Sequel to Hindsight and Foresight, starts where Hindsight left off.
There was a bitter cold in the stagnant air of the Ebon Hawk as the ship's turbines sputtered, attempting to reach a higher speed than the current snail's pace they were running in the ruined atmosphere of Malachor V.
The Hawk's pilot nursed a deep cut to his forehead and swore at the controls. "Move, you stupid piece of –"
"Atton," the tired voice of a Zabrak, holding his side with his good arm (he seemed to have misplaced the other one), and favoring what looked like a broken rib, came from behind him, "I tried getting the hyperdrive online. It should work, but there's still some damage. I need a little more time."
Atton held a cloth that was slowly covering in blood pressed against his forehead. "And?"
Bao-Dur narrowed his vision and winced as the ship jerked, "Stop messing with the controls and let her drift, you're messing up the calibrations."
Atton groaned and lifted himself out of the chair. He walked down the hallway to the medbay, where a blonde-haired blue-eyed woman had been sitting quietly for the last hour. He turned toward Mical, clenching his teeth, "You gonna use your fancy Jedi powers to fix the gash coming out of my head or you just going to stare at her all day?"
Disciple frowned, "She hasn't moved for over an hour," he looked up at the gash. "Besides why don't you use your lessons to fix your wound?"
Atton winced as spots danced in front of his eyes. "Because I didn't get that far, got it? So if you want a living pilot, fix me up!"
The younger man let out a quiet sigh and shot another concerned look towards the woman before tending to the aggravating pilot's wounds. When he was done Atton poked at the bandage experimentally and stumbled. "Careful," warned Mical.
Atton groaned loudly and cradled his head. "Oh, this is worse than that hangover during the Pazaak Championship in Coruscant!"
The blonde man ignored him. "How are Bao-Dur and Mira?"
Atton blinked, "The Zabrak is nursing his chest and his arm is missing, which can't be good… and I have no idea where our lady of the bounties went."
Mical shook his head softly and left Atton in the medbay, hearing him start to talk to the catatonic woman, "So… if you can't say anything, I've got a couple of questions to ask."
Mical decided to not to interfere; it might bring her out of it, if only to yell at the scoundrel. He breathed in deeply, stepping over the buzzing protocol droid looking in search of the rest of the injured crewmembers. Visas was still unconscious in the port dorms, still exhausted from her encounter on the Ravager. Mira favored a split lip and a broken leg. Her face was hard from her trek on the planets surface and she had a new blade in her hands that she refused to talk about. The copper colored droid that was left was shifting his blaster around and shooting out sparks every time he turned.
Another hour passed before anything else happened. Then there was a high-pitched beeping from the security room. "What the hell?" Atton's voice came from the communications relay, rattling throughout the ship-.
Mira limped behind the rest of the crew, with Bao-Dur helping her, apparently finding his other arm. Mical walked, careful not to trip over T3-M4 again and HK-47 slowly brought up the rear.
"What is it, Atton?" Bao-Dur asked, still supporting Mira's weight.
Atton shook his head. His eyes were wide in disbelief. "You'll never believe this, but someone is comming us."
Mira grunted and tried to lean on her good leg unsuccessfully, "And we wouldn't believe that why? Maybe it's some Republic do-gooders."
"Or another Sith ship to finish the job," Bao-Dur said softly.
Mira frowned at him, "Great optimism there, BD."
Atton waved his hand towards the viewscreen. "It's coming from one of the dead ships…" Everyone was silent as they stared at the beeping console. "Well?" Atton asked. No one said anything. He pressed the comm button.
A crackle of static came through, followed by a strong female voice. "Space it, you guys have incredible timing."
No one knew how to react, until T3-M4 started whirring and HK-47 spoke up, "Master?"
One the other side of the ship, the woman still in the medbay stood up suddenly.
Atton 'Jaq' Rand – 17 Years Earlier
Even the weather seemed like it was saying goodbye. That might have just been the egotist in him, but leaving home was a big deal. So it was nice that the sky seemed to appreciate the significance. He hoped the sky would appreciate him when he was piloting in it.
