Disclaimer: Bite me, I don't own it.
Chapter 6: A Trick of the Mind
Brianna and her sisters stared at Revan. The Dark Lord of the Sith felt slightly uncomfortable and self-conscious under their azure gazes.
"That is enough, leave us Handmaidens."
Atris' voice cut through the chamber. The Handmaidens shook their heads for a moment before regaining their composure and leaving the Jedi Master and Sith Lord alone.
"You didn't have to manipulate their minds, Atris."
Revan scolded as the Echani Master glared at him.
"And you do not need to allow your lust for bloodshed to cloud your judgement. What do you think they would say or do to you, Revan?"
Atris hissed. Revan sighed wearily, staring at the Jedi with a neutral expression.
"I do not know and I do not care. They deserve to know the truth."
Atris seemed to snarl at that moment as she stalked towards Revan and pointed her finger to him, jabbing him in his chest.
"You will leave here and you WILL NOT interfere with Ian or my own affairs... And never speak to the children of Yusanis again about your crime."
Atris added. Revan's neutral expression twisted to one of pure fury, causing Atris' eyes to widen in shock as she backed away from the Dark Lord of the Sith.
"Are you threatening me, Master Jedi?"
Revan snarled, his
discarded sabers shooting to his hand and activating in a single
motion. Atris remained frozen before the Sith Lord, staring at him
"I am warning you, Revan. Do not toy with these girl's lives... I have been responsible for them since their father was murdered..."
Atris added pointedly, keeping her distance from the enraged Sith. Revan's face twisted into a sneer as he eyed Atris.
"I already have plans for General Kenobi. You will not interfere."
Revan added as he deactivated his saber and clipped it to his belt. After collecting the rest of his things, Revan left the speechless Jedi Master behind, making his way to the Hangar.
"So much hatred..."
Atris whispered as she stared at the spot Revan had retreated.
Revan arrived in the Hangar control room in time to see Kreia and Ian speaking quietly and their companion, Atton speaking in a not so quiet manner about where they should go.
"Nar Shadda is a good choice..."
Revan voiced as he entered the room. The Dark Lord felt a subtle Force-probe and raised an eyebrow to Kreia. The Jedi Master frowned towards her former student.
"I think I should take my leave."
Kreia said suddenly, making her way to the Ebon Hawk.
"There is someone I'd like to speak to on Onderon... or more precisely Dxun."
Revan noticed Ian's wince at the name of the battlefield from their past and sighed. The Force-probe confused him slightly. It was not directed at him, but around him and he wondered briefly why Kreia would do such a thing.
"She's keeping my identity hidden from Kenobi..."
Revan realized as he
stared at the Exiled Jedi Knight.
"I think Nar Shadda is a good plan. Onderon can wait for the moment... I take it you are joining us, Jedi Suron."
"If you don't mind. I have my own transport and can act as your wingman in case we get into any trouble... The fighter is also small enough that it should be able to latch on to the Ebon Hawk for prolonged periods of space travel."
Ian and Atton both nodded.
"It would be good to have a little more firepower alongside us and even though I'm nervous about having more Jedi... I don't think it would be a bad idea."
Atton voiced. Revan
turned to the man and narrowed his eyes. There was something about
the man that he did not understand, something hidden and he had an
idea. Though Kreia would have likely already stolen that information
from his mind.
"We should be on our way then. I don't think I can handle Atris for much longer."
Ian sighed, turning and following Kreia's path.
"I'll go prep my fighter and meet you in orbit."
Revan announced to Atton as he was leaving. Atton nodded, eyeing the Dark Lord warily.
"See ya there..."
Revan made his way to his fighter, doing his best to avoid the temperamental Jedi Master and her entourage of Echani Handmaidens. The sight that greeted Revan after latching onto the Ebon Hawk in Telos' orbit and climbed into the Ebon Hawk was not what he had hoped for. Somehow, Brianna had made her way onto the Hawk and was doing her best to remain calm next to Atton's barrage of insults and Kreia's scowl.
"Did I miss something?"
Revan asked, causing the others to fall silent.
Ian announced. Revan noticed the Exile eyeing him strangely before he finally turned to Brianna.
"Look, don't listen to Atton. Take the regular quarters, we have enough room."
Brianna shook her head, smiling slightly.
"It is no matter, I am used to worse conditions. But... thank you for your kindness..."
Revan raised an eyebrow as Brianna walked past him and to the cargo hold. Feeling in a sour mood, Revan scowled and looked around the ship. The battle damage had been severe and Revan wondered briefly who had been chasing the small freighter. Revan passed the cargo hold to spy Ian speaking with Brianna as she showed him the basic steps in the Echani form of Martial arts.
