-- Prologue --
They're not coming back.
That had been the rumour running around the bridge and the entire ship for the last three days, since Revan, his droids, and the hulking Mandalorian Canderous had disappeared on a recon mission.
Carth Onasi stared out of the window, on the Sorrowful's bridge deck as he thought back to that day, that fateful day he had listened to his friend's advice for what had seemed like the last time, at least until Revan came back from the recon mission.
"Carth, the way up ahead is blocked, how many men do you have to get through this area?" Revan waved his friend over to look at the corridor leading down into the tunnels of the resisting Sith cache here on Anirdo. Carth and Canderous walked over to Revan's side and looked down into the long shaft that sloped sharply downwards at a treacherous angle.
"Huh, Onasi's weapons and toy soldiers, ain't going to last a minute down there." Canderous spat into the hole and grinned at Revan, "that means we're going ahead right?"
"You take that back Canderous," Carth threatened the big Mandalorian, his face angry and red, a blaster pistol appearing from nowhere into Carth's hand and Canderous' face as Canderous snorted back at Carth, unimpressed by Carth's sudden reaction.
Revan ignored his two friends as he thought about the shaft. Canderous had been right about the bigger patrols going down into the depths and the lack of properly trained soldiers at Carth's …or rather, his disposal… Carth may have been the one legally in charge of this mission – but it was really Revan who was the mastermind of it.
"I'd like to see you try it, Republic." Canderous racked his gun and leaned in to whisper at Carth, "a battle between one squad of untrained mandalorians would wipe your Republic troops into pieces."
"Enough! You two are worse than a six – year – old!" Revan snapped at his friends without turning to look at Carth and Canderous as he studied the entrance again. "We need to send a resonances mission ahead of the patrols – Carth."
Carth nodded in agreement, "who do you want to go, Revan?"
Revan smiled recklessly, "just me, Canderous, and the droids… we don't want too many people and if I have troubles hacking into any systems, T3 will be able to help me with them, while HK and Canderous can provide cover for us."
Revan returned a few days later and headed to the Ebon Hawk, after filling Carth in on the details. He and Canderous along with the droids had gone out into space to open up the hanger bay that had been secreted there when the trouble had started.
"All right, we're in and it's not too bad…" Revan's voice crackled form the intercom as he guided the Ebon Hawk into the secret route, he had found by accident.
"…Darkness! Where did that come from! No... It's from the old…" Revan's voice broke up as the static broke through his transmission.
"Revan repeat that, will you?" Carth toggled the comlink and shot a despairing glance at the ensign tending the station, "try boosting it again, kid."
"Get… hell out of … Carth! It's an … – … ships left over … the Star …ge! … take care of them and just get … … out! We're gonna blow these…"
"Sir…? Excuse me, Admiral Onasi…?"
Carth turned to glare at the foolish person who had interrupted him and saw a young woman looking at him. She was vaguely familiar as he stared at her in annoyance.
She was silent and pale, merely staring at him until he could take it no more.
"…Report soldier!" He snapped when she stared at him for sometime, before his voice startled her into action.
"I was sent to bring you these." She handed him five datapads, each bearing news from Admiral Dodonna, the gang back at home, and three tactical updates. Carth inspected them briefly, before he looked at the silent woman again.
"Is there anything else?" He asked in a cold voice when she nodded her head quietly.
"Has… has there been any report, of the Jedi Master Revan?" The woman stumbled over the words, as though they were foreign to her.
"No, there hasn't been," Carth replied a bit more tartly than he'd planned to say. "Why do you ask?"
"Because, Jedi Master Bindo told me that if I came to you, that you'd help me find my brother… I never had the chance to meet my brother after the war… Rev saved me, but he didn't know who I was then… I was just another person hurt by the Mandalorians."
Kay Tridian looked up at Carth Onasi and the tears in her eyes were painful for him to see.
"He's not coming back, Kay..."
Carth hated himself more than ever at that moment. "I'm sorry…"
It was all he could offer to the grieving girl as he led her gently away to his private quarters. He needed to find out more about this woman who claimed Revan was her brother… Maybe she had some clue, some answer to Revan's whereabouts… Who knew?
Ten hours later, Carth sat staring at Kay Tridian who claimed to be Revan's sister. Her face was not relaxed in her sleep and tear marks still marred her face as she tossed and turned in her sleep, muttering words in a unkonwn language to him.
"I hope you're onto something here, Jolee…"
Carth thought as he stared at the sleeping woman who did look like Revan, near close enough to be his twin.
"I just hope you're right about her…"
Carth watched as the ship jumped into hyperspace from the comfort of his private quarters and finally allowed the tears of frustration and anger unshed for the past three days to fall as he stared out the window, looking at his reflection in frustration.