One … Two … three … the ships ascended the central well of the Star Forge like air bubbles through water. Bastila's face broke into a twisted smile as she came to comprehend how swiftly their fleet was growing. Even the finest of Republic mechanics couldn't compile a fully working battleship in the time it took the Star Forge to churn out a hundred of the things. The Dark Side fed it, nurtured it, made it unnaturally strong … Just as it did to her.
Things were so much clearer now. So much easier. She swore again to destroy the Jedi for the lies the told her, the way they deceived not only her, but themselves. How many of the Jedi Council had any idea what the Dark Side could do? To them it was nothing but the villain of a horror story told to children to make them behave. Those fools, hiding away from the true power of the Force, sheltering themselves from their own potential in their cave of lies and idiocy. If it hadn't been for Malak, she might never have known the truth. It shamed her to remember how long it had taken her to open her eyes and see …
But Malak was in the past, dead and gone forever, like the Jedi Council on Dantooine. And good riddance to the lot of them. Only one person mattered to her now, only one woman held more power than she. Darth Revan. Bastila's master; Sith Lord; slayer of the usurper Malak. Revan was the Force. Revan was the Dark Side. Revan was everything.
It made Bastila feel weak and inadequate to train with Revan, to spar with her, even just to live with her here on their Star Forge. When she looked into Revan's eyes, the souls of a billion dead gazed back at her – those Revan had killed with her lightsaber, those she had ordered others to kill for her … even those who had died because they were beneath Revan's notice. She wore death like a cloak, like the Star Forged armour that was more decoration than protection. Or perhaps it was more like the mask she wore, the mask that was a symbol more than a disguise. One never knows when one's own death is coming until it is too late. With Revan, it was always too late. Once she had you in her sights you were as good as dead.
This thought pleased Bastila immensely. The power to create life was that of every woman; the power to end it was granted only to a few. Oh, anyone could lift a blaster and shoot someone, but to want to do it, to have to do it – to make the decision to end that life and carry it out – was as agonising as childbirth. And yet it came to Revan as easily as the Force did.
Bastila realised she had become mesmerised by the rising ships, and brought herself out of her reverie in time to find a lesser Sith apprentice approaching her.
"What it is?" she snapped. She had been a little displeased when Revan looked at the Dark Jedi who had served Malak and decided to have mercy on a few of them. Most of those she allowed to live had been amongst those who followed her example after Malachor V and accompanied her down her dark path. Those fiercely loyal to Malak, or who had issue with Revan were swiftly disposed of, but a dozen or so swore allegiance to the new Lord of the Sith and joined Bastila as Revan's apprentices. Bastila hated all of them. Only she was worthy of Revan, and she already had well-formed plans to murder some of them.
"Revan wishes to see you," said the apprentice. He was a handsome young man with a streak of cruelty matched only by the Sith Lord herself. "In her private chamber," he added sourly. As she thanked him, Bastila decided he would be the first to die.
Revan could usually be found in the small suite of rooms she inhabited on the Star Forge. She seldom left except to talk to her commanders or to train her disciples, and no one was entirely sure what she did in there. Bastila had seen several different computers in Revan's chambers, and noticed a vast library of holocrons, datapads, and ancient tomes in a thousand different languages. It seemed to her that Revan was plotting something, and she intended to find out what.
The door opened as Bastila approached, and she knew Revan's abilities allowed her to sense the movement of every being and droid on the space station as clearly as if the walls were transparent. She passed into the main chamber which contained little more than a couch and a screen. Revan was sitting cross-legged on the floor, near the centre of the room.
"Bastila," she said, her eyes closed. "You took your time."
"I came as soon as I got the message, Lady."
"Than I'll be sure to send a more prompt messenger in future."
Revan opened her eyes. Bastila couldn't help but stare at her. The raw power that she possessed drew all attention towards her, made her irresistible and terrible. She certainly was not the woman who had raced swoop bikes on Taris to save Bastila's life. That woman had never existed. Bastila's contempt for her, her impatience with her, her distain for a broken Jedi filled her with shame when she looked upon the face of Darth Revan now.
"What did you wish to speak to me about?" she asked.
Revan got to her feet, long legs unfolding gracefully as she rose. She was dressed in simple black robes, her hair hung loose, and to the casual observer she may have passed as a relaxed noblewoman – there was certainly no passing her off as a commoner. She bore herself with the full knowledge that the galaxy's future would be decided entirely at her whim.
