Darth Malak's eyes glittered malevolently as he hovered over the helpless, frozen form of his one-time master now reformed Jedi Knight, Revan. Or should he call her Mira Dana? He had laughed at the look of utter confusion and near-schizophrenic fear Mira had given him as he revealed her true identity. How he so relished the look of betrayal Mira shot Bastila on being played the puppet not only by someone she obviously took to be a friend, but also by the vaunted Jedi Council as well. 'Mira Dana' had merely been a false identity implanted into Revan's mind by the Council after being captured by Bastila in a daring ambush. He'd thought he'd left Revan for dead after he'd ordered a strike on the bridge of her flagship. Imagine his surprise when, months later, his intelligence operatives brought word of a Jedi fitting Revan's description accompanied by none other than Bastila Shan?
It'd been fortunate that his flagship, the Leviathan, had stumbled onto the ship Revan and her companions traveled in just as it was about to leap into hyperspace. A highly encrypted communiqué from Admiral Saul Karath, saying that the ship had been captured and crew detained, had hastened his arrival to see first hand if this 'Mira Dana' truly was Revan. The Force was with Malak, for the moment he had arrived and had headed towards the bridge, he'd stumbled onto Mira, Bastila and a Republic Commander, Carth Onasi, all trying to escape.
Even he'd been surprised that Revan hadn't recognized him. The shock and anger that radiated from his former master amused him, but there was a part of him that wanted to see if he could truly best Revan, even in this incarnation. True, he'd struck down his master from afar, but only because he'd seen an opportunity to take down not only his master, but also a Jedi who was the one greatest threat to him and to his plans. Even afterwards, there were whispers within the Sith ranks that he'd struck out of fear, that he'd ignored the ancient teachings of master versus apprentice. But fate had given him a second chance, a chance to silence those doubts once and for all. For a brief moment, he'd thought that his boasting of having usurped the mantle of Dark Lord would bring forth the memories of his former master, but no, all this Revan did was proclaim the power of the Light Side.
With a casual wave, he'd put Bastila and Onasi in stasis, making them helplessly watch as he brandished his lightsaber and leapt into battle with Revan. Even as they fought, Malak could sense that this Revan was nothing like the one who could instill awe and fear in not only their troops and enemies, but also in her own apprentice. Even as he goaded her into following him to another part of the ship, away from her companions, Malak sensed that his opponent was not fighting to full potential. The Revan he fought was merely a pale shadow, a vestige – one that hardly tested his powers and wasn't even a worthy opponent. With another wave, she too was wrapped in a paralytic stasis.
Now, here, would he finally strike down and complete the ancient tradition of the Sith, and be fully recognized as the one true Dark Lord. He stood right over Revan, staring right into those terror-struck green eyes, and brought his sizzling crimson blade back, aiming for the neck. Time to end this.
A closed blast door farther down the corridor suddenly shuddered and sparks ran down the middle. The door was forcibly pulled apart, debris flying everywhere. There, a white-faced Carth Onasi and a grim-looking Bastila Shan stood, weapons out and at the ready.
"This isn't over, Malak!" Bastila yelled.
Malak's concentration broken, the stasis field collapsed around Revan, who stepped back and ignited her own sabers in desperation. The weapons hissed their presence, drawing Malak's attention.
The Sith Lord merely snorted. "Your friends do not give up easily, Revan. You always could inspire loyalty, but even the three of you together cannot stand against my power!"
Bastila twirled her double-sided lightsaber rapidly above her head, giving it speed. "For the Jedi!" she screamed and let the weapon fly. Malak, unprepared for such a brash attack, barely deflected the onslaught, though the brunt of it forced him back. With Force-assisted speed, Bastila dashed forward and used her power to shove Revan out of the way towards Carth. As her lightsaber spun back towards her, she seized it from the air and advanced on the Dark Lord of the Sith.
"I'll hold Malak off! You two get out of here! Find the Star Forge!" Without a backwards glance Bastila jammed one saber behind her, striking a control panel and causing it to shatter and spark. A massive blast door ponderously descended between the two parties, cutting them off.
"No, Bastila, he's too strong! No!" Carth yelled as he helplessly watched the door slam down just as Malak started a ferocious attack on Bastila. He rushed forward and desperately punched the controls, then banged the blast door with his fist. "The door's sealed! We can't get past! C'mon, we have to get to the Ebon Hawk!"
