Following the Footsteps

-- Prologue --

"She's not here. Maybe she's out for a walk, Carth? You did have that loud argument last night, remember?"
The voice over the comlink did little to reassure Carth as he tore one of the mattresses up in an effort to control his anger.

"Well, keep looking Mission," Carth snarled. "She couldn't have gone that far."
It was four days after the ceremony for the destruction had come to withdrawal and most of the guests had left …most of them anyway. Carth looked out the window and shuddered as he thought to where she could have gone? Where would she have run away too…?

"Mission," Carth thumbed his comlink and raised it to his mouth, the tears burning in his eyes, slowly starting to running down his face as he realized what she had done, what he had forced her to do. "Get the Ebon Hawk prepped for take-off and go to Kashyyyk, with the rest of the gang. I'll meet you guys there…"

"Ummm, Carth…? What are you talking about?"
Mission sounded confused and scared as she answered him, "we're all here for Revan – we're not going to get up and leave her here no mater what, you know?"

"I know," Carth replied, closing his eyes as he leaned back against the cold bulkhead. "But this is something I have to do, something to prove to her that I've accepted her as she is."

"Then, start addressing her by her real name, sonny..." That was Jolee who had joined in on the conversation from his on comlink; Carth knew the others weren't far from that action and he rolled his eyes, containing his annoyance as he replied testily, "I know, Jolee, I know that's she's calling herself, Revan now!"

"Then call her Revan and Carth …take it easy with her, she's not the same as she was before."

Bastila's voice was soft and quiet as it had been ever since Revan had come and literally dragged her away from the Jedi Masters in defiance of their so-called atonement setup they had created for her. When confronted by the Jedi Masters, Revan had stood at the Ebon Hawk's ramp and had boldly flaunted their ruling and defied even the Republic's commanding orders concerning her as a citizen of the Republic.

Revan had claimed that they, the Jedi and Republic alike should be thankful that she had had her friends to help her throughout their quest or she would have fallen to the dark side at the Temple after all she had been through and she had won the argument …eventually.

Carth shook his head, "no… I know. But this is something I've got to do. I'll come back with Revan or neither…" Carth broke off for a minute, fighting the rage that threatened to consume him. "Or I won't be back – at all..."
Carth shut off his comlink and shrugged into his orange jacket. Revan hated the color, but Carth was counting on it – Revan complained that it blinded her and stood out anywhere and that's exactly what he wanted.

"All right, beautiful, Carth muttered clenching his blaster pistol on his belt. You've got my attention, now you've got it."

Carth left the room, his face set in a grim mask as he started to hike into the jungle, searching for any clues to the mysteriously disappeared woman. It was going to be a long night…

Two red lights glinted in the fading light as the orange coloured jacket moved away from sigh, as the mechanical voice spoke quietly into a comlink.
"To hear is to obey, Master." There was a pause, "may I destroy the target?"
There was silence and then the voice spoke up. "No, I do not want the target destroyed yet… they must suffer first… Both of them must suffer before we can finish the final blow, Trag – but first, proceed with your preceding orders."

"Yes, Master." Trag shut down his comlink and looked through the scope again watching the republic pilot hack a branch off the path.

"Soon, brother-in-law," Trag purred almost lovingly, as he stroked his trigger, "soon…"