His father sighed again. Jaq Rand was keeping count. That made sixteen now.
"Pops. I have to get to base soon," he shifted his pack on his shoulders. "This goodbye gonna take another six hours, or are you going to accept the fact that I'll call?"
His father didn't seem to catch the smart crack. "You look just like your mother." The older man's eyes were misty, he seemed somewhere else.
Jaq shifted on his feet and shot a glance at his sister, she was clinging to the doorway, eyes the same as his staring back at him. It was too eerie. Suppose he could blame his father for that too. "Yeah well so did your last wife," he smirked, "so don't start in on me now."
His father's eyes darkened and he pulled Jaq in for a solid embrace. "She had the spark, Jaq. You do too – use it well. Those Republics—they don't deserve you."
Jaq patted him awkwardly on the back and pulled back with a fake smile. "Yeah… I'll try." He cleared his throat and shot another glance at his half-sister. "So, Vi, you gonna say goodbye or just gawk at me for the rest of the time it takes Pops to go through another would-will speech?"
His sister stared at him for a long moment, before she turned and left.
Jaq scratched his neck. "Something I said?"
"Viane doesn't have much, but she's got the smarts to miss you." His father gripped Jaq's shoulder. "I know you'll make me proud, son. Just like your mother would have."
Jaq sighed and shrugged. "She's not dead, Pops. She's a Je-" He shook his head sharply. "Forget it." His father wouldn't have listened anyway. Denial was infallible if the man wanted it to be. Jaq smiled at him. "Larx is meeting me at the stop, so— I'll get going now." He inclined his head towards the door. "Take care, Pops. I'll – um… call when I get there."
His father's shoulders slumped so far that his head rested on his chest. "You go on, Jaq. There's nothing here but wounded old men. Go find your own future."
Jaq smirked. "That's the plan."
Atton 'Jaq' Rand – Now
If someone had told Atton a few months ago that he'd be floating on an old smuggling vessel through the Malachor system waiting for Revan's ship to attach to theirs – he probably would have shot them. Of course if someone had told Atton that now, he could just slice their head with his lightsaber.
It was amazing how quickly the Jedi weapon became a comfort. He started to grip it at his side. At least he wasn't all gone; he was also gripping his blaster.
"Do you think that is actually Revan?" Blondie was talking. It took Atton a moment to register.
Atton blinked and shrugged one shoulder.
Mira seemed capable enough to jump in. She always did. Voice grating like a shyrack in heat. "The copper droid seems to think so," she said, keeping her weight to one side, "If we could get even a word out of the catatonic exile back there maybe we'd know for sure."
"It is Revan," Jene's voice was soft. Atton hadn't even noticed her behind him. She didn't seem to be noticing him either as she stared at the docking hatch, her eyes cloudy.
Mical was quick to jump all over her. It made Atton's hand clench tighter on his blaster. He had to remind himself – there were bigger things to worry about than Blondie using his medical excuses to feel Jene up.
"Are you all right? You haven't spoken since we left—"
Jene cut him off with her hand and strolled back towards the direction of the medbay. Blondie sighed. He looked torn between going after her and waiting to see if Revan was really coming. He ended up staying with the rest of them. The choice was simple for Atton – Jene would still be in the medbay later, but seeing what was going to come through those doors. That was different. Of course things had been nothing but different since Peragus. Sometimes he even pretended that none of what he'd done had ever existed. That he'd never been anything but what he was now.
But of course, what he was now was just the same as always. A deserter waiting for the next opportunity to break.
Bao-Dur shook his head. "The ship won't fix itself." He hobbled towards the back. The Zabrak either really didn't care, or he really didn't want to see what was coming. Couldn't blame him. Either curiosity or fear was gonna win out with all of the crew. So far, two for fear, the rest for being nosey bastards. Of course with the way Jene had been acting since their last stop on Dantooine, Atton was sure if she was afraid of anything. Maybe she just didn't care anymore.
The docking hatch clicked and everyone left (which at the moment only included Blondie, Red, and the droids) stared at it. There wasn't a sound anywhere else on the ship.