Carth turned to Revan – no, Mira – and saw her was staring at the door. A look of dazed betrayal crossed her features. Carth couldn't very well blame her: how many people wake up one day and realize they'd been living a lie – a noble lie perhaps, but still a lie. Carth knew that Mira and Bastila were close, but how much duplicity could a person take? He'd never trusted the Jedi or their order, but he acknowledged a grudging admiration for Mira Dana. To now realize he'd been fighting side by side with the person responsible for the destruction of Telos, the same person responsible for the loss of his wife and son? He still damned Saul Karath to whatever hell awaited him for telling him the one thing he never expected to hear. Carth shook his head, berating himself at the waste of time. Not here, not now!
He walked up and firmly grasped Mira by the shoulders. She blinked several times, caught the look of conviction in Carth's eyes, and took a steadying breath. Her face a stony mask, she regarded the blast door and what was happening on the other side.
"What about Bastila? We can't just leave her!"
Carth shook his head. "Bastila doesn't stand a chance against Malak, but we can't help her! Not here! We have to get off this ship and find the Star Forge - that's the key to beating the Dark Lord! Bastila sacrificed herself so we could get away, we can't let her sacrifice be in vain! C'mon!"
Taking one more glance at the door, Mira rushed after Carth.
Bastila leaped over Malak, slashing downwards with a hissing blade. The Sith Lord batted it away and sidestepped from a follow-up assault. Landing close by and in a crouch, Bastila swiped at the Sith's legs with both of her golden blades. Both strikes were parried away in quick succession and Bastila rolled away just as a vicious gash carved a molten scar on the floor. She flipped and jumped to her feet, facing her opponent at a defensive stance. Sweat beaded and fell from Bastila's forehead, while Malak still breathed easily. She had to hold him off as long as she could!
Malak pirouetted his saber before him – almost lazily. "Tell me, Bastila," he asked lightly. "Did you get to fight my old master, or were you actually relieved that I did the dirty work for you?"
Bastila gritted her teeth and launched another attack, her weapon flashing before her. She sliced forward with one saber, had it blocked, and then attacked it another. Both sabers, red on gold, crossed and held in front of the two combatants, sparks sizzling between them, as one tried to push against the other. Malak's eyes burned into the Jedi's.
"Admit it, Bastila! You wanted a taste of the Dark Side! The Council held you back, fearing your power, just as they feared Revan's and mine! That's why you stayed close to her, wasn't it?"
Bastila's eyes narrowed at the taunt. "Mira Dana is nothing like Revan!" Malak merely tipped his head back and laughed in that chilling, mechanical laugh of his. Effortlessly, he pushed Bastila's weapon away and began his own attack.
Just…a little longer, Bastila thought.
Carth and Mira rounded a corner and rushed toward a blast door that led to the hangar bay. A button was punched and the doors began to open.
"Get to the Hawk," Carth started. "I'll check the – AH!" A laser bolt slammed on the door just before it cleared the Republic soldier's head. He threw himself to the ground in time to see more blaster fire singe the air he'd recently occupied. Carth flattened himself to the ground and scuttled over to some storage bins just beyond the entrance. Mira, lightsabers in hands, crawled over next to him. More blaster fire could be heard just beyond in the main landing bay, though, to Carth's expert ears, it sounded like a huge firefight had broken out.
"This can't be good!" Mira yelled. Carth could only nod and spared a quick look between two containers. When he sat back, he swore and keyed his comlink.
"Ordo! What the hell is going on?" The comlink squawked a bit until a voice could be heard above the din.
"In case you hadn't noticed, Republic, we're in the middle of a crossfire and don't quite have the time for chitchat!" the gruff voice of the Mandalorian warrior said.
"I thought you said you took care of all the guards in the landing bay!"
"In the landing bay, yes! We waited for you and before we could do anything, more troops showed up on either side of the Hawk! Again, in case you hadn't noticed, this is a big ship!"
Carth rolled his eyes at the sarcasm. "Hang tight! We'll see what we can do from here!" He almost cut the connection when he heard an almost maniacal laughing coming from the speaker. "Why the hell are you laughing?"
"I'm not! Though I'll give you one guess who it is: it's not organic and it's not T3!"
Carth and Mira both looked at each other.
"HK!" they both said at the same time, and a new voice could be heard from the comlink.
"Declaration: this is what I was built for, Master!"
Mira put a hand to her face and shook her head. Carth clicked off the connection.