"Not wasting any time..."
Revan shook his head. If Yusanis had known Ian was going to end up hitting on his daughter, he'd have died of a heart attack instead of a lightsaber wound. The Dark Lord winced slightly. He did not know why Atris was keeping his identity from the Handmaidens or why Kreia was from Ian, but it unnerved him.
Sighing in frustration, Revan took up residence in the medical room, content to isolate himself from the strange following Ian had gathered. It reminded him too much of his own time on this ship and the betrayal of his sister.
Carth Onasi asked incredulously as the Citadel's TSF advisor winced.
"Admiral Onasi, I am receiving a Sith transponder signal in orbit."
Carth cut the signal with Lieutenant Grenn.
"Scramble that Sith's computers, I want them alive."
Carth ordered, fearful of what the Sith had planned for Telos.
"Sir I am picking up the Ebon Hawk's transponder as well."
Carth cursed as he caught sight of the Ebon Hawk and the fighter disappearing into hyperspace.
"Can you track them?"
The tactical officer shook her head. Carth slammed his hand angrily into the bulkhead before calling to his communications officer.
"Send a message to Lieutenant Grenn. I want to know if he knew anything about that fighter."
The officer replied quickly.
"Carth, you should
really calm down. He isn't really the last Jedi... Just the last
one the Sith know about. We can use that."
Carth turned to Brin, shaking his head.
"I don't like using people as bait. He might draw out the Sith or he might join them. Ian Kenobi is the only Jedi that survived Malachor V. The only one who knows what really happened there..."
Brin noticed the haunted look in Carth's eyes and did not comment. It was well known that the battle of Malachor V was pure chaos. Millions of Mandalorians and Republic soldiers, thousands of Jedi fighting on the world's surface. Few records had reached the Republic but what had transpired was well known. Mandalorians, Jedi, Republic soldiers. All of them merely collapsed to the ground, dead. For a moment the battle above paused as all, Jedi or not, felt the well of darkness that was awakened on Malachor.
Revan had been the one to order the use of the Mass Shadow Device. He had also been the only person to survive on the surface of Malachor V. Whatever had been awakened, or unleashed on Malachor, only Revan knew. Ian Kenobi had activated the Mass Shadow Generator without a second thought. The last thing he felt in the Force for a decade was the all encompassing darkness on Malachor. How Revan had survived something that stripped the life from every Jedi, Mandalorian, Republic soldier and even many of the creatures of the world was not known. Even more mysterious was how he was found on the shattered world. A temple of red, ivory and obsidian had been where he was found amongst thousands of unrecognizable bodies, still holding on to life.
Bodies that were crushed beyond recognition by the increased gravity that shattered Malachor V. After his recovery, Revan had scoured the Republic and Jedi for men willing to follow him through anything. Many thousands of soldiers and Jedi followed him to unknown space and into the waiting hands of the True Sith. The red-skinned insectoids were brutal in their defense of their empire. But in the end, Revan's cunning had led his veterans to victory over the Sith. Until the Sith unleashed their true power.
An ancient technique known as the Thought Bomb. The technique had the ability to drain the life from every biological creature within its range and had devastated Revan's forces. Only by the will of the Force had Revan survived a second encounter with the deadly technique. The Jedi returned to the Republic, seeking help from the Jedi and Bastila. The Council had refused, seeing only the scars of the darkside left within him and claiming he had fallen. Bastila had refused, seeing it as well and terrified for her friend.
It was then Revan had claimed himself Dark Lord of the Sith and unleashed his wrath against the Republic, seeking more soldiers and Jedi to fight the true threat. Then that the Knight Revan became Darth Revan. Guilt was something that weighed on Revan all those years until he finally returned to the Republic and chose to fight alongside the Jedi against the threat he himself had created.
Even that was not enough. The Republic turned on him when they discovered his identity and the Jedi were powerless to stop their actions. Backed into a corner, Revan lashed out, killing many of his captors and freeing Bastila, fleeing into the collapsing Sith Empire and rebuilding it beyond the reach of the Republic as the Empire that shared their name once had.
"Someone is tracking us..."
Revan opened his eyes, seeing the confirming and approving nod of Kreia. A small part of him felt relieved that his former Master at least accepted his presence. It was something that he had been unsure of for years after abandoning the Order and it felt good to know that the woman who had been like a mother to him was there beside him.
"I agree... though it is elusive... difficult to find. It is most definitely an assassin, skilled in the Force and the means of tracking us."
Ian nodded grimly.
"We can't let that
stop us now... Atton. You've spent time on Nar Shadda, what do you
think we should do?"
The smuggler shrugged, his thoughts so chaotic that Revan could barely discern them.