"Nothing specific. I wanted to talk to you about life. The Force. The future."
Bastila smiled. This was a side of Revan that even the Jedi admired; her constant desire to be educated. She abhorred the idea that there might be a piece of information, or an idea, or a notion in someone's head that she was not privy to. She questioned everyone about everything, read every piece of writing she could get her hands on, took things apart to discover their secrets. Sometimes she took people apart, and they always told their secrets after a time.
"Tell me. Are you satisfied with your progress, Bastila? Does your training please you?"
"Yes. Very much so. I've learned more from you in a month than I did from the Jedi in two decades."
"Then you are complacent. That should change."
Bastila faltered. She had chosen pandering to Revan over honesty, and that was always a mistake. "Master. What I meant was-"
"I know what you meant. You have a place at my side, and you should know you do not need to simper and curtsy for my approval."
"…Thank you, master."
Revan smiled, very slightly. She was clearly enjoying something, but Bastila was not sure what it was.
"What do you see?"
"Master? I'm not sure what you mean."
Revan raised an eyebrow. "I want to know what you see. We stand here on a space station of terrible power, the two of us bonded together by a force that allows us to mould the universe like clay. Look into the future and tell me what you see. What can we possibly achieve from here?"
Bastila took a moment to arrange her thoughts. "I see great potential. We can rule this galaxy, make it the way we want it. We can end the Jedi. We can…"
Her voice trailed away as Revan stepped closer. Some people allowed the Dark Side of the Force to take a toil on their appearance, but it gave Revan such immense energy that she glowed brighter than the greatest of Jedi masters … She glowed like the death of a mighty star. Bastila was vaguely aware that her body no longer obeyed her commands, that she was entirely in thrall to Revan, but mostly she did not care.
"Rule the galaxy," said Revan softly. "End the Jedi … I have no desire to do these things." She placed one hand between Bastila's breasts, and instantly she felt herself centre as if she had been meditating for days. An overpowering sense of calm washed over her, but she knew at once it was the deceptive calm of the Jedi's teachings. "You are too much of a Sith," said Revan. "Sith and Jedi are two extremes. They see different sides of the same coin. You and I, we must learn to perceive the entire coin. Use the Light Side. Embrace the Dark. Do not think of ruling people or killing people … thinking of ruling the Force. Image the ability to destroy it. Awaken, Bastila."
Bastila shook her head once. She did not understand what Revan was trying to say to her, and felt frustration rise. "Are you telling me the Sith are wrong?"
"Only as wrong as the Jedi."
"But you are Darth Revan! Ruthless, bloodthirsty, terrible Revan!"
"Do not define a thing by its properties."
"Shh." Revan shifted her hand to lightly touch Bastila's cheek, regarding her as if she were a doll to be played with. To be manipulated. "I need you to see what I see, or you are no use to me. You are the most powerful of my students. The most trusted. The most valued. But you are nothing more than a tainted Jedi if you cannot open your eyes."
"But my lady! You've already opened my eyes. I see now the full power of the Dark Side – I can feel it within me!"
Revan shook her head, but at the same time she smiled. "When you were a Jedi you had one eye closed. All you have done is open that one and close the other."
"Then teach me, master."
"I had planned to. I cannot have you following the Sith teachings as blindly as you followed those of the Jedi. I need to know that when you are strong enough, you will not betray me. I need you to see how much stronger we can be together. How powerful we are."
Revan's gaze did not shift from Bastila's face. Without seeming to move, their lips came together in a chaste kiss. Bastila could tell she was being tested, but she did not care. She had waited for this for too long to worry about the circumstances, and she deepened the kiss without hesitating.
Revan did not waste any more time on gentleness. She pressed her hand to Bastila's right breast, the palm firm against the nipple and her fingers lightly squeezing the fullness of the breast. Her other hand ran down Bastila's side, stroking her hip, her thigh.
"Do you feel it?" she murmured into the kiss. Bastila broke away long enough to nod, but Revan kissed her again and pulled her close against her body. She had never allowed herself to feel sexual desire before, never seen a use for it. The Jedi rejected arousal as chemical reactions and love as a dangerous attachment, so Bastila had learned not to let those things cloud her judgement. Men often expressed an interest in her, but she had never considered reciprocating it.
