You Might Die Trying
by: Sam Lincoln
Summary: In a rebuilding galaxy a disparate band of adventurers try to solve the ultimate mystery. Where is Revan?
Spoilers: Both Kotor games will be gleefully spoiled
You Might Die Trying: Chapter Thirteen
Bastila, Colm, and Skyre sat in the Errant Vow's cockpit and stared out at the black void in front of them.
"Now that sure is a lot of nothing," Colm observed.
"It's funny though, the scanner's picking up a gravitational mass," Skyre said.
"Almost like there's a planet there?" Bastila asked dryly.
"Exactly, oh right, crazy-making cloaking device."
Colm activated the ship's intercom. "We ready back there?"
"Almost," Jolee replied. "We're waiting on Mira."
Colm punched the button for Mira's cabin. "Get your ass in gear Mira!" He barked.
"Keep your pants on," Mira shot back.
"What's the hold up?" Colm asked.
"I...just...look, can Bastila come back here? I need her help with something."
"Fine," Bastila said with a sigh, "I'll go see to Mira."
Bastila walked back to Mira's cabin and opened the door. Inside she found Mira struggling with a set of Jedi Robes.
"A little help here," Mira said. "I seem to have forgotten how these things work."
"But those are...how...why..." Bastila said in confusion.
"Look, don't make a big deal of it. I figured if I was about to go charging into certain doom I might as well dress the part."
"Well for starters you're putting them on backwards," Bastila said sternly without preamble. With Bastila's help Mira quickly donned the brown and white robes.
"Well, what do you think?" Mira asked. "Be honest."
"I think they suit you very well," Bastila replied.
"What's the hold up ladies?" Colm demanded over the intercom.
"Nothing, we will be there shortly," Bastila snapped. "Are you ready?" She asked Mira.
"No time like the present," Mira replied.
"Then I will see you on the other side," Bastila said.
"Bastila," Mira said. "Don't be reading too much into this. It ain't like I'm about to join the Jedi Council or anything."
"Haven't you figured out by now that clothes, or lightsabers, do not make one a Jedi?" Bastila asked lightly before walking out of the cabin.
"So what was the hold-up?" Colm asked as Bastila slid into her seat.
"It was a...feminine matter, and none of your concern, Bastila answered. The tone of her voice said she was not going to discuss the matter further.
"Hey, that's all I needed to hear," Colm said quickly.
"How typically male," Bastila muttered to herself.
"Ok people, listen up," Colm said over the intercom. "We're about to enter the crazy-making field. So if the Jedi on board would do their thing and keep us from going crazy I'd appreciate it." He glanced back at Bastila who had settled into a trace. Colm didn't feel anything, but he assumed whatever shield the Jedi were going to create was active. "Alright Tom, take us in."
The Errant Vow advanced slowly towards where they though Ziost was located. For a long moment nothing happened, then suddenly Colm's head felt like a hot vibroblade had been shoved into it. He grabbed at his head and looked back at Bastila to complain. Any protest he had died on his lips when he saw Bastila. Her hands were gripping the armrests of her chair and sweat was beginning to run down her face.
"How are you doing?" Colm asked.
"The field is stronger than I anticipated," Bastila said through gritted teeth. "But I can shield us from the worst of its harmful affects."
"So the blinding headache is one of the lesser side effects?" Skyre quipped.
"What's going on in the back?" Colm asked into the intercom.
"We're hanging in back here," Gwyn replied as she looked over at Mira and Jolee. "I think."
Mira grimaced as she felt the Dark Side slam against the barrier she and Jolee had created. She took a deep breath and redoubled her efforts at keeping the Dark Side away form the ship's crew. She opened her eyes when the ship fell silent.
"Oh great, not this again," Mira said in disgust when she found herself in the featureless white hallway. "I don't have time for this Dacen, show yourself."
"The Exile isn't here this time huntress," a familiar, yet unexpected voice said.
Mira spun around and came face to face with Kreia. "You're dead!" She exclaimed.
"Through the Force anything is possible," the fallen Jedi said.
"You're a Sith!"
"As I told the Exile many times such terms are mere labels that never fully tell the whole story."
"You tried to destroy the Force and wipe out all life in the galaxy! No, I get it, you're some representation of the Dark Side here to tempt me."
"You are wrong huntress, I am not here to tempt you. I am here to warn you of what will happen if you continue down this path."
"I'm not afraid of some ghost."
Kreia chuckled. "You might not be afraid of this ghost, but I know of one that terrifies you."
"No, he's dead. He died on Malachor," Mira said as she took a step backwards.