Except for the swearing. Loud, and in a few languages Atton couldn't catch, came from behind the hatch.
"Unlocking the damn thing would be super!" came a muffled exclamation in basic from behind the metal.
Everyone stared at him. Expecting Atton to be the one to do something. Not because he was the bravest, but because he was the first one they'd shove in front of blaster fire. Nothing had changed. He shook his head and lifted his hand – using the Force used to be harder, used to be something he was scared of. Now it let him not move from his spot. Just a shove on the air around them and the door slid open.
And she walked in.
To say she wasn't what he was expecting would be the understatement of the year. He had never seen Revan without her mask and even in his darkest imaginations – this was not what he would have pictured. Her dark hair hung in a bedraggled mess down to her hips, stains covered her face. It looked like the robes she was wearing had been torn and sewn together so much that they were ready to fall apart at the slightest touch. But most of all, never did Atton think Darth Revan would smell this bad.
But it was definitely her. He didn't know how he knew – but it was her.
"Frackshitfrack—I am so damn glad to be off that fracking frackty frack ship!" Revan glanced around the docking bay before settling on the two droids. She grinned. "Tee, HK!" In a sharp instant her face morphed into a scowl at the astromech droid. "What the hell happened to my ship? I ask you to take care of it for a while and you let her get all banged up to hell."
T3-M4 beeped a few choice responses at her.
She scoffed. "Hey, four years is so a while. If it was five you could complain."
HK-47 whirred excitedly. More excited than Atton had ever seen him. "Exclamation: Oh, Master it makes my processors buzz in delight that you have returned! Observation: With much evidence that you have been practicing carnage without me."
Revan popped her neck. "Yeah. Well don't tie your wires in a knot, HK. With me around, I'm sure there's much more carnage to come." She blinked and glanced around the room where everyone was staring at her. "Uh… hey. Thanks for the ride—" She stared at each of them before settling on Atton. "The refresher broken?"
He raised one eyebrow. "Not last time I checked."
Revan grinned at him. "Best damn news I've heard all year. The fracking damn stupid moffa refresher on that piece of Republic junta ass ship broke seven months in and I haven't had a decent sonic in years. Not to mention not having even a water dip in three weeks." She smirked. "Lovely of you all to not comment on the smell." She pushed past them and made way towards the refresher down the hall.
Mira looked like she was going to say something but ended up dropping her hands to her sides as they made their way down the path Revan had taken.
Atton snorted. "You're speechless? That's a first."
Mira glared at him, but was cut off when Revan popped her head out again. "Tee, set in a course for Dxun. It's close enough and I wanna check on how far Cand has gotten. Oh and I've pretty much ruined the Qel-Droma robes so get me some clothes too."
T3-M4 beeped indignantly.
"Yes, yes you are," Revan replied. "And I don't. A while apart should let you forget that." She popped back in and slammed the door.
There was an awkward silence, save for the whir of the astromech droid heading towards the cockpit. Then the sonic switched on and uncomfortably happy noises came through. Atton edged away from the door, still not knowing quite how to react.
He was going for indifference to hide his confusion. It seemed to work well enough.
Mical seemed to come back into himself after a long moment. "So that was Revan."
"Oh and you're the smart one?" Atton snapped. Okay, biting and rude worked too. He couldn't change his habits now.
Blondie regarded him balefully for a moment before turning towards Mira. "I have seen the reports in the archives. She—matches the description."
Mira put her finger under her nose. "Does it say anything about the stink? I never thought I'd have to smell someone worse than Atton."
Atton sneered at her, trying to think of something clever to say, when he noticed Blondie edging back towards the direction of the medbay. Atton cut him off and headed towards it, instead. He leaned against the doorway when he got there; glancing at Jene still in the same position she had been in earlier. "Something up?"
Jene lifted her head and stared at him blankly before waving her hand and muttering, "Fool." The door slid shut.
Atton stepped back sharply. He shook his head and shoved his hands in his pockets. "I guess we're going to Dxun then." He said to no one as he strolled towards the cockpit.
Bao-Dur – 10 Years Earlier
"This seat taken?" Her voice was so soft and uncommanding that for a moment he didn't even recognize her.