"Find a spaceport. Settle down and maybe get a new transponder if the Sith are tracking us."
Kreia looked surprised, choosing not to praise Atton's intelligent statement. Ian nodded approvingly and cast a glance around to is crew.
"Does everyone agree?"
Bao-Dur, the Iridonian looked offended and stated something about following his General wherever he went. Revan cast the Iridonian a quick glance, wondering if the Iridonian would have recognized his presence. He could not doubt that the Force was strong, and growing with the one-armed mechanic. There was always something strange about Kenobi's presence. As if you felt invigored by him, his presence was enough to bring relief to his former Commander in the dark days of the Mandalorian wars and when he, Malak and Revan had grown in their friendship, their brotherhood with one another, they knew they trusted each other with their lives and that neither would forsake the other.
Revan frowned, his thoughts running to the last moments of his duel with Malak. Grasping Malak's saber tightly in his hand, Revan sighed.
"I was too quick to kill him... Those final moments, no matter how much I hated him for what he did to Bastila... He was my best friend, my brother..."
Brianna was also voicing her agreement with Bao-Dur when she, and the rest of the Ebon Hawk's Force-sensitive crew. Everyone but the droids, noticed Revan looked fairly sick.
Revan felt his throat tightening as if a hand were choking him and invited the pain. It was in these moments he remembered what he truly was. A mass murderer and a betrayer. It was enough to drive his closest friend to madness and betrayal and enough to make him maul his friend. Malak's presence soon dissipated as the invisible grasp on Revan's throat vanished. A simple reminder that someone was watching him and waiting for him to join them in Hell.
"Are you alright?"
Brianna asked, her eyes showing concern that Revan knew he did not deserve.
"Yes, I'm fine."
He replied hoarsely. Kreia, to her credit appeared troubled while Atton and the others regarded Revan with wariness. It wasn't every day a Jedi spaced out on you.
Revan replied more sternly. Ian's eyes narrowed a moment as if he saw something then he seemed to look around the room, his face was pale and Revan could tell that he had sensed the lingering presence of Malak that still had yet to join the Force. The lingering presence that was there to torture Revan for his betrayal.
"We'll land near the refugee sector. There should be a lot of help in that area if we want to... disappear. I know eventually that I want to find the other Masters. Find out what happened to the Order. I'm sure you would agree with me, Revan."
The confusion was only there for a moment before the others grew extremely wary of their newest member. T3-M4 beeped and whistled excitedly, its mechanical head spinning as if it were celebrating. Atton was looking at Revan in what he thought was a mixture of disgust and fear. Something he had become very accustom to. Kreia seemed annoyed that her efforts were for nothing. Ian, to his credit looked stern though a grin was working its way to his face. The grin, however faded with the advance of Brianna. In one graceful movement, she had twisted Revan's arm behind his back and had disarmed him of one of his weapons, holding the hilt to his throat.
Ian's nostalgia was crushed as he soon realized who exactly Revan had become since they had last seen each other. Bao-Dur looked as if he were torn between admiration and disgust.
Brianna spat, a sneer crossing her delicate features. Revan closed his eyes a moment, licking his lips as he twisted his arm further than most would like to and kicked back with his leg, sweeping along the Handmaiden's feet and breaking her hold of him. The lightsaber's blue beam was active a moment later as the Echani glared at the Sith Lord.
"You... You killed my father! You sent my mother to die! Why? We trusted you, Revan. Why?"
Revan refused to remove Malak's saber from his belt, instead staring directly into the young woman's eyes as she watched him for an offensive move.
"Malachor V was a lost cause. I sent those Jedi and soldiers there to die, yes. But I did not know what we would awaken there."
Kreia sighed in disgust, throwing her hands up in an exasperated gesture.
"You certainly gained their attention, my apprentice. Now, enough of this foolishness, kill the child and let us be on our way."
"Hey now wait a
Atton snapped. Regardless of how shady that man was, he wasn't one to stand by while people killed each other within range of him.
"Maybe we can just talk this through... I don't know figure something out."
Ian pinched the bridge of his nose as he saw Brianna move to strike. The same attack stance her mother used.
"Oh no, not good!"
Ian lamented as the blade struck Revan directly in his chest. Revan looked down at the blade as it burned away a small hole in his tunic, revealing a crimson and obsidian breastplate. Slowly, threateningly, Revan's eyes rose to Brianna's. He had been sent back a step by the strength of the thrust and knew he would be dead if he had not taken the measures he did. Brianna's eyes were wide with shock. Either from her own actions of the lack of a dead Sith Lord. No matter, the fight had been provoked.