This, with Revan, was different. She told herself that maybe it was because she was a woman. Maybe the reason she had never felt this before was that it never occurred to her that it could come from another female. But in reality she knew it was because Revan was Revan. She was snared in that inescapable power which had enthralled millions of soldiers and Jedi into following her, and finally she saw what she could not see back then. It wasn't about Mandalorians sacking the other rim territories, or chasing the thrill of battle. It was all about Revan. It had never been about anything else.
Bastila felt her back hit the wall and leaned into it as Revan kissed her. She felt a thrill tremble through her body as she was swiftly de-robed, and tried to put it down to the chill of the metal under her bare shoulder blades.
"You begin to understand," Revan breathed. "You have some small comprehension of my power."
"Can you teach me?"
"I want to learn to be like you. To wield your power!"
Revan shook her head. She ran her hands through Bastila's hair, that infuriating smile hovering on her lips.
"You think you're strong enough?"
"I'm strong enough to do anything!"
Revan stared at her for a long moment, her body perfectly still. Bastila's breathing was the only sound in the room, rapid and anxious.
"Then walk away," said Revan, grinning now. "Go. Get out of here. Prove you're strong enough."
Bastila drew a sharp breath. "But-"
"I'll let you get dressed first."
There would be other chances, she told herself. Other times to taste Revan, to feel that cross between excitement and fear, to make up for all those years of ignoring her body's wants. But the Force was not exclusively Revan's whore, and Bastila heard the alarm bells begin when her gaze fell on her discarded robes. Walk away and you'll die. Defying Revan was not going to win her any points. This was a test. Just a test.
She felt fingers on her stomach, trailing down her abdomen. Her breathing grew heavy again, and she shook her head.
Revan's grin widened as she kneaded the sensitive skin on the inside of Bastila's thigh. "Good choice. Obey your passions …"
"Aah!" Bastila felt foolish for crying out loud, but Revan's middle finger sliding between her labia caught her off guard. Revan's other hand slid up the back of her thigh, over the smooth curve of her buttocks and stroked the small of her back as she thrust her hips forward once. Revan kissed her again, hard, and ran her slick finger up Bastila's stomach to her chest. When she touched one stiff nipple, Bastila felt a lightning bolt run down to her clitoris, and she replaced Revan's hand with her own. Sudden indecision hit her when she thought of a better idea, a much more exciting option. She clumsily grasped at Revan's breasts, wondered if she could trigger the same reactions as her master created in her.
The punch spun her round and dropped her to the floor. And it was a punch, rather than a slap. She gaped up at Revan. Clutching her stricken cheekbone, she tried to edge towards her clothes and the door, but Revan descended on her, pinning her to the floor. Revan wasn't smiling now, and she wasn't stroking Bastila. She looked furious.
"I am the master," she hissed. "Do you understand? Do you have any idea what I will do if you betray me – ever?"
Bastila bit back a whimper of fear, and nodded. "I'm sorry."
Revan's hand was between her legs again, moving in a rapid jerking motion. Her heels dug into the floor and her hips thrust into the sensation. She had no choice now. That moment had long gone. She felt fingers push into her vagina, and she felt Revan's other hand grip her hip, the nails cutting painfully deep. But it was all secondary to the thrilling, dangerous sensation that came from looking deep into Revan's eyes, feeling her power first hand.
It wasn't long before the mounting pressure became too much for her. Her feet kicked at the floor as her hips convulsed frantically. She was aware of an intense physical pleasure, but almost her entire being was still focused on the places just behind Revan's irises. As the contractions died away, Revan removed her hand and closed her eyes. Bastila felt the back of her head hit the floor as the spell was broken.
"Now do you see?" Revan demanded.
Bastila gulped for air. She allowed the pleasure to roll over her, from her groin up to her ears and down to her toes. She noticed Revan's right hand was resting inside her own robes, very still, and she wondered what she was doing.
"I understand your power," she breathed. "I am honoured to be your apprentice. I … I am yours."
Revan shook her head. "You see how much powerful you can be when you are with me? You can do things you never thought of before."
Bastila smiled widely. "Yes, master. And one day … One day I will surpass even y-"
She was aware of movement under Revan's robes, and maybe she noticed it because she longed for Revan to feel the pleasure she had felt. The last thing she was aware of was the flash of red light before she slumped back against the cold metallic floor, her body once more still and silent, devoid of passions.
Revan cut her lightsaber and tucked it back under her robe. She sighed once, almost as if she felt some remorse for her actions, then stood up. She summoned someone to remove the corpse from her dining room.
"Stupid girl," she muttered, and then retired to her bedchamber.