Bao-Dur shook his head and inclined towards the barstool next to him. He took a sip of his juma and glanced at her again. "Don't order the Corellian Whisky, General. It's a bad bet."
She eyed him for a moment and then nodded and looked at the bartender. "Ruby Bliel." She stared at the counter for a moment after the bartender had placed the drink in front of her. "I don't drink much."
"I didn't think Jedi drank at all, General." Bao-Dur took another sip of his juma.
She gave him a look that was half a wince and half a smile. "We don't." She sighed, taking a long sip of her drink. "We don't leave against the Council's wishes or take on too much responsibility ahead of our time, either."
Bao-Dur was silent for a moment, staring at the glass in his hand. Since the Jedi joined the war, the Mandalorians had finally started losing as much ground as they had taken. "Well I think I can say for all of us, General. I'm glad you did."
She gave him a real smile that time. "So am I." She finished off her glass fairly quickly and put it down. "I hate lulls."
The Zabrak nodded. "Most men enjoy the break."
She sighed. "I know it's a good thing that the fighting has— stopped for now, but it feels like—"
"The eye of the storm."
The blonde nodded, pushing some of her hair behind her ears. "It never seems to be over."
His hand traveled to his pocket, the plans he'd been working on still there. Like they had been for the past week while he hashed out the details. "It could be soon." There could be one quick takedown of millions of Mandalorian lives and then no more Republic deaths. No more friends and family dying. It was amazing how simple it could be.
The General sighed and put down the glass, calling the bartender over. "Revan likes your idea, Bao-Dur." He didn't have a chance to say anything in response. She turned to the bartender.. "Something stronger. Expired is fine." She pushed her glass forward. "I think I'm past the age of flush drinks."
The bartender said something witty and poured her a glass of firewhiskey. She drank it back with a cringe. "So—" she coughed, turning back to him again. "Ready for the end of the lull?"
Bao-Dur brushed his thumb against the plans for the Mass Shadow Generator. "Permanently, General."
General Jene Wynn slammed the rest of the whiskey back and put the glass down on the bar. She stood up and dropped a few creds on the bar. "Aren't we all?" she said in her soft voice again, before walking off.
Bao-Dur – Now
His ribs were still ached and his arm kept sparking out, but the ship needed to be fixed -- Revan or no. It didn't matter how many times T3-M4 put in the coordinates to Dxun or Atton yelled at the console, the ship wasn't going to work unless Bao-Dur could fix the hyperdrive.
Sometimes he wished things would just stay fixed.
"Hey there," Mira stepped in swiftly, not limping now, and kicked the hyperdrive. "How's it coming? Atton's still swearing at the controls and T3." She leaned over to regard his work.
Bao-Dur raised one eyebrow and held out his hand. "Hydrospanner."
Mira snorted and stared at the box with her hand extended. After a moment she frowned and snapped her fingers, shuffling towards his toolbox and grabbing it out. "It's not as easy as it looks."
His lips quirked and he took the hydrospanner from her. "I know, or I would have gotten it myself." He pushed the tool into the hyperdrive, trying to finish the process of aligning the servos. He glanced at Mira out of the corner of his vision. "You're not limping."
"Mical fixed me up," she tapped her foot against the ground as if testing her statement. "Kid's not bad at that kind of stuff."
Bao-Dur turned his head slightly to give her a level stare. "Kid?"
"He acts like one. Too naïve for this business – this life." Mira sighed and rested her hands on her hips. "I guess all Jedi are. I mean look at the Exile. Jene's just locked herself up in the medbay ever since we left Malachor. And even before that she was acting —"
Strange. Ever since their return trip to Dantooine, the General had been acting very strange and unlike herself. Bao-Dur shook his head. "I'm sure the General will be fine after she rests. Malachor was—" He glanced around his shoulder, missing the familiar buzz of his remote hovering around. "Tough."
"Yeah," Mira said hoarsely. "They weren't kidding about that place." She rubbed her arms like she was cold. "Guess you'd know though, huh?"