"Are you sure? I seem to recall you thought that after Nar Shadaa as well," Kriea taunted.
"Of course I'm sure, there's no way he could have survived that."
"You underestimate the Wookie huntress. His flesh might have been consumed by the destruction of Malachor V, but his spirit lives on. And in this place of spirits that is all I require." Mira felt a pair of large, furry paws grab her by the throat. "Kill her beast," Kreia ordered.
Mira looked up and saw Hanharr looming over her. "Hanharr, don't," she gasped.
"If I kill you I can rest," Hanharr growled as he squeezed harder on Mira's neck.
In desperation Mira summoned a burst of Force energy that knocked the large Wookiee back. She reached for her lightsaber only to find it missing. "Great," she muttered to herself.
"If you destroy him here you will be free of him forever," Kreia said.
"You'd like that, wouldn't you?" Mira said. "What's your angle in this anyway?"
"Either you kill the beast, or he kills you; either way, I win."
"In other words if Hanharr kills me here, I die for real; but if I kill him I fall to the Dark Side. Is that it?"
"Perhaps," Kreia said enigmatically.
A roar from Hanharr signaled that he had recovered from Mira's Force blast and he charged the bounty hunter. Mira ducked under a ferocious blow aimed at her head and staggered the large Wookiee with a Force-assisted kick.
"This is pointless Hanharr," Mira said. "Killing me won't free you."
"You are wrong," Hanharr growled. "Your death is the only thing I crave." The Wookiee again lunged at Mira who barely sidestepped the charge; barely managing to evade Hanharr's claws, which whistled past her face.
"Mira!" A voice called out. She turned and saw Dacen sitting on a bound and gagged Kreia. "Catch!" He tossed a lightsaber to Mira.
"You want me to kill him?" Mira asked.
"I want you not to die," Dacen replied.
"But what about the Dark Side?" Mira asked as she dodged another attack from Hanharr.
"It's not like following the Light Side is a suicide pact," Dacen chided. "No matter what certain people might tell you."
Mira leapt backwards and held up the lightsaber in a defensive posture. "Ok Hanharr, I don't want to do this, but if you want to kill me, take your best shot."
"At last," Hanharr roared as he rushed Mira.
For her part Mira closed her eyes and let herself sink into the Force. She waited until the last possible moment before activating her lightsaber and striking. When she opened her eyes she saw her lightsaber sticking out of Hanharr's chest.
"I'm so sorry," she told the dying Wookiee.
"Don't worry, that wasn't really Hanharr," Dacen said.
"So this was an elaborate lesson to teach me to face my fears? Gee thanks."
Dacen shrugged, "Don't blame me, I'm just a manifestation of your psyche."
"So now what?"
"What do you think, wake up and find me."
Mira's eyes snapped open and she found herself lying on the deck of the Errant Vow.
"Oh good, she ain't dead," Cheyn said.
"Did we make it through?" Mira asked as she sat up.
"We did," Jolee replied.
"And what happened?"
Jolee shrugged, " Don't know, I just came too myself."
"You both collapsed shortly after we entered the field," Mical explained. "What exactly happened to you?"
"Mira, Jolee, if one or the other of you could find your way to the bridge I'd consider it a kindness," Colm said over the ship's intercom.
"You go on," Jolee said to Mira. "I'm just going to sit here and catch my breath for a bit. I'm getting too old for this stuff."
"Just rest there and be cantankerous," Mira advised Jolee as she stood up and headed for the front of the ship. "So what's the problem?" She asked as she entered the cockpit and saw Colm tending to Bastila.
"Nothing is wrong," Bastila said. "I'm fine."
"I don't know what part of fine includes falling out of your chair," Colm said. "Must be some definition I ain't familiar with."
"It was nothing more than a side effect of our passage through the field. Give me a chance to catch my breath and I will be as right as rain. In any event we have more pressing matters to attend to. What is our status Mr. Skyre?"
"We seem to be in a ship graveyard of some kind," Skyre replied.
"Must be all the ships that have gotten caught in the field over the years," Mira observed as they looked out at the drifting hulks.
"Oh, ya think?" Colm sarcastically asked.
"Well the good news is all this metal is going to make it next to impossible for anyone planetside to find us," Skyre said.
"What's the bad news?" Colm asked.
"We're just about as blind," Skyre replied.
Bastila looked at the scanner. "That ship there," she said as she jabbed her finger at the screen. "Can you take us closer to it?"
"Because I know that ship. It is the Ebon Hawk."
"So what's so special 'bout this ship anyway?" Cheyn asked as the Skyre docked the Errant Vow to the Ebon Hawk.