Revan swept his left arm upward, knocking the blade to the side as the sleeve of his cloak burned away to reveal an armored gauntlet. Malak's saber snapped to his hand and was pressed firmly against Brianna's neck.
"I would hate to be the one to destroy your family. I am sorry for what I did but I did what I did with reason. Take your revenge if you can, but do not forget who you are, and where you are from."
Revan removed the inactive saber from Brianna's neck and cast a sideways glance to the Ebon Hawk crew.
"If you no longer feel my presence is necessary... The Hell with it, Ian we are going to track down these Jedi Masters and get some answers. I am particularly interested in Vrook."
Ian looked torn between abhorrence and amusement. Vrook was not a very well-liked man and he would not mourn his loss, much.
"I have no qualms with your presence, my friend. But I hope that we can all put aside our differences."
Brianna panted as she glared into Revan's eyes.
Revan returned the glare,
not liking being caught off guard. It reminded him too much of what
Brin had done to him, something he did not like remembering.
"You lead, I will follow, General."
Bao-Dur muttered, eyeing Revan with interest. Sometimes it was nice being in the company of other men who knew what horrors the Mandalorian wars held.
"I don't like this one bit. First there's the old witch, then some half naked crazy war hero Jedi and now Darth Revan? DARTH REVAN was supposed to have died five years ago."
Atton shouted, earning a glare from Kreia and a nervous chuckle from Ian.
"And then sleeps-with-vibroblades shows up in all this and we get taken prisoner by a bunch of snow-gizaks."
Revan turned his eyes a moment to give Atton a confused look.
"First off, who the hell is sleeps-with-vibroblades and second... Dying didn't agree with me."
Brianna's anger seemed to lessen as she took stock of the situation.
"Darth Sion... a Sith that decided to remain behind when you went gallivanting across the Outer Rim with your-"
"Do not finish that sentence, Master."
Revan snapped, his eyes moving between Brianna and Atton.
"Now, Mister Rand, who sleeps-with-vibroblades?"
Kreia sighed, shaking her head and crossing her arms. A gesture Revan noticed seemed off balance.
"He's the one that sliced off Kreia's hand and tried capturing us on Peragus."
Revan's brow furrowed as he looked between the smuggler and Kreia. Finally noticing the empty sleeve of her cloak.
"You are just now noticing?"
Kreia sighed, shaking her head in disappointment.
"What was the first thing I taught you?"
Revan also sighed, eyeing Brianna a moment and growing more confident that she would not strike him while he was distracted.
"Always measure your opponents. Never leave a weakness or strength to fate."
"Good, now I hope you will remember that lesson while you kill the girl."
"What is with all of the killing? For once let us just sit down and talk about this!"
Revan and Brianna exchanged glances before both lowered their weapons, Revan securing his to his belt and staring at the Echani expectantly. Brianna flushed with either anger or embarrassment, handing the weapon back to Revan.
"We speak alone."
Brianna said sternly. Ian nodded his agreement.
"Please, no killing until I've had a say in all this..."
Revan nodded his head and Brianna hesitantly copies the gesture, waiting for Revan to leave the room. Revan grumbled a complaint about having to get a new set of robes before he walked past the Echani and into the cargo hold, Brianna sealing the door behind them.
"Why have you come back? And why did you not confront us as would have been the honorable choice?"
Revan sneered a moment, thinking of Atris' interference.
"Your Master decided my presence should be less noticeable and forbade me from letting you or your sisters know... for that I am sorry... You look very much like your mother you know..."
Brianna narrowed her eyes, pondering what Revan had said.
"The Jedi... Atris said that you and the others fell to the Darkside in the Mandalorian wars. I was also told that you sent those least loyal to you to fight over Malachor V and then used the Mass Shadow Device to murder them all."
propaganda. I was on Malachor V when that blasted thing was
activated. You try keeping your internal organs in place when the
gravity increases a fifteen times over."
A subtle, but noticeable Force probe reached Revan's mind as he spoke. Before he chose to shield against it, Revan sensed it was coming from Brianna.
"You have inherited more than your mother's face..."
Revan's eyes were narrowed with thought as he nodded approvingly, sensing the power held within the young Echani.
"I know honoring your parents is important to you... and your sisters... but there are things happening now that are, believe it or not larger than that. If you want to claim revenge against me I ask you to wait until this conflict is solved. I do not want to see all I know and love destroyed once more if I can prevent it. If you promise that you will wait, I will let you have my life when you ask it."
"Bastila isn't going to like this..."
Revan lamented to himself. After a moment of silent thought, Brianna finally nodded slowly, eyeing Revan curiously.
"Will you honor this agreement?"
Brianna reached out with her senses, sensing that Revan was not misleading her.
"Very well... We will wait and see... Darth Revan..."