Bao-Dur slammed the last servos into place mercilessly. "Yes, I would." He stood up, wincing, as his ribs pinched against his chest. "Ship should be fine to make a hyperspace jump. I need to overhaul her more carefully when we land, but she should get us to a safe planet to rest on."
Mira grabbed his arm and slung it over her shoulder. "Come on, BD – let's let Mical check you out too. You're no good to us broken."
Bao-Dur sighed and allowed himself to be supported by her. He shot another glance over his shoulder as they made their way to the medbay. "Everything breaks."
They found Mical standing outside the medbay staring and frowning at the door. "She won't talk to me," he said with a frown. "She hasn't since Dantooine."
Mira cleared her throat. "Di?" She gestured at Bao-Dur's torso. "You think you could get out of sulk mode and fix up our mechanic?"
Mical blinked and straightened himself out. "Yes, I am sorry. How may I help?"
"I think he broke a rib," Mira said.
Bao-Dur sighed. "I don't think it's that serious."
Mira smacked her hand against his side and he let out a low hiss, gritting his teeth. Bao-Dur stared at her. "What was that for?"
"Did that hurt?"
Mira smiled at him and turned to Mical. "Broken rib."
Bao didn't have a response to that as Mical strolled over to take a look at him, a medpack hanging at the blonde's side. He shooed Mira away but she just smiled and leaned against the opposite wall. Mical stared at Bao-Dur's side. "You're lucky I happened to procure some medical supplies before the Exile locked herself in the medbay." He immodestly lifted up Bao-Dur's shirt and shot kolto right into his side, before bandaging him up.
Bao-Dur tried not to look suspicious of the younger man, but his technique was definitely not the training of a scholar. It was battle medicine. Of course, the blonde could just have been too preoccupied with the General to have any bedside manner. He pulled down his shirt with his good arm and nodded. "Thanks."
Mical had already turned back to staring at the medbay door.
Bao-Dur shook his head and turned towards Mira. "I'll go tell Atton the Hawk can fly."
Mira pushed herself off the wall and patted his arm. "I'll tell him. You go fix your arm, BD. It's still sparking." She smiled at him and walked towards the cockpit.
He glanced at his arm with a sigh as it sparked and fizzled. "So it is."
Everything was broken.
Sometimes he wished things would just stay fixed.
Jarysh Forn – 4,019 BBY
Jarysh picked burrs out of his hair as he rounded the corner. Idia was standing, arms crossed, staring at the outsiders. Jarysh had tried to come by to see them earlier, but so had everyone else in their settlement. Eventually, the Chief had made a proclamation that only his family could see the outsiders until they found out what threat they could pose.
Now that he was being summoned to talk to them.. well he tried to keep the grin off his face. Maybe they were dangerous and the Chief needed someone to take them out. Or maybe they were rich and wanted to buy some of the settlers. He could maybe get a good deal for his sister – she was always bothering him.
Idia looked relieved to see him. She threw her arms up and gave him a stare that clearly said she needed help.
Jarysh tried to down his grin as he came towards her. The two outsiders' mouths were in thin lines and they looked just as frustrated as Idia had before she'd seen him. "Roe sent for me." He lifted his chin and tried to go to his full height. Although with just an old man and a pregnant woman, the outsiders didn't look like much threat.
"I can barely understand them and I'm the only one in the family that speaks –" Idia crinkled her nose with a look of distaste and said in the outsider's harsh language, "Twi'lek."
Jarysh nodded at her and turned towards the outsiders. He knew more about the outside than the rest of the settlers, since his father had been from the outer planets and had taught him what he knew. "I'm Jarysh," he said in Twi'lek. "What are you trying to get across?"
They stared at each other and the woman, her face softening slightly without losing its edge, spoke to him. "I'm Nalah Qel-Droma and this is Ovik Lore." She pointed at the older man behind her. "We were trying to explain to your—" she glanced at the woman.
"We're not related," Jarysh answered, feeling a little off. He couldn't even begin to understand where they would get that assumption. Idia was clearly of chief's blood when Jarysh was mixed.