"The Ebon Hawk was Revan's ship during the Jedi Civil War," Mical explained. Cheyn, Mical, Colm and the Jedi were standing in the Errant Vow's airlock waiting to board.
"It also was the ship both Revan and the Exile took into the Unknown Regions," Bastila added. "This ship potentially holds a great number of answers."
The airlock dinged to announce it had established a seal and then opened with a slight hiss. Colm and Cheyn entered first with their blasters held at the ready.
"Ship's power must be off," Colm observed as he looked around the darkened ship. "Gwyn, you want to come down here and take a loot at this ship's engines?" He said into his comm. "Wait for Gwyn," Colm told Cheyn. "Take her to the engine room when she gets here."
"I'll go with them," Jolee said. "Since I know where it is."
"I suggest we split up. Mira, Mical, could you start your sweep in the starboard dormitory and work your way around the ship? Colm and I will investigate the ship's core," Bastila ordered.
"So is this your cunning plan to spend some time alone with me?" Colm asked as they entered the Ebon Hawk's main hold.
"Most certainly not," Bastila said as she shone a flashlight across the room. "There is no sign of battle."
"Looks to me like somebody cleaned up the ship, then shut everything down." Colm walked over to the storage hold door. "What's in here?" He asked.
"It's a storage room," Bastila replied. "We won't be able to open that door until we get the power back."
They passed quickly through the communications room and found themselves on the bridge.
"Anything look out of place?" Colm asked.
"I do not know. It has been five years since I was last on board," Bastila replied as she ran her hands across the back of the pilot's chair. "He was here, I know that much."
"You sure?" Colm asked.
"Oh yes, I can feel his presence."
"I ain't gonna lie, that is more than a little creepyfying."
"Hey Captain," Gwyn said over the comm. "I'm in the engine room and ready to power the ship back on."
"Understood, what was wrong with it?"
"The engines? Nothing, they were just turned off," Gwyn replied.
"Well that's curious," Colm said as the ship powered up around them. "Mira, Mical, you find anything?"
"Not even the underwear I accidentally left behind," Mira replied.
"Meet us in the main hold," Bastila said. "We can discuss our next move there."
Bastila and Colm made their way back to the main hold where they found the others waiting for them.
"Now this brings back memories," Jolee noted.
"At your age what doesn't?" Mira quipped.
"I cannot find any evidence that anyone was living on this ship when it was abandoned," Mical reported.
"Yeah, and there ain't any good loot either," Cheyn added.
"I think I might know where to find our answers," Bastila said as she opened the door to the storage hold. Inside she found T3-M4 and HK-47.
"Oh great, him," Mira said under her breath when she saw the red assassin droid.
"Gwyn, could you please see to these droids?" Bastila ordered the young mechanic.
"They worth anything?" Cheyn asked.
"They are not for sale," Bastila said brusquely.
"Ain't nothing wrong with either of 'em," Gwyn said after a brief examination. "They've just been shut down like everything else on board." She reached to activate HK-47.
"Gwyn, wait, the astromech droid first, please," Bastila said.
"You know these droids?" Colm asked.
"They are Revan's," Bastila replied.
Gwyn knelt down next to T3 and turned the droid on. "Hey there little guy," she said to T3. The droid whistled at Gwyn. "NO, I ain't a Sith. I'm here with Bastila." T3's head swiveled around until he caught sight of Bastila and began to chirp wildly. "Whoa, whoa, slow down, I didn't get all that."
"It's good to see you too T3," Bastila said.
"You understand that gibberish?" Cheyn asked Gwyn.
"Sure, don't everyone?"
"Gwyn, you can activate HK-47 now, but do it carefully," Bastila advised.
"What's that mean?" Gwyn asked as she powered on the droid. She then shrieked as one of the droid's arms shot past her head at lethal speed.
"Statement: HK-47 activated, all systems nominal. Unknown meatbag presence detected. Beginning cleaning procedures," HK produced a large blaster rifle from seemingly nowhere.
"HK-47 stand down," Bastila ordered.
"Confirmation: Voiceprint match, Bastila Shan, standing down." The droid lowered his rifle. "Statement: How delightful to see you again Bastila Shan. Query: Do you require any meatbags killed at this time?"
"No I do not," Bastila said forcefully.
"That's Revan's droid?" Gwyn asked in disbelief.
"Yes, Revan build HK-47," Bastila said.
"It wasn't during his 'life is beautiful' phase," Jolee quipped.
"Wait a minute, that looks like the droids that attacked up on Morishim, 'cept they was gray," Colm said.