"We have to do something soon! The longer we delay, the longer someone gets to make it back to the bridge and reactivates the tractor beam!" He took another look and could see that on the side closest to them, a squad of Sith Battle Droids was blasting away at Canderous, Zalbaar and HK, who took cover behind some more crates next to the main ramp of the Hawk. From the other side, Carth could see another squad of Sith Troopers firing away as well, slowly moving to envelope the team. His eyes widened in concern, however, when he caught sight of a rather large turbo laser being setup.
"You have any ion grenades left?" he asked Mira. She pulled over a small satchel and produced a small silver sphere with a single button on the top. "Follow my lead!" Carth said, crawling ahead towards the droids. He stopped right at the corner and peered over to catch sight of 5 droids firing away. He sat back, jammed his thumb on the activation pin, and, with a grunt, tossed the explosive high in the air. It landed to the right of a droid, who looked curiously at the object.
The deck plating shuddered from the explosion as a bright flash radiated from that part of the hanger. Pressing a stud on his wrist, Carth's personal shield flickered on as he stood up, firing away. Mira stood as well, shield activated, and leaped into the fray. Several droids still stood, though they dazedly tried to point their weapons at the incoming fighters. Mira quickly deprived one droid of its head, and while it's cranium sailed through the air, she threw her other saber at another droid, impaling it. The remaining droid shot several times, but blast was deflected in a different direction. Mira, grinning savagely, raised her open hand as ionizing energy lanced out from her fingers and slammed the droid with such force it shattered as it hit a far wall.
Carth could only stare in surprise at the sheer swiftness of the attack. His worry went up a notch as Mira ran past him with a look of utter disdain on her face. They both ran to the Ebon Hawk's ramp to join the others, who huddled lower under their cover, just as more vicious blaster fire erupted from the last troopers.
"Glad you could join us!" Canderous said, jamming a power cell into his assault rifle. Before Carth could reply, Mira glanced over her shoulder.
"Cover me!" she said and ran headlong into the fire, green and blue lightsabers flashing.
"Cover you?" Carth and Canderous said at the same time. Zalbaar roared the same question and HK simply redirected his barrage to cover his master, yelling encouragements all the while. All four poured their fire at the troops, who took notice of a seemingly suicidal Jedi running at them.
Bolts flew all around Mira, some from the back, most from the front. Opening fully to the Force, and losing herself to her anger at what had been done to her, she dodged, deflected, or sent back the blasts to their original owners. Both her arms were a whirl of color as both worked the will of the Force. At the last second, she leaped right over the soldiers and into their midst. At such close quarters, blasters were more dangerous to the soldiers than to their intended target. Several of them tried to go for cortosis woven vibroblades, but even before their hands gripped the handles, those very same limbs found themselves on the ground. One desperate trooper tried to fire his blaster, but the redirected laser was so fast, he hadn't had time to register the large hole in his chest. A final soldier, one leg missing, tried to crawl away.
Mira, mouth twisted into a sneer, calmly raised a hand and the man found himself floating off the ground and facing the Jedi. Something claw-like wrapped around his neck and slowly started to constrict. Gasping, he tried to rip whatever was squeezing the life out of him away, but could find no purchase. The woman in front of him, actually smiled – a very cold smile.
Mira's rage faltered at the almost weak voice she heard in her head. Bastila? But she heard no more. Blinking, she lowered her hand and the soldier collapsed in a quivering heap. She took a nervous swallow and ran back to the Hawk, its engines already humming with power.
Bastila was exhausted.
Her heartbeat thundered in her ears and each breath came at a painful cost. The Jedi's legs burned with pain and barely supported her. Every part of her body ached from the fight and her hands kept slipping on the handle of her lightsaber. Never had she fought so implacable a foe!
Malak kept pressing his attack, keeping the Jedi off-balance. At a sudden pause, his eyes flickered to some crates nearby and all three leapt from the floor towards his opponent. Bastila, barely sensing the danger in time, ducked to have one crate miss her by inches. Following the Force, she slashed the other two in quick succession. She turned back quickly to face the Dark Lord, but had no time to register the still-intact third crate coming around and smashing into her face. With a grunt of pain, she fell backwards and hit the wall. Something thick and salty dribbled into her lips as she staggered to her feet, her weapon in front of her.
"Yes, Bastila," Malak taunted. "I already see defeat in your eyes. The fight now is a foregone conclusion. Surrender!"
