Die and Stay Dead
Disclaimer: I know it's a rather morbid title, but after all, so is Darth Malak. No, Malak is not mine, and if he was, I would be running for my very disturbed life rather than writing this. Revan belongs to all other KotOR fans as much as she does to me, which is still none, because it was Lucas Arts that created her. I get no credit or money. Thank you.
Revan was alive.
He didn't know how it happened—not even the most powerful Dark Lord of the Sith could withstand that blast and walk away unscathed.
Or was that precisely what she had done?
No, no it wasn't possible!
Bastila—maybe the insolent little Jedi got it into her head to rescue the Republic's former hero. Jedi were always doing unbelievably stupid heroic things like that, and if they thought they could make some kind of deal with Revan that would work to their advantage, he wouldn't put it past them. Yes, that must have been what happened.
Malak wished he knew what they had said though, to convince Revan to abandon the mantle of Dark Lord. He couldn't see her consenting to throw her power away in exchange for merely her life. She was a Sith, yes, but she'd been Jedi long enough that she would rather die than join the enemy. She had been the leader of the vast Sith fleet after all; the very heart of her cause. Malak knew that there were countless Jedi and soldiers that only joined because it was Revan leading them. He didn't have her charisma, or whatever it was that inspired such loyalty in her troops. They would die for her willingly—each and every one of them, whereas he had to rule by fear. It was infuriating, feeling as if he was still inferior to his old "Master" even after throwing her down and usurping her title. Though he had believed her dead, Revan's shadow had continued to hang overhead. He had felt as if she was watching him, judging him, constantly comparing him to her, as all his subordinates tried to pretend they weren't. In what was supposed to be his final victory, he'd felt instead as if she wasn't gone at all.
Now he knew he'd been right all along, and it didn't make him feel the slightest bit better.
Curse you. Why didn't they let you die?
There had been a time when he'd looked up to Revan. After all, they'd been best friends since childhood on Dantooine. Revan had always been something of a prodigy, without doubt the greatest Jedi of their generation, and yet she'd never lorded it over him. She'd confided everything in Malak, things she didn't even tell the Council, treating him as her equal and teaching him until he nearly was.
It was only when they became Sith that she acknowledged her supremacy, stepping up to fill the role of "Master" as if there was no question which of the two of them it should be. Though Malak knew it was a fundamental aspect of Sith teachings that there could never be two masters, it had never seemed fair to him that both of them couldn't rule the Sith in equal shares. Revan wasn't that much stronger than him. They had always worked together before that point, and she could have used someone to help carry the heavy weight of responsibility. Only grudgingly did he finally step aside into the role of "apprentice", because she wouldn't relent, and he knew, in the deepest corner of his mind, that it would be absurd for Revan to be his Sith protégé. And he couldn't just walk away; after leaving the Order, she was all he had left.
After that incident, however, he had never looked at her the same way. He came to resent her more and more as time dragged on, fighting battle after battle and watching Revan almost invariably receive all the glory. He'd started looking for an opportunity to dispose of her, and when he found one, he took it without thinking twice.
That should have been the end.
However, since it wasn't, he had no choice but to deal with this unexpected, new problem. He let out a sigh of frustration, made all the more frustrating because it sounded through the vocabulator in his artificial jaw that Revan had caused him to need to wear.
I'll bet you're laughing right now.
Though, oddly enough, from Calo Nord's report, it sounded as if this new "Revan" didn't even use Force powers in a fight, and went by a different name entirely. She acted more like a Jedi than even Bastila did, according to the bounty hunter's description. It almost made him wonder if they had the wrong person. If Calo and Admiral Karath hadn't both been so insistent that there was no mistaking her, Malak wouldn't have believed it at all.
Was it possible that her mind had been somehow damaged in the explosion when he attacked her ship? Was it possible that she actually didn't know how to wield the tremendous Force power within her anymore? Whatever the case, there was something more to the story than he was seeing, because what he saw made no sense.
But he was going to get to the bottom of it by whatever means possible, and as soon as possible, because allowing her to reclaim her throne was the very last thing he intended to do.
This time, there would be no mistakes.
This time she would die and stay dead.