Mira sucked in her breath, "You had to say that."
"Clarification: You encountered the HK-50, a vastly inferior copy to my design."
"Inferior in what way?" Colm asked.
"Statement: You are still breathing meatbag," HK replied.
"HK, what happened?" Bastila asked.
"Recitation: After arriving in the Ziost system with our current master, Dacen Graff, we proceeded to deduce the location of Master Revan. Careful analysis of Sith communication traffic provided us with the necessary information. Dacen Graff then deactivated this unit. Conjecture: I believe the meatbag Dacen Graff attempted to rescue Revan on his own, and failed."
T3 began to chirp frantically. "What is it?" Gwyn asked. "Oh, he says he has a message for us."
"Why don't we take both these droids back on board the Vow and see what they have to say there," Colm suggested. "This place gives me the willies."
The entire crew of the Errant Vow gathered around T3-M4 in the ship's comm room.
"Ok little fella," Gwyn said. "Let's see what you gotta say." She adjusted a few dials on the droid and a hologram of Dacen Graff appeared.
"Hello, if you're watching this then you've found T3-M4 and you aren't Sith, I hope. My guess is that you came looking for me, or maybe Revan. All I have to say is turn around go home and live a long and happy life." The hologram fell silent, then sighed. "You're still here aren't you? Very well, this T3 unit has all the information I collected about the Sith defenses on Ziost. They probably won't be of any use to you, but it's all the help I can give. Good luck, and may the Force be with you." The hologram faded out as the recording ended.
"Well that was a whole lot of nothing," Cheyn complained. "Who cares about a bunch of comm frequencies and patrol routes that are as out of date as...well something really out of date."
"Mind like a steel trap that one," Skyre muttered to Gwyn.
"Any intelligence is useful," Bastila told the Mandalorian. "HK, do you know what the Exile planned to do after he rescued Revan?"
"Statement: I do not. Conjecture: It is possible he intended to use the ship graveyard to mask his escape from this system after rescuing the Master."
"That sounds like something he would do," Mira said.
"Still don't give us much to go on," Colm said.
"Maybe it does," Bastila mused. "Captain, do we have any grey paint on board?"
"You really think they'll fall for that?" Jolee asked.
"Pardon my ignorance, but if what is done correctly?" Skyre asked.
"Unless I miss my guess, Bastila intends to paint that there droid gray," Colm pointed at HK-47. "And have it pretend to be one of them bounty hunters out to collect the reward."
"But what if it don't work?" Gwyn asked.
"Then she gets caught by the Sith, ain't exactly a new turn of events," Cheyn said.
"If there is one thing I learned from Revan it is to always have a plan inside your plan," Bastila told Gwyn. "Don't worry I'll be fine."
"So what exactly is your plan?" Jolee asked.
"I'll take Mira, HK and the Ebon Hawk to the planet's surface. We rescue Revan and General Graff then run away. We can deal with the Sith threat later when we have numbers on our side."
"I like this plan," Cheyn noted."
"And what about us?" Colm asked.
"You and your crew have fulfilled your mission Captain. This ship is yours and you are free to leave."
"I like this plan even more," Cheyn added.
"I thought the agreement was for us to help you get Revan back," Colm said.
"You've gone as far as you can Captain. Jolee can get you past the field. Thank-you for everything."
"Colm, Bastila's right," Mira said. "This place is as bad as Korriban, except with live Sith instead of dead ones."
"You saying it's too dangerous for us?"
"No, I'm saying it's a good bet anyone going down to that planet is doing to wind up dead, and somebody needs to tell the Republic where the Sith are."
"She's right Captain, the Republic does need to know this information," Mical added.
Colm shrugged. "Alright fine, you made your point."
"Cap'n!" Gwyn exclaimed. "You're just gonna let them go down there all by themselves?"
"They're Jedi Gwyn, they got the Force as their ally, ain't that right?"
Bastila nodded, "Yes, it is."
"And the way I see it, going after the Star Forge in that itty-bitty ship weren't much less of a bad idea," Colm added as he scratched his chin. "Course you might want to pay Cheyn before you leave, ain't nothing more irritating than being around a sulky Mandalorian."
"Damn straight," Cheyn said.
"All the financial information you need can be found in my quarters," Bastila replied. "Now we have much to do and not much time to do it. Gwyn, could you see to HK-47? I will be prepping the Ebon Hawk for its departure." She turned and walked out of the room.
Colm looked over at Mira. "You really think this is a good idea?"
Mira shrugged, "I know it's a trap, Bastila probably does to."
"How can you tell?" Mical asked. "Is it some Jedi insight?"