Nalah and Ovik glanced at each other before the older one spoke. "Excuse my Padawan. It's just that you look so similar and those eyes—" He gestured to their face. "Well where we come from that's a very genetic trait." He coughed and ran a hand through his thinning beard.
Jarysh glanced at Idia and then back at the outsiders. "Padawan?" That was not a word he'd heard before.
"It means student," Nalah said with a sigh. She muttered something under her breath and rested a hand on her stomach, before speaking plainly to Ovik in another language. "I hate speaking Twi'lek – I wish these people knew basic."
"Patience, Nalah," Ovik said quietly in the same language.
Jarysh narrowed his vision at them. Trying to gage the correct way to say it. It wasn't too hard – all the information was right in front of him. "What is basic?" He said in the language they'd been muttering in.
Nalah and Ovik stared openly at him, eliciting a frown from Idia. Nalah looked like she was desperate to say something, but Ovik raised his hand and spoke instead. "What we were asking Idia earlier was if you were aware of the Force."
Jarysh furrowed his brow. "Force?"
Nalah spread the fingers that were resting on her stomach and stared directly at him. After a moment the air around her tensed and a faint glow, not quite visible, was clear to him. "Force." She repeated before lifting her hand and sending the glow towards a rock and having it bounce up and down.
Idia shot back behind Jarysh immediately, her green eyes wide. "Ashla!" she hissed. She pounded a fist on Jarysh's arm. "Sith'ari!"
Both words caught the outsiders' attention, but only the second one caused Nalah to drop the rock.
Jarysh frowned at them, standing in front of Idia. "Yes." He said in Twi'lek. "We are aware of the Force." He turned towards the rock face and pointed at the wreckage of the old settlement just beyond the mountains. "Intimately."
There was a cold silence before Nalah squeaked and pressed a hand on her stomach. "Ulic, you have horrible timing," she muttered.
Ovik put a wrinkled hand towards Jarysh. "We are not Sith. Let me show you."
Idia hissed warnings and curses behind him, but Jarysh put his hand in the old man's. After a long silence that was just that glow and the whisper of the wind, Ovik drew back and spoke clearly in the Settler language. "Your Sith are quite different, I see."
Jarysh closed his eyes, trying to focus on the images and information that had carefully made it's way into his mind. "They are not the same." He opened his eyes and stared at both of them. "Ours are worse."
Jarysh Forn – Now
Jarysh frowned at the control panel and ran a hand over his clean-shaven head. It hadn't been too hard to acclimatize himself to this area and gain some contacts in the last month or so, but it had been different. Lonely. The past four years he'd had someone with him and now she was—well it was too late to think on it. It just gave Jarysh more reason to fight them.
Although it seemed that they were finding ways to go on the offensive. It would have been easier with her here. He sighed and sat back down on his chair, staring at the empty readout. Their trail had been hot an hour ago and then it had completely disappeared. They were being too sporadic in their attacks and movements since he'd followed them to this region.
"What are you planning?" he mumbled at the blank screen, which still awaited a destination.
There had to be some kind of connection to it all. An entire planet decimated by some creature. Some Exile person as the last Jedi – that only proved what she'd said about the Republic's intelligence, since, in the short time he'd been here, Jarysh had run into a few Jedi already. He didn't understand what would cause the remaining Jedi to hide either, but the latest information about Jedi history he had was from before the Exar Kun War. (Whatever that was.) And what he'd found in the last few weeks. Which wasn't much.
The screen blinked for a few moments before flashing. Coordinates started to appear. Jarysh leaned forward, watching intently. He had been afraid of losing their trail and not picking it up before it was too late.
The energy signatures were faint, maybe only a few of them, or an older ship. But they came from somewhere not too far away. Jarysh input the coordinates into a nearby monitor, where he had uploaded a galaxy map of the area.
The result came back with one planet. Telos.
Jarysh frowned and leaned back in his chair. It seemed he wouldn't be able to forget her after all.
What was it that she had always said? The Force has a sick sense of humor.
Jarysh sighed and lifted himself back up towards the pilots seat, setting in a course for the coordinates he'd received. "If you were alive, Revan, you would probably think this was funny."