Bastila blinked several times and merely glared at the Sith Lord. Almost with a sigh, Malak lunged again with a series of feints and thrusts. Even with her double-bladed saber, the Jedi Knight couldn't keep her defenses up. Malak tried to take down the Jedi at the knees, but had the blade weakly blocked.
Then, with a sudden, savage uppercut, the Sith Lord's blade sliced through the metal shaft of Bastila's lightsaber, one end still lit, the other sputtered in a shower of sparks that fell across the Jedi's face. Losing her balance, Bastila fell the ground, tried to get up, but found the tip of Malak's crimson saber mere inches from her throat. Weakly, she tried to crawl away, but the weapon inexorably tracked her.
"You are beaten, Bastila!" Malak pronounced impatiently. "It is useless to resist! Don't let yourself be destroyed like Revan did!"
Eyes flashing, Bastila knocked away Malak's saber, flipped back on to her feet, and in a desperate move, blindly went for the Sith's head. Momentarily unprepared, Malak tried to counterattack, but overextended himself. Bastila, seeing an opening, lunged forward…and hit Malak's face.
Sparks flew and an unearthly scream echoed through the corridor. Malak stumbled backwards, his face turned away from Bastila, who tried to finish the fight…but stopped suddenly with a gasp and almost dropped what was left of her lightsaber when Malak turned again.
The entire right side of the Sith Lord's face was slightly burned and a whole third of the metal prosthesis that Malak wore on his lower face had melted away. It was what was underneath that filled Bastila with dread: the entire lower jaw was missing! Electrical sparks snapped around what was left of the device, but it was nothing to the unholy rage that flickered in Malak's eyes. The voice synthesizer still worked, but any trace of humanity that might have once been there, was now gone.
"You…will burn for that!"
"Would someone please tell me what is going on? And where's Bastila?" Mission Vao asked, her Twi'lek lekku twitching in irritation.
"I'd like to know what happened to the Jedi Princess, myself," Canderous muttered as he cleaned his broken down rifle.
Safely away from the Leviathan and currently in hyperspace, the crew sat around the main hold. Carth stared at anything but Mira, still in shock now that the adrenaline from battle had come down. The last words from his one-time mentor still echoed in his mind:
"You didn't know…did you?"
No, he didn't, and now he had no idea how to handle the situation, especially with the trust he'd finally put in Mira. The woman in question looked up at him, but all he could do was stare back at her in a hooded gaze. His meaning was very clear to her in regards to the crew:
You tell them or I will.
Mira looked away and swallowed. Her rage had evaporated completely after getting back on the Hawk, but it still left her very much empty inside. She was still shocked at the revelation of who she was and what she had done. She looked around to her companions, whom she knew were good people. They really deserved to know. She stood and all talk ceased as Jolee, Juhani, Zalbaar, Canderous, Mission…even HK turned to stare at her.
"There's something you should know," Mira started quietly. "Something that I recently found out…about me."
Malak screamed in righteous fury as he pressed his assault, uncaring about any counters Bastila might throw up. In two quick strokes, he slashed at the Jedi's leg and shoulder, scoring them with burn marks. Bastila howled in agony, dropping her saber as she fell to the ground. Malak contemptuously kicked the saber away and aimed the point of his blade right at Bastila's face.
Malak turned to see a young officer walk up with a squad of troopers. The soldier took one look at the Dark Lord's face but did not look away. He did, however, look like the next thing he was to say would be his last.
"Sir…the Ebon Hawk has just made the jump into hyperspace."
Even through the haze of the pain and agony of her wounds, Bastila sighed. They escaped!
"It would seem you succeeded, Bastila, my dear," Malak said. He then turned to the officer. "Set a new course for the Star Forge, maximum speed. And inform the medical bay to prepare for a burn trauma patient."
The young soldier tried not to let his eyes wander over his Lord's face. "You, sir?"
"No," Malak said in a hiss. He turned and regarded Bastila, whose eyes widened in terror. "Don't worry child, death is not for you. I have other plans in store." He brought a hand up and electrical energy danced between his fingertips. "But first, a small lesson…the first of many, I assure you." His other hand came up, and sizzling bolts of electricity danced from one palm to the other.
"I always keep my promises," Malak whispered, and hurled the dark energy directly at the Jedi.
Power arced and crackled everywhere; lights dimmed and explosively blew out throughout the whole section of the ship. Durasteel plating melted from the heat as smoke and ozone swirled all around. And in